Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bait and switch

If you find an American Pit Bull Terrier covered in more than 60 bite wounds, some old, some new - what do you assume?

A) Dog was fought;
B) Dog was used as bait;
C) Dog got into a lot of fights
D) Other (please describe)____________

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (where pit bulls must be muzzled, by the way) went with option B.

Certainly, it is feasible this dog was used to spar with experienced fighters. It's also as feasible to assume she fought other dogs, maybe on leash, maybe off, while her incredibly selfish, arrogant, disgraceful excuse of a human being watched on. I find the latter a little more likely, but hey, that's me.

The assumption, though, leaves me troubled. In the Boston Herald's article, we have this gem of a quote: "a good-natured female whose temperament made her a natural as a “bait dog,” a canine punching bag used to train vicious pit bulls for their deadly competition." Like hey, BH, those vicious pit bulls conditioned for deadly competition turn out to be not so vicious after all. Let's stop painting "fighting dogs" as vicious while "bait dogs" are innocent victims - they both are victims of human greed and cruelty, and they both deserve a fair chance at a new life.


Kari in WeHo said...

D- it depends where the bites are. If the face is clear of any wounds and the legs/chest are full I assume bait because they tend to tape bait dogs mouths shut which provides some protection. But its not a foolproof thing either!

Amanda said...

Amen! I've never really understood such language, or rather I've never understood its usefulness. I guess if it gets a dog sympathy and viewed as a victim rather than a monster...but at the same time, it keeps the mythical monsters alive and well on the other side of the story. Bleh.

EmilyS said...

um Kari... have you ever seen a dogfight, especially a fence fight? The face is the target area.

I'm with Rinalia.. this is just b.s. designed to perpetuate the 'dogfighter under every bed" hysteria, which further demonizes our dogs.

Why isn't it bad enough that this poor dog was cruelly abused by a moron?

Brent said...

Nice post. We have a few rescues here that will call any dog with many cuts on its face a 'bait dog' -- even ones that show no fearfulness about other dogs. There is a big difference between a "fighting dog" and one that has "been in a fight" too. Meanwhile, I've seen a dog after a run-in with a feral cat, and let's just say it looked pretty rough -- I'd hate to think about what a racoon would do, or any variety of things a dog could get into after a few days on the loose.