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Time to ban pit bulls
Original post made
by Diana Diamond
on Aug 29, 2006
The deadly attack of a small Maltese dog by three pit bulls last Saturday is yet another in a seemingly unending series of maulings by pit bull terriers over the years.
This time the pit bulls unexpectedly attacked a small dog that was walking with its owner on Colorado Avenue at Middlefield Road. Other times the victims are children or adults.
It's time to ban pit bull terriers in Palo Alto. They are notoriously vicious dogs who unexpectedly turn on people and animals even their owners. They have been known to jump fences, go after bicycle riders, and lunge after passersby. When they attack, their huge jaws grab and lock onto the victim.
This Maltese dog mauling is not an isolated incident; over the years I have read about hundreds of similar attacks.
Pit bull owners say their dogs are being unjustly labeled as vicious that in reality they are kind and gentle dogs. It's some of the owners that are the problem, they say, because a few owners actually train these dogs to be aggressive.
That's only partly true. Some owners do delight in raising a vicious dog, and encourage their pet to be as aggressive as possible.
But case history also shows many pit bulls simply turn on people and other pets without provocation. There are number children who are maimed or killed each year by this breed of dog.
The only solution is to ban pit bulls in Palo Alto. Many other communities have already done so. Yes, there are a few other breeds that also are known for unprovoked attacks, but pit bulls lead the list.
Posted by Cherie Graves,
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2006 at 4:39 pm
RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATES MODEL DOG OWNER REGULATIONS
1. Dogs are Personal Property
(a) The (city) (county) (state) of _____________ recognizes that dogs are personal property.
(b) No city, county or state authority shall restrict, or prohibit the ownership of dogs by breed.
(c) No breed specific ordinances enacted in _________ shall stand.
(d) The (city) (county) (state) of _____________ recognizes the right of the people to own any breed of dog in a responsible manner.
(a) All dogs shall be securely contained to their owners premises. The dog owner shall protect the public from his/her dogs. The assumption of liability is upon the dog owner.
(b) All dogs shall be securely leashed when off of the owners premises, and under the of a supervision of a person who is physically capable of controlling the dog.
(c) Parents who allow their child to lead a dog in public access areas, assume all liability for any accident, harm, or injury caused.
(d) Dog owners who allow a child to lead their dog in public access areas, assume all liability for any accident, harm, or injury caused.
(e) Owners walking their dog(s) in public areas are required to pick up, and properly dispose of stool waste deposited from their dog(s).
(f) Owners of dogs found at large by animal control authorities must produce documentation, upon demand, of the dog's immunizations as required by the state.
3. Standard of care
(a) It is the responsibility of each dog owner to provide for their dog(s);
1.) Ownership for the entirety of the dog(s) life.
2.) Nutrition on a regular daily basis, and clean potable water readily available.
3.) Containment to the owners premesis
5.) Immunizations as required by state law, and veterinary medical treatment as necessary for maintenance of health
(b) If the owner cannot provide for the dog, it is the owner's responsibility to;
1.) Find the dog a new owner.
2.) Pay for euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian.
3.) Pay a local animal shelter to provide for the dog until a new owner can be found.
(c) Failure to meet any of the standards of care are violations, and shall be considered cruelty to animals.
1.) If found guilty the Court shall fine the owner, and/or order or jail time commensurate with the harm done to the animal.
2.) The Court may remove the animal from the custody of the owner.
3.) The Court shall cause the property of dog owners who have been found guilty, to be posted with warning signs that are clearly visible on all perimeters that state, "IRRESPONSIBLE ANIMAL OWNER".
4.) The signs may be removed after five years with no violations.
4. Noise Nuisance
(a) It is the responsibility of the owner to prevent his/her dog from causing a noise nuisance by barking. Incessant barking indicates lack of care.
1.) Owners may be ticketed for noise nusiance, and fined.
2.) This section does not apply to dogs barking to alert their owners.
5. Dogs At Large
(a) Any owner who allows his/ her dog to run at large shall be fined one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the first violation
(b) The second violation shall incur a fine of two hundred dollars ($200.00)
(c) The third violation shall incur a fine of four hundred dollars ($400.00)
(d) The fourth violation by the owner shall cause the dog to be confiscated by the Animal Control Authorities and, after evaluation of temperament by qualified personnel, either placed into a responsible home, or humanely euthanized.
(e) Nothing in this section shall pertain to owners hunting with dogs.
6. Owner Liability
(a) A dog owner will be charged with negligence for any property damage, or harm, or injury done by his/her dog when the dog was at large, off of the owners premises, and out of the owners immediate control. If the dog's owner is found guilty in a Court of law, then he/she shall be held liable. This liability shall include remuneration, fines, and/or jail time, at the Court's disgression, and depending upon the severity of the damage, harm, or injury done by the dog.
(b) A dog owner shall be charged with negligent homicide, whose dog kills a person when at large, off the owners premises, and out of the immediate control of the owner. The dog shall be confiscated by the authorities, and humanely euthanized, and tested for rabies at the cost to the owner.
