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Pitbull Owners Survival Guide

« NAIS - U.S. Govt Mandates Mass Animal Surveillance By 2008 | Main | Canadian Liberals Got The Boot »

January 15, 2006


Loretta, Michigan

I came upon this sight and what can I say??? WOW.... our canine friends and companions are nothing more than a loving child seeking our approval and love, only difference is they come in a stronger package, tend to be abused more, and then the dog is to blamed when it finally snaps? This is outrages to me and I get angry and offended when people can stand there and say to the world "this animal does not belong" and then what is to become of the dog owner who beats his animal, fights his animal, starves his animal, and eventually kills his animal???? OOOhhhh that's right.... a slap on the wrist, a fine, and maybeeee, just maybe, if the system works right... a little tiny jail time.

Have the lawmakers in this country not studied or heard the brutal fact enough of how murderers and serial killers started their violent paths??? That's right... they started by torturing animals... To me any man or woman who beats, starves, chains, and abuses an animal in ANYYYY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM is nothing short of a potential murderer in my eyes....

My dog's mean more than life to me, they have made the QUALITY of my life, and my childrens' lives, more woth living.... they are truly a "GIFT" that should be cherished and treated with respect and love. It is the people who take that gift and treat it like garbage that are to be blamed!!!!!.... NOT the loving eyes of a small beautiful soul who just wants to be loved!!! Anyone who thinks differently should take a closer look in the mirror and perhaps do a little soul searching. Banning a breed is CLEARLY not what needs to be done... BANNING THE ABUSERS is the only way this stigma is going to end....

Instead of banning a breed how about putting REAL AFFECTIVE LAWS in to place to keep people from abusing animals and, more than likely, preventing the abuse of a human being in the end as well?????? The ignorance of the human race really sickens me at times and I sometimes wish i had the capacity to love unconditionally, like my beautiful dogs... it's amazing how much love and compassion you can learn from something so much smaller than yourself isn't it???..... I AM A PROUD ANIMAL LOVER OF ALLLLLL BREEDS...


I am a proud owner of an American Pitbull Terrier and am angered with senseless stereotypes. I live in Colorado Springs and face the hard task of being a pitbull ambassador. I find a lot of people don't understand what a pitbull is. They see one, or in this case my dog, Kubar, and are immedietly afraid for their lives. (Kubar is a CKC and ADBA registered 95 lb Peterson/Camelot male chocolate red-nosed American Pitbull Terrier as sweet as cotton candy) So, like I find myself doing a lot of the time, is explaining that pitbulls were actually the favorite family dog of the early 20th century and how pitbulls were the only breed of dog, originally bred to have no human aggression and how Hellen Keller had one and so does Alecia Silverstone and Michael J. Fox and so on and so forth...I try hard to fight for the breed. And I get some people who know what the breed is about and ask if their kids can pet him. So right there in Petco the kids swap hugs with Kubar for wet kisses. I love those days.

tha prince

i am the proud owner of an american pit bul terrier and every day i realize that my favorite companions are in extreme danger of extinction because of the many enemies on both sides of a vicious fence.on one front we have ignorant owners who think its cool 2 have ferocious dogs who will bite people without good cause. i say ggod cause because often times u hear about tha dog attacks but u rarely hear the reason 4 an attack(such as dog teasing or abuse which is often the cause)not like most of these supposedly unprevoked ones we hear about all the time.we also rarely hear about the thousands of great pits that people own that never have problems with their dogs because thats not news. then on the other side we have ignorant politicians who are quick 2 implement policies they believe will buy them more votes without taking the time 2 research prper info,(imagine that a politician makin a bad decision due 2 lack of necessary knoledge) bottum line people really need 2 read more books or something 2 realize that our great american breed is not the problem ignorant people r the problem look around u pit bulls r not our only evidence of this

Tanya Button

I have a pit mix. I adopted her from Boulder Humane Society and I live in Longmont with my husband. I am white, pretty affluent, and a Dr. of behavioral genetics, specifically aggression, conduct and drug use. I am from England and have no voting rights however, my husband does. I do pay taxes! I am appalled to think that Aurora does not want "my kind of people" there. Sure, my pup is a mix, but I would adopt a pure APBT, AmStaff of Staff in an instant if I thought the dog needed somewhere to live! Does this make me a bad person? No! My husband and I are responsible pet owners. We take our dog to classes, in which she loves to play with other dogs. In fact she is the most submissive pup in her class. She enjoys learning, and loves to meet new people.

I truly believe that the prejudice against pit bulls and their owners stems from biased media coverage. If a pit bull attacks then it is all over the media, if a chihuahua attacks - well, it was just a cute misunderstood dog! Therefore, people believe that pit bulls are more likely to attack because they are only seeing one side of the story.

