Meet The Characters
Jodi is the founder and director of Bless the Bullys, a pit bull rescue and advocacy group in Gainesboro, Tennessee and also the founder of National Pit Bull Awareness Day, a nationwide initiative to educate and improve the image of “pit bull type” dogs. She has worked successfully with elected officials across the State of Tennessee in crafting breed-neutral ordinances in response to proposed breed bans. She is also a leader in the fight against breed specific legislation across the country, and works to coordinate efforts to oppose BSL regardless of location. Jodi shares her life with her two pit bulls, Harlan and Kane, as well as a house full of adopt-a-bulls.
Ben & Ashlee Herche
Ben and Ashlee Herche are Cincinnati natives who ultimately chose to move outside the city limits to the town of Marimont (a stone’s throw from Cincinnati), so that they could lawfully keep their companion animal, Riddick, a pedigreed American Pit Bull Terrier. Riddick achieved his Canine Good Citizen award (an American Kennel Club program) and is a certified therapy dog.
Cecil Thomas is a former Cincinnati police officer and Chairman of the Cincinnati Law and Public Safety Committee. He explains why the ban is still in place today, whether it’s been effective and how it is enforced.
Dorothy & Jim Wilson
Dorothy and Jim Wilson are highly involved in their community within Cincinnati. As fate would have it, Dorothy stumbled upon a notice that city council was voting on allowing police officers to identify pit bulls as a way to enforce the city’s pit bull ban. Together, they spearheaded a grassroots effort aimed at addressing that particular issue along with trying to reverse the ban altogether.
A veterinarian who kept her pit bull hidden for the 10 years she lived in the mile high city. Ann decided to come out of the closet when her faithful companion, Ophelia, was diagnosed with cancer.
Breslin is the lead attorney in the lawsuit against Denver challenging the constitutionality of the city’s ban on pit bulls. Ms. Breslin discusses the parameters of the case and legal implications for Denver.
Desiree also joined the list of plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Denver because her beloved family dog, Coco, was taken from her home and killed by Denver Animal Control only because of the way he looked, not because of anything he had done. Read more about Desiree’s struggle here.
Dahlia Canes, Co-founder of MCABSL
Dahlia is one of the two directors for the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation, which is presently fighting to have the 20 year old pit bull ban in Miami Dade County removed. She is an active animal advocate and “hands-on” rescuer. At this time, she is focusing on animal cruelty issues, legislative matters and Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).
Edel Miedes, Co-founder of MCABSL
Edel was born in Cuba to a lifelong animal rescuer and advocate—his mother. He started training dogs professionally in the early 1990s and has become South Florida’s Premier Severe Behavior Dog Trainer and Behaviorist. He is a graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. His primary academic focus was canine behavior assessments and modifications. Edel also spends a good deal of time helping many “un-adoptable” dogs in rescue groups to be adopted out to good, loving homes.
Ms. Pizano holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. She brings to Miami Dade Animal Services (MDAS) more than 11 years of experience in the field of veterinary medicine and animal services delivery, including five years as the director of veterinary services for the Humane Society of Broward County, a neighboring county to Miami-Dade. As the Director of MDAS, Dr. Pizano is responsible for enforcing the 22-year-old pit bull ban which results in nearly 1000 pit bulls being euthanized each year.
Professor Shaw co-founded and developed the highly researched communications theory know as “the Agenda-Setting Function of the Press” or simply “Agenda Setting.” According to the agenda-setting theory, mass media has the power to set the agenda for public opinion by highlighting certain issues. Shaw discusses how this theory might relate to public opinion on pit bulls.
Dawn is the founder and director of CHAKO (Coalition of Human Advocates for K9s and Owners) a dog advocacy organization headquartered in Sacramento, Ca. She has been a lifelong pit bull advocate, and a proven leader in the fight against San Francisco’s proposed ban on pit bulls. Dawn has two pit bull service dogs, Tauri and Savvy, and she pioneered the argument that BSL unfairly discriminates against disabled persons with pit bull service dogs.
Friedman is the former director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control. After a dog attack that resulted in the death of a 12 yr. old boy, Friedman submitted a task force report recommending legislation targeting pit bulls to the mayor of San Francisco to address the city’s problem with dangerous dogs.
Drayton Michaels is a 2007 graduate of The San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. He has worked professionally with dogs since 2000. He owns and runs Urban Dawgs and Pit Bull Guru with his wife Vyolet, also a graduate of the Academy. He produced the Pit Bull Hoax, a free educational DVD intended to help remove existing Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) from the law books and prevent any cities, counties and states from enacting BSL. Drayton is the proud dog dad to Mojo, a 9 year old male Pit Mix, and Keyshia, a 6 year old female Pit Bull.