In Defense Of American Pit Bull Terriers

By: Mary Catherine - A WITN.Com reader
By: Mary Catherine - A WITN.Com reader

Mary Catherine weighs in on the tragic story of the dog that chewed the baby's toes off in Jacksonville. Read her thoughts and then let us know what you think.

I am an avid reader of articles posted on the website and I am usually very impressed with the unbiased way in which the articles are written.  Today, I realized that this is not always the case. I am incredibly disappointed and sickened at how this article was written due to the biased way that "pit bulls" are portrayed.


Unless you can show, beyond any reasonable doubt, that this puppy was, in fact, of the breed "pit bull" then I think it is inappropriate that this breed is demonized even more than it already has been by the media. The specific name of the breed is American Pit Bull Terrier and the offical breed (as recognized by many kennel clubs) to which you are probably referring is the American Staffordshire Terrier. Most of these days, a "pit bull" is considered any stocky, muscular dog with a sqaure head and because of so much inbreeding and the excessive breeding of pet dogs and stray dogs, there is absolutely no way to tell if that puppy was a purebred "pit bull", as you call it, unless there is DNA testing or AKC registered papers identifying the specific breed. Most dogs that get adopted are a mix of many different breeds and demonizing a breed of dog spreads unncessary panic and prejudice against these animals. I personally own an American Pit Bull mix (according to the shelter I adopted her from) and she was abused by her previous owners, and I can attest to the fact that she is a loving and gentle dog.


Any breed of dog is capable of harming a human. When I was 9 years old I was attacked by a Collie and had to have plastic surgery on my face to correct what that dog did to me and no one says that Collie's are an evil breed (Lassie was a Collie). I think it is unwise and negligent to leave ANY child or person of any age around any type of animal unattended because of the risk of being hurt unintentionally, but to add even more hostility towards this breed makes me sick. I think that the only reason this breed has such a negative reputation is because of the people that have owned them and used their physique to their own financial advantage or for their entertainment.


I think there should be an article about Cesar Millan's (the Dog Whisperer on National Geographic Channel) heroic efforts to rehabilitate dogs that have been exploited for the sadistic gain of humans. Cesar Millan has a rehabilitation center where dogs of many different breeds are taken to be socialized and placed in appropriate homes. Millan has a "balanced and healthy" dog that he takes to almost every house call and uses as an example and good role model. The breed of this dog is a red-nosed "pit bull" named Daddy, and when Daddy retires, his replacement is a blue "pit bull" named Junior. He emphasizes that this breed as a whole cannot be judged by how humans trained them to be and that dogs are animals and act in instictive ways, not out of malice like their human owners. These dogs set good examples from the tiniest Chihuahuas to the largest breeds who are incredibly aggressive and therefore considered by their owners to be lost causes. His tagline is that he "rehabilitates dogs" and "trains humans" and I encourage you to help rehabilitate the way that this breed is portayed. I hope that someone took the time to read this email because I, and many others, are outraged by the negative light in which this breed is portrayed.

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