The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

September 7, 2013

Maleah Stringer: Pit bulls a misunderstood breed

Just before 8 a.m. last Sunday I received a phone call. The caller left a message saying he was appalled by my column in The Herald Bulletin that glorified Lola, a pit bull, a breed known to kill babies and toddlers. He went on to say that on the other hand he is glad I did because it proved I am no smarter than he thought I was. I hope he is more tolerant and less judgmental toward people than he is toward dogs.

To be clear, I am and this column is an advocate for animals and the people who love them and understand that how we treat animals is a reflection of who we are morally and spiritually. It is a gauge of our compassion and humanity. I believe that it dictates how we treat our children, the elderly and those in our society whether animal or human who do not have a voice.

So let's talk about pit bulls. Can pit bulls kill babies, toddlers, humans and other animals? Yes, some of them are aggressive but so are labs, dobermans, German shepherds, fottweilers, basically dogs regardless of the breed. Should everyone who wants a pit bull have one? No, but this can be applied to the breeds of greyhounds, cattle dogs, chihuahuas, min pins, collies, German shepherds, border collies and the list goes on. It is best to get a dog who fits your lifestyle and your dog skill level. When was the last time you remember the media reporting a dog attack that involved a dog other than a pit bull? Personally I can't. This is certainly not because no other breeds bite.

Pit bulls, through no fault of their own, have been chosen as the dog of choice for gang members and dog fighters. They are abused and are given steroids to increase aggression and these owners do everything they can to bring out the worst in the breed. The pit bulls who do not show aggression are used for bait. Pit bulls can be the most affectionate, loyal, gentle and loving of dogs. I know this for a fact, I have one and I deal with them every day at the Animal Protection League.

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