We’ll likely never reach consensus on the pit-bull issue, though a growing number of people are coming down on the side of banning them rather than trying to manage them through penalties.
The trouble with the latter is that by the time a fine is handed out the damage has been done.
One of my correspondents tells me of yet another pit-bull incident last week in which a Setter was attacked by two pit bulls that ran out from a house in Westsyde.
The Setter’s owner screamed for help and someone ran up and kicked one of the dogs until it broke off the attack.
“She (the attacked dog’s owner) took the bleeding dog to the vet right away while the witnesses stayed there to be interviewed by the RCMP and City Bylaw members. I don’t believe the story reached the media,” he writes.
“The attack was vicious and left the dog with horrible injuries to its hind quarters and neck…. Most people agree that the point has been reached where a decision has to be made for the good of public safety…
“What people don’t realize is the emotional damage such a serious dog attack inflicts on the innocent people involved.”
He then points out his own dog was attacked by a Golden Retriever a few months ago. “Again, my wife was walking our dog, on a leash, in our own neighbourhood when the other dog rushed out of its house and attacked our dog on Westmount Drive. The dog required stitches and the owners of the other dog paid the vet bill of just over $500.”
One reaction might be that if a Golden Retriever — one of the gentlest of all dogs — can attack unprovoked, it proves that dealing with dangerous dogs by banning breeds isn’t going to work.
But the owner goes on to make the point, “In comparison, the attack was very minor compared to the level of viciousness displayed by the two pit bulls.”
The point being that there are two reasons banning pit bulls makes some sense: the high incidence of attacks by this particular breed, and their frightening power, which often results in serious injuries (and sometimes death) to dogs and humans.