Should Pit Bulls Be Considered Dangerous Animals?
Think about this. What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Pit Bull”? What kind of description, events, action, etc. do you see? An evil and savage killing machine that you may see on the television or maybe in a new paper. Or an animal that is seen within the topic of drugs, crime, slums, gangs? Or a misunderstood animal where humans made their bad reputation. A creature with an abused past, present, and if no one has the will to stop it, it shall be an abused future. With me, personally, I’ve been around Pit Bulls for as long as I can remember. I own a beautiful Pit Bull Mix named Phebe, I’ve worked in a summer job with Pit Bulls and other different breeds and had many encounters with Pit Bulls. With almost all of them in a positive light. After doing research and getting to know these dogs in my daily life, they are close to nothing as they are portrayed to be. Which is vicious and ruthless, but these dogs are loyal, kind, gentle, sweet and have a heart of gold. They are just misunderstood creatures, where the culprit hides in plain site. Humans; humans are the real perpetrator in making these loving animals into monsters since the very beginning. Instead of punishing these innocent dogs they should be protected and under safe management. As humans made them the so-called monsters they are today.
While some may argue that Pit Bulls are monsters as they are shown to be aggressive throughout the news; more places than others. As the media is a big source of where people form their opinion and use that information given to back it up. The media is already known for being involved with stretching the truth and leaving out key details when it comes to any animal attacks, mostly about Pit Bulls though. When it comes down to it the media creates and voices the opinions of people who have no knowledge of the animal what so ever. For example, within the ‘Denver Post – Fetch’ the article “The Media Takes Its Lumps Over Reporting About Pit Bulls” written by John Davidson, goes into detail about the Media’s effect on people and their different views of this dog. “(Courtney) Here, in her own words, edited for space, is what she e-mailed me: ‘… For years the general public has been spoon-fed [negative aspects of Pit Bulls], which tastes like a sour meal to those who truly know the facts, have done the research, and realize that America mainstream has been deceived by a movement of selling hysteria, resulting in the murder of thousands of innocent dogs, the irrational contention that breed bans ‘protect’ the safety of the public.’ With that, it explains the way the media can rile up the public and had the main cause for having Pit Bulls being feared by the public. As most of the people watching don’t know all of the facts with the matter at hand. That adds on to the Pit Bulls quote on quote bad reputation, which is mostly comprised of false points.
With the media and other factors that may contribute to the Pit Bulls bad reputation, with many people believing that Pit Bulls and their descendants were first bred for fighting. That information is completely incorrect. As Pit Bulls were brought to the United States in the early 1800’s, as they were used as farm dogs, not fighting dogs. They guarded the frontier homes of early pioneers and proved to make loyal and gentle companions for the entire family. Pit Bulls were then used, a few years later, as Bull Baiting Dogs. As the ASPCA defines a bull-baiting dog, as a dog “bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800s, people turned instead to fighting their dogs against each other. These larger, slower bull-baiting dogs were crossed with smaller, quicker terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog for fighting other dogs.” As this bit of information goes into detail about the way humans mold Pit Bulls into dog fighting. Creating that bad reputation these dogs have, out of human’s sickly pleasure of watching to animals fight to survive. As humans were the first twisted beings that started Pit Bull fighting and as the dogs don’t have a choice when fighting as it is their lives on the line. With the unwatched breeding of these animals, they are more endangered for being analyzed as a threat, when they really aren’t a threat at all.
