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Dear Michael Bryant,

I've got an idea.  Instead of outlawing 'pitbulls' in Ontario, why not enact a law banning ignorance?  Granted, you'd have to move but here in Alberta we accept all kinds of questionable intelligence in our leaders.

You called pitbulls as a breed 'inherently dangerous'.  Mr Bryant, any dog can be inherently dangerous if it is not brought up or treated properly.  I interact with dogs everyday at my job and have so far been bitten by two Shih Tzus and a German Sheperd puppy who was a little too eager to receive his goodie from my fingers.  Staffordshire Terriers and American Staffordshires were bred by people to fight other dogs for our entertainment.  People started the problem behavior in these dogs and competant breeders since then have focussed on dispelling it, while retaining the breeds' courage and appearance.

More than a hundred years of history has passed since the laws changed and made dog-fighting officially a socially unacceptable pasttime.  There dogs are not for everyone and responsible owners will agree.  When they end up in the hands of a person who does not understand what owning them entails, trouble can brew.  However, bully breeds can be perfectly fine with other dogs, kids, cats and other animals if they are well-socialized as puppies.  This goes for any dog, really.  Of course, this is a huge responsibility and some people are not up to the task, aware that they should or desirious of curbing any aggressiveness in the dog.  The owners and breeders who ARE responsible are the ones who will suffer if Bill 132 is passed.

If you manage to ban bully breeds, irresponsible owners will find another breed to corrupt.  You might as well start banning anything over 20lbs.  I'm sure Ontario owners of German Sheperds, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Great Danes, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Bulldogs are nervously watching this bill as well and wondering when it will be their dog that must go out to the dog park wearing a muzzle.

Banning pitbulls is the lazy, quick-fix solution to a human problem.  Educating bully owners, having breeder's dogs temperment tested, outlawing the sale of these breeds or crossbreeds in pet stores are all possible answers to your perceived problem.  Please do not pass this law because you are afraid of and misunderstand these dogs.  There are many people who love them and you can't pass a law to muzzle them in public.

Yours Sincerely,
SJK
Bill 132 is a proposal to ban pitbulls in Ontario. It's leading advocate, Attorney General Michael Bryant, supplied the the quote, fear supplies the fuel and a bunch of angry pitbull owners, breeders and fans supply the opposition. I'm here to add my two cents.

I never knew a pitbull personally till I started my (fabulous!) job in July. One of my co-workers has an American Staffordshire Terrier, one of the breeds commonly referred to as a pitbull. I had no idea what breed she was, just thought she was very handsome and well-mannered and was impressed by how well she listened to her owner. (My own dog, Rega, a Belgian Tervuren, has rather selective hearing even at 12 and a half.) Through my co-worker, I met several other AmStaff's and continued to be delighted by their personalities. Through work, I met a few English Staffordshires as well, smaller than the American version but with the same temperment.

Then I met Angel, the coffee-drinking Bull Terrier. That was the breed of dog I had always known as a 'pitbull'. She was manic, hilarious, sharp as a tack, playful and eager to learn and please her people. After a couple more visits by Angel to the store, I was smitten and went out and did my homework on her breed (and the Staffie and AmStaff since they all come from common ancestors).

I learned that they were bred originally for bull-baiting, then dog-fighting. After that was outlawed, breeders turned to breeding for a temperment that would make them into good companion dogs without losing their courage and loyalty. I learned that they are NOT the dog for everyone since they do require extensive training and socialization as puppies (well, all dogs do but for them it's imperative). I talked to owners whose bully breed dogs lived peacefully with other dogs of all sizes, cats, toddlers, birds and even rabbits. They told me about earning Canine Good Citizen Awards, therapy pet status and temperment testing.

Then I read this SHIT in the Edmonton Journal last week about banning 'pitbulls' in Ontario. I researched it. This meant banning the American Pit Bull Terrier (which from what I gather isn't an actual breed), AmStaffs and Staffordshire Terriers. Michael Bryant is quoted as saying, "Don Cherry's dog is safe!" Now, Don Cherry has typically owned Bull Terriers, which aren't included in the ban. Currently, Mr Cherry owns an AmStaff. His daughter owns Staffordshires.

