Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Whistling Past the Pit Bull Graveyard

Fence sign on Darla Napora's house.

When BadRap supporter Darla Napora and her unborn baby
were fatally mauled by one of her own Pit Bulls,
BadRap was almost silent.
Was there a lesson they failed to learn?
Was there a lesson they failed to teach?

Darla Napora, a pregnant and very vocal 32-year old supporter of "BadRap," a Pit Bull rescue in the San Francisco bay area, was fatally mauled by her own Pit Bull on August 6th of this year.

An autopsy on her body was conclusive: she died of blood loss due to the mauling she got from her dog, Gunner.

The only trauma was that done by the dog, which was standing over her bloody and ripped body when she was found dead.


But that hardly matters does it?

As I noted back a few years ago, it's not really that crazy for a "tiger to go tiger" or for a pit bull "to go pit bull" is it?

Tightly wound genetic code can explode inside any bred-for-purpose dog.

Of course, when that code explodes inside a Pointer, he might go rigid in front of a feathered hat, while the unbraided double-helix of a Pit Bull might result in a dead neighbor's dog or a mauled child.

And yes, both of those events happen every day in this country

Fatal maulings of human by dogs are rare (only about 30 a year in the U.S.), but serious hospitalizing bites are not, and Pit Bulls are the breed most likely to both kill and to seriously maim. 

This is a fact, no matter how inconvenient.

So too is the death of Darla Napora.  

She was dead when I started to write this article, and she is dead now, and she will be dead tomorrow. 

Her baby is dead too.  Dead, dead, dead.

And yet, here is a woman that was supposed to know what she was doing. 

Here is a woman who knew that an unaltered male Pit Bull was a serious liability on legs, but she did not neuter the dog.

Here is a woman who knew that almost a million Pit Bulls were killed in U.S. shelters last year, but she still wanted to breed this dog, which is why she left its testicles on.

The silence from the Pit Bull community about Darla Napora's death is palpable. 

Consider how the The San Francisco Examiner reported the death with lies of omission:

Darla Napora 32, beloved wife, sister, daughter and expecting mother, passed away in her home on Thursday, August 11th, 2011.

Passed away?!

She just fell asleep in bed and never woke up, eh? 

I imagine in truth she died screaming, blood pouring out of serious rips on her body.  Exsanguination from animals bites and rips is not a quick, painless, or pretty way to die.

So what did BadRap, the Pit Bull rescue and advocacy organization, have to say about the death of their vocal supporter? 

Did they use this opportunity to urge people to neuter male Pit Bulls so they are less likely to be aggressive? 

Did they use this opportunity to urge the spaying of female Pit Bulls so there are less Pit Bulls being dumped in shelters and on rescues?

Did they use this opportunity to note that Pit Bulls are not the right dog for most owners?

Nope, nope and nope.

From what I can tell, they were almost silent. 

Over at the BadRap blog they illustated the shocking and brutal killing of one of their own vocal activists and suporters with a picture of a placid Husky.

The single post on the event was given a title meant to make you not read the post at all, while the rambling opening was designed to make you stop reading past the first sentence.

Talk about denial!

Talk about whistling past the graveyard!

Talk about missing the message!

For God's sake please neuter your male Pit Bulls and spay the females. 

We need more Pit Bulls in this country like we need a hole in the head. 

No one should be breeding Pit Bulls when we have almost a million young Pit Bulls a year being tossed dead into land fills, many of them fine young dogs who only needed a second chance and a loving home.

Those are the messages BadRap failed to deliver.

BadRap failed to park the blame for the 40,000,000 pounds of dead Pit Bulls that are killed every year in this country.

And who is to blame for these death?

It is not Pit Bull haters that are breeding these dogs.

It is not Pit Bull haters that are dumping these dogs at the shelters.

It is Pit Bull "lovers."

If you are looking for someone to blame for the dead dogs and the mauled children, look to the denial and the silence emanating from Pit Bull apologists who continue to claim this dog is just like any other.

Look to those who continue to whistle past the Pit Bull graveyard.


Anonymous said...

Great article Patrick. As far as my comment, I can't improve upon what one commenter on the news story said

"I have compassion for that animal, but would never trust it.

Most pit rescues are trying to take care of the overflow without addressing the source. The sources of unwanted, mistreated­, poorly-bre­d pits are immune to education and outreach. Making pits a middle class dog will do nothing. You must support mandatory spay and neuter, so that many fewer pit bulls die in our shelters and those that live are rarer, more expensive,­and better kept. I haven't seen a better solution. "

M said...

I can't speak to the context of the following but here is a moment of zen on the matter, these statements are within 4 days of Darla's death.

"Greg Napora says that he forgives Gunner for killing his wife and unborn child because it was “just a freak accident…They (their two pit bulls) are the most loving animals I have ever had in my life. Whatever happened right now was not the breed’s fault."

"Her husband, Greg, says he plans to have the pit bull’s ashes buried with his wife."

seeker said...

Oh My God!! What a tragedy. What a travesty.
We have owned 2 pits and my Jacks are much more likely to bite than they were. But then Tiger was 80 lbs and Bonnie was 65. My Jacks are 14 and 16. And yes, I do muzzle when we're in tight places and I do occasionally get bit.

Tiger, Tiger in the night.
Tiger, Tiger burning bright.

All pet dogs should be neutered. Why, just cause you (the public) are idiots and can't manage your dogs or your kids.
Pat, the people should be spayed and neutered too.

Debi (who drives a school bus) and the TX JRTs

Sean said...

We decided to adopt a dog when my son was 3. My wife went to the Humane Society shelter in Stuart, Florida and adopted a cute "Hound Mix" puppy. When I came home it was clear this hound mix was a pit bull.

Knowing that I had a young child and would have many others around the house, I took the dog back. This was hard on all of my family and was a difficult decision.

The Humane Society worker admitted that the "Hound Mix" claim was a lie. He said that if they told the public it was a pit bull it would never be adopted. When I stopped at the front counter on the way out the lady at the desk told me that I would not be permitted to adopt a dog their again as I had returned an adopted dog. I told her that that was not a problem as I did not intend to adopt from them again.

Heather Landry said...

Loved the article. Thanks for speaking out about Darla Napora.

Dog Man said...

Been around a long time and have seen a lot, trained dogs, keep dogs, rescue dogs, shoot over dogs.

I have known a lot of pit bulls over the years, and I liked them all. NEVER TRUSTED one of them though, and saw a couple explode on innocent dogs. They are a liability to their owners and others around them, and for the ASPCA and other groups to adopt these animals out and make excuses for the breeding to aggression problem is nonsense.
Would I ever own a pit? It is possible, I think I can handle any breed, but my mind would be open and anticipating situations constantly.
Can the pit be tamed? Sure, any breed can. The problem is with the morons that keep and breed this time bomb to BE a time bomb.