Hello! I’m the person that was standing next to you and your family at an adoption event at a pet supply store. I was volunteering with a rescue group when you stopped by to take a look at some of the adoptable dogs. You said, “All pit bulls or pit mixes. Not a single normal dog. They’re terrible dogs and they should all be shot.” I had to walk away before I unleashed my burning rage. Now that I’m calmer, I’d like to make this a teachable moment.
I assure you that every single dog with the rescue is in fact a normal dog. I’ll give you that it was weird that the one pit bull barked like one of the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz, but all dogs have a unique personality and their own little quirks regardless of breed. I would also like to point out that not all of the dogs at the event were pit bulls or pit mixes. The brindle dog at your 2:00 is a Mastiff and there was a Husky and also a Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix behind you. There were also some very sweet adoptable cats present.
I should explain why the majority of the dogs were either pit bulls or pit bull mixes. Pit bulls experienced a dramatic rise in popularity during the early 90s similar to the one experienced by Dalmatians after the release of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. There are also disgusting, barbaric cowards who use them for dog fighting. These things combined have led to irresponsible backyard breeding which has led to both genetic issues and a rise in the number of unwanted pets, hence the need for animal shelters and rescue organizations. The rise in the pit bull population has led to a higher probability of a pit bull or pit mix ending up in a shelter or rescue. No animal asks to end up in that situation. Humans put them in that position either through adverse circumstances or their own carelessness.
It’s important to remember that the term “pit bull” has no solid scientific definition. There’s actually no such breed as pit bull. It’s a designation used to describe a dog with certain physical characteristics and unknown parentage. Therefore, a pit bull could be any dog with a large and blocky head, short hair, and muscular build whose ancestors are unknown. Unfortunately, there is no Ancestry.com for dogs.
The term “pit bull” is also subjective. When rescues or shelters take a dog in with little to no knowledge of the dog’s history, they’re forced to guess the breed. As a result, what one shelter or rescue may call a pit bull or pit mix, another may call an American Bull Dog or Lab mix. Most rescues are volunteer organizations that subsist on donations, so performing costly DNA tests on every dog just isn’t possible. As a result a dog labeled as a pit bull may not even be a pit bull at all, but rather the product of a Mastiff who loved an American Bulldog.
Your claim that all pit bulls should be shot is ludicrous. You wouldn’t go around saying that all adults below the height of 5’3” should be shot. That would be crazy right? So if you wouldn’t say that a human being with certain characteristics should be culled, why would you say it about a dog with certain characteristics? It sounds to me like you might have a lot in common with a movement that lost power in Germany in the 1940s.
If you must insist that an entire designation of dog should be killed why would you suggest something as inhumane as shooting them? The process of euthanasia involves the injection of an anesthetic so that the animal goes to sleep followed by the injection of a drug that stops their heart. If you asked a vet to shoot the animal instead, he or she may feel an inclination to shoot you for suggesting such a thing. So you see, your comment is not only ignorant but is also completely bonkers.
It’s disturbing that you spouted your hate speech (let’s call a spade a spade) in front of your wife and child. I can only imagine from the defeated look on your wife’s face what she must go through with you and it disheartens me. It worried me to see your child look up to you. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what a huge responsibility you have. However I will tell you from my own experience that no one loves quite the way a daughter does. Everything you do and say will one day become the legacy you leave behind in her mind and heart, so when you choose your words consider how you want to be remembered.
I hope that you find yourself more enlightened after reading this and I want you to know that all of the anger I felt has been replaced by pity. I pity you because life seems to have hardened you to the point where you’ve lost your compassion. I’m sorry for all that happened to you and I hope you’re able to get yours back someday. Mother Theresa once said that, “People are often self-centered, irrational, and unreasonable. Forgive them anyway.” I forgive you. I also want you to know how grateful I am because you didn’t just give me something to write about, you gave me a reason to write. These animals don’t have a voice, but I do. Someone has to do the right thing and that someone is me and I will never stop. I hope you learn from my example. I’ll pray for you.
One Woman with a Voice