Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BDCNewsEditor. Show BDCNewsEditor's posts

    Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    This week, the Worcester City Council passed an ordinance that will regulate the licensing and ownership of pit bulls and “other dangerous” dogs in the city.

    What do you think of this new ordinance?  Should "dangerous dogs" be subject to stricter safety standards than other dogs?  What other breeds, if any, should be classified as "dangerous?" 

    Thanks to Boston.com Pets readers Brendan and Caroline Macomber (owners of a pit bull named Winston) for pointing out this story in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from bmac112. Show bmac112's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    I have always believed that a dog, like a child, is very much a product of nature and nurture.  By nature, pitbulls are very athletic and muscular, and have strong jaws and long nails.  However, we know this is in their genetic code and cannot be helped.  Some psychologists argue that genetics are also to be blame for children being obese, or growing up to be criminals.  BUT, most professionals will caveat this with the fact that nurture comes into play.  A child might have a genetic predisposition towards obesity, but they might also have parents who nurture bad behaviors by feeding them junk food and not teaching them the importance of exercise.  In the same manner, a pitbull (or any other dog breed for that matter) will be a combination of nature and nurture, and if a pitbull is raised in an aggressive household and rewarded for vicious behaviors, this is the type of adult they will grow to be.
     
    Worcester has passed an ordinance that pits will now have to be muzzled when out for walks in their neighborhood, and signs will have to be posted in the owners yard, indicating that a pitbull lives there.  Imagine how people would react if told they weren't allowed to wear that shirt that drew attention to their obesity, or had to post a sign in their front yard stating that an obese person lived there?!

    The sad part about this decision is not that I will have to follow new rules.  If someone told me I have to wear a scarlet "P" on my chest and give them my lunch money for a year to keep Winston I would do it in a heartbeat.  The sad part is that this will turn away potential loving owners from the breed, leaving even more of these loving dogs in kennels than there already are.  The bottomline is that any dog in the wrong hands can be dangerous and it's our personification of the species that blinds us to this.  I've personally heard of more labrador attacks in my day to day life (outside of the media) than I have of pit bull attacks.  
     
    We know that Winston's loving nature has at least taught our friends, family, and neighbors how playful and friendly pitbulls can be.  In fact, up until my wife and I purchased our new home this summer, Winston and I were living with my parents, along with their pug and chihuahua, and they were all the best of friends.  
     
    I hope that one day more people will be able to experience the loyalty and affection of a pitbull like ours.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    so many sweet and well-behaved pit bulls are doomed to live the rest of their days at a shelter due to discriminatory legislation like this. many breeds are prone to aggression and biting, but the pit bull gets the bad rap because their attacks do more damage because of the structure of their jaws.

    people who own pit bulls have a hard enough time getting others to see past the stereotypes. Having to muzzle their dogs and put up signs only make the dogs seem more dangerous, even if they wouldn't hurt a fly.

    I have a chihuahua, a breed notorious for being aggressive and not liking other dogs. So, I socialized him as a puppy and trained him. He loves everyone- dogs, people, cats, kids- because I worked hard to make him feel at ease around them and in various situations.
    This is why we need more dog parks and more places we can bring our canine companions to socialize. It helps acclimate them to seeing strangers, hearing strange noises, meeting strange dogs, smelling new smells- and gives owners the opportunity to teach their dog that these things are good things.

    muzzling all pit bulls- even the ones who show no signs of aggression, is like pre-emptively de-barking all watch dog breeds so that there's no chance they can make noise that might disturb someone.
    It does nothing to solve the real problem- irresponsible dog owners who don't properly socialize or train their dog. And irresponsible owners who bring home a breed that isn't right for their lifestyle.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    This is just wrong on so many levels. I don't believe pit bulls, or any breed, are inherently dangerous.  Any dog of any breed can be dangerous if it isn't treated well and trained/socialized.   My 20 pound puppy plays at our local park with two pit mixes and both are sweet, gentle dogs.

    I'm particularly disturbed by the requirement to notify police if the dog injures or threatens an animal or person.  Who determines what constitutes a threat? If it barks, is that a threat?  Especially if there are now all the signs and muzzles and other indicators meritlessly creating a heightened sense of danger?  uughh!! 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    I think Staffordshire Terriers are more dangerous than Pit Bulls.  Pit Bulls usually aren't aggressive towards people - they can be aggressive towards other dogs.  Staffies tend to be more aggressive.  Some herding types dogs, etc.  A lot of it is the individual dogs.

