The dog thing

Dateline: Sun 10 Jun 2007

I remain opposed to any sort of ban on pit bull dogs or any efforts by the city and/or mayor of Indy to round 'em up.

It's been said by bigger brains than mine, those who are students of canine and animal behavior: it's not the dog, it's the human. Dogs are pack animals; they will take their cues from the alpha "dog," which is often a person. And plenty of dogs besides pits will attack and/or bite or nip a person. Witness the stats compiled by Animal Care and Control, printed in the Star Friday: By the end of May, Indy had 450 dog bites, 51 cat bites, 5 bat bites, 5 mice bites and 4 squirrel bites.

So if we're fair and we are going to ban dogs that bite people, then we have to look at the sad story of a toddler who was attacked and bitten by a Rottweiler-shepherd mix on the Southside this week. That's the story that included the latest animal-bite stats. I didn't see an editorial calling for a ban on Rottwiler mixes or any other mutts.

Then there's that farm dog who bit the guv. Should we start a dragnet for every farm dog in the state, because they might bite a politco?

Or should we flood the streets with farm dogs?

Mayor Peterson is, as always well-intentioned, but his efforts to put a clamp on pit bulls is misguided and reminds me of his against violent video games. The problems lie deeper than a surface fix. Educate people about dogs; arrest bad guys who breed or own dogs, usually pits, for fighting. Punish the behavior of the people responsible for the dog, not the animal.

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