I drew the Bull Terrier there before learning it wasn't included in the ban. :) So, anyway, the following is my letter to our hysterical Attorney General stating my opinion. It took a couple re-writes to remove the snark and harsher comments on Mr Bryant's intelligence.
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:iconjauclyn-productions:
Jauclyn-Productions Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Professional Photographer
Support my pitbull volunteer club to create pitbull awareness & fund pitbulls in shelters.
Like us on facebook here.
We're just setting up, but we'll have some awesome tshirts & such up for purchase soon.
All proceeds go to pitbulls in particular, in shelters. Just the support of liking our page & spreading words of current pitbulls in shelters with us would be great!
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:iconxxvintagexx:
XxVINTAGExX Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I completely agree with you on this because you know what? It's the exact same thing as racism. People always complain about how bad it is to be prejudiced against someone because of what they look like or what their skin color is, but then they turn around and do stuff like this. It's not the dog, it's the owner. Just like people aren't born serial killers, they're made serial killers. Are we going to put a ban on people too?
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:iconqwertyoasis:
QwertyOasis Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks god that law didn't come to pass in Australia or else my staffy will go *waah*
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:iconme-and-mojo:
me-and-mojo Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011
This is terrible, i hope it doesnt pass, it did here :( there goes my dream of ever owning a pit bull :(
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:iconrodneyskinnerfan:
rodneyskinnerfan Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011
i say amen to your letter pitbulls are not the mean awful cretures pepole they can be vary kind sweet temperd dogs. i have met a few pits and now to those who say they are bad i say this
he or she who is owner and trainer to the dog is the big influence on how a dog will be.
what it means is this this if you hit a dog and abuse it will be frightend of you and huemans if you teach it to atack and fight the likely outcome is aggrestion but treat a dog well and train it right you will have the most greatist thing a fury four leged tail waging best friend. the one who is responseable for how a dog is. is the owner.
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:iconteegeetiger:
teegeetiger Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
save the pitbulls <3 and any other breed affected by bill 132! They deserve to live freely! :D
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:iconnikipixie:
nikipixie Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011
So true! I absolutely love bull terriers and love your picture!
After working with rescue dogs for coming up four years now i still find it amazing that no matter how they are treated they still love everyone that they meet and are always so happy to see you every morning.
I have never met a dog breed that is as loving, devoted, loyal and adoring as a bull terrier.

They are beautiful dogs and can bring a smile to your face no matter how bad you feel. Just wish that everyone else could see what the dogs are really like instead of how the media paints them =[
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:iconamyatomic-x:
AmyATOMIC-x Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi there.
Sorry I just found this but I wish I'd been a member of deviantart when you posted this.
I agre completely, the dog owner is the one responsible for how it's dog behaves, dogs can be trained as puppies and if that isn't done properly, they can turn nasty.
I have two Stafforshire Bull Terriers and they're lovely with people and small dogs, though they get scared around bigger breeds.
Overall though, all Bull Terriers and Bull Mastiffs are nice dogs. I work at a kennels and even yesterday I got bitten by a whippet cross collie. Just goes to show, any dog can be aggressive, it just depends on the training.
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:iconcanisenthusiast:
CanisEnthusiast Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2008
Great article, but you seem to be confused on the breeds.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a breed. Here's the breed standard:
[link]

Also, there is no such breed as the 'Staffordshire Terrier.' I think you meant to say Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
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:iconkdrees:
KDRees Featured By Owner May 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
She's not confused. When writing "Staffordshire Terrier", she's referring to the American Staffordshire Terrier. You can argue that the American Pit Bull Terrier is the same thing- but AKC will tell you otherwise.

In saying that, you're still 100% correct though. The Staffordshire Bull is also included in this bill.
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:iconcassity282:
cassity282 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2008
YOU ARE MY HERO!
(and my dog Luke's)
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:icontotoro-gurl:
Totoro-gurl Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2008
good job! why ban breeds? ban the owners! Anyone who still does dog fighting should be put on death row.

This crap you read in the papers

"little two year old *insert name* was mauled by a vicious *insert breed which everyone is prejudiced against here* in *insert place name here*."

Now, the child wouldn't have been attacked if it's fucking parents bothered to keep their eyes on it. The kid was probably annoying the dog anyway.

You're not supposed to leave a baby with a dog anyway, no matter what breed!
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:iconrainbowflyinglizard:
rainbowflyinglizard Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Is is'nt really the dog itself, its the amount of damage it can do if it did attack.
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:iconx3mmm3x:
x3mmm3x Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007
this is a very excellent article
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:iconpuppydogbonz:
puppydogbonz Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
That's definitely the truth. I think anyone who thinks pitbulls are inherently dangerous needs to go to a UKC dog show and see 40 pitbulls standing a foot apart from each with no aggression whatsoever. People in general definitely should look into a breed before getting it.
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:iconindubitably-kat:
Indubitably-Kat Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Banning PitBulls, that's bullshit! What next? Chihuahuas? They'll have to drag me awat in handcuffs to try and take my dog!

