Tag Archives: dogs

The Reality is Pit Bulls are Dangerous

Recently, there was another vicious attack by a Pit Bull that sent a man to the hospital where he underwent surgery to repair the damage.  I do not have all the facts of the attack, but regardless, this is yet another incident of a Pit Bull turning on an adult or child and causing serious injury or death.  The difference is this time the victim was someone I know, and that hits too close to home for comfort.  Such attacks are all too common in the United States, but when the cry goes up against Pit Bulls and the danger they represent, supporters of these animals jump to their defense claiming the fault lies with the person who was attacked and not with the dog.  The American Pit Bull Foundation claims Pit Bull attacks are the result of human neglect or abuse, and when treated kindly and respectfully, Pit Bulls are no more dangerous or prone to maul or kill than any other breed of dog.  They say responsible dog ownership is the key to reducing vicious attacks by any dog.  I agree responsible dog ownership is important, but between 2005 and 2017, Pit Bulls accounted for over 70% of all dog attacks resulting in a human fatality; therefore, it is time common sense prevailed and something was done to protect people from these animals.

There is no question there are dog owners who neglect and abuse their dog causing the animal to lash out, but there are times when Pit Bulls turn on people who were basically in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Animal abusers should be punished severely, and maybe they are getting their just reward when the animal turns on them, but what about children and innocent people who have done nothing intentional to provoke the dog when it attacks?  Is a child getting his just reward when he playfully pulls on a Pit Bull’s ear or plays with the dog too roughly and the dog attacks?  Does a child who accidentally steps on a Pit Bull’s foot and causes the dog pain deserve to be mauled and have his face ripped off?  Does a mail carrier or meter reader doing his job deserve to be hospitalized with life threatening injuries because he unknowingly ventured into a Pit Bull’s territory?  I think not even though proponents for these dogs will never concede the dog was not provoked and the human was not at fault.

I agree humans (adults and children) sometimes do foolish and stupid things.  That is why society has created safety laws/regulations that require people to wear seat belts, warning labels are placed on lawn mowers warning users not to insert a hand or foot in the discharge shoot, and regulations are passed into law that require motorists to stop at railway crossings.  These laws/regulations are there for a purpose – to keep people safe.  People are human; they make mistakes – they drive too fast, they clean clogged grass from lawnmowers with the engine running, and they get in a hurry and race trains to the crossing.  By nature, they are careless, neglectful, and at times down right stupid.  That is why there are rules, regulations, and guidelines, to keep people safe from themselves as well as others.  Therefore, it is reasonable to assume human beings may indeed sometimes be guilty of lack of care and common sense when handling Pit Bulls or other animals, but isn’t it equally reasonable to assume there should be laws to protect people from potentially dangerous animals that pose a threat to human well-being?  When it comes to Pit Bulls, where are the regulations to keep these aggressively bred animals away from innocent children and unsuspecting adults?  Why do we allow people to be maimed or killed with regularity by an animal that is descended from the English bull-baiting dog that was bred to use its powerful jaws to bite and hold bulls and bears around the face and head?

Aggression is in the DNA of the Pit Bull!  The animal was bred to fight and kill; it was not bred as a lap dog or companion dog.  Strict regulations are needed for an animal, that to this day, can turn aggressive at the drop of a hat and instinctively clamp it jaws around the face of a child or adult and literally shake and rip skin into shreds while crushing bones.  Regulation of such killing machines to keep people alive and well is not over-bearing government; it is common sense.

Some will say I am being overly dramatic, and I am giving Pit Bulls a bad rap.  They will say the Pit Bull is a great, friendly, loving family pet, and to some extent, they may be right – until the animal turns on a member of the family or a neighbor.   It should be common sense that such animals have no business sharing space with people, especially children, but unfortunately too many people do not think that way.  They think of their Pit Bull as a valued friend, a personal bodyguard, and a member of the family that would never hurt anyone; however, let’s look at the facts:

  1. The April 2011 issue of Annals of Surgery warned children with a Pit Bull in the home are at the highest risk of injury or fatality. The report recommended “these breeds (Pit Bulls) should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated;”
  2. Unlike most dogs, Pit Bulls may not give a warning such as growling before attacking. Also, unlike most dogs, they are not likely to back down once engaged in an attack.  They are bred to kill or fight to the death;
  3. The United States Army acknowledges Pit Bulls are high-risk dogs, and prohibit these dogs in many military housing units;
  4. Pit Bulls consistently rank at the top of fatal dog attack lists. Pit Bulls make up 6% of the dog population, but they are responsible for 68% of all dog attacks and 71% of dog-related deaths.  The viciousness of this animal can be seen in the following breakdown – Human Fatalities by Dog Breed:  2005 – 2017:
    1. Pit Bull                                       284
    2. Rottweiler                                  45
    3. German Shepherd                    20
    4. Mixed Breed                              17
    5. American Bulldog                    15
    6. Mastiff/Bull-mastiff                 14
    7. Husky                                            3
  5. From 2005 to 2017, Pit Bulls killed one American every 16.7 days while Rottweilers were second killing one American every 105 days; and
  6. 50 countries regulate Pit Bulls as a dangerous dog breed. In 39 of those countries, the regulation is a national-level law.

