Friday, June 20, 2014

Costa Rica Advances With 1-0 Win Over Italy

Costa Rica Advances With 1-0 Win Over Italy

Costa Rica Advances With 1-0 Win Over Italy

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 11:14 AM PDT

(RECIFE, Brazil) — Costa Rica followed up its surprise win over Uruguay with another World Cup stunner on Friday, beating four-time champion Italy 1-0 to secure a spot in the next round and eliminate England in the process.

Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz gave his side the lead in the 44th minute, heading in off the underside of the crossbar following a cross from Junior Diaz. Goal-line technology was used to show that the ball bounced down and in after hitting the bar.

There was a frenetic end to the first half, as moments before Ruiz’s goal Costa Rica had a penalty appeal waved away when striker Joel Campbell was bundled over by Giorgio Chiellini.

Costa Rica leads Group D with six points, while Italy and Uruguay have three each before Tuesday’s showdown. England has zero points after losing to Italy and Uruguay.

So after entering the tournament as an expected underdog in a group featuring three former world champions, Costa Rica is now on top.

Costa Rica’s only other appearance in the knockout phase came in its World Cup debut in 1990, when it beat Sweden and Scotland under experienced coach Bora Milutinovic before ultimately getting eliminated by Czechoslovakia.

It was exactly 24 years ago to the day that Costa Rica beat Sweden 2-1 to advance at the tournament in Italy.

For Italy, it marked the fourth consecutive World Cup in which it failed to win its second match.

While it was nowhere near as hot as Italy feared at the Arena Pernambuco — 29 C (84 F) and 70 percent humidity according to FIFA — the Azzurri still struggled to keep up with the speedy Ticos for long stretches.

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto lined up five defenders but his squad was able advance forward with one swift, sweeping movement — just like in the 3-1 win over Uruguay.

The Azzurri hardly threatened until Mario Balotelli had chances in the 31st and 33rd minutes.

First, Balotelli was set up with a long, vertical pass from Andrea Pirlo and tried to lift the bouncing ball over the charging goalkeeper’s head but missed the target. Then the Azzurri forward had an effort from inside the area stopped by goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

But Costa Rica kept its poise and in the 36th minute Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had to make a diving save to stop a shot from midfielder Christian Bolanos.

In the 43rd, Chiellini made an uncharacteristic error — gifting the ball to Campbell near midfield — and then raced back and committed what appeared to be a clear foul. However, Chilean referee Enrique Osses motioned to play on.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli attempted to stir things up by adding Antonio Cassano, Lorenzo Insigne and Alessio Cerci in the second half, providing the Azzurri with four forwards instead of just Balotelli, but the 2006 winners rarely came close to equalizing.

Appearing frustrated throughout, Balotelli was shown a yellow card in the 69th for taking down Diaz.

Italy’s best chances to equalize were a long, angled shot from Matteo Darmian in the 51st and a free kick from Pirlo in the 53rd that found its way over Costa Rica’s wall — but Navas was waiting and pushed it away.

In added time, Costa Rica substitute Randall Brenes nearly doubled the lead with a free kick that was only slightly off target.

30-Second Tech Trick: How to Save a Wet Phone

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:55 AM PDT

6 Grilling Accessories for the Perfect Cookout

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:39 AM PDT

The meat-plus-fire basics of grilling haven't changed much since our caveman days. What has changed, however, is the variety of handy tech tools that take backyard and tailgate grilling to the next level. From Bluetooth meat thermometers to remote control smokers to clip-on grill lights, these tech tools will turn any cookout novice into a pro.

Here are Techlicious's favorite grilling tech tools for the perfect summer cookout.


Portable Grill

It's not quite football season yet, but there's no reason why you can't start the tailgating party a little bit early. The Coleman Road Trip Grill LXE is one of Techlicious's favorite outdoor grills. It's has its own fold-up stand with wheels built in for easy storage and travel, electronic ignition so you don't need to mess with matches, and a pair of side tables to hold your food before and after cooking. The grill even comes equipped with a griddle – perfect for early morning camping trip hotcakes.

