chrism39's Blog

Aug. 25, 2008 at 11:43am

I own pitbulls

In 2002, I bought a puppy from Pets and Pals on N 26th. They said It was half lab and half they didn't know. As our dog grew it became obvious the other half was pitbull.

 I was appalled I could not believe I now owned a dangerous dog. Whenever someone asked me what kind of dog he was I would lie and say I didn't know. All of his great attributes, his friendliness, his patience with our twins, his trainability, his great need to be with and please his people I believed came fro his lab side, but then when he was four we were browsing at pets and pals again and there in the pen was the most adorable puppy in the world. She was yellow and little, none of her litter mates would let her in the pile and she looked exactly like our dog Grover, exactly.

 Well I tried to put her out of my mind, but I could not, I kept going back, asking if anyone was interested. I was told alot of young men had come in asking about her lines, asking if they could see the parents, asking if the parents were big, saying they would be back when they had the $400.00, well that did it. I begged my husband to just look at her. He kept declining saying we were naive enough to buy a half pitbull, we weren't going to buy a full one on purpose, but then he relented.

 My husband was not a dog person until we bought Gertie. I have never witnessed a cat person morph into a dog person and it brought us closer. Low and behold this dog not only looked like Grover but had all the same qualities, trainable, sweet, patient, need to please and an insatiable need to lick. She is the best do I have ever owned. But I am constantly having to defend myself to people and yes I understand why, but I am writing this very long story to implore people to do your research before you condemn the whole breed. The ASPCA has listed pitbulls as having a better temperament than a lab or german shepard. Pitbulls are used as therapy dogs and used to be thought of as a family dog ( the dog in Little Rascal was a pitbull). 53 out of 54 of the Micheal Vick dogs were rehabilitated and are now doing great.

 So if you see someone with a pitbull please don't move away or glare or cross the street because while they are attractive to a lot of bad owners they are not bad dogs. If you currently own a pitbull, please be a responsible owner, this means a secure yard ( they are escape artists), neuter or spay, obedience classes, lots of exercise and the knowledge that you cannot let them off leash or take them to dog parks. I own pitbulls and I'm not ashamed. If there is anyone out there looking for a dog, consider rescuing a pitbull.

comments [50]  |  posted under dogs

Comments

by seejane on 8/25/2008 @ 1:34pm
A friend once had a sweet, well-behaved and very socialized pitbull until one day it herded me into a corner and took my ankle in it's mouth and held me there for about 10 minutes. I laughed it off. The owner got rid of the dog. He felt he couldn't trust it anymore.

by chrism39 on 8/25/2008 @ 3:09pm
There was a little girl at my children's school who was bit badly by a lab, dogs bite, my post was not to suggest that there are no dangerous dogs, it was to ask people to look at the fact that an entire breed is being villified.

by morgan on 8/25/2008 @ 3:19pm
We had a pit bull when I was a kid - got it as a puppy. It was the cutest nicest dog you could want. As it got older though it became less rational and more violent.

After more than a few times of baring its teeth at my siblings and me and one time attacking a friend, we had no choice but to put it down.

Terriers are edgy enough. Anyone who owns a Jack Russell can attest to that. But I don't believe pit bull terriers (and a few other breeds) should be allowed within the city limits. Not so much as what their breed is capable of, but how they seem to be raised, trained and cared for by their owners. More than once in Tacoma parks, I've seen pit bulls and other dogs off-leash and too close to where the kiddies play. It creates fear for the kids and parents. It's an accident waiting to happen.

by NineInchNachos on 8/25/2008 @ 3:37pm
my aunt was a nurse in an ER up in bremerton. She has seen enough pit bull horror stories to give any sane person nightmares.

If you have kids and a pit bull, you're playing with dynamite

by chrism39 on 8/25/2008 @ 5:25pm
I completely agree that pit bulls should not be allowed or taken to dog parks or allowed off leash.

by fredo on 8/25/2008 @ 7:23pm
I read your story and must say, I think you've made a mistake choosing pit bulls for your family pets. If you have children, I would expect that offers of play dates at your house are going to be declined. No one is going to want to tempt fate by placing their kids in harm's way.

