Tired of the Ignorance About Pit Bulls!!!

Daniel DeSousa, of county animal services, gets a nuzzle Wednesday from Cypress, a 2-year-old pit bull mix who has since been adopted. JOHN GASTALDO • u-t

I usually don’t write articles such as this, but I am really upset and tired of the media trashing pit bulls, especially from a guy who has never even owned one dog! I received an email from It’s the Pits rescue in San Diego (the pit rescue I volunteer for) about this negative pit bull article. It is one thing for one or a group of people to have a bad opinion about pit bulls but I am really sick of how they are portrayed in the media!

Matthew Hall of the San Diego Union Tribune decided to write a negative article about pit bulls even though he admits in the article he has never even owned a dog! I wrote an article the other day about National Pit Bull Awareness Day and how our community is waiving the adoption fee for pit bulls in the month of October. Matthew thinks this is a bad idea. Please vote at the bottom if you agree or disagree that pit bull adoption fees should be waived for October.  Thanks

Matthew Hall wrote this:

Bad taste is totally subjective.

For instance, there’s a difference between the county of San Diego naming a free pit-bull adoption program “Dare to Bull-ieve” and the county waiving $69 adoption fees to entice people to adopt pit bulls in the first place.

Many people would say both are in bad taste, but that one borders on criminal. To those people, I would say, “Dare to Bull-ieve.”

Are pit bulls potentially dangerous? You bet. You might get bit.

But you know what? You might get hit by a bus tomorrow, too. Except that you probably won’t.

Let’s start over. There are three types of people in this world — people who love pit bulls, people who hate them and people who don’t know any better, like children. Or like me, who has never owned a dog and whose youngest daughter is allergic to them.

…First, a brief history of pit bulls. Fifty years ago, pit bulls were regarded by some as “America’s Family Pet.” Then dog fighters began breeding the short, stocky, round-headed dogs to be deadly, and gangbangers and drug dealers took a shine to the little rascals. By the 1980s, laws were being passed across the country to rein in an explosion of pit-bull attacks.

…In the final analysis, I don’t mind nonprofit groups promoting pit bulls as a family pet, but am still bothered by the government doing it.

The obvious question — Are we saving a dog’s life at the expense of a child’s? — leads to a clear answer: We don’t know.

read full article…

My comment to Matthew: Paula Perry · Top Commenter · Owner at Touch of Home Pet Sitting

That’s some article written by a someone who has never owned a dog! I volunteer for a pit bull rescue. I have owned lots of dogs and two pit bulls (2 different dogs) when my two daughters were little. They were never bitten and as a matter of fact the dog was a companion and protector of them. And as for they will bite. Are you seriously that ignorant that you don’t know any dog can bite you. I suggest you do some research and find out how many pit bulls are family dogs in homes with children. Have you not heard they were once called America’s sweetheart and nanny dogs, because of the way they interact with children. Petey on Lil Rascals is a famous one, even you should have heard of. I am appalled that someone who is not dog educated at all can write an article like this. You should try writing about something you actually KNOW about.

Should county government promote pit-bull adoptions by waiving fees?   Vote Here.

matthew.hall@utsandiego.com (619) 293-1335 Twitter @SDuncovered Facebook matthewthall

Matthew Hall – U-T article author


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4 thoughts on “Tired of the Ignorance About Pit Bulls!!!

  1. I’ll immediately seize your rss as I can not find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please permit me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  2. this is what our local humane society thought of this article:
    Matthew T. Hall • Top Commenter • San Diego, California
    The spokeswoman for the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA emailed me her thoughts on the column. I’ll post them here, with my response to her. Thanks all for continuing this discussion.

    Kelli Herwehe: I’m actually very puzzled, Matt. Despite sending you our press release (twice), devoting time to a 30 minute phone conversation and an email recap of that conversation, I hoped your story would reflect more about the things we’re doing to address this pit bull dilemma. I believe the central point was missed altogether.

    About 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered (National Canine Research Foundation. Fatal dog attack studies. Retrieved July 14, 2009, from http://ncrf2004.tripod.com/id8.html). Yet people in our own community don’t alter their pets and are surprised when they bite. We have the
    knowledge, the skills and an exciting plan to launch a significant spay/neuter program to combat the problem as we described to you, yet none of this was reflected in your article.

    I know you consider the recent pit bull attacks to be as tragic as I do, however I believe you missed a key opportunity to use your visibility to properly educate and inform our community of the ‘other side of the story’. Pit Bulls attacking people is a serious problem, and we have a responsibility to address that problem.

    The real “newsworthy” angle of the story is that pit bulls attacking people is tragic. So what’s being done to solve the problem? Again, I will tell you….
    • Because we’re well aware of the aforementioned statistic, we’re offering free spay/neuter vouchers to pit bull owners this month and implementing spay/neuter programs that specifically target pit bulls so that we can address this problem.
    • We’re offering Behavior workshops about pit bulls, where anyone can come speak to our staff of Behavior Trainers to learn more about the breed and how to be a responsible pit bull owners.
    • We’re offering the community the resources to be responsible pit bull owners (i.e. free microchipping, discounts on Sense-ation harnesses, licensing programs).

    And my response to her: Thanks for replying, Kelli. I’ll post your thoughts about spaying and neutering on my column online to help foster the broader civic dialogue I always aim for. But frankly I don’t see what you’ve shared as news. Those types of programs aren’t unusual, here or elsewhere. Look, I appreciate and understand what you’re saying, but I think you missed my central point, which is I’m concerned about government promoting pit bulls as a pet by waiving the fees. That has never happened before, so that was news, and I was all too glad to delve into the issue, learn more about it and present my readers with a complex, nuanced and thought-provoking piece. That’s my opinion, I’m paid to give it, and it’s clearly one that’s shared by a lot of people. That said, as I often tell all my readers: You may not agree with me, but you won’t want to miss the conversation. I’m happy and humbled my column has generated more than 100 comments so far. Education and information is the name of the game, and clearly that’s being increased here. I’m sure you’ll agree: That’s in everyone’s best interest.

    Bottom line, as you’ll remember from my column, I think non-profit institutions like yours should be allowed to proceed as they see fit (and I’m glad you are), but government is a different beast, if you’ll pardon the pun. That’s the issue that drew me to the broader topic. Pit bulls often get news coverage, but that was a new approach worthy of debate.

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