Saturday, February 11, 2012

The struggle to change minds

It seems we cannot escape the bad news. Sometimes it bears down on us in waves of gloom with no end in sight. It was with horror I read this story in Orlando about a woman who was mauled by a pitbull when she entered a house with a man who was not a responsible owner. When the dog attacked, he ran and left her. Now she may lose both legs and an arm. I am sure the dog will be killed because he is a danger. You can read the story here.
The irresponsibility of pet owners runs rampant, especially with this breed. Any powerful dog could have done the same thing, but because it was a pitbull, the cries for outlawing this breed will be in the forefront once again.
When you are involved in animal rescue, irresponsible owners make our job so hard. They continue to own animals which are never socialized, are chained, are fought and generally lead a life of misery. They don't ever experience anything else until they die or are killed. It is not a life I would wish for any dog but it occurs on a daily basis in every area of the country.
Day in and day out we in rescue speak out against BSL. We fight to educate people about BSL and the statistics which show it does not work. We share good stories on dogs who are Canine Good Citizens, are registered therapy dogs, and live a good life with children and cats.
Then a story like this makes headlines and it feels like we have taken ten steps back.
Please, if you are an owner of a large breed dog, do the responsible thing and socialize, socialize, socialize. Get help from a trainer if you are having difficulty with your dog. Be a responsible owner. As long as the irresponsibilty continues, it will remain a struggle to change people's minds.

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