Sunday, July 13, 2008
Charlottesville, VA - Sara Meehan runs the nonprofit Misunderstood Pit Bull Rescue, which takes in "ambassadors" of the breed from shelters and adopts them out. She says the dogs are great family pets and she's never had a problem. She and her one-year-old son share their home with 13 pit bulls. Three dogs are hers; the others are orphans, several of them puppies from a recent litter.
DogsBite.org advises you to not visit Meehan's home.Meehan brings the dogs to the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA every third Sunday in an effort to put them into good homes. She also conducts a "parenting" class for owners of pit bulls. Recent attendance has petered out, though. Meehan blames the media and anyone else willing to be frank about two things: genetic pit bull traits and pit bull injury.
DogsBite.org need not remind Meehan of the number of pit bull owners who have been maimed and killed by their dogs after "never having a problem" before. Just last month, a woman in Greensburg had both of her arms chewed off by her pet pit bull. She is now a double amputee. Less fortunate owners are killed, such as: Tina Canterbury, Kelli Chapman, Seth Lovitt, Scott Warren, the list goes on and on...
06/19/08: Pit Bull in Greensburg Chews Off Owners Arm
06/02/08: ASPCA Pushing Pit Bull Adoption: Adopt-A-Bull Contest
05/04/08: Flashback: Pit Bull Chews Off Owner's Arms in Texas
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| 7/13/2008 6:49 PM |
I hope someone tells this woman that on the ASPCA web site it does not recommend a pit bull for a family with a young child due to "its' strength and exhuberance."
I would also add prey drive. This infant lives with thirteen pits.
I'll tell you right now anyone who thinks this woman is responsible is nuts.
| 7/13/2008 8:49 PM |
Check out her website.....
There is not one word about responsible dog ownership...not ONE word. Virtually NO information on the breed, other than to say how wonderful they are. No warnings about the potential for animal aggression, no warnings about dog/dog aggression, no information about avoiding dog parks, obeying leash laws, etc.
This is one of the worst rescue group websites I have ever seen. There is no explanation as to why she has all these puppies available for adoption....did she take in multiple pregnant dogs? Is she really a back yard breeder?
These are the rescue groups that are a big part of the problem...these are the people who scare me.
| 7/13/2008 8:57 PM |
The following is my e-mail to the organization responsible for this story.I have received no response.
My comment is on the puff piece "Pit bulls, vicious or victims". Please include both sides of an issue like this one. I am the victim of a pit bull attack and it has changed my life. I am a dog trainer with AKC Obedience titles on my dogs, Therapy Dogs International certification as well. I have never in my long lifetime seen any behavior from a dog like the behavior I saw during the attack. This was completely unprovoked, there was no warning, no bark, no growl, the coldest thing I have ever seen. This was a hardwired genetic response. Pit bull "Rescue" spokespersons like the one quoted in your article continually deny a genetic like to the attack behavior seen so very frequently in pit bulls. Please set up a search on "dog attacks' and pit bull attacks" and review the material for a month or so. Then rethink the implicit endorsement of the breed in your article. Dogs are what they have been bred to be. The pit bull has been bred for many, many generations to participate in an activity so violent that it is now a felony in all 50 states.
The fact that attendance is down at pit bull adoption fairs speaks well for the common sense of the public. The media does not make up attack stories, I am not the figment of a reporter's imagination. I was living a happy and productive life prior to the attack. All pit bull attack victims share a common desire. We all want to be the last victim. This will never happen if you continue to give the pit bull lobby a free pass.
| 7/14/2008 9:06 AM |
To the above, thank you for your well-written letter. So often, dog owners who point out the myriad of problems with owning a pit bull for a pet are told we are "ignorant" and "know nothing about dogs". I am gratified to see someone with verifiable credentials and experience in dog training confirming what we have all seen, and understand; that pit bulls are genetically hardwired for aggression.
I also have a friend with extensive dog training experience...multiple advanced obedience titles, therapy certification, agility; and she also says, after 17 years training dogs and competing, that "breed matters", and that pit bulls can never, ever, be trusted off leash.
| 7/14/2008 11:33 AM |
I would also note that this self-described pit-bull expert gives NO credentials...yet is giving pit bull training classes at local shelters. What qualifies this woman to tell novice dog owners how to manage a dangerous breed of dog?
Will this woman be held accountable when a dog she places kills a neighbors dog, or, even worse, injures a child?