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Guests

Meet the guests who have appeared on Pit Bulletin Legal News Radio.

Victoria Stilwell

stilwellVictoria Stilwell is one of the world's most recognized and respected dog trainers, best known for her Animal Planet TV series It's Me or The Dog, through which she shares her insight and passion for positive dog training.The show has run for eight seasons with over 100 episodes.  She is a vocal opponent of punitive, dominance based training techniques which she believes may create a short term fix but in the long term damage the canine-owner bond. Stilwell has served as a regular columnist for The Bark and Dogs Today magazines and featured in numerous  magazines, journals and newspapers including The New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Time, Oprah, Self, Shape, The Daily Mail and The Sun. Most recently, Victoria was involved in the case of Lennox, giving evidence on his behalf.

Ken Foster

fosterKen Foster's latest book is I'm A Good Dog which contains great historical information about the pit bull breed, including stories about James Thurber, Dr. Seuss and Helen Keller. His previously published book was Dogs I Have Met And The People They Found.  His book The Dogs Who Found Me, was a bestselling memoir.  He is also the author of a collection of short stories, The Kind I'm Likely to Get, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Bark, The Believer, Urban Dog, Salon, Fence, Flaunt and other publications. He has appeared on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross and WGBH's Morning Stories. In 2008 he founded the Sula Foundation, which promotes responsible dog ownership among the pit bull population, and sponsors education and outreach in New Orleans with he lives with his canine companions. 

Dr. Kristopher Irizarry

IrizarryDr. Kristopher Irizarry received his PH.D. from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UCLA where he developed computational methods to identify functionally relevant genetic variations in the human genome. After completing his doctoral work, he accepted a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Neuropsychiatric Institute in the College of Medicine at UCLA and focused his efforts on identifying specfic genetic variants that were associated with susceptibility to depression, in an attempt to develop genetic diagnostics  that could be used to predict patient response to antidepressant treatments. His work led to the identification of 

Read more: Dr. Kristopher Irizarry

Karen Delise

deliseKaren Delise is the author of "Fatal Dog Attacks- The stories behind the statistics" and "The Pit Bull Placebo", which explores the facts and politics behind the statistics of canine aggression and dog attacks. She has spent more than 20 years researching and investigating dog bite attacks and statistics and has emphasized the need to focus on the humane care, custody and control of companion animals. She has been tireless in fact checking the accuracy of dog bite statistics, going behind media reports to actually investigate what really happened. She retired for the Suffolk County, NY Sheriff's office after 29 years of service.  She earned a degree in Veterinary Science Technology and is a licensed veterinary technician.

Ledy VanKavage, Esq.

vankavageLedy Vankavage, Esq. has worked extensively in the animal welfare movement before joining  the ASPCA in 1999 as Senior Director of Legal Training and Legislation. In 2009 Ledy joined Best Friends Animal Society as senior legislative analyst. She has spearheaded many important animal welfare bills throughout the US, including a Florida bill requiring temperament testing of fighting dogs which passed in 2011. Ledy graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and then attended graduate school at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in environmental studies, before going on to St. Louis University where she earned her J.D. degree. 

 

 

Jim Gorant

gorantJim Gorant is the author of The Lost Dogs - Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption published in 2010. He originally wrote an article on the Vick Dogs for Sports Illustrated, and thereafter turned it into a book. His extensive interviews and research make The Lost Dogs the most comprehensive authority on the subject. Mr. Gorant has worked as a magazine editor for twenty years, and is currently senior editor at Sports Illustrated. His work has appeared in Men's Journal, GQ, and Outside.  His book entitled "Wallace" (about the rehabilitation of a fighting pit bull) is set to be published in August 2012. 

 

 

Rebecca Huss, Esq.

hussRebecca Huss, Esq. was appointed by the Court in the Michael Vick case to serve as the Special Master and/or guardian for the seized dogs. It was her responsibility to decide where the Vick dogs would be sent for rehabilitation. She has been a tireless advocate for animals and has written several seminal law review articles involving companion and service animals. She currently is a Professor of Law at Valparaiso University, teaching business associations, mergers and acquisitions, animal law, and securities regulation and business planning. Huss earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern Iowa, graduated magna cum laude in 1992 from Richmond School of Law in Richmond, Va., and earned her Masters of Laws in international and comparative law from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1995.

 

 

Rebekah Lusk, Esq.

luskRebekah Lusk is best known in the animal law world as one of the attorneys who obtained a six figure jury verdict in a case where police shot a dog. As of 2012, the case is on appeal. She is an associate at the Theinel Law Firm, LLC., located in Columbia, Maryland. Her practice focuses on business law, litigation, landlord/tenant law, real estate, family law and equine and animal law. She received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Chicago and attended law school at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she was a member of the law review and graduated Cum Laude. In 2010 Rebekah fulfilled one of her life long dreams and purchased a horse farm in Frederick County, where she lives with her husband, two dogs, five cats and horses. She competes in the equestrian sport of Eventing.

Brent Toellner

toellnerBrent Toellner is the author of the KC Dog Blog - which he has been writing for 6 years focusing on breed-specific and no kill issues around the country. Brent began his animal advocacy work as a rescuer, but quickly turned his efforts toward advocacy as a founding member of the KC Dog Advocates. Brent is currently the President of the KC Pet Project, a Kansas City area group that is managing the city animal shelter in efforts to make it an open admission, No Kill shelter. Brent has spoken at numerous national conferences including the Canine Legislation Conference in 2007, The Best Friends Conference in 2008 and again in 2012, and the No Kill Conference in 2010 and 2011.  Brent is married and has three dogs, Grommit, Stella and SweetP.  

 

Debora Bresch, Esq.

breschDebora Bresch, Esq. is Senior Director of Government Relations, Mid Atlantic Region for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruety to Animals. She is the author of the Amicus Brief filed on behalf of the ASPCA in Solesky v. Tracey. She has also drafted and lobbied for the passage of animal-friendly legislation and advises legislators, law enforcement and individuals regarding questions concerning animals and the law. She began  her legal career as a judicial clerk for a New York Supreme Court judge. Following her clerkship, , Debora lived in the Middle East where she was deeply moved by the plight of free roaming cats and dogs and became resolved to assist animals in her capacity as an attorney.

 

 

 

 

Cheri DiNovo

dinovoCheri DiNovo is a Canadian social democratic politician. She was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in a by-election on September 14, 2006. She has been re-elected twice since then, most recently in the 2011 Ontario general election.