Price: $179 at, $146.99 at


LED Grill Light

Grilling doesn't need to stop when the sun goes down with the cordless Maverick Gooseneck-style LED Grill Light. A simple-but-sturdy clip mounts to your grill's ledge, while a flexible 12-inch gooseneck bends anywhere you need extra light. And since it uses energy-efficient LEDs, you can get a full summer's worth of cooking done on just 3 AAA batteries (included).

Price: $18.41 at


Bluetooth Meat Thermometer

Nothing ruins a good grilling party quite like a bout of food poisoning. Make sure all your poultry and pork is properly cooked with the iDevice iGrill 2. The thermometer supports up to four probes, so you can keep an eye on everyone's food. And with Bluetooth connectivity built in, you monitor your steaks right from your iPhone without losing heat from your grill or smoker.

For a less expensive option, consider the smaller $39 Bluetooth iGrill mini.

Price: $99.99 at, $99.99 at


Rotisserie Kit

There are a lot of ways to cook chicken, but my hands down favorite method for the juiciest, most flavorful bird is rotisserie. Char-Broil's Premium Kit with 6-Burner Electric Rotisserie comes with two four-prong meat forks, turning most gas grills into roasting machines perfect for chicken and larger roasts alike. Installation is easy with the included brackets, though some owners report that they had to manually shorten the spit rod to fit smaller grills.

Price: $49.25 at


Electric Hot-Air Grill Lighter

A massive squirt of lighter fluid may get your grill ignited quickly, but it can give your meat a nasty chemical aftertaste. For a cleaner, greener, gas-free ignition, check out the electric-powered Looftlighter. Rather than throwing flames, the Looftlighter blasts charcoal with a stream of air that reaches 1,256 degrees Fahrenheit. It can take up to 60 seconds to actually ignite wood and charcoal, though, so you'll need a little bit of patience with it. You may also need an extension cord if you're grilling outside.

Price: $67.90 on


Remote-Controlled Meat Smoker

Want to give your barbecue cookout some real smokehouse authenticity? Take a look at the 30-inch Masterbuilt Electric Smoker. This full-fledged outdoor kitchen appliance comes with four racks and a lighted viewing window, letting you easily monitor your food's progress even at night. If you're entertaining guests, you can operate the smoker from up to 100 feet away with the included remote. And don't worry about overcooking – this smoker has a built-in meat probe to keep constant tabs on your food's temperature. A larger 40-inch version is also available.

Price: $289.00 on

This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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Bank Of America Wants Meeting With Attorney General Holder

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:35 AM PDT

Bank of America is apparently done talking to Justice Department attorneys and wants to go straight to the top dog. CEO Brian Moynihan has asked to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss a deal on mortgage fraud litigation, Reuters reports.

This type of request is unusual as meetings are usually brokered between law enforcement officials and company lawyers. It looks as if Bank of America is following in the footsteps of JPMorgan Chase, which settled a big case for $13 billion shortly after meeting with Holder.


Tracy Morgan Out of Hospital After Accident

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:27 AM PDT

Comedian Tracy Morgan has left the hospital following a deadly car accident earlier this month and has been moved to undisclosed rehabilitation facility, his publicist said Friday.

Morgan is expected to continue his recovery there for the next few weeks, publicist Lewis Kay said. “While he is continuing to show signs of improvement, he still has a long way to go,” Kay said in a statement. “He and Megan wanted to publicly express their deepest gratitude to everyone at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for the unbelievable care and attention they provided him.”

Morgan was placed in intensive care after a truck crashed into his limousine SUV earlier this month. One man died in the crash while four others, including Morgan, were injured. Authorities have since said the driver of the truck was speeding and driving with little sleep.

