Sunday, May 30, 2010

Is ownership of pit bulls worth the risk?

In light of the many pit bull attacks that have occurred, especially the most recent incident in our own back yard -- specifically Columbus -- I thought the subject of responsibility of ownership should be addressed.
First and most importantly, it must be established the pit bull is classified as a vicious breed. What this means is that legislation has labeled this breed as such because this type of dog has maimed and killed so many people. Many states have established pit bull bans and enacted many restrictions pertaining to the ownership of pit bulls because of the instinctive vicious nature of these animals.
During a three-year period between 2006 and 2008, it has been documented that pit-bull-type animals have accounted for 59 percent of fatal dog attacks, killing 52 Americans. Families bringing these types of dogs into their homes should seriously consider these statistics because it could literally mean life or death for a member of their family and/or friends. Many who own pit bulls as pets argue their dogs were raised in a loving and nurturing home, insisting their dogs are as harmless as a babies. However, this is what most owners truly believed before their harmless dogs unmercifully attacked innocent victims. Is ownership worth the risk of bringing a potentially dangerous animal into your home?
The difference in this type of breed compared to other types of dogs is when pit bulls do bite, they do not let go, and this is an instinctive biological fact specific to this type of animal. No person can be 100 percent sure of what will trigger an attack, but one fact that has been proven is that when an attack does occur, this breed is relentless and will not stop until its victim is dead or somehow forces are able to incapacitate the dog. The ability to stop an attack is another frightening issue as well because the pit bull is known for its ability to finish a fight, continuing on broken legs or even stumps until its intended target is dead. Any breed of dog will bite if provoked, however, the difference between a more docile breed is it will more than likely bite once and usually the bitten area will be a leg or a hand, not intentionally the neck as the pit bull targets.
Many states, including Ohio, are taking a stand for victims and future victims and have banned the ability to own the pit-bull-type breed. A few Ohio cities now are enforcing the breed-specific laws. Some of those who have banned pit bulls include Bexley, Cincinnati, Reynoldsburg and Wooster. These are only a few of the many cities in Ohio that have decided it is not worth the risk of having this vicious breed in their communities.
Breed-specific (pit bull) laws consistently are upheld in both federal and state courts. Community leaders should actively investigate liability issues they might face if pit bull attacks were to occur in their cities and strive to enforce strict regulations regarding ownership of this type of animal.
Summer is quickly approaching, and children will be outside enjoying themselves more. Can we as a community be certain the pit bull danger is not a threat if our city does not impose a pit bull ban? Sexual predators are required to register as offenders so parents are aware of the potential dangers lurking in their neighborhoods. At the very least, pit-bull owners should be required to publicly register their dogs to make the community aware of this potential life-threatening danger as well.

Zanesville Times-Recorder

* From 2006 to 2009, 52 Americans were killed by Pit Bull-type dogs.
From 2006 to 2009, more than 5 MILLION Pit Bull-type dogs did not attack anyone or anything.
From 2006 to 2009, MILLIONS of children and adults living in a home with Pit Bull-type dogs were NOT attacked or killed.
From 2006 to 2009, 108 American CHILDREN were killed when left by their parent/caretaker in hot cars.
From 2006 to 2009, 155 American citizens were killed by lightning strikes.
In 2006 alone, 18,573 American citizens were killed by people, intentionally.
In 2006 alone, 121,599 Americans were killed in "accidents", including 20,823 in falls; 43,664 in motor vehicle-related incidences; and 27,531 in accidental poisonings.
In 2007 alone, 1,760 American CHILDREN were killed by their own family members.

Is ownership of Pit Bulls worth the risk?
You can make that decision for yourself, but not for me.

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