“All dogs should be recognized as individuals,” but what of the victims?
Last week (and practically every week) a prominent animal welfare group talked on Facebook about how nearly all shelters now agree that all dogs should be recognized as individuals and no breed is inherently aggressive.
Really? Humans have been breeding dogs for specific traits for a very long time. Herding dogs’ herd. Retrievers retrieve, etc.
Humans breed cattle, horses, dogs and cats, as well as other species, for traits that are desirable. Genetics are a real thing.
When a dog type is bred for fighting, or for aggressive guarding, that becomes part of their genetics.
“Big organizations want us to ignore the science”
Big organizations want us to ignore the science. Every dog should be judged like people – as individuals, they tell us.
But we haven’t been breeding people for aggression and to kill other people for at least 500 generations, which in the case of humans would take us back 9,000 years, almost to the last time when all humans alive today shared a common ancestor.
A dog bred to fight or aggressively guard has a larger jaw, more strength, and more “gameness” than a normal dog. Fighting dogs are bred not to show a threat until they attack, typically without warning and without hesitation.
“How can a responsible animal welfare association promote these dogs?”
A bully-type dog can take down a bull or a bear or another dog, and this is what they were bred to do.
Is this the dogs’ fault? No, humans bred them to do that.
Do ALL of them act this way? No. Not all of them. However, they can take down an adult human. They can and do kill people on a regular basis and almost every single time the owner says the dog never showed any aggression. Until it did.
Killing livestock and other dogs and cats is a sport to these dogs. Pit bulls kill approximately 38,000 other animals per year. They kill more people and seriously maul more people than any other breed type.
How can a responsible animal welfare association promote these dogs for families? Or for households who have other animals, domestic pets, and livestock?
And why would they do such a thing?
“Follow the money”
Money. Follow the money. Promoting poor misjudged dogs makes a lot of money. This is a multi-million dollar industry. It trickles down.
The big organizations with the huge donor bases offer grants to your local shelter based on their live release rates. If the small shelter doesn’t have the same basic no-kill agenda, it will not even get to apply for the grants.
As most shelters have mostly pit bulls and pit mixes, they have to promote adopting these dogs out in order to apply for the grants they need to survive and grow, in a highly competitive fundraising environment.
Local shelters also depend on local donations. With the large groups advocating bully-type breeds on television and through sponsored local events, again, the local shelters have to go along or lose money.
Fired & black-balled
People in animal welfare who believe this is unethical and object, get fired and black-balled in their profession. Dogs who have a bite history get transferred or sent to a rescue to be “rehabbed.”
Excuses are made for the dog attacks. Victims are blamed for their own injuries and the mauling deaths of their pets. The attacking dogs are said to have had bad puppyhoods, have been abused, and not raised right. Children are alleged to have gotten too close, the dogs are said to have been protecting the neighborhood, the victims purportedly had seizures.
There is always a “trigger” claimed for dog attack mayhem. And it is never that the dog is dangerous.
John Doe Public believes that the big animal welfare groups tell the truth, and believes animal shelter employees are experts. In actuality, quite a few shelter employees are minimum wage employees with little training, other than classes taught by…. You guessed it…. The big organizations.
When did this become all right?
The fact that more than a third of fatal and disfiguring pit bull attacks are committed against family members, by pit bulls who had often lived in those families for years and never shown any aggression, is ignored.
Since when did any animal, any dog, become more important than our children?
When did any animal become more important than the safety of our neighborhoods and people, as well as all other animals?
When did it become all right for a neighbor’s dog to break into another person’s yard or home to kill their neighbors’ pets?
Or kill or maim their livestock?
“Common sense must prevail”
Pit bull advocacy spends millions on lawyers to fight for the lives of these animals, while the victims face the deaths of family members, their pets and livestock, and enormous hospital or vet bills. Not to mention often having to live their lives with disfiguring scars and disabilities.
Anyone who knows me knows I love dogs. Basically, other than spiders and poisonous snakes, I like anything that moves! But common sense must prevail.
Since our shelters are full of bully-type dogs, how about having mandatory spay/neuter for them, plus fines for breeding them? And mandatory microchipping, so owners can be identified.
If you really care about these breeds, how about lowering the population so they do not keep overcrowding our shelters? Of course that wouldn’t make millions, now would it?
Any group advocating for pit bulls by making false statements should be ashamed of themselves. It is criminal to make a profit by making bogus claims that put both people and other animals at risk.
Deborah Turner is a recently retired career humane worker who holds certifications as an animal control officer, cruelty investigator with advanced training in responding to cockfighting and dogfighting, and anesthesia and euthanasia technician. She has served as shelter supervisor and/or executive director for multiple nonprofit animal shelters around the U.S., and for a horse sanctuary.