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An inaccurate stereotype

July 2, 2012
The Daily News

EDITOR:The Kingsford City Council has made a poor decision regarding one of America's most beloved animals,

the American pit bull terrier.

The American pit bull terrier is a dog that has played an important role in American culture and history for over 200 years, well before Kingsford, before falling victim to those who would use their strength and loyalty against them.

The only thing promoting breed-specific bans is going to do is cause pit null breeding and ownership to go underground. This will actually make pit bull ownership more appealing to people who want to own these dogs for all the wrong reasons, while responsible owners are forced to give up their companions and be prevented from owning pit bulls in the future.

The only thing your law is going to do is hurt caring owners that love their well-behaved and wonderful animals. Banning is just going to lead to more violence and abuse of an already mistreated breed. You think pit bulls are a "fad" breed now, wait and see what happens when every drug dealer and dog fighter needs to have one due to the fact that they are no longer allowed in public.

Banning pits will singlehandedly making it more likely for hundreds of thousands of pit bulls to endure mistreatment at the hands of these unsavory types of people. I do not think that is something a self proclaimed "dog lover" would stand behind.

Breedism is no different than racism. With that said, should we have incarcerated everyone of Japanese descent right after December 7,1941? A disgraceful act by a well meaning government. Our local crime rate has sky rocketed since 2005 should we eliminate all who have moved here since then. There is no question that some of the newcomers are riff-raff and are of questionable morals. So let's do away with them all, toss out the soup because of a few bad apples. Since when is it OK to punish an entire group of anything for the actions of a few?

Did you ever stop for a minute and think that maybe all of this negative pit bull press exists because you want it to, because you want to be afraid of pit bulls? Yes, you may have been convinced by the media that they look scary, and I have personally met very few pit bulls that enjoy the company of cats or other small animals, though we had one that was afraid of our pet bunny rabbit, but human aggression is not a normal trait of a pit bull.

I am sure if you took a closer look at the extenuating circumstances in place during all pit bull attacks you would see that these incidents were not unprovoked, but instead came as a result of people being irresponsible and ignorant. I am truly compassionate for people that have been involved in dog attacks, no one should have to endure something as traumatizing as that. But at the end of the day it is the owner that should be punished for not properly training and taking care of a dog that they probably already knew was aggressive - most dogs involved in these attacks have actually been trained to attack humans.

On the off chance that the whole story is given when a pit bull attack makes the news I can guarantee you will see what I am talking about. How many times has the news media gotten the story wrong? Savage dog attacks are always pit bulls never German shepard, poodles or dachshunds.

A combination of myths, biased media reporting, exploitation of these dogs by criminals and irresponsible pet owners, has created an inaccurate stereotype of the breed and also the people who own and love them.

My lab puppy was viciously attacked by two German shepards outside a veterinary hospital. Should we do away with that breed too?

I remember when there was a strong anti-gun movement, by the news media and every murder was done by an assault gun, particularly an AK-47 and shortly after, a big political witch hunt against AK-47 owners, that then moved against all gun owners. This is nothing but an expanded case of McCarthyism, where the victim can not defend itself in court.

My family has had pit bulls in the past and they have been some of the sweetest most gentle dogs I have seen.

All were big babies, nothing but big lap dogs. Would they protect us if we were threatened? Yes. But isn't that one of the reason you get a dog - protection, companionship and comfort. To say that the ban is for the safety of the citizens of Kingsford is a cop out, a dodge to avoid the issue. Even the city of Detroit has revised its pit bull ordnance, I think Kingsford should do the same. It's the politically correct thing to do.

Mark Wiederrecht

Iron Mountain



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