Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Discredited Sources

Pit Bull Advocates have extensive resources for advocacy and for defending their breed of obsession. Advocacy organizations offer web resources, anti-BSL "Tool Kits," and "training camps." They employ attorneys and staff to monitor legislation. These vast resources constitute both a strength and a weakness for the advocates.

The resource pages are a strength because they give pit bull owners and advocates immediate access to off-the-shelf arguments. Advocates come to public meetings prepared with an extensive library of references and handouts which enable them to appear authoritative, and which often carry the day with town councils seeking solid data.

On the other hand, the resource pages are a weakness because most of the arguments are transparent and easily refuted.  Pit bull advocates too often depend on these resources rather than on their own original ideas. When faced with sound arguments they often flounder or resort to effusive, emotional praise of dogs they have known.

Some of the discredited sources listed below require no countervailing argument; for others SRUV has provided a source which refutes the advocates' canned arguments.

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American Temperament Testing Society

This test is cited at nearly every opportunity to prove, according to pit bull advocates, that the pit bull has a better temperament than a chihuahua. The advocates must believe this is a convincing approach because they continue to use it.

The ATTS as a reliable test of pit bull temperament is effectively dismantled on the extraordinary single-purpose web page The Pit Bull Hoax: The ATTS

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Can you find the pit bull?

Pit bull advocates have posted a number of faux identi-kit puzzles on the web, apparently hiding a pit bull among a host of dogs with more-or-less similar appearance.

The advocates are laboring under the misapprehension that if they confuse the opponent they have won the argument.

This tactic has been addressed several times, most recently (and decisively) on this exhaustive blog post.

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Voith, Ingram, Mitsouras, & Irizarry.  "Comparison of Adoption Agency Breed Identification and DNA Breed Identification of Dogs."  Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 2009: 12, 3, 253-263.

As noted elsewhere on these pages, pit bull advocates routinely cite this paper to awe readers and as a means of establishing their academic credentials. See the Letter to Animals & Society Institute pt 4.

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BSL Cost Calculators

Advocates make the argument that BSL (breed specific legislation) is cost prohibitive for communities. Best Friends has posted an online calculator which cooks the books for pit advocates, so they can scare the bejezus out of communities considering the heresy of bsl.

This fanciful diversion has been dismantled here and here.

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Pit bulls can be rehabilitated

If you are still in doubt on this matter, simply take a look at Google's news accounts of recent attacks.  Take your own count of how many of the attacks are by pit bulls which were believed to be well-treated family pets. 

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Pit bull advocates are advised that reliance on these arguments and citations are not credible.

SRUV welcomes additional information and will update this page as necessary.

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