Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hardworking Pit Bulls Buck Bad Rap

The missing woman would not have survived another night if Dakota hadn't found her when she did. The elderly woman suffering from dementia had been missing for several days when the pit bull—trained to assist law enforcement agencies in search and rescue—located her at the bottom of a steep ravine, her motionless body partially submerged in a small stream.
But when Kristine Crawford, Dakota's guardian, was approached by newspaper and TV news reporters after the successful rescue, she was confronted with an unusual question.
"The first thing they all asked was 'Did your dog bite the woman when she found her?'," Crawford said. "That's something no search and rescue dog handler with another breed is ever asked."
Media Advisory
Take Action!
What laws does your community have regarding dangerous dogs? Educate yourself by getting involved in your local legislative process, by learning more about dangerous dog legislation and getting to know pit bull guardians in your neighborhood.
They've been called killers and monsters in the media, yet thousands of beloved pit bulls live peacefully with families across the country. So where's the disconnect?
Pit bull guardians and animal welfare groups say that it is irresponsible owners and poor breeding—not an inherently vicious breed—that are to blame when pit bulls exhibit aggressive behavior towards humans.
"The media's image of the pit bull as a natural human aggressor is attention grabbing, but false," said Crawford. "In spite of their propensity to challenge other dogs, the typical pit bull is stable, reliable and adores people. Any display of human aggression, whether due to genetic mischance or bad environment, is an aberration. Pit bulls that bite humans are not typical of the breed."
Yet, across the country, communities reeling from shocking press reports involving dog attacks and pressure from nervous residents are increasingly turning to breed bans in an attempt to control the pit bull population in their area.

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