Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dogs being Dogs

It’s really sad, because the dogs basically are just being dogs. These are violations of irresponsible owners.
Forsyth County NC Animal Control Director Tim Jennings

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Mr Jennings refers to the April 18th attack on Carver, a Border Collie, by two pit bulls. Carver is a FEMA certified disaster dog, trained to find survivors in building collapses and other disasters. Carver is currently under the care of a veterinarian but his survival is still in doubt.*

Mr Jennings dismissal of the attack on Carver as just dogs being dogs is disgraceful.

The two pit bulls were involved in a similar attack in January. As a result of the January attack the pit bulls were termed "potentially dangerous" and were returned to the safety and comfort of their home.

Mr Jennings appears to believe that all dogs are prone to attacking one another. The belief that all dogs are naturally aggressive is inaccurate, but is gaining credibility as a consequence of the proliferation of pit bulls.

Mr Jennings is wrong about the aggressiveness of dogs. He will not find two Golden Retrievers attacking a Border Collie. In the execution of his professional duties he will not deal with two Yorkshire Terriers attacking a Dachshund. The pit bull attack on Carver was not a case of dogs being dogs, doing what comes naturally. These were pit bulls being pit bulls.

We have all witnessed dogs being dogs, when they play together for hours on end, until they collapse in exhaustion. Dogs being dogs is when children play with a dog all day without concern, then collapse in exhaustion together. For most parents these scenarios are becoming more and more rare, as concerns over dog attacks increase.

Pit bull attacks on more vulnerable animal companions, on livestock, and on humans has altered our understanding of dogs, and it has altered the way we share our lives with dogs. More and more public spaces such as parks, Little League games, parades, and fairs are off-limits to all dogs because of the threat of violence from a single category of dog: fighting breeds.

Our society has become far too tolerant of dog-on-dog violence due to intentional misinformation from pit bull advocates. They claim it is normal dog behavior, that this kind of violence is just dogs being dogs. By repeated insistence that all dogs are aggressive these advocates have blurred public perception. It is the constant threat of pit bull attacks that has corrupted the bond we share with our canine companions, and diminished the world we will pass on to our children. We can reverse this trend by recognizing that the danger comes from pit bulls and fighting breeds. It is up to all of us to protect ourselves and our canine companions by recognizing that pit bulls are inherently dangerous and ought not to live among us.

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* WFMY News 2 reports that Carver died on April 22.

Statistics are from Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, published by Animal People. To view or download the current PDF click here.

Pit bulls attack Thomasville rescue squad K-9 (Winston-Salem Journal, April 20, 2013)

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks