|Barked: Sat Dec 3, '05 7:36am PST |
|Yes, people are trying to ban pits here in America. Basically, there have been some attacks where pits have killed or mauled children, and the media has jumped on these and shown them everywhere, while attacks by other dogs are simply labeled "dog attacks" and ignored or are mistakenly labeled pit attacks. In Canada I believe there was even a case where an Australian Shepard attacked someone and the paper called it a pit!
What happens to the pits? Well, in cities like Denver (recently banned pits) police are taking tips from people about who has pit bulls. The police then go to the house and sieze the dog in front of the crying kids etc etc and the dog is usually killed in like 2 days or something (the owner has a few days to try to move out of Denver). It really is like the holocost with people covering their pits in blankets and carrying them to the car to drive out of town to walk them. Not everyone has the economic means to move at the drop of the hat. So the short story is that the pits are killed.
Badrap is a great resource for finding out about pits, the breed etc. I will summarize a little here about what pits are, but I reccomend visiting their site and checking out the breed info and the monster myths section. Basically pit bulls are similar looking to the bull terrier, but they have a much shorter muzzle (bull terriers are often included in pit bull bans, by the way). They were originally bred to fight bulls. They would do this by grabbing onto their nose and not letting go. When bull baiting was outlawed some people started using them to fight each other. A very very important note here is that while pits may have been bred for fighting other dogs, the handlers were in the ring and had to be able to grab the dog during the match without getting bitten. Any dog that bit it's handler would not survive, so all this business about pits being bred to be mean to humans is a lie. In the like 1800s or so pits were often called babysitter dogs. They would basically watch over the children of the family and make sure no harm came to them. This is why the idea that they always attack kids is so wrong! In fact, you know that dog with the circle around it's eye in Little Rascals? That's a pit! Hellen Keller even had one! Anyway, pits have also given great service to our contry, with one pit (sorry don't remember the name or link, perhaps Sgt. Stubbs?) being a very decorated war hero!
Fast foward a little and currently pits are the dog of choice for "tough guys" in America. A lot of times they are prized for their imposing physique and trained as guard dogs. Dog fighting is still a big problem in the US and pits are the dog of choice. Pits forced to live in these conditions are horribly abused, most lacking basic vet care, being kept on heavy chains (to build up neck strength) all their life etc. etc. No wonder when these abused and mistreated animals who have been trained to attack get loose they cause some damage! That is why they are being banned. It is interesting to note that the "dangerous dog" changes almost from decade to decade. Previous "dangerous dog" breeds that had status similar to pits are German Shepards, Great Danes, Doberman Pinscers and Rotties.
A lot of people say that pits have locking jaws. This is not true. They just are very good at holding on, there is no locking mechanism.
I hope that helps! If you have further questions please ask them!
PS The breeds often lumped together with pit bulls are (and I'm sure I'll forget some): American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bulldogs, Boxers and there are more, too, but just wanted to give you an idea.
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