Posts Tagged ‘ASPCA’

The Fighting Truth About Pit Bulls

February 7, 2014
Cute Pit Bull

I Love a Pit Bull Smile

I’ve had a number of dogs of various breeds  in my life. One special dog was a Pit Bull/Mastiff named Squash (because of his orange color). His previous owners kept him in the back yard tied with a thick and short chain around the tree. When they moved, they just left him there. So my mom took him in. Squash understandably had a few issues due to his life tied around that tree, but with care and understanding he turned out to be a great family dog. I remember walking him as a girl and everyone being afraid of him. Some people couldn’t believe my mom would let me and my little sister be around such a big, strong, and mean-looking dog. But Squash would never hurt us. Because of his sweet nature, he was one of the most memorable dogs of my childhood.

pit bull terrier puppy

This isn’t a photo of Squash, but you get what I mean about the orange color.

With that being said, let me present to you this article about Pit Bulls. This is an article written by Randi Adams. Randi is a blog-from-home mother of three from California.

It’s easy to see golden retrievers adored as loving, family-oriented companions or chihuahuas as cute accessories that are dressed up and toted around. It’s called breed generalization, and pit bulls are victims of sweeping unfair generalizations such as “dangerous,” “a community menace” and “unpredictably aggressive.” Dog stereotypes and breed generations do originate though somewhere, somehow. Media attention that sensationalizes a tragic story involving a pit bull, or even the Michael Vick illegal dog fighting case disservice the breed that typically has a good nature.

The Fighting Truth

Pit bulls have been historically bred to be a fighting dog, and as a physically powerful, “high drive” breed, they have been traditionally trained to be an aggressive threat against other animals, as the ASPCA reveals. Because of the breed’s long history with fighting, the pit bull has a naturally strong propensity to react to other dogs. Pets for Patriots emphasizes that dog breeds of all kinds can exert aggressive behaviors, but a pit bull can end up inflicting more serious injuries and damage because of its size and strength.

Dog fighting was certainly more common one hundred years ago, and the American Pit Bull Terrier was bred to be a friendly and gentle dog, explains Pets for Patriots. At one time, the pit bull was one of the most popular dogs for American families. The pit bull image was even represented on World War One posters as a symbol for bravery and reliability.

Human Fault

ASPCA, the non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of animal cruelty, asks “why the bad rap?” First, pit bulls can be a macho status symbol because of their intimidating appearance. Breeders irresponsibly and carelessly breed pit bull puppies for people who excite over the pit bull’s tough image. Dog owners also have their fair share in perpetuating the pit bull reputation. Dog owners may encourage the negative pit bull archetype by raising their puppy to be aggressive and domineering.

Just like humans can reinforce the violent association of pit bulls by using their pet as a tough guy accessory, humans can also negate the fear of pit bulls. The ASPCA describes the breed as “one of the most delightful, intelligent and gentle dogs imaginable.” Like all dog breeds, the dog just needs to be well-bred, socialized and trained. Despite the pit bull’s connection to dog fighting, pit bulls make good dogs for therapy and search-and-rescue. A pit bull puppy can grow to be a well-mannered, beloved member of the family, loyal to their owners. It’s just the owners responsibility to provide consistent training, gentle guidance and good socialization with humans and other animals when the puppy is as young as seven weeks old. A pit bull also needs healthy living conditions, adequate exercise and room to roam. A pet door, for instance, can provide a dog with the independence for exerting excess energy, as PetSafe mentions.

Myths Debunked

Any pit bull lover and advocate will tell you the following:

  • Pit bulls have strong jaw muscles and a determined hold, but definitely not locking jaws.
  • A dog with aggressive behaviors toward other dogs is no more likely to be aggressive toward humans – pit bull or not.
  • Pit bulls are easygoing dogs, but shouldn’t be unsupervised around other animals.
  • Not all pit bulls are meant to socialize at the dog park. Pitt bulls are muscular and high-energy dogs that can get overwhelmed in a dog park environment.
  • Owners who spay or neuter their pit bull can improve their dog’s health and behavior, as well as prevent unwanted, homeless pit bulls. Learn more about spay-neuter surgeries and other frequently asked questions by visiting our Spay/Neuter FAQs page.

There it is, that’s the article. What do you all think? I agree with most of it, although I’m not too sure about some of those myths. How many of you have Pit Bulls who do just fine around other animals? What about the dog park situation? Thanks for weighing in.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Eaten Poison

September 16, 2010

Sometimes dog get into and eat things which are not good for them.  It could be your favorite pair of shoes, the trash, or even one of your household plants.  While many things may be relatively harmless, there are some things which are downright dangerous to your pet.  How do you know which is which?  What do you do if you find that your dog has eaten something harmful?  Well, we know a perfect website you can visit to find all your answers.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is a very informative and helpful resource.  They have pages of information dedicated specifically to their Animal Poison Control Center.  We have outlined three of the most important aspects of the Animal Poison Control Center below:

Prevention
Preventing your dog from being poisoned is the first and most important thing you can do.  The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center gives you great tips on how to do this. For example, review their list of harmful substances around the home and be sure that these things are always inaccessible to your pets.  Another thing you can do is keep a first aid kit for your pet handy.  The ASPCA website has a list of things you should keep in their first aid kit.

Identify
But even with prevention methods in place, accidents sometimes still happen.  If you know what your dog has eaten but you’re not sure whether it is harmful or not, visit the ASPCA website to find out. They have a comprehensive list of foods, plants, and everyday household products which may be harmful to your pet.  If the item your dog ate is not listed or if you are not sure what your dog ate, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for some helpful advice.   (However, if your dog is exhibiting any abnormal behavior, skip the call to the Animal Poison Control Center and take your dog to the vet immediately.)  The Animal Poison Control Center can be reached at 888-426-4435.  Please note that there is currently a $65 consultation fee so have your credit card handy along with as much information on what your dog ate and when.

Seek Treatment
If the Animal Poison Control Center has confirmed that your dog ate something potentially harmful, follow their advice and take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.  If you confirmed through the website that your dog has eaten something potentially harmful, take your dog to the vet immediately.  The website does not outline treatment for poisons.  If your vet is not close by and the situation is dire, you may call the Animal Poison Control Center.  But if your vet is close, it is best to get your dog to the vet right away rather than call the Animal Poison Control Center first.