It’s what California dog bite lawyers and veterinarians have been saying for years – pit bulls are aggressive breeds, and need owners who can dedicate the resources necessary to train these animals effectively. Unfortunately, many of the people who end up owning these dogs treat them like trophies, and are completely ill-equipped to handle them properly.
The pit bull debate is heating up again in the city of Victorville, California, after several recent dog bites injured a number of people, including children. In April, a 52-year-old woman was seriously injured by a pit bull as she was getting her mail. In Apple Valley earlier this year, a three-year-old child was killed by the family pit bull. The San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control authorities say that pit bull breeds were responsible for all four human deaths from dog bites over the past five years.
Unfortunately, these incidents simply lead to an outcry against the breeds. It makes more sense to target the kind of people that gravitate towards these breeds. That’s not to say that every pit bull owner is ill-equipped to handle these dogs. However, dog safety experts say that there’s a certain kind of dog owner that tends to gravitate towards pit bull breeds in comparison to other dogs. These people typically have aggressive or vicious tendencies themselves, and they often do not have the kind of resources needed to raise pit bulls. Someone who lives in a cramped apartment or a tiny house with no yard, and is not interested in walking or exercising his dog, and does not have the patience to deal with animals, is not an ideal pit bull owner. These animals need lots of exercise and plenty of space to run about. When they’re chained in a tiny yard, and hardly ever taken out for exercise, their naturally aggressive tendencies simply increase.
A ban on pit bull breeds altogether is too extreme. We would like to see more care taken while placing a pit bull breed in a home. Something like this could be hard to implement, but veterinarians, animal shelters and others must try to ensure that these breeds end up with people who can care for them.