Instead of Breed Specific Legislation how about trying Dog Specific Legislation?

Tracy Mahoney, Manhattan, Kansas

We are currently discussing a breed ban in our city council chambers in lovely downtown BANhattan, Kansas. I am against breed bans, but I think the larger issue is a sense of powerlessness that people have that is somehow salved by standing at a podium in front of your neighbors and pretending to give a damn about something. Our city has worked through one proposed ban after another. The proposed breed ban is just one in a line of many. How our city council puts up with the innanity is beyond me. Luckily, they have the presence of mind to table most of this silliness for 2 months, 6 months, 12 months, whatever seems necessary to get the bored housewives and retirees on to something else. If these people had lives, it would help.


I am aPAWed at the thought that not only are we judged by what race, sex, and social-economical class, but I am also judged by what type of dog I share my home with. Just b/c he is a pitbull THOSE type of people do not like him! Brutus is a BIG loveable character, much nicer than most of them darn ankle bitters that just do not get killed anytime they bite someone cause their mouth is small. My baby is 2-1/2 years old and he loves people....
not white, black, brown or yellow people just people, how old is our politicians?


"Those people?" I do not in any way mean to sound biased or prejudicied, but if they are poor and uneducated, would they move to keep their dog?? What are their chances of finding a job (without education or specific skills) if they unrooted and moved? Working with all the Hurricane Katrina "refugees" the vast majority of them seem to be pits, mixes thereof, Rotties, Shepherds, etc. These were the ones that were left behind. Would it not seem that if a person was forced to either give up their existing home and job with no foreseeable future or give up their dog, wouldn't they give up their dog? Those that can relocate, commute or have education and marketable skills, probably already have relocated! So "those people" would have only improved Aurora, their loss!


I am against BSL, but I wouldn't be a single issue voter. Education, health care, border control and America's role in the middle east are far more important issues. With local candidates issues such as traffic, taxes, and property values are most important. I will write letters, but I'm not going to help run a good person out of office just because they don't like pit bulls.


Having worked as a vet tech in all my years I have never once been bitten by Pitbull. Gasp! Shock, horror! However, I have almost been bitten by many overzealous, hyperactive, aggressive, non-neutered Labs that were obviously poorly trained and poorly bred. How about the concept of having a liscense to breed? Why don't breeders pay the price and suffer the consequences for breeding into dogs bad attributes that make them prone to behavoiral problems? Positively and absolutely, It is not the breed, but the irresponsible, misdirected, uneducated breeders who should be punished. Does anyone out there know if this issue has ever been addresssed?

Conni Migliaccio

Hey everyone wake up! It's dogs today and tomorrow it's going to be the color of your house, the church you go to or how your kids are dressed. The BSL problem is another sign of the times. Every day we let more of our rights slip away. When the smatterings of BSL threats started to leak out into the public for the most part people just "played ostrich" and hoped it wouldn't come their way. Well, tomorrow is here and the walls are closing in on us.

With fears to our security promoted by media hype (dog attacks, weapons of mass distraction, bird flu, terrorists, etc.) those of us willing to spend the time (and don't kid yourself it does take time) and effort to help educate people and encourage them to GET INVOLVED is the single most important thing we can do!!! I cannot stress this enough - participate in your local meetings , get to know who your officials are, show up at those local rallys, support those trying to make a difference, make the calls, bring up the hard to answer questions at your next soiree, write your senators and Please VOTE! Don't worry about getting tagged or profiled - YOU ALREADY HAVE BEEN if you have a dog on the breed ban list like me. A proud white, female, 45 year old Cane Corso owner in Aurora....

Michael Wisner

Is American free with liberty and justice for all? How is it then that our right to own property has been so violated? How can an uneducated irrational person dictate what breed of dog I own. Fear of different races has lead to many appologies over the centuries, but none of these have brought back the harm done by this uneducated fear. Keeping these people out would also have caused two tax paying business's to move from their city.

