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

May 6, 2008 |  9:53 am

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

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