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Society

Fatally Mauled Toddler Dax's Dad Runs Ad to Support BSL; Pit Bull Lovers Send Hate Mail

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

As Aurora, Colorado, prepares for a decision by voters on whether to repeal the city’s 8-year ban on Pit Bull ownership, an ad designed by Jeff Borchardt, founder of Daxton’s Friends, ran in the Aurora Sentinel and Denver Post. The ad states, “Fact: Pit Bulls Kill More Humans & Animals than All Breeds Combined” and will appear in two more editions of the Post’s “YourHub” insert. 

However, in an October 20 article entitled, “Pit-bull Ban Proponent says Denver Paper Threatened to Pull Political Ad after Ban-Critics Complained,” the Sentinel states that Carla Royter, the Post’s advertising and sales director, said the Post would run the remaining ads, "adding language that identified them with political advertising.” 

Borchardt said the ad is not political and that he is still working with the Post on revisions.

Hate mail from Pit Bull advocates reportedly flooded in to both papers and to the father of a 14-month-old toddler, Daxton Borchardt, who was savagely mauled to death on March 6, 2013, by two Pit Bulls at the home of the babysitter who was caring for him.

The Sentinel states that Borchardt shared with them many e-mails focused on his deceased son, including one where the commenter posted a picture of his son’s head and wrote under it, “my dart board lmfao.”

Another (shared with me by Jeff) shamed humanity by writing, “Let play kickball with jeff’s son head. he dead so not like he will need it.” One more, using photo icons of baby Dax’ smiling face, wrote, “you can put a gun to your head and join your ugly son.”

The ad, designed by Jeff Borchardt, father of Dax and founder of a non-profit advocacy group, Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education & Awareness, "Believing the myth, 'It's not the breed, it's all how you raise them,' is what left us without a son," Jeff told Coleen Lynn of Dogsbite.org in a June 10, 2013, interview.

In a post on “DaxtonsFather: My son was killed by pit bulls,” Borchardt writes:

On October 2nd, 2014, Daxton’s Friends For Canine Education & Awareness started an ad campaign in the greater Denver area…The ad was approved by the Denver Post and ran in the “Pink Edition” of YourHub, an insert that covers Aurora, CO. The ad simply stated, “FACT: Pit Bulls Kill More Humans & Animals Than ALL BREEDS Combined!” Our ad did not include the full name of the American Pit Bull Terrier due to ad space.”

PIT-BULL ADVOCATES RESPOND

Among others, “Jessica” writes a long objection which states in part:

Due to your post, it shows that there are IGNORANT people like you and your ‘friends’ that think all pit bulls are dangerous. I understand that the result of your page is due to the loss of someone who was attacked. But any animal can attack, it’s not just a pit bull…The reason that these dogs get there bad name is because of people like you! The uneducated morons who go and breed bash…Additionally, serious Pit Bull attacks rarely involve spayed/neutered Pit Bulls who have received proper training and socialization.”

Jeff  Borchardt answers: 

“Since you missed Daxton’s story, we will take a moment to fill you in. Daxton was killed on March 6, 2013 at 14 months of age by his babysitter’s two pit bulls. The dogs were raised by the babysitter since they were puppies. They were raised in a loving environment, were spayed and neutered, and well trained. They could follow basic commands and even knew how to kennel themselves. There was no indication of neglect or abuse and a thorough police investigation concluded the babysitter did no wrong doing. On March 6, 2013, she let the dogs out for a potty break. Her yard is an acre fenced doggie paradise. She went outside with Daxton in her arms and called them back to the house. For no reason, the dogs started to attack her and ripped Daxton from her arms. She struggled with the dogs for 15 minutes to get Daxton back and call for help. Unfortunately, Daxton did not survive the attack.

“While the Daxton’s Friends team understands that “any dog can bite”, we do not consider a torn off face, crushed skull, severed spinal cord, multiple bite wounds, and extensive blood loss to be a “bite”. Daxton suffered a brutal mauling. There is the common misconception that “bites” and “maulings” are the same and that fatalities are caused by single “bites”. If Daxton was bitten that day, he might have seen a doctor for bandages and antibiotics. As for “ALL dogs can cause fatalities”, we agree. Yes, all dogs can, BUT they are not. If you consider the fatalities the year Daxton was killed, pit bulls clearly lead the count.”

Jessica’s response: “Quit being f--ing ignorant. Your wrong, end of story. Plus I never said they don’t. I’m sayin they are not all dangerous. Quit being f--k t-rds. I hope you die from being attacked. You f--ks deserve it.  http://daxtonsfather.wordpress.com/

IS A NON-POLITICAL AD ABOUT PIT BULLS A POLITICAL ISSUE?

The Aurora Sentinel writes that, after the ad ran, the Denver Post asked Borchardt to change his ad and make it “not so in your face,” and also wrote an e-mail that said they had received "a ton of hate mail and complaints in response to it."

Carla Royter, the paper’s Advertising and Sales Director, “We’ve spoken with the advertiser and they have agreed to source their claims and to add ‘paid for by’ required of political advertising.  So with these additions, the ad will publish as ordered,” she said in a statement.

Borchardt said the ad is not political and that he is still working with the Post on revisions.

It was also published in the Aurora Sentinel’s 2014 Voter’s Guide.

“This is a freedom of speech issue,” he told the Sentinel, adding that he will agree to use the site Dogsbite.org as a source for the next two ads.

Read also: Babysitter’s 2 Pit Bulls Attack, Kill 14-month-old Boy Dax and Injure Owner

Sources: Aurora Sentinel, Phone Interview with Jeff Borschardt on 10/26/2014, Aurora Sentinel, Daxton's Friends, Daxton's Father, Dogs Bite

 

 

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