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Letters to the Editor: Rich people getting $100,000 guard dogs? A sign of the times

A dog jumps down obstacle stairs while watched by a trainer
Mike Israeli sells protection dogs for up to $65,000 at Delta K9 Academy in North Hollywood.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: I wholeheartedly agree that a dog is better protection from a burglary than a gun. However, that dog does not have to be a $100,000 attack dog. Just a dog barking is going to deter thieves, even the bark of a small dog. There are so many dogs in shelters needing homes right now. If you are worried for your safety, go adopt a pet. It’s far better for your emotional and mental health than a gun.

Lia Eng, Aliso Viejo

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To the editor: This article made me so sad and at the same time very angry. Sad because it shows us that we live in a very fear-filled society and people are so paranoid. Angry at the inequality that allows a small percentage of people to spend six figures on a guard dog while hundreds of thousands of people are homeless and millions of children go to bed hungry.

Vicki Rupasinghe, Ojai

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To the editor: People pay as much as $100,000 for a guard dog, while an estimated 93% of pit bulls in shelters are killed due to the stereotype that the breed is aggressive. How senseless and depressing.

Karen Dawn, Santa Barbara
The writer is executive director of DawnWatch, an animal advocacy nonprofit.

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To the editor: Robbery is just one of those harms that those with means seek to remedy, and possessing a well-trained “protection dog” appears to be the solution for some. In affluent areas, these highly trained canines appear to satisfy these needs, becoming a weapon, rather like a living “gun.”

The current and growing financial inequality gap fosters much of this situation, which will only increase as legislators seem impotent or unwilling to address these concerns. The training of these dogs is intensive and expensive, yet the demand grows along with the exceedingly high price of the “final product.” This fast growing dog-protection industry is yet another unfortunate index of the unraveling of our societal norms, which may only worsen as those who can afford to revert to such tactics to remain safe in their homes.

Elaine Livesey-Fassel, Los Angeles

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