    I think this is oe of those laws that make it easier for the authorities to take a dog that is bad.  If a Pit Bull bites someone or gets into a fight with another dog, it's easier for the authorities to take the dog from the owner.  But if the dog never does anything wrong, then it won't be hassled.

    It also makes it easier for landlords to refuse to rent apartments to people with "dangerous" dogs.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from AGilday. Show AGilday's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    A pit bull is a very serious dog.  They blended the stoic nature of the bulldog with the prey drive of a terrier for the purpose of fighting.  They needed handlers to be able to break the dogs apart during fights so they bred out the aggression towards humans.

    What makes them dangerous is first their magnitude of power.  Unlike a lap dog, if a pit bull gets mad it can inflict some real damage. So even if in almost any breed, you have an aggressive dog, say one out of 50, that one dog can really do some damage.  It isn't fair for the other 49 that aren't aggressive, but who wants to take chances?  The other aspect of them being dangerous is that they were bred to be dog aggressive and dominant dog aggressive so humans can get caught trying to break up a dog fight. 


    All that being said, there are amazing people out there who adopt these pit bulls and are totally responsible owners. Even these people, however will tell you that a pit bull is a serious dog and is to be respected. 

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from PeterD4063. Show PeterD4063's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    Ask that question of anyone who has suffered an attack by a pit bull!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    In Response to Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls:
    [QUOTE]Ask that question of anyone who has suffered an attack by a pit bull!
    Posted by PeterD4063[/QUOTE]

    What about people who have been attacked by German Shepard, or labs? A paper boy in my home town suffered a serious bite by a lab. My stepfather has scars on his face from when he was attacked by a daschund as a child.

    Individual incidents involving individual dogs should not lead to rules that punish every animal that has the misfortune of sharing its breed. It should result in prosecution of the indivdual dog's owner and the individual dog that has attacked should be dealt with accordingly.

    Blame the deed, not the breed.

    Could you imagine if we used crime statictics to discriminate against humans of a certain ethnicity? "Oh, most hit and runs are committed by white males, so white males shouldn't be allowed to drive. Or they should have cars that can't go beyond a certain speed, or they should have special license plates"
    It's ridiculous and does not solve the real problem.

    In almost every case of a fatal pit bull attack, the dog was outside with no leash on. Seems it would behoove cities to better enforce their leash laws, rather than create additional rules for some dogs. An owner who doesn't keep their dog properly leashed or confined probably isn't going to put a muzzle on them either.

    Laws like these DO NOT solve the problem and they DO NOT guarantee that someone with a viscous dog will actually adhere to the law.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppet425. Show poppet425's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    I completely agree with pinkkittie. It's not the breed, specifically, it's the owners.

    For example, I'm a very proud owner of an 8 month old staffordshire terrier that I got from an african american woman in Lynn after she listed the dog on craigslist. Already that screams of stereotypes. This woman got the puppy from a friend who was even *more* irresponsible with the breed. When I picked up the puppy, she was 8 weeks old and I'm not entirely sure how long this woman had the puppy prior to me getting her. Anyone who's ever had a dog give birth knows that every puppy should be with it's mother until it's at least 8 weeks old. Between 5-8 weeks is when the puppy develops it's key solicization skills with it's littermates. When I brought my puppy home, she was sucking on my fingers trying to get milk. She had obvious aggression issues, and was never properly trained.

    6 months later and you can't even tell it's the same dog. She has zero toy, food, dog, or people aggression. You can give her any toy, or any food and immediately take it away from her without a peep from her. She loves other dogs, and absolutely adores people. Granted, she doesn't understand little children are easy to knock over and she absolutely doesn't know how to hold her licker (haha), but anyone we've ever talked to at a dog park can't believe how well behaved she is. You can't even say that you need prior experience to properly train a pittie, as this is my first dog. It's a challenge, but her loyalty is absolutely worth it.

    Right now I'm looking to get an apartment and I've already got a list of cities that I will not be living in, as I refuse to give in to the stereotype and muzzle my dog in public. My parent's cocker spaniel has attacked me twice before, and has attacked other members of my family but no one has ever said that we should put the cocker spaniel down. My brother was bitten in the face by a beagle/spaniel mix and no one ever said that dog needed to be muzzled. It's insane to single out a breed.

    If a dog attacks anyone, no matter the breed, it should be taken care of appropriately and on a case by case basis. If we're going to single out dogs that are more likely to bite, shouldn't we be muzzling chow chows, huskies, dobermans, akitas, dachsunds, chihuahuas, and jack russel terriers too?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from BoomersRockToo. Show BoomersRockToo's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    I am not sure why so many level-headed people acquire this breed of dog when it has been bred to be a fighter to begin with. What does that say about the buyers of these animals?

    I spoke to a friend of mine that has been breeding dogs for years and asked her opinion, and she was of the same mind. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Whitey1121. Show Whitey1121's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls


    Minature dauschands were bred to kill badgers.  Should those be outlawed as well?  Until you have had a pit bull as a pet you will not understand how loving and loyal the dog is.  You can't blame the breed for irresponsible ownership.   
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    In Response to Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls:
    [QUOTE]I am not sure why so many level-headed people acquire this breed of dog when it has been bred to be a fighter to begin with. What does that say about the buyers of these animals? I spoke to a friend of mine that has been breeding dogs for years and asked her opinion, and she was of the same mind. 
    Posted by BoomersRockToo[/QUOTE]

    I don't think the problem is with the level-headed people who "acquire this breed of dog", the problem is with the non-level-headed people who do.  Thank GOODNESS for the level-headed ones, for they are responsible for giving these dogs any chance at happy homes, and of helping to dispel the stereotypes that these dogs are inherently bad.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sure-Not. Show Sure-Not's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    It's no surprise that inner cities have the biggest problem with pit bulls.  They are viewed as a status symbol such as a piece of bling or shiny rims.  Urban dwellers covet them because they are viewed as tough, masculine and dangerous.  This fact cannot be denied.  They are bred for aggression and they possess the powerful tools to maximize the damage.  One cannot have an honest discussion if they are going to insist that a pit bull is no more dangerous than let's say a yellow lab.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from rpenfi77. Show rpenfi77's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    I've lived with a staffordshire terrier and I can attest that he is one of the most lovable, obedient dogs I've ever been privledged to know.  they are no more dangerous than any other large breed of dog... their jaws aren't any stronger, their "killer" instinct isn't any more breed-in. 

    All of that nonsense is BS, do some research please, and stop perpetuating old wive tales .
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from caroljsheehan. Show caroljsheehan's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

     I believe all dog are dangerous in some way maybe due to in breeding or maybe due to the people who own them.  People who own dogs need to realize that there are people out there that are terrified of dogs.  Me especially, I firmly believe that all dogs need to be kept on their leashes if out for walks.  I believe that there should also be a good tall fence in the home where the dog lives.  I try to overcome my fears of dogs but its still hard even today.  The laws for dogs in Worcester should be for all dogs.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sure-Not. Show Sure-Not's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    In Response to Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls:
    [QUOTE]I've lived with a staffordshire terrier and I can attest that he is one of the most lovable, obedient dogs I've ever been privledged to know.  they are no more dangerous than any other large breed of dog... their jaws aren't any stronger, their "killer" instinct isn't any more breed-in.  All of that nonsense is BS, do some research please, and stop perpetuating old wive tales .
    Posted by rpenfi77[/QUOTE]

    Here ya go.  Worcester isn't breaking any new ground.  Denver legally proved it a few years ago in enacting their law.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/7545019/One-Citys-Experience-Denver-Why-Pit-Bulls-are-More-Dangerous-and-Breed-Specific-Law-is-Justified
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppet425. Show poppet425's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    In Response to Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls:
    [QUOTE]I am not sure why so many level-headed people acquire this breed of dog when it has been bred to be a fighter to begin with.  
    Posted by BoomersRockToo[/QUOTE]

    Actually most pits were bred for bull or bear-baiting to aid hunters back in the Elizabethan era. Also, they were used as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, to drive livestock, and as family companions.

    It was during the roman empire that the dogs were used to fight as a sick sport. Notice how the dogs didn't decide one day to just start fighting each other. It was their OWNERS who made them fight.

    In case anyone has missed the point up until this part - It's the OWNERS, not the dogs, who're responsible. Responsible owners = well-adjusted dogs, no matter the breed. From chihuahua to mastiff, all that matters is how that dog is handled, trained, and taken care of.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from keeganscake. Show keeganscake's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    I am totally anti-pit.  I owned one years ago, since she was a pup, raised her as I raised all my other dogs and when she was about a year old, she attacked me.  That dog was gone ten minutes after my husband got home.  Two weeks ago, a 5 year old we know was attacked by a pit at a birthday party.  After several hours of repair work on his face and his mouth was sewn back on, he is on his way to a recovery and just a little while ago, someone called me to say "he doesn't look that bad" - I have seen the little boy, he has a long way to recovery. 
    In our area, pits are bred for fighting - there aren't many responsible pet owners and i think any rules and regs dealing with pits are good rules.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from zenbat. Show zenbat's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    Frequently I think that pit bulls are the party who needs protecting, what with the Micheal Vicks of the world, the lowlife who starved those pit bulls in Worcester, and the teenager I saw who jerked his puppy's choke chain every time the puppy wagged its tail at a passerby. I could go on, and on. Despite the numbers of these dogs that end up in the hands of the cruel and ignorant, the vast majority of them are very friendly with people. Only one of the MV dogs had to be put down for being agressive to people.

