(Featured image credit: Kim Bartlett – Animal People, Inc.)
Pit bull bans are cruel to both the dogs and the people who have taken them into their homes and love them. Unfortunately, there are many people who purchase these dogs and related breeds to turn them into symbols of machismo, uncared for watchdogs, or abused fighting dogs. Some opposition to pit bull breed bans has come from pit bull breeders as well as from people involved in dogfighting rings; such people may even pose as rescuers.
A humane alternative to banning any breed of dog (for whatever purpose) is a breed-ing ban, whereby the worst thing dogs and their families would face would be spaying or neutering – which in a perfect world would be performed on all dogs and cats who are not registered as breeders, with all breeding strictly regulated. Since pit bulls are arguably the most abused of all dog breeds, the dogs most easily put to terrible use in dogfighting, and the dogs most likely to be abandoned at shelters or dumped on the streets or elsewhere, it seems reasonable from a humane standpoint to begin to regulate breeding of all dogs by starting with a breed-ing ban of pit bulls and related breeds.
It must be understood that a dog breed is not a “species” that has evolved through natural processes. Any dog breed allowed to freely breed with dogs who are not of their breed will, after a few generations, resemble the generic street dogs found all over the world. We need not worry about the “extinction” of a breed of any domesticated animal, as the breeds’ absence will not diminish the earth or deprive any natural ecosystem of a beneficial component.
I offer these comments not as one who dislikes pit bull dogs or other animals, but as one interested in the welfare of all creatures.