Ukraine’s Leader: 1-Week Cease-Fire Starts Now

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:16 AM PDT

(KIEV, Ukraine) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko orders his forces to cease fire and halt military operations for seven days against pro-Russia separatists in the country’s east — the first step in what he hopes is a concrete plan to end the conflict that has cost more than 350 lives.

Poroshenko said troops would still return fire if attacked.

Poroshenko spoke during his first trip as president to the troubled east. He met with residents of the town of Syvatogorsk in the separatist Donetsk region.

Sexism Around the World Told One Tweet at a Time

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:14 AM PDT

It's summer. I know this, not just because of the changing of the clocks, the markings in my calendar, or the appearance of blossoms, but because of the entries on the Everyday Sexism Project, my website that collects people’s daily experience with gender imbalance.

The first year it happened, I couldn't understand the sudden, almost overnight surge in activity and tweets to the project. But when you look more closely at the entries coming in, things quickly become clear. It’s a common phenomenon — what woman hasn’t experienced some form of sexual harassment? — but that doesn’t make it any less disheartening.

I started my website in April 2012 to show how overwhelmingly common incidents of sexism, sexual harassment and assault still are, in spite of the common argument that ‘women are equal now’ and sexism no longer exists. The 60,000 entries that have since flooded in from women all over the world quickly proved how pervasive and severe the problem still is.

What does the change in season mean to you? Many might say a breath of fresh air, walks in the park or even daffodils nodding in the breeze. But for women all over the world, the joys of the season are tempered by wearying frustration as catcalls, harassment and blaring horns go hand-in-hand with the opportunity to spend more time outdoors.

"Two complete strangers to me at lunchtime today: 'don’t pull your skirt down love, it’s a sunny day, show us your arse'."

"Walking along a busy road with two female friends, a young man came up and told us to 'Smile! It’s sunny'"

"Attempted to sit outside this sunny lunch break but got harassed twice in 10 min so I’m spending it indoors at my desk".

"Walking along the road with my friend on a sunny day, when a man comes towards us leering. As he passes by, he leans in and shouts; ‘Alright ladies, nice day to get naked and be [expletive] the arse isn’t it?’"

"Walking through busy public park at lunchtime. A man on a bike cycles past and says; ‘suck my d**k?’"

It's a pattern so recognizable, so familiar, that it can be traced across countries and continents, as the nineteen international branches of Everyday Sexism demonstrate.

And it's happening everywhere.

In the Netherlands:

"I went to the supermarket on a ordinary sunny afternoon, wearing simple clothing. I walked home with a heavy bag and I passed a building. And suddenly I heard behind me ‘zooooo’ (dutch for something like ‘oh helloooooo’ it insinuates approval, in this situation a kind of sexual way). I looked over my shoulder with an angry face, and there stood a guy, probably two or three times as old as me. And I was perplexed! Why should he judge me, is it his duty to give me approval, does he think I need his approval?! I just wanted to go home with my groceries without being judged in a sexist way."

In France:

"Yesterday I went to the hypermarket… Usually when I am outside of a building I put on my headphones and focus on music to not hear any remarks but because I was waiting for news from a friend I was worried about, I did not do it immediately. A man I meet whispers 'you have beautiful breasts' – I wanted to vomit, to disappear, I felt dirty for the rest of the day… I wore a simple tank top – neither tight fitting nor low cut – but hey, I really don't need to clarify that."

In Germany:

"Every time I go to visit my friend, I know that in the 100 meters from the bus stop to his home I'll experience comments, or just leering. Be it by young yobs, or older men. The last time it was 'hot ass'."

In Denmark:

“Today I was lying outside and enjoying the sun before I had to go school. I was lying on a bench, when three boys from my school came walking by and then sat down on the bench beside me… Recently I had been losing some weight and my trousers kept falling down, so I had to keep pulling them up, which one of the boys noticed and then moved behind me and started commenting on my underwear. I then told him that I found him very appalling and then he just started moaning my name. I got very angry and upset, and when I got up to leave then he said 'Yeah baby, let me see your ass'. I was so upset, because all I wanted was just to relax in the sun…”

In Cyprus:

"On hols in Cyprus buying oranges, 3 cars individually come to a complete halt just to try and glimpse up friend’s skirt."

