Today I read an article titled "Dog's aren't born mean, it's the people that make them that way". It made me think of all the dogs that have a hard life or no life at all. Dogs that are tied out in yards with no human companionship, nobody to play with and left with no food or water. Then there are other dogs that are brought into this world for no other reason than to fight or be bait dogs.
I had read the above article shortly after receiving an e-mail from the Best Friends Animal Society announcing the decision for the dogs seized from Michael Vick's Infamous Kennel. The 22 at the Best Friends Shelter will be rehabilitated and then placed in appropriate homes when they are ready. Any that cannot be placed will live out their lives at Best Friends Animal Society. This was a great victory for the dogs, who are helpless animals without a voice.
So when I came across the "Dogs aren't born mean" article in the Dallas News I thought how closely the articles are related. The article in the Dallas News reminds us that dogs are our responsibility and leaving them tied up in the yard and other cruel treatment is a tried and true way of making them mean.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that a dog routinely tethered or chained up is nearly 3 times more likely to bite than a dog that's fenced or kept indoors. According to a Pennsylvania based anti-tethering group, 194 children nationwide have been killed or maimed by chained dogs in the last 5 years. Domestic dogs don't choose to be chained, they are chained up and made prisoners by people.
Quoting from the Dallas news "Humans, disgracefully, do choose to mistreat them, neglect them, let them roam loose, chain them up, or egg them into aggressiveness." Does this mean get rid of a breed? No it means we need to stop the cruelty! If you choose to outlaw a mean breed the same, people making them fight will simply choose another breed. A veteran animal control officer in Louisiana recently told a television station "I've seen the Chow go through that phase, and the Rottweiler and the Doberman... The Pit Bull has just hung in there longer than any of those dogs."
I think making stricter laws would help this situation. Some cities are considering limiting the number of animals a household can keep , require a universal requirement for pets to be spayed or neutered and BAN tethering of unsupervised dogs to polls or trees. This is a much more practical and humane way to help the situation than the almost impossible breed bans.
Breed Bans would not exist if it weren't for individuals who tarnish the breeds name.
So take a look around and you decide.
Is it the dogs or is it the people?