P.S: Beautifully written


-Live for your pride, die for the ones you love-
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:iconminamgirl:
minamgirl Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2006
i love pit bulls my friend and his family had three they were all really nice they never killed anything, or fought but they couldn't get property insurance so they had to give them away :( it really makes me mad that people who take care of their pit bulls the right way and aren't raising them to fight are getting punished for the wrongs of other people.
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:iconhuntergirl:
huntergirl Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2006
I really do NOT agree with this ban, obviously the politicians did not do their research! They always go for the quick fix! My poor people-loving staffie is now banned and has to wear a muzzle (not that I put one on her, lol, I just can't bring myself to do it!)It really makes me mad, I hope they will drop this ban.
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:iconkoaiu:
Koaiu Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2006
Beautiful work. Really great. I myself live in Ontario, and I'm a huge fan of pitbulls and amstaffs. :3 I really hope things look up for these breeds.
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:iconsarcasticandannoyed:
SarcasticAndAnnoyed Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2005
Beautiful piece. I am in LOVE with it. I live in Ontario and currently have a co-op at an animal shelter (the york region ospca). I have been so f*cking pissed once the law was passed. Since that faitful day in september, I have seen more pitbulls in a shelter then in my entire life. Ironically enough- half of them were doomed to be euthanized.
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:iconphantompanther:
phantompanther Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2005
:clap:

The dogs look so cute! :D
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:iconwinglessgriffon:
winglessgriffon Featured By Owner May 22, 2005
when you really get down to the basic genetics, all dogs are nearly geneticly identical to wolvs and thus geneticaly the same as eachother... they have been bred for certain traits but it's not as big a difference as it looks. so as far as the temperment of any dog it's simply on how it was raised. the small dogs tend to be more aggressive because less people train and diceplin them correctly, where the responsable owners of large dogs do train, diceplin, and socialize them. I personaly like the big dogs, like our rott Digi, because they are much more huggable. When i hug the bull breeds at the park, though, they always lick my ear o.O...

summary: Yay Hug The Big Puppy!
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:icongrungepuppy:
grungepuppy Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2005  Professional General Artist
did you know that the majority of "dog bites" come from small dogs (like chihuahuas and other toys) but are hardly ever reported because the "don't count"?

+fav
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2005
I work at a pet store where leashed dogs are welcome. I'm very familiar with the nippiness of small dogs. :/ Bitten three times that broke the skin- ALL of them Shih Tzus. :P
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:iconthe-unorthodox:
the-unorthodox Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2004
I own a Pitbull mix and a Jack Russel. And I can honestly say that the Jack Russel is a hell of a lot more trouble than the Pitbull. My pitbull has never once bitten or even so much as bared her teeth at me. She's the sweetest animal I've ever know.

Thanks for coming up with such an intelligent, well-thought out and well-written letter. I hope these people will learn something from you. ^^
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:iconduberdurm:
duberdurm Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2004
It's good to see Canadian young people doing something meaningful with their time. I agreee totally and admire the passion here...the Passion of the Khan.
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:iconkerberos-:
kerberos- Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2004
god, you hear it again and again, dogs being banned - it almost happened to rotties here in winnipeg when a drunk girl ignored warning signs, stumbled into a man's yard and was attacked by his 2 guard dogs.. clearly, the dogs were to blame for the girl's idiocy.

So I know where you're coming from, people don't realize they hold the leash, they're responsible.. I mean, you could ban horses just as easily, people fall and die or get trampled, but everyone knows it's the handler, so what's the difference?
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2004
*nods* Horseback riding is the most dangerous sport in the world. More people die in horse-related accidents than skydiving, NASCAR, what-have-you. I'm a whopping 120 lbs. and I hang around a 2500 lb. Percheron, but he's well-trained and I know what I'm doing. Phaugh. I'm never movin' to Ontario. ;)
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:iconkerberos-:
kerberos- Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2004
percheron!! that's the breed I'm gonna go for when I get a plot o'land sometime in the future - good temperment? good size?
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2004
Wonderful temperment. :) Jack's gentle, smart and has a sense of humour. I think there's a photo or two of him in my gallery someplace... And he's HUGE. 18.2 hh barefoot. That's not typical of Percherons but it happens.
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:iconkarja:
karja Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2004
Breed bans make me sick.Im so tired of it.Ugh!Most fatal dog attacks happen because dogs are running loose, no matter the breed(s) involved.Most general bites happen with family dogs that no one taught the dogs not to have food aggression.The Bull-and-Terrier fighting breeds were never ment to have human aggression unless if their family was in danger at that moment.Other wise its 'Take the silverware, just throw the ball please'.They were ment to have animal aggression but so many people think all aggression is the same, sorry kiddies, its not.Stricter leash laws, laws against leaving the dog tied unsupervised, laws requiring a decent kennel size, harsher punishments for animal abuse(the only way people will push for this is if you word it like: for the safety of the people, anyone using abusive measures to make a dog dangerously aggressive....), and better animal control measures as in picking strays up faster!
Im rambling. x.x Fave
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2004
Amen. :)
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:iconsorskc:
sorskc Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well... I personally don't see a problem with the ban ;X But I don't like dogs that much, so basically I'm biased. I wouldn't just ban the pitbulls though, I mean if I had to ban /something/ it would be all "big dogs," but that's pretty inconsiderate so it's not like I hope that would happen or anything.
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004
Inconsiderate is a good word for it. I mean, any well-trained dog with a competant owner can keep themselves to the dog people and leave non-dog people happily alone. :)
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:iconoutoftheblue:
outoftheblue Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004
This is GREAT! I really love this. I was so angry when I read about the pitbulls being banned in Ontario, even if I don't own one. I think it's what you mentioned - that this is a lazy fix to a HUMAN problem - is what bothers me most. I always hate to see animals suffer because humans are acting stupid. :(
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004
They always do. They do out dirty work, they pay for our mistakes, they put up with our whims and fancies, they die for OUR reasons. I never heard it put better than this...

