Stop profiling pit bull-type dogs
In response to Tuesday's article on the "furor" (Index-Tribune, Aug. 23), there are a few assumptions I'd like to point out for your readers.
The assumption continues that a dog that appears to be a pit bull-type dog is inherently "potentially dangerous." This is profiling. Any type of dog can be potentially dangerous. But this can only be determined on an individual basis.
There is a prevalent misconception that there are dogs, and then there are pit bulls, as if they are not just canines. This is, of course, ridiculous. But the assumption continues.
It was written in Tuesday's article that, "most pit bull owners publicly support" mandatory pay/neuter policies. Certainly none that I know, because breed-specific legislation adds to misconceptions and prejudice, and further stigmatizes a breed/type of dog. This type of ordinance is based on looks alone, which is highly inaccurate at best, terribly discriminatory at worst.
Each week throughout the summer, when my dogs and I read with the Pets Lifeline campers, we play this game.
Adults are no better than the kids at trying to find the one dog on the page that is an American Pit Bull Terrier. (Go to www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit to play the game yourself.)
There are too many dogs being born, period. Our shelters are chock-full of Chihuahuas, but no one is talking about mandatory spay/neuter for them, because they are not the present target of prejudice.
What we could be looking at is an all-dog spay/neuter ordinance, such as the highly successful one in Los Angeles. But what has shown to be very successful is voluntary spay/neuter, with assistance for low-income families and, as always, education in dog behavior and training. Education, information and resources are always the key.