Monday, June 17, 2013

Pit Bulls: Responsibility

Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan

 A Letter from Cesar Millan:

A month ago today in Little Rock, California (a small town located forty miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles), a woman named Pamela Devitt was out for a jog when she was attacked and killed by a pack of four dogs.

Of course, the dogs were immediately identified as pit bulls in the headlines, whether they were or not. So far, only one dog’s photo has been released, and it is clearly a pit bull mix — but the problem with most news stories about people being attacked by dogs is that every dog becomes a pit bull in the headline.

This is nothing new and only the breed changes. At various times in the past, it would have been Rottweiler, German shepherd or Doberman pinscher. However, in the tragic case of Pamela Devitt, authorities have gotten one thing absolutely right, and it offers a bit of hope that things may be slowly changing when it comes to anti-breed prejudice.

Three weeks after the attack, Alex Donald Jackson, the owner of the four dogs, was charged with murder by the LA County district attorney — possibly a first for the area, according to prosecutors. They decided to do so because, since January of this year, there had been at least three reports to police about his dogs attacking other people.

Ultimately, the courts will decide Jackson’s fate and I’m not going to discuss his case specifically. However, this incident should be a reminder to dog lovers everywhere that, ultimately, we are responsible for our own dogs’ safety and behavior, and we are the ones who should face the consequences if they should ever attack someone.

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