On Wednesday, just two days after a 59-year-old woman was attacked by two pit pulls, the St. Paul City Council passed an ordinance designed to target the "bad owners" behind dog attacks. Click here to read the article in the Pioneer Press.
According to the Pioneer Press, "under the measure, owners who have a dog taken away because of abuse or neglect more than once in five years would lose the right to own a dog." However, one council member wants to take the measure even further by calling for changes in state law which would prohibit entire breeds of dogs, specifically pit pulls.
Please take the time to write a letter to the St. Paul City Council thanking them for their wise decision to punish bad and neglectful dog owners. Please include in your letter a reminder that dog bites are not breed specific and that blaming pit bulls is not the answer to this problem. (A dog's breed does not guarantee any specific temperament, appearance, or behavior - even if the dog is purebred. Each and every dog is an individual, a product of genetics and environment - both of which are strongly influenced by owners and breeders. Your dog is what you make of it. It is every dog owner's duty to raise, train, and manage their dog appropriately. Dog ownership is a privilege and a responsibility that must be taken seriously. This is especially true for pit bulls, whose current sorry situation is the result of gross human incompetence and ignorance, both at the hands of bad owners and among the general public. Click here for more information).
A few points about pit pulls that you may want include in your letter(s):
1. Pit bulls do not have locking jaws
2. Pit bulls are NOT genetically bred to kill people! From the very beginning, pit bulls have been bred to be as human-friendly as possible. Remember "Petey" from the Our Gang (the Little Rascals)? He was a pit bull. Helen Keller also had a pit bull as her canine companion.
3. Pit bulls have excelled in many working-dog sports such as agility, search-and-rescue, obedience, therapy, and more! They also very loving, loyal, gentle, and attentive, making them ideal pet dogs.
4. Pit bulls are NOT always aggressive. It is the OWNER that ultimately decides how his or her dog will act in certain situations. Pit bulls are naturally very friendly towards strangers, but they will become aggressive if their owner teaches them or forces them to be that way.
5. Pit bulls CAN be trained. The pit bulldog is a highly trainable breed. They are intelligent, obedient dogs. They love to please their owner. They are very pack-oriented and do very well under knowledgable, fair leadership. When properly trained and socialized from a young age, the pet pit bull will accept their owner's leadership without challenge or question.
6. Pit bulls are just as predictable as any other dog. Most people who say that a dog is "unpredictable" simply don't understand dogs. They believe the stories of people who were "just petting the dog, and suddenly it went crazy and bit me!" In the overwhelming majority of these cases, the victim simply doesn't understand or has missed canine warning signs. Truly "unpredictable" dogs are very rare.
Ask the St. Paul City Council to do the ethical thing and punish the owners, who by neglect or outright cruelty, are directly responsible for those dogs that turn on people. Remind them that the media is often one-sided on this issue, gunning for headlines and sales, not for the real facts about dog bites. Click here to read positive and amazing stories about pit bulls!
To contact the St. Paul City Council, click here.
Thank you for all you do for animals!