As NIN so reasonably stated, you're playing with dynamite.

by jcbetty on 8/25/2008 @ 7:41pm
Chrism here at jcbetty's, I actually let the parents know that we have pit bulls and I give them the option of crating and some parents do choose to have me crate my dogs, but some after meeting my dogs do not. As with all dogs I would never leave children alone with dogs. I'm trying to be an advocate for the breed because they are not the demons they have been made out to be. I am not looking for approval in my choice of dog, I am only trying to get the facts out there.

by ensie on 8/25/2008 @ 9:24pm
Pit bull attacks tend to be disproportionately over-reported by the media (Centers for Disease Control), while other types of dog bites go under-reported. These are the only reports used to compile statistics, and they are skewed. Canadian reports show that where Pit bulls have been banned (Winnipeg and Ontario) other dog breed bites actually INCREASED (maybe it wasn't all Pit bulls doing the biting after all). According to the Dog Bite Law Foundation, "Contrary to stereotype, retrievers, poodles, and other popular breeds are much more likely to bite people than Pit bulls or Rottweilers. They also, as a rule, do less damage."

Demonizing specific dogs breeds has been done for years. It's been done to German Shepherds, Rottweilers, even Great Danes. Depending on the decade, different dogs will take the fall as "dangerous" dogs. In the UK, Staffordshire Terriers are the equivalent to the American Pit Bull. They were known for years as the "nanny dog" because of their gentleness and excellent reputation with children.

Every dog has the capacity to bite. Children should NEVER be left alone with dogs, even those that are reliable family pets that would "never" bite. Kids can do things to animals that may cause "safe" dogs to react in a surprising way. Socialization, good training, and intelligent dog handling are the best way to deal with all dog breeds.

Breed bans won't solve anything. They simple cause people to move the so-called "problem" to other areas and create a culture of fear and hatred. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Tacoma News Tribune some time ago and posted it on my blog regarding this issue. Please feel free to read it.

I am very passionate about this issue, and have taken a significant amount of time to research the real statistics and information surrounding it. While sensationalism is shocking and antecdotes are interesting, the truth is that Pit Bulls can make excellent family pets. I applaud Chrism39 for choosing Pit Bulls as pets.

by chrism39 on 8/25/2008 @ 9:27pm
Thank you Ensie, thanks a lot. They are the best dogs I have ever had and they are a great addition to my family.

by jcbetty on 8/25/2008 @ 9:33pm
jcbetty, now. I think there are a couple of things that come to my mind in this whole "debate."

a story: I had a greyhound, a docile sweet lovely girl. She was perfect with all humans, all the time. Except once, she snapped at a neighbor's kid, because the neighbor's kid was messing with her. It was her way of saying "oy, back off!" and the neighbor's kid learned, and the neighbor was apologetic for letting the kid be crazy with the dog, etc, etc... Flash forward to my kid, a few years later, playing in toddler oblivion, lalalalala, and my sweet puppy snapped because my kid got in her space, basically charging her, in canine eyes.. Greyhound had committed the unforgivable party foul, and went back to the foster agency from whence she came. Sadly, we found out later she'd had advanced bone cancer, and had to be put down. Yeah, we took her to the vet for shots, etc; yeah, she'd had joint problems that were helped, somewhat, by surgery, but we were told post-op that she'd have arthritis, and a limp, and pain, as she got older. No red flags, as she was limping, until that little facial snap. Sadly, part two: our family doc, looking at kid's face, said, nah, that wasn't a mean dog--if a dog means to do harm, there'll be harm done. That was just a warning. It was the oy, quit it.
--so, number one thought, that to which I return frequently: respect dogs. Treat 'em well, always keep a distance, period, teach kids how to do that, too. Because people french-kissing their poodles are just kind of oooogie.

thought/story number two. So we got the replacement dogs. There was dog number one, a Great Hunter (pointer) who got dysplasia early on, killing his sport career. The great white hope trotted along in the form of my birthday present a year or so later, but the (new) spaniel showed a certain laziness and lack of initiative, as far as hunting went. Also, suffering from crippling car sickness, his own issues were less "duck!" more, "I think I'm gonna hurl."

