Pit bullish behavior
Dear Editor:Regarding the article in the August 16 edition of the Aspen Times that detailed the attack by two pit bulls on a Lhasa Apso [“Dogfight downvalley sets stage for fight in court”], I believe it is important to separate fact from emotion in order to determine the correct response. The owners of the dogs are understandably upset by the incident and their perspectives are most likely clouded by their emotions and injuries.After reading the story and doing some research the facts seem to be:1. Rob Snyder’s dogs ran off his property to “greet” the pit bulls, being walked by Nancy Crenshaw. Neither of Mr. Snyder’s dogs acted aggressively toward the pit bulls; the Labrador was simply being social (looking for a butt to sniff?) and the Lhasa Apso was simply following his owner. Just as a person might leave his/her property to socially greet a neighbor walking down the street, Snyder’s dogs acted in a predictable and culturally acceptable manner.2. The aggression and violence came from the pit bulls.3. Ms. Crenshaw, while having the dogs on leashes, was clearly unable to control them, as evidenced by the fact that it took her and three grown men to force her dog to release the Lhasa Apso from its jaws. A dog under its owner’s control will do what it is told to do.4. Pit bulls are known for having been bred for their aggressiveness and fighting abilities. According to the CDC, of the 279 dog-attack fatalities in the USA between 1979 and 1996, dogs identified as “pit bulls” were responsible for 60 attacks. For one breed to be responsible for nearly 25 percent of the fatal attacks (out of the hundreds of breeds of dogs found in the USA) s peaks to the fact that this breed is not only prone to violence, but is genetically bred to be that way.5. Ms. Crenshaw stated that she got her dogs from an animal shelter. What is their background? Were they abused as pups? Is that why they were at the shelter? Did they have a history of violence? Sadly, these facts are left out of the story.6. Nowhere in the article did Ms. Crenshaw state that this was the first time her dogs had acted violently. I believe this would be one of the first things she would say, if it were true. I would not be surprised to learn that the dogs have a history of violence against other animals and/or humans, and that the Crenshaws were already aware of the violent nature of their dogs before they attacked Mr. Snyder’s dogs.It seems clear from the facts of the story that the pit bulls are violent animals and it is merely a matter of time before they again attack. Given the inability of the owner to control her “pets” when they are in public, one can only pray that the next victim isn’t a small child or elderly person incapable of defending himself from the jaws of the pit bulls.Mark BarbourFort Collins
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