Sunday, July 25, 2010

Recent Pit Bull tragedy saddens Bay Area!

An old photograph of a Pit Bull with a baby.Image via Wikipedia
One of this year's most emotionally packed tragedies happened Thursday morning in Concord, California when 2-year old Jacob Bisbee was fatally mauled by three of the family's five pit bulls, after the toddler accidentally wandered into the garage where the dogs were staying.
The boy's step-grandfather and owner of the dogs,  Steven Hayashi, age 52, has since been arrested and jailed on charges of child endangerment and possessing a mischievous animal that causes death or great bodily injury. His bail is set at 120-thousand dollars. 
This story has sparked an array of emotional reactions posted all over the internet, mostly from saddened and angered Bay Area residents expressing everything from sorrow for the grieving family (even the grandfather) to outrage against pit bulls and their owners!
Many address the same recurring argument of just who is at fault....the pit bulls, or their owners-- and what should be done about it! Here are some examples: "It's disgusting. What kind of idiot keeps toddlers and vicious dogs in the same house?" 
"A child that young should not be left alone with any animal, let alone a pit bull!" 
"Don't tell me about the pit bulls, blame the irresponsable, sadistic, bad owners when things like this happen....not their dogs!"
"How can anybody defend pit bulls when this type of thing happens all the time!"
On the one hand, the above statement is supported by a recent rash of pit bull attacks nationwide over the past few months involving severe maulings.(even on two firefighters bitten at a house fire)  Three of the attacks resulted in fatalities.
Over the past ten years, the San Francisco Bay Area has seen eight severe pit bull maulings, including the death of a 12-year old boy in San Francisco in June, 2005.  Out of 345 people killed by dog attacks in the U.S.over the past 27 years, 159 have involved pit bulls!  It's also reported that 25-percent of all dog bites are from pit bulls, thus further damning the case for safe pit bull ownership. 
Nevertheless, my opinon is slightly mixed in that, I know several pit bull owners who's dogs are adorable, loving pets....thus reflecting the responsability and care given by thier owners.
I've also watched a few pit bulls develop from birth to a year old, each one becoming the most loving, friendly companions any legitimate owner would be proud safely have join thier family.
Notice that I putting more heat on dog owners than on dogs, although no one should ever take for granted the instincts and un-predictable nature of any animal.
It was also sad, but not surprising to discover that following this terrible attack in Concord, Contra Costa County Services had all five dogs put to sleep, even though just one of the dogs had any violent tendencies.
However, the ultimate sorrow is for the loss of one wonderful, innocent young boy who would probably still be alive had his step-grandfather been as responsible as should be required by ALL dog and pet owners...especially those who own pit bulls! 
A few states actually have specific laws requiring muzzles and leashes on pit bulls that are not on their owners property. Perhaps this is something California ought to consider, as well as some type of special screening program for anyone owning a pit bull.
This particular story, as sad and sickening as it is, should remind all  of us dog owners (myself included) to be even more vigilant when it comes to public safety surrounding our pets! The ball is in our court when it comes to keeping our dogs, and the people around them SAFE!
I own three small, indoor Chi Hua Hua's who are basically harmless, however, what some fluke somebody gets bitten?  Of course they've all had their shots, but my six-year old male named 'Dexter' is sometimes a little over protective, and he growls a little when strangers are around my two young grand daughters.
It may seem like no big deal, but I'm seriously thinking of getting 'Dexter' a few dog training lessons to get rid of that occasional growl, even at the other dogs....because all dogs, big or small, pit bull or chi hua hua's must know their place in line, which is last behind humans.
When it's all said and done, ALL of us dog and pet owners should take more time and attention if needed, to guarantee the utmost safety for our pets, and those who come in contact with them--thus preventing any more tragedies like the one in Concord last Thursday!
Thanks, and stay logged on to 
Sincerely, PeteCam4
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