And so we have two hounds a trifle not-so-suitable for house pet-dom; and yet, they're sweet and lovely (even if the pointer does have a certain meth-addict-like energy) and have been great family additions.

And then, recently, Territory Wars. The spaniel wanted to share my bed, the mate disagreed. The mate dragged said dog from bed, dog snapped. Mate nearly sent the dog Away, I averted the disaster somehow. But more recently, both dogs want territory, whether it's couch, bed, or back yard to bark at alley strangers. My dogs are becoming weird, not like the sweet docile, social, happy smiley beasts I thought they were. They snarl, they fight, their hackles raise. Alarmingly, this can happen with pointer in my bed if the kid so much as fidgety-twitches in the night.

Solution? Crates. I crate the pups when friends come over, I crate the pups at night. The crates are their caves, they go to them happily, they stay in quite happily (provided they're not mucked with.)

Point (points) is (are) --dogs aren't human, they can't articulate things like, "my breeding is such, mummy, that it predisposes me toward certain irrational thought processes. Whilst I love you, I cannot help my sometimes odd outbursts; please forgive me, in advance, for transgressions." --Hell, most humans can't articulate that sort of explanation for irrational behavior. --they are canines, and need to be taught respect and the humans around them need to be taught rules of etiquette and respect.
Having met the Gert and the Grover, I can attest that they're sweet, lovely pups. And while I have some trepidation about their breed, I also think, hell, I have trepidation about my own dogs as they go through some kind of weird poochie adolescence--who know what'll happen as they advance toward their dotage? I've observed that chrism is the respectful kind of dog owner who always keeps her dogs leashed or indoors/fenced, who warns unleashed dog owners that they should leash their dogs well in advance of altercation distance, and who understands the limitations of humans around her and her dogs, and makes adjustments to try to create the best situations.


I think, whether we play with gerbils, dogs, butterflies, or babies, we are playing with dynamite. We need to be aware, think in advance of nibbles/bites/bloody hatchings/ poopfests, and we need to make the best of what we've got. Mostly, we'll find, what we've got is pretty good.

(gah, what me???? Optimistic???????)

by NineInchNachos on 8/25/2008 @ 10:01pm
instead of reconstructive surgery, we can send victims of pit bull attacks a link to this thread.

by jcbetty on 8/25/2008 @ 10:25pm
or, victims of lab/spaniel/pointer/greyhound attacks?

And I'm not meaning to minimize any person's experience of attack, here; I think there's volatility in pretty much ...hell, anything in life. You can break your neck and die riding a horse, you can get into a crash and die driving a car, you can fall out of an airplane with a perfectly good parachute and die. Or get mutilated, sans death. there's a certain calculated risk element in waking up in the morning, in having life enhancements like pets. We all do crazy crap, and we all weigh our risks. I think it's just, generally, a good idea not to judge others on the risks they take, even when I'm not taking the same risks.

by chrism39 on 8/25/2008 @ 10:56pm
The dog who mauled the woman in France so bad she had to have a face transplant ( remember her) was a lab.

by NineInchNachos on 8/25/2008 @ 11:11pm
we have had low income renters who use pit bulls as cheap security systems on our street.

nothing makes you wanna start packing a .44 magnum than a few sour experiences with a neglected pit bull (with puppies).

by kathy on 8/26/2008 @ 12:11am
"Is this breed good with other dogs in general?
The short answer is no. Developed for the purpose of fighting other dogs, most pit bulls are dog aggressive, at least to some degree."

In my opinion (and experience) this is a huge understatement. This quote was found on a "rescue every dog" site, not one that is "against" pit bulls in any way...simply explaining the breed.