Billy Holdson

Welcome to the Police State of Aurora, Colorado! After Oct 25th, 2005 I became one of "THOSE PEOPLE" according to Aurora's Bob Fitzgerald and his staff of so called dog breed experts. To now live in Aurora with my pet, his "DANGEROUS BREED" license will cost $200 per year instead of the usual $7, I have to build my pet a 5 x 10 fully enclosed and padlocked cage, where he must stay, (never loose in my fenced yard). He may never be walked in the city of Aurora without a muzzle & 4' leash, and we're required to post city approved signs on our house stating "DANGEROUS DOG BREED ON PREMISIS".
(No I'm not kidding!)
If we do not comply by Feb 1st 2006 and pass the house to house inspection. There's a $700 fine, max 1 year jail sentence and disposal of my animal. Think I'll be packing up my tax dollars and moving to a different community, but which one is a safe haven?
Here's the good part...
I do not own a PitBull, nor would that be my first choice of dogs to own. I wouldn't own a Cocker Spaniel either. It's all a matter of personal preference, and we all should have that freedom of choice as a responsible pet owner of any kind. But that's changing as we speak, city by city, since Aurora made the example, others will predictably follow.

One year before the ban suddenly appeared, We carefully selected and adopted a puppy from a well recognized and certified breeder. The description is that of a large working breed of dog, averaging 90 to 120 lbs. Requires good training, socialization and suggests an agressive and dedicated handler. What dog of size does this not address?

He's since been well socialized, trained and has even earned his CGC Award. (Canine Good Citizen) What's the breed? A "Cane Corso" or Italian Mastiff. There was not a city in the entire United States banning this breed, until now. Aurora was the first. There were no animal control incidences that involved, acts of aggression, violence or bites to humans or other animals on record to date. He just fell into Aurora's additional list of randomly selected "dangerous breeds". The ordinance ends it's list of 12 dangerous breeds loosely with the statement: "Or any breed that bears similar resemblance".

Can we assume that could eventually include, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Akitas, Great Danes, Chows or the even the Boxers that an Aurora City Council member breeds? Watch out Chihuahua owners, you're next to become one of "THOSE PEOPLE". VOTE WISELEY!!!


I think that banning a breed is the most ridiculous idea ever. If you are doing it because of the rep of a dog, you need to do more research. There are just as many dogs that are of other breeds that are agreesive but are not banned. It's totally an owner's fault. Nothing to do with race, just how you raise the dog. Banning a breed of dog is like telling an African American that they can't live in your city because they have a bad reputation, before you even get to know them. Completely stupid. Whoever thought of banning a breed needs to do more research.

Chris O

Generally speaking, I do not like pit bulls. But that said, I do not believe there should be breed bans. The problem is too many people who are either uneducated about how to responsibly own a dog or don't wish to take the time or put forth the effort to be responsible owners. And this ruins it for everyone having dogs. People admire my dogs for how well behaved they are, but when I tell them what they will have to do to have a dog like mine, i.e. train it, they just turn off and walk away. You can't legislate responsible behavior. As for race and socioeconomic class discrimination - don't know if this is the intent in all cities enacting breed bans, but it is certainly something to think about when examining motives.

Rena Distasio

Excellent article! Two experiences led me to agree that breed bans may be racially motivated: reading "Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog", and personally listening to a local congresswoman last year push for a breed ban, stating, "When I lived in Sandia Heights [an affluent Albuquerque neighborhood] we didn't have dog bite problems. People there tend to own poodles and such."

For the past couple years I’ve done some pit bull advocacy, mainly trying to adopt the best of the breed out of Albuquerque city shelters and into responsible homes. Whenever I go out in public with an adoptable pit bull, I get all kinds of responses – from ranchers who fondly recount stories of their favorite herding pits to elderly Hispanic couples who tell me bashfully how they spoil their bullies by letting them sleep on the bed. The one type I haven’t yet run into? The “thug” type who plows me with questions about how “tough” the dog is. Not to say that dog fighting – or plain ol' dog negligence – doesn’t exit (both are huge problems in this state but ones against which the powers-that-be blithely turn blind eyes), it’s just that to most people, pit bulls are dogs, nothing more.


Hmm, I'm a White female, 35-50 age bracket, professional. I oppose breed bans, I am a Single issue voters on anti-dog legislation, and I would cross party lines to vote anti-dog legislators from office.
I own 10 dogs(APBT), 2 cats, an iguana, and a bearded dragon. I am the mother of four human children.
I also do not have so much as a speeding violation on my record.
BUT, I am one of "those people"!
Aurora, Denver, etc won't be seeing any of my tax dollars!!!

Rich Harris

I think that people that banning a breed is ridiculous.

These breeds have been around for 100s of years and now politician get to decide that hey they shouldn't exist anymore??? I guess since they are politicians it's ok that that "create" endangered species right? I dont know if anyone has ever looked at it like this but when you ban a bred it will ultimatlely become extint. Now this wouldn't be accepted if it were a Bald Eagle, Bengal Tiger, or any other wild animal so why the heck is it ok for our beloved domesticated animals?

Dont get me wrong I dont even own a pitbull and would never want to be bitten by any dog but to ban a breed as all bad is like saying a particular race is all bad.

