ViewPoint: Dangerous dogs

August 21, 2008

We have seen a rash of dog attacks lately in South Georgia.  The animals doing the attacking have been pit bull dogs or pit bull mixed breeds.

There's no debating the danger these dogs can pose to people, especially children, when they decide- for whatever reason-  to attack.  The dog blamed for a recent attack on a child in Dougherty County even chased our reporter back into her vehicle when we went out to report on the incident.

We expect owners of American Pit Bulls to call and e-mail us with tales of how gentle and loving their dogs are.  They will also say that when the dogs attack, it's the owner's fault, or that particular dog's, and not the breed's.

That can be debated, but the fact is that these dogs possess size, strength, tenacity, and aggression that is very different from the average dog.  They are bred specifically for these traits.

The Michael Vick case brought dog fighting out into the open, and sadly, this activity hasn't ended. What breed was Vick training?  Of course, you know the answer.

Yes, any dog can bite, even the beloved Cocker Spaniel. But when a pit bull attacks a person or another animal, the result will be quite different, and is usually very serious.

Ordinances to ban pit bull dogs, or dogs with those characteristics have been introduced in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and other states. Denver, Kansas City, and Miami are some of the largest cities with pit bull bans. With over 100 breeds of dogs to choose from for a pet, We do not see this as a major inconvenience...

If not an out-right ban,  we call for the owners of pit bull dogs, or dogs with those characteristics, to meet stringent restraint requirements, including posting a substantial bond.