I’ve read most of the posts about dog owners and pit bulls on this site. I’m a dog owner, but not a pit bull owner, and I side with those that believe most dogs (even pit bulls) can be safe and rewarding pets with the right training and the right owners. On the other side of the coin, I believe neglect and ignorance can turn even labradors and schnauzers into potential child maulers.
I wanted to set the record straight about my stance before I brought this match to the Riot Act kindle. There is a guy in our neighbourhood (Northside) who owns a pit bull. I believe, from observations and discussions, that this animal has never undergone any form of training, is rarely (if ever) taken for walks, has not been socialised with any outside dogs, is not registered (no tags I could see) and is kept specifically to ‘protect the property’. I am loathe to comment on the character/situation of the owner for fear of claims of ‘stereotyping’ and ‘not being fully aware of their background/history/life story’. I am also fully capable of admitting that I can’t unequivocally prove, and therefore may be completely wrong, about any or all of the things I’ve listed about the animal, it’s all an educated guess based on, as I said, observation and discussions.
There are many young families in our area (including his), lots of kids playing in front yards and on the streets. Many dog owners as well, with many different breeds walking to and from parks and ovals. There’s probably a 9 in 10 chance (figure plucked out of the air) that nothing will ever happen, and nobody will get hurt, and I hope that’s the case, I really do. But you know when you hear about dog attacks and dog owners (myself included) are all “It’s not the dogs fault, it was neglected/not socialised/trained to attack”, and I’m sitting here watching all the boxes get ticked off, except for the ‘pet/child mauled’ one at the end.
I know the government is pretty powerless to do anything, and I’m not going to tell him to get rid of it, I don’t have that right (plus I’d rather not spend my waking hours mulling over the various reprisals that could happen to me, my family, my dog or my property). So you know what I’ve decided to do? Step 1) Post this ….. and Step 2) Write a letter to whatever agency deals with these pets, voicing my concerns about the possibility of future incidents, so that if (not when) something happens next year, or the year after that, I can ask the agency why they didn’t come up with a plan to stop this happening, waving my letter and waiting for the s**tstorm. How’s that for Passive Aggressive 🙂
Do I have any other options? Am I a spineless coward too scared to protect our town from this menace, or am I a Fascist fear-monger sowing the seeds of social disharmony for my own nefarious ends.
Time will tell.