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Pet People

Thursday, October 04, 2007

What about Pit Bulls?

I had this topic ready to post Tuesday night at work, but forgot to post it, and yesterday I was home sick (nasty intestinal bug/fever/aches)and didn't do ANYTHING but lie in bed.It appeared yesterday in the Living section.

Above is a picture of a pit bull, Seven, who was abandoned. The Humane Society is trying to find him a good home. Here is what Amy says about him:

"Seven was abandoned at the Ft. Campbell Kennels (not
the Impound) and her family never came back to get her. After FOUR years of
living there, the JAG office finally gave the kennel staff the okay to find
her a new home. We're trying to help with this process. In the picture, she
is getting a belly rub and doesn't her face just SAY... PLEEEEASE don't stop!
This is SOOOO good! She is about 7 yrs. old with lots of gray on her
muzzle. She is a precious soul."

How could any family abandon a dog like that? I hope someone out there can give this sweet girl the home she deserves, so spread the word.

About Pit Bulls:

A pit bull in the hands of a loving, responsible person is a loyal and loving family pet. In the hands of ignorant, immature or mean people, the breed can be dangerous. In fact, any dog can be dangerous if raised by someone who doesn't understand a breed's unique nature, needs and what constitutes humane care.

A story a few weeks ago about a pit bull that bit a man and killed a Dalmatian made me heartsick, especially when I saw the picture of its sweet face. The owner had a long history of negligent behavior with pit bulls, and because of her ignorance, the dogs were destroyed. And because of our weak laws and inadequate support of Animal Control, she got away with it for too long.

Most people don't understand the pit bull and look upon it as an innately vicious dog. But that's not true. Here's a brief history of the breed:
Today's pit bulls — the American Staffordshire terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier — have their roots in England. They're crosses of old bulldog and terrier types, used for fighting, because in the early 1800s, working-class people were rabid fans of dogfighting and bull-baiting (bull dog breeds were trained to enrage and attack bulls by biting them on the nose and hanging on, all in the name of "entertainment").

Brought to America in the late 1800s, they began to dominate the fighting "pits" and became known here as the pit bull terrier, American bull terrier or Yankee terrier. When dog fighting was banned, fans went underground, but the breed also became a popular family pet.
Why? Because the dogs were bred to be docile toward people, as people had to be able to handle the dogs during fights. As a result, pit bulls — if treated and trained humanely — are sweet and good-natured with people, especially their family.
Remember the dog Petey from "The Little Rascals?" Petey was a pit bull. Helen Keller had a pit bull. The breed was so respected in the early 1900s the U.S. military put it on war posters to represent America. The pit was the only dog to be featured on the cover of Life Magazine three times.

While it's true pits are docile with people and good with children (in England the Stafford is known as the "nanny dog" for its eagerness and ability to take the role of a child's nursemaid), they can be aggressive toward other dogs and animals, especially if un-neutered, untrained or if they feel threatened.
The biggest pit bull problem: They're often the choice of those who measure their manliness by the viciousness of their dog, those who derive sick pleasure from brutal dogfighting, those who live the gangsta lifestyle and those who want to create an aggressive watch dog.

They're also the dog most often chained in backyards with heavy logging chains, abused to create vicious fighters and left alone because their heartless owners feel no compassion toward living creatures. Any dog chained 24/7 can become unstable and aggressive, because they're pack animals that thrive on companionship. They need exercise and stimulation. Chained dogs get none of that, become territorial and pose a danger if strangers approach. If they escape, tragedy can result.
This growing problem is a serious public safety issue, and it's time our County Commission wakes up, or we might be greeted one morning with the headline, "Pit bull kills child."

Commissioners should pass Animal Control's entire proposal for new laws, including licensing and banning the chaining of a dog 24/7. Commissioners should accept the findings of the Animal Control Committee (which includes commission members) because they've done extensive homework.

Commissioners shouldn't question every comma or ask inane questions like, "Will people be stopped from selling goldfish at the fair?" (a question asked by one commissioner during a meeting in reference to a proposed ban on certain pet sales).
The purpose of any committee is to research, present facts and make a determination for the larger body. Commissioners not on the committee should not grandstand, micromanage or second guess every word.

I do understand people's automatic fear of pit bulls. If one is running amok in their neighborhood, in all likelihood it belongs to someone who has no business having a pit — or any dog for that matter — and there's a chance the dog will hurt pets or children.

But remember, it's irresponsible humans, not pit bulls, who deserve our derision. You don't blame the car when a drunk driver kills someone, and no one should blame a good dog ruined by the hands of dim-witted people.

posted by Sandy at 10/04/2007 09:49:00 AM


Blogger pearcehart said...

I agree with what you said. Bravo!

Friday, October 05, 2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Great great aritcle Sandy! If only people were more aware of all that and the few that don't believe it would come around. There are people who will argue till the cows come home taht some breeds of dogs are mean no matter what. I'd like to punch them but what can you do?
I sure hope precious sweet Seven gets a home soon! That is terrible they didn't let her be adopted before, why not?

Saturday, October 06, 2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger k9rescue said...

Hey, Pam... "red tape" typical of the military... that's why Seven is just NOW ready for adoption. :(

Saturday, October 06, 2007 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger k9rescue said...

Hey, Pam... "red tape" typical of the military... that's why Seven is just NOW ready for adoption. :(

Saturday, October 06, 2007 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

The sad thing is that more breeds are being added to the aggressive breed list, Saints and Mastiffs are among them. When we got our home owners insurance, we were questioned about our dogs, but more so about Stella. They told me that St's are becoming aggressive dogs. This is a breed that has always been known as a "Gental Giant". That being said, b/c of the way she was treated before she came to live with us, Stella is leary of dark haired men in ball caps. Over the years she has much better with strange men, but will still give them a wide birth. She also takes her cue from me. If I act tense around a man, then she puts her self between us and has on occasion growled or barked, she has NEVER bit anyone or anything!

Our Copper was a Pit and Lab mix and was the most gental dog we have ever had. He was around when I did home daycare and he loved all my kiddo's. He favorite thing was to play tug-of-war on the kitchen floor and slide the kids around. It was the funniest thing to watch. But b/c he was a Pit mix and knowing how uneducated people react towards the Pit breed, I always told people that he was a Lab mix and left out the Pit part.

We are having a family issue right now with the Foreman's brother who, in my opinion is a total waste of human space. He is breeding Pits just for the money he makes off the puppies. He also deals drugs and doesn't care who buys his dogs as long as they pay top dollar. He would rather do this than get a job. What makes this even worse is that he does this to support his 5 month old son. The Foreman won't let me call animal control or Child Services b/c he's afraid of what will happen to his nephew. We have argued about this for weeks now. I have asked what would be worse, having your nephew taken into protective custody or having him killed? He understands where I'm coming from, but it doesn't make it any easier on him. He also worries about his mother who is in the first stages of Alzeihmers and watches his nephew during the day. The baby seems to keep his mother going. I think at this point, I'm going to wait for things to calm down some, than make a few calls and not say anything. I hate lying to him, but I think it's going to be necessary.

Sandy, I wish everyone could read your article or would take the time to research the breed before jumping to conclusions.

Saturday, October 06, 2007 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

Adrienne... I am so sorry you are going through this! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Saturday, October 06, 2007 8:56:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Adrienne, I don't blame you one bit. I'd do the same thing. You are right and he is wrong and that's all there is too it.

Sunday, October 07, 2007 9:40:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Adrienne, I am sure the Foreman feels like a rock in a hard place here but you must do something to get that innocent child out of this ugly situation! If he is raising these dogs for money in a drug world, we all know what is going to happen to these beautiful dogs. It is best you put a stop to this before something worse happens to all involved. Brother has chosen his life but the child and the animals deserve a better life then this… Drop a call to the right person to get the ball rolling. Good luck and my God be with you on this one!

Monday, October 08, 2007 3:05:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

A FRIEND OF MINE JUST APPLIED TO ADOPT SEVEN!!!! I'll let you guys know if I find out anything else.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

That is great Brett!!! Do keep us posted and we will need pictures of baby in new home too...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007 7:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

GREAT! I hope it works out. Please let us know. Email me and I'll post the story if it turns out well!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger B said...

Well, Seven turned out to be too big for my friend. She loves all dogs, but her landlord will only let her have a dog within a cetain size, and Seven was larger than she thought. But on a positive note,they have adopted a little dog named Winston. Her daughter found him at a shelter in Knoxville. So at least there is some happiness to the end of this story.

Friday, October 12, 2007 7:39:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Poor Seven... Sniff sniff. Maybe someone will find Seven soon! Am happy that Winston found a home though!

Friday, October 12, 2007 10:26:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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