It’s a sad story heard many times over.  This particular story appeared in the ‘Daily Press,’ located in San Bernardino County, California.  In this case, the dog was the family pet and the victim was only three years old.  Father and son were in the backyard, when the father decided to go into the house for a few moments, leaving the toddler alone with the dog.  The dog attacked and mauled this small child, biting him in the neck.  The emergency crew who later arrived was prevented from aiding the victim.   The dog, who was covered in blood, tried to attack them and a deputy sheriff was forced to shoot the dog.  Unfortunately, emergency responders were never able to revive him and he was  later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

From reading this story, it would be easy to make a blanket judgment and want to see this bred rendered extinct.  However, I think it raises a couple of  questions, for instance, why do some Pit Bulls make great pets and others do not?  Is it true that there are no bad dogs just bad owners?  I have heard good and bad, the pros and the cons.

It is easy to see why Pit Bulls get such a bad reputation.  They are sometimes bred by cruel and insensitive people who use these animals to fight other dogs for their entertainment and enjoyment.  Hoping to boost their image and to intimidate, some gang members love to own and parade these dogs around town.  Forget the gun, they have a live weapon.  These type of breeders and owners should beheld responsible and accountable.

I once knew a man, who was married with kids, who raised and owned nothing but Pit Bulls his whole life.  He knew them inside out and was totally awesome with this breed. He was a responsible owner who had the best behaved dogs I have ever seen.  They were lovable and obedient and people in the neighborhood were not afraid of them.

Pit Bulls are one of the most misunderstood breeds.  When bred and raised responsibly, they can be used in the entertainment industry and other service areas.  Dog attacks have not been limited to this bred, but have included various breeds.  I’ve come across a few chihuahua’s that were vicious.  Not every bred is compatible with children or certain lifestyles.  People need to do some research and talk to reputable breeders in order to make a responsible decision.  Any dog who has had the misfortune to be a victim of bad breeding or have suffered mistreatment can turn on you or family members.

I don’t know the details about the dog who mauled this three year old, its history or anything about the owner.  I would not even try to make a judgment in this case.  I can’t even imagine the horror he must have felt when he saw his little boy lying there.  This poor man will always have this image imprinted in his mind.

It would probably be a good idea to have laws that restrict random breeding.  All breeders should be certified and licensed.  Owners should also be licensed and be required to take classes on the proper care of owning a dog.  It might cut down on the senseless deaths that so many dogs and cats face everyday and in the process save the lives of people who become victims.

By J Elizabeth LaFon

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