Fear and Loathing in Ontario

Posted: April 18, 2013 in Pit Bulls
Tags: , , ,

OPIE

My apologies for the lack of activity. For those of you wondering Forrest or Dee Jay is doing great in his new home. I got one email from his new family letting me know how well he was doing. I’m thrilled Forrest has come really far, worked really hard and deserves this. If everything goes well things will be finalized soon and he will officially become theirs.

Now back to my original thought for this post. I was reading through older articles that were published about Pit bulls. I read an article in particular from Barbara Kay a “columnist” (I use quotes as most of her works are un cited or uses extremely biased research) for the National Post. Her lack of knowledge on the subject was laughable. She cited the typical stuff that all pit bulls are all monsters and dangerous. I found many other articles written by her bashing Pit Bulls. I’m really not sure how the Post continues to print her biased and fact less trash. Its disgusting. PERIOD. She spews hate for the breed with zero experience or knowledge other than her inflated statistics and fear. It’s scary that someone so closed-minded is taken seriously enough to be a published author. She actually states in one of her hate speeches that BSLs actually reduce the amount of dogs put down (apparently she has never talked to a shelter worker). I mean we have all come across people like her in our lifetimes  stubborn, bull-headed, and the worst of all incredibly misinformed. Her statistics which she rarely sites but I’m sure are taken from websites that spread similar messages of fear and hate. I wonder if her articles were about discriminating against people based on looks would she have the same welcomed response. Some how I doubt it. After reading some of her hate speeches, there are two points I want to address.

The first being that many of these pit bulls that bit some one, were from “nice loving homes”. That’s all well and good but just because someone is nice doesn’t mean they are a responsible dog owner. Many dog problems stem from owners who give all affection with zero rules, exercise, or discipline. That is a recipe for disaster with any breed. I have known many people in my life that are awesome and amazing but should not have a dog of any kind. It reminds me of my uncle growing up. He was the nicest man  but had a crazy golden retriever. He was a dog owner who was a really great person but had zero knowledge of what to do with his dog. Being nice has nothing to do with having the discipline and motivation to train and exercise a powerful breed. If we took away the pit bull and gave this same person a German Sheppard, Doberman, or Rotti I can almost guarantee we would be in the same scenario, just less media attention. So no loving your dog does not automatically  make you a responsible dog owner.

The second point being that if you were mauled by a pit bull some how that makes you an expert on BSL and pit bulls in general. She makes reference in one of her tirades that clearly we should listen this girl (who was making a PRO BSL speech) as she was bit by a pit bull once. I’m going to be blunt here and if you don’t like it that’s fine we’re all entitled to our opinion. Being bit by a pit bull means just that you were bitten by a pit bull. You were bitten by a dog it did not transform you into an expert on dog bites. Many of the people for BSL are dog bite victims asking for a ban out of fear and lack of understanding and education. Contrary to what Barb would have you believe dogs do not “snap”. There are always warning signs before a bite. Some are subtle and most people will over look them but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. Many people bitten by dogs have no knowledge on body language, how to approach, or what a dog that should not be approached looks like. I commonly hear well their tail was wagging. Tail wagging does not automatically mean happy dog. Another issue being most people can’t even identify a pit bull if they saw one. An example being an article Barbara wrote where she calls two dogs in a picture pit bulls. The dog on the right is clearly a boxer, this is someone who has spent time researching pit bulls as she so often regurgitates facts (no matter how skewed and biased) but like most people cannot ID one by sight. Was the dog involved DNA tested?  If not how do you know it’s a pit bull? Short answer you don’t. It would be like saying you know I’m Korean (I am by the way) because I look Asian. There is absolutely no way to tell by my looks alone what Nationality I am (people guess all the time). Just like there’s no way to tell the breed of dog on visual ID alone. Even shelter workers who are trained in this and see dogs all day are wrong 80% of the time when IDing by looks alone.

So in closing being a “columnist” doesn’t mean you know anything, so beware what you read in the media. Being a nice person doesn’t make you magically a responsible dog owner any more than my wishing to never read another hate filled article about pit bulls by someone with ZERO experience with them. Some dog owners are irresponsible. Some of these owners have pit bulls. But they are not the majority, just a small portion the media chooses to highlight.