In the United Kingdom:

"It being sunny does not make it okay for you to lean out your car and shout about my ‘nice rack’".

In the United States:

"After a rough winter I finally got to drive with my car windows down! Sadly, had to roll them up and pretend to be on my phone because I got stuck in rush-hour traffic next to a pick-up truck with two young men who kept shouting into my car:

'Hey, pretty lady!' *wolf whistle*
'Hey! HEY! We’re talking to you good-looking!'
'This bitch is pretending to be on her phone!'

This went on for fifteen minutes before I was able to access the nearest off-ramp. Added thirty minutes to my drive home."

And no, it's not happening to women because they're 'asking for it', or wearing any particular type of clothing — it affects everyone, from schoolgirls to widows, to members of the LGBT community, and happens everywhere, regardless of dress or time of day, as these recent entries show:

"Last week I was walking past a pub with my 6 year old daughter when a man looked at me and said very loudly 'wow you have huge tits!' I am a 45 year old woman and have been getting this most of my life but was even more disgusted that he seemed to think it was ok to say that in front of my 6 year old girl."

"It doesn’t seem to matter what I wear, whether it’s sweats and a hoodie or a short dress. I still get guys shouting at me to 'suck their d**k' out of their cars. Do they expect me to run after them screaming, 'Wait! Come back! I didn’t get to suck it'?"

Very Entertaining Statistics You Absolutely Do Not Need to Know

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:14 AM PDT

Hardened scientists should stop reading immediately.

The rest of you might enjoy a new book from Perigee, simply titled Correlated, in which author Shaun Gallagher promises to reveal “surprising connections between seemingly unrelated things.” For example, he reports:

  • People who have been on blind dates are more likely to have business cards.
  • People who have smoked marijuana are more likely to have flown first class.
  • And people who think bills should be split on dates are less likely to be married.

The data used to draw these conclusions comes from more than 1 million responses of 36,305 people who answered questions on Gallagher’s website, But he admits to flouting statistical rules like having a random sample (the people who answered his questions were self-selected) or addressing confounding variables (maybe pot-smokers fly first class because they’re rich and have extra money to spend on both those things). In his introduction to the book, out July 1, Gallagher outright says that his work “is not intended to stand up to professional scrutiny,” but rather is meant to be thought-provoking and plain old fun.

The whimsical statistics he presents on each page certainly put a new twist on “There are two kinds of people in this world …”, like people who have actually used a fire extinguisher and those who have only looked at them hanging on walls—or people who can’t bear to have foods touch on their plate and those who can go on living when the beans meet the rice.

Here is a sampling of other pseudo-scientific, delightful, totally unimportant findings from Gallagher’s book:

  • 24% of people say they have deployed a fire extinguisher
  • People who say they bruise easily are more likely to have read books by William Faulkner.
  • 60% of people say they’ve never been in a fistfight
  • People who have bumper stickers on their car are more likely to have square danced at some point.
  • 30% of people say they have nice handwriting
  • People who keep diaries are more likely to bring their lunch than buy it.
  • 70% of people say they like to write lists
  • People who can moonwalk are more likely to prefer creamy salad dressings over oily ones.
  • 21% of people say they’ve never been bitten by an animal
  • People who prefer Miss Piggy over Kermit are more likely to have tattoos.

For more where this came from, you can pre-order the book.

This Ramadan, Let’s Restore the Sanctity of Life

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:13 AM PDT

From the sectarian violence in Iraq to the deadly school shootings in America, we wake up almost everyday to tragic news of the loss of innocent lives. In these times, it is hard to make sense of all the murder and mayhem. Each incident or situation brings its own analysis of the who and why. But, whether it’s in the East or in the West there seems to be a larger problem underpinning all of these travesties: the loss of the sanctity of life.

