A slightly modified tale:
One summer in the village, the people gathered for a picnic. As they shared food and conversation, someone noticed a Pit Bull in the river, struggling and yelling. The dog was going to drown!
Someone rushed to save the dog. Then, they noticed another yowling Pit Bull in the river, and they rushed in to pull that dog out. Soon, more dogs were seen drowning in the river, and the townspeople were pulling them out as fast as they could. It took great effort, and they began to organize their activities in order to save the Pit Bulls as they came down the river. As everyone else was busy in the rescue efforts to save the dogs, two of the townspeople started to run up the shore of the river.
“Where are you going?” shouted one of the rescuers. “We need you here to help us save these dogs!”
“We are going upstream to stop whoever is throwing them in!”
And who is throwing them In?
Not Pit Bull haters. Pit Bull lovers.
Almost a million Pit Bulls a year are being killed in animal shelters across the U.S.
All of these dogs were bred by people who said they loved Pit Bulls.
All of these dogs were bought or acquired as puppies by people who said they loved Pit Bulls.
And almost all of these dogs were relenquished to the pound or "shelter" when their owners found out that an adult Pit Bull comes with a lot of responsibility.
Pit Bulls are not being pushed into the river by breed specific laws.
Cities that do not have such laws are killing dogs wholesale.
In fact, some of the cities with the lowest Pit Bull kill rates are cities that have banned the dogs, such as Denver.
Others, like San Francisco, have not banned Pit Bulls but have seen a marked decline in Pit Bull euthanasias after implementing a mandatory Pit Bull sterilization law coupled to free Pit Bull spay-neuter programs.
One thing is clear: Pit Bulls have breed specific problems.
Perhaps their biggest problem is that so many Pit Bull breeders and owners are young, irresponsible adults who have unstable lives and who are acquiring their first dog -- a Pit Bull -- for much the same reason that they might acquire a big-bore motorcycle, a sports car, or a "hummer".
Is it an accident that Pit Bull owners are much more likely to have problems with the law than the average dog owner? I don't think so, and neither does Stanley Coren.
The responsible people who are adoping Pit Bulls from shelters deserve unending applause for their efforts.
But have no illusion: the good work they do will never be enough so long as so many people stand silent while so many people breed Pit Bulls, and so many others are acquiring puppies from these breeders only to "thrown them in the river" in just a year's time.
Pit Bulls have a breed specfic problem.
At what point, do we begin to recognize that these dogs need a breed specific solution?
At what point do we say we are sick and tired of killing nearly a million Pit Bulls a year?
At what point do we agree that if we want something different, we need to do something different?
At what point do we run up the river bank, and start at least talking about all those people who are throwing the dogs in the river?