|Photo Source: www.pitbullsontheweb.com|
I am an animal lover...dogs, cats, birds, mice, turtles...you name it. I can't stand injustice of any kind. I guess that is the Libra in me. It hurts me horribly to hear of animals being abused, neglected, etc.
I often thought about getting into Animal Legislation to help strengthen the laws against people who hurt animals. They need to pay for their crimes. I truly believe that it is the owner who is at fault and not the animal. Now, there are always exceptions (animals that were previously abused before going to a good home). Each situation needs to be addressed individually.
I have been an "animal rescuer" for as long as I can remember. All of my animals - my entire life (besides Patti) - have been rescues. My husband and I (and myself before we met) have fostered many animals as well. I think God sends them to our doorstep or has them cross our path in some way because he knows that we will take good care of them and find them great homes (sometimes our home).
I remember a specific animal years ago that I rescued (which I named Niko). He was a mixture of black lab/pit bull. He obviously had been horribly (and I mean horribly abused) when he showed up in my front yard one dark summer night. He was more pit bull than black lab (had the coat of a black lab with the body of a pit bull). I took pity on him and brought him into my home. I had Patti at the time and he got along wonderfully with her. He was a gentle giant. Niko was one of the sweetest dogs I had ever come in contact with. In the beginning, he would pee himself at the slightest noise made, he would cower and shake when you walked into the room and always kept his head down. It broke my heart. How could someone abuse such a beautiful animal because he was part pit bull? I didn't understand it then and to this day still don't understand it. Niko lived with me for a few years and became a very normal dog. He gained confidence from love, structure and positive reinforcement. Not once in those years that I had him did he ever do one mean thing. He would kiss Patti and try to snuggle with her all the time. It was so precious.
In the past year or so a friend of mine and animal rescuer, brought to my attention that different cities and states around the country are regulating "breed specific laws" and banning dogs (good and bad) because they are of a certain breed. Now some of you may not agree with me but I think this is the biggest load of crap! The dog is not the problem, the owner is the problem. In the words of Cesar Millan, "Fix the way the person interacts with their dog, and you often fix the behavior problem....It's not about fixing the dog, it's about teaching the owner to be consistent, to be considerate, to build trust, and develop a true relationship with their dog." Amen to that Cesar...amen to that!
I would like to help bring awareness to the issue at hand. Breed banning IS NOT the solution. I wish that we could ban bad owners and that laws were made to do just that. In a perfect world bad owners would have to pay the price of abusing an animal....they should go to jail, have to pay fines, do community service and get mandatory psychiatric help. Here is a great site to help understand what I am talking about (warning: some graphic photos).
New pet owners should research the pet they want before getting it...no impulse buying, adopting, etc. They should also read up on how to properly take care of an animal, take into consideration their lifestyle and surrounds first (if the pet would fit in properly), how often they travel or work, do they have or want to have children and the list goes on. It is a big decision and not one to take lightly. An animal (pet) is not a disposable object nor is it a lawn ornament. It is a lifetime commitment...a gift from God.
That's my two cents...do with it what you will! :-)