Although Pit Bulls are beautiful animals that appear loving and social, the evidence supports they are a dangerous threat to human limb and life, especially young children.  Denying this reality will not make these dogs any less dangerous or threatening.  There are those who will continue to argue the problem is with people, not Pit Bulls, and though there is truth to their argument, that truth does not negate the facts that these animals are a potential lethal risk to children, neighbors, and anyone who comes into contact with them – even owners.  Therefore, is the ever-present possibility of a Pit Bull in the home mauling or killing a loved one worth the risk of ownership?  For a reasonable and prudent individual, I would think the answer would be NO, but sensibility is a human trait that often defies all logic.  However, regardless of the school of thought a person may embrace, the reality is Pit Bulls are dangerous, and ownership should be strictly regulated or maybe even denied completely.

JL

©Jack Linton, March 19, 2019

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Such are the Stupid Things We Do

I don’t know what it is about our society, but it seems somebody somewhere is always doing something stupid.   Whether it is by design, by chance, or out of our penchant for convenience, there is never a shortage of the ridiculous.   Some of it we create and some of it is created for us, but either way as Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”  That is even truer today.  Maybe, it is because, in today’s world, we have more opportunities to face stupidity, or maybe, we are just smarter today and can better identify stupid when we see it.

One of the stupidest things I have seen lately was a isign in a local PETCO store. First, I must explain, I am an animal lover (for the most part), but I have this unique ability to recognize animals are not human. Yes, I am one of those rare throwbacks who believe people are people and animals are animals. I am one of those horrible people who thinks there is nothing wrong with giving a dog or cat a biscuit or bone from the table. My wife and I make sure our pets are up to date on necessary shots and go to the vet when they are truly ill, but I do not buy into bi-annual doggy dental cleanings, doggy colonoscopies, or doggy birthing rooms, and the same goes for cats, hamsters, rabbits and pigs. For heaven’s sake, five minutes after a dog gets his teeth cleaned it is sniffing and licking anything nasty that comes within sniffing distance of its nose and tongue.  Therefore, are doggy dental cleanings really worth the effort?  Probably not, yet, such are the stupid things we do!

I have yet to see the value in flossing for my dog, but my wife insists dogs should have good manners, so we took our six month old, sweet as sin, hell on four legs, lab mix to PETCO for obedience training. While waiting for the instructor, I noticed a sign outlining guidelines for pet adoptions. I could not believe what I read! In addition to screening individuals for pet compatibility, anyone wishing to adopt a pet was subject to a polygraph and required to release their tax records for the past seven years to prove they were financially stable and could  provide a good home for the adopted pet. The adopting family had to agree to a criminal and psychiatric background check as well as an on-site home inspection and evaluation.  It was also recommended the new pet be provided private space with a written schedule for when human/pet interaction was permissible.  In a side note, there was a recommendation, though not required, the private space be a separate room with its own pooh facilities. I told my wife the guidelines went way too far, but she calmly assured me the guidelines were intended to match the pet with caring adults.  She said the requirements and suggestions were not a personal conspiracy against me or others like me.  I was not sure how to take “others like me,” but I accepted her explanation. Besides, it was obvious the whole thing was written by a liberal. I could even accept that, but when I read the last guideline that said pet counseling may be required, I fell to the floor laughing.

Pet counseling! I could see Simon, our lab mix, reclining on a shrink’s sofa, one paw lying across his eyes, the other holding a cigarette from which he took an occasional long draw. A female shrink sat across from him, legs crossed, an old time yellow legal pad and pencil in hand, asking questions. “Tell me about your parents,” she said.

Simon took a long draw on the cigarette and thought for a moment. “I only knew my mama for a few short weeks,” he said. “I didn’t know my daddy at all.”

How do you feel about that?” she asked.

Haven’t really given it much thought,” Simon said.

You ever feel depressed because of it?” the shrink asked.

Nothing that a little licking can’t cheer up,” Simon replied.

“Have you ever thought licking might be a sign of a deeper issue?” the female shrink asked.

No mam, when it comes to licking, I like it, so I do it.” Simon said and ground the cigarette into a cat shaped ashtray.  “If it feels good, I pretty much do it without much thought.” 

I believe Simon has life figured out better than any of us.  If it itches, scratch it; if it smells, sniff it; if it feels good, lick it, but whatever you do, don’t over think it.  I am most likely over thinking this pet counseling business, but in my opinion, pet counseling is one of the coolest stupid things people do. It is up there with paying a professional pooper scooper to clean your backyard. It’s true, some folks pay to have someone come to their house once a week and pick up dog and cat pooh.  In fact, pooper scoopers have their own organization, the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists.   It’s true – look it up!  Can you think of anything stupider?  I am not talking about the guy who makes money picking up pet pooh; I admire him for his ingenuity. I am talking about the nitwits who pay him, but such are the stupid things we do!

JL

©ack Linton, February 28, 2017