Fear about pit bulls is unwarranted

I did not think it was possible, but we have just seen the furtherance of ignorance in R.D. Truitt’s recent letter to the editor regarding pit bulls.

It is bad enough that Truitt cites Wikipedia as the source of reference, where the only qualification you need in order to be a self-proclaimed expert is an account with the website. Truitt only cites that part of the information necessary to support his/her claim.

Although it is true that pit bulls have received a bad reputation and that aggression has been bred into the breed, history has also shown that these dogs, when treated with love and care, are the most loyal and giving creatures around.

The Greater Media Newspapers article that was the subject of Truitt’s ire — “Area Shelters Step Up to Adopt Out Pit Bulls” — was right on the mark with respect to the nature of the breed. The reporter was careful to point out the risks involved and assured a satisfying experience when approached with the same responsibility one should use in any relationship.

If anyone reading Truitt’s rebuttal was diligent enough to check out some of the 95 references Wikipedia cited, they would find among them stories of a pit bull who took a bullet to save his master or the soldiers in combat who owe their lives to the pit bull named “Sgt. Stubby,” as well as some realworld advice on owning one. Love is an action word — not some feeling invoked watching youngsters’ faces while they discover the golden Labrador puppy under the Christmas tree while Mom and Dad record the event on their phone. The fact is that more bites have been received from golden Labradors than from pit bulls.

I am not an expert, but experience tells me there is more to be feared than one particular breed. I have had several dogs in my life and have been bitten by my cute beagle and pure-breed Springer Spaniel, but our pit bull, a shelter rescue, hasn’t bitten once.

In fact, my neighbors all enjoy seeing him sit at our mailman’s feet, waiting patiently for the dog biscuits the mailman carries, and local contractors working in the neighborhood know him by name because he loves greeting them.

But I would not venture to allow him to run off a leash, and we always instruct folks who would like to say “hello” how to approach him — and that is part of the responsibility.

Promulgating fear does little to increase public awareness. Perhaps Truitt should focus on traffic signals in his/her neighborhood or maybe a weightier subject like bad football coaches instead of something he/she knows nothing about.

Tony Curiale
Fair Haven