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Still no need for pit bull criticism

Pit bulls aren’t getting any love these days.

Definitely not from Michael Vick.

An article from MSNBC.com says Vick’s co-defendants claim he was deeply involved in dog fighting. They go on to say he executed “at least eight dogs that didn’t do well in test fights by various methods, including hanging and drowning.”

This nasty, high-profile dog fighting case does not help the pit bull’s public image. The Humane Society of the United States says they are the most common breed of dog used for dog fighting.

But everyone already knows that. Pit bulls make the news all the time when police bust up dog-fighting rings.

They make the news again when they show aggression like they were taught to.

This is the reason pit bulls don’t get any love from the Lucas County Dog Warden, either.

An article from earlier this month on ToledoBlade.com reports that as of the month of July, 790 pit bulls have been confiscated in Lucas County alone and an estimated 60 percent of them have been destroyed.

Saved from the clutches of despicable dog fighters so they can be killed humanely. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

This negative attention in the news leads to pit bulls getting no love from the Ohio Supreme Court.

On Aug. 1, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Toledo and Ohio laws singling out pit bulls as “vicious animals” is constitutional.

Toledo law states that pit bull owners must lock up the dog at all times and muzzle it if it leaves the property.

Welcome to your new home, here is your muzzle and cage. What a friendly atmosphere to be raised in.

Owners are also required to have at least a $100,000 liability insurance plan in case their dog attacks someone.

I can understand car, life, health, homeowner’s, hurricane, flood, fire and earthquake insurance, but dog insurance is borderline insane. If pit bulls were really vicious enough to warrant a required insurance plan, they would be illegal to own altogether.

Any dog can bite someone if treated poorly. The issue here is not the dog, but the way in which the dog is treated. If poodles were trained to fight and forced to wear muzzles, then every poodle would be labeled as vicious as well.

What does it take to be called “vicious” anyway?

The latest statistics from the National Safety Council from 2003 shed some light on how “vicious” dogs are.

Other common things killed more people than dogs did. Even if pit bulls were responsible for every fatal dog attack in 2003, more people died from things like pillows, ladders, bees and lightning than from dog attacks.

The report states that 497 people died in 2003 from accidental suffocation while in bed. Another 417 died by falling off a ladder. Bee, wasp and hornet stings killed 66 and lightning claimed 47 lives.

There were only 32 fatalities due to dog attacks.

That means it is over 15 times more likely to be killed by a pillow than a dog.

So why aren’t pillows labeled as “vicious”?

Pillow fighting is more common than dog fighting. Instead of cages, pillows get put in cases. When they stop doing their job, they get thrown out.

Luckily, in Toledo, no insurance plan is required if someone spends the night and is suffocated by your pillow.

Send comments about this column to [email protected].

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