It could be your best friend who is under fire next
Re: LTE ďIt is the breed, not the owner,Ē Jan. 18
To believe that a dog is born violent is as ridiculous as believing that there is no gravity. How can puppies be vicious? The American Humane Society, The American Veterinary Medical Association, The National Canine Research Council, certified behaviourists and trainers. The American Kennel Society and the American Temperament Test Society are all against breed discrimination.
I understand that people are fearful of dogs but that does not justify punishing innocent dogs and their owners, it is not my dogís fault that some people are frightened of her.
Nor is it mine or my dogís fault that another dog who is not at all related to her gets into trouble. There is an entire other side of this story that the media simply does not show you, that The National Canine Research Council has pointed out many times before in that more often then not people will not identify a breed properly, not even experts are able to visually ID a dog properly.
According to Scott Dowd Ph.D, of Matrix Canine Research Institute, only two per cent of those he surveyed could correctly identify a pit bull without incorrectly identifying other breeds under the same title. There are many purebred dogs who are often mistaken for pit bull types and off the top of my head I can name the Alpha blue bulldog, Dogue De Bordeu, Dogo Argentino, the Presa Canario, American Bulldog and the Cane Corso but the list goes on and on.
The National Canine Research Centre compiled a list of all the dog related fatalities in Canada and the most common breed involved were sled dogs, since 1964 there has only been one report involving a pit bull out of 52 dog-bite-related deaths.
In fact, their research also shows that the number of dog bites after the ban in Ontario did not change, there was one year that it nearly reached 6,000 recorded bites, which more than passed the amount before the ban.
Calgaryís stance on dog-related incidents does work, not only are they breed neutral but they are at the lowest they have been in 25 years when compared to how much the dog population is growing. Even the number of dog complaints have dropped. All of these facts as easily accessed by anyone who visits NCRCís website.
Any first year vet student will tell you that every dog feels pain but you do not need to be a vet to have common sense. Itís along the same line of thinking that their jaws ďlock,Ē which has been disproved long ago. It is the belief in myths around dogs that proves that we need more education on the subject and people need to realize that not every dog bite reaches the papers.
The only reason that the papers did not report the rottweiler that attacked two people and an officer a week ago in Calgary was that they knew a pit bull story would sell more papers. A dog incident involving a pit-bull-type dog has an 85 per cent higher chance of being reported in the media when compared to incidents involving other breeds. Kate-Lynn Logel was killed by a pair of Alaskan Malamutes and a search of all media outlets yielded 18 articles on her attack, Nicholas Faibish was killed by pit-bull-type dogs and the same search yielded 292 articles.
Why was Kate-Lynnís death less important then Nicholas?
Trying to muzzle dogs because of ďthe potentialĒ is something of an oddity, itís akin to saying that because someone might one day decide to run a red light and hit another car that we should all no longer be allowed to drive. For every one pit-bull-type dog that ends up in the paper, there are 10.5 million who donít.
Any law regarding dogs needs to be for all dogs because all dogs bite, if people are so fearful of dogs, then perhaps they should be trying to push that all dogs in Airdrie, big and small, should be muzzled. That to me is the only way that they could prove that they are not prejudice. Punishing a group because of the actions of a few is ludicrous and I certainly will not let my tax dollars be wasted on this when there are so many other areas that need the funding.
This isnít about public safety, itís about targeting breeds of dogs and that is not what a civilized society does. What Airdrie needs now is a law that prohibits people from discriminating against dog breeds because it might be my breed of choice today but whose breed is next? Spaniels? Great Danes? Labs?
We need to step up as a community and decide once and for all that we are a fair city, that we do not judge an animal because of the way it looks rather then what it has done.
As dog owners we need to stand up and declare that we are not OK with discrimination and racism in any form should not be tolerated. Breed specific legislation is a rolling stone, one day itís pit-bull-type dogs and the next day itíll be German shepherdís. Italy started out with banning one breed of dog and today has banned over 90 different breeds. This is why I invite all dog owners to stand up and let your voice be heard because it could be your best friend who is under fire next.
Christina Guy, Airdrie