Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heavy Topics

The Three Musketeers: Spuds laying parallel to my leg, Shadow sitting up, and Kado...well...being Kado.

(Note: Never wear anything dark around a white dog as his fur will end up all over you and very obvious!! Exhibit A of this below)



This is how I like to see dogs. This is one reason I love them. They are humans' companions, content to do whatever it is that you're content to do. This is a happy picture, a positive way to see dogs.

I don't think Pitbulls can be classified as dangerous simply because of being born, and hope one day every shelter will think the same.

Some shelters near the area where I live will not adopt out Pitbulls. I will say shelters who won't adopt out Pitbulls around here sometimes allow rescue groups to take them, sometimes. I don't like entering shelters like this because every time I've been there, there have been several Pitbulls there, all looking at me with that helpless look in their eyes, waiting to be saved. I once decided to ask if I could walk one, not to adopt her, but simply to give her human interaction and some fun time outside. I walk to the man at the desk and give him the number of the cage with the dog I'd like to walk. He grabs a leash and I follow him to the cage. As he rounds the corner and sees the dog, he says "Ohh noo. She can't come out. She's great with humans but doesn't like dogs. Typical Pitbull," he muttered as he walked away. This dog was euthanized for being a dog. Not a Pitbull, but a dog. Countless dogs, regardless of breed, don't get along with other dogs, just as not all humans get along. I decided I could still give her attention even if she had to stay in the cage. As I crouched near the door of the cage, she stayed curled up in the back corner, her head down but tail fluttering as if not sure whether or not she can trust me. After a few seconds she stands up, her butt and tail wiggling and her head down in a submissive manner. She wiggles up to the front where I am and just stands there, excited and scared at the same time. I put my hand up to her, not through the cage. She sniffs it and her tail wags even faster, and she begins to whine. As I scratch her head through the bars and give her extra treats I notice that it looks like she has recently had a litter of pups. Did someone simply use her for puppies and then abandon her to die here? I can't stand to be in a place that would kill this sweet scared dog because of it's breed, and I leave.

This story came to mind because just minutes ago I was watching the news and they reported a dog bite. The dog was reported as a "Pitbull X Mastiff" mix. Why does it matter what kind of dog it was? If this dog didn't look like a Pitbull (which is usually what reporters go by, looks, so if the dog is Brindle or big with a boxy head or a mutt that resembles something like a pitbull, they more often than not say pitbull whether or not it ends up being a Bull dog or Presa Canario or Mastiff or Boxer or Lab mix or Heinz 51 mutt). Why is it so important that we know the breed when what really matters is who owns this dog? Where are the ownes? Did they train it to be mean to others? Are they mistreating the dog to induce aggression or fear? Have they taken adequate care and ensured food and water? Has the dog been loose for days and famished? Are there any patterns to show that whatever breed this dog was is more often looked at as a guard dog and therefore more often bought and misused for the wrong reasons?

I have a feed on my blog page for KC Dog Blog. Check it out- He shows countless stories of dog attacks on the news falsly reporting that a Pitbull was the breed of dog that attacked, among other very good information.
News stations sometimes end up correcting their report, but usually on their website where the majority of people who heard the original report will never know the truth. There are news reports of Pitbulls "running up to a camera guy and then running away" without ever doing anything to anyone. Why is that worth reporting? The media knows what sells, and they use the "Pitbull" angle to their advantage. While I understand it's their mode of business, this is really causing an unfair outcome in the minds of so many people. So many peoples' opinions are made based un innacurate or worthless news stories. Why can't our news look at the real problem, the questions posed above? More and more dogs will just continue to die only for looking a certain way if accurate information and helpful laws are not passed.

I've just been reading so many stories with "heavy topics" lately that I feel like I can't read anymore of them. Sometimes I just have to take a few days and not read anymore stories of dogs being abused or falsy reported, etc. Sometimes, I just need to read something light and fun. It creates a balance for all the devastating stories out there. That's where all of you come in. Thanks to all the blogs I read who are able to brighten my day and make me laugh :) And thank you to all the blogs and websites who are willing to report the devastating stories that need to be heard and seen in order to make a difference.

7 comments:

  1. Awww! That story breaks my heart! Those poor dogs have such bad reputations that people don't even give them a chance. Keep up the good advocacy work!

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  2. Pit Bulls ARE genetically predisposted to dog aggression more than some other breeds, but that is only through the stupidity of humans. So, for anytone to euthanize a dog for being dog-aggro is punishing the breed for what humans have ultimately created.

    I did a tremendous Statistics project not that long ago basically disproving that Pit Bulls are more prone to dog attacks than any other breed. Honestly, breed misidentification is such a huge problem.. and I can attest to it, because in my own private poll of 70-80ish individuals, only a handful were able to successfully identify the American Pit Bull Terrier out of a picture line-up of twenty dogs. It is scary and downright unfair that no one knows who these dogs really are.

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  3. Sam: I'm glad there are people like you out there!

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  4. I try, I try. :) I will try to make a blog post about it soon, I think it would make for an interesting read for people like you who are actively involved in the breed.

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  5. Yea, I'd love to read what research you've done. Always interesting to me!

    About the dog in my post: While the guy at the shelter said she doesnt get along with other dogs I sometimes wonder how they know that for sure because they don't bring Pits out of their cage around other dogs at this one, and it's a shelter atmosphere so many dogs act different in a shelter circumstance. I wish I wouldve asked him what he based his statement on considering his behavior suggested he didnt particularly like the breed. He did say whenever dogs walk by her cage she barks at them but other people were walking dogs past when I was there and she didnt even look at them. It's just an interesting topic to research and investigate, especially if you have a passion for either research or animals :)

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  6. Wonderful post. We adopted last month and there were more pits than any other dog there. I wish the media would concentrate more on the owners... Did you hear the Humane Society has a new hotline for reporting dog fighting activity?

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  7. I didn't hear about that, thanks for sharing :)

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