posted at 10/5/2010 11:29 AM EDT
WhatDidISay: I did not miss the point. I do understand that as a breed, the animals are on the list of dangerous dogs. I also know that in 2009, studies were released, and agreed upon with the Kennel Club, that showed that English Cocker Spaniels are the most aggressive breed of domesticated dog. http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/dog-bites/dog-bite-studies/
The 20 year study conducted by the CDC also determined that bites by breed tend to rise as a breed's popularity rises - and the owners provide only minimum training/interaction/discipline and reinforcement to their pet. Pit Bulls and their mixes do make that list, as do many, many other dogs.
With that in mind, when any
dangerous animal attacks another individual or animal, the OWNER should be held ultimately responsible. The fact of the animal's owner being a homeowner or not is absolutely irrelevant. There are two different homeowners on my street who maltreat or neglect their dogs, but the tenants across from us are outstanding pet owners and trainers.
The bottom line is: If I am attacked by a dangerous animal, I don't care whether or not the owner owns his or her own home. I will press charges against the owner of that animal if the attack was clearly unprovoked and/or the result of maintaining a breed of dog with the potential to be dangerous, without the proper care, handling, and controls a responsible owner should exercise.
My bigger issue with the contention initially stated (re: home ownership vs. tenancy) is that this is hardly the first time that "renters" have been blamed for all of the ills of Malden. The precious home owners in this community tend to lump any and all tenants into the "thug" pool, reinforcing a belief that anyone who doesn't strive to own their own home is lazy, doesn't work, and leaches off of the poor, hard working homeowner.
It's tiresome, it's incorrect, and it's an affront to the majority of renters who are good tenants, who are long-term
tenants, who are law abiding citizens, and who generally care about the community that they call home - even when that community apparently couldn't care less about them because of some outmoded classist notion that home ownership = a better class of people.
Finally, I live in Maplewood and I'll tell you now, the dogs in my neighborhood are predominantly small, yappy dogs that are completely untrained, that bark all night and are left in their yards to do so in all weather by those wonderful homeowners. They are more aggressive towards other dogs and people than any Pit Bull I've ever encountered. While they may do little damage to me as a full grown adult, one did attempt to cross a street to go after my daughter when she was about 15 months old - and that would have seriously hurt a baby; possibly even killed her.
I'd love to see someone propose a ban on these nuisance dogs even though, again, it's the owners who are at fault for treating them as toys and not animals that need to be trained and have clear limits set. Yes, even dogs with a brain the size of a pea can
and should be trained too - and can be highly aggressive if not.