Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pit bull myths: "forced to fight"

From back in the days when I used to accept the pit bull propaganda with which we are all continually bombarded, one of the most sympathetic claims I can remember was that pit bulls deserved our pity because they were "forced to fight", an assertion typically presented along with some sort of disturbing dog fight imagery, or a picture of a pit bull that had been disfigured by another pit bull. Naturally, someone sympathetic to dogs, but knowing nothing about pit bulls specifically would surely be roused to action by such dramatic appeals. Typical of this type of propaganda are images of battle scarred pit bulls with especially smarmy, sentimental and anthropomorphizing captions:

This is the myth

If only it were true that pit bulls don't want to fight...

Reality: poor Garth had a pit bull for a neighbor

As any pit bull owner will readily admit to fellow pit bull fans, pit bulls are all too eager to fight. The real trick would be to somehow stop them from wanting to fight. But pit bulls engage harmless little dogs in one-sided fights every day, with heartbreaking results. 

Poor little "Soup" was one of the lucky ones

The following video (warning - if you have any compassion for animals you will find it quite disturbing) is typical of the sort of carnage that is occurring in our communities, as pit bulls do precisely what they were designed and bred to do:

Pit bull kills harmless dog while bystanders cower

Shortly after being "rescued" from Michael Vick's dog fighting operation, a "Vicktory" pit bull at the Best Friend's Animal Society chewed through 2 fences to attack and tear the head off of another dog, named Bean, who was kept there, before attacking another "Vicktory" pit bull, resulting in serious injuries.

That pit bulls have demonstrated an enormous appetite for the blood of harmless, non-threatening animals comes as no surprise to anyone who knows of the of centuries of breeding by the animal abusers of the old UK, in order to produce a type of dog that would eagerly, happily and relentlessly tear apart weaker or more vulnerable animals which posed absolutely no threat to them.

Ironically, now that dog fighting is outlawed (supposedly for humane reasons) the number of animals harmed by put bulls every year is at an all time high, which begs the question: what is the point of outlawing dog fighting while allowing these fighting dogs to proliferate?

So we now have this oversupply of "working dogs" whose "work" is now considered a crime, so long as it occurs in a formal setting. If 2 willing pit bulls are allowed to square off in the ring, it's a crime. But if a pit bull "goes to work" on an unwilling animal, tearing the victim apart, it's not a crime. How is that in any way humane?

Livestock and farm animals also suffer from the oversupply of "rescued" pit bulls. A rancher might discover a sheep missing one morning, and realize that there are hungry wolves or coyotes in the vicinity. That's an unfortunate incident, although one from which they can recover. But imagine coming home to your ranch, to find every last sheep tortured, mutilated, dead or dying; faces chewed off, legs broken, victims disemboweled in a heart breaking, gruesome tableau. Thanks to the abundance of pit bulls in the hands of owners who have no ability to contain them, this is happening all too often. 

Use your search engine of choice and you will find a seemingly endless number of savage mass killings of sheep, goats, alpacas and other animals by loose pit bulls. It's not that the pit bulls are hungry - it's the confident, well fed pit bulls that escape confinement, find a pasture full of helpless victims, and spend an agreeable afternoon mauling the terrified victims. Sadly, there is seldom any justice in these cases. Most often, the pit bulls continue to terrorize local animals, and the pit bull owner faces nothing more than a slap on the wrist in the form of a trivial fine for "unleashed dog" or "failure to vaccinate" - or perhaps, in an extreme case, a sternly worded post-it note, left on the pit bull owner's door.

Some are quick to claim that "any dog" could attack an animal, but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of serious attacks on animals are committed by pit bulls. The best estimates are that pit bulls were responsible for 96% to 99% of canine attacks on animals last year. Not only dogs, cats, rabbits etc, but sheep, goats, alpacas, pigs, miniature ponies, and other animals continue to be brutalized by "out of work" pit bulls. Tens of thousands of such attacks are committed every year, the majority of which are so severe that the victim does not survive.

The fact is, pit bulls are different because they were deliberately made different by the dog men of the old UK, over centuries of breeding for hair trigger aggression, relentless drive to attack, insensitivity to pain and injury, and for the compulsion to execute the killing bite, as sport. 

In closing, let me make one final point: All of the long time pit bull breeders/dog fighters I've ever heard from have been unanimous in the statements that they never, ever had to force a pit bull to fight. The only dogs "forced to fight" are the tens of thousands of normal dogs every year, dogs like poor Garth or poor little Soup, who are forced to fight for their lives in hopeless, one sided battles with "out of work" pit bulls, and most of whom die of their injuries. 

That is exactly what one would expect to happen when you outlaw "dog fighting", while continuing to breed fighting dogs.

In loving memory of Cowboy, Bandit and Sugar Butt

References -

Yard accident at best friends 'sanctuary', dog killed
Its a slaughterhouse out there

Pit bull home invasion killings
Heritability of Behavior in Abnormally Aggressive Dogs
Regarding pit bulls: the testimony of the experts
Forum: neighbor's pit bull attacked my dog
Forum: my dachshund violently killed by neighbors pitbull