As a Muslim, I am particularly saddened and troubled with how a small but dangerously misguided group of people are so easily willing to take life randomly to make a point that is only clear in their own minds all while wearing the mantle of Islam. These individuals and their mischievous leaders have completely neglected the undeniable sanctity of life that is articulated in the religious sources and through the writings of Islamic scholars throughout the centuries.

The Qur’an — Islam’s highest source for knowing God’s will — describes human beings as carrying something of the divine spirit (15:29), inherently full of nobility and dignity (17:70), created in the best of moulds (95:4), and placed on earth for very high purposes (2:30) among other descriptions. Therefore, the Qur’an affirms the Jewish teaching that killing one innocent person is like killing all of humanity, and saving one person is analogous to saving all of humanity (5:32). Murder is strictly forbidden and considered one of the greatest sins (6:151). Abortion (17:31) and infanticide (16:59) are condemned. As a deterrent against the taking of innocent life, the Qur’an allows for capital punishment of a murderer in the court of law but encourages the victim’s family toward mercy or a lighter punishment (2:178). The Prophet Muhammad, likewise, emphasized in numerous traditions that the true believer was the one who safeguarded people’s lives, safety, and property.

As such, the legal scholars of Islam, in articulating the higher aims and purpose of Islam’s sacred law (maqasid al-shari’ah) always highlighted the preservation of life as one of the foremost objectives. There isn’t a scholarly work out there on the philosophy of Shari’ah that does not emphasize the sanctity of life.

This is not to claim that Islam is a pacifist religion. To claim so would be disingenuous. But, violence and the taking of life in Islam is limited to specific legal punishments in a court of law or fighting on the battlefield in a just cause (Qur’an 22:39-41). It is not and cannot be the random vigilante violence that suicide bombers and others have taken to as a daily method of traumatizing and terrorizing people to meet political objectives. This has no basis for justification whatsoever in Islam’s ethical system.

Sadly, there are disenchanted Muslims out there who express their anger and frustrations with the world through violent means. They are led into this battle cry by charismatic leaders who convince them that killing is somehow a solution. The Qur’an itself warns against following charlatans who claim the mantle of godliness but who, in reality, cause corruption and sow mischief on earth (2:204).

There are very real causes for pain and angst in parts of the Muslim World. The feeling of humiliation and disrespect from the rest of the world is palatable for so many. The missiles and embargoes that people have to live under are unbearable. The poverty and corruption make it hard to see brighter days ahead. Living under brutal dictatorships that are supported by powerful nations is depressing.

The old and weary resolve themselves to apathy. But, the young are often left with a burning desire to change their situation. As the popular song by the American band Fun goes, “Tonight, we are young so let’s set the world on fire.” The problem is fire can either produce light and energy or it can cause indescribable destruction and horror. When young people are not shown how to or supported in their efforts to change the world positively and constructively then they will find a way to do so destructively. The frighteningly violent group operating out of Somalia al-Shabab, meaning in Arabic “the young,” are a prime example of what misdirected zeal can lead to. But, as a university chaplain surrounded by young people everyday, I take much greater hope in the Muslim students I meet everyday who are committed to peaceful paths and positive change. For example, two Princeton students, Farah Amjad and Wardah Bari, received the prestigious Davis Projects for Peace prize and are spending their summer in Jordan developing playgrounds for children that bring together native communities and Syrian refugees to foster peace.

Returning to the sanctity of life, it must be restored to the heart of our ethics today. This means making it known loud and clear from every hilltop and valley that vigilante killing is morally intolerable and unacceptable. It means holding murderers in disgrace, never in honor. It means truly feeling and mourning the taking of life whenever and wherever it happens. It means debating war just as vehemently as we debate abortion or end of life issues, if not more. And, it means treating every life — regardless of race or religion — as equal.

