May 18, 2006

Reversing the Hate

The following is an important public service announcement which was passed to me via email. I have edited and shortened the original content and included some links. The author of the original work is anonymous.

I believe this is necessary because the public is too vulnerable to deceptions such as short sound bites and quick headlines. The news media pumps out a few stories about “killer dogs” and all of a sudden the public transforms into a mob à la Frankenstein with pitchforks and torches ready to slash and burn the evildoer of the day. This piece deals with one of our current national obsessions: the war on pitbulls.

There's a lot of bad press going around for the nation's nicknamed "Bully Breeds" and it's exactly that: bad press. Many folks only knowledge of these breeds is the brief flashes they see on the nightly news, portraying them as consistently vicious beasts whose personalities and tempers can't be trusted or predicted. What they don't know is that these dogs aren't born bad--it's the nature of the bad people who train them. These breeds tend to be more loyal and more eager to please, and for this, they became easy and cheap targets of rings of humans up to no good. Little do these news watchers know about the POSITIVE sides of these breeds simply because it isn't made public knowledge because it isn't what sells newspapers or grabs in viewers.

I've worked in the shelter industry. I've seen these breeds cuddle up to children and be their very best friend. I also have first hand knowledge that any breed can be trained to fight by raising them with harsh techniques, under socialization, etc. I've seen everything from Labradors to Jack Russell Terriers with "dog fight ring" scars.

And punishing the breeds by banning/restricting them -- rather than by enforcing laws against the people who commit these crimes and train these dogs, people who also tend to be committing other crimes such as drug smuggling and weapons trades -- all we are doing is punishing the wrong end of the leash.

We're making innocent animals born without these traits and abilities suffer the consequence with their lives, we're punishing the good owners who actually follow the rules and license their dogs and spay and neuter. These folks won't follow a law regarding ban anymore than they already follow the laws about not training aggressive dogs, illegally breeding them, and fighting them.

It's time to speak up and remember some GREAT things about these breeds that so often go overlooked because it's just too easy to believe all you hear on the news:

Did you know America's first and most decorated war dog was a Pitbull?

Did you know Pitbulls were the first choice for Guide Dogs because of their intelligence and non-aggression toward humans, but upon test runs, store owners and the public said they looked to fierce so they changed to using more physically-accepted breeds like retrievers?

Did you know the ban in Denver, Colorado caused many families to be left with no other choice than to euthanize their children's loving pets?

Often times you need to read between lines when you hear of stories of bad breeds. It was tragic when the little boy lost his life to his family’s two pet pitbulls, but what was more disturbing was that his parents never introduced the dogs to the boy in his entire life and locked the boy in a basement with a shovel across the door as a means of "babysitting" when they left him that night... When he came out, he appeared to be an intruder in the home, and the dogs did exactly what they were trained to do by the (rather neglectful) parents.

Yes it’s awful when we hear about a bully breed attacking someone and causing pain, but we somehow overlook the details that the dog spent its life in feces-ridden conditions, tied to a tree by a heavy chain, alongside a dozen other dogs being equally trained for horrible purposes. Whose fault is it? It certainly isn't the dogs who want to spend their life unloved and neglected, anchored to a pole that weighs twice as much as they do.

Who is the first real victim? Hint: four legs and floppy ears.

Think about passing this on, will ya? Dogs depend on us.


katy said...

Daisy had her puppies 5/9. I cant believe that she had 9 of them. Yes you read this correctly nine. They are about a week old now and last night the tiny little runt had one eye open.

katy said...

Sorry about the earlier comment. I was trying to post (for the 1st time) and I put it here. Cairo should come see me at daisy-bean the boxer and see my cute babies.

Amstaffie said...

This story is so true. Yes, there are some bad pits out there, just as there are some bad people out there. But that doesn't mean that they are all bad.

This Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is harmful not only to pits, but also to any dog that slightly resembles a pit.

It is a shame that they (lawmakers) punish the dog and responsible owners instead of the real problem, the irresponsible owners.