A four year old boy walking down the street with his mom on December 2nd, 2015 was attacked by a neighbour’s pit bulls after they escaped from underneath their gate in Detroit, Michigan. As his mother screamed and tried to shield her young child from their powerful jaws, he was ripped from her arms and dragged back under the gate where the ferocious dogs torturously mauled him. Neighbours frantically threw bricks at the vicious animals trying to get them to stop, but they kept biting off pieces of flesh from the little boy’s body until the police arrived and shot them multiple times. The precious child was rushed to the hospital where he tragically succumbed to his catastrophic injures.
Xavier Strickland is the 25th person to be killed by pit bulls in the U.S. this year so far. He is the 193rd fatal victim since 2007, the year NFL player Michael Vick was convicted on dog fighting charges and pit bull propaganda kicked into high gear because of corrupt organizations like Best Friends Animal Society, Animal Farm Foundation, ASPCA and the Humane Society of the U.S., among others. Pit bull attacks have increased 773% since then, with the number of pit bulls involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on people rising from 78 to 603.
After this gruesome story was published online, the pit bull fanatics did what they always do: they posted pictures of their own “adorable” pit bulls all over social media and repeated their usual rhetoric such as “It’s all how you raise them” and “Blame the deed not the breed.” This is pure fiction.
Pit bulls were bred over hundreds of years for blood sport – for bull and bear baiting and then for dog fighting. This isn’t an opinion, it’s historical fact. Pit bulls were bred with a killing instinct and a killer bite, and about half their human victims are attacked by a trusted family pit bull raised in a loving home.
In this particular case the owner was an opportunistic backyard breeder who wasn’t there at the time of the slaughter. The sole survivor of the killer dogs was pregnant, and even though she was merely acting on her genetic insticts, she should have been humanely shot to death as well.
Over 3000 unwanted pit bulls are euthanized daily in shelters across the U.S. and Canada due to rampant overbreeding, and that is the fault of the pit bull lobby promoting them as safe family pets when they’re not. 1 in 107 fatally attack an animal and 1 in 6000 attack a human. How dare anyone champion a breed of dog that puts the public at such a high risk when there are hundreds of safer breeds that do not.
Canada and the U.S. are the only countries in the world that legally import pit bulls. The majority of our SPCAs and rescue groups recklessly adopt them out, never informing the adopters of the genetic heritage of pit bulls, their unpredictability or the shocking statistics that would alarm anyone who cares about the lives of themselves or others.
Breed specific legislation (BSL) is desperately needed for the protection of all, including the pit bulls who are victims as well. They are the most exploited, abused, neglected, abandoned, tortured, raped, overbred and euthanized dogs in North America. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has been pushing for mandatory sterilization for pit bulls for many years to protect them from being born into these horrors in the first place.
The only ones who won’t benefit from BSL are dog fighters, breeders, those profiting from their existence and pit bull owners who don’t want to comply with reasonable regulations to keep the public safe. People, pets, livestock, tax payers, first responders, animal control and rescue workers would all be better off without the existence of pit bulls in our society. Shelters would no longer be over flowing, so safer breeds of dogs would have a better chance of being rescued, and euthanasia rates would plummet.
Less than 3 percent of the population owns pit bulls, yet these are the dogs responsible for killing, mutilating and severely injuring more humans and animals than all other breeds combined. It’s time we stop catering to this vocal minority and the multi million dollar funded pit bull lobby groups and start demanding public safety.
The U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Air Force ban pit bulls from all their bases as well as privatized housing. It’s a travesty the rest of us aren’t offered the same protection.
At least 475 people have been killed by pit bulls so far, and thousands more disgfigured. Hundreds of thousands of animals have also been fatally attacked. How many more pit bull assaults resulting in life flights, surgeries, psychological counselling and burials are we going to tolerate? The answer should be zero.
When dog fighting was outlawed, the breeding of pit bulls should have been outlawed too. They were never meant to be household pets.
GoFundMe Account to help with Xavier’s funeral expenses.
Lori Welbourne is a syndicated columnist. She can be contacted at LoriWelbourne.com