Friday, August 8, 2014
Pit bull advocacy is trying to fix the problem from the wrong end.
This post is pure personal opinion and a rant brought on by continued personal attacks on the families of fatally injured children, children critically injured, or the owners of pets that have been mauled or killed by pit bulls. When a victim's family member uses his/her First Amendment right to speak out and to lobby for laws protecting the public the most despicable breed advocates go insane. Instead of taking a long, hard look at the problem and looking for a way to do anything purposeful about it they heap up the abuse. Can this solve anything? Is this a tactic for "responsible" dog owners? Attempts to hide the bloodshed by shutting up the survivors are not good policy. Here are just three examples, and these are fairly mild, some of the personal attacks get even worse.
Does any sane person think this is a tactic that comes from a position of strength? This is the demographic that pit bull advocacy attracts. Here is my suggestion to high level pit bull advocacy (Best Friends Animal Society, Animal Farm Foundation, HSUS, ASPCA, AVMA) shut this down. No sane person is favorably impressed. Look for a way to end the violence, own the problem, consider the victims. Pit bull advocacy absolutely ignores victims. Look at the websites for Best Friends Animal Society, and the Animal Farm Foundation. You will see suggestions on starting a local "Pit Crew," on increasing the numbers of pit bulls placed by your local shelter, marketing pit bulls, on lobbying for changes in local law but nothing about protecting your neighbors or your own children from your pit bull.
Speaking of local laws, pit bull owners ignore them. It is a common tactic for the owner of a banned breed dog to demand local laws be changed to suit their personal choices instead of simply making the choice to live in a city where your dog is legal. Consideration for neighbors is not a factor. Rebuffed attempts to bully communities into changing laws to suit breed specific advocates are met with outrage and promises to sue. These attempts are primarily led by people who do not reside in the target communities, Ft. Thomas's advocates came primarily from Cincinnati. Reynoldsburg's advocates came primarily from Columbus and Dayton. The fact that Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus have insane numbers of pit bull attacks is not lost on city councils. One cannot call any of these cities a breed neutral Shangri La.
Here are some suggestions for outraged pit bull advocates.
First, have some respect for the grief of families of the fatally injured. Do not attempt to deny the family members their constitutional right to speak. Do not post photos of your personal pit bulls on victim's Facebook pages and tell the world just how sweet they are. Do not libel these heartbroken people. Do not deny the facts of the death, they are documented in police reports.
Second, consider ways that pit bull advocates might solve the problems. Stop breeding pit bulls with no realistic chance for a normal life. By normal life I mean a household where the dog will reside peacefully for a lifetime. Backyard breeders crank out pit bulls at a rate that results in the euthanization of roughly a million pit bulls in American Shelters EVERY YEAR. This is tax free income based on suffering The statistic is shocking and the peaceful public can't impact it. Only pit bull owners can do this. It is not our fault.
Stop the practice of shelters and rescues placing pit bulls with people who are not equipped to care for them responsibly. Young adults who are renters are not appropriate owners for pit bulls and are unlikely to have insurance to cover the medical bills of victims. Victims and taxpayers will suffer the financial repercussions of an attack, this can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. These young adults are likely to move frequently. Will they take their pit bulls along or will they take them right back to the shelter, or give the dogs to some other person who is not equipped to responsibly keep the dog, or just abandon the dog? Families with young children are not appropriate for pit bulls,yesterday a child in Florida was killed by the family pit bulls. Today a toddler in the St. Louis area is in critical condition, attacked by the family pit bulls. A near fatal mauling of a Cincinnati child in June and two recent deaths in Ohio due to pit bull attacks, both family pit bulls. The issue of shelters overloaded with pit bulls can't be fixed with an adoption campaign. American shelters are drowning in unplaceable pit bulls, stop breeding them! Only pit bull owners can fix this.
Stop the propaganda. Citing in-house "research" produced by pit bull advocacy organizations as unbiased fact is as outrageous as the campaign by the Tobacco Institute to convince the public that there was no connection between smoking and cancer. The organizations supporting pit bull advocacy have one thing in common, they are not in the business of protecting the safety of the public, they are set up to protect the interests of breed specific advocacy, the dog lobby, and animal rights.
Quit complaining about canine discrimination. It is not discrimination to acknowledge breed. Discrimination is a human condition, your pit bull does not suffer from sleepless nights over this.
There is no organized opposition to Beagles, none to Poodles, not for Pugs. These dogs are not killing people. Pit bull owners need to clean up their own mess. When pit bull owners accept responsibility for the problems with their dogs and fix their problems pit bulls will cease to have problems. Here is a link to someone else's thoughts, this comes from the Terrierman's Daily Dose blog, he calls this post "Pit bulls in the River. Profound.