Last week, there was a news report covering a horrible attack on a woman in San Diego by two pit bulls. They got loose from their home and attacked their 75 year old neighbor, critically injuring her. She's lost one leg and faces amputation of another leg and arm. This is horrific and tragic. Unthinkable, really. In the week following this incident I saw 2 more news reports on pit bull attacks- incidents where a pit bull had bit someone.
|Lucca and I|
Now it seems, the idea of banning pit bulls from San Diego is being tossed around. This would not be the first city to enforce such a ban- Denver and Miami have already done so. There are many who believe pit bulls are inherently aggressive and dangerous. I am a dog lover, but not a dog expert so it's not my place to offer an opinion on that. Here is what I can say:
In the summer of 2010, my husband was bit by a dog which sent him with a severely injured hand to the ER, followed by months of visits to the doctor, hand surgeon and physical therapist. The dog that attacked him was a 40lb shepherd mix with razor sharp teeth. Did anyone report on this on the evening news? No. Earlier this year, a fellow dog owner in the neighborhood showed me cell phone pics of the giant gash in his thigh from a dog attack at the park. Was this a pit bull? No. Was it on the news? Nope.
Dog attacks and bites are traumatizing. I still have a hard time dealing with my husband's dog bite incident. But these attacks are not exclusive to a breed. Whether one breed is more prone to aggression than another may or may not be true but what is clear is that attacks by certain breeds are more publicized. I can't tell you how many times people cross the street when I'm walking towards them with my great dane, Lucca. I can guarantee you if you get close enough, all he's going to do is lick your face. I'm hoping we can remember that there are completely loveable dogs in every breed. Ive met plenty of pit bulls that roll over and want their belly scratched.
Instead of a ban on pit bulls, what I would love to see is as push to educate dog owners on proper dog training and care. In the same breathe, I admire those who have taken in abandoned dogs who may have issues and given them a home. Let's provide outlets for them to learn how to rehabilitate their dog or if these outlets do exist, let's make sure dog owners know where to turn for help. Let's find out the root of the problem and start there.
There has to be a better solution than simply tossing a breed of dog out of your city.