Skip to comments.Dog Control
Posted on 05/25/2011 1:18:31 PM PDT by TheConservativeCitizen
In recent years a growing list of nations and American municipalities have banned the sale, breeding, and ownership of pit bulls. Pit bulls are a hard to define mix of American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, and other breeds, that is nevertheless instantly identifiable by the dogs appearance. Denmark and the United Kingdom ban the ownership of pit bulls, in Germany, the ownership of a pit bull is punishable by a two year prison term. Several US cities also ban the breed including major ones like Denver and New York. Dozens of federal and state lawsuits challenging the Constitutionality of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) have thus far been unsuccessful at stopping the pit bull bans.
Supporters of pit bull bans claim the breed is simply too dangerous to keep. They point to the fact that it routinely pops up as the #1 culprit in fatal attacks and severe maulings. Though a pit bull can range in size from 30lb to over 100lb, it is an unusually strong dog for its size, and even the smallest ones present a danger to people. Pit bulls are terrier mixes, a group of breeds known for high energy, nervousness, and propensity to bite. In the past pits have been bred for dog fighting and are still prone to aggressiveness towards other animals, in the middle of a dog fight dogs often turn and attack people. Lastly, pit bulls have something their owners love to call tenacity, and most people would describe as biting and not letting go; although the rumor that pit bulls have locking jaws is an urban legend, it is easy to see how it originated. BSL supporters claim that all these factors add up to a dog that is as dangerous to keep at home as a pet hyena, and demand it be banned in the interest of public safety.
Pit bull defenders take the opposite position. They claim that stories of pit bull attacks are exaggerated and sensationalized by the media. They believe that the breed is the victim of a vilification campaign, and is in fact no more dangerous than any dog of its size. They point to hundreds of pit bulls used as guide and police dogs, and the countless examples of peaceful, harmless, socialized, pit bulls that pose no danger to their families (pits were once called the nanny dog because of their gentleness towards small kids). Opponents of pit bans describe BSL laws as a form of canine racism, and oppose them as nanny state overreach in response to media scaremongering. They propose that the owner, not the breed should be liable for any dog related violence.
My personal opinion is that the BSL laws are part of wider social trend, a move towards reduced freedom in the interest of public safety, when what is really needed is tougher criminal justice. Yes, pit bulls are a dangerous breed, in the hands of an irresponsible owner a pit can be a very frightening dog. But it is not a wild animal, a pit can be trained to be not just a good dog, but a great dog. I have seen a pit bull trained as a seeing-eye dog that was not so much a dog as an extension of the owners body, I once dropped a tray of medical supplies behind the dog and it did not even flinch. I would not recommend pit bulls to first time dog owners or people who plan to leave the dog alone for long periods of time (such people are better off with a cat or a pet rock), but if properly and patiently disciplined they make wonderful dogs. The answer to pit bull violence is not BSL laws, but laws that impose harsh penalties on irresponsible owners. As with guns, I would be in favor of laws that impose stricter penalties on the criminals, the pit bull owners whose dogs attack citizens. As is the case with many crimes, I support the imposition of a harsher penalty if a dangerous weapon, be it a gun or a large dog is used. Just as long as responsible pit lovers are not subject to heavy regulation, legal harassment, or extortionate fees.
Don't blame the dogs for another stupid human trick.
I don’t understand about “instantly identifiable”. I know some people who have a wonderful dog. Some have said it looks like a pit bull. They deny that it is a pit bull. I truly do not know how to tell. What is the criteria with which we can instantly identify a dog as a pit bull?
“As with guns, I would be in favor of laws that impose stricter penalties on the criminals, the pit bull owners whose dogs attack citizens. “
There is a major difference. Forget to feed a gun and it will wait patiently until you come back.
Forget to feed a pit bull and it will go find someone to eat.
I live 5 minutes from a black inner city that deals drugs on a major level - as well as houses the Crips & the Bloods. They all own pit bulls that have been trained to be vicious. The sad result it that young black children and babies are terrified of ordinary dogs (they are too young to understand the difference between breeds and their parents are too frightened and ignorant). A properly-raised “pit bull” is fine. But one raised to fight and kill - well, that’s another story.
Whenever I walk my little rescue sheltie, and a child, white or black shows fear, I try to take time to teach them a little bit about dogs. I hate to see kids afraid of dogs when I, as a child, was so open to loving all dogs - strays included. What a joy it made my childhood!
1. The (guy) who wrote this posted a picture of Patton and his English Bull Terrier. A Bull Terrier is not a pit bull.
2. You’re going to assign the a weight rangle of between 30 and 100 lbs to one single breed? Are you on crack? If there’s that much variation, IT’S NOT A BREED. It’s a type.
