Thursday, August 18, 2005

Another (almost) instance of ignorance.....

Here locally in Battle Creek, MI they are trying to pass a law that will require handlers of Pit bull breeds and mixes to be at least 18 years of age, on 3 foot leads and muzzled in public.

Now, don't get me wrong... I'm all for the basis of it and glad that they are not yet trying to pass BSL that destroys dogs or prohibits ownership. BUT, their BIG story to back this whole plan up is one of hype and hysteria. A boy was bitten by a pit bull in a friend's back yard. And that story has spawned the local laws to go up for a vote.

Even if the laws they want to pass were in effect back then, he STILL would have been bitten. This was not an attack that happened in public. It was in a private setting where the dog would NOT have been required to be muzzled.

Why punish the public for what happened and wouldn't have been avoided by the law being in effect? They are using something that the people find Scary to get backing for the law. Why not just be honest? The laws will not stop people from getting bit by dogs. Not even by pit bulls. It just gives people a false sense of security. Target dogs that have shown aggression and cannot pass fair and thourough aggression tests. Prohibit the conditions that lead to mentally unstable dogs. Apply these laws to ALL breeds, and you will see a reduction in dog bites.

I am not for certain, but by the footage shown, it appears that the dog was a junkyard style dog. Chained it's whole life on a logging chain. If this is the case, as it is in many dog bite cases, it could have been avoided by creating laws that require people to keep animals like dogs as PETS and family members as oppossed to livestock conditions where they are often ignored, neglected and abused and taunted by passer-bys.

The worst thing is that when they pass this law, and they realize that it really accomplishes NOTHING... they will seek to take the next step in the wrong direction.

Pick your battles carefully people. You only better the world thru intelligent, well-planned, fair & conscientious effort.

Pit bulls are NOT for everyone, hell, they're not even for most anyone.... but no more so than Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Greyhounds, Mexican Hairlesses, Beagles or Teacup Poodles. Every breed has specifications and care concerns that an owner MUST be knowledgable about before adopting. People really need to take a lot of time and consideration before getting a dog. They are not all the same. And because people vary so vastly in lifestyle and personality, there is no such thing as a worthless breed. Every breed has something to offer and something to be aware of.

My child has just as good a chance, if not better because the media teaches us that only certain breeds bite, of getting bitten by my friend's White Shepard, my neighbor's Black Lab mix or my mother's Aussie mix. Why? Because each of these people dog's are NOT trained and cared for properly. Why should they? They don't own a "Dangerous Breed"???? There are no dangerous breeds folks.... only Dangerous DOGS! And they can be effectively controlled if people are willing to take the time and utilize the resources to do so.

But honestly, with so many government and local cutbacks... what animal control has the time to investigate every aggressive dog call, to take the time to do temperment tests, and provide followups? How many times have you watched an Animal Cops show just to hear.... this person wasn't allowed by law to possess any more animals..... but yet, they do! Why, because no one took the time to make sure that unfit owners weren't getting MORE pets! So let's just slap a band-aid on it and call it fixed! If we ban the pit bulls.... no more children will get mauled by dogs. WRONG!!!

If you really want to do something to stop the problem, encourage local government to provide your local authorities with the proper laws, training, tools and resources to help put an end to dog bites.

An article from WWMT

BATTLE CREEK (NEWS 3) - Battle Creek officials have backed away from plans to strictly regulate the city's pit bull population - at least for now.

An ordinance change was to be introduced at Tuesday night's City Commission meeting. It would require that, when in public, pit bulls be muzzled, kept on a 3-foot leash and restrained by an adult.

After lengthy public comment, commissioners voted to shelve those proposed changes. The City will reconsider how to deal with the ongoing problem of vicious dogs.

At Monday's public hearing, Tanya Raab of the United Kennel Club encouraged Battle Creek to strictly enforce existing leash laws, and to continue to root out the practice of dog fighting. "It's the people that need to be taken care of, and not the dogs," she said.

Battle Creek officials began studying the issue in June at the request of the police department. In a memo, Assistant City Attorney Barbara Hobson told commissioners that pit bulls and pit bull mixes have become the "weapon of choice for many youthful offenders.

In the month of June, five pit bulls were shot after charging at Battle Creek police or animal control officers.

In that same month, the city's Animal Control picked up 105 stray dogs, 44 of which were pit bulls or mixes.

Meantime, a West Michigan animal advocate is leading efforts to change Michigan's dangerous dog laws.

Steve Lawrence, Director of Kalamazoo County Animal Services, says existing state laws give animal control officers little power to intervene - until a person is badly mauled.

Lawrence is proposing a new classification called "potentially dangerous dogs." Aggressive dogs and their owners could be put on notice. Animal control could require owners to fence their yard, muzzle their dogs, or even mandate obedience training for problem animals. "You put the responsibility back on the owner," he said.

Lawrence is working with officials in surrounding counties and plans to deliver a proposal to state lawmakers in coming months.

