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Old 10-20-2005, 02:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Banning the breed: The debate over pit bulls

They seem to come in bunches: attacks by dangerous dogs.

Saturday, Aug. 28, 2004. Toronto police fire more than a dozen bullets into two pit bulls that had turned on the man who was walking them as a favour for a friend.

A week earlier, Fredericton, N.B. A family is out walking their Shitzu. A Rottweiler, recently acquired by a neighbour, attacks and kills the dog.

A week before that, in London, Ont., a woman and her seven-year-old son watch in horror as a pit bull latches onto her husband's arm as he tries to keep the family puppy out of the dog's reach.

Tuesday, Aug. 31: Ontario's attorney general, Michael Bryant, says he's considering a provincewide ban on pit bulls.

Friday, Oct. 15: Bryant announces that Ontario would be the first province to ban pit bulls, calling them "ticking time bombs."

It's not a new debate. It tends to be renewed after particularly vicious attacks, like one that killed an eight-year-old Stouffville, Ont., girl in 1998.


Marketplace: Dangerous dogs

Winnipeg became the first Canadian city to ban pit bulls in 1990, a year after an attack left a young girl badly disfigured. Since then, incidents involving pit bulls have fallen from about 25 a year to one or two.

Dr. Norma Guy teaches animal behaviour at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown. She says banning certain breeds of dogs is a stopgap measure that doesn't address the real issue: people behaving irresponsibly with their dogs.

"I'm in favour of really promoting responsible ownership and passing legislation to enforce that," she says.

Guy says one big problem with banning breeds like pit bulls is that once you get into a courtroom, identifying a dog as a specific breed can be very difficult.

"We have to get at the people [who keep vicious dogs]. If you take away the pit bulls, they will move onto another breed. You have to look at stopping individual people who have proven themselves to be irresponsible owners from keeping dogs."

But pit bulls do have their backers. Many have organized to fight against breed-specific legislation.

Sandra Always, the president of the Golden Horseshoe American Pit Bull Terrier Club, has owned and bred pit bulls for 16 years. She's also the vice-president of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada, an organization that lobbies against laws that ban specific breeds of dogs.

"A dog needs responsible ownership regardless of breed," she told CBC Radio. "You train it, you contain and you socialize it. If you ban these guys, what's next? Italy started with a banned list of 13 breeds. They're up to over 40 now. They just banned Welsh Corgis!"

Jennifer Segal is a dog trainer who chooses not to work with pit bulls. She says years of improper breeding have made them not only aggressive but deadly.

"There are a number of young people, particularly male, particularly under the age of 28, who find it to be some type of cultural element to have this type of arm jewelry, pulling them around. It's the macho appearance."

Pit bulls were originally bred in 19th-century England to fight other dogs in pits. That's now rare, but Merle Blaine of the Etobicoke Humane Society in Toronto says it still happens.

"People arrange fights in parks. But by the time you get there it's pretty well over. The dog that loses the fight is left behind, usually a mess. [This kind of thing] makes the breed a bad breed."

But she's not convinced breed-specific legislation is the answer.

"Probably what should happen is there should be a special licensing fee for pit bulls and their owners should be required to take special training. It should be more difficult to own one."

Dr. Guy agrees. "It is too easy owning a dog. [People don't realize] it's like having a toddler for 12 years. A toddler with teeth. We never say we've cured a dog with an aggression problem. All we say is we've lowered the risk of an aggressive action happening again."

She favours stronger legislation aimed at dog owners and the teeth to back up those laws.

"It takes some investment," Guy said. "Dogs are always going to be here. If we want to continue having dogs with us, we are going to have to have some legislation in place and a way to enforce it so we can control what happens when people don't act responsibly."

In the end, the issue may come down to economics. In March 2004, a Calgary man found himself without home insurance when his insurance company decided it would no longer cover people who kept Rottweilers, German shepherds, pit bulls or Doberman pinschers. Allstate said even a mongrel with any of those bloodlines is considered unacceptable.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada says it's a growing trend in the industry.
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
 

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Outlawed

I live in Maryland, where they just decided 8-1 to not overturn the ban on pits, or any "bull breed." Man, I was so hoping they would have reconsidered it seriously. I don't have the freedom to walk my babies without fearing losing them.

I had temporarly lost two of them and big bad authority returned them, what a blessing. I had to pay $220.00 and it was worth every bit of it to get them back, we are now trying to sell our home and if we can't, I guess we just pray and stay under cover, cause the girl ain't giving up her babies.

It's not fair, we all know it, my dogs and so many of you on this forum and all over the world, can testify to the fact that "bad owners" are the problem.

I plan to still get my German Rotty too, yeah that's right, he's on that ugly list of dangerous dogs too. I just wish they would put a bounty on the owners and give the dogs a break.

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Old 11-02-2005, 02:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
 

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reconsider

You are so right. I wish that they would look at the breed as a whole and not the ones whose owners fight or abuse them. I don't think that it is fair that they can take away your pet when it hasn't done anything wrong. Just because it is a "dangerous breed" they want to ban it. Chihuahuas and Cocker spaniels bite more people a year than pits do. I just wish that people would reconsider.
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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well coming from someone who lives in ontario, it does suck!!! my male of 5 years old was just fixed yesterday. Its in the legislation, fixed muzzled and leashed, and dont forget licenced so they can keep track of you!!! But i love my dog and wanna keep him for another 10 years!! And what really sucks too, i gotta muzzle my puppy. Thats alittle extreme!! She is only 3 months old and needs to be muzzled. At least she'll get used to it. I was lookinh forward to showing her too, but if i get her fixed, i cant. And that sucks!!! But i love my dogs and will do anything to keep them, they are the best!! I really think the ban will not stop the bite, it will make people use other breeds of dog in fighting. like the rotty, akita masstif and others. So instead of jumping the gun, the goverment should have did their home work on this!!
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Old 03-10-2006, 03:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html

Quote:
However, an incorrect impression is given when talk shifts casually from the canine homicide issue to the dog bite epidemic. These are separate problems, not to be confused with each other. While killings definitely are news, and while pit bulls and Rottweilers are definitely over-represented when considering human deaths, there must be a line drawn between the homicides, for which two breeds are largely responsible, and the dog bite epidemic, which involves many different breeds
ie. when they do bite they do more damage HOWEVER they are not the ones doing the greatest number of biting.

Quote:
However, while banning the pit bull might lower the number of human deaths, such a ban would probably not reduce dog bites in any significant manner. After the United Kingdom banned pit bulls in the 1990s, a study showed that the number of dog bites remained the same even though the number of pit bulls had steeply declined. (Study cited in B. Heady and P. Krause, "Health Benefits and Potential Public Savings Due to Pets: Australian and German Survey Results," Australian Social Monitor, Vol.2, No.2, May 1999.)
Food for thought......
Quote:
The most horrifying example of the lack of breed predictability is the October 2000 death of a 6-week-old baby, which was killed by her family's Pomeranian dog. The average weight of a Pomeranian is about 4 pounds, and they are not thought of as a dangerous breed. Note, however, that they were bred to be watchdogs! The baby's uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. ("Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog," Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
 

