Editor’s note: Grief over the loss of a pet is one thing, but then why can’t Ms. Teets understand that the breed-specific legislation (BSL) she’s pursuing will potentially separate loving owners from their dogs as well? Indeed, if Ms. Teets can acknowledge that “not all pit bulls are like that,” then why can’t she understand that the BSL she seeks would force pet owners who love their pets just as much as Ms. Teets loved hers, to potentially give up their perfectly well-behaved, socialized, and loved dogs? Two wrongs don’t make a right. And in saying that “not all pit bulls are like that” she’s acknowledging that that non-existent “breed” she and others erroneously call “pit bull” isn’t actually inherently “dangerous” like she alleges; no dog breed is inherently “dangerous.” And just because a dog of any breed is dog-aggressive, it doesn’t mean the dog will also be aggressive towards humans or children in particular. So will Ms. Teets do the research? Will she try to find out if the BSL she seeks is efficacious? Here’s a hint. It’s not. Where BSL is proposed, dog bites/attacks don’t decrease.
From the Daily Press:
…Every time Encie Teets closes her eyes all she sees is a pit bull with her tiny pet dog in its mouth, shaking her.
This memory is accompanied by the sound of her own voice “screaming to high heaven,” as she describes it, for somebody to help her because the dog was going to kill her pet, Muffin. Teets was out walking Muffin early on the morning of May 29 when the other dog attacked, and Muffin died from her injuries later that night.
Teets, 77, is now trying to get tougher warnings put into place for potentially dangerous dogs…
Teets has filed a complaint with animal control about the dog attack. The pit bull’s owner has offered to pay vet bills and to get Teets a new dog, but she said that she worries a neighborhood child will be the next victim of a dog attack.
Hampton allows animals to be off leash as long as they are under voice command by their owners and prohibits the tethering of animals. Teets thinks there should be more precautions, especially for animals with a history of violent behavior.
“The law needs to be changed and I’m going to work very hard,” she said. “That’s what my mission is going to be. Pit bulls need to be labeled as dangerous dogs, and they need to have a sign posted on their property warning there’s a dog here that is not a friendly dog.
“They will say that not all pit bulls are like that, and I give you that. But none of us know when our animal will become vicious. I mean who knows what could trigger it.”
Leash, tethering and other regulations to restrict dogs vary by locality…
2 responses to “Hampton, Virginia Woman Seeks BSL After Pet is Mauled”
All pit bulls may not kill other dogs but my dog and I were charged by them 3 times within a year and the last time there were two of them. They were off lead and responded to voice commands. I have had as many as 16 pit bulls living in a three block area and cannot safely walk my dog unless we are visiting friends out of state. That is the only type of dog that has attacked my dog and I. I wish that you could come to my neighborhood and show me which ones would not try to kill my dog and I. Thank you.
Okay, I read your story, now let me tell one. Several years ago, I was walking my well-behaved and socialized American Staffordshire Terrier in my neighborhood and from out of nowhere, two Scottish Terriers tore out from behind their owner’s house and flew at my dog with a speed I would hardly have thought possible in dogs so small and with such short legs. Seeing these Scotties’ aggressive and rapid approach, I reached down and put my hand on my dog’s flank and calmly told her “no” and to “heel” which she did. We stood there and let the Scotties approach us, all the while I kept talking to my dog. Once the dogs reached my dog, they simply stopped. They didn’t know what to do because my dog wasn’t aggressing and we weren’t running. They were expecting a fight or a flight; they got neither. My dog wasn’t engaging. So, they sniffed around for a few seconds, and then endeavored to cross the street onto a busy road. I actually managed to steer the dogs back to their home and back to their yard to keep them from getting hit by cars. To this day, I do not know where their owner was.
The same scenario happened again a year or so after the Scotty incident. I was walking my dog again, and from out behind a house tore this little furry dog, I’m not sure what it was, perhaps a Shih Tzu, and the same thing happened. I calmly told my dog to heel, and the little dog attempted to nip at my dog. My dog did nothing but stay obediently by my side. The woman, my neighbor, came running out from her house all flustered and upset apologizing profusely for her dog slipping out of the house. I said, “It happens.” And indeed, it does happen. I have returned many of my neighbors’ dogs to their homes a time or two. I have been stared down and growled at by my neighbor’s dog, a Labrador, on more than one occasion on my own property. And like you, I can no longer walk my dog in my neighborhood, not because of “pit bulls,” but because there are too many irresponsible dog owners and I simply won’t expose my dog to them anymore.
Are you getting my point here? You describe what you believe is a “pit bull” problem and I’m describing a similar problem, only I’m calling it what it really is: a free-roaming dog problem. Now, I’m not talking about a dog that slips out of the house a time or two by accident (although if that happens, like in the case of the Scotties, and the dog attacks another dog, then yes, the owner must face the consequences, whether that’s a ticket or having to pay for vet bills, etc.). I’m talking about people who are chronically irresponsible with their dogs. People who don’t secure their dogs. People who let their dogs run all over the neighborhood and get into all kinds of trouble. Again, this has nothing to do with breed. This has to do with irresponsible owners, and the only way to crack down on irresponsible owners is to deter their behavior. Irresponsible dog ownership is deterred by adequate Animal Control enforcement, leash laws, and escalating fines and penalties.
It sounds like you believe that a breed ban or some kind of breed-specific law in your neighborhood would suddenly and magically stop people from being irresponsible with their dogs. On the contrary, breed-specific legislation has for decades been a proven failure because the same people who are disobeying the law by allowing their dogs to free-roam aren’t going to stop being irresponsible simply because more laws have been passed. So, all breed-specific laws do is punish good owners who were already abiding by the law.