Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Pit bulls unfairly maligned [Letter]

While I sympathize with Tony Solesky's experience of witnessing his son get attacked by a pit bull, the fact is he is no more a "dog expert" than the shelter volunteers and pit bull advocates he dismisses ("An unnatural selection," Nov. 15).

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of valid and conclusive evidence on which dogs have the highest propensity to bite and attack, which is frustrating to a public health researcher like me. As the American Veterinary Medical Association points out, there are numerous factors that contribute to a dog's disposition, and studies about pit bulls (which itself is a misnomer because there is no true "pit bull" breed) are not reliable because they fail to account for multiple bites by the same dog, and the comparison population of dogs varies by the demographic characteristics of a particular area and trends in the popularity of certain breeds over time.

There is no unbiased, peer-reviewed research that has been able to overcome these limitations. If we are thus limited to anecdotes, I can offer dozens of positive stories about pit bulls for every horror story Mr. Solesky puts forth. Dangerous dogs definitely ought to be kept from the public, but to single out a particular type of dog is not just unfair, it is unscientific.

Erin Colligan, Baltimore

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Justice for man's best friend

    Justice for man's best friend

    Judge Richard E. Jordan should be praised for the one-year sentence he handed down in the Alec Taylor animal cruelty case ("Man's best friend," Oct. 12).

  • Violence against pets must be taken seriously

    Violence against pets must be taken seriously

    In response to the editorial "Man's best friend" (Oct. 13), I am disappointed that The Baltimore Sun turned people's reactions to reported abuse into a competition as to which victims of violent crimes are more worthy of sympathy or outrage. Violence is violence, and none of it is good for our...

  • Tougher minimum sentences needed for animal cruelty [Letter]

    Tougher minimum sentences needed for animal cruelty [Letter]

    Animal cruelty is a violent crime that is often an indicator crime and a predictor crime as well. Animals, however, are property under the law, and while we have seen an increase in the number of prosecutions, most judges continue to treat these crimes as minor property crimes ("Man's best friend,"...

  • People who abuse animals are likely to abuse humans, too [Letter]

    People who abuse animals are likely to abuse humans, too [Letter]

    Is it too much to ask for The Sun's editorial board to consider both animal abuse and violence against humans as deserving of stiff sentencing ("Man's best friend," Oct. 12)?

  • Pit bulls still dangerous [Letter]

    Pit bulls still dangerous [Letter]

    I want to thank journalist Dan Rodricks for his informative column about pit bulls ("Two years after Maryland court ruling, pit bulls on attack," April 26). It helps me understand more about the pit bull lover uproar and their jargon about it being "the owner, not the breed." However, nothing will...

  • Rodricks feeds into pit bull hysteria [Letter]

    Rodricks feeds into pit bull hysteria [Letter]

    I was disturbed on multiple levels after reading Dan Rodricks' recent article, "Two years after Maryland court ruling, pit bulls on attack" (April 26). Not only does Mr. Rodricks feed into anti-pit bull hysteria for the sake of sensationalizing a hot-button issue, but his piece can hardly be called...

Comments
Loading

72°