Here's a delightful blog that we came across busts the five common myths about the breed and its so-called "ferocity."
Pit bulls are no killers by nature. They only become one when an even more dangerous animal called "man" rears and trains them to become one.
And the worst that any one can do now is to play a quack expert and mislead Malaysians into having a rabid fear of certain types of breeds of dogs in the country.
The Department of Veterinary Services is to be commended for their quick response to the mauling to death of a foreigner recently in Penang by two dogs.
They have isolated the animals to first rule out rabies. Their next action is to get down to the bottom of what really happened to trigger the animal attack in the farm.
Their next possible step is to try and rehabilitate the dogs before re homing them.
And, if it comes to that, that will be the ultimate test.
Who among us will be the first to want to offer a home to the canines with such a reputation?
In some other western countries, the final option may never have been an option at all especially when a death of a human being has occurred.
Back to the blog, it offers us all an opportunity to understand more about pit bulls:
"I did not realize it at first, but the first dog I adopted was a pit mix.
I still own her, and to this day she has been one of the smartest and most devoted pets I've ever owned.
I was fascinated by her moxie, and began reading more and more about this breed as time went on.
The more I read and experienced, the more I realized that the bad name these dogs are receiving are solely from the type of owners they have; in other words, the dogs truly are victims of abuse and outright neglect.
Rather than go on and on about these marvelous animals, I shall paint pit bulls in a positive light by refuting many myths that surround them, fed and inflamed by the media.
1) Pit Bulls Have Always Been a Problem- Nothing could be further from the truth. For decades, this breed was hailed as a symbol of American spirit and courage. They served in wars, on television, and have been household members far before gangsters began glamorizing them and ruining their glowing reputation.
2) Pit Bulls Readily Bite Humans- This is another fallacy fanned by a media frenzy run amok. Pit Bulls must be taunted, beaten, and baited with smaller animals to be made mean.
Just as any other breed, a pit bull made fearful will become defensive. Pit Bulls were bred to be fighting dogs in the 19th Century, but human aggression was not tolerated.
This is slowly changing as more and more people own and misuse the God-given gifts these dogs possess.
Some pit bulls are so loath to being mean that owners turn them in to shelters and even kill them, because they were led to believe that they were monsters and expect them to behave accordingly. These animals are naturally very loving and gentle towards people.
3) Pit Bulls Have Locking Jaws- This is untrue. Their powerful heads bite down and hold with great determination, just as their ancestors were taught to do when they were used to fight and hold prey.
As far as pounds
What makes a pit bull dangerous when they bite is the way they hold and jerk the object about in their mouths. This often results in fractures and deep wounds. They are very powerful and display unmatched athleticism and strength, which is focused in the head and mouth.
4) Pit Bulls Cannot Be Adopted- Pit bulls are very adoptable. Shelters often screen this breed for human aggressiveness, and allow the ones who are friendly to be adopted out.
If picked out from a new litter, the submissive ones can be chosen by holding them upside down. If they relax, then more than likely they will be gentle and loving pets.
Having said this, I must iterate that not everyone can own this breed due to sheer ignorance. The traditional methods of inflicting punishment by beating and yelling only brings out the aggressive, defensive side of this animal.
Treated with love, respect, and patience, the pit bull (as any other breed) responds brilliantly.
5) Pit Bulls Must Be Made to be Aggressive- This is perhaps the most glaring travesty this breed has suffered since its popularity soared a few years back. Aggression is part of this animal's genetic make-up.
It is a horrible mistake to make a pit bull mean. The most tolerant and loving pit bull has more natural aggression than the most aggressive breed out there.
Owners should realize that to nurture this breed with much love and gentleness turns a potential monster into a devoted, loving pet who would defend its family to the death if need be.
Owning a pit bull itself can dispel each of these myths, if the owner applies his good sense and ceases to see these dogs as the public has come to see them.
Go HERE to visit the blog.
Meanwhile, here is PETPOSITIVE's Letter in The Star yesterday:
WE REFER to “Eye on two
killer dogs” (The Star, Jan 11). It is difficult to say for sure what happened at this stage without knowing every fact that took place in the farm in Penang.
However, one can always be sure that when it comes to canines, when they “kill” humans, it is almost always that they are victims of the tragedy as well.
We are positive that when the investigation is fully completed, we will finally have some answers. For now, we are pleased that the right body, the Department of Veterinary Services, is in charge of the situation.
We will first have to wait and see if rabies was the cause for the dogs to attack. If not, then the next step would be to see if the canines can be rehabilitated.
And more importantly, perhaps, who would be willing to adopt and care for the dogs.
Whatever the case, what happened is only the tip of the iceberg in matters regarding canine misbehaviour.
There are many dog owners who unwittingly subject their animals to daily “aggressive training”.
These include being tied up or locked up in small cages all day long and only let out (if at all) at night to protect properties and homes.
These pets hardly have any chance to socialise.
They are only taken for brief walks (if at all) to defecate – and not for exercise, as what it should be.
Dogs should never be taken in solely for the purpose of protecting property. They need love, kindness and attention, just like us.
The best canines are those that are invited to live inside our homes with us.
They should even be encouraged to go on drives in our cars regularly.
Anyone who can’t meet up with such responsibilities should never keep dogs for the animals’ sake as well as their own.
Local councils can also play a strategic role in ensuring that pet dogs are kept properly.
Instead of visiting homes only to check if dogs have licences, the authorities should go a step further to come up with a helpful questionnaire or pamphlet to make sure that pet owners take care of their pets in the proper way.
These would serve as timely reminders or educational material to ensure pets are kept well so that issues of complaints or tragedies are kept to a minimum or are never repeated.
At a time of such terrible tragedy where a human life is lost, it is important for all of us to think and act rationally based on what actually happened and come up with the right answers.
Let us also be reminded of the hundreds of thousands of other dogs in our country that continue to help keep our homes secure, bring joy to the sick, comfort to the elderly, hope for the disabled and happiness to everyone through their loyal and affectionate companionship.
ANTHONY S.B. THANASAYAN,
PET+BLOGSPOT is the ONLINE BLOG of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association or Petpositive. Our stories are CURRENT, ACCURATE and RELIABLE. We offer both local and foreign news on animals, disability and the elderly. PET+BLOGSPOT was first established in October 2007. Our hits since then are now 100,000 and ever increasing! PET+BLOGSPOT is updated daily. Kindly note that views expressed in this PET+BLOGSPOT are not necessarily those of PETPOSITIVE. You may also visit our Webpage by browsing: www.petpositive.com.my You can also find us in Facebook under PETPOSITIVE EMPOWERMENT. Please sign up as a FOLLOWER of this Blog if you haven't done so already in order to show us your kind support for our work. Thank you!