Of course, one of the moral problems we face as human beings is knowing when killing, if ever, is justified. Many moral philosophers and religious scholars have pondered this difficult question. All I would like to offer in this piece is a call to restraint. The Prophet Muhammad warned that a time would come when random killing was common and he advised his followers to be like the first and better son of Adam who said to his brother “If you stretch forth your hand to kill me, I will not stretch forth my hand to kill you.”

The blessed month of Ramadan is nearly upon us, anticipated to begin on the night of June 27. For Muslims, it is a time for fasting from eating and drinking during the daylight hours as a way of training and discipling the soul in the virtue of self-restraint. In these days of moral chaos when killing seems to be so easily justified, it is a good reminder that the higher path is found in patience and in choosing life.

Sohaib N. Sultan is a chaplain and the first full-time Muslim Life coordinator at Princeton University.

The Problem With Pit Bulls

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 10:06 AM PDT

The social media universe became furious at KFC this week after an employee asked a three-year old victim of a dog attack to leave one of their restaurants because “her face is disrupting our customers.”

But it wasn’t KFC employees who broke down the door to Victoria Wilcher’s grandfather’s house and mauled the toddler until half her face was paralyzed and she lost the use of one of her eyes. Three pit bulls did that.

Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982, according to research compiled by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, an animal-news organization that focuses on humane work and animal cruelty prevention.

Clifton himself has been twice attacked by dogs (one pit bull,) and part of his work involves logging fatal and disfiguring attacks. Clifton says that for the 32 years he’s been recording, there has never been a year when pit bulls have accounted for less than half of all attacks. A CDC report on dog-bite fatalities from 1978 to 1998 confirms that pit bulls are responsible for more deaths than any other breed, but the CDC no longer collects breed-specific information.

Another report published in the April 2011 issue of Annals of Surgery found that one person is killed by a pit bull every 14 days, two people are injured by a pit bull every day, and young children are especially at risk. The report concludes that “these breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.” That report was shared with TIME by PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organization.

The little girl’s grandfather shot and killed the three dogs that attacked her, and both he and his girlfriend are facing child-endangerment charges. KFC has donated $30,000 to the girl’s family to help with her medical bills, and more money keeps flooding in. But so far the outrage has been directed at the rude KFC employee, not at growing problem of pit bull maulings.

As pit bull attacks become more and more common, they’re getting increasing attention on social media, but not always in support of the wounded children. In March, a Facebook petition to save Mickey, a dangerous pit bull in Phoenix, got over 70,000 likes. Mickey was facing euthanization for mauling 4-year old Kevin Vincente so badly that he cracked his jaw, eye socket, and cheekbone. Vincente is facing months of reconstructive surgery, but more people were concerned with saving the dog than helping the boy. Mickey’s Facebook page has now become a social media landing page to save other dogs that are considered dangerous.

Clifton says he’s seen an unprecedented rise in dog maulings in recent years, as more pit bulls enter the shelter system. Between 1858 and 2000, there are only two recorded instances of shelter dogs killing humans. From 2000 to 2009, there were three fatal attacks involving shelter dogs (one pit bull, one breed similar to a pit bull, and one Doberman.) But from 2010 to 2014, there have been 35 shelter dogs who fatally attacked humans. All but 11 were pit bulls.

Supporters say pit bulls are getting a bad rap. Sara Enos, founder and president of the American Pit Bull Foundation, said that it’s wrong to blame dog attacks on pit bulls, because it’s the owners who are to blame. “It really boils down to being responsible owners,” she said. “Any dog from any breed can be aggressive, it matters how it's treated.” And, as TIME reported in 2013, pit bull owners all over the country are trying to rebrand the breed, insisting pit bulls can have a softer side when treated humanely.

Many pit bull advocacy organizations, including BAD RAP, did not want to comment for this story. But there is a growing backlash against the idea that pit bulls are more violent than other dogs. “There is not any breed of dog that is inherently more dangerous,” said Marcy Setter of the Pit Bull Rescue Center. “That’s simply not true.”