I think you should consider this when touting their virtues. It is in their nature to be dog aggressive. That is what they were bred for.

I could list the "horror stories" I have personally encountered concerning pit-bulls. From the dog that destroyed my lab's leg many years ago, to the neighbor's dog who was so badly mauled he nearly had to be put down (and never fully recovered emotionally), to my neighbor who was severly injured in the groin by a pit bull. I have no love for the breed.

As the owner of two large dogs, I had to stop walking them on leash in Tacoma neighborhoods due to several attacks by pit-bulls and pit-bull mix dogs.
Fearing for your dog's life while taking him for a walk is not fun.

Sure, all dogs have the possibility of biting if provoked. but I have never witnessed the incredible ferocity, unprovoked attack and complete no-backing-off kind of attack in any other breed but pit bulls. After witnessing these attacks first hand I can tell you it is a terrifying experience, and one you don't soon forget.

I am glad that you are a responsible pet owner chrism39. Don't let your guard down, ever. These dogs are unpredictable and dangerous. I hope that is never your experience.

by chrism39 on 8/26/2008 @ 12:30am
It says in all breed info that pit bulls are a poor security system, pit bulls are not people aggressive, they can be dog aggressive and as an owner you should take precautions ( have dog on pinch or gentle lead, NOTgo to dog parks, and have your dog have the best manners) As for off leash dogs, there are all different breeds off leash menaces.

by Courtney on 8/26/2008 @ 7:32am
My husband and I use to own a foundling pit bull. She was the sweetest, most gentle, neurotic dog ever. The day after we found out I was pregnant I took her for a walk and she bit a runner. No rhyme or reason. By the time our son was born we had found her a wonderful new home.

Also, as a mother of two smaller children I am always surprised and dismayed when I see someone bring a pit bull or other large dog to a children's playground. Especially when that someone is an 80 lb 10 year old.


by fredo on 8/26/2008 @ 8:39am
jc@comparing the danger posed by pit bulls to the danger posed by butterflies is a bit of a stretch for me.

by jcbetty on 8/26/2008 @ 8:59am
@fredo-- In point of fact, I don't believe I said "oh my gosh, butterflies can rip you apart, just like pit bills" -- I was trying to be make a subtle point about the volatility of all life situations, and had you looked at the post following that one, perhaps that connection might have been clearer?
@courtney, kathy, and rr-- I've seen some pretty crazy stuff (and been pretty terrified) with pits, but also with other dogs (there's nothing like being charged at by two yipping, frantic things while running!) --but in general I would have to point to idiot owners rather than "bad dogs" in most of the scary situations I've witnessed/been a part of, though. --Specifically a few bad owner things: 1. letting the dogs off leash, or letting someone handle the dog who's unable to do so, effectively, 2. Having dogs that have never gone through any training, and 3. irresponsible breeding practices (ie, accidentally pregnancy, etc et al.)

by fredo on 8/26/2008 @ 9:08am
JC@ A previous posting claimed that owning pit bulls was playing with dynamite. Your posting claimed that playing with butterflies...was like playing with dynamite. Maybe you meant "vegamite."

by jcbetty on 8/26/2008 @ 9:18am
f: I am aware of what I said, with respect to whom, and of my intent (as I said it with a sort of spirit of levity-- hence, baby poo and gerbils were also included) --and, er, no, actually I don't advocate playing with vegemite. That stuff is dangerous. Unless used for artistic purposes.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_HPvAhnG_w

by scout on 8/26/2008 @ 11:40am
somebody put up the Lemon Jelly video....

I'm singing while flying "All the Ducks Are Swimming in the Water"

by chrism39 on 8/26/2008 @ 12:41pm
I am confused about what scout means.

by tacomachickadee on 8/26/2008 @ 12:47pm
Scout is referring to my last night blog post. You can find the video there. tacomachickadee.blogspot.com/2008/08/vid...

I'm guessing she's trying to interject some happy silliness into this discussion. That's all.

