24 February 2011

Pit Bulls: Good Dogs? Bad Dogs?

According to Parade, dogs have killed at least 20 Americans so far this year, including a 3 day old infant. In 2 out of 3 attacks, the dogs were pit bulls. In the last 27 years, more than 320 people have been killed by dogs: more than half of them by pit bulls. Dog bite fatalities have increased to more than 30 annually, up from an average of 13 yearly in the 1990's.

Some local governments including those in Maryland, Kansas and Colorado, have enacted "breed specific" legislation banning the possession of pit bulls. Montana, Oregon and Hawaii are considering statewide bans.

Jim Graham, a councilman in Washington, D.C. wants to ban pit bulls from the nation's capital. Graham says "There's something endemic in this breed that prompts violence and cruelty when raised in the wrong hands."

The Humane Society of the U.S. says that the problem lies with irresponsible owners, not their pets. They feel that if pit bulls are banned, reckless people will simply find another breed.