But critics say that pit bulls are inherently dangerous no matter how they’re treated, because violence is in their DNA. “Why do herding dogs herd? Why do pointing dogs point? They don't learn that behavior, that's selective behavior,” says Colleen Lynn, President and Founder of, a national dog bit victims group dedicated to reducing dog attacks. “Pit bulls were specifically bred to go into that pit with incredible aggression and fight.”

“Every kind of dog is neglected and abused,” Clifton agrees. “And not every kind of dog responds to the neglect and abuse by killing and injuring people.”

But there’s another root cause of the rise in pit-bull attacks, one you might not think of: Hurricane Katrina.

Pit bulls are especially popular in Louisiana and Mississippi, and many of the volunteers responding to Hurricane Katrina found themselves saving stranded dogs. Most of the pit bulls they saved had been kept inside and behaved well around the rescuers, Clifton said, because they knew their survival depended on it. The dogs who were rescued were good pit bulls, he says, and “the real badasses, the ones chained outside, were drowned.”

Clifton said that many of the volunteers, who had very little experience with dog rescue, became attached to the breed and involved in pit bull advocacy. And that helped galvanize the pro-pit bull movement in the wake of Michael Vick’s 2007 dog-fighting scandal. That movement helped encourage more people to adopt pit bulls as lack of sterilization caused the population to grow.

“If you need a marker in your head for when pit bulls got out of control, it's 2007 with Michael Vick,” Lynn says. Vick’s high-profile trial for dogfighting and cruelty to animals roused a growing sympathy for pit-bulls, which led more people to adopt them and bring them into their homes.

"We need to get used to mauling injuries, because we're going to be seeing a lot more of them.” warns Lynn. "Each of us will know a mauled, disfigured child by a known dangerous breed of dog. There will be one in every school.”

But what can be done about the growing number of pit bulls? Some say that the best solution would be breed-specific sterilization, which would curb the pit bull population and reduce euthanizations in shelters. Most dogs of all breeds are spayed and neutered– about 80%, by Clifton’s estimation. But only 20% of pit bulls are sterilized, partly because the population that owns pit bulls tends to resist the spay-neuter message. He notes that there are a number of free sterilization programs for pit bulls, including one run by the ASPCA, but that even the largest programs aren’t sterilizing enough pit bulls to reduce the number of shelter intakes.

Lynn agrees that breed-specific sterilization laws are the most humane and efficient way to deal with the situation and avoid having more dogs euthanized. “If you want to hit that ‘no-kill’ status, you better do something about the pit bull problem." Pit bulls currently account for 63% of the dogs put down in shelters, but only 38% of the admissions. Lynn says that all pit bulls should be sterilized, except those that come from licensed breeders.

Even PETA, the largest animal rights organization in the world, supports breed-specific sterilization for pit bulls. “Pit bulls are a breed-specific problem, so it seems reasonable to target them," said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA’s Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations. “The public is misled to believe that pit bulls are like any other dog. And they just aren't.” Even the ASPCA acknowledges on their website that pit bulls are genetically different than other dogs. “Pit bulls have been bred to behave differently during a fight,” they say. “They may not give warning before becoming aggressive, and they're less likely to back down when clashing with an opponent.”

Opponents of sterilization argue that it can be difficult to determine which dogs are pit bulls, and that breed-specific efforts are unfair to certain dogs. “When you discriminate against a breed, you're also discriminating against good dogs as well,” Enos said. Setter of Pit Bull Rescue Central opposes breed-specific sterilization because she says it’s ineffective, because the laws don’t target irresponsible owners.

But Nachminovitch said that PETA stands by breed-specific sterilization as a common-sense solution to what has become a human safety issue. “These dogs were bred to bait bulls. They were bred to fight each other to the death,” she said. “Just because we're an animal rights organization doesn't mean we're not concerned about public safety.”


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