Thursday, September 11, 2008

F*ck You, Highland Park

As most bloggers do, I have several blogs that I read daily. This one is Jen Lancaster's who is a super hilarious writer based in Chicago, I believe. Anyhow, she got wind of this issue in Highland Park, IL and man did it piss me off!
The long story short: these two pretty pit bulls are about to lose their home.

From Jen's blog:
"The condensed version is this - a family just moved to a lovely neighborhood in Highland Park, IL. But apparently it's not so lovely because as soon as the neighbors caught sight of these two beautiful bullies, they began a petition to ban them. For a couple of different reasons, the new homeowners don't have the ability to fight the town and they're being forced to give up their dogs and they are HEARTSICK."

Then I go on to discover that Ohio is trying to pass a law banning pit bulls. Then I hear that Ontario already has. WHAT!?!?! Is this even LEGAL?

Maybe I should back up and explain why this pisses me off so much. Andrew and I had our house broken into last week. Naturally, it was a very stressful and anxious time for us. We both lost sleep, were terrified and felt completely violated and unsafe. So we got security doors for the front and back of our house, put up some motion sensor lights and then went out to our local shelter to look for a dog to foster. We have fostered both kittens and dogs from PAWS before and have had great experiences. Wehen we got there, we asked the guy who works with all of the dogs if he knew of one who was okay with cats (we have 3 little pain in the asses at home). Even dogs that are familiar with our kitties tend to chase or bark at them, so we weren't hopeful. But he said "i have the perfect dog." He went in the back and brought out Summer. She was pulling in her makeshift leash like a crazy woman and jumped on Andrew before he could even bend down to pet her. I was apprehensive. Her old owners had brought her back because they said she wasn't housebroken. The shelter had her listed as being 2-4 years old, and I was totally panicking about having to train a 4 year old dog. But we were sure that, if anything, just having her in the house would make us feel safer. So, we brought her home. Its been a week. not only is she housebroken (stupid old owners) but shes crate trained. She walks beautifully on a leash (doesn't even need one when we're not on an actual walk), comes when she's called, sits, lays down...the list goes on. I'm not kidding, this is the most well behaved, sweetest, loving dog I've ever met. Did I mention she's a pit bull?

My two sisters both have pits. Two of them live with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. They are gentle, friendly and well behaved. The other is just as well behaved (but not as bright).

What is wrong with these states? How is it possible to ban an entire BREED of dogs? Ontario has even gone so far as to ban any mixed breed dogs. I'm learning that some insurance companies won't cover people who have "agressive" breed dogs (rottweilers, terriers, chows, akitas, huskies, pits and dobermen to name a few). Are we really so far beyond the loss of our basic rights that our governments and private companies are trying to dictate what kinds of dogs we can own? Seriously?
Yes I know these breeds are aggressive and that pis are involved in over half of bite or attack incidents each year. But this data set doesn't include any information about the owners of these pits. Demographic factors are key in determining how a dog is raised and behaves. Was it raised in a urban or rural area? Is the dog registered and vaccinated? (in many low income areas, they aren't). Is the owner aggressive? Was the dog abused? There are SO MANY factors that determine a dog's behavior that it just seems impossible and ridiculous to euthanize an entire breed of dogs because their owners are irresponsible. My friend had a little black dacshund lab mix that is without a doubt the most aggressive dog I've ever seen. And he's a foot tall and weighs 20 pounds. I bet if Golden Retriever were cheap enough that low income city folk could afford them then even they could be fought to become aggressive.
You know what? I like that my dog looks scary. I like that people will cross the street to avoid her. If she gets close enough, she'll just lick them and then our badass cover is blown. Maybe she'll prevent those fuckers from coming back for our tv.
Basically, this is just bullshit. Straight up bullshit. Punish the owners, not the animals. And enough with trying to legislate our damn lives! I'm a democrat and all, but this has really gone too far.

And here's a link to the Ohio petition against the law, if anyone is interested in signing it.

Also, I'll get some photos of Summer up soon. And I got my 30 Day Shred video today, so we'll see how tough it really is!

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