Pit Bulls…………………what an emotional and angry hornets nest that subject stirs up. There are people who are Pit Bull advocates and then there are those who are not. The advocates seem to considerably out number the latter on social media whilst Pit Bull victims out number their advocates in the news, hospitals and yes tragically even the morgues.
I have debated Breed Selective Legislation and the threat Pit Bulls pose on various forums but it’s always turned nasty. Pit Bull advocates are a force to reckon with. They don’t like their opinions to be challenged and become decidedly aggressive in the defense of these dogs.Consequently I have come to the conclusion that Pit Bull owners, advocates and rescuers are a whole different kind of dog lover to the rest of us.
Pit Bull advocates have a long list of mantras they chant ad nauseam anytime someone dares to disagree. One of these is ” It’s the owner, not the breed”. I agree to a certain extent as far as many Pit Bull owners are quite frankly dodgy themselves. They are attracted to these dogs because they share many of the same dysfunctional characteristics and anti-social behaviour. To them the Pit Bull (or one of its many guises) is often their weapon of choice. I honestly believe some Pit Bull owners get off on owning a dog that poses a threat to the public and other animals.
There are so many breeds of dog to choose from………a breed or mixed breed to suit everyone and every purpose be it lap dog, watch dog, hunting dog, service dog or just your best mate so why would anyone choose a dog that is inherently programmed to fight and kill. I cannot see the logic or the appeal in owning a dog that is a liability let alone a dog that could one day maim or even kill your own child or someone elses. That is why I say Pit Bull owners are a different kind of dog lover………….or maybe they are not really dog lovers at all.
Perhaps defending, rescuing and owning Pit Bulls is more of an obsession or even an addiction. It must be……….why else would you feel the need to invite an unpredictable potential killer into your home or around your family. Why else would anyone choose a breed of dog that instills perfectly rational fear in their neighbours or normal people out responsibly walking their own dogs? Why else would dog shelters describe these dogs to potential adopters as anything else but what they really are? If it’s not an obsession or an addiction then it has to be plain selfish arrogance and a massively egotistical power trip.
That’s what I’ve observed about many Pit Bull owners………..their total disregard for anyone who does not share their attraction to these dogs. They think it is acceptable that other people put up with these dangerous animals roaming our streets, parks and even our own private properties creating bloodshed and mayhem. Our neighbours are a perfect example of this. They have an unregistered Pit Bull/Mastiff cross which constantly jumps their inadequate fencing and comes over to our gate where it attempts to intimidate us on our own property. To date it has not accessed our property but I am constantly on alert out of concern for our own dog and our cats.
It amuses me when Pit Bull advocates say ” All Dogs Bite”…….yes that’s true but not all dogs hold on and don’t let go, not all dogs maim and cause grievous bodily harm. They just don’t get it…….it’s not the biting we need to worry about but the ripping, tearing and mauling that usually results in disfigurement and sometimes death. Pit Bull advocates would have us believe it’s how the dog is raised. If that is the case why are so many attacks carried out by family pet Pit Bulls lovingly and responsibly reared from young puppies. It is the breed and in my opinion these dogs have no place on our streets, around our children or our pets.
I am all for the amended dangerous dog legislation our New Zealand government is proposing. The Pit Bull advocates and dog rescue groups including the SPCA are up in arms referring to these new laws as racist, cruel and heartless. The shelters are inundated with unwanted and abandoned dogs……most of them Pit Bull mix breeds yet they take issue with a law that if passed will prevent the irresponsible ownership, breeding and selling of dog breeds already classified as dangerous. Shelters will no longer be able to adopt out Pit Bull type breeds but there will always be plenty of other dogs looking for homes…….dogs that don’t suddenly snap one day and literally bite off the hand that feeds them.
As it stands now many Pit Bull and Pit Bull mix dogs lead miserable lives at the hands of those who profess to love them.This new legislation will stop irresponsible owners acquiring these dogs in the first place. It will enforce the more stringent obligations required of anyone who already owns a classified breed………. such obligations often ignored like secure, escape proof fencing, muzzles worn in public along with gate signs and collar tags identifying the dog as dangerous to the public and mandatory desexing. You know………with such strict but necessary requirements like that you have to wonder where is the joy in owning a Pit Bull and for what legitimate reason would anyone even want to.