For many years, pit bulls have been perceived as the worst dog breeds to own due to their aggressive nature. Initially, people bred them as fighting dogs to compete with other dogs in tournaments due to their masculine physique and powerful jaws. With time, their aggressive nature turned catastrophic as they turned on humans, dogs, and other animals. The rise in reports of people getting mauled by pit bulls has led to numerous bans, with authorities championing their confiscation in animal shelters to euthanize them. However, the legislation on pit bull bans has since changed due to the rise in attacks despite these measures. Here are five pit bull bans that were unnecessary.
5. Ken Vincente was mauled by a pit bull called Mickey in Phoenix, Arizona
According to National Geographic, the public expressed their disappointment when a pit bull called Mickey attacked a boy named Kevin Vincente in Phoenix, Arizona in 2014. He was four years by then. For a long time, pit bulls have been perceived to be extremely aggressive and can kill a human in seconds using their powerful jaws. Some apologists believe that any dog feeling threatened can easily attack its aggressors. For example, pit bulls have larger heads and short coats, perpetuating claims that they can be extremely aggressive. The American Veterinary Medical Association’s reports show that any dog can turn aggressive when not socialized appropriately. They argue that there was no personal correlation between the victim and the dog. While it’s true that pit bulls were bred to fight, there’s no scientific fact to back this claim. Still, people see pit bulls as bullies that will still attack an unfamiliar person or animal without batting an eyelid even after being properly socialized.
4. Montreal’s ban on pit bulls
According to Dodo, Montreal’s city councilors recently signed a death warrant for any dog looking like a pit bull. The move to ban pit bulls was on one condition; if the owners didn’t follow the city’s set conditions. The Mayor, Denis Coderre, announced that pit bull breeds like the Stafford bull terrier, American bull terrier, and American Staffordshire terrier were better off in city shelters than in people’s homes. The ban was so strict that any dog resembling a pit bull breed without an ‘owner’ on the day was to be euthanized. Montreal’s SPCA takes in more than 2,000 dogs in city shelters every year. Seven hundred dogs are mostly pit bulls that they claim can’t be adopted. Surprisingly, some dog lovers rescued pit bulls from the shelters before the mayor enforced the ban. So, they’ve moved them to western provinces that haven’t enforced the pit bull-specific ban. One of the rescuers, Carolynn Williams, expressed her disappointment with the ban, prompting her to cause the mass pit bull exodus. She argues that people might hold on to their dogs illegally, creating more problems. Currently, Alberta and Saskatchewan are the rescue provinces that haven’t banned pit bulls compared to those euthanized in Montreal.
3. The Ontario Pit Bull Ban
Montreal, Canada, isn’t the only place barring dog owners from adopting a pit bull. According to Vice.com, Ontario also enforced the pit bull ban in 2005 in Toronto. The councilors noticed the rise in numbers of dog bites before them. The move to enforce the ban came due to the owner’s reckless behavior. They argued that some pit bull owners adopted them to scare strangers away and provide security solutions for them. What doesn’t make sense is that a dog conditioned to bark at strangers won’t hesitate to bite them at the slightest provocation, putting more people’s lives at risk. Ontario’s city officials also put a lot of pressure on animal shelters, causing more confusion. The reality is that no amount of explanation justifies why people consider pit bulls as bullies than other breeds. The most confusing part is that it isn’t easy to identify pit bulls from their physical outlook in a shelter. Some may confuse other larger breeds for a pit bull, perpetuating the confusion.
2. Denver’s ban on pit bulls in 1989
1989 marked the year when Denver banned pit bull ownership due to the rise in the number of people being attacked and mauled. However, the city lifted the ban in 2020, over thirty years later. Denver residents took to the streets to repeal the ban by expressing their disappointment of prejudice against the specific breed. While Denver might have overturned the ban, its residents shouldn’t start celebrating as pit bulls won’t be treated like other breeds. Whether you plan to relocate to Denver or are already a resident, the first rule of adopting a pit bull is ensuring you complete an in-person assessment test by the Denver Animal Protection (DAP). If your dog has physical characteristics of a restricted breed like a pit bull, you will need a Breed-restricted permit at $30. If your dog remains in Denver, you should renew the permit every year for three years. If your dog doesn’t show any violations after three years, you can apply for an exemption from the breed-restricted requirements.
1. Miami-Dade County, Florida’s ban on pit bulls since the 1980s
Miami-Dade County, Florida, has been another place that enforces breed-specific legislation (BSL) since the 1980s. The move has seen more than 800 illegally-owned pit bulls euthanized instead of prosecuting the owners. Surprisingly, the number of dog bites has risen despite the heavy legislation. According to Procon, it’s ironic that analysts see BSL as the only humane way to prevent pit bull breeding and aggression. Banning pit bulls is a more effective initiative to prevent breeders from breeding more pit bulls instead of confiscating and killing them in shelters. The city argues that pit bulls are bred for fighting, and this perpetuates their desire to maul and kills humans, other dogs, and animals.
How a pit bull reacts solely depends on how they’ve been socialized. We’ve heard many stories of pit bulls attacking and killing humans since time immemorial, but the generalizations are totally unnecessary. Throwing them in shelters and euthanizing them is the worst form of animal cruelty. Punishments like tethering or isolating them from humans only aggravate the fierceness. A pit bull can be the best companion any owner can need with love and proper care.