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Yet more debate on pit bulls: Loving pets or bad dogs?

Another_pit_bullSome days it does not pay to be a pit bull. As readers of L.A. Unleashed know, the so-called "bully breed" arouses feelings of great passion on both sides of the debate: Are pits genetically predisposed to violence, or is it the owner's fault when something goes wrong? Do pits make loving pets when treated well, or should they be avoided at all costs?

PetSmart has been the target of online complaints about “breedist” requirements at its doggie day-care facilities.

Now Tulsa, Okla., is dealing with the controversy about pit bulls: According to a report in the Tulsa World, the Tulsa Animal Shelter's policy prohibiting the adoption of pit bull terriers will be reviewed to see if it complies with state law.

Officials at the shelter won't allow people to adopt stray pit bulls or pit bull mixes to prevent them from being trained to fight -- a criminal activity. If owners of pits bulls do not claim the dogs within three business days, they are euthanized once the shelter runs out of space, Jean Letcher, shelter manager, said Wednesday.

The shelter's policy became an issue when Sam Thompson called the facility April 23rd to pick up two stray pit bulls that had wandered into the dent-repair shop where he works on Sheridan Road near 41st Street.

When he learned three days later that they would be euthanized, Thompson asked to adopt the dogs but was denied because of the shelter's policy.

Meanwhile, Long Island just had its first-ever conference on pit bulls. According to Newsday, the principal message of the conference was this: "The predicament facing these canines does not really lie with the dogs, but with humans and how they treat them."

-- Alice Short

Photo: Anne Cusak/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (3)

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So, an irresponsible owner (one that lets the dog escape in the first place) can come to retrieve the dog and do whatever they like with it...but if some other person wants to adopt a pit bull to give it a better life, that's wrong? With this kind of law, you're punishing the dogs because of what a human might or might not do to the dog once they leave the shelter...it's not taking into account the temperment or personality of the dog at all. If someone coming to the pound for a fighter can't find a pit bull, they'll just pick the next best dog. It won't stop dog fighting.
We adopted a pit mix rescued after Hurricane Katrina. Despite being through a horrendous trauma, she is able to live a fairly normal and happy life. I don't think she doesn't deserve to live just because she happens to be a pit bull. (In fact, she's our second.)
It seems really sad, lazy, and unethical to treat all dogs the same just because you don't want to take the time or energy to see that they get a good home. Pit bulls are among the most loyal and affectionate dogs when properly cared for and socialized. Maybe the shelter should do a better job of screening people taking ALL pets home.
This issue is extra sad because Mr. Thompson was willing to give those dogs a good home and it's not hypothetical.

I agree..with the previous comment. I have a pit bull and I love that dog she is playful and very friendly..I had another pit bull before her and he was such a wonderful dog..they become part of the family just like any other type of dog..so not to give pit bulls a chance to live is cruel and sad they need to take the time to find a proper owner.

I have been a pit bull owner since i was a newborn. and to be quite honest i am tired of the bad publicity they are getting. To all of you giving them this bad publicity let me asks all a question .... have you ever had one of these “horribel” breeds of dogs? Im thinking not….. I have raised all kinds of dogs throughout my 19 years. Every breed has a specific down fall i have NEVER had a incodent so believe it or not it DOES determine the owner. Pits only loose control when they feel threatened or some one close to them is in harm such as a owner…… Just like a German Shepard or a little cat……. I have been attacked by a boston terrier and you dont see me flipping out about them do you so next time maybe you should read your facts about these animals and where they come from and why everyone is down grading them….. It’s funny how they are always getting the bad publicity


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