Happy Tuesday.

by fredo on 8/26/2008 @ 1:42pm
Pit bulls can make "excellent family pets" according to a previous posting. The problem is that they can transition from excellent pet to vicious aggressor without warning and the results are often tragic. I applaud Chris's courage to post her story, however I expect an event someday will cause her to reconsider her decision to choose pit bulls. Good luck, Chris.

by scout on 8/26/2008 @ 2:42pm
Thanks tacomachickadee - Happy silliness rulz

by chrism39 on 8/26/2008 @ 3:42pm
Fredo You have a good point and I hope that my dogs never transform from sweet pets to aggressive monsters. Many of the dogs who do this are not spayed or neutered, so it seems like you have a nice pet and then once they reach maturity, they become aggressive.

by ensie on 8/26/2008 @ 7:05pm
@ Fredo - As I stated earlier, all dogs have the potential to bite. Pit Bulls are no more likely than any other dogs to do so. Both the ASPCA (as stated above) and several other reliable sites have statistics available stating this fact.

Tacoma has a number of people who keep Pit Bulls and tend not to provide adequate training for them, like so many urban areas across the United States. Often, the dogs are encouraged to be aggressive and have no idea what to expect from people, which causes the uncertainty that leads to aggressiveness. Dogs roaming in packs also leads to problems.

Most of these issues have to do with PROBLEM OWNERS, not PROBLEM DOGS. If people would be responsible from the beginning; spaying and neutering their animals to prevent excessive, unwanted puppies, training their dogs to be well behaved around people and other animals, and keeping their dogs secured (either in crates - which jcbetty and I both use) or at least indoors, which is the best thing for a family dog.

@ Kathy - Please note that all Terriers are bred to fight, not just Pit Bulls. They were bred to be tenacious hunters and never give up. If you lump Pit Bulls into that category, you must also lump Jack Russells, Bull Terriers, Schnauzers, Westies, Fox Terriers, and many others into the same. Hunting competitions still exist for many of these breeds.

by kathy on 8/26/2008 @ 7:43pm
Hi Ensie,
While I do see your point...
Jack Russells were bred to hunt foxes,
Bull Terriers originally were bred for bull-baiting, bear-baiting and dog fighting. Based on that, yes, I might lump them in with pit bulls.
Schnauzers? Small rodents...mainly rats.
Fox terriers...well I guess foxes, right?

Pit bulls were bred for dog fighting. Couple that with inbreeding (due to demand) and the whole "bully-dog" mentality and you have some dangerous animals...especially if you are another dog!

All I'm saying is that these dogs have the potential, in-bred tendancy and physical ability to do real harm to other dogs. It is so sad really, as I know that they also have the capacity for great love of people. (It breaks my heart really)

OK...this from a pit bull rescue site:
Pit bull type dogs are wonderful, loving, and very loyal companions. It is important however, to understand the breed's nature, to provide a structured environment, and to establish a positive leadership role. In order to do so, pit bull owners must understand the original purpose of the breed, and respect its limits and potential.

The Breed's Original Purpose
Humans have created specialized dogs through emphasizing desired traits and eliminating unwanted ones. It is no different with the pit bull type dogs. The American Pit Bull Terrier has been "selectively" bred for hundreds of years to fight other dogs. This is the sad "work" these dogs were created for. In the same way that Labradors were bred to retrieve birds, APBTs were bred to face other dogs in mortal combat. Even in dogs that are not recently bred from fighting lines, the urge to fight can arise at any time. Not to strongly emphasize this fact would be negligent.

That said, we can't blame specialized breeds for behaving as they were bred to. Specific traits were bred into the dogs and are now part of the breed's character. It's like the digging instinct of many Terriers, the herding behavior in Shelties, the compulsion to run in Greyhounds, etc. Your Pointer may have never spent a day on a real hunt, but he may still point and flush birds as his ancestors did.

