Our community recently become the center of a heated debate on Pit Bull Terriers. A teenage boy, in Gulfport, MS, and his brother were recently attacked by a Pit Bull. The dog, Cleo, had been let out, off leash, and attacked the boys while they were playing outside. Cleo, has since been euthanized and the teen who was attacked will have to have his leg amputated. The family has set up a Gofund Me account to help with medical costs. To donate please click here.
Cleo was not only outside off leash, she also had a history of being aggressive with people. THIS is where we have a problem. If you have a dog that is showing signs of aggression you MUST correct it with training. If you are incapable of training the dog on your own it’s your responsibility to take the dog to an obedience class to have professionals help you. If you know your pet is not well behaved you must keep it on a leash or in a yard so it does not hurt anyone. This is Responsible Dog Ownership 101. If you can not do this, you should not have a dog.
While I feel terrible for this family and I encourage you to donate to help them, I also want to point out that this could have been avoided if the dog had been properly trained and not allowed off leash. Pet owners must be responsible for their animals. Responsible pet ownership means proper training, loving and caring for your dog to create a pet with a healthy, non aggressive mind set. All dogs can be aggressive, whether it’s a Poodle or a Pit. Bad pet owners create “bad dogs.”
When we hear about a dog attack we have to look at the pet’s owner. Did the owner properly train the dog? Was the dog often left outside, alone and tied up? Has the dog been abused? Did the owners provide a safe, secure yard for their pet? Was the animal allowed off leash? Was the animal supervised? If a pet owner is not managing their pet we have a problem and sadly that problem can quickly turn tragic resulting in the dog or breed to be blamed. In most cases if these animals were properly trained and cared for these attacks could have been avoided.
Parents must also train children, at an early age, how to properly approach animals. Even the best dog can bite when spooked. Think about it, if a stranger suddenly came up to you and got in your face you might become defensive as well. This is another reason pet owners must be extra vigilant in supervising their pet. At the end of the day, the responsibility lies on the owner’s shoulders.
Pit Bulls get often get a bad rap because if they attack the injuries can be quite severe. Does that mean they are “bad dogs?” No. They are as sweet and loving as any other breed. Like all breeds they MUST be properly trained to avoid trouble.
My goal with this blog is to educate people on how to raise well behaved dogs and to assure them that Pits are great dogs. I wanted to share with you positive stories of people and Pit Bulls so I went to Facebook and asked the public to send me their Pit Bull stories to show others what great companions they can be. Please take a moment to read their stories.
Here’s my post asking the Facebook Community to share their Pit Bull stories:
I received an overwhelming amount of positive Pit Bull stories. You can read them here:
I hope these stories will help you better understand this often misunderstood breed. If you are interested in adopting a Pit Bull, please do your research and make sure you have the time, patience and are willing to commit to properly training and caring for the dog. Our local Humane Society of South Mississippi does an incredible job of taking care of the Pit Bulls that come into the shelter and are a perfect place to go if you would like to adopt one. The Humane Society of South Mississippi has a staff that is knowledgeable and trained to handle this breed. They work with and screen each Pit Bull before offering them for adopting. You can contact them at 228-863-3354 if you would like more information on Pit Bulls currently available at the shelter.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite dog quotes by Roger A. Caras:
“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”