Below I have reposted a blog from the lovely Rene Bordelon about the villainizing of pit bulls. As I’m sure you know by now, Rene and I have the best dog in the world, Frankie, and he is a pit. The fact that anyone could ever consider him “dangerous” is ludicrous, yet his whole breed is considered evil and more and more there are states, counties and cities using breed specific legislation (BLS) to take good dogs away from their owners just because of their breed.
It is equal to racism, but humans don’t take it as seriously because “they’re just dogs.” I don’t like anybody telling me what kind of dog I can have, especially since Rene & I are very responsible dog owners, and then having the city, county or state saying I can have my dog because of mob fear mongering?! Oh, hell to the no!
Anyway, before I get too worked up, here’s Rene’s blog. I hope you enjoy it.
See you tomorrow!
Today I was reading an article about “Heroic Pit Bulls”. It is a good article. Here’s the link: Heroic Pit Bull Article on “Neatorama”.
At the end of the article, as always there are commenters. Some are just happy to see a good article about pit bulls and some are quite clearly obsessed with eradicating them from the planet because “The media tells me they are bad” or “I had a bad experience with one so therefore they are ALL bad”. One commenter with the name of “Limboslam” asked why he (or she, I really don’t know) only ever read or heard about pit bull attacks and not attacks by other dogs. So, another commenter by the name of KMarie wrote this in response and well, I couldn’t have said it better myself. It is awesome. Please read, please share this information with everyone you know and if you are a friend to me, please be a friend to pit bulls and spread the TRUTH about these dogs who have been so unfairly biased against and improperly treated. Please let your local news media know that you are tired of the fear mongering and that you EXPECT AND DEMAND that they show some ethics and truth in what they report to you. Think about it, if they are THIS biased with a breed of dog, can you trust them to honestly and accurately report ANYTHING? We deserve better as people. Even if you don’t care for pit bulls, you should care about the lies the media so carelessly spread to get ratings. THAT should disgust you.
KMarie wrote “Which leads me into a rebuttal for Limboslam. Jill Harness is absolutely correct – the reason you hear about pit bulls is because that’s what the media wants you to hear. A pit bull bite is treated differently than a bite by any other breed, regardless of severity. I’d like to expand the point a bit.
In my county a few years back, there was a front-page headline – “Pit Bull Terrorizes Neighborhood.” According to the Animal Control Officers on scene, most of whom I know quite well personally, what they were actually dealing with was a friendly, playful puppy, eight months old, who had gotten out of his yard and spent about an hour playing the best game of chase ever with his owners and the two ACOs. He was never once aggressive, and absolutely no one was hurt. Several neighbors readily joined in to help catch him. But some residents of that neighborhood barricaded themselves in their homes and pestered the Animal Control offices, the police, and even 911 with frantic calls about a vicious dog who wouldn’t let them leave their homes. And because it was a pit bull, they were taken seriously, and it became front page news. Never mind the fact that he was merely playing, or that his game was to get away from people, not to rush at them. Nope, something happened with a pit bull, so it was newsworthy.
Less than a month later, a lab quite literally tore the face off an elderly man, who required years of reconstructive surgery just to be able to chew again. One of the directors of the local shelter where I volunteer called the paper (same one as above) to report on the incident, and was told (exact quote), “Nobody wants to read about that. Call back when you have an attack by a pit bull.” And then they hung up.
And that, Limboslam, is why you only read about pit bull attacks.
These are just some of my personal experiences, but this sort of thing would seem to be common practice. There are some pdfs on this page – http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/dog-news/ – that illustrate just how wide a gap there is between reporting on pits and reporting on any other breed.
I contend that such irresponsible reporting is a far bigger problem than dog bites by themselves. By labeling pit bulls and rottweilers as “bad breeds”, and by focusing only on the worst possible examples of those breeds, by painting that as typical of the whole, the media is saying that these dogs are the unsafe ones. By unspoken-but-universally-assumed association, all other breeds are therefore safe. Not only is that completely untrue, it’s a dangerous misconception, particularly when children are involved. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people make this point, and it’s completely right – the difference between an attack by a seventy-pound pit bull and an attack by a thirty-pound collie doesn’t make much difference when the baby only weighs fifteen pounds itself, lives on the floor at the dogs’ level, doesn’t understand warning signs, and can’t run away from them.
And, statistically speaking, the overwhelming majority of dog bite victims are children. But breed is not the common denominator when it comes to bites. The ONLY common denominator is that most dog bites occurred when the parent was not supervising either dog or child. Children and dogs do not come with an inborn set of instructions on how to relate to each other, and unless BOTH are taught how to respect each other, you run the risk of tragedy. Now, if THAT could be put into the public mind as the main reason for dog bites, then I daresay we’d see a drastic drop in the number of bites. But as long as people keep thinking that this will never happen to them as long as they steer clear of certain breeds, it will continue. This question of breed is nothing more than a fear-mongering, paper-selling, sensational distraction from the actual problem and its actual solution.
If you want true, factual information about any of this – this breed, dog bites, dog behavior – sadly, you cannot trust the media to tell you the truth. You’re going to have to do some research yourself, and maybe even go out and meet a pit bull before you issue a blanket condemnation of the breed based on what you read in the paper or saw on TV.”
She also had some smart words in another comment where she wrote” In my experience, people who love pit bulls are the ones who’ve met them. Those that think they’re dangerous or demonic or equivalent to a mountain lion or a loaded shotgun are people who have never met one, and only ever seen them on the news or read about them in the paper. I find it astonishing that personal experience is discounted time and again, dismissed by people who say, “Well, you’ve never met a bad one” or “You’ve been lucky so far, but don’t ever trust it” or “They just randomly turn on you, you can’t see it coming” – these sorts of comments, almost without fail, coming from someone who wouldn’t even pet a pit bull if offered a chance. What makes that person more of an expert than me, who lives with one, every single day? Why does that person deserve a soundbite on the news, when by their own admission, they would never have anything to do with these dogs?
For that matter, why is the occasional attack (by a chained-up, unsocialized, untrained) dog treated as though it’s a truer representation of the breed as a whole than the hundreds of licensed therapy dogs? Or the K9 police units that can only use this breed as drug dogs because they lack the necessary aggression to do work typically given to German Shepherds? Or the literally hundreds of thousands of dogs every single day that do not bite anyone? It’s mind-boggling, and infuriating, and frequently heartbreaking, because that sort of media bias and misinformation is exactly what leads to breed-specific legislation – outlawing of pit bulls, where the innocent majority are lumped together with the handful of guilty aberrations and labeled ‘Vicious’, ‘Dangerous’, or ‘Only Safe Once Dead’ despite all objective and subjective evidence to the contrary.”
I don’t know who KMarie is, but I kind of love her.