Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Don't let PETA fool you

Sure they were out demonstrating yesterday before and during Vick’s sentencing, but they have gone on record to call for the eradication of the pit bulls and other species like them. Ingrid Newkirk calls for all impounded pit bulls (and eventually all of them) to be killed as soon as they walk in the door.

Her other suggestion is to ban pit bull breeding, which is definitely something I can support as shelters in cities are inundated with them. The rescue I am currently fostering a male blue pit for (and after Christmas will be adding an adult female) has over 20 dogs in foster homes and approximately 30 more dogs in the shelter waiting for a foster home to open up or someone to adopt them.

Pit bulls are perhaps the most abused dogs on the planet. These days, they are kept for protection by almost every drug dealer and pimp in every major city and beyond. You can drive into any depressed area and see them being used as cheap burglar alarms, wearing heavy logging chains around their necks (they easily break regular collars and harnesses), attached to a stake or metal drum or rundown doghouse without a floor and with holes in the roof. Bored juveniles sic them on cats, neighbors' small dogs and even children.

The problem isn't the pit bulls themselves, but the people who get hold of them. Again, we're blaming the victim here and not the persons perpetrating the crime. Yet state laws still make it hard to prove any wrongdoing on the dogs behalf and the punishment is no where near intense enough to deter repeat offenders.

My housemate has told me on several occasions that I need to give up, keep Memphis inside and away from all people and other animals until he gets adopted. She said this when I announced I was going to take Memphis w/me to the local coffee shop, have a smoothie and a snack, and sit w/him by the front door where people will be going by him, and possibly other dogs, too, during our visit.

I later took him to PetSmart where he did beautifully. And we’re graduating from a basic manners and obedience class tonight.

My answer to her was: you can't judge a book by its cover. Just because he is a pit doesn't mean he's vicious. I used the analogy of a person dressed in religious clothing, such as a burqa, and how the common person judges that woman by what she is wearing, not who she really is.

My housemate informed me that was not an apt comparison though I think it is. I extend my dogs to almost human status. I am the alpha and I run my house that way, too.

Needless to say, Memphis was chained up somewhere and had entirely too many negative experiences so the only way to work that out of a dog, or rehabilitate him, is to give him lots of positive experiences to draw from.

Sequestering, which is essentially isolating, can only make matters worse and that's dangerous for a pit as they get no 2nd or 3rd chances.

Labels: , , ,