Letters and comments for November 10, 2011

By Observer Upload November 10, 2011 07:42 pm
Letters and comments for November 10, 2011

Pit bull ambassador

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to the article about the ban of a pit bull by Superintendent Larry Glaze from being used in La Grande schools for bite-safety education.

For Larry Glaze to infer that all pit bulls are bombs just waiting for their fuse to be lit is a huge slap in the face to all animal control officers, who are highly trained and skilled professionals who understand the nature of dogs in general and know signs to look for if a dog of any breed is showing stress, and may need to be removed from a particular situation. I applaud the Humane Association and deputy Blaylock for terminating the bite-safety program because of the prejudice that was shown.

Most often, the bite estimates we see are derived from telephone surveys. These estimates are not corroborated by public health agencies. Most people cannot accurately identify a breed of dog. Even experts, when shown a series of similar looking dogs, often choose wrong when asked to pick the pit bull. Some of the other dogs may be mixed breeds not known for agression, such as lab/English bulldog mixes. If the experts can’t tell, how can a lay person identify a breed just by what it looks like? The statistics are very misleading.

I personally own, train and show golden retrievers. I am friends with many people who own other breeds, including pit bulls. I know dogs. Pit bulls historically have been the principle breed used in dog fighting rings. They were bred to fight other dogs, but to be passive and obedient to humans. Aggressive dogs were shot.

I hope that Mr. Glaze will reconsider allowing Bomani back in the schools so that he can show what a good pit bull ambassador he is.

Sheri Barnes


Editor’s note: This letter was received before an agreement had been reached between the school district, the Blue Mountain Humane Association and the Union County Sheriff’s Department that will allow the program to continue operating — but with no dogs initially.

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