I get upset every time I look at the pages of animal biographies at the local shelters... because I see that they are all bursting at the seams with sweet pit bull faces... all so eager to please, all so eager to get "busted out" and to go home with their very own human. Because I have to wonder how many of them actually will.
I guess that we're actually lucky to be a city that even allows pit bulls, and they aren't immediately put down after being brought into the shelters.
I get so tired of willful ignorance. An entire breed of dog simply cannot be bad, no more so than an entire race of humans can all be bad. And where the hell are they all coming from anyway?
I cringe whenever I see a newspaper article about pit bulls running down and attacking kids or little old ladies out tending their yards, and the indignant animal protector in me desperately wants to know...
1. Why are these dogs running loose? I mean, you could have the most vicious attack dog in the world (which I know pit bulls are NOT, but for argument's sake) and as long as they are safe inside of your home, or crated, or whatever, they are not going to be attacking random people.
2. Who trained these dogs? Pit bulls aren't hard-wired to attack human beings. As anyone who has ever bothered to do any research on the breed knows, they, perhaps more than any other breed of dog, LOVE people, and would do anything, absolutely anything, for their approval and praise.
My heart breaks for these dogs. They can't help being pit bulls any more than I can help being female, or short, or having red in my hair. I hate the intolerance that people have for the breed. I hate that so many of them have to die because our society does so insist on remaining ignorant about things that they don't understand. They don't want to understand. Like sheep, they believe every shrill news headline that they read.
When I was a child, pit bulls hadn't yet risen to notoriety. The "big bad breed" at the time was the Doberman. Rottweilers and German Shepherds have "enjoyed" some notoriety as well.
Did German Shepherds used to be vicious, but suddenly became less dangerous? No. Did Dobermans? No. It's just that the public is less highly sensitized to them, so people don't have the same terrified reactions as they did before. No, all of that rests on the unfortunate shoulders of pit bulls right now. I'd say that I'm looking forward to when people actually start to settle down about them, but I'm terrified to know which breed is going to be vilified next.
The road to a better public image is a long one, and I know that better minds than mine are working hard at it. I tip my hat to those people. You do good work. Keep it up. Those doggies depend on you.