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Monday, 14 January 2019 19:16

LETTER: Dog owners should take responsibility, learn how to handle their breeds

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To the editor:

Due to the recent events that have taken place with a child being mauled (not bitten or snapped at) I've noticed an outrage against bully breeds.

Although understanding, I feel it's important for others to educate themselves of the breed versus bashing the unknown— unknown meaning they've never owned or been around or had first-hand experience with one. 

I work with animals daily along with wildlife sparingly. I want to address two subjects: 

1.provoked and unprovoked.

2. Responsible and irresponsible. 

Owning any breed of dog, owners need to be aware that all dogs come with teeth, which is their only defense. Owning a small breed, the bites are less aggressive, at times. A larger breed comes with more aggressive wounds. 

Owning a pit bull sometimes becomes a status symbol to others versus owning one as a pet. People say it's how they are raised when, in fact, that may be true at times, it also has a lot to do with the owners knowledge of the breed at hand. 

I've been around and owned pit bulls half my life with no incidents. Reason being, I socialized my pit from a pup and have used her as a part of rehabilitation for strays and wildlife in the past. However, I have maintained dominance over my dog. I know she has teeth. I don't allow children to pull her tail, grab her face and ears or jump on top of her as a trampoline. My pit is maintained in an area and knows her boundaries.

I am not ignorant enough to say that if she is provoked that she wouldn't bite. However, a mauling is out of the question. That's where provoked and unprovoked — along with responsible and irresponsible ownership — comes in. 

Any dog who bites or attacks unprovoked is a liability to the community. Any dog that does such has no place in a home or area, especially where children are present. 

Pit bulls have had myths to follow them throughout decades. They are labeled vicious due to their large mouths and big heads along with media pounding the public with their own delusional beliefs. I have been around more Chihuahuas in my career who are more vicious than any bully breed that I have encountered. 

Irresponsible bully breed owners give responsible owners a bad name. I've more than exhausted myself trying to defend the breed to those who have never seen or heard of anything than what the media has portrayed this breed to be. 

If you don't like the breed, then fine. But don't judge them by the opinions (not facts) of others.

I think the most ignorant statement I've read is someone saying "all pit bulls need to be killed ..."

My response to this is simple. A man was in the news recently for kidnapping, raping and murdering a young teenage girl. Yes, punish him to the fullest. But this doesn't mean to punish every person in this gender and assume that they are not only capable of but also would, in fact, do such a horrific thing to any and all juveniles. 

I know my thoughts are scattered in this post but one thing I want to stress is that if you are not knowledgeable and capable of handling a breed and only acquire one to suit your wants of the way others perceive you, then you have no business owning anything other than a cat and a stuffed animal. 

Ignorance and media have killed the public's view of even my own personal dog. 

On a side note, if my dog (my pit) had done anything of the nature as the two that  attacked the little girl, I would have shot my dog on the scene, myself. I am not an advocate for bite/attack dogs, no matter the breed. 


Tessie Caulder



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