Granted, I’ve had my own fears about pit bulls—but not until recently. Since I’ve become a mother, I constantly see threats to my daughter everywhere I look, and many of those have included dogs. Even when we go to a function and a tame dog is present—one who is even trained as a therapy dog, even, as our library hosts on a monthly basis—I can’t relax until she’s not next to the dog again. I was bitten by a small dog at a young age, but I still loved dogs all my life—including the dog that bit me, as she rightly so should have considering I was squeezing her in a “hug”! There’s just something about being a mom, I guess, that makes you see danger in more places than you normally might.
But I went ahead and joined the group against pit bull bans because supporting the dogs is really the right thing to do. Any dog can be nice; any dog can be mean. Much of it depends on ownership. I know I’ve heard of plenty of dogs going rogue before and biting people out of nowhere, but most stories like that stem from mistreatment of the dog at some point. I’ve also seen poor abused dogs and how they act—my aunt rescued one from a shelter who constantly cowered and wouldn’t even lick a person’s hand for years until she was comfortable with her new home. It’s a sad thing indeed, and banning a dog simply results in more sad shelter dogs or homeless pets without a loving home—in short, inhumane treatment of the animals.
People should be allowed to adopt whatever kind of domestic dog they like. (I’m not advocating for dingo adoption here.) If Dobermans, chows and other dogs who are known to sometimes be violent can be adopted, why not pit bulls? The responsibility should, however, remain in the hands of the dogs’ owners—meaning if something bad does happen, they should be responsible. Dog training and obedience courses should also be taken by any dog owner, whether he or she has a pit bull or a tiny terrier in the family.
Personally, I don’t see the attraction to pit bulls in particular—just like I don’t see the attraction to many breeds. I’m primarily a cat person, though I do have a soft spot for some dog breeds. That doesn’t matter here. What matters is that every domesticated animal deserves companionship; as humans, we’ve ensured that they even need it by breeding them and making them depend on us. So it’s up to us to take care of them, no matter what breed they are.