Pit Bull Controversy  

Posted by — Kim in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here's an interesting "interview" that I thought I would pass on...what are your thoughts on this controversial topic? Comments welcome! –Kim
Interview with a Pit Bull
By Mike Danahey
December 29, 2010


Elgin, Illinois – Protesters march down the Chicago Street bridge in opposition to a proposed law to ban pit bulls.
Animal lovers are a passionate bunch, as the debate here showed earlier this year concerning a proposal for a pit bull ban in the city of Elgin, Illinois.
So just as at the end of 2009, when we interviewed Jeff, the Lords Park bison, shortly before he passed away about efforts to save the zoo where he stays, this year we talked to Petey XXXL, the offspring of the pit bull from "Little Rascals" and Buster Brown Shoes fame, about the doggone controversy in the city in the suburbs.
Here is what Petey had to say in a Q&A.
Q: Why the controversy?
A: So, from what I recall, some city councilman wanted to ban my kind after a fellow pit killed a Chihuahua in late spring 2009. Now, I am certainly not excusing what happened, as I wasn't there. But first, let's admit it: Little dogs can be really annoying. It's like what you people call a Napoleon complex, typically with a high-pitched yap. But you don't hear about anybody wanting to ban pesky little dogs, do you? Sure, they might not be able to kill you, but be honest. You've probably visited some pals with some hyper beast that you at the very least wished would be away at dog obedience school for a long stay.
Second, thanks to the likes of Michael Vick, street gangs, drug dealers and gangster rappers, some of my brothers and sisters became a symbol of thuggery and toughness and were raised specifically to fight.
Folks forget that back in the day, my family hawked kids' shoes and hung out with those "Little Rascals." Now we're the ones TV has taught you to love to hate. We're the go-to dogs to fill time on newscasts and to scare folks.
Anyway, here in Elgin, you've had a number of wannabe tough guys walking about with my kind at their sides, trying to intimidate people. Imagine how some of them raise their dogs. Nature versus nurture. Remember that debate from school? Which is to say, there has been trouble.

Q: So how did things wind up in Elgin?
A: From what I recall, the controversy reached its conclusion at a council session in March, held in the ballroom in The Centre downtown to accommodate a crowd of more than 250, many of them there to plead for my breed. One person even brought a stuffed toy pit bull muzzled and leashed and sitting in the front row for council members – and TV crews from Chicago – to see. That sort of freaked me out. It was getting a little too close to being a Springer-meets-Oprah show, and I should know because my owner watches way too much TV.
After all the impassioned speeches from the audience, Councilman John Prigge, the most vocal proponent of a full-out pit bull ban, read from a prepared statement saying he was now ready to compromise.
While still feeling pit bulls – however you define my type – are dangerous, Prigge was willing to give owners of such dogs a chance to show "they are every bit as responsible as they've assured us they are." Prigge promised that he would be vigilant and that if there was another "pit bull attack in this city or if circumstances otherwise warrant, I will request we revisit this issue and suggest we implement all of the proposed pit bull regulations to prevent any further attacks."
It was very dramatic, like he was buddies with Batman or had watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Hey, my owner has Netflix, too.

Q: So what's happened since?
A: There still have been incidents with pit bulls, most notably police shooting two dogs roaming Festival Park on Memorial Day weekend and Mayor Ed Schock and his German shepherd having a tussle with two unleashed dogs in late June. But Prigge hasn't revisited the ban.
The city put its new laws into effect in June. The revamped ordinance allows an animal control officer to designate a dog as either dangerous or vicious in the case of an attack of either another dog or a human. It defines a dangerous dog as one that attacks and injures, and a vicious dog is one that attacks and causes severe injuries or death. A dog deemed dangerous or vicious has to register with the city for a three-year, $100 license. Such animals have to wear registration and rabies shot tags, and the owner must have proof such pets have been neutered or spayed, and microchipped.
Vicious and dangerous dogs also must be kept locked when outside, in fencing at least 6 feet tall. Owners need to secure a minimum $100,000 liability insurance if they have a dog deemed dangerous, and owners of vicious dogs need at least $500,000 in liability insurance. Dangerous dogs on public property must be muzzled and on a short leash and with an adult, while vicious dogs are not allowed on public property.
The new rules also help better protect pets from bad owners, with stiffer penalties given for mistreating an animal and for leaving a pet to bark outside and annoy neighbors.
Q: What do you think about all of this?
A: As far as I can tell, the city added bite to what it does, did it fairly, and didn't go all poodle on the town and act hysterically.
With higher fines in place, this fall the city council even approved allowing people to work off doggie-related debts with community service. And in late November, Prigge spearheaded an event at the Hemmens Cultural Center where residents could get shots and microchips for their dogs and cats at just $35 a pet. Speaking of cats, why is it OK for dopey people to let them run wild to eat birds, but we get the bad rap? And by bad rap, I mean "Who Let the Dogs Out?"
Now, where's that steak bone you promised? And I need my belly scratched.

Source: The Courier News
© Copyright 2010 Sun-Times Media, LLC

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 30, 2010 at Thursday, December 30, 2010 and is filed under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



I think it's terrible how elected officials stereotype these sweet dogs, based on the ones who have been abused. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the money to be made from the fines they collect, unfortunately.

January 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM

There is no such thing as a bad dog - there are only bad owners! No matter what the breed!

Shannon Cole - Shannon's Pet-Sitting
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Serving Suburban Lake, Cook & Kane Counties in Illinois
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January 21, 2011 at 9:44 AM

As a previous owner of a pit bull I agree punish the deed not the breed.
And if anything punish the owner for not doing the right thing from the start with his / her dog.

September 8, 2011 at 6:13 AM

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