Monday, July 7, 2008

About pets

No, I don't have any due to the difficulty in getting the type I want, however the Humane Society of the United States (not to be confused with the real Humane Society) likes to use the ideas of a high school drop out in determining animal behavior to decide which dogs live and which dogs die when they get rescued and put into a shelter.

Pit bulls are basically summarily executed because "fighting is in their blood" which is about the biggest load of bull I've seen in a while. Endogenous Retrovirus, a blogger on science blogs has a good post on the latest antics of the HSUS that can be read at here

Personally I've tried to read the information linked to from that blog post about the slime of a human John Goodwin, yet I find myself unable to really stomach the stuff this guy has done. So the long and short of this post is that some uneducated scumbag not fit to call human is working at the HSUS and deciding to kill off all Pit's that come into shelters mainly because he doesn't like them, because there's no real evidence to support his views, in fact Pit's as I recall don't even top the charts for being the most aggressive dogs. A little bit of googleing shows that there are studies debunking the hereditary aggression notion as well as Pit bulls being the most aggressive dogs. I could link these findings, but I think it's better for people interested to do their own research since it's so easy to find this information on google. Still one well done study I found will be provided for those readers too lazy to searh, (pdf)

It's a pdf so readers follow that link be warned, not that there's anything malicious in that pdf, I just don't like being linked to pdf's without warning. People who want to view it as html can use this link.

So yeah, that basically covers my thoughts on this thing. I really don't like high school drop outs using BS logic to kill off creatures that deserve a better life than they have been given. I fully admit that adopting a dog trained for aggression is a dangerous thing to do, but a competent trainer can undo that damage if they are given the chance. Killing dogs or anything simply because someone has the idea that aggression is in their blood is flat out wrong, and frankly I think it qualifies as murder. Dog's might not be human, but if someone were enslaved and trained as a killer then rescued wouldn't they deserve the chance to recover? People are smart, so one might try to say it's totally different, but I've seen some very smart cats and dogs, ones smarter than some humans I know, so I think if a human should get a second chance why not a dog?


ERV said...

What I found with Arnie is that 'aggression' was never a problem. It was fear. He was afraid of me. He was afraid of the stairs. He was afraid of his leash. He was afraid of other dogs. He was afraid of the TV.

He still has a lot of 'fear issues' that are plain bizarre (still afraid of carbonated drinks and water), but most of them melted away once he knew he could trust me and he was always going to be 'safe'.

According to Goodwin and HSUS, I should have killed Arnie and adopted a 'nice dog' instead.

Not that I dont love my puppy nephew, but my brother adopted a 'nice' yellow lab... who is hands-down the most aggressive (dog and people aggressive) dog my family has ever owned.

You can not judge a dog by its breed. Even a high school drop out should understand this.

The Brutal Gourmet said...

Well said. I work for the second oldest humane organization in the country (that is the MSPCA out of Boston -- the ASPCA in New York has us beat by 2 years), and we spend a lot of time trying to educate people about the fact that you can't judge an individual dog by its breed any better than you can a human by their skin color. It is a long, uphill battle, but an important one.

FallenErrant said...

Wow, the great ERV herself has descended to my blog.

I did read a bit about fear, rather than aggression, being the real problem but at the time of writing was unsure of how to cover that information.

As I understand it, which is to say my best guess without having found any real proof of this, is that to make a fighting dog the trainer sort of needs to take the joy out of the dogs life. This would mean taking everything it likes and reconditioning it so that it is either angry at or afraid of what it used to like. If a dog enjoys getting wet and rolling around on the ground suddenly finds it gets kicked every time it gets wet, the dog is then going to be afraid of water and generally a little more angry at the world. Do this to enough things for a year or two and the dog will A) be a fighting dog, and B) take some time to heal after being rescued.

Not being a dog trainer I can't really say this for sure but it at least sounds more reasonable than the "in their blood" nonsense from Goodwin. I think it's fairly reasonable to determine that systematically abusing something every time it enjoys itself will lead to fear and anger problems.