Opinion: BSL is bull and pit bulls deserve more love in their communities

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Pit bulls are labeled as aggressive dogs, but this photo shoot campaign, "Pit Bull Flower Power" shows the softer side of the breed. Photo courtesy of Sophie Gamand, creator and photographer of "Pit Bull Flower Power."

In Weld County, the dog breed pit bull is listed on the Breed Specific Legislation because of their reputation of being aggressive toward people.

BSL is a law which bans or regulates specific dog breeds in an effort to stop dogs from attacking people and animals. 

There are some residents in Weld County who have been impacted by BSL and because of the legislation, some residents have moved to a different state where pit bulls are not viewed as a threat toward the community. Former Greeley resident Debra-Frefield-Griffiths moved to Monroe, Georgia three years ago because of how the community felt threatened because of her pit bull Daisy. 

Although the community of Monroe are being nice toward Frefield-Griffiths and Daisy, an incident with law enforcement happened on Thanksgiving. During the afternoon, Daisy escaped from her backyard and went to a neighbor’s front yard. The neighbor called the police and when a police officer pulled up to the house, the officer put his hand on his gun because he felt threatened when he saw Daisy walking toward him.

Frefield-Griffiths’s husband Ken is a retired police officer and he rescued Daisy from a potentially dangerous situation and a few minutes later, a deputy sheriff requested to see the body camera footage because he wanted to see if Daisy was acting aggressively toward the officer. The footage ruled in Daisy’s favor because she did not show any signs of aggression.

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After the scary incident, Frefield-Griffiths’s stance on pit bulls is still the same because the incident proved how people view pit bulls as a threat regardless of how happy the animal is.

“Pit bulls have a bad reputation based on what man is doing to them which is using them to breed and fight,” Frefield-Griffiths said. “They are naturally loving animals who want to be loved and they are not born to be vicious attack dogs.” 

The scary incident showed how uneducated people act toward pit bulls and they need to realize how owners should be punished for allowing the dogs to become aggressive. For example, in 2007, former National Football League star Michael Vick did illegally have a dog fighting ring in his backyard and if one of the pit bulls did become weak after a fight, he would intentionally hurt or kill them. When the police found the dog fighting ring, Vick was banned from the NFL, went to prison for 23 months and the judge did order him to pay $928,073 for the abuse of the animals.

If Vick’s actions have not convinced you to think about how people’s actions can cause pit bulls to become aggressive, I challenge you to look up last years’ statistics on dog attacks in Colorado. According to an article from dogbite website, last year 23 residents died from being attacked by dogs, but only 21 percent of those dogs were pit bulls  Also, if you read the article, you will find out the dog breed rottweiler has the highest percentage for injuring people.

BSL is complicated because there are two sides on this issue from residents who have different views on pit bulls. There are residents who are against BSL, but there are other residents who are in favor of the legislation because their views are entirely different. Perhaps the reason why some residents are in favor of BSL is because some of them did have a scary experience with pit bulls or they have heard how aggressive the dog breed can be to our county.

If there is a way to ease some of the worries,I think the solution would be educating the residents about dog behavior because I believe if residents learn about the behavior of dogs, I think they will know how to respond to an aggressive or happy dog. For example,  my dog Smokie is a keeshond and despite the fact her breed isn’t aggressive, she will only attack if someone is provoking her. Smokie does have different body posture when she is guarding or playing with me and it is my job to observe her posture because I know how to handle her regardless of what the situation is.

For those who have heard false information about pit bulls I challenge you to pick up a dog breed book titled “Dog Bible” and look up all the breeds who are pit bulls because you will not find the word “aggressive” but instead you will find a description mentioning how pit bulls are wonderful family dogs.

Regardless of the different views toward BSL, I think pit bulls are beautiful dogs and I believe the ban should be lifted because pit bulls deserve the right to have a beautiful life. 

