Not every pit bull is mean, not every dog is nice

The Town of Welsh has been receiving much attention over the past week after its Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to move away from a breed-specific ordinance that banned pit bulls. Instead, the town has embraced a policy that targets vicious dogs, or those that attack humans or domestic animals without any provocation.

Most incorporated areas in Jeff Davis, the state and country have policies that prohibit pit bulls being housed within city limits. Unfortunately, the breed has received much negative attention not because of the breed itself, but many who have abused and exploited those dogs.

According to a number of sources, including the Humane Society of America, Live Science, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and others, pit bulls are the go-to dogs for underground, illegal dog fights and as attack dogs because of the tremendous power in their muscular jaws. But even the CDC noted in its own studies that no one breed of dog is inherently vicious; the CDC actually supports the position that irresponsible owners are the number one cause of dog bites. A dog can be trained to attack; a dog can also be trained to be obedient.

Surprisingly, as reported by the American Canine Temperament Testing Society, pit bulls have better temperaments than common “family” dogs such as golden retrievers and beagles.

And though the media tends to report on fatal attacks when only pits are involved, from 1965-2001, according to the Mid-America Bully Breed Rescue, 36 different dog breeds were involved in fatal attacks, included beloved breeds such as great Danes and St. Bernards.

But any person who has been exposed to a variety of dogs knows that any dog, depending on its owner and obedience training, can be vicious or attack when it feels threatened.

If you ever wonder about the brutal lifestyle some pits face in underground fighting (which is alive and well in many surrounding communities), consider this statement from a convicted dogfighter that the Humane Society shared on its Web site: “Miss Rufus spent most of the rest of the fight on her back and Bandit broke her other front leg high up in the shoulder, as well as one of her back legs, in the knee joint. The only leg she didn’t break she chewed…(Bandit) had literally scalped Miss Rufus, tearing a big chunk of skin off the top of her head alongside one ear.”

Any animal that is abused or improperly cared for can become a danger to humans and other animals. Many pit owners have dogs that are just like any other family pet – they play, nap with children, work as service dogs and even count other animals as their playmates.

Kudos to Welsh for recognizing that vicious dogs exist but that every pit bull is not a vicious dog.

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Posted by on Aug 15 2013. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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