Two Paws Up for Greenwood!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

We applaud the city of Greenwood, Missouri, for changing their breed-specific ordinance against dangerous dogs last week as reported in The GreenSummit Dispatch. While dangerous dogs must be regulated, ordinances against specific breeds-specifically, pit-bull terriers and mixes-are unfair.

Pit bull attacks are sensationalized in the media and especially on the internet. We recognize that any dog can be dangerous if not properly socialized and trained, but certain breeds have been unfairly targeted. Karen Delise of the National Canine Research Council has written extensively on the pit bull and its detractors. She claims that the typical pit-bull attack doesn’t involve a beloved family pet that turns on its owners, but rather an animal that is chained in a yard and trained to be a guard or attack dog.¬†Her book The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths, and Politics of Canine Aggression (Anubis, 2007) studies the history of the breed over the past hundred years.

The American Temperament Test Society¬†reports that American pit bull terriers pass their stringent temperament tests 85.3% of the time–as often as the basset hound and more often than the beagle, cocker spaniel, and several other breeds. It’s time for the media to promote the humane treatment and training of all our canine friends. Dogs don’t ask to be pets; it’s our responsibility to love and socialize them. Only then can we meet our dogs, no matter what the breed, on an equal ethical footing.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

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