9 COMMENTS

  1. Not sure what article she’s talking about, but she’s completely wrong. Last year pit bulls killed 33 out of 48 people killed by dogs. Pit bulls are always the number one dogs to kill and seriously injure people. Rottweilers are number two.

    Also, how come her dog just “somehow seemed to escape“? This proves that legislation that relies on owners to be responsible does not work.

    And, look at pitbull attack videos, most of them are happily wagging their tails while they are mauling or killing a person or Pet.

    Finally, the majority of pit bulls attacking are family dogs, just like every other dog. Not raised or trained to fight. Not dogfighting dogs. Especially the attacks to children. Most of them are family dogs, a relatives dog, or a friends or neighbors.

    This kind of propaganda and claims to facts that are NOT TRUE is what gets people killed.

  2. All the usual pit bull supporter propaganda, including the “stock” picture of an adorable pit bull with props.

    Unfortunately pit bulls have been responsible for 60%+ of all dog attack deaths for the past 10 years running. Two infants under one year of age were killed by “family pet” pit bulls in January (one in Ohio; another in Indiana). They make wonderful family pets until suddenly they don’t.

    In a 90-day period in the fall of 2019 three Michigan people were killed in pit bull attacks (9-year old girl, 4-year old boy and woman killed by her own pit bull).

    To see the danger and destruction pit bulls cause, simply Google “Pit Bull Attacks.” You’ll be reading for days.

  3. Please, please understand that propaganda pieces like this only add to the long list of deaths and maulings by this breed. You are the problem. Your misguided efforts can convince a mother that she should bring one home to her kids and this breed is the number one canine killer of children, that is a fact. If you want to do something for the breed, then support BSL, Breed Specific Legislation, that regulates the breed. BSL can help the breed more than tutus and propaganda. The only way the breed can be helped is with the truth, not deceitful pieces such as this.

  4. It is the hope of mauling victims and the families of the dead that Ms Stoddard would survey the current medical literature regarding the safety of Pit Bulls and their mixes. Since 2011, there have been fifteen well reviewed studies in the trauma literature that state unequivocally the heightened risk to human beings these dogs pose. This is particularly evident in the pediatric population with children being among the most frequent victims. The publications referenced below are available in the library at UNC School of Medicine. If Ms Stoddard decides to one day bring little ones into her home I pray she will read the literature and do reasonable research first. As she is evidently from Colorado, this young woman surely knows that Denver and other metropolitan areas in Colorado have banned Pit Bulls for some time now. Further research would show that while reportable dog bites may stay stable, fatalities from dog attacks and catastrophic maulings there have dropped considerably. It is time to start being honest about this dog and stop believing the emotive propaganda and bias of Pit Bull advocacy – – a surreal movement in America. It is time for mandatory spay-neuter and liability insurance requirements for high risk dogs. It is time for unqualified and sometimes disingenuous promoters of Pit Bulls to stop regarding the 519 dead men, women, and children killed by dogs in the United States since 2005 as merely “scary” incidents. Google this readers: Safety Before Pit Bull Dogs and click on “the Experts.”

  5. Pits are killing a person on average every 11 days and you call it BS? Maulings are daily, children left with no ears, no scalp, no face and you call this BS? Child, you have a lot to learn and I certainly hope you don’t learn it the hard way. Sit with a mother beside a closed casket then come back here and tell us that pits deserve love. That’s the last thing they deserve. Do something for the victims of the breed, that is what a sane person would do.

  6. Need more love? Love does not overcome genetics and it is shear foolishness to write a piece like this proclaiming that genetics no longer pertain to this breed. That’s basically what this piece is saying. Does the writer think that all those innocent children who were ripped apart by pit bulls didn’t deserve a beautiful life too? The writer has made herself part of the problem, spreading the word of the pit propaganda machine. When people believe this propaganda, people die. Stop it, just stop it. Stop the closed casket funerals by telling the truth of the breed so maybe others will select a breed that has never killed instead. And there are hundreds of breeds that have never killed a person to choose from instead of a breed that is killing a person every 11 days. Grow up and stop writing like a child

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