This whole article irks me from the person who wrote the article to the people accusing said pit bulls of "arborcide." Give me a break! First, if said pit bulls are the ones causing damage to the trees, it certainly isn't their fault. Last time I checked I believe human beings were the ones that made all those types of decisions for our dogs. While they are smart, they are not capable of making decisions such as going to the park to commit "arborcide."
Next, the article says they aren't sure who or what caused the damage but their theory is pit bulls being trained to fight; however, nobody has actually seen this happen. Just a theory. Before someone publishes an article in a newspaper they might want to do a little fact finding, gather some witnesses, corroborating statements, and things like that. Well, not this journalist. He just takes the theory some resident pulled out of no where and runs with it. The article is also framed to sound as if the dogs are accused of a crime, that it is dogs who are responsible for "the destruction of the trees and neglect to mention that someone owns those dogs and that the dogs won't stand trial for destruction of property and tree murder" (Rinalia, For the Pit Bulls
Lastly, if pit bulls have been seen swinging from trees at the park I highly doubt they were being trained to fight. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE A SPRING/FLIRT POLE TO ANYONE ELSE?????
Oh and here is the complaint filed on some website by a resident in the town, which prompted this ridiculous article:
Positive sightings of pitbulls being trained to bite/fight on the URI Community Greenspace trees in Chatham Square Park has been made. This dog or these dogs are thought to live in the block of Chatham Street between Maltby and Lombard Streets, but this has not been positively confirmed. The stripped bark means certain tree death. Stop the arborcide! The Friends of Chatham Square Park are meeting at 8:30 AM on Saturday July 24th to replace one of the trees and install guards for the remaining trees. 57 Grafton St,New Haven,CT 06513,USA
NEW HAVEN — Volunteers are coming together this morning in Chatham Square Park in Fair Haven to try to save a group of vandalized trees and replant a single tree that has died.
No one is sure who or what the culprit is in the apparent “arborcide,” as the volunteers like to call it, but one theory is that people are using the trees to train or strengthen pit bull-type dogs.
“I now have positive ID that people have seen pit bulls hanging off the limbs and tied to the trees,” said David Zakur, organizer of the tree planting and a member of Friends of Chatham Square. He added: “You can see the bite marks in the tree.”
In addition to planting a tree, the group plans to install wire fencing around some of the other trees to protect them from further damage. Zakur said there are a dozen heavily damaged trees in the park and two of them might be too far gone to save.
The newest trees in the park were planted recently as part of the city’s major tree-planting initiative. The city has joined with the Urban Resource Initiative at Yale University to do the planting, to raise awareness about trees and attract more volunteers to the program. The mission is to plant 10,000 trees in the city, half by URI and half by private entities.
Unfortunately, the newest trees planted in Chatham Square appear to be sustaining all the damage.
Robert Levine, director of the city Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees, said he has heard the rumors about the pit bulls and even though he could not substantiate the reports, he intends to notify police so they can keep an eye on the situation.
Levine said he had heard reports in the past of people using the rubber seats of swings in playgrounds to train pit bulls. The people reportedly loop the rubber swing seat, which covers a steel plate, around the top of the swing set and the dog jumps up and latches onto the seat with its teeth.
“We’ve never seen it. I’ve only heard about,” Levine said.
Reports surfaced last year in British newspapers about trees being mauled and destroyed by pit bulls and other dogs being trained to fight.
However, John Goodwin, manager of animal fighting issues for the Humane Society of the United States, said the technique is not commonly used to prepare dogs for fights.
Goodwin said it would be illogical for someone who is serious about dog fighting to train a dog to attack trees because they run the risk of breaking the animal’s teeth. He conceded that some people could be using the technique out of an erroneous belief that it will strengthen or toughen the dog.
Either way, Goodwin said dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states, and there are tens of thousands of dogs mauled each year through dog fighting.
“Dogs should be family members, not an extension of our manhood,” he said.
Locally, the issue first became public when residents in the Chatham Square neighborhood complained about the matter on the grassroots community action website, SeeClickFix.com, which can be found on the New Haven Register website at New Haven Register - Serving Greater New Haven, CT
Call Abbe Smith at 203-789-5615.