Another person who should never own a dog

The following was forwarded to me; the original email was sent from Samantha Miller to a pit rescue group and the very thoughtful and intelligent response was sent back to Ms. Miller.

From: "samantha miller"
To: simmonsUS@aol.com
CC: jozz_bug@hotmail.com
Subject: pits
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 01:02:51 -0500

I have a pit who is almost four years old and sorry to say he will not see that birthday. I have to put him down. I love pits they are nice dogs, I am looking to get another one. A person I know will be selling some in oct. I just dont want to wait that long and I think it would be neat to get a dog who needs a home. I have raised my dog and since he was a puppy, but as time went on he changed for the worse. I never used a leash on him until this past year. I had a baby and ever since she came around he is mean. I can not trust him with strangers and other dogs or nothing. I need to get a puppy to grow up with her. She is a year now so I dont have to spend all my time with her any more and I want a dog that can grow with her. So I really hope you can help me out. I would like a dog who is friendly and good with kids. So please e-mail me back or give me a call when you can my number is 920-924-0626. Thank you for your time and I hope I can talk to you soon.

Samantha Miller
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2006 07:01:15 -0400
From: Beth Yale

Hello Samantha.

My name is Beth Yale. I am very involved in dog rescue, with my primary angle being Pit Bulls.
I know the breed very well, and your story is a sad but familiar one. A sad story because the dog is being put to sleep without ever being known for the wonderful animal he is, and a familiar story because so many people like yourself want a pit bull, but know absolutely nothing about the breed. Trust me, you are not alone. I only hope you will listen to me before another animal must be euthanized.
Many points in your email trouble me, and I must firmly suggest you set your sights elsewhere for a family dog, the pit bull is most certainly not for you. If you know a "person selling some in Oct." then there is a 99.9% chance that individual is a back yard breeder, and you will have absolutely no idea what kind of "pit bull" you are getting. You will more than likely be investing in yet another ill bred hybrid of some kind, nothing like the true American Pit Bull Terrier, whose impeccable bloodlines produce level headed, human loving working dogs. If you admire, respect and truly know the breed, they may also make wonderful in-home companions- for the right person.
Why on earth would you never use a leash on a pit bull?!
Pit Bulls are naturally dog aggressive, not "mean". ANY pit bull or pit mix must ALWAYS be on a leash, in a home, in a privacy fenced yard, or in a carrier. No exceptions. You are responsible for your dog's behavior. If he attacks someone else's dog because he wasn't properly contained, then you hold the blame all by yourself. You simply cannot shift the blame to the dog and say he's turned "mean". You were the one raising him. There is ALWAYS the chance your pit bull will be aggressive with other animals. It's in their nature.
Another point to your email I found worrisome: you want a dog for your child to "grow up with". This is a myth. There is no guarantee ANY breed of dog with be right for your child to "grow up with", dogs are not creatures at our disposal- to put to sleep whenever they don't follow along with our fantasies of the "perfect house dog". Puppies are no good with inexperienced dog handlers with little children. Puppies are rambunctious and toothy, and they do not know how to control their puppy antics, nor should they be expected to. Likewise, kids will be kids, and a one year old cannot be expected to understand how to be careful around a puppy. Only a very experienced dog person should bring home a puppy to a toddler.
Your dog has issues, but what have you done to socialize him? Is he in your home or chained in your yard? Is he neutered? How much time do you spend with him? I feel your poor pit bull deserves more credit than you have given him, and I certainly don't feel you should jeopardize the life of another animal without educating yourself a lot more in the matter. Have you had him temperament tested? Do you even care about this poor dog? Send me pictures of him and all of his information. He deserves a chance at a life with someone who knows and understands the breed. There are people out there a lot more qualified to make the decision whether or not to destroy him. You finding a new dog is a distant second to the primary issue at hand. What is your Pit Bull's name? He at least deserves to be called by his name by his "master" who plans to destroy him. I will help place your dog you currently have, but I absolutely cannot assist you in obtaining another pit bull. If you choose not to listen to anything else I have said- please please know this for sure: The Pit Bull is not the dog for you. You will do this wonderful breed of animal no justice, but only contribute to more cases of "mean pit bulls" being destroyed in shelters. Please contact me. Do not throw your dog away like a piece of trash.
Beth Yale
Animal Rescuer
Pit Bull Advocate

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