Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Friday, January 25, 2013

Get rid of pit bulls!

Cats...
Gareth Morgan a local celebrity, economist, rich man, expressed his thought this week that cats should be banned.  His concern is that they kill our wildlife - our endangered birds. Now I tend to agree to some extent. We have a phenomenal number of cats per head of population and they are indiscriminate killers. While on holiday we heard a commotion up a tree in the backyard of the house we were staying at and discovered a local cat murdering the chicks in a nest. The poor mother bird was screeching and dive bombing, and even had the assistance of another bird, but the nest was decimated.  I used to walk our dog to the local rubbish tip which was then just up the road, and if you clapped your hands or yelled, a massive population of evil looking wild cats rose out of the rubbish and headed back into the bush. People letting cats or kittens free into the bush cause untold harm to our wild life.  I think instead of wanting to ban cats which brings a "you nasty murderer" response from cat lovers, a drive educating people about the damage they do and measures taken to control them would be more realistic. I suspect Gareth's "get rid of cats" call has been his way of raising awareness, he is not "barking mad" as our Prime Minister commented. But....
Get rid of pit bulls!
We rang our newly married son and heard the story of his sister in law being savaged by two pit bulls. A news item reads; "Kyla Strahl, 27, has been in hospital for five days after being savaged by two dogs on Monday in South New Brighton Park, Christchurch."
Now the pregnant sister knocked down in the story is our daughter-in-law.  Kyla, her sister, is a beautiful, lovely outgoing responsible young lady, now coping with wounds, surgery and in time the continuing physical and emotional scars from this experience. For all of them it must have been a horrible ordeal. Every time such an event happens owners of pit bulls say things like, "There is nothing wrong with the breed - they are lovely family pets!" Sorry, they are so frequently in the news for attacking innocent passers by and even their own owners or their owners' children that they are not an "OK" breed of dog. I used to run around the streets of Sawyers Bay. But down the corner of our street, where I had to go if I was to run any distance, was a pit bull. I ran past that house in fear and trembling, hoping it was locked up inside. I would pad past as quietly as I could on the other side of the street. Quite frequently when I would just be thinking I was safe, I would hear a growl and out would come this pit bull running at me. (I think he was a bit slow on the uptake - I was always nearly past his house before he realised I was there.) I would scream at it knowing that I could not outrun it, and fortunately each time its owner would appear and call it back just before it got to me. But it has stopped me going for runs from my house. It used to be so convenient.  On an impulse I could take off for a run. (before the lazy voice inside could say "no") Now its a mission to drive elsewhere to run. I think they are a breed of dog we could do without. Some of the people who want to own them have them for questionable purposes. I suspect some just have them because they add to their tough, mean looking status. Anyway, I would happily ban pit bulls. I have never met one that I liked. Perhaps Gareth Morgan could add them to his list of animals to ban?

2 comments:

Keith Harris said...

I fully agree on Pit Bulls and other dangerous breeds. Ban them, I say. I also agree that Gareth Morgan was flying a kite and suggesting extreme measures to draw attention to a very real problem. A more realistic, but less sensational measure, would be to treat cats the same as dogs and require registration and microchipping. Then authorities could capture and euthanase unchipped cats. The registration fees would discourage multiple "ownership" of cats, too. The hordes of feral cats in our bushland are all former domestically owned cats or descended from the same. The feral cat population needs to be exterminated and the source regulated.

Dave Brown said...

Just on the news over the weekend, a Pit Bull "family pet" owned by a member of his family, bit a five year old boy in the face. Child seriously ill in hospital, Pit Bull not found yet.