To the editor: Pit bulls are the most abused dogs on the planet, and they need legislation to protect them — namely, vigorous screening and home checks for people who want to adopt pit bulls, to prevent them from falling into abusive hands — and laws requiring all pit bulls to be spayed or neutered. ("We're safer without pit bull bans," Opinion, Oct. 11)
Given the overpopulation crisis, a ban on breeding all dogs is vitally needed, but why not start by ending breeding of pit bulls, whom abusers target more than any other breed?
These dogs are the ones most often kept chained 24/7, beaten to make them "mean," and thrown into dogfighting rings to rip each other to shreds. They are also among the dogs most commonly admitted to animal shelters. Tens of thousands of them are euthanized each year for lack of homes.
The muzzling requirement of Montreal's pit bull legislation is rightly being criticized. But protective measures such as spay-neuter requirements aren't breed-specific "discrimination" — they're breed-specific protection, and people who have animals' best interests at heart should support them.
Daphna Nachminovitch, Norfolk, Va.
The writer is senior vice president of cruelty investigations at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
To the editor: I'll be happy to stop typecasting pit bulls as soon as I can locate the owner one that attacked my dog near the Los Angeles Zoo and get him to pay my $1,100 vet bill.
My dog, a 42-pound spaniel, is a bird dog whose favorite activity is chasing dragonflies; if she ever does bite, the damage would be minimal, as is the case with an overwhelming majority of breeds. The pit bull in the unprovoked attack was twice her weight and nearly succeeded in tearing her throat out.
May pit bull bans spread far and wide across the U.S. Then rescind them in 25 years, after the people drawn to this dog have forgotten about them. If you want a dog for protection, there are many breeds that can do the job without ripping their victim to shreds. If you want the baddest dog on the block, you shouldn't be owning any animal at all.
Donn Risolo, Altadena