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|Readers Growl Back on Pit Bull Bans|
|Written by Steve Dale|
A few weeks back I printed a reader question from a dog groomer in Indianapolis, IN who inquired about my views on breed specific legislation. That’s when a community decides to place restrictions (such as mandatory muzzling) or out rightly banning a dog breed or dog breeds, such as pit bulls.
I pointed my concerns about profiling a breed instead of holding people responsible. I outlined what the Centers for Disease Control say are the most frequent common conditions when there is a serious or fatal dog attack.
I expressed my eager support of laws that address protecting the public from any dangerous dog, no matter what the breed or mix of breeds happens to be.
Here’s a sampling of reader email
work at a boarding kennel, and the stereotypes that dogs like Rottweilers,
pit bulls and American bulldogs have kills me. I am just so glad to
know there are other people in this world who realize that it’s the
treatment, not the dog that causes problems. I certainly hope your article
opens the eyes of the ignorant.” K. H., Cyberspace
one breed because of statistics of attacks is the same as saying that
we’re going to do away with a certain human race because of the homicide
rate. I’m starting to think these legislators are just bored, and
need to do something to keep busy.” K. K., Cyberspace
“Your argument against pit bulls is ridiculous…it’s not the dogs it’s the owner. Just like it’s not the gun, it’s the owner. Truth is guns kill and pit bulls kill too.” J. T., Miami, FL
received several emails just like this, but I have never understood
the analogy. More than 30,000 people die of gun shots in the U.S. annually
according to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).
Also, according to the CDC, approximately two dozen people (in my view
two dozen too many) die as a result of dog attacks. Since the CDC no
longer tracks the breed allegedly involved (because they agree identifying
the breed is irrelevant and sometimes not accurate),
no one can say for sure how many of those are pit bull type dogs.)
“Pit bulls are a dangerous breed. I was taken aback by your answer. Every day in the U.S. someone is killed by a pit bull. Pit bulls are banned in many countries. In Canada, they’ve been banned for more than 20 years. Pit bulls are often used by the Asian population for dog fighting.
“In our neighborhood two pit bulls got loose on Christmas eve. They tore across the front yard where our neighbor Harry was letting out his spaniel on his own property. The pit bulls tore his dog part; it was gory. In order to protect his dog, Harry hurled himself in front of the pit bulls, who began to bite him. Harry was rushed to the hospital.
“There was a hearing about this attack. Both my husband at I spoke at the hearing. All the neighbors wrote letters not to let the dogs come back to the irresponsible owners. The neighbors left (the neighborhood). Now, we can all breathe with ease. Let me ask you? Have you ever read about vicious poodles? Please publish this letter and let your readers know that pit bulls are dangerous. A. A., Pallyallup, WA
(You like to profile people, apparently, as well as dog breeds. Dog fighting is hardly limited to the Asian population.
Also, note the comment above on how many fatal attacks there are. Get your facts straight. On average, there may be a pit bull fatality once every few months, and that is certainly too often – but this does not happen on a daily basic. In New Brunswick and Ontario (provinces in Canada) bans on pit bull type dogs are relatively recent. And many are diligently working to overrule the breed specific prohibitions.
for what happened in your neighborhood, you said it itself
– the owners were irresponsible, I’m glad you testified and glad
they moved. The concern is that they’ll be just
as reckless when they relocate. This is why I endorse stiffer penalties
for those who fight dogs, allow dogs to roam repeatedly or who continually
been a dog trainer my entire life – let’s just say the career is
over 30 years. I’ve been bitten three times, once by a poodle, once
by a Chihuahua, and one time a cocker spaniel got me. I have pit bulls
in my classes all the time – and when you’re lucky with genetics,
and they’re well socialized – they’re as dependable as any other
breed. And to outlaw wonderful breeds, like the Staffordshire terrier
and that bull terrier you wrote about that won Westminster , is utterly
ridiculous, just darn ignorant.” C. F., Cyberspace
“You made a boo-boo in your column. You said this year’s Westmisnter winner was the same breed as a pit bull look a alike, the American Staffordshire terrier. It was the stunning colored bull terrier, Rufus, who won Westminster, not the American Staffordshire terrier. Beyond that I agree with you.” K. L., Bridgewater, ME
boo-boo. What’s odd is that I received several notes like yours. Yet,
I checked my original copy, and wrote that the dog who won Westminster
was Rufus, a colored bull terrier, which is sometimes banned or restricted
in communities. Perhaps, I wasn’t clear, if that’s the case, I apologize.)
“I wish communities asked veterinarians, dog trainers and other experts, like you, to testify and offer advice instead of just flying off the handle.” D. H., Tacoma, WA
To read my testimony offered against a suburban Chicago community’s efforts to restrict pit bulls, www.stevedalepetworld.com
Read the truth about pit bulls:
Pit Bulls truths on these websites: