Pitbull Mania – Does One Ban Breeds or Kick the Ass of Owners?

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Is it just me or have Pit Bull attacks been a little more frequent lately? I feel like there’s a new story every week or so about some mauling or another.

A miniature horse was attacked today, an 8-year-old girl yesterday (after entering a fenced in yard with the dogs, which does make the case a little different), 4-year-old Pedro Ruis Jr. was killed back in November.

Backyard Pit Bull breeders must be making a freaking fortune right now, as a recent Chronicle article reports:

“They are the most popular dog right now,” said Dawn Blackmar, director of the county Veterinary Public Health Department. “Rich people have them. Poor people have them. All different colors of people have them.”

The novelty of raising a breed of dog as a vicious fighting animal just doesn’t make sense to me. Owners get tired of them and let them loose (to roam and maul apparently) or bring them to the pound which really makes a sad story sadder – animal shelters don’t find many pit bulls to be adoptable. Geez, in some cities pit bulls in shelters are even taking other dogs places

A recently formed Houston Pit Bull task force decided against working to ban the breed, but instead wants to find ways to regulate certain dog breeds. Not really sure what that means though – special paperwork, doggie licenses? Is that really supposed to work?

What do you think needs to be done? In the meantime, learn about what to do legally if you get bitten by a dog and don’t forget to Be a Tree!

Photo thanks to Flickr user anadah

8 Comments so far

  1. shawn (unregistered) on December 13th, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

    Nature vs. nurture. I think it might be possible to argue that the characteristics of a pit bull might lend themselves to a more violent nature. I think it is *definitely easy* to argue that as domesticated animals, they fall prey to the will of their masters. Some people simply shouldn’t have dogs and maybe that’s what the regulation will address. I really hope something changes though.


  2. inkoluv (unregistered) on December 15th, 2006 @ 9:25 am

    I say ban them. Even Pitt Bull mixes are mean dogs. If someone is worried about safety and feel they need a vicious animal to protect them, I say think smart and obedient instead and get a German Sheppard.


  3. Chris (from L.C.) (unregistered) on December 15th, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

    The owners need to be made responsible. There is no question that some breeds are more aggressive, but at the same time, the reason peaople want these dogs is BECAUSE they are feared.

    It’s like buying a gun and being surprised when someone gets hurt (or killed) because it was misused. With power comes responsibility. Start charging these irresponsible people with serious felonies, and this will become a non-issue real quick.


  4. Marc Brubaker (unregistered) on December 18th, 2006 @ 11:47 am

    I’m going with Nuture on this one. My friends took in a young stray pit bull about a year ago, and he’s a sweetheart. Yeah, they have a neighbor who can’t stand the fact that they’ve got a pit bull, and a couple others were wary at first, but this dog is a big sweetie who never gets angry. So I think a ban is somewhat ridiculous. Punishing the owners of violent dogs seems the better alternative.


  5. Cory (unregistered) on December 19th, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

    1. There is no “Pit Bull” breed. Most of what people confuse for ‘Pit Bulls’ are actually mutts that have been bred to fight. They have some American Saffordshire Terrier mixed with some Rottweiler and some Boxer and Mastiff.

    2. Dogs don’t fight unless they are a. wild or b. bred and trained to fight.

    As the owner of a Rottweiler/Boxer mix I’m constantly having to explain to people that Jones is NOT a pit bull. He doesn’t have any of the characteristics of a Pit Bull type dog, yet people still think he COULD be because he’s a big dog.

    Jones has never bit anyone, and I spent $1000 to security train him by professionals. He’s been taught to corner, and bark. Never to bit unless he or me or my wife are being hurt.

    Yet under a “Pit Bull Type” dog ban my dog could potentially be illegal.

    Tell me how that’s fair?

    Punish the heck out of stupid owners, make people liable for the damage their dogs do and then restrict their ability to own dogs in the future.

    Dogs are incapable of reasoning, its not fair to punish them as if they are. Funny how the same people who gripe at the Houston Shelter when they kill a dog are now calling for the elimination of an entire type of animal.


  6. leahn (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

    We have a G.Shep/Rott mix running at large in our neighborhood. His owners just got up and left him. A few more have now joined him as they try to survive by banding together and foraging for trash, together.

    I have called animal control no less than 10 times on the three dogs next door to me for running at large. (A big black dog, a beagle and a pup, as well.) The big black dog jumped into my back yard and tried to kill my cat on the back porch this summer and got real aggressive with me when I ran him off the porch.

    Other people have told me they called the police saying that a pack of vagrant dogs (they called them pit bull types) were harrasing them as they walked the neighborhood. The dogs would growl and show teeth. I think they were the same pack.

    I have talked to several officers at the police department. They
    could care less.

    In my opinion the city regulations on the books need to be enforced. Fire the police if they don’t protect us.

    The problem is not the dogs, it is the owners. And the not-protecting-us police.


  7. Justin (unregistered) on December 27th, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

    In Northwest Houston it is the Harris County Sheriff’s who will not, or cannot enforce existing attack laws. The first bite is “free” ?!

    In suburbia more people are seriously hurt by stray dogs than stray gunfire, but you know that law enforcement only speeds to the scene for the latter. All laws aren’t create equal when it is only the interesting stuff (to cops) that gets prompt police attention.

    Quite a few neighborhood websites have entire sections devoted to animal control like http://www.copperfield.net and http://www.copperfield.org/pets.html


  8. Amanda (unregistered) on December 28th, 2006 @ 7:06 pm

    I think that it is not the dogs fault its the owners fault for training them the wrong way or to fight i dont think its right to band them its how they are trained and raised i had a pitbul named Zipper and she was so sweet and kind and never hurt a soul or tryed even to attack anyone she loved children and then one day some on killed her in my own backyard i am saying please to who ever may be incharge of this not to band them its the owners not being responsible engough to take care of there dogs and there not being trained right so please take a moment to understand the fact that its not the dogs its the owners breeding them and not training them please please dont band them thank you and have a great daii



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