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Local Pit Bull Owners Speak Out About The Breed

By: Natalie Kaplan Email
By: Natalie Kaplan Email

It's a topic that's caused a heated debate in one local county and on our web site, witn.com.

We ran a story in January about a deadly Pit Bull attack in Kitty Hawk, we've gotten more then 500 comments on the issue, some viewers want the Pit Bull breed banned from Dare County all together, others disagree and claim the media are bias on the issue.

So, Natalie Kaplan sat down with a group of Pit Bull owners to get their side of the story.

Tami Willis emailed Natalie shortly after her story aired about Mark Kent's Labrador Jazz attacked and killed by two Pit Bulls. She was upset by some of the comments on our website saying the dog's aren't to blame but instead their owner. So Natalie sat down with Willis and a group of other Pit Bull owners to talk to them about their dogs and hear what they had to say about how the attack in Kitty Hawk was handled.

Willis says, "It was done to pacify the general public. There was an outcry, the general public was upset and it was a knee jerk reaction to it."

Willis thinks Dare County Officials should not have put down the two Pit Bulls as quickly as they did. They are accused of attacking and killing a Labrador back in January; the Pits were seized and put to sleep one week later.

Willis told WITN, "I don't disagree with the dogs being seized, I disagree they had to be euthanized that soon, they were never evaluated."

Willis like the rest of the Pit Bull owners Natalie met with on Hatteras Island agree, Dare County needs to change the way dangerous dogs are dealt with but the laws should not be breed specific. Pet Resort owner Andrea Brothers has had her fair share of experience with animals and says all breeds can be troublesome.

"Statistically, I have had more labs here and by that have had more aggressive labs, that I need to be careful with."

Instead of punishing the Pit Bull breed many think laws need to focus on owners.

Willis says, "It's understanding what this breed is about and taking responsibility for that, if you're not willing to take responsibility for that then in my opinion, you shouldn't be an owner of the breed."

But Willis says many of us don't get to know the breed out of fear. Instead of spending some time with the animals we just condemn them.

Sharon Carignan says her Pit Petey is as sweet as can be even though she found him stray and a vet told her he most likely had a difficult past.

"It looked like little electrodes, perfectly round, burn spots, where someone may have been trying to make him mean."

The Pit Bull owners we spoke with agree, it's usually the owner who is at fault when a dog goes bad.

Tami Willis told Natalie she agrees dog laws in Dare County need to be changed but she's not confident officials will accomplish that goal with an objective eye so she's thinking about opening up some sort of training facility for dogs with an emphasis on rehabilitation for Pit Bulls. However, it's just an idea, no plans have been set yet.


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