We wouldn’t have bothered at all if Petnegative’s mascot did not drag us into his idiotic arguments. So, once again this warrants for a response. For starters he appears not to know the difference between a pet dog, guard dog, watchdog and a service dog.
1. A pet dog is a companion and is not expected to do anything other than unconditionally love its humans and be loved in return without any expectations.
2. A guard dog is a dog trained to protect its owners property and trained to attack and restrain an intruder. A properly trained guard dog will restrain but not kill.
3. A watch dog is a dog which alerts its owners by barking in the event there is an intruder and usually a pet dogs more often than not doubles-up as a watch dog.
4. A service/working dog is a working dog such as seeing eye dogs as well as dogs for the physically disabled. Hunting dogs as well as dogs used for means of transportation in some parts of the globe also fall into this category.
5. A large number of jurisdictions have enacted breed-specific legislation (BSL) in response to a number of well-publicized incidents involving pit bull-type dogs, and some government organizations such as the United States Army and Marine Corps have taken administrative action as well. These actions range from outright bans on the possession of pit bull-type dogs to restrictions and conditions on pit bull ownership, and often establish a legal presumption that a pit bull-type dog is prima facie a legally "dangerous" or "vicious" dog. In response, some state-level governments in the United States have prohibited or restricted the ability of municipal governments within those states to enact breed-specific legislation, though these prohibitions on breed-specific legislation do not affect military installations located within these states. (Do some homework and research on this.)
Here is PETPOSITIVE'S unabridged statement that is scheduled to appear in The Star today on the mauling by dogs of a foreigner on Sunday.
We refer to The Star's update on the latest situation on the dog mauling incident in Penang. (Eye on two killer dogs, January 11, 2011)
It is extremely difficult to say for sure what happened at this stage without knowing every fact that took place in the farm in Penang.
However, one can always be sure that when it comes to canines, when they "kill" humans, it is almost always that they are victims of the tragedy as well.
We are positive that when the investigation is fully completed, we will finally have some answers pointing to the errors that resulted to this incident.
For now, we are pleased that the right body, the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) is in charge of the situation, instead of the police or the local council.
We will first have to wait and see if rabies was the cause for the dogs to attack.
If not, then the next step would be to see if the canines can be rehabilitated. And more importantly, perhaps, who would be willing to adopt and care for the dogs.
Whatever the case, what happened is only the tip of the iceberg in matters regarding canine misbehaviour.
There are many dog owners who unwittingly subject their animals to daily "aggressive training".
These include being tied up or locked up in small cages all day and only let out (if at all) at night to protect properties and homes.
These pets hardly have any chance to socialize. They are only taken for brief walks (if at all) to defecate - and not for exercise, as what it should be.
Dogs should never be taken in solely for the purpose of protecting property. They need love, kindness and attention just like any one of us.
The best canines are those that are invited to live inside our homes with us - not outside. They should even be encouraged to go on drives in our cars regularly.
Anyone who can't meet up with such responsibilities should never keep dogs for the animals' sake as well as their own.
Local councils can also play a strategic role in ensuring that pet dogs are kept properly.
Instead of visiting homes only to check if dogs have licenses, the authorities should go a step further to come up with a helpful questionnaire or pamphlets to make sure that pet owners are taking care of their pets in a proper way.
These would serve as timely reminders or educational material to ensure pets are kept well so that issues of complaints or tragedies are kept to a minimum or are never repeated.
Finally, we would like to refer to a comment made by Christine Lai in your report that pit bulls have an in-built "ferocious streak."
If Lai had checked her facts she would have discovered that pit bulls are one of the most intelligent and highly caring canines that are beginning to be discovered in the United States at least.
MDDB: Lai did do her research and that is why she said that the DVS should check to see if the dogs in Penang may have a mix of the pit bull breed. This was due to the dogs’ physical features. Now a little about the pit bull:
1. The pit bull is not suitable to be trained as guard dogs because it is very courageous and known to not back off from a confrontation. Therefore, if a guard dog it will ‘finish the job’ and not merely restrain. Pit bulls are more suited to be kept as pets because of their steadfast loyalty. It is also this steadfast loyalty which makes them kill if confronted in a situation whereby their owners or their properties are in danger. Pit bulls can easily show their aggression and that’s why they are a favourite in dog fighting competitions.
2. Pit bulls should be bred carefully and not indiscriminately mixed.
They are not only wonderfully gentle with children but also being increasingly used as assistance and therapy dogs for the disabled and the elderly in helping them lead positive lives.
Describing pit bulls as being "ferocious" is a completely untrue statement that directly goes against what more and more animal rights activists believe about errant dogs today: "It is never the dogs' fault but the owners".
Lai did not say ferocious – she said ferocious streak. Please read-up literature on pit bulls before shooting from the hip.
The reason why pit bulls attack dogs and humans is because they are trained by humans that way. There are even dedicated pit bull rescue teams that work hard to rescue these dogs from such a predicament.
At a time of such a terrible tragedy where a human life has gone, it is important for all of us to think and act rationally based on what actually happened in this remote tragic case and come up with the right answers.
Let us also be reminded of the hundreds of thousands of other dogs in our country that continue to help keep our homes secure, bring joy to the sick, comfort to the elderly, hope for the disabled and happiness to everyone through their loyal and affectionate companionship.
Anthony SB Thanasayan