Friday, January 15, 2010

Dog attack sparks breed ban debate (sorta)

I'm not sure where the breed ban debate actually makes its debut in this article. It must be there, lurking amidst all the text.

The story goes: Woman is walking her Vizsla puppy (who looks to be 25-35 lbs) when two dogs jump over a fence and begin attacking the dog. One dog is a Pit Bull (who is continually referred to as "pit bull" as if the breed is nonexistent and isn't deserving of proper capitalization). One dog is a St. Bernard (receiving proper capitalization).

The St. Bernard:
- grabs the dog by the neck
- bites the woman on the hand

The Pit Bull
- bites the dog on the chest
- is easily led away by a neighbor who grabs the dog by the collar

The woman is claiming the Pit Bull did the most damage, while Animal Control believes the St. Bernard was the most dangerous and the lead aggressor.

How does this spark a debate about breeds? I mean, we have two very distinct breeds involved in a dog-dog attack and only one of the dogs bit a human who intervened in the fight. It's not as if the article describes a massive increase in dog attacks or rampaging breeds running loose, wreaking havoc. We have a case of a fence too low to restrain two dogs. That's it, really. If the owner of these dogs does not have a long history of letting his dogs loose, then all we have a case of a major screw-up that is easily remedied with a taller fence. To make it into a more dramatic situation is irrational and unfounded.

Which is not meant to detract from the trauma of a dog attack. I feel for the dog immensely and wish her a full recovery. The woman too - we humans are often left more scarred than the dog herself. I just wish people would see situations like these as reflective of an individual error instead of an issue of breed.


Mary said...

Anyone who's seen Cujo knows that St. Bernard's are the most dangerous of all.

I kid, of course. Your point about the issue being the too short fence is spot on.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, the only mention of anyone favoring BSL is in the headline -- the only other quotes about BSL were about people who didn't want it. Seems like the newspaper is creating the debate.

Kari in WeHo said...

i love how media has put the fear in people that even though one dog bit the lady they want to ban the scary breed who didn't...make perfect sense...

Anonymous said...

It's so sad, yet so true. If a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever or a Dalmatian bite another dog, it's a product of human error. If a Pit Bull bites another dog, it's the dog's fault, because it's a Pit Bull. It's sad. People are so quick to hop on the ignorant media bandwagon on how Pit Bulls are SO horrible. It drives me nuts! Especially when people who have never even met a Pit Bull tell everyone how 'mean and vicious' Pit Bulls are. It's so ignorant!