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posted January 15, 2005

Reflection on stereotyping

No dog owner should ever use a dog to intimidate anybody but the comment that "Some of them are friendlier than they look but everyone can use a hint if they unwittingly make people in the park uncomfortable" is a little offensive. Friendlier than they look . Try that statement in the context of any human being and see how it sounds.

"To my surprise, they seemed to be quite resigned to the possibility that pit bulls might become illegal, and not very bothered by it." Of course not they are the type of punks that will abandon their dogs. Others are extremely concerned as are owners of other large breeds such as myself. As much as your letter of support may encourage Michael Bryant the reality is that owners of all breeds are starting to understand that this is nothing more than a Liberal PR exercise.

This legislation is designed to capitalize on our fears - a loose pit or a pit in the hands of somebody needing to compensate for whatever else is lacking. The stories on your page also seem to suggest that the owners of your problem dogs are far from the most responsible owners out there - some even criminal. The reality is most pit bull owners and pit bull cross owners have good dogs. Can you honestly say that you have never meet a responsible pit bull owner with a well behaved dog? Why should this person leash and muzzle that dog for no other reason than it's siblings are the dogs of choice for morons. Dogs need to be controlled not chained and shackled. They also need socialization and if that needs to come on the end of a leash that's fine but through a muzzle?

Instead we need laws that protect us and our pets from irresponsible or criminal dog owners of all breeds. How can we even start to look at dog safety without reviewing the recommendations of the Coroner's inquest into the death of Courtney Trempe? Mr. Bryant doesn't feel it is necessary. While your park may have problems with pits in general the rest of Canada seems to have a problem with Rottweilers too in the wrong hands. If pits are banned and punks move onto Rottweilers (which really is the Winnipeg experience despite what Bryant would have us believe) you may find that the page can be recycled after a find and replace of pit bull to Rottweiler, Shepherd or any dog of the government's choice.

I own two pound puppies an English Pointer and a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. Visit and read the accounts of innocent dog owners being attacked by 'do gooders' who real feel they have the right to harass and attack owners of pit bulls - although they have no idea what a pit bull is. Why would I send you there? Because in the eyes of the uninformed a Rhodesian mix can look a lot like a pit bull - no make that what a lot of people think pit bulls look like. I love to hear my dogs are well behaved but I now dread the 'is that a pit' question and strangely they seem disappointed when I answer no.

You have a park that has many problems but overall acceptance of ethnic diversity isn't one of them - why allow stereotyping in any form to enter into it?

Anthony Riches

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