After latest dog mauling, 9OYS viewers attack and defend pit bulls
Should the breed be banned? KGUN9 viewers are divided
Notes by: Forrest Carr, KGUN9 News Director
A near-fatal mauling this week has rekindled the long-simmering debate about the safety of pit bulls, drawing emotional responses from 9 On Your Side viewers.
Here is the background: On Wednesday neighbors heard cries for help coming from a home near Valencia & Camino De La Tierra. They found the 61 year old resident there in the process of being attacked by his pet pit bull, named Butch. Sheriff's deputies had to taser the dog to get it under control. The victim remains hospitalized with very serious injuries. Butch is in the custody of Pima Animal Care and Control. Upon investigation, deputies learned that the attack started when the owner tried to break up a fight between Butch and a smaller dog.
Whenever a pit bull mauling makes the news, it almost always renews the debate about the safety of that particular breed of dog. This incident is no exception.
Nikki W. Nash (via Facebook) writes: "My grandson was chased down by a pitbull not too long ago. Thank God he was close to home and was able to jump the fence to safety. One other time as I was walking my sweet black lab, he was attacked by one that dug under the fence in order to attack him. We almost lost our Smoke, but instead the pit was put down because the owners were negligent and didn't raise the dog right. IMO the dogs are unpredictable!"
Julie Heathcock (via Facebook) writes: "Unpredictable????? Really I would rather own a pit then any other dog I have ever had. I have 3 of them and trust them with my 5 year old grandson."
Lane Aldridge (via Facebook) writes: "I'm terrified of them. A German Shepherd -- who was nearly toothless!-- bit me about 30 years ago and I lost 25% use of my prominent hand. And I was a sign painter! So I do not want to be anywhere near any sort of dog that is as unpredictable as a pit. No, thank you. I have friends who love them, but count me out."
"Skyknight" writes: "Pit bull dogs are a breed that is totally unpredictable as are most animals domesticated as well as wild. Pima county AZ should impose a ban on the pit bull... and anyone who has one or more pit bulls should have to carry $500,000 liability insurance -- no exceptions. Also the pit bulls should have to wear muzzles outside their residence. Any dog that causes such wounds that hospitalizes a victim should be put down...."
"Neil J" writes: "The pit bull that has not been trained to be aggressive is probably one of the finest dog breeds alive! The problem is the idiot owner that wants to train a dog to be aggressive. If these idiots owned and trained collies to be aggressive, collies would have the reputation pits now have. Unfortunately 90% of the people in this world are not very bright!"
Linda Polakowski writes: "My husband & I were walking our dogs in our neighborhood last December when we were attacked by 2 pit bulls. The owners of the dogs were not home but their children were & the dogs were able to escape from the house. These pit bulls latched onto our yellow lab & would not let go. The whole neighborhood came out to try to help but nothing worked. It was a very traumatic experience & dog walks, for us & our dogs, have never been the same since. These dogs had already killed another small dog in the neighborhood & the owners were supposed to follow some guidelines given by the courts. Unfortunately, no one followed up to see if the owners were abiding by the law. Once a pit bull kills another, whether animal or human, I feel is should be put down. I also agree with the other gentleman that says there should be an insurance requirement for people who want to own pit bulls."
Rick Spring of Sierra Vista writes: "Pit Bulls always get a bad rap especially from the media and from people who does not understand dogs. Pits are wonderful sweet dogs. If you try and break up any dog fight between any type of dogs, they could turn on that person not knowing what they are doing since their adrenaline is at their highest level. Pit Bulls are great dogs as long as it is brought up properly. People who thinks that they are dangerous and should be put down immediately really needs to do their research before speaking."
Diane Mayer writes: "I think any dog is capable of violence, just as any person is, but when treated with love and respect I believe this rarely happens. I don' think pitbull's are better or worse than any breed."
"Angie" writes: "I have a pit bull and she is great with my 2year old and 9mth old. My son actually learned to walk on her. Not all pit bulls are mean the way my son is on our dog if she was mean she would have attacked him a long time ago."
"Roxanne" writes: "I do not know the circumstances of the mauling, however I myself own a male pitbull he's actually the best dog I have ever owned. Currently Ace has his Canine Good Citizen Award and I'm working with him to become a part of Gabriel's Angels. Most people don't realize that American Pitbull Terriers aren't 'beginner' dogs, you have to research their background and make sure their is no inbreeding or to see what they were bred for. Ace was bred for temperament -- no dog in his family tree were 'fighting dogs (dogs bred for fighting purposes). All it takes is a few owners who do not understand the breed in order for them to earn such a bad report with the media.... In short do your homework before you go for shopping for a cute face... Thank you for taking time in reading this, I'll include a picture of what this 'brutal breed' can turn into given a proper upbringing."
Roxanne sent us a picture of Ace, which is included agove at left. Contrast sweet, cuddly Ace with the picture of Butch languishing in doggy jail. Those two pictures represent at a glance the two extremes of this issue, and of this viewer debate.
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