You might think, “Never has there been a dog so demonized as the Pit Bull,” but you would be wrong. The first “demon dogs” were actually Bloodhounds back in the 1800’s. People became frightened of them because of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin series. Targeting a specific breed to discriminate against was wrong then, and it is wrong now.
In B.G. Boucher’s new book, Pit Bulls: Villains or Victims?, Boucher makes a strong case for us to move our focus from blaming dogs to seeking out and prosecuting the real villains, which are the people who would abuse dogs and make them act in ways that are inconsistent with their true nature. From all the news headlines that state, “Pit Bulls Kill….,” one would think that Pit Bulls were born and bred to attack humans. What else would you be expected to believe? The unfortunate truth is that a) the people identifying dogs in dog-bite situations are not dog experts, so even though one couldn’t say for sure if a dog was a pit bull (which isn’t even a breed, by the way), the media reports it as a pit bull; b) The circumstances around an attack are rarely properly reported, so articles lead us to believe that a dog just went haywire when the truth is the dog has been chained, underfed, and abused its whole life; and c) pit bull-type dogs were not bred to show aggression against humans; in fact, because they were bred to fight, they were specifically bred not to bite humans. But does the media report that? NEVER.
All of these things pile up to create a misinformed case for BSL (breed specific legislation), which has caused many people to become separated from their beloved family dogs. The problem is that not only does BSL destroy families, but it does nothing to protect our communities from the real threat: violent people. And these people are really violent. These are the people who force women to remain in abusive relationships by threatening their pets. These are the people who rape and murder children. These are the people who need to be behind bars instead of their dogs.
I highly recommend B.G. Boucher’s book to anyone looking for further ammunition to combat pit bull discrimination. Whether you like pit bulls or not, you can’t ignore the fact that locking up dogs instead of their abusers does nothing to make our communities safer. The abusers will just get another dog, maybe a bigger one this time.
BzTAT of Okey’s Promise: Art For A Cause gets it. She is using her art to disseminate information about the relationship between animal abuse and child abuse. It’s there, and we can’t ignore it. Click here to watch a video about it.
Through their efforts, both BzTAT and B.G. Boucher are working to create change and make our communities safer. You can help by educating yourself about these issues and sharing the information you learn with others.