Letter: ‘You’re giving pit bulls bad name’

Letter writer William Patrick accused The News of sensationalizing a story about a Pit-bull cross who killed a terrier

Editor, The News:

Re: Dog killed in Pitt Meadows attack (The News, Aug. 1).

In the article written by Neil Corbett, he kept referring to the dog that attacked the Yorkshire terrier as a “pit bull.”

Yet even the owner of the dog stated the dog was not a pit bull, but a mixed breed.

Still, the dog kept being referred to mistakenly as a pit bull.

Any time there is a dog attack, newspapers, reporters, the media, like to use the term pit bull, when in many cases that is not true or a skew on the facts.

But let’s face it, it sells the news better and puts  a little more fear in people and a dislike for the breed, which is a mistake.

A veterinarian who told me that there are more cases of Labrador retrievers biting their owners than pit bulls, yet a Lab retriever attack isn’t going to make the news, nor is a poodle attack, nor is a mixed breed dog.

Let’s just label it a “pit bull” for news sake.

Even in this case, when the owner clearly stated the dog is not quite a pit bull, that is what it is labelled, because even if it had one per cent in the mix, that is what it is.

I owned a mixed breed pit bull/Labrador retriever rescue, a Staffordshire terrier and a Rhodesian ridgeback mix (rescue). One of my previous neighbours called the police when I moved in next door, because I must be a drug dealer since I own ‘pit bulls.’

I’m a law abiding citizen who works for the government.

In my youth, my family owned poodle mixes, and they were far more vicious than my three dogs I recently owned.

It’s misquoted and stories like these in the recent paper that gives this dog breed a bad name and instills unnecessary and unwarranted fear in the public.

Your paper didn’t even post a picture of the offending dog for people to see it, and come to their own conclusions, although some would still call the dog a pit bull even if it isn’t.

And, while Tucker was killed and I have sympathy for the Wyatt family on the loss of their family member, I do give credit to the Slaters, who took in an abused rescue dog in an attempt to give him a good, safe home.

At least they tried, and gave it a chance.

William Patrick

Pitt Meadows

Editor’s note: The story refers to the dog in first reference as a “pit bull cross,” and in two subsequent references this was shortened to “pit bull.” The story included a paragraph about the dog’s breed, in which the owner described it as “not quite a pit bull,” a mix of breeds, which he believed may have included Rhodesian ridgeback.