What is the true nature of Pit Bulls then? As you might ask. Well, Pitbull’s are some of the best family dogs and aren’t as bad as everyone assumes they are. Pitbull’s are found to be some of the best dogs to have with or without children and are some of the most tolerable dogs. According to the American Temperament Test Society (2010-2011), 804 American Pit Bull Terriers were tested and 695 passed. This means that 86.4% of Pit Bulls tested by the ATTS had a good temperament. Pit Bulls pass rating was above 121 other breeds of dogs, including Golden Retrievers. With the information from the American Temperament Test Society, Pit Bulls are, also, not the number one dog that would most likely bite a person. As found in ‘The Sun’ the article “Jack Russell Tops Cops List of Dogs Most Likely to Bite Humans” written by Dean Wilkins explains that the “Jack Russell has been named as one of the dogs most likely to bite humans. According to latest Liverpool police figures — the UK’s second most perilous city for dog attacks — the terrier can have a bite as big as its bark. Or worse. Last year the family favorite was responsible for six of 71 dog attacks in the city where a breed was identified — almost double its count from 2014.” That shows how any dog can be ‘dangerous’ not just Pit Bulls, like any Human can hurt another human.
The truth is that Pit Bulls have loving nature to please their masters, which can, also, be taken advantage by some owners using the animals for a negative cause. As shown in the ‘Pet Finder’ company’s website the article “10 Reasons Why Pit Bulls Rule” written by Robin Rock, it is found that Pit Bulls are beyond loyal and loves pleasing their owners. “A Pit Bull will do almost anything his favorite people ask of him, just to hear their praise. These dogs crave our attention and approval and are very social with humans. This devotion to people has contributed heavily to the bad reputation of Pit Bulls because a bad person can use a Pit Bull’s eagerness to please to train the dog for nefarious or criminal purposes.” Which shows the small negative aspect and the huge positive side of Pit Bulls and how their love for us humans can damage them permanently.
Solutions that can solve the problem with Pit Bulls and their ‘bad reputation’ is to legislate mandatory spay/neuter laws just against this specific type of dogs. That can help decrease the amount of Pit Bulls see in shelters, on the news due to attacks, out on the streets and out of the hands of those who would have done wrong to the animals. Also, with decreasing the population of Pit Bulls can have the media less of an influence of the reputation of Pit Bulls, because if there aren’t as many of them and they are all kept in a safe environment with good people, attacks will decrease. Which starts to have people wondering about how accurate the news really is and research about the topic themselves instead. Another solution that can protect and save Pit Bulls is to promote a breed-neutral program, that focuses on enforcing dangerous dog ordinances regardless of appearance rather than enforcing ordinances based solely on appearance; to promote spay/neuter programs for pit bulls and provide education and assistance to the lower-income demographics most likely to need help, and to be more proactive in the fight against animal cruelty by holding owners accountable, strengthening offenses for those who commit animal cruelty. Which will help people get on board and start looking out for their animals, and the dogs will be in a more protected area where they aren’t abused.
One of the final solutions is a big one, that can help Pit Bulls throughout the world. Found in the PETA Organization, it supports a “breed specific program” which is similar to the second solution but the PETA solution has more significant details about their program. Which specifically calls for, legal requirements that all pit bull dogs be spayed or neutered (as said before). In fact, PETA advocates for a ban on breeding all dogs, including pit bulls as breeding any dogs should be illegal as long as millions must be euthanized (put to death) in animal shelters every year. As Pit Bulls face systemic, relentless abuse and neglect. They are also the most frequently abandoned dog breed, and as a result, tens of thousands of pit bulls must be put to death in shelters every year. While requiring that they must be spayed or neutered means that fewer will be born into abusive, neglectful homes. As well, the PETA promotes the adoption of homeless animals from shelters, where they can have a true, caring family.
With these different solutions and ways that can help solve the ‘Pit Bull Crisis’, now Pit Bulls can receive the love that they deserve. So, let me ask you the same question as I asked in the beginning. What do think when you hear the word ‘Pit Bull’ with all this new information about them? Has your opinion completely shifted after knowing the specifics, has it gone to disliking the owners and the media more than the dogs, or has your opinion has grown to care and help out these dogs more and more, or maybe your opinion stayed the same, either way. Just think about, for a second… maybe a minute… Think, of what you now know and if you will, maybe set in and help out these beautiful and gentle giants? So, I’ll leave on a high note, as a quote once said by the great Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”