Thursday, August 17, 2006

Finally, some positive news about pit bulls

LettersLetters to the Editor - Monday, August 14, 2006

We have heard, on countless occasions, how vicious the pitbull is. Recently, Ontario has taken steps to ban the breed of dogs known as pitbulls on the basis that they tend to be aggressive. I have been strongly against this ban for two reasons:

There is no clear evidence that states pitbulls are a real problem in Ontario;

The breed itself is no more dangerous than any other breed of medium- to large-sized dog.

I believe that banning a breed of dog because of its potential to cause harm is not justified. We do not ban knives because of what they can do, nor do we ban certain makes of automobile because they may be weapons in the hands of reckless drivers.

We impose a ban where there is evidence of a real, not potential, problem.

I would like to point out a piece of real evidence that supports removing the ban on this breed of dog. The pitbull (slang for American Staffordshire terrier) has been subjected to overwhelming amounts of negative media.

However, there is finally some evidence about this breed that tells a different story. During the past few weeks, there were two articles in The Sault Star about the heroic behaviour of a pitbull named Sam.

The case is now receiving national attention and involved a man who was ultimately saved by his best friend, a pitbull, who alerted his owner of a bear.

Were it not for the courage of the pitbull, the man may not have survived.

The pitbull, Sam, acted on instinct to protect its owner and acted in a heroic manner, yet this is a case you would never see on the front page of any newspaper, although it should be there.

Who knew that the dogs our government calls "vicious" could also be courageous? We hear plenty of bad things about pitbulls, but rarely do we hear about how loving and courageous they are. In other words, it seems we only hear the negative in the news, not the positive.

Too often we hear of plane crashes, but rarely do we hear of planes that land without incident. I guess there would be no news about the planes that land, would there?

We need to recognize the potential that this breed has to be loving, courageous, loyal and obedient, in addition to the fact that most of these dogs would walk through fire for their masters.

I am the proud owner of a pitbull named Kody, and I am confident that given the same situation, he would have acted similar to Sam. As a community of dog owners, we need to rally against the distorted perceptions that many hold regarding pitbulls. We need to publicize their good behaviour.

This may bring us one step closer to removing the ban on this breed. Don't punish the breed, punish the deed. We need to convince our government that pitbulls have the potential to be heroes.

Anthony Fabiano
Prentice Avenue


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