It's a mistake to think that the fighting gene can be trained or loved out of a dog, or that early socialization will guarantee your pit bull will always get along with other animals. There are precautions to take when owning pit bulls, especially in a multiple-dog environment. Unfortunately these precautions are often viewed as acceptance for the sport of pit-fighting when nothing could be further from the truth. Knowing how to avoid a fight, as well as how to break it up if, despite all efforts one strikes, is proof of smart and responsible pit bull ownership.

Never trust a pit bull not to fight...
It is not a hate of other dogs that causes pit bulls to fight, but rather an "urge" to do so that has been bred into the dogs for many generations. Pit bulls may fight over hierarchic status, but external stimulus or excitement can also trigger a fight. Remember that any canine can fight, but pit bulls were bred specifically for their drive, intensity, and determination to win.

Pit bull owners must be aware of the remarkable fighting abilities these dogs posses and always keep in mind that pit bulls have the potential to inflict serious injury to other animals. A pit bull may not even be the one starting a conflict, but he has the genetics to finish it. Remember that pit bulls are almost always blamed no matter who initiated the hostilities, and often end up paying the price...as does the owner!

That said, some pit bulls get along great with other pets and may live happily with other dogs without incident. We just can't assume that this is true for all of them, or take for granted that pit bulls getting along with other pets today will do so tomorrow. Pit bull owners must have common sense and make sure they don't set their dogs up for failure by putting them in inappropriate situations.

Every negative incident involving a pit bull adds to their reputation and jeopardizes our right to own these great dogs. Keep your pit bull out of trouble!

Please remember that animal-aggression and people-aggression are two distinct traits and should never be confused. Unless they have been very poorly bred and/or specifically "trained" to attack humans (often by undesirable individuals through abusive methods), pit bulls are, by nature, very good with people. They are, in fact, one of the most loving, loyal, friendly and dedicated companions one can have.

Sorry to get all long-winded on ya...but this is a hot topic for me. Perhaps if you had watched a pit bull tearing up another dog (and your kids had witnessed it too) and had seen people getting hurt in a nearly futile attempt to stop them, you would feel as I do. Honestly, they scare me...and I have two 100 plus pound dogs.

I truly wish you the best chrism.

by chrism39 on 8/26/2008 @ 8:25pm
I completely agree that owners should keep their pit bulls out of inappropriate situations. I do not take my dogs to dog parks, I do not let them off leash, I use pinch collars, and after a scary incident in the gultch ( it was my dogs fault) I no longer walk them together. But many owners do not take all these precautions and that is where all the problems arise.

by ensie on 8/26/2008 @ 8:45pm
Kathy,

I think we're arguing the same thing. My point is, I don't trust ANY dogs not to behave like dogs. Any dogs can behave like you say a Pit Bull will behave, and I assume it will.

I appreciate what you have to say, but please check out the CDC's information I linked to above. These are real statistics that aren't skewed by one side or another.

I've seen a few dog fights in my time, and only one involved a pure-bred Pit Bull. I've also witnessed a significant number of other breeds get into it (having spent a lot of time at the dog park). What's interesting is that people only ever seem to "clearly" remember when it's a Pit Bull involved. That points to the issue of "over-reporting" of Pit Bull incidents.

BTW -

The terriers I mentioned above actually have a reputation for being difficult to train and having stubborn personalities. They can make great dogs, but are NOT recommended as family dogs due to their tendency to snap at kids.

The best thing to do, as has been repeated by multiple folks above - do your research, train your dog, and always supervise your kids and dogs.

by fredo on 8/26/2008 @ 8:51pm
The notion about "supervising" a pit bull is a bit far fetched. Pit bulls are lightning fast and powerful beyond belief. By the time the owner gets up out of her chair to control the dog, the damage has already been done. Other breeds may be just as bad but in the public perception PBs are public enemy number 1.

by ensie on 8/26/2008 @ 9:46pm
Fredo, stop trying to get the last word and just let it go. Lots of dogs are strong and fast, and all of them have teeth and claws. The point is that one shouldn't leave their children unsupervised with dogs, as animals can always be unpredictable; that's just common sense. Stop trying to make Pit Bulls enemy number one. It's people like you that are doing the damage.

by scout on 8/26/2008 @ 9:49pm
Don't MAKE me get out the Lemon Jelly video again

by kathy on 8/26/2008 @ 10:57pm
Ensie...
We are NOT arguing the same point.
The CDC report deals strictly with dog's biting people. I am talking about dogs attacking dogs.