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Comments
  1. Liz says:

    To my knowledge in researching Ms. Kay her son was one of the founders and editors of the National Post and in my humble opinion of this “Loonie Tune” dog hater, the only reason why she has a podium. I mean how do you fire Mom?

    • meb81087 says:

      I knew there had to be some type of “in”. I was wondering how they would stand behind that trash. It’s just a sad world when someone like that gets an open invitation and place to spread lies and hate. If she had a real reason to have a beef with pit bulls I’d understand. She bases everything on media hype and blown out stats. Sadly some people who have little experience with dogs may take her word as truth although I’d like to belive the average person can smell what shes cooking 🙂

  2. Tiffany Lindberg says:

    Wonderful article! I completely agree with your points and have often tried to tell people that a dog pretty much never just attacks. There are warning signs and some of the nicest people are just terrible dog owners.

    • meb81087 says:

      Thank you. It just always bothers me when people say “it happened out of no where”. There are signs as subtle as they may be they are there. Alot of the times we just can’t see them even if they are right in front of our faces. Agreed as well nice people do not automatically make good dog owners. Im not really sure where the logic for that comes from.

  3. Dawn says:

    Great article.
    My boxer is constantly mistaken for a pitbull and I have had many incidents where I’ve felt the need to defend the breed to strangers.

    Also, a wagging tail means excitement, not that they are happy! Yes, they could be excited and happy, but excited and ready to attack as well. I wish people knew the difference. As a responsible owner I can tell what kind of excitement my dog or others are expressing.

    I am definitely sharing this with the people I know.

    • meb81087 says:

      I know I wish more people would understand that looks aren’t enough to classify a dog’s breed. We need more owners like you who take the time to learn their dogs body language. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Brindlestick says:

    You make some great points.. Thank you for blogging about this issue. Dog knows many in the main stream media are not our friend!

    I would like to make a couple points though. Quotes should be around the word “pit bull” as well as “columnist”. “Pit bull” is NOT a breed and the likes of Babs are actually picking on mix breed dogs.

    The ban does include 3 purebred breeds but they are extremely rare in Canada. (Less than 30 American Staffordshire Terriers in Ontario/less than 1000 all three breeds combined) therefore the common short haired mix breed dogs people refer to as “pit bulls” are unknown lineage and could be ANY breed mixture!

    The comment by Dawn hits the nail on the head. Her boxer is often mistaken and so are a great majority of mix breed dogs simply because the law and people’s perception is based on appearance.

    Many think they are an authority on the subject of breeds and “dangerous breeds” but there is no expert in the world on either subject since there is no definitive way to determine the breed of a mix breed dog and there is NO evidence to support any dog is dangerous by breed.

    As far as Bab’s goes, she deserves to be ignored. Her son is the editor of the editorial dept at the Nat Po. That explains why she is given a platform.

    Why she hates short haired mutts and 3 breeds, that I’ll eat my shoe if she has ever met a “real” one in her life, is beyond my comprehension!

    • meb81087 says:

      Thank you. I’m aware that “pit bull” is not acctually a breed and have read your post about trying to change the terminology. I also understand that the “pure breeds” the BSL refers to are vastly under represented in Ontario. The reality is all the dogs are called pit bulls or pit mixes. The way the law is written allowing dogs to be grouped on visual ID treats the dogs the same whether they are pure bred or not. It’s the ID they are given leaving the shelters as well. Im using terms people understand. I have pointed out before the fact that most of the dogs in Ontario are mixes at best. Further more its impossible to tell pure breed or not with out seeing papers or DNA testing which would cost way to much for the shelters to handle. While I completely agree with you I just don’t want to have the great “is it or isn’t it a pit bull” debate on each post. Bottom line is BSL treats them all the same mix or pure breed and needs to be repealed. Replaced with responsible ownership laws. Being pure breed or not has little to do with it. We need to desensitize people to the word as you will never stop people from call them pit bulls. I think its better to take the power away from the word instead of trying to change it. I think changing connotation of the word is a far more powerful statement.

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