Time to ban Pit Bulls in the USA

A short time ago, a well-meaning but foolish young couple in my town adopted a "rescue" dog from New Jersey.  It was a heavy (60-80 lbs) two-year-old Pit Bull.  Scary, but they had attended several training sessions learning how to bond with the animal and overcame their fright by telling themselves they were doing a good thing.

By "rescuing" it.

I suspect that the dog needed to be "rescued" because it had previously attacked people and so was in danger of being put down, but I don't know that.  Regardless, this couple seemed not to have even inquired; instead, they completed their final bonding session and took him home.  But from the first night alone with the animal, they were terrified by its foreboding presence.  The thing seemed to stalking them from room to room inside their home.

Beyond frantic, the couple called the woman at the private shelter who had managed the adoption and asked her to take the dog back.  She refused and instead offered them some advice about how to break through and made contact with the dog's inner happy puppy.

Well, that night, the Pit Bull did some breaking through on his own and severely mauled the man, who, without the timely arrival of deputy sheriffs and the local Fire Department, would have died a horrible death.

Just another Pit Bull story.  My wife was severely bitten in the face by a Pit Bull while sitting at a client's kitchen table.  Her offense?  She made eye contact with the thing.  My grandson was attacked and was luckily wearing clothing heavy enough to prevent injury before the Pit Bull was taken off him.  A renter in a building next door would let his Pit Bull get out from time to time, and the thing would run onto my property, anxious to kill my Golden Retriever, Sparky, the friendliest dog in the world.  Tired of talking to the local dog warden about the threat, I shot the Pit Bull in the butt with a .410 shotgun – my mistake being that it wasn't a 12-gauge, because the thing managed to run off.

My experiences are all of a piece with the spread of these "pets."

A week or so ago, I started bookmarking stories about Pit Bull attacks, including one with a chilling video of a young boy being savaged, hereHere is one about a couple savagely mauled by their 28-year-old son's Pit Bull.  Here is one about a Pit Bull killing the woman who owned it on the deck of her home in Pennsylvania.  Here's one about a Pit Bull who killed a man in Dayton, Ohio after the thing broke its chain.  Here's one (with video) of a man savagely mauled by two Pit Bulls trying to kill his Jack Russell Terrier.

Stories noticed during just a few days, and mostly in only one publication.

The fact is that these attacks are going on day in, day out in towns and cities all across the nation.  Experts tell us that Pit Bulls (and Rottweilers, a comparatively rare breed) account for less than 5% of the dog population but 70% of the killings and mutilations, especially of children.  And any patrol cop will tell you that dog complaints –  particularly those that involve pet dogs being hunted down and torn apart or attacks on citizens – almost invariably involve Pit Bulls.

But they have their defenders, with advocates telling you it's the owner's fault.  That they're bad, not the breed.  But if this were true, you'd have to somehow account for the fact that Pit Bull owners are fourteen times worse than average, which is ridiculous.

It's the breed – a breed that the British Government has banned after a series of egregious attacks by these dogs was researched and then thoroughly debated in Parliament.

They should be banned in the United States, too, the breeding of them forbidden, and every one of these unstable creatures found and killed.  Not grandfathered in, not neutered, not somehow retrained in doggie obedience school, but found and killed.

This, so that children are no longer hunted down and mutilated or killed by these demons.  And, of course, so they don't get you next time.

Or me.

Richard F. Miniter is the author of the acclaimed The Things I Want Most and the new What Sort Of Parents Should We Be?; A Man's Guide To Raising Exceptional Children.  See it here.  He can be reached at miniterhome@gmail.com.

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