Pique n' Your Interest 

For the love of Dog

Last week, after a jogger was attacked on the False Creek Seawall, a Vancouver councillor suggested a new bylaw to ban the ownership of pit bulls.

"There’s been enough injuries," said councillor Tim Stevenson. "And these dogs are vicious and trained to attack. And there’s no need to have them in an urban environment."

Good luck with that Tim.

After a string of well-publicized pit bull attacks around the province, Ontario’s attorney-general proposed a similar ban on the breed just last month, referring to the dogs as "dangerous weapons". Toronto newspaper columnists took up the cry, saying it was about time people acknowledged the dangers of certain breeds – which naturally prompted pit bull owners and dog lovers around the country to do a little crying of their own.

Here’s a short list of the pit bull owners’ excuses:

• It wasn’t all breeds of pit bulls that were responsible, the dog’s defenders suggested, but rather inbred dogs from backyard puppy farms;

• Rottweilers are more dangerous than pit bulls, according to statistics, but nobody is suggesting a ban on that breed;

• Poodles and beagles are more likely to bite, statistically, than pit bulls;

• The pit bulls in most high profile cases were likely provoked or abused;

• Those particular pit bull owners were negligent and you can’t penalize a whole breed and all the responsible owners out there for the actions of a few bad owners and dogs.

Honestly, if you read a Toronto newspaper a few weeks ago you’d have no idea that people were still dying in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and the Sudan. Columnists and letter writers displayed a kind of outrage over the proposed ban of pit bulls that even a war can’t provoke.

I guess dogs have that affect on people, which is why the whole debate on the wisdom of allowing people to own potentially dangerous animals as pets has been taboo in the media.

Naturally, the debate over vicious dogs always comes back to the people who own them – there are no bad dogs they say, only bad dog owners.

It’s the canine equivalent of the "guns don’t kill people" argument against gun control laws, and it probably makes as little sense to the people out there who have been shot as it does to the people who have been bitten.

I have to agree that there are an awful lot of idiots out there that probably shouldn’t own a dog, gun, or even a driver’s licence for that matter, but that’s not the issue here – there will always be morons out there who seem determined ruin the world for the rest of us.

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