"Look back on man's struggle for freedom,
trace his present day's strength to its source,
and you'll find that man's pathway to glory
is strewn with the bones of a horse."

Grrrrr. I'm getting all pissed off again.
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:iconjustbetsycostumes:
JustBetsyCostumes Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004
Man, what a well thought-out response! Are you sending the art too? Because I think even a printout would grab some attention. Good luck hun. I hope that doesn't pass. Maybe you could put a request out to muzzle obnoxious children as well? ;)
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004
I thought about it but since he's not looking to ban the Bull Terrier too, I think it would be misleading. I was gonna take it out of the picture before posting but... I had such a good time drawing it. :D

Thank you. :)
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:iconpolarbeardog2:
polarbeardog2 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree I love pit bulls and other dog breeds. Pitbulls are built for fighting but that demeaner has been bread out of them by respectable breeders. This man has just taken something that the media likes to distort and tried to gain political weight. You can ask any breeder and they will tell you that you have to train a pitbull to be mean. Pitbulls are great family animals.

Great Letter well writen!
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2004
*nods* Exactly!
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:iconkita-dawg:
kita-dawg Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004
Wonderfully written! One very important crit, however. The first sentence of the letter you must delete if you want the letter to be read past the first sentence. By insulting someone, you put them on the defensive, and they are unwilling to listen or take into consideration the rest of what is being said. :)
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004
Urgh. You're right. Yes, I'll take that bit out before I send it but DAMN this man pisses me off. :P Thanks for the crit. Heh, you shoulda seen the UN-editted version. ;)
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:iconkita-dawg:
kita-dawg Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004
I totally understand :) I get really mad too about stuff like that. Sometimes, I have to force myself to remove the seething things...I just want to burst into the offices and smack them a few times around!
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:icony2jenn:
y2jenn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004   General Artist
MASTERFULLY written, Stormy. Thank GOD someone with a brain has said something on this matter. Not a day goes by that I see bullshit on the news blamming dog attacks on everything BUT the owner. Ridiculous. Absolute shit. :x I own Rotties and I love my dogs and i'll be damned if someone is going to tell me that my dog is dangerous because he's a larger breed. Screw you, you ignorant dillhole! :shakefist:
...
Now look what you've done. Got me all riled up! :XD:

:+fav:!!!
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004
Thank you. :D I knew you'd get it. Sure there's some dogs who are just psychos (like Rega- she has behavior issues but we know how to deal with her) but the majority of problem dogs have problem owners. There should be some kind of law where people with a history of encouraging aggression in their dog should be banned from getting another dog. But that'd take actual money and research and shit.

Grrrrrr.
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:icony2jenn:
y2jenn Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004   General Artist
I know it. People are so quick to take the easy road and fail at seeing the truth behind these issues. After all, they're just animals, right? :roll: :stab: :shakefist: :spank:

...
:hug:
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:icongreenglowingeyes:
greenglowingeyes Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004
Whoo, violent little icons there! :D

I totally hear ya. *nods* I have no compunction about verbally stomping bad pet parents. :/
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:icondocwholigan:
docwholigan Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2004
...

Stomping? :XD:

Quit looking at me like that!
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:iconvivadawolf:
vivadawolf Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004
Big dogs always seem nicer than little ones...so sad that such sweet dogs get a bad rep... my chidog is probably meaner than any pit.
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:iconpaul-ortego:
Paul-Ortego Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, that's sort of like treating a broken finger by slicing it off... Does this bill acually get support from anyone? I mean... Like you said, any dog can be dangerous if you give them the chance. I mean, our little wiener dog one planted a nasty bite on my hand when I reached for one of his rawhides at the wrong time.

Hopefully, a bill like that won't pass... I mean, it's effectively racism. Dog racism.

I suppose they could go after the dogfighters themselves, but that would take effort, and since when were polititians up for any of that? Oh well, that's politics... Hopefully, people will be able to see through something like this.
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