I think what should happen is that there are laws entact that punish those that allow their dogs to bite or fight. I dont know what the percentage is but I'd be willing to guess that the percentage of the listed dogs that bite someone is very small which makes me say once again.... "Why punish the majority because of the minority"

Breed banning it unjust, unkind and down right wrong.


Good job exposing small-minded bigotry, confirming my belief that it is the real driving force behind 'pit bull' bans.

Your survey findings echo my observations. In our group, the majority of members who love the bully dogs fit your profile to a tee. They are property owners, business people, professionals, etc who pay taxes and live within the rule of law.

This article could represent a major turning of the tides vis a vis public opinion. The MSM won't run it, but they are no longer the gatekeepers - bloggers like you are way out in front with breaking news and objective opinion.

Congratulations on another hard-hitting, honest and well-written piece.


SWF seeks politician with head in the sunlight and appreciation for my civil rights. Must have respect for my voter status, economic and social contributions and the breed I choose to own. (That's right, Rep. Wesselhoft...12, count them 12 American Pit Bull Terriers!) Looking forward to lots of intelligent conversation culminating in a cozy date, on the next election...

one of "those people"

Dianne Singer

Hmm. I'm Caucasian, 35-50, paraprofessional, with three dogs and two cats. I guess Aurora considers me a threat to....what? I've never been one of "those people" before; being lumped into a category of undesirables is a new experience. Well, thank you ever so very much, Aurora. You can bet that Denver, Aurora and other jurisdictions with small-minded, ignorant councillors will never see a cent of my tourism dollars.

Sandi Coy

Hmmm, I am white, female, 35-50 and I am owned by a bunch of APBTs. They love me and I recipricate that love by helping to make sure they are not "banned" out of existance. Plus all the treats and food and extra love I give to my babies. I think an APBT is better than some "do gooder" lawyer that wants to keep "those people" out of his town. Hmmm imagine that, he does not want white female RNs living in his town and I know for a fact that there are many that do. How would the city of Aurora like to be known as the city that discriminates against "those people" OOOOOpppps too late. They are already known as that and it will take a very long time for them to remove that black eye. Yes, I have lived in that area so I DO know about "those people" The good news is that they don't get a whole lot of rain so maybe those with their noses in the air won't drown.

Maryellen Swiatek

i am a white woman, in the 35-50 age bracket, good solid job, good income, married, with a certified CGC, TT Therapy Pit Bull .. and a german shepherd and a rottie... I am not trash, not unemployed, etc.. but that doesnt matter.. i own a pit bull.. if the city of aurora is trying to ban white people from living and owning a pit bull in their city then their city will slowly fall apart.. tourism will dwindle down, and the town will suffer.. its too bad the town of aurora is profiling pit bull owners.... i am proud to own a pit bull.. and will live where ever my breed is allowed... i feel sorry for the town of aurora and the other towns/states that are banning the breed.. they are doing more harm then good and are showing people they are profiling and that is racism..

Mahlon Goer

Sometimes the bias is pretty blatant. Watertown, New York Mayor Jeff Graham earned himself a place on many a New Yorker's list of politicians-to-dump-first-chance-we-get with his invitation to discriminate against pit bull owners.

Said Mayor Jeff:

"those who go to shelters seeking out breeds like Pit Bulls have an
agenda that goes beyond just having a family pet. They are looking for something that is linked to violence, something that is intimidating…. . ."

Me? Hello?

That's supposed to describe ME?

Tina Brown

those who ban Pits, along with Rotts or any other breed for that matter are plain Ignorant. No Breed should be banned, Terriers are Prey driven and Rotts drover dogs. A Sherpherd? Since when is a GSD banned. My lord what stupidity this country is coming to. It the Gov't is allowing any dog the don't like to be banned, Perhaps its time to put the Govn't under scrutiny As well as the right wing wackos who come up with these ideas. These dog want nothing more than to please. Its horrible people who make or abuse, beat and try to make these dogs agressive. YOu take away the Abusive owner and you take away the agression. How much abuse is one breed suppose to take? Even one life before it lays down and dies or fights back with agressive behavior to save itself. More people are bitten and harmed by toy breeds with nansty disporsitions that any large breed dog. Leave it to men in this country to destroy what woman these days are still trying to clean up from all their abuse, neglect and wrong doings.
Check out the transport lines, the shelters, the ongoing caregivers. Sure not men and never will be. the homeless non wanted dogs. And men support the puppymills. It should never be to ban a breed it should call all who have made these leaglities stand up and show themselves and account for attrocities.
what a sorry state this country is in and you breed banners are the worst

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