A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post entitled, “BC’s Witch Hunt”, and today I will be following up on that post. Today I came across a news article entitled, “White Rock Council Decides Against Municipal Ban On Pit Bulls”. My first reaction was “Hey! That’s great,” but further on reading I discovered that there’s more to this article than meets the eye. Councillor Larry Robinson was quoted saying, “We’re up against a wall just trying to enforce the current bylaws and trying to bring in a ban that is out of our jurisdiction. Ontario and the U.K. have restricted specific breeds and types of dogs, and that’s the way to go.” And Mayor Baldwin says, “This is something that is not within our resources to deal with adequately, we can put them in a bylaw that restricts them but it’s almost impossible to enforce. If we were isolated up north it might work, but here it would be impossible”. So what the White Rock City Council is saying that they would love to instill a BSL bylaw, but that they have no way of regulating and enforcing it. I challenge the White Rock City Council to delve deep into their bite records history and tell me how many Pit Bulls have bitten/attacked/killed in their municipality in the past 20 years. I can guarantee you the number is probably so low that you wouldn’t even need a full hand to count with. Why? In the past 20 years alone in Canada only ONE, yes ONE, person has been killed by a Pit Bull. How can they say that a ban would be a good idea if they could enforce it from one attack?
Mrs. Cranford, the mother of the child who was attacked admitted that she heard a growl before the child was bitten. It is possible that this dog gave many other warnings that she was uncomfortable with the child doing whatever she was doing around the dog. Mrs. Cranford says she would also like these dogs (ie: Pit Bulls) to be muzzled in public. To Mrs. Cranford I say: Currently, in White Rock, aggressive dogs do have to be muzzled in public as stated in White Rock’s Animal Control Bylaw page 6, sections 29(2)(c). Would you muzzle a Chihuahua just because it’s a dog— no. Dogs, just like human criminals, have to be given the benefit of the doubt until they fail (if they fail). For example: If a human looks like they could commit a murder, but never does, does that mean they should be put in jail “just in case”? Of course not, we’d be the laughing stock of all humanity if we did that. Mrs. Cranford is simply overreacting to a tragic, and totally preventative incident. You can’t judge a human by what they look like, so why is it okay to do the same to a dog?
What can we do? Well, let’s start by educating our children, let’s tell them that dogs are animals and that if we don’t treat them with respect, and give them their space when they ask for it that we’re placing ourselves in a bad position, dogs don’t create that position—people do. Let’s go to schools and classes and teach children animal signs/signals, and how to act around a dog. Watch your kids around pets, of any species, with 100% of your attention and you’ll reduce the risk of an incident by nearly 100%. If collectively humans treated animals the way they were supposed to, these things simply would not happen.
To read the article please visit this webpage.