I am happy to see that they are handling this fairly and reasonably and that they will seek better, alternative methods to helping fix the problem.


Blogger Conners said...

OH! This just totally burns my buns how PEOPLE can be sooo STUPID!!!
If they would stop looking at the dogs as a breed, but a dog, then get down to the root of the problem.
In the cases where the dogs were running at large tells you a whole lot right there. They were NOT owned by responsible owners or they would have been under control of the owner in the first place.
And I'd like to know WHY those maggots that chain a dog out are even lawfully allowed to. That is shear animal abuse if I ever heard of it.
Something needs to be done to help these dogs by going after the damn owners! It's the owners that have created this problem. Pits are not human aggressive unless they have been taught to this. It's not in their nature unless they have been so badly bred that now they have adapted into something that is not of normal behaviour for a pit bull.
If kids can taunt a chained dog, then I'm sure the authorities can see the evidence of abuse as they drive by. That gives them the right to investigate the matter as an animal abuse case. Why isn't it being done?
So many responsiblities are being neglected here and yet all they can do is blame the breed and scream BAN THEM ALL! or put restrictions on certain breeds.
Screw the breeds and target the real danger here. The irresponsible owners before they breed and harm more up-coming dogs.
Once this breed has finally ceased, onto another. It's a vicious circle with no end if they don't start looking at it with a different perspective and take a drastictly different approach!!! It doesn't take a mental genius to see that!

10:34 PM  
Blogger Guitartists said...

Even worse..... hate the grapevine..... a relative told me today that they heard on the local news that a BABY was killed by a pit bull that dug under a fence and that they were trying to BAN pit bulls in Battle Creek. I searched and couldn;t find THAT story. But you have to know that now everyone is talking about baby killing pit bulls in Battle Creek This is the kinda hysteria that makes levelheaded, fair decision making so difficult.

11:20 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Off-topic comment.

I like the format change.
It looks waaaaaaaaay better and much easier to read.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Guitartists said...

Thanx Steve! And thanx for that code!!! :D Worked like a champ! :D

6:48 PM  
Blogger Conners said...

But Pit bulls make HEADLINES...which means the newspapers make more money. If they said it was a poodle, who would read it.
Today at the City Hall meeting there were two vicious dog attacks that were brought up in front of the MPP's.
One was a lab and it bit a puppy and chewed it's eye out. This was it's second offense.
I can't recal the incident of the other dog, also not a pittie.
They (as in we the ones fighting for the rights of our dogs) questioned if these dogs would be muzzled aafter doing such a vicious act and also reaffenders. NO! They were dismissed and no charges were laid against their owners neither. If it had of been a pittie o even a pittie mix, you can believe your eye ball those dogs would have been put down immediately. Justice and fair? I think it must be a thing o the past. Dictatorship is back in fashion. And if they can't find news, they make it up!

2:56 AM  
Blogger Guitartists said...

Yup... that pretty much sums it up on the publicity side of things..... Pit Bulls SELL papers!!!! As much as people say they can't stand the idea of children getting mauled by dogs... they will buy a paper or tune into their nightly news if they hear that there is a dog bite story. :( Our fascination for the macabre has papers flying off the shelf!

And for those of you that hear about the story, but don't know your facts or do your research, you are the other half of the problem. Like the person who takes the story and misconstrues the facts to the next person, and so forth and so on.... you add to the hysteria and paranoia about the breed :(

And all of this crap about cops shooting Pit Bulls.......... If it was YOUR home, and it was your Labrador Retriever, and a bunch of guys with guns drawn forced their way into YOUR front room..... what would you want your dogs to do??? Dogs do not differentiate between humans by clothes and badges :( And honestly.... while some of these dogs might be trained to attack humans, and require euthanasia, many more are most likely just wanting to intimidate in the hopes of scaring off an intruder. Many people involved probably shoot first and ask questions later :( So everytime I hear about pit bulls charging police and being shot in self-defense..... I question the need not only for the act, but for the papers and news stations to run the story. It is NOT the same as the dog who attacks an unaware person, and yet lends itself to the same hysteria :(

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people are stupid, I had a beautiful male 4/5 month old pit(he was very large for his age) and he would not walk on a leash. he would sit there..when i got him the people said dont let him off his leash he will run!!! Well I let him off his leash and that dog walked within 2 feet of me and didnt bother anyone. he was sweet as can be, people on the street would say please leash him i am scared and i would walk up to them and say reach down and touch him, some would and the first thing he would do is lay down and roll over...BELLY RUBS!! adn they would stand there and talk to me about pit bulls...i have been around a person who had a pit and they said dont look at him and dont touch him, he will tear you sooner did the dog walk over to me, sit between my legs with his head on my knee..and i petted that dogs head for a while..I love pits, I wish people would reconize there own stupidity, and quit blaming these babys...these dogs are loyal, intelligent and wont fail at doing goofy stuff..

2:35 PM  

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