Not every dog will behave like a pit bull.
Pit bulls are BRED to be dog agressive (and heaven help anything that gets in the way.)

I don't like 'em, I don't trust 'em and I think they are hella dangerous.

I have had dogs my whole life. Sure I've broken up dog fights between other breeds...but I have never witnessed ferocity like that of a pit bull on another dog.
They cripple them and then go for the throat. They are just wired wrong...bred to fight, bad tendancies encouraged through selective breeding.

I am glad the humane society will not adopt out stray pit bulls.

They are dangerous and a liability.

by fredo on 8/27/2008 @ 9:15am
Ensie@ It's not my intention to "have the last word". Nevertheless your easily rebuttable and frequently absurd positions invite comment. If you don't want people to comment on your postings, then stop posting.

by chrism39 on 8/27/2008 @ 9:40am
Ensie's positions are not easily rebuttable. Her positions are being backed by credible sources such as the ASPCA and the CDC, are they also absurd and rebuttable. You have a strong opinion about pit bulls, a strong opinion that is fueled by the media, public opinion and a smidge of ignorance. Ensie on the other hand is coming with facts, facts that I was to lazy to look up. If you don't like the breed then don't get one, but don't assume that your opinions are enough to refute her actual facts.

by ensie on 8/27/2008 @ 5:54pm
@ Kathy - OK, we're obviously NOT talking about the same things. My mistake.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that the Humane Society doesn't adopt out Pit Bulls. The Humane Society of the United States is against Breed Bans (link provides research showing that Pit Bulls are NOT more likely than any other dog to bite) and has information on it's website encouraging people not to bypass Pit Bulls in shelters just because of their breed. Each individual humane society operates with their own bylaws, depending on who controls the organization locally. Most - if not all - use temperament tests on both owner-surrendered and stray dogs (both Pit Bulls and others) to make the decision to adopt. A lot of humane societies work with breed rescue organizations that can foster dogs in homes as it is better for the dogs and raises their chances of being adopted instead of euthanized.

Thanks Chrism39!

@Fredo - I haven't seen you refute any of my facts with anything but your own ignorant opinion. When you have some real information and aren't just using scare tactics I'll welcome you back to the conversation.

by kathy on 8/27/2008 @ 8:06pm
@ Ensie

I should have clarified...
Last time I was in there, The Pierce County Humane Society would not adopt out pit bulls. They may have changed their policy since.

by fredo on 8/27/2008 @ 8:53pm
I would prefer to read the expressions of people's opinions, ignorant or otherwise, to the pontifications of a self-appointed expert.

For the record, I did call a veterinarian this afternoon to ask about pit bulls. She told me that they make pretty good family pets. She cautioned about taking this breed into crowds of people or anywhere other dogs were likely to be present. Furthermore, she stated that the breed was not especially prone to bite compared to other breeds, just that the damages occasioned by any such bite were likely to be much more severe.

I guess what the discussion boils down to is this: With so many appropriate and comparatively benign choices available for a family pet...why on earth would anybody choose the problematic pit bull?

by chrism39 on 8/27/2008 @ 10:11pm
Because they are wonderful dogs. They are highly trainable, althletic ( my dog can run further than many other breeds) and they are smart and sweet. When I saw a woman walking down the street today carrying her pomerainan in a front pack I could not for the life of me think of why she would want that dog, but hey different strokes for different strokes.
I am sick of this discussion, as I bet are many others. I just wanted to bring awareness to an issue I feel strongly about, I feel I have done that and now I am done.

by ensie on 8/28/2008 @ 1:22am
@ Fredo - You're an idiot. There's an opinion for you.