    What would be more helpful in preventing dog bites would be passing legislation that targets behavior that demonstrably leads to dog bites--leaving whole (un-spayed and un-neutered), poorly socialized dogs chained up in back yards (or basements). Sadly, legislation targeting specific breeds is easier to draft and makes a better soundbite.

    I don't have a problem with muzzling. Partly because pit bulls do have a tendency to be dog agressive and partly to protect my dog and myself. I used to have a pit. We had some very scary walks together--there where the walks during which we'd be approached by an unleased, unsupervised, and aggressive dog (lab, rottweiler, husky mix, shih-tzu, chow). And there were the walks in the park where mothers would let their small children run to my dog and start petting him before asking me if it was OK. Fortunately, my dog loved just about every one, but if anything bad had happened with another dog or a child (I was always worried he would flatten a toddler with his tail!), we'd be the ones blamed because of his breed. If having a muzzle on would eliminate or mitigate that, it's worth the inconvenience and maybe even the stigma.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from zenbat. Show zenbat's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    "Level-headed" pit bull owners and fans are drawn to the breed because they have some wonderful traits: they tend to be loyal, affectionate, tenacious, goofy & playful, and very people friendly.  Some of us are also drawn by the hard-luck aspect--so many in shelters, so many abused. :(





     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    "One cannot have an honest discussion if they are going to insist that a pit bull is no more dangerous than let's say a yellow lab."
     
    Nor can one have an honest dicussion if they are going to insist that ALL pit bulls are more dangerous than ALL other dogs, and that is what this new ordinance is doing - branding all pits as more dangerous than all other dogs.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from kickbacknrelax. Show kickbacknrelax's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    In Response to Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls:
    [QUOTE]I think Staffordshire Terriers are more dangerous than Pit Bulls.  Pit Bulls usually aren't aggressive towards people - they can be aggressive towards other dogs.  Staffies tend to be more aggressive.  Some herding types dogs, etc.  A lot of it is the individual dogs. I think this is oe of those laws that make it easier for the authorities to take a dog that is bad.  If a Pit Bull bites someone or gets into a fight with another dog, it's easier for the authorities to take the dog from the owner.  But if the dog never does anything wrong, then it won't be hassled. It also makes it easier for landlords to refuse to rent apartments to people with "dangerous" dogs.
    Posted by DirtyWaterLover[/QUOTE]

    This statement just shows how ignorant you and most people are about the breed!  American Staffordshire Terriers ARE American Pit Bull Terriers!  AST = the name from the AKC and the APBT = the name from the United Kennel Club which was created with the sole purpose of being able to use the APBT name as a breed which the AKC didn't want to do.  Watch any AKC dog show and you will only see AST's being shown and hear what the professionals have to say about the breed.

    I am a mixed breed APBT owner, she is not the breed standard, but is a little larger.  I will give you a list of 100's of people, parents and kids alike, that will attest to how much they LOVE my dog.  She was once attacked by another APBT and she didn't even attack back, she ran away in fear.  Of course the other APBT owner was the type of owner that had the dog for status.  And I also rescued from the City of Hartford ACO when she was about one year old.  I am a responsible owner that properly trained my dog and will own many APBT for a long time to come.

    There are so many other things I want to say about this but just know that there are more bites by supposedly non-aggressive dogs perpetrated on owners  and their families than so called aggressive dogs.  Poodles bite more people than any other breed, so why don't we muzzle them?

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from koam. Show koam's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    It's ridiculous to infringe on the freedoms of innocent dogs & their owners.  If a specific dog, no matter the breed, has a history of bad behavior, then the town may need to impose restrictions.  Doing it by breed will not help anyone and is unfair.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from beadzilla. Show beadzilla's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    I wouldn't want a pit bull next door like I wouldn't want a bee hive in my back yard.  life could go on for years in harmony, but you never know when "things might get ugly".

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannyofenway. Show dannyofenway's posts

    Re: Worcester adopts rules for pit bulls

    Pit Bulls are natural born killers, plain and simple.
     

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