Here is a classic example of how pit bull attacks are often, if not always, portrayed in the media.
Waxhaw, NC - Several news sources have reported on the tragic death of 5 yr-old Makayla Woodard on January 7. The young girl was attacked and killed in her own yard by 2 Pit bulls.
Her grandmother, Nancy Presson, 67, was also seriously injured in the attack while trying to protect her young grand-daughter.
Most news outlets covering this story have focused on just these facts - two vicious pit bulls attacked and killed. Leaving out the backstory.
One outlet, however, has shared the rest of the story. Information that explains much of what happened and information that people in positions of authority should take serious note of.
According to the Union County Weekly, the dogs involved in the attack were well known in the neighborhood. The female, a dog named Daisy, was so emaciated that she looked like she shouldn't be alive.
Several people reported seeing both dogs roaming the streets, unsupervised and searching for food. One person noted that the female looked as if she had recently had pups and that a tether was attached to her collar - in other words, she had been bred, left on a tie-out and from the looks of her body - starved.
Others reported that the dogs were "usually secured on a chain" but occassionally left out to roam. One neighbor had contacted animal control to let them know that the dogs were being neglected and that they should be removed from the owner's home. They were told that "animal control" could do nothing".
The dog's owner? A man named Michael Gordan. The 23 yr-old man had been released from prison last May after serving 10 months on felony charges including breaking and entering.
The basic components for a dangerous dog situation are all here. Irresponsible dog ownership by a negligent owner.
This is where the people in positions of authority need to pay attention. Animal abuse and negligence needs to be taken seriously. It's more than "just a dog" - by ignoring the suffering of dogs you are potentially contributing to a tragic situation such as that which happened to the innocent 5 yr-old girl last Wednesday.
Dogs that are starved, abused, and ignored can become aggessive and unstable. Slaps on the wrist or turning away from the problem gives that much more time that the dog will suffer and more opportunities for an attack situation to take place.
People fighting for Breed Specific Legislation - read this article again and read it carefully. You will find all of the elements that people against Breed Specific Legislation keep trying to make you understand.
It's about the owners, it is not about bad dogs. Look at who owns the majority of the dogs that are involved in bite situations. They are horrible owners - negligent, abusive, uncaring - they should not own dogs - period.
If you "want" a dog, only to stick him on the end of a chain in a backyard, you don't really "want" a dog. Put an old car in your yard instead. Something that isn't alive - breathing, feeling, suffering.
There are so many victims in this sad situation. A 5 yr-old child is dead. Her grandmother, wounded and grieving. Devastated parents, heart-broken neighbors.
Last but not least, the 2 dogs involved in the attack - undoubtedly euthanized for the horrible incident. Two dogs that "snapped" after enduring severe neglect - a sad, culmination of the bad ownership they experienced for too long.
For those individuals that work tirelessly to fight breed specific legislation, please forward this on to those people that you are trying to explain your standpoint to.
Pit bulls are vilified in society because so many of them are owned by pathetic excuses for owners. Pit bulls are villified in society because so many news outlets don't bother sharing the backstory to the "attack" situation.
Makayla didn't need to die. Perhaps if animal control agencies and law-makers will start to take animal abuse and neglect more seriously, her death won't be in vain.
By: Penny Eims