The statements I've made show both my opinion and the facts to back up my statements; something you've been unable to provide. I've never called myself an expert on this topic, but I have done considerable research, as I am the owner of two Pit Bull mixes, as well as a third dog (a Husky/Lab mix).

by Twisty on 8/28/2008 @ 6:15am
I think the strongest statement that needs to be made about pitbulls has already been made by insurance companies. Many are refusing to cover people who own pitbulls. Need an informed opinion? There you have it.

by fredo on 8/28/2008 @ 9:27am
Thanks for admitting what most readers surmised from your postings, Ensie-you're a pit bull owner. I guess we can dispose of any claim of objectivity right there.

Twisty@Good point. Pretty soon one of the pit bull supporters is going to put up a link to an insurance company that loves pit bull owners. Count on it.

by ensie on 8/28/2008 @ 6:02pm
@ Fredo - Make up your mind! First you say you want opinions, then you bash me for having them. Which is it? The fact that I am a Pit Bull owner makes me familiar with the breed. Something you cannot claim to be. The only sources you have a second-hand stories and scare tactics.

You claim all my arguments are easy to rebut and refute, yet the only professional source you found, a veterinarian, backed up all of MY claims. I found objective, professional sites and sources to back my opinions.

You're a cranky old man, set in your ways with not much to do but troll around online. I'm sure I'll see another comment from you, because you cannot stand to see someone have the last word. Nor can you take a moment to look at the fact that these are living, breathing animals that don't deserve to be destroyed just because of a bad rap. I wish you'd take a minute to read the links I posted above instead of just brushing by and yelling at everyone.

You might just learn something.

by morgan on 9/8/2008 @ 10:56pm
Labs don't do this:

Deputies kill 2 pit bulls mauling woman in SeaTac

"King County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed two pit bull dogs that were mauling a woman in SeaTac.
The sheriff’s office says the woman was still being mauled in a driveway today when a deputy arrived and quickly pulled his gun. The other dog had run off but was shot by another deputy.

The woman in her 70s was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in serious condition with bite wounds from her legs to her head.

The attack happened several blocks from where the dogs lived. Animal control officers talked to the owner and confiscated two other pit bulls from the home."


Again, the pit bulls are just doing what pit bulls do. It's the owners that should be held accountable. Until then, pit bulls should be banned.

by NineInchNachos on 9/8/2008 @ 11:08pm
Dear Elderly friends,
any time is a good time to start shopping for a sword cane...



sword-canes.com/

by fredo on 9/11/2008 @ 1:14pm
Morgan@ Agreed! I'm sure the owners of the pits had the best of intentions when they adopted these animals and the TV news called them "family pet pit bulls." In retrospect, the possession of these pets was a reckless decision. Seattle Animal shelter made a rather grim acknowledgement. Only 4 % of the licensed dogs in Seattle are pits, but they account for 22% of the reported dog bits. This would define pit bulls as a breed whose problems are disproportional to its distribution. Just the opinion of an idiotic feedtacoma blogger.

by fredo on 9/17/2008 @ 1:13pm
The hits just keep coming. A 7 year old boy from Moses Lake had to be airlifted to Harborview so that surgeons could try to salvage his face. The attacker? A 135 lb. pit bull who forced his way into the boy's yard. I'll bet the little boy would be comforted to know about the ASPCA position in support of pit bull ownership.

by chrism39 on 9/17/2008 @ 5:35pm
Would you please let this go, the debate is over. By the way a normal pit bull ways between 50 and 70 lbs. Many dogs are mistaken for pit bulls when they are in fact another type of dog. But thats not even the point now, the point is I posted my something about my life that I felt like sharing, but what would you like me to do? Give up my dogs, support breed legislation that has been shown not to work? Or do you just enjoy beating a dead horse. Do you have fun making the same point again and again. I get it Fredo, you do not like pit bulls guess what don't own one and for God's sake let it go.

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