When are our elected officials going to recognize this problem for what it is and take action to resolve it?

What I would like to see legislated nationally, statewide, and by our city is that each pit bull owner should have to acquire a $5O0,000 liability insurance policy on each dog they own; that each dog be registered as a deadly weapon; and if their dog is outside, whether in a fenced yard or on a leash, that these dogs be muzzled. These dogs seem to have a knack for getting out of "fenced yards."

Now I know that I will hear loud and clear from bleeding-heart animal lovers who say that pit bulls are just another dog. These people may be knowledgeable and think that they know all about pit bulls, but what they fail to acknowledge is the lackadaisical attitudes and psychological deficiencies of a majority of these dogs' owners. (No, we acknowledge the lackadaisical attitudes of these dog owners -- and think we should fix THAT problem instead of taking these dogs away from good owners.  Plus, why does this guy think that lackadaisical owners will pay for $500,000 in additional insurance and muzzle their dog?)

From what I have read, these dogs were bred to be killers and not pets. From what I see on TV and read in the news, that's just what they are.  (Wow, this person's credentials are amazing! -- he reads AND watches TV).

Come on legislators, do the job you were elected to do and enact laws to protect your constituency from this growing threat.

The Second is from the Globe & Mail -- in response to a report done in by the Toronto Sun on what is going on with their pit bull ban thus far.  I'm going to post the whole editorial here (my comments in blue, per usual) as the Globe & Mail charges for their online service so I've stolen this from an outside source (no reason giving them extra $$$ and rewarding this type of behavior).

Pit bull ban could be just a start for a safer city
JOHN BARBER

Good news! The number of pit bulls destroyed by the city every year has increased substantially since the breed was banned province wide in August, 2005.

Five hundred of the dogs have died painlessly in municipal facilities since the ban, compared with 441 that suffered the same fate in the 16 months prior to its enactment.

Of special interest, almost 200 of the potentially vicious animals were executed summarily: not because of anything they had done, but simply because of what they were. (I honestly think that anyone who supports any type of breed ban should be forced to spend at least one week in a shelter putting down these dogs so they can see the effects of their legislation and the affects it has on their animal control personnel).

The law is biting back.

This is not necessarily good news to the municipal officials charged with its enforcement.

Toronto animal services manager Eletta Purdy is one of a legion of experts, genuine and otherwise, who oppose the ban.

She would prefer to assess each potentially dangerous dog "on its own merit" before deciding whether to put it down. (Wait, the author here actually is going to to explain why this is a bad idea).

"If it was a healthy, well-behaved dog, we would be placing it up for adoption, regardless of the breed," she said.

But now, municipal officials all over Ontario are forced to destroy many healthy, well-behaved and potentially adoptable dogs, simply because of their breed.

Because of that, and for many other reasons, just about every animal-welfare organization in existence, from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, opposes breed-specific bans.

Their ultimate argument is that such bans do nothing to reduce the risk to small children of being torn to pieces by vicious dogs that, they acknowledge, were bred to kill.

But what if they're wrong?

What if even one of those 200 summary executions prevented a single hideous mauling of the sort that inspired Attorney-General Michael Bryant to ban pit bulls in Ontario?  (Or what if a stray dog attacks someone because animal control is too busy to get it because it's rounding up pit bulls?)

That would be very good news.

Unfortunately, it's impossible to determine anything beyond the fact that more potentially dangerous dogs are being euthanized.

Dog attacks were not classified by breed prior to the ban, according to Ms. Purdy, so there is no way to determine whether or not it has increased public safety.

"I have no evidence that tells me one way or another," she said.

"In order to ascertain that, you would have to have some very good statistical information, and I'm not sure that exists."

In the absence of any reliable data, hypotheses rule.

Among those who oppose the ban, the most common is a variation on the refrain that "guns don't kill people, people do."

Even though pit bulls have been bred to be vicious (just as guns are designed to kill), such dogs are said to be safe if handled properly.

This is no doubt true.

The problem is this breed's particular attraction to people who value vicious dogs and don't mind using them for the purpose to which they were bred.

A pit bull ban can't contain the anti-social impulse, but it does, to some small extent, disarm it.

People say that irresponsible dog owners will switch to other breeds when they can't have pit bulls.

Again, they're right.

Who can forget the news from Christmas Day, when two free-roaming Rottweilers attacked a Hamilton toddler in a mauling that lasted for minutes, despite the efforts of bystanders to free him.

The boy "looked like he was a doll being torn apart," according to a neighbour.

Different generations choose their own vicious dogs.

German shepherd dogs, bred to attack people and used for that purpose in the Belgian Congo and German concentration camps, were once the most dangerous dogs on Canadian city streets.

Then it was Dobermans, then pit bulls.

Now, it appears, the vicious dog of the day is the Rottweiler -- "a natural weapon of war," according to some of its fanciers.

Fortunately, there is a simple answer to this emerging dilemma: a ban on Rottweilers, followed by bans on any other breeds that are turned to the same anti-social purposes, until people finally realize that a crowded city is no place for potentially vicious animals.  (ok, I confess, I've reread this a half dozen times.  At first I thought it was sarcasm.  But I don't think so now.  I honestly think that he really believes this recommendation...that we should just continue to ban dog breeds until all potentially dangerous dog breeds are disposed of.  Why don't they just ban all dogs over 20 lbs...that will be the eventual result of his recommendation. It's pretty amazing that THIS is his eventual recommendation...as is the direction of the city council.  I can't see any way of how you come to this based on the info he prsented.)

The pit bull ban is a good start.

jbarber@globeandmail.com

Wow.