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i live in the UK and they are banned in this country, unless you have a license, mussle on them when they are outdoors a leaash and you have to be 16+ to even walk them on the streets, bloody stupid
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Old 05-03-2006, 01:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I feel so conflicted about this. I am a vet tech and sadly the first clinic I ever worked at was not a pet friendly institution. There I met one tech who owned a pit-mix. She had a friend who faught pits...a friend. I could never be friends with a person who fights their animals.
Recently I became aquainted with another irresponsible owner. He too feels fighting is ok. He does night fight his dog, but he insists that pits love to fight. Recently his pit made a 2nd attack on another dog. Both times required immediate veterinary attention. He has offered his apology to the owners and paid the vet bill. He assures me this won't happen again. I asked him how he will prevent this.... he has no reply. I explained to him the importance of working with a trainer to eliminate his dog's aggression. He insisted aggreesion cannot be trained out of an old dog.
Animals, all animals, can be retrained.....even ones who faught. The rare exception is diseased dogs with chemical imbalances in the brain... for example Rabies.
I am all for laws that prevent backyard breeding, licensing, leashing, educating.....anything that promotes responsible ownership....OF ALL BREEDS. Owning a pet means you are taking responsibility of a life.....if you are irresponsible with your own life, then you have no rights to being responsible for another...... after all, so many DUIs and you get your license taken.
Welsh Corgis......wow...what's next Italy? C'mon people! Take responsibility and educate your community in any way you know how! Take your pits out, socialize them and maybe the frightened public will come to their senses.
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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That is my theory and agree with you 200% Trinity. We have some young kids (17+ yrs old that live in our neighborhood and they too believe that it is ok to fihgt pitbulls. Among them all there are at least 5 pups between the ages of 5-8 mnths old. We stopped by there yesterday as the oldest pitbull which is a little under 2 yrs old had a litter of chow/pit puppies that are now about 6-7 weeks old. They guys were in the yard trying to make these puppies fight. I mean they were all excited to see these little guys biting each other. We took one of our smaller pups and an oolder feamle to them to try to show them some good examples of APBT. When they same my older female, they were telling me that she is too skinny, now keep in mind she is 2 years old and weighd in at about 35 lbs. She is well maintained and is going to be a confirmation dog so she is right on point. They had the nerve to tell me that she is way too skinny and that she needs more weight so she can be long winded for fighting. Now, keep in mind I am 30 yrs old and have over 8 yrs experience with the breed and they are young punks that think they know what they are doing. When we got back home I was telling my husband that if these kids continue to fight pups and they get caught, that may affect our yard and kennel. I REFUSE to lose any of my dogs because of someon else's ignorance. If it takes me everything I have to keep them, then its worth every bit of blood, sweat and tears that I have. It just makes me sick to see such a display of ignorance. And no matter how many times you try to tell them what they are doing is wrong, they choose to ignore you and walk away.
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I also agree with the last couple of posts! People are so damn stupid and ignorant. They don't realize that animals have feelings and even a soul for that matter. They think that they are little badasses and are only going by what they see on tv and music videos. I sure hope that you get the authorities or someone on their asses when those dogs get older or even now. (if you can) Because the only thing that they will be hurting are those dogs and those dogs alone. They will end up being put down for being "aggressive" and not to be trusted. I hope that you can do something, I know it's hard to get someone involved and everything and I wish you the best of luck on your kennel and hope that those punks don't cause you any problems. Oh, and one more thing - I'm not sure where you live, but you could do what I did if you have evidence or something that you can prove to the police. I called the police on my dogs' mother because she was left outside tied to a tree with no food and water and was basically being starved to death - they came in the middle of the night and impounded the dog. But I called to check up on her and they told me that she was too bad off and had to put her down. I was so freakn' pissed to say the least! Atleast, she is in a better place now and don't ever have to be mistreated ever again. (I found out about this a little after it was going on; unless I would have acted faster)
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I live in Maryland too and we moved to another county so we could have our baby. People just don't get it. It's soooo frustrating. I wanna pull my hair out. I will invite anyone in my house and let them see how loving my dog is. Everyone has to be soooo closed minded. If they would just take the time. One of my co workers friends breeds pits and he feeds them raw meat and gun powder......... WTF.. it's people like that A**HOLE. Thats the reason we have this BSL . I told him I hope I never talk to your friend cuz he is gonna get an earful.... and my co worker calls them "man killers"... I wanna punch him in the face......................grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rr.....I keep telling him I amgoing bring my luke up hear so he can see how much of a sweetheart he is.
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
 

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Please Fight for this "Made to be Mean" Pitt

"We have to get at the people [who keep vicious dogs]. If you take away the pit bulls, they will move onto another breed. You have to look at stopping individual people who have proven themselves to be irresponsible owners from keeping dogs."

I copied this persons response because I believe this is the truth.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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holy thread revival batman!!!!

u realize this post is from 06 right? and i dont think anyone from this original posting is still active....
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