On January 17th 2014 my daughter Kara was attacked and brutally mauled to death on her 4th birthday by the very dog we purchased for her at x-mas the year before.
She thought that dog hung the moon, she had tea parties with him, he would sleep at the foot of the couch when she napped, laid his head on her lap for endless petting, she would sing songs to him, demanded he be bought special toys to play with, special pooper scooper so she could clean up after him, cushions for him to lay, she helped walk him with her daddy at night, cried when he wasn’t feeling well as her little heart felt so badly for him, her face lit up from ear to ear when she’d talk about him.
We watched your show (Pit Bulls & Parolees) faithfully, had it DVR’d as a matter of fact, we hung to your every word, admired you for fighting for the respect of the breed, and educating new owners and potential adopters, we clung to your words and followed them like a bible. You are the biggest reason why I allowed that dog into my home. I bought into your theory of poor misunderstood dog, gentle giant, loving family pet, great with children, loyal, snuggly. Our dogs were every one of those things—until the day something snapped in him and he wasn’t.
He attacked my daughter with no warning, no growl, no sneer, no previous anger, no signs whatsoever. You are wrong in what you say, you are wrong in what you preach, you are preaching untruths and many many more children will die because of you. These dogs are unpredictable at best, ticking time bombs that do not care that you have loved them as family and had done all the right things, exercised, fed well, the right fences, vetted, loved beyond measure.
I left for work on January 17th 2014 at 10:15, kissed my daughter goodbye, sang happy birthday Kara-Kara bo bara for the last time, I never saw her alive again. I visit her daily at her grave, her baby sister was also there during the attack, she remembers the sounds of the dog attacking, her sisters screams, she will replay that day for the rest of her life as will my whole family. My little one had just recently turned two the day she lost her big sister. She asks god every day to give her back to her. She doesn’t understand, and well Tia , neither do I , but what I do know is I hope you feel responsible in some small part, as you should. You are publicly endangering millions of peoples lives with your lies, your show should not be on TV. People look to you for direction and for guidance, and you spew lies and deceit. These animals have no business being brought home by families, they have no business around the defenseless, the elderly, children, they are killing people in masses and I for one won’t stop until they don’t exist.
Before all you pit bull advocates make a comment, we want you to READ this comment posted below:
American Pit Bull Terrier
The ‘bull and terrier’ type was originally developed in England in the early 19thcentury. The lineage goes back to the mastiff / molosser types, including what we now call the Olde English Bulldogge, that were used for bear-, bull- and horse-baiting from the 12th through the 18th century. This isn’t the bear-baiting we think of today, when hunters feed bears in order to bring them out in the open to shoot them. Rather, the bear, bull or horse was confined in a public arena where the mastiff ‘bulldogs’ would slowly tear them apart alive for the public’s amusement1,2,3,4,5.
The popularity of this ‘sport’ declined as education became more emphasized in urban society of the Industrial Revolution and literacy among the population grew (from about 30% in the 17th century to 62% by 1800)6. The ‘sport’ was banned altogether by Act of Parliament in 1835.
The lovers of blood ‘sports’ turned to dogfighting to satisfy their fancy, breeding the large, mastiff-type bulldogs to smaller working terriers to get dogs both smaller and more agile, easier to keep and to hide, but just as willing to attack and fight to the death. With the rise of the kennel clubs and the desire to distinguish dogs by looks and pedigree as well as by performance, this ‘bull and terrier’ type eventually divided into many official breeds. They all share the same ancestry and function, distinguishing themselves mostly by slight differences in appearance.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers12.
The APBT is of medium intelligence, and it is athletic. They have plenty of energy and exuberance for life. They are affectionate companions are often referred to as a “nanny dog”, which leads many families to believe that they are suitable companions for children. Many can live happily with children and never have an issue, but there are many cases of the family pit bull suddenly attacking or killing a child in the household. The Pit Bull advocacy group BADRAP recently retracted their original “nanny dog” statements (https://www.facebook.com/BADRAP.org/posts/10151460774472399)13. In 2013 and 2014, in the United States, 27 children were killed by Pit Bulls and their mixes. Most of these children were killed by family pet pit bulls that had never been neglected or abused and had always loved the child. As with all breeds, the traits needed for their original tasks remain in the dogs – in this case, the sudden explosive aggression that was necessary to survive in the fighting pit. An APBT may never show this aggression, but if it does there will be no warning and the attack will not be easy to stop. Extreme caution should always be taken when this breed interacts with children. They are fun loving dogs that have “clownish” behaviors. Despite, their many positive qualities, this breed may not be suitable for everyone. Their high energy requires a family that can accommodate and appreciate this aspect of their personality. They usually do best with active families. Many American Pit Bull Terriers get calmer as they age and an older dog may work for a more reserved family.
The Pit Bull lobby – Jane Berkey, Animal Farm Foundation, Karen Delise, The National Canine Research Council, Indeterminate Breeds
If you are reading this, you probably used the NCRC (National Canine Research Council) as your “credible” source of information regarding the pit bull issue.
I’ve wanted to blog about this for a long time now. I must give credit where credit is due. Much of the content of this blog post was gathered or provided by fellow advocates of the Victims Of Dangerous Dogs Advocacy Network. It was my undertaking to pull it all together. If you are an elected official and are about to vote on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), I wrote this blog for you. You need to read this blog in its entirety.