Friday, March 5, 2010

Prancing With Pit Bulls

 There are stray dogs all over the island. It is a huge problem that needs to be addressed.

In January I took the very first class held her to certify animal control officers. On Saturday the newly formed organization of animal control officers and cruelty investigators, F.O.I.C.C.A., will hold an organizational meeting. As the fledgling group gains momentum, we will see change, pray God.

From my home in a rural farming community I do not see the intensity of the problem as people do in other more densely populated parts of the island.

In the states I am not a proponent of breed specific legislation. My feeling is today the Pit Bull tomorrow the Poodle.

Here indiscriminant breeding is the norm. A couple of years ago I freaked out as I saw a wolf hybrid trotting down the road. My feelings on wolf hybrids are strong; I've worked with them and handled a wolf. You really need to know what you are doing to have one!! Caution!!

I will usually support your right to do anything you want that doesn't harm others. The trouble here is that whatever is here is breeding in the general population of free ranging dogs. The idea of wolf hybrids breeding with powerful breeds bred for fighting in the pits, OMG.

I won't pretend to have any answers, still just figuring out the questions. Thought you might be interested in what another lady has to say.

The following is a post taken from a list with the permission of the author, who feels her position very passionately.

What a pity all this BS goes on and on... Puerto Rico would NOT be in this situation if the laws had been enforced in 1970.. No one actually NEEDS a pitbull... there are many breeds out there.
THe law that needs supplementing is one that phases out pitbulls gradually and that should be enforced..
spay and neuter all pit bulls, import none... so simple so impossible.
I put the pit bull I rescued to sleep, it broke my heart but I did not want an irresponsible person to adopt it, nor did I want a family with children to adopt it.
I think all you pit bull 'lovers' are extraordinarily vain and selfish and have insufficient ba#@s
actually I would prefer that all males who feel the NEED for a pit get themselves castrated then they would no longer feel the need to prance around town with their so called friendly pit bull.
You know what? There are many Pit bulls in Luquillo, half of them are aggressive and barely, just barely under control... they are loose on the beach while their owners surf. you can be sure no policeman does anything about it at all.
Some tourists left Puerto Rico in disgust because they could not enjoy being on a beach with pit bulls loose. They were shocked that this society was so irresponsible
but, what the heck, 9 gun shootouts and murders in Luquillo in the last two weeks ( unsolved) so what harm is there in pit bulls running around?

So I am really curious, what are your thoughts or opinions?


  1. Hmmm. This is a very "hot" topic. I can't say that I have any strong opinions but I do know a few things. I have worked with 100's of pitbulls in the last 8 years as a vet. assistant. I have only met one that scared me and threatened humans in any way. This was very abnormal for the breed. I have been bitten twice in that amount of time, once by a GSD and once by a golden retriever (go figure). I do know that by anatomical make-up the pitbull has a much stronger jaw than the average dog due to huge masseter muscles. This definately makes it more dangerous. I also know that the majority of the dogs that I have seen attacked by other dogs (small and large victims) were attacked by pitbulls. These dogs are usually in pretty bad shape. Small dogs usually don't survive to the office. I'm not sure if there is an increased tendency to want to harm other dogs, irrisponsible ownership, or a combination? All dogs of a specific breed are definately not created equal. I have met one puppy that from my first meeting with it at 8 weeks I was amazed and knew this dog was going to be big problems for the inexperienced owners (my good friends). This dog went on to bite one of their children (as I expected) and was rehomed. I lost touch with him after that. Even in experienced hands this dog would have been hard to handle. A seriously snarling spitting 8 week old puppy is a sight to see. This was a golden retriever (not the one that bit me). I think there are very very nice docile wonderful pitbulls and I have met many, but there are some that are not. Reguardless of why, they have a very bad reputation. I have no answer. I do know I would likely never own one because the damage they can do scares the crap out of me. That doesn't mean I don't think other people should have them. I am in agreement that people should be able to do as they please as long as they are not harming others.

  2. An additional note: the pitbull that scared me, was all talk, though very convincing. He was an intact male with a very "intact" male owner and I got the feeling the behavior was encouraged.

  3. I think there are some good pit bulls and there are some bad pits, just like any other breed of dog. The thing that concerns me about them is their tremendously powerful jaws. There was one dog that we had at the veterinary clinic I worked at that got into a fight with another pit bull. His front leg was completely crushed from the other's bite. I will say that the majority of pit bulls I have met have been well-behaved. I still would not own one or trust one around my nieces or other children. But to each their own, I guess.