This past week one of the headlines in The Garden island news was: “A 2-year-old child is in serious condition after being attacked by a family dog on Tuesday in Puhi.”
That dog was a large, muscular, mature gray adult pit bull and was surrendered to humane officers by its family. The dog was the family’s pet, yet still attacked.
The question remains, are pit bulls loving pets or monsters? You be the judge.
Many pit bull owners call it a cultural thing, similar to the fireworks argument?
You will hear the argument that its the owner and not the dog. This is true to an extent. However, a dog breed that was originally bred as a fighting dog would not be my choice as a pet, especially around keiki. I realize not all pit bulls are bad, just like all politicians aren’t bad.
When my dog was attacked by a pit bull last September, she survived with my quick thinking of lifting her by her collar with an exhausting swinging and saving venture of keeping her away from the pit bull. This went on for what seemed like an eternity until by the grace of God a good Samaritan came along to wrestle the pit bull to the ground.
After the pit bull attacked my dog, the owner said, “she’s always been the sweetest dog and only wanted to play. She’s such a nice pit bull, she’s trained.” A witness to the attack had told me that same dog had attacked numerous others.
You can train lions and tigers, too. However, would you want one as a pet? Probably not. No matter how well trained, a pit bull can turn on you at any time. They kill people and other dogs.
My neighbor was swimming in the waters of Anahola beach a few years back, when her friend’s pit bull ran into the water and nearly tore her arm off. She wound up getting 38 stitches in her upper arm and is now petrified of any pit bull and even of swimming in the ocean. She was diagnosed with PTSD from that attack. To top things off, my friend never pressed charges since the dog belonged to a friend of hers. The worst part of this, that dog is still out there along with the pit bull that attacked my dog.
Last year on Kauai, three pit bulls were euthanized and their owner cited by police, just hours after the dogs mauled a chihuahua mix to death in front of a Kekaha mother and daughter. If the little girl had not dropped the little dog, it could had been her that died.
Stories like this are all too common on Kauai. Everyone knows a pit bull owner and since everyone knows everyone on the island, nobody wants to be the rat, narcing on their friends or relatives. This is just one of the many unwritten laws of island life.
If pt bulls are such wonderful family dogs, why have they been banned in 12 countries? That’s right, 12! Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Canada (Winnipeg, Quebec) the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico and Sweden.
It is illegal in Miami-Dade County to own or keep American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or any other dog that substantially conforms to any of these breeds’ characteristics.
There is also a $500 fine for acquiring or keeping a pit bull in Miami Dade County.
These dogs are born with aggression and the ability to kill. You never see a poodle attack and mutilate a human or other animal. People go la-la over these animals and value them more than the safety of another persons life.
The county will eventually take heed when a fellow human is mauled to death on county property and the lawsuits start rolling in. Until then, things will never change.
However, I will be the first to say, I told you so next time there is a death or injury associated with a pit bull.
Pit bull, pet or monster?
James “Kimo” Rosen is a resident of Kapaa.