Discrimination Against The Pit-bull Breed

Discrimination is always happening around people, but did you know that discrimination also exists against specific dog breeds? Out of all the canine breeds, pit-bulls have been perceived to be dangerous animals. More than 937 cities in the United States have a set of laws than ban or restrict certain types of dogs that look like a specific breed, and this set of laws is called Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). The pit-bull breed has been banned from a few states and even Canada. This breed, unfortunately, has a bad reputation because the media has shown negative images of pit-bulls causing injuries and sometimes death, yet pit-bulls are still one of the most loyal and loving dog breeds. This is why lovers of the breed cannot own a pit-bull as a pet. Although this breed has been portrayed as too dangerous to be a family pet, many pit-bull supporters have proven that this type of dog, with the proper owner, care, and training, is one of the most caring and loyal dog breeds.

The pit-bull breed has been banned in Canada and the states of Arizona, Delaware, and Washington. In most states that don’t have a ban on the breed, the local government has passed its own laws. These laws are known as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). They target breeds such as pit-bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans. During the proposed law hearings, groups such as the American Humane Society and advocates for pit-bulls show up with their pit-bull dogs and testify against these proposed bills. They cite that it is racist based on what they look like and the type of breed. They also argue that it shouldn’t be the pit bull’s fault but rather the owner’s fault when issues occur. In most cases where the pit-bull breed has attacked and hurt a human, the owners were irresponsible, neglectful, or not present during the situation. Advocates for pit-bulls have stated that owners should be penalized regardless of the dog breed.

In the 1970s, pit-bulls were pictured as gang-affiliated. Over the years, pit-bulls have earned the reputation of fighting dogs. For example, a former football star for the Atlanta Falcons, Michael Vick, was convicted of dogfighting with a pit-bull breed. Sadly, Pit-bulls have been visually portrayed as having a bad image, especially on shirts, posters, magazines, and videos. They were not always looked at as a vicious dog breed. In the early 1900s, pit-bulls in America were considered a “Nanny Dog.” They were known to be loyal, loving, and faithful to their owners and family members. Well-known authors, celebrities, and politicians owned pit-bull breeds. Helen Keller owned a pit-bull named Stubby and President Theodore Roosevelt named his pit-bull, Pete. Aside from the dog bites and deaths mentioned in the news, social media and television shows have finally started to shine a light of positivity for the pit-bull breed. One television series called Pit-bull and Parolees portrays pit-bulls as courageous and helpful dogs. When pit-bulls are abandoned or neglected by their owners, the rescuers on the show take in the dogs, care for them, and train them alongside the parolees. The dogs are later matched and then adopted into a caring family. Over the last few years, the news has reported heroic stories about pit-bulls saving lives, assisting disabled people or family members, and even being officially trained to become K9 dogs to help with fighting crime and sniffing out narcotics.

The problem with society is that the media only points out when pit-bull breeds cause injuries or death, but what they fail to show are the other dog breeds who show violent traits due to improper training. The blame should not be on the breed because pit-bulls are not born to be dangerous. In fact, any dog, no matter what size or breed, can hurt other dogs or people because of neglect, starvation, abuse, and other factors. When dogs attack, they should not be blamed on their breeds, but their owners should be at fault for not taking responsibility for improperly training their dogs. 

16 December 2021
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