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Letter on pit bulls

August 12th, 2005, 05:38 PM
Pit bulls the bullied ones

The ease with which many communities in North America have been whipped into a frenzy over pit bulls is frightening, and it's equally upsetting to read a letter ["Pit bulls still bullies," Aug. 4] accusing someone of losing perspective when they're one of a small minority that has bothered to educate themselves on pit bull-type breeds.

Pit bulls undeniably have a fighting history, but to believe that "the common conception of pit bulls as aggressive and dangerous... is no stereotype," is to out yourself as having bought into a hysterical mythology that is currently being directed at pit bull-type dogs, but has in the past been applied to German shepherds, Great Danes, Rottweilers and mastiffs.

It is telling to look at what is excluded from media reports of dog attacks, such as the fact that overwhelmingly the dogs involved in fatal attacks are un-neutered males, or that 98 per cent of pit bulls pass temperament tests (a test which evaluates a dog's temperament in regards to people in a variety of situations, including those which may cause stress or fear in the dog), versus the 75 per cent average for other breeds. Other relevant, though rarely mentioned information, is that historically the same people who encouraged the trait of dog aggression did not accept any sign of aggression towards humans. As a result, it is widely known to anyone who is familiar with these breeds that they make terrible guard dogs, as they're more likely to stick their tongue up an intruder's nose than stop them from stealing your TV. A few things pit bulls have proven very good at, however, are being search and rescue dogs, highly decorated military dogs or, such as in the case of a pit bull on death row in an Ontario shelter thanks to Michael Bryant's crusade, police dogs.

I find it extremely troubling that because people would rather swallow sensationalistic media representation whole than critically examine what is being fed to them, pit bull owners and their dogs suffer undeserved harassment. Not only by individuals, but also by government bodies which add to, and then seek to calm, pit bull hysteria through ineffective legislation or, as in Denver, Colorado, currently, a call for vigilante justice by City Attorney Korey Nelson.

Pit bulls are strong dogs, and they have been bred in many cases to encourage their ability to participate in horrible blood sports for the amusement of some very misguided humans, but they are also some of the most people-loving and sensitive dogs in the world. They are certainly not the dog for everyone, as they require not only a level of dedication to training, exercise and care that most pet owners are not willing to give, but a very thick skin to be able to put up with a seemingly never-ending attack on these breeds and the people who own them.

Zoe Cousineau

From the Montreal Mirror August 11, 2005

August 12th, 2005, 06:49 PM
I :love: you ZOE!!!!! Who ever you are!!!!!!

August 15th, 2005, 09:20 AM
Wow! Now that the Bryant's hype and lies are a thing of the past, the truth is starting to trickle out, way to go Zoe :thumbs up

August 15th, 2005, 10:10 AM
Great letter - intelligent and well worded.

It never ceases to amaze me how people can stereotype dog breeds. I got into a 30 minute discussion this weekend with a woman whose daughter had been bitten by a pitty. She was convinced that the breed was vicious and no one should be able to own them. It took me about 20 minutes to convince her that the breed isn't evil - although it was terrible that her daughter was bitten. From her description of events, I would say that the dog in question had some serious health issue going on - maybe even a brain tumor or something. I even had to go through the "pitties do not have locking jaws" speech. :(

August 15th, 2005, 10:32 AM
It's good to see publicity like this. It just needs to reach a national level and potentially international, as this is happening all over the world. Such a beautiful and loving animal being singled out because of a few bad owners.

August 16th, 2005, 05:15 PM
Thank you Zoe for being a voice of reason in this crazy world. I don't know how many times I've had people cross the street rather then walk by myself or my pit bull (actually a dogo argentino) Abby. She would probably whip you with her wagging tail before she would hurt a soul. I've been taking her out more often now to try and educate people that they aren't all bad. I figure if they can at least meet one pit bull that isn't vicious it might just change a few minds. :pawprint: