Designating one dog breed as dangerous does not create safety

Proposed bylaw singling out pit bulls as dangerous debated.

Editor, The News:

Re: Council mulls live pet sale ban (The News, July 20).

We are very pleased to hear that the city is considering the ban of retails sales of animals in pet stores.

While Gary Penno, co-owner of Mr. Pets, may not get his animals from mills, the retail sale of pets does serve to contribute to homeless companion pet problem in our cities.  Shelters across the province will and have testified to this, as many of these pets are purchased on impulse only later to be surrendered and abandoned.

The proposed breed specific legislation, which would automatically deem pit bull and pit-bull-type dogs dangerous, is archaic and in contradiction to the changes many municipalities across Canada, and the United States, are making.

Policy and academic research has proven that designating one breed of dog dangerous does not create a safer community and certainly does not promote responsible pet guardianship, which is really the issue.

In fact, by saying one breed of dog is dangerous promotes a false sense of safety. The city will effectively be saying any other dog, regardless of its temperament, is safe.

Finally, while it is true the B.C. SPCA supports legislation that bans the retail sale of pets, Liz Holitzki failed to mentioned that the SPCA does not support breed specific legislation, in any form.

Kathy Powelson, executive director

Paws for Hope Animal Foundation


Sick to my stomach

Editor, The News:

Re: Proposed bylaw to single out pit bulls (The News, July 18).

I have two pit bulls and many friends with them. Not one of those dogs is aggressive or dangerous in any way.

People are judgmental and uneducated about the breed. Nothing is wrong with them and their jaws don’t lock like many people believe they do.

The muscles in their cheeks may be stronger than other breeds, but that is no reason to judge all of the dogs because of a few drug dealers and irresponsible owners who have given them a bad name.

People work very hard with their pit bulls and they are still being discriminated against.

Why should only pit bulls have to go to obedient school for a discount on licenses?

Why don’t you make it mandatory for all dogs who have previous aggression?

I don’t like this at all and I feel like responsible pet owners should have the chance to defend our animals.

People who don’t like the breed are uneducated and living in fear for foolish reasons.

Many people I know are furious to hear about how unfair and not right this is.

My dogs are great with kids and other people and I trust him sleeping beside a five-month-old baby.

Why should we suffer because of this? It makes me sick to my stomach.

Sarah Robinson

Maple Ridge


Bylaw for all

Editor, The News:

Re: Proposed bylaw to single out pit bulls (The News, July 18).

As a recent owner of a pit bull from the SPCA, I must say I disagree with the proposed bylaw.

I was reluctant to allow such a dog into our house because of the perception of the breed.

However, since she has come to live with us, she has been nothing but a joy.

She is very even tempered, and loves to go to the door to greet visitors.

She has been introduced to many of the children in the neighborhood.

We have taken her to meet smaller dogs who have snapped at her and she does not retaliate at all.

At the local dog park, she plays well with other dogs of all breeds and sizes.

I agree there are pit bulls who are aggressive. But as statistics show, the worst offenders are golden retrievers and Chihuahuas. So then this bylaw should be applied to them, as well.

Any dog bite is bad and should not be grouped by breed. Studies show that some dogs will actually become more aggressive.

I think a better approach is to educate dog owners on aggressive dog behaviors. If a dog shows any aggression, it should be on a leash at all times and kept away from public places.

Dogs can be trained and with lots of TLC. I feel only as a last resort with dogs that have a history of aggression, regardless of breed, should be muzzled.

I would hate to see loving dogs like ours be muzzled just because of their breed.

Kathy Barnard

Maple Ridge

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