July 31, 2006

Killing dogs in Florida

Without a doubt, these articles from the St. Petersburg Times in Florida are some of the hardest I've ever had to read. It took me four tries and three cigarette breaks just to get through the one entitled "Kennel Trash".

WARNING: These are not easy to read or see, especially "Kennel Trash". Kudos to Kelley Benham (journalist) and Cherie Diez (photographer) for fine work:

  • The pit bull problem - a brief introduction to the case of 139 "pit bulls" seized and eventually destroyed by Polk County Animal Control

  • For the dog owner - the thoughts and defence of the man who bred and owned these dogs

  • Kennel Trash - inside Animal Control, from seizure to destruction

  • Photo Gallery - message from Mike Wilson, editor of the story, and photos - after listening to Mike's message, click Continue on the top right to view the pictures
I hate the man who did this, even if it turns out he wasn't fighting the dogs, as he claims.

I hate the laws that make us kill these dogs, even when the lawmakers are truly trying to protect the public.

I hate the lawmakers in places like Denver and the Ontario cities of Windsor, London, and Pembroke. The breed bans and insurance requirements of these cities have caused the deaths of far more dogs than this one incident in Florida, just one at a time instead of all at once. Most of the dogs killed in those cities were not rescued from abusive situations or seized from dogfighters, but were family pets whose owners could not (or would not) move out of the city.

I hate Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario, who sat in front of a committee hearing, on TV, and said that a ban on "pit bulls" is the most humane option, in order to avoid needless destruction. He should read these articles and see if he has the strength to stick a needle in a puppy while it licks his face.

I hate that we, as a society, find ourselves in a position of killing healthy, friendly dogs because of:
  • Dogfighting

  • Puppy mills

  • Animal abuse

  • Misinformation about aggression and dog bites

  • Blindness, pride, prejudice, and hatred

  • Profiling of dogs and their owners based on the actions of a few
And finally, I hate that I and many other law-abiding, responsible, accountable dog owners throughout North America, along with our dogs, have become targets of hatred and abuse because of people like:
  • Hewitt Grant (Florida) - the owner of these 139 dogs;

  • Michael Bryant and Dalton McGuinty (Ontario) and Kory Nelson (Denver) - politicians trying to build a public image by killing dogs and running roughshod over the constitutional rights of their owners;

  • Peter Worthington (Ontario), Andrew Krystal (Nova Scotia), and other so-called journalists who inflame the hatred towards us using old myths and stories blown far out of proportion to their reality, resultiing in things like: two young pit bulls being hanged near Seattle, a pit bull being shot in the head in Nova Scotia, a pit bull being poisoned north of Toronto, and, in the same city, bullets in a bag with the label "Prescription for Pit Bulls" written on it;

  • Newspaper and TV editors who give more space and time to stories about "pit bull" type dogs that have injured other dogs, even slightly, than this one about a three-year-old boy killed by husky crosses in Manitoba or this one about a two-year-old boy also killed by husky crosses also in Manitoba.

  • Irresponsible owners who encourage inappropriate behaviour in their dogs, whether deliberately or not;

  • Stupid owners who "never saw it coming";

-- END --


President of DLCC said...

All I can say is these dogs were killed SOLEY because of their so called genetics.

Not one of those photos showed a dog with aggression to their keepers.And yet they were killed.

They killed PUPPIES.

If this had been a puppy mill of goldens,I firmly believe every dog would have been assessed,retrianed and rehomed.

Seems somewhere this sense of humanity and compassion does not extend to maligned breeds.

These shleter folks feel these dogs are just as disposible as the dog fighters do.

That in my book makes them every bit of reprehensible as the other.

I feel nothing more than outrage at the folks that expect me to feel bad for them having to house feed and then kill these dogs.

They killed them becuase they too have fallen victim to the media maligning of these dogs.

As with any dog that has issues,be it fear of thunder storms,fear of other dogs whatever a responsible dog owner could have easily given those dogs a good home.One simply doesnt throw the dog out with the bathwater.

Good owners make accomadations for their dogs.They train contain and socialize them.



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