I love dogs. I love all dogs. if I had my way I would have a giant dog-filled dogland where I had the space and finances and help that would enable me to have like 100 dogs without being one of those creepy animal hoarder people. I even love pit bulls, and contemplated adopting a sweet girl that I met at my local animal shelter, even though I know better. And any responsible pit owner will tell you, this breed of dog should never be in a home with small children. Period. And we have another horror story out of Bryan County to support this:
Bryan County police are investigating Wednesday night after a toddler was killed in a dog attack.
About 6:30 p.m., Bryan County dispatchers received a call that an 21-month-old girl had been attacked and killed by seven dogs, Sheriff Clyde R. Smith said.
Police say the girl’s grandmother was sleeping when she was awakened by a commotion in the yard. She looked out her window and saw the attack, but was not in time to save the child.
The dogs, which belonged to the child’s family, were pit bulls and pit bull mixes. They have been euthanized by Bryan County Animal Control.
Yes, the child’s grandmother should not have been napping while babysitting the child. Yes, this attack could have happened with any child and a pack of seven dogs of any breed, but the chances of pit bulls attacking a child or an adult or another animal are extremely high. And now we have a dead child and a group of dead dogs.
No one keeps that may pit bulls unless they have a bad reason for doing so, whether they were breeding them or using them for fighting. Responsible pit bull owners would never have that large of a number of pits, unless they were running a rescue out of their home, in which case the dogs would never have been allowed to roam on the property. This has nothing to do with how good and responsible a pit owner is, how they have treated or raised their dogs, how they have conditioned them to behave around other animals and humans of any age. Pits have been bred for hundreds of years to be an aggressive breed. They cannot help it. You can’t even blame a pit bull for this, because you are blaming a dog for behaviour that it has zero control over.
So now we are left with this sad and awful story and a lot of pit owners in the world who have to be defensive about their dogs again, simply because some jerk was not treating his dogs properly. Any good pit owner who cares about the breed will be the first to admit they should never be around children. The majority of pit owners only have one dog and they understand that the dog may turn aggressive at times and they take precautions with their animal for the safety of both their dog and others. If they do have children in the home they sure as hell never leave the dog around them unsupervised. And they care deeply about being responsible dog owners.
I know some people will disagree with me about this, and will tell me that their pit is “different” and extremely gentle around their baby and would never, ever hurt them. But by saying that you are showing a huge amount of disrespect to the breed that is doing what it has been bred to do, which is “hold and shake” – usually until they have obliterated their prey. It’s their job! I also know some people will agree with me and say that leaving your baby alone with a pit bull is like letting your baby swim with a great white shark. I love both these animals, but that still doesn’t mean I would ever leave my kid unsupervised around one.
And an update from the Huffington post:
Relatives told investigators the dogs that mauled the child were essentially family pets – a mother dog and six offspring from a litter she had about 16 months ago, the sheriff said.
The dogs had their own doggie doors that let them come in and out of the house as they pleased. The family told deputies the dogs had never attacked a person, though one of them might have killed a cat, Smith said. He said relatives insisted the toddler would play with the dogs and even “use them as pillows while watching TV.”
Smith said the dogs looked healthy and well-fed, and investigators found no signs they were being used as fighting dogs by their owners.
“They said they have never been aggressive to other people,” he said. “Why they got started I have no idea.”
Two dogs that were not involved in the attack were not euthanized, and they were also not pit bulls or pit bull mixes.