(c) A dog owner shall be charged with reckless endangerment, whose dog injures a person, or causes an accident while at large, off the owners premises, or out of the immediate control of the owner. The dog shall be removed from the owners custody, and be evaluated on temperament by qualified personnel, and either be placed in a responsible home, or humanely euthanized.
(d) A dog owner shall be charged with aggravated nuisance, and animal cruelty if he/she is found facing off dogs in any public area with the purpose of simulating a dog fight, or promoting a dog fight, or planning a dog fight, and fined five hundred dollars ($500.00). The dog owner shall be placed on strict probation for the period of one (1) year during which time if any violations occur, the dog owner shall be fined one thousand ($1000.00), and he/she shall lose custody of the dog. The dog shall be evaluated by qualified personnel, and either be placed in a responsible home, or be humanely euthanized.
(e) A dog owner shall be charged with aggravated nuisance should his/her dog menace a person when at large. The owner shall be fined five hundred dollars ($500.00) and placed on probation for six months, during which time if any violations occur he/she shall lose custody of the dog. The dog shall be evaluated by qualified personnel, and either be placed in a responsible home, or humanely euthanized.
f) A dog owner shall pay remuneration, and fines, if found guilty of negligence in a Court of law, when his/her dog being at large, and out of the owner's control, trespasses upon another's property, and injures, or kills an animal, or animals belonging to that person(s) whose animal(s) were contained to their property. The dog owner shall be placed on strict probation for the period of one(1) year, during which time should any further violations occur, the dog shall be removed from the custody of the owner. The dog shall be evaluated by qualified personnel, and either placed into a responsible home, or humanely euthanized.
(g) Any dog owner, by whose violations has caused his/her dog to be removed from his/her custody, shall not be allowed by the Court to own another dog for a period of ten (10) years.
(h) No dog owner will be held liable if the dog bites, injures, or kills an intruder, a burglar, a trespasser, or anyone who threatens the owner, or his/her safety while on, or off of the owner's premises while the dog is under control of the owner.
(i) Any person who is bitten as a result of teasing, or tormenting a dog that is contained to it's owners premises, or who is bitten while teasing, or tormenting a dog that is contained to the owner's premises shall have no legal recourse for damages.
(j) Any parent whose child is bitten, or mauled by a dog, due to the parent's inattendance to his/her child shall be charged with reckless endangerment of a child.
(k) Any parent whose child dies as a result of a dog mauling, due to the parents inattendance, shall be charged with negligent homicide.
7. Dog Abandonment
(a) Any person who is found guilty of abandoning a dog, or dogs by dumping it/them alongside any thoroughfare, or by moving away and leaving the the dog, or dogs shall be subject to a one thousand dollar fine ($1,000.00)per dog, and three months jail time, or a one thousand dollar ($1,000.00) per dog fine, and community service not to exceed six months, per dog abandoned, at the discretion of the Court.
8. False Reporting
(a) Any person who makes a false, or malicious report to Animal Control shall be charged with a gross misdemeanor.
Posted by Lisa M.,
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2006 at 12:28 am
First of all, "Ban All..," thank you for saying I was resonable. lol
John said, "If you have a toddler cossing the street (or in the city park), would you be more afraid of chihuahuas or pit bulls? If you need me to define the difference, then this is NOT a rational conversation!"
Funny, because I WOULD like you to define the difference. Small dogs HAVE killed children. Any dog can kill a child. So, am I to understand that the reason you want to kill pit bulls is because they are bigger than small dogs? So, are small dogs the only ones that are "safe?" (Maybe you should check out your dog bite statistics. Chihuahuas are up there.)
I agree with Nathan. First thing I look for when I see a dog approaching me is whether it is leashed or not. If not, I immediately start looking at behavioral signs as well as breed (there are a lot more breeds out there that raise my concern more than "pit bulls"). If the dog is leashed, then I look at the owner, same as Nathan. Does the owner have control of the dog? If not, I cross the street. How about a dog in a front yard, unsecured? Is the fence high enough? The dog athletic enough to climb it? Any breed dog will attempt to get over a fence at a person/person with dog if you pass their yard. The fact is, a dog is a dog. They will behave according to their "rules." It is our responsibility to make sure they have been properly trained to integrate safely into society. No matter what size they are. It galls me to see people with small, unruly dogs that do nothing to train acceptable behavior in them just because they are small.
Betsey writes well-written, thoughtful, knowledgable posts - up to a point. She wrote, "Sometimes pit bull owners are well meaning but clueless people who adopt a pit bull from a shelter, not having any idea of what they are getting." What she should have said is, "the majority of people adopting dogs of any breed from shelters are ignorant of canine behavior and clueless about animals in general." I'd guess 97% don't have any idea of what they are getting - no matter what breed it is. I watch dog owners in veterinary waiting rooms and am amazed at the "accidents" that are avoided second by second. It is just a matter of pure dumb luck, I've decided. Betsey, I think, for the most part, responsible bully breed owners are very aware of their dogs' propensities. I know I am. What bugs me is the owners of other breeds that are NOT aware of their dogs' propensities. For me, that is where the dangerous variable lies.
Betsey also knows enough to talk about the American Temperament test. She said, "If you are referring to the American Temperament Test Society Test, that test doesn't even test for dog aggression." But that is incorrect. My dogs would not be able to pass that test due to dog aggression. In that test, you must walk up to and stop across from another owner with another dog. You must be able to stand there and talk with the other owner with your dog showing no signs of aggression or even interest in the other dog. That is a dog aggression test. In the ATT there is also a human aggression test. The dog breeds that are supposed to be human aggressive have ranges of response allowed. That is not the case for bully breeds which are not supposed to be human aggressive (which would include the supposed "pit bull"). In addition, failing that test may not be because of aggression at all. It would predominantly be because of an inability to adjust to circumstances and stabilize response in the face of unfamiliar circumstance. So, "pit bulls" that have failed the test have probably failed for the same reasons other dogs breeds do - an inability to recover from stress (wonder if John would fail because of that too). In addition, the difference between 91% and 83% is small. I wonder how that statistic adjusts when numbers of dogs tested per breed is taken into account .... just a thought.
Despite Ban Them All's reference to my reasonableness, he/she seems unreasonable to me. He says, "The dogs, especially the ferocious ones, are nothing more than wild beasts under restraint. Their behaviours are to a large extent the result of their upbringing and training. If the owners do not know how or care to train their dogs to peacefully co-exist with others, then the society must take over and break that bondage." Since he acknowledges that it is the owner's responsibility for the dog's behavior, he should acknowledge that is where the reaction from society should reside. But unreasonably, he does not. He goes on to advocate wiping out a whole breed despite his knowledge that it is the owner's responsibility with each individual animal. He also gives a piece of misinformation. The correct information is: it is a rare, rare dog that cannot be rehabilitated from mistreatment or lack of training, and then placed safely in an appropriate home.
Ban Them All then goes on to say that bully breed owners "parade" their animals in public. I assume he means taking our dogs out for walks? Actually, I have stopped doing that with my dogs. I am tired of the stress I feel walking my dogs past unleashed animals, improperly contained animals, etc. I have conceded to the stress of dealing with a world where I do not have the same rights as a law breaker.
He also seems to feel that animals that are "physically capable of killing your child or dog" are "pit bulls." How myopic. Once again, just about any dog is physically capable of killing another and/or a child. So, which dogs should be allowed to be "paraded in public" and which not? I am confused. (I am also confused about what "parading in public" is... but that is a minor point.)
He seems to mock every parents' responsibility to train their children how to properly behave around animals - a very dangerous position to take! I am constantly educating children how to behave around my dogs, who both love children, by the way. My female gets beside herself with joy around children and has to be restrained so she doesn't hit them with her wildly wagging tail. ALL PARENTS should educate their children how to behave around ALL animals. ALL PARENTS should take the time to learn enough about dog behavior that they can teach their children to be safe. It is not incumbent upon the dog owner to educate another parent's child, although many do. It is part of the responsibility of good parenting. ALL PARENTS should watch their children around dogs at ALL times.
Ban All says, "Substitute "tiger" or "grizzly bear" for "pit bull" in the forum messages above by the pit bull lovers and you will get a pretty good sense for how ridiculous your position seems to sane people." He forgot to suggest substituting "drunk driver" for pit bull. I guess that is ridiculous also then, right?
And he says, "The fact that my dog, unlike most other dogs, is physically capable of inflicting mortal injuries despite my best efforts at restraining it does not in any way distinguish it from other dogs." Again, this is an ignorant, unreasonable characterization. If a dog is physically capable of inflicting mortal injury (and most all dogs are) but the owner is making his/her best effort to restrain the dog from doing so in the unlikely circumstance that a restrained dog would be attempting to inflict mortal injury, then therefore that dog must be a "pit bull." That reasoning defies all logic and also defies a logical reply. Ridiculous. What fantasy does that come from? The only circumstance I can think of where a restrained dog would be wanting to inflict mortal injury would be a protection scenario. If that were the case, I wouldn't attempt to restrain my dog. I'd let him loose and thank god I had him and that he would be willing to absorb injury to himself in order to protect me and my family (as most dogs are).
Betsy says, "And evil people continue to breed pit bulls, both for the (original) trait of dangerousness to other dogs and for the (new, improved!) trait of being willing bite any cop who comes into the crack house." Betsy, you are just plain wrong about this. You would have to go to GREAT lengths to train an American Pit Bull Terrier to be a guard dog. In fact, in dog protection sports, you will be hard pressed to find any bully breeds that are titled. Bully breeds have centuries of breeding to NOT bite humans. It is pretty hard to go against that. They are not the breed of choice for guarding or protection.
Betsy says, "Even if a dangerous dog is "only" dangerous toward other dogs, dog aggression is a completely worthless and entirely negative trait in a dog that leads to tragedies and headlines." Well, again, that sounds good, but isn't entirely true. Dog "aggression" is a perfectly good trait for dog survival. It isn't a good trait for our society. But someone forgot to tell the dogs that. They are just dogs, after all. They don't know that their genetic programming is worthless for our society. She seems to think that dog aggression is unique to "pit bulls." I hate to break it to you, Betsy. Dog aggression is an inherent part of dogdom.
Betsy also says, "If one of you pit bull "advocates" can tell me a way to get this epidemic under control short of strong breed specific legislation (a la the excellent law recently passed in San Francisco that requires the spay/neuter of all non-show dog pit bulls), I'd be mighty interested to hear it." This is such a disappointment, Betsy. Apparently you have failed to "hear" the many informative and constructive voices just in this forum alone. Cherie Graves posted an extensive proposal to solve the problem. Did you "hear" it? In reality, you are just an educated John, aren't you?
Betsy also says, "Go into any urban shelter and look at the dogs on death row. They will, overwhelmingly, be pit bulls and pit bull mixes." Again, she is skewing information. Now the majority are pit bulls. Ten years ago the majority were Rottweilers. Ten years before that the majority was... pick your breed. Labs, German Shepherds, Dobermans. Whatever the popular breed was at the time. The fact is, as several others mentioned, there are just MORE bully breeds at the moment.
But, the best point, I think, has been made by asdfg. Dogs have been bred to DO A JOB. I have one of the breeds he has listed (which by the way was incorrectly described). I own Dogo Argentinos. They are a hunting breed, bred to hunt wild boar and puma. Their temperament is SUITED TO THEIR JOB. As is every breed's. ANY dog breed that has a job has the potential to be "game." To have the drive to do their job NO MATTER WHAT gets in their way. To not recognize that about dogs is to make a fatal mistake in some cases. Dogs are not furniture. They are not babies. They are powerful creatures with drives to match. We need to educate ourselves about them and respond accordingly. Killing them all is not an appropriate response.
1. I have every right to parade in public an animal that is physically capable of killing small children and dogs. The risk that my dog might kill your child or dog does not concern me. The fact that my dog, unlike most other dogs, is physically capable of inflicting mortal injuries despite my best efforts at restraining it does not in any way distinguish it from other dogs.
2. If I approach you in public with my dangerous dog, it is your responsibility to have trained any small children with you so they are not "ignorant enough to ignore the signs" of impending fatal attack (to quote the ever-reasonable Lisa M). I don't care how young your children are. Stay far away from me and my vicious dog, or suffer the consequences!
Substitute "tiger" or "grizzly bear" for "pit bull" in the forum messages above by the pit bull lovers and you will get a pretty good sense for how ridiculous your position seems to sane people.
Posted by Perriann,
a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2006 at 11:51 am
To all of you wanting to ban these dogs, here's a question. Other than media reports and personal experience, what evidence do you have to support your claims?
As for the ATTS testing dogs, it is true that labs scored in the 90's. Golden Retrievers, however, scored the same as pit bulls. Please explain how this is possible.
As for the past hundred years of pit bull breeding, yes, they have been bred to fight other dogs. Yes, they have strength and determination, and have also been bred for the same amount of time for these traits. However, simultaneously, while being bred to fight dogs, they were also bred to be extremely human-friendly. One had to be able to separate two dogs in the heat of battle without so much as a scratch. Any dog showing the smallest amount of human aggression was immediately dispatched. Try separating two labs in the heat of a fight without ending up with stitches.
Not to mention that if you are a responsible dog owner and you raise the dog from a puppy to be socialized around other dogs, even if you have a pit bull type, you won't have to worry about dog fights. I have a dog that picks and chooses which dogs she likes. However, I have never once had an incident with her, because she is always leashed in public, she is not allowed to meet other dogs face to face, she NEVER gets loose as she is in the house with me, and if for some reason she HAS to be close to other dogs (like at the vet), if I even see her tense up, I show her how to behave.
It is entirely possible to have a dog aggressive dog and never have an incident if you know what you are doing, and you practice what you preach. No dog should ever be out of control and lunging on the leash, no matter what breed it is. When I see people with their labs and cockers just running around letting the leash jerk them back, I just shake my head. Those dogs are totally running the show, and THAT is dangerous.
While we're on the subject of dog aggression, let's take a look at some breeds that are known for it:
Airedale Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, (let's just say all terriers or else this could get tedious), Rottweilers, Chihuahuas, Chows, and pretty much any other breed not specifically bred to work with other dogs (i.e. retrievers, scent hounds, etc.). The difference? When these dogs fight, it isn't breaking news. People don't drop everything to report these things because they have been happening and witnessed since we domesticated dogs.
I remember growing up and getting bit by all kinds of dogs. Most of the time, instead of the dog getting blamed, it was me. I must have done something to provoke the dog. Back when there was accountability. Thirty years ago, the idea of a lawsuit from a dog bite would have been laughed out of court.
Let's take a look at the non-pit bull types that have caused fatalities so far this year:
Husky cross 6/17/06
Great Pyrenees and lab mix 6/17/06
Great Dane 3/4/06
English Mastiff 2/4/06
Lab mix 2/2/06
Old English Sheepdog 1/24/06
Alaskan Malamutes 1/19/06
Boxer mix (reported as pit bull but never corrected) 7/06
Presa Canario 8/17/06
Husky mix (again!) 7/27/06
Wolf hybrid 7/18/06
Border collie and pack 1/19/06
Those are just what I found in one hour of looking. There are many more, but this is just to show how many people would still be dead if all pit bulls were banned.
Here's an interesting statistic: There are approximately four million dog bites every year in the U.S., but only a fraction of them get reported. That breaks down to 300,000 every month.
Pit bull types REALLY DO account for about 10% of the entire population of dogs right now. They are ranked in most cities either the first or second most popular dogs, usually right next to Labs and Retriever types. This is fact and can be easily researched. The actual number of dogs is not 54 million, but closer to 76 million right now. Doing the math shows that pit bull types would have to be around 7 million or so strong right now.
Knowing these key facts, one can come to the conclusion that it cannot possibly be a breed problem. There are far more pit bull types than there are even attacks, and you can bet your bottom that any incident at all involving a pit bull will be reported to authorities and on the evening news. NO reporter will turn down a pit bull story, at least until the Presa Canario takes over as the next monster dog.
Considering these things, it should be surprising to know that in many cities, the dog breed that bites most often is the labrador. In some cities, to be fair, the number one dog is the pit bull, but (gasp!) in each city that has statistics to be reported, the number of dog bites per breed is directly proportional to the popularity of said breed, and a percentage can be found. Of every breed that is popular (of the top 10 breeds), it is found that only 0.000002% of them will bite. Whether it be labs or pit bulls, the percentage of bites compared to actual population always comes out to the same number.
Lastly, I can remember a time when the American Pit Bull Terrier was the most popular breed of dog, and also lauded as our symbol of pride. They used to be war dogs, farm dogs, family pets, working dogs, and they were in many films. Their loyalty, bravery, determination, and goofy, fun-loving nature made them great assets to this country.
To this day, it is still easy to find them. They are in commercials and movies, and many celebrities have them (Trident White, Dodge, Lil Rascals, President Roosevelt, Michael J. Fox, Leonardo Di Caprio, James Frey, John Stewart, Alicia Silverstone, Ray Romano, Don Cherry, Fred Astaire, Jack Dempsy, Thomas Edison, Madonna, Brad Pitt, Bernadette Peters, Sinbad, Linda Blair, Humphrey Bogart, Usher, Mel Brooks, Ann Bancroft, Jan Michael Vincent, Pink, Kelli Williams, Ken Howard (Father in Crossing Jordon - his Pit Shadow saved his life), Malcolm Jamal Warner, Stephan Jenkins, Rosie Perez, Ananda Lewis, Amy Jo Johnson, Mary Tyler Moore, Steve and Terrie Erwin (the Crocodile Hunter), Jack Johnson, Bill Berloni (Broadway show dog trainer who has said that the Pit is the breed of choice for training), Anthony Robbins, Molly Price, President Woodrow Wilson, Frankie Muniz, AJ Mclean, Barbara Eden, and even Helen Keller. Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody (from the OC), Roy Jones Jr. (boxing champion), Serena Williams, Justin Miller (Toronto Blue Jays), Cozy Coleman (Tampa Bay Bucs), Jessica Alba, Veron Haynes (Pittsburg Steelers), Hugh Douglas (Philadelphia Eagles), Kamal (Roots Crew), Usher (Recording Artist), Jermain Dupri (Producer), Richard "Rip" Hamilton (Detroit Pistons), Rachel Ray (Food network), Sinbad, Malcolm Jamaal Warner, Diane Keaton, Paula Abdul, Veronica Mars (Backup is the dog), Don Cherry, Jeremy Irons, Laura Wilder, Jessica Biel, Desmond Mason, Michael Vick, Kevin Federline (as sad as that is), Redman, Chris Pontius (MTV's Jackass), Orlando Bloom, Ashley Olson, Cole Hauser, Jeremy Piven, Jamie Foxx).
Old war posters show pit bulls ready to defend the country, and one of the greatest war heroes was Stubby, a pit bull that won many medals for his bravery. The RCA dog was a pit mix. Many old time postcards feature pit bulls with (gasp!) children, and many old movies had pit bulls as the stars. I have a few movies on my computer that were made using nothing but dogs as the actors, all of them dressed up in clothes, walking around on their hind legs and moving their mouths with human voice-overs. Many, many of these movies have pit bulls as the stars because of their extremely high trainability and their ability to focus on something for hours at a time without tiring.
There is no reason to ban an entire breed of dog, most of which have never, and will never bite anyone (99.999998% of them never do). The best we can hope for is fair regulations for all breeds. There is no reason why we need millions of any dog in shelters. Why not make it extremely unprofitable to breed dogs? That way, the only ones breeding will be doing it for the betterment of the breed, and not for profit. It's time we put our selfish desires aside and start focusing on a solution that will not only make everyone satisfied, but actually help keep us and our dogs safe.
Posted by Cherie Graves,
a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2006 at 9:36 pm
"In a perfect world, animals would be free to live their lives to the fullest: raising their young, enjoying their native environments, and following their natural instincts. However, domesticated dogs and cats cannot survive "free" in our concrete jungles, so we must take as good care of them as possible. People with the time, money, love, and patience to make a lifetime commitment to an animal can make an enormous difference by adopting from shelters or rescuing animals from a perilous life on the street. But it is also important to stop manufacturing "pets," thereby perpetuating a class of animals forced to rely on humans to survive."
-PETA pamphlet, Companion Animals: Pets or Prisoners?
"I don't use the word "pet." I think it's speciesist language. I prefer "companion animal." For one thing, we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship - enjoyment at a distance."
-Ingrid Newkirk, PETA vice-president, quoted in The Harper's Forum Book, Jack Hitt, ed., 1989, p.223.
"It is time we demand an end to the misguided and abusive concept of animal ownership. The first step on this long, but just, road would be ending the concept of pet ownership."
-Elliot Katz, President, In Defense of Animals, "In Defense of Animals," Spring 1997
"Liberating our language by eliminating the word 'pet' is the first step ... In an ideal society where all exploitation and oppression has been eliminated, it will be NJARA's policy to oppose the keeping of animals as 'pets.'"
-New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance, "Should Dogs Be Kept As Pets? NO!" Good Dog! February 1991, p.20
"Let us allow the dog to disappear from our brick and concrete jungles -- from our firesides, from the leather nooses and chains by which we enslave it."
-John Bryant, Fettered Kingdoms: An Examination of A Changing Ethic, PETA, 1982, p.15.
"The cat, like the dog, must disappear..... We should cut the domestic cat free from our dominance by neutering, neutering, and more neutering, until our pathetic version of the cat ceases to exist."
-John Bryant, Fettered Kingdoms: An Examination of a Changing Ethic, PETA 1982, p.15.
"As John Bryant has written in his book Fettered Kingdoms, they [pets] are like slaves, even if well-kept slaves."
-PETA's Statement on Companion Animals
"The bottom line is that people don't have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats ... If people want toys they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship they should seek it with their own kind."
-Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA, "Animals," May/June 1993
"You don't have to own squirrels and starlings to get enjoyment from them ... One day, we would like an end to pet shops and the breeding of animals. [Dogs] would pursue their natural lives in the wild ... they would have full lives, not wasting at home for someone to come home in the evening and pet them and then sit there and watch TV."
-Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA, Chicago Daily Herald, March 1, 1990.
"Pet ownership is an abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation."
-Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA, Washingtonian, August 1986
"One day we would like an end to pet shops and breeding animals [Dogs] would pursue their natural lives in the wild."
-Ingrid Newkirk, Chicago Daily Herald, March 1, 1990
"Arson, property destruction, burglary and theft are 'acceptable crimes' when used for the animal cause."
-Alex Pacheco, Director, PETA
"Andrew Cunanan, because he got Versace to stop doing fur."
-PETA's Dan Mathews reply to Genre request for "Men We Love"
"I wish we all would get up and go into the labs and take the animals out or burn them down."
-Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA, National Animal Rights Convention '97, June 27, 1997
"Get arrested. Destroy the property of those who torture animals. Liberate those animals interned in the hellholes our society tolerates."
Jerry Vlasak, Animal Defense League, Internet post to AR Views list, June 21, 1996
"We have found that civil disobedience and direction action has been powerful in generating massive attention in our communities ... and has been very effective in traumatizing our targets."
-J.P. Goodwin, Committee to Abolish the Fur Trade, National Animal Rights Convention '97, June 27, 1997.
"In a war you have to take up arms and people will get killed, and I can support that kind of action by petrol bombing and bombs under cars, and probably at a later stage, the shooting of vivisectors on their doorsteps. It's a war, and there's no other way you can stop vivisectors."
-Tim Daley, British Animal Liberation Front Leader
.. "Perhaps the mere idea of receiving a nasty missive will allow animal researchers to empathize with their victims for the first time in their lousy careers.I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren't all burning to ground. If I had a more guts, I'd light a match."
Ingrid Newkirk, after an underground group Justice Department mailed 87 razor-blade laced threats to medical researchers studying news drugs on primates.
"If a girl gets sexual pleasure from riding a horse, does the horse suffer? If not, who cares? If you French kiss your dog and he or she thinks it's great, is it wrong? We believe all exploitation and abuse is wrong. If it isn't exploitation and abuse, it may not be wrong."
-Ingrid Newkirk, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Bruce Friedrich, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA).
While disclaiming involvement in violent activities himself, Friedrich devoted an entire presentation to the case for violence, starting with people's natural inhibitions against violence to justification for it "to end animal suffering." "If we really believe that animals have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands," Friedrich said, "then, of course we're going to be blowing things up and smashing windows. For the record, I don't do this stuff, but I advocate it. I think it's a great way to bring about animal liberation, considering the level of suffering, the atrocities."
"I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories and the banks who (sic) fund them exploded tomorrow," he continued to loud applause.
"I think it's perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through windows."
Posted by Perriann,
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2006 at 1:01 pm
Please read this. I have posted many statistics throughout this thread that have been ignored, but perhaps my personal experience will help.
When I was younger, I feared pit bulls. I heard news reports and what my parents said, and I thought I was ahead of the times. I was on the up-and-up. Then, when I was just a teenager, I met someone who had four of them, along with a large family. They all died of old age after never having bitten anyone. The new dogs he had, three lhasa apso/shi-tzu mixes, were terrifying. One of them had to be locked up in the bathroom when guests came over. It would actually make its mouth bleed by biting at the fence when people walked by.
He was the first person I ever knew that had even been around these dogs, yet for some reason, I thought I knew better than him. I told him he had been lucky because I never heard of a nice pit bull, and all you ever heard on the news was how they were vicious and they would falsely present their best behavior before killing you. I totally believed wholeheartedly that I was right. After all, the news couldn't lie. They simply reported what happened. My parents wouldn't lie. They'd been around for ages, and obviously knew many things that I didn't. After months of knowing this guy, talking with him, and hearing his calm, confident answers to my questions about the "brutes", I decided that I would dig up some real statistics for him so he knew how lucky he was.
It took me four years. I ended up dating the man for seven years, none of which did we have pit bulls. But during that time, I learned so much. I couldn't find a single study done that proved the dogs were vicious. Sure, there were plenty of news reports and "personal experiences" that would make any sane person question their decisions, and the internet was full of breeder websites saying their pit bulls were tough. But no real facts.
In fact, all I found was to the contrary. Statistics on deaths by the CDC even went on to say that since the "pit bull type" was actually several breeds lumped together for convenience, and that they got their information for the compilation from the media, they no longer compiled these numbers due to the fact that they were unreliable and created worries where there shouldn't be any. They admitted that the wording they used would only make the numbers look worse. For instance, it would have been like combining all the herding breeds together and calling them "shepherd type". Of course, the numbers are going to look worse if you combine breeds. So much for statistical information. (By the way, according to another source, right now Rottweilers are leaving pit bull types in their dust when it comes to death statistics)
The American Temperament Test Society, who does testing on unprovoked aggression, made my argument even weaker. Their stats showed that pit bull type dogs ranked the same as Golden Retrievers, and much better than dogs like Miniature Poodles, Weimeraners, Collies, and Dalmations. They went on to say that of the average percentage, pit bull type dogs actually scored better. At this point, along with other things I had read that I cannot remember off the top of my head, I began to think I might be wrong about the breed.
When I went to book stores, whenever I was by the pet section, I made it a point to check out the pit bull parts and read their descriptions, histories, and everything. If you couldn't tell by now, I tend to get a little obsessive about things I want to learn. Even though all the books I read through said pit bulls were used for fighting, I also read that before they fought each other, they were used in the very beginning as a farmer's dog. They acted as catch-dogs, herders, and guardians of the animals meant for slaughter. They did these jobs so well that certain farmers began using them to contain the unruly bulls meant to be dinner. Then came the bragging and competition so prevalent in our human societies. The sport of bullbaiting was born, with pit bull types being the guinea pig of it all. For a time in England, I read, you could not buy bull meat unless it had been properly baited. These dogs were everywhere. Bullbaiting became illegal, and not wanting their working dogs to become furniture pieces, some of the people began to find "other" things for them to do.
Unfortunately, because of the drive and tenacity of the dogs, they could be trained to do pretty much anything. So began the "sport" of dog fighting. However, I read that back then, it wasn't AS cruel as it is now. For one, they didn't fight the dogs to the death. There were rules. If a dog didn't immediately want to fight within the first 10 seconds, it was disqualified. If a dog turned away from the other dog or stopped fighting, the fight was over. If the dog so much as growled at any person, the dog's life was over, and any puppies it may have fathered were also (with some of the so called better "dogmen")euthanized. They needed to be able to confidently get in between dogs without injury, and the only way to do that was to breed a dog that was fine with fighting other dogs, but completely against biting people. (The standard for the breed also says this, along with the fact that a properly bred dog will be an excellent playmate for children.)Several other breeds are purported to be involved in this transformation, such as the Spanish Pointer, and the extinct White Terrier.
By the time I was reading this, I was thinking there must be a mistake. There must be two kinds of pit bulls, maybe. Why else would the media and my parents hate these dogs so much? I continued to read these things until I found that no matter where I went, I had already read the books available. At this point, I had worked for a veterinarian and was also volunteering at an animal shelter in Iowa and going to Iowa State. I had, at this point, read pretty much everything that was available about the breed, and was working with them almost on a weekly basis.
I was shocked to find so many nice people not only had these dogs, but cared a great deal for them, and had even taught them tricks. The dogs weren't anything like what I thought they would be, including looks. They were rather small, from 35 to 60 pounds max, and their tails never stopped wagging. Of the ones with their ears intact, they all looked like cute, perfect little dogs. They seemed to be better at handling painful shots, procedures like removing porcupine quills, and generally had more patience than other breeds. The number one worst breed we worked with at the vet clinic was cocker spaniels. They were almost always the ones that needed muzzles, even for the most simple things, like nail trimming. The second worst was labs. There were a few happy-go-lucky labs, but most of them were extremely fearful, and being so large, were mandatory muzzle-dogs. It took two people to restrain them sometimes, as they would use their paws to dig at your arm and escape, and they would kick with their back legs. (By the way, I love labs, please don't think I am trying to make a point with this, just my experience)
Pretty much four years after I met Joe, the guy with four pit bulls, I had finally changed my mind. It wasn't immediate, and along the way I definitely had my doubts, but in the end, the facts clearly came out for these dogs. Seven years later, after going to college, working in many vet clinics and animal shelters, and reading literally every book available (under $95, hey, I have a budget), I decided once I settled down and had the money that I would get a dog. I also decided that I would get one from the shelter, since working there opened my eyes no only to the pit bull plight, but to the plight of even poodles and other popular dogs (which by the way end up there quite a bit more often than you would think, and are sometimes quite nasty). I wanted a young dog that was stable, smart, willing to please, pretty, athletic, great with children, basically a do-anything, go-anywhere kind of dog. I found a small, runty "pit bull x" at a shelter when I moved to California. She was brindle and white, cute as a button, and all over the fence trying to say hello to me. I adopted her, and a year and a half after, found she was apparently quite possibly purebred. (Her attributes are sriking, and she fits the standard to a tee, both physically and tempermentally).
Now on my second one, a papered, OFA certified dog, I cannot be happier. I must say that everything I have read about the dogs from reliable sources has been true. They are not the monsters the media makes them out to be. From the runty puppy I adopted to the purebred dog I bought, they both have their own unique personalities, but they also both fall within the range of normal dogdom. My older dog, Gabby, is my source of pride. I take her everywhere with me. Most of the time she is wearing a shirt (she gets cold pretty easily). She is so smart that I have actually witnessed her using tools to do things. She will come up to me and nuzzle my face when I so much as sneeze. And she is totally ruled by our cat. My papered dog, Kaya, is not as bright as Gabby, but she makes up for it by being the most goofy, fun-loving, caring dog I have known. She sits in my lap like a cat, and sometimes she will look up at me and just lick me in the face.
My husband was mauled by a dog when he was little. Apparently, he was trying to give the dog food when the dog thought he was taking the food away, and (where were his parents!)he got it. Poor boy, he just thought he was helping the dog. At first, he told me it was a pit bull. For twenty something years that was what he thought. It didn't phase him, though. He loves our dogs and would like to get more when we buy a larger acreage. It turns out the dog that attacked him was a Rottweiler, another dog everyone seems to fear. The dog was put to sleep, thank God, but he will never say anything bad about Rotties. There are just too many of them that are fine pets to try and make them all pay for a few mistakes.
Here's something to remember. The media, as needed as it may be in our society, is not run by the government. It is not a non-profit, good-samaritan type of organization. The media represents normal people who got a degree in journalism, who work for corporations that give them quotas to meet (aka, news stories). Their primary objective is to make more money this year than the last. It is not to educate the public, to keep the public safe, to help the public, or to better humankind. They thrive on these stories because people love a scary story. They love trauma, ill-will, carnage, and upheaval. How many of you are guilty of this? I would say most. I know I read way more bad news than good, not necessarily because I don't like good news, but I think we all read it because some part of us wants to witness a tragedy. It's like staring at a train wreck, and the media knows it. Notice that they put as much gore as they legally can into the details of some stories, yet leave out important information that is more pertinent to the situation. They do this because study after study has been done, and they have found that these stories are what sell the papers.
As for the arguments between Cherie and Betsy, I agree and disagree with both of you to a point. For one, I must agree with Cherie that there is a difference in what people perceive to be true and reality. Pit bulls are definitely no more dangerous than other dogs when in the right hands. Enter problem. The small percentage of thug pit bull owners is growing, and breeders are to blame. Not the responsible ones that do testing and show their dogs and try to better the standard. I am talking about the ones that breed their own dogs together and sell them to anyone. There are far too many of them now. I agree with Betsy that there should be a law to speuter all non-breedworthy pit bulls. But I would take this a step further and just do it for all breeds. Why? Because when I go to the animal shelter and see 60% of it full of pit bulls, I also see 40% of it full of labradoodles, shepherd mixes, chihuahuas, boxers, and every other dog breed or mix you can possibly think of. I have witnessed euthanasia of all these dogs, and believe me, there's nothing worse than seeing a dog's trusting eyes looking back at you right before the light goes out.
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