Pit Bulls - Satan's Spawn or Kid's Pet?

Fancy a bite?
Fancy a bite?

It came to my attention via a friend's emotional Facebook status that here in Australia any Pit bull dog not registered by September 30th will be destroyed. Now I don't like dogs. I think they smell revolting, they slobber all over you with their bacteria infested saliva, they rub their dirty genitalia all over the floor, hump your leg and bark louder than next door's teenage garage band. However, my own negative opinion of them does not overpower my compassion for basic animal rights or respect to lovers of this animal. I think it is rather harsh to threaten to kill many living animals for the sake of a simple few notes typed into a computer program.

It has been really bugging me lately that with the news, my personal online hobby sites, in general conversation that when there is a problem with any topic, such lame solutions are suggested or enforced. I do not see what this registration process will do to solve the current pit bull problem. It would surely lead to anger, heartbreak and revenge among pit bull lovers and suffering of the dog itself. I think the solution to keep animal lovers happy and the community safe would be education, prevalence and responsible ownership which is achieved by more than a simple registration or death of certain culprits.

Pit bulls have been given a bad name due to the media portraying them as snarling, snapping, child killers! This name has not just magically appeared, I do believe they have earned their title. I can just see the current Pit bull lovers rolling their eyes and shaking their heads with disagreement at my words. Unfortunately, my stance remains firm in this matter. I am currently reading about Pit bull attacks on another tab of my browser and the stories are plentiful. The latest one I can see occurred less than 2 weeks ago and it is the case of Ayen Chol, a little 4 year old girl who was mauled to death when busted upon by a Pit bull while innocently watching tv. On August 26th 2011 a Pit pull dug under a fence in a Darwin home, bolted across the lawn, barged a woman over, dislocated her wrist, bit her, then bit off her pet dogs testicle! It cost her $2000 in vet bills! On August 11 2011 a Pit bull turned on it's pregnant owner and killed her in Pacifa, California. On August 31st two Pits escaped their backyard and attacked a 9 year old girl while she walked her pet dog along a street.There are thousands of stories from 2005 onwards with slogans such as ' Pit Bull Kills Cancer Child's Miniature Horse 2007', 'Pit Bull Rips Face Off 9 Year Old Girl May 2006'. In one case a girl asked to pat her friend's Pit bull after borrowing a pump and the dog bit her. An elderly man has his arm bitten off. A male toddler has his scalp peeled off. Small dogs are ripped apart, babies, children, elderly are killed or scarred and traumatised for life...let's face it...pit bulls are dangerous!!!!!

I also just clicked a poll on the Herald Sun website which states 86.66% of the general population want pit bulls banned. Only 13.34% are standing up for them. Interesting.

Now I find it very irritating the defences humans give to these animals for their attacks. I will create a list of defences and supporting arguments I have seen and heard online, the news, through friends, through animal lover websites.

1. "Our pit bull would never kill. We have taught it well".

Argument - It is wired into their brains. Greyhounds race, Kelpies herd sheep, Pit Bulls kill.

2. "The dog can not talk so it can not tell it's side of the story".

Argument - Witnesses, cameras and physical visualisation (such as holes dug under fences and dirt in the pits paws) have proven that Pit Bulls really do attack totally unprovoked and without warning. Even if the animal was provoked by a toddler touching it, this does not make it okay to kill!

4. "It is all the owners fault, not the dog's!"

Argument - Everyone seems cocky that they are the perfect owners of this dog.Most dogs that have mauled and killed animals and humans are well looked after! You may have formed a great bond with your pet and do not witness any violence but this should not cloud your judgement that your grinning, hand shaking, ball fetching pet could turn violent.

5. "All dogs are dangerous not just pit bulls".

Argument - Yes of course they are but the topic of discussion is clearly pit bulls and they are one of the most frequent killers and it does not change the fact that this dog is dangerous!

6." The dog was obviously bored".

Argument- Every living thing gets bored but it doesn't mean we go murder something!

Solutions :

Sometimes I am walking down the footpath of my home street, pushing my young child in the stroller and we encounter the odd pit bull on a leash. About a month ago we rounded a corner and my son found himself face to face with a grinning pit bull with it's tongue lopping out. He actually reached out to pat it and thankfully the owner of the dog tugged the leash and continued walking immediately. Now that seems fine but I cringe to imagine alternative outcomes and feel sick at the thought of my child being attacked. I firmly believe that pit bulls should:

1.Wear a muzzle in public places, especially in areas where children are found such as parks with playgrounds, local streets, shopping strips. I have never seen a pit bull wear a muzzle and believe this simple little measure would prevent many deaths and help reduce the fear of this animal among the general public.

2. Owners need to lose their cocky ego

3. Ban outside breeding of the dog

4. A basic licence should be required to purchase a pit bull

5. A properly enclosed home in which the pet can not escape should be essential.

Tips for if you are attacked.

1. Do not look the Pit Bull in the eye - it is a sign of aggression.

2. If a dog attacks you it will aim for your face so raise your arm to protect your face. Better than needing a face transplant!

3. If the dog has another animal or human in it's mouth do not tug as it will think you are playing which will cause more damage!

4. Try to put your arm under the dogs jaws (the neck area) and lock the dog firmly whilst jumping onto it's back to prevent the dog from shaking it's victim and call for help. Find any strong item to pry open the jaws to free the victim.

Of course there are cases of pit bulls being the perfect family pet. There is a website in which people upload a photo of their 6 week old daughter lying on top of the family pit bull. A photo of a kitten 'pussy footing' the house pit bull, family members all asleep together, a female dog looking up with large irresistable doe eyes armed with the slogan "Me a killer?'. Pit bulls are also know as intelligent, loyal companions dedicated to their owner. I don't like them but some others do. If you do I can only beg you to please keep your dog from killing other animals and humans. This should not happen. Imagine the guilt you will carry for the rest of your life, if not for the sake of the harm inflicted by your pet but for the fear of having your dog quarantined or euthanised and you sitting in your jail cell thinking 'if only I had listened to them all'.


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