Pit Bulls Got The Shaft | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Pit Bulls Got The Shaft 

Because we don't take it personal when people call B.S. on our WTF?!, we're awarding this week's letter prize to Staci Bowen who makes a

Because we don't take it personal when people call B.S. on our WTF?!, we're awarding this week's letter prize to Staci Bowen who makes a strong case in favor of the much maligned pit bull. Thanks for reading and responding, Staci. You can pick up your prize, an Old Mill pint glass, at our office at 704 NW Georgia.

I just wanted to let you at the Source know that I'm very disappointed in the recent WTF column featuring the legislation which would force pit bull owners to have liability insurance. The article claimed that nobody at the Source owned a pit bull, because they didn't want their faces "chewed off." I have to say, I'm ashamed of the Source for spreading even more media misinformation about these dogs.

I am a dog groomer, and I have worked with dogs since I was sixteen years old. I've been bitten a few times, some seriously, and I've had many more dogs attempt to bite me. Not one of these dogs, however, has been a pit bull. Not once have I had a negative experience with a bully breed of any type, as a matter of fact, and keep in mind that grooming is stressful and often brings out the worst in dogs. Pit bulls and pit bull types have been, as a breed, the most people-friendly and stable dogs I've worked with.

The state is trying to convince pit bull owners that forced liability insurance is better than a ban, but after doing some digging I found that a pit bull owner would have to pay roughly $1,000 per month to keep their dog, which is outrageous. Very few people could afford that, so most would have to either move out of state or give up their pets. This legislature is a ban hidden behind pretty words.

Breed bans, however, have been shown to do very little in the way of reducing bite rates. The Netherlands recently overturned their 15-year ban on pit bulls, because they saw no improvement in bite rates. Aurora, Colo. rated their dog bites by severity in 2006 and 2007 after banning pit bulls, and 90% of severe bites were by non-restricted breeds. The United Kingdom introduced a breed ban in 1997, and dog bites increased 50% between 1997 and 2007.

Do we really want to end up like Italy? Italy originally banned 13 breeds of dog, and currently has 92 banned breeds, including the Corgie and the Collie. Breed bans are a slippery slope; once we ban one breed, another will take its place as the "top biter," and sometime down the road we'll all own Chihuahuas, because they will be the only "non dangerous" breed. Pomeranians wouldn't be around, because after all, one did kill an infant.

In the future, I would really prefer the Source to do at least a bit of research into the articles they publish before adding to the misinformation surrounding an issue.

Staci Bowen

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