Pit Bulls: Villains or Victims? by Blair Boucher
Reported by Sasha Levine
She discusses how history has shown us two things about the type of unfair labeling that BSL incorporates: 1) When society applies terms such as “dangerous,” “violent,” and “vicious” as descriptors for any dog breed, that breed becomes popular to substandard owners as status symbols. 2) Abusive owners who cannot find the banned breed will simply obtain a new dog of a different breed to abuse and neglect. Either way, the result will be the same: a vicious dog, no matter the breed. Blair wants readers to understand that though these dogs are not the first breed to suffer from unwarranted attacks, Pit Bulls and Pit Bull-type dogs have long been subjected to rampant prejudice and extreme violence. “To ignore, tolerate, or champion this abuse by blaming the victims is unproductive and ethically wrong.”
Hoping to put an end to this cycle, Boucher advocates the need to effectively address the human behavior responsible for abnormal canine aggression. And here is where the second theme of her book, responsible dog guardianship, shines through. Boucher not only wants to educate the public about sufficiently supplying their dogs with a healthy environment, she also aims to promote stiff penalties for abusing animals and endangering community safety. “One of the first steps in tailoring laws that protect animals, children, and communities as a whole is to more clearly define animal abuse in a uniform, universal manner.” She advises anyone who sees animal abuse to report it immediately. Investigations into animal cruelty will often reveal additional crimes, such as domestic violence or child neglect.
“Humane education programs,” Boucher says, “create empathy, build character and self-respect, promote creativity, and develop critical thinking skills. Dog bite prevention programs are also an essential component of the education process. Children especially need to understand how to appropriately interact with dogs, no matter the breed or size.” More information may be found through organizations such as the Latham Foundation, Pit Bull Rescue Central, the American Humane Association, and the A.S.P.C.A. Even though the situation may be desperate, Blair does not give up hope. She deduces that because hatred and prejudice are often borne of fear and ignorance, education is always the best place to start.
To purchase this book please visit: www.happytailsbooks.com/books/dog-breeds-m-z/pit/