3. No. no no no no no.
Heh heh heh. Weight rangle.
Pit bulls are unpredictable. Take the case of a Florida boy who played with the neighbor’s two pit bulls. They were gentle and tame. Then one day they turned on him and killed him.
I don’t think BSLs are part of a wider trend toward reduced liberty. I believe these laws are simply trying to address the problem that some breeds pose to our society. Who should pay the disproportionate costs that result from pit bull attacks. The owners often pay little if any of the huge medical expenses of their dog’s victims. Should the tax payers just ‘eat it?’ Many homeowner insurance companies specifically exclude pits, along with pit relatives (related breeds), from coverage. Should we pay higher medical premiums to make sure the victims of pit bulls are covered?
‘Responsible ownership’ doesn’t seem to be the answer. There are plenty of accounts of responsible owners shocked and horrified when their pit kills someone.
Furthermore, the BSLs can help victim’s families demand justice when their family members are killed by pits.
“In November 2007, 21-year old Jennifer Lowe was visiting a friend who owned two pit bulls that had been declared “dangerous” by county animal control. The owner, Charles Smallwood, left the house to run an errand. When he returned, Jennifer was near death after being mauled by the two dogs. She died on route to the hospital. Because the attack occurred on owner-property, Jennifer’s family had no civil or criminal recourse against the dog owner. “
How about law enforcement? Do we really want to spend the money we do paying cops to ‘rescue’ people from attacking dogs? In 2008 alone, there were 373 instances where police shot pits for safety reasons. Yes, I know at times police have used excessive force on dogs and people but I don’t think that fact really explains 373 instances away.
The refrain among the pro pit lobby is that the dog is unfairly singled out for bad PR. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. The dogs are featured on the evening news because the damage they inflict can be so much worse than people could imagine a dog could do -regardless of size. Shocked individuals speak of ‘sharks’ ‘lions’ when trying to describe the often unprovoked acts of this breed because they exceed the expectations normal people have of dog bites.
“2005 to 2010, pit bulls killed 104 Americans, about one citizen every 21 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 25 Americans, about one citizen every 88 days.”
Is this kind of death rate normal for a household pet? Does that look like ‘situation normal’ to you? Stats trigger BSLs, not bad PR.
33 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2010. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 500 U.S. cities, pit bulls led these attacks accounting for 67% (22). Pit bulls make up approximately 5% of the total U.S. dog population.2
In 2010, the combination of pit bulls (22) and rottweilers (4) accounted for 79% of all fatal attacks. In the 6-year period from 2005 to 2010, this same combination accounted for 71% (129) of the total recorded deaths (181).
The combined breakdown between the two breeds is substantial. From 2005 to 2010, pit bulls killed 104 Americans, about one citizen every 21 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 25 Americans, about one citizen every 88 days.
2010 data shows that 61% (20) of the attacks occurred to children (11 years and younger) and 39% occurred to adults. Of the children, 75% (15) occurred to ages 4 and younger. Within this same age group, males represented 60% of the victims.
2010 data also shows that 36% (12) of the fatal incidents involved multiple dogs. Nearly a third, 30% (10), involved breeding on the dog owner’s property either actively or in the recent past, and 9% (3) involved chained dogs.
Dog ownership information for 2010 shows that family dogs comprised 73% (24) of the attacks that resulted in death; 88% (29) of these incidents occurred on the dog owner’s property and 12% (4) occurred off the owner’s property.
The state of California led fatalities in 2010 with 7 deaths; pit bulls contributed to 83% (6). Florida followed with 3 deaths and Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas each had 2 deaths.
Take the case of my neighbor's dalmatian, who played with me every day for years. Then one day he turned and damn near took my arm off. But everybody loves dalmatians.
Take he two cases where I might have been harmed by a pit:
Similar story, female pit liked the heck out of me. One day she jumped up and nipped the hem of my levis, only nipped, then jumped back...I hadn't been told of the box full of two or three day old puppies she'd been guarding under the desk I was approaching.
Similar story but not long time pals, dog would come to me, cuddle and play. Then one day as I approached him he went to full guard mode, growled meaningfully and blocked my forward motion (didn't mind my retreat). Unless his owner was there you could get only so close to the tool box, and his job was to hold you at that line.
(We get along just fine now thanks)
PS: Tinker (80lb pit) and Fuzzy (14lb poodle) think some people are just full of $h!t, they both know that it is cocker spaniels you can't trust.
Like most freedoms, the freedom to own pit bulls exists until irresponsible yahoos screw it up for the rest of us.
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