In the past, we’ve discussed Pit Bulls on a number of levels, from the barriers they face as service dogs, to controversy surrounding effectiveness of breed bans, and the cause and effect behind overcrowded shelters.
Recently, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has joined forces with a number of anti-Pit Bull groups. Together, they have taken a controversial stance regarding the status of Pit Bulls in society.
PETA’s decision to align themselves with these groups is purportedly in order to support the organization’s overall position towards Pitties. In a post titled “Animal Rights Uncompromised: Bans on Breeding Pit Bulls,” they state:
Pit Bulls are the most abused breed of dog, and it is the relentless abuse of these dogs at the hands of cruel people that motivates our efforts to stop people from bringing more pit bulls into the world to be hurt and exploited.
Frankly, when shelters are destroying dogs by the tens of thousands, why breed more pit bulls or more of any kind of dog? There are many wonderful dogs in animal shelters who need homes. PETA urges everyone who is able to provide a dog with a permanent, loving home to adopt one or two of these animals and make sure that they are neutered or spayed.
In an article expanding on this, they also made an additional statement in 2009 that reads:
We are for pit bull protection, for their happiness, and for treating them like dogs instead of like cheap burglar alarms, punching bags, or gladiators in perverted death matches. Some pit bull fanciers out there seem to think that PETA is “against” pit bulls because we don’t oppose breed-specific measures to address what is obviously a breed-specific crisis. Au contraire. If someone proposed a ban on breeding Labrador retrievers or Chihuahuas or poodles (you get the picture – any dog), we’d be for those too. That’s because we don’t think any dogs should be brought into the world as long as millions are dying for lack of homes in animal shelters and on the streets every year.
PETA acknowledges there is a huge ongoing societal debate around Pitties and people, but they are adopting an unorthodox method of solving it. That is, they support limiting the number of Pit Bulls in society, regardless of the dogs’ status.
The Huffington Post came to this conclusion on PETA’s new decision:
The organization claims it has thrown its weight behind this foul gang in order to “help” pit bulls [the anti-Pit Bull groups]. PETA’s argument appears to be that because some pit bulls are abused, all pit bulls should be terminated. This comes from a 2009 blog post that PETA has been tweeting in response to chagrined animal lovers asking just what in the hell is going on here.
As Huffington Post reports, not surprisingly, many animal-lovers, including the ever-powerful Pittie-lovers, are confused and upset.
PETA recognizes individuals’ concerns that the group is “against” Pit Bulls due in part to the fact that they do not oppose breed-specific legislation for “what is obviously a breed-specific crisis.” However, Pit Bulls are not an official breed, it is a term applied to a wide variety of mixed-breed dogs. Additionally, the idea that no group should be punished because of the ill deeds of one is overlooked here.
At this point, PETA has no further comment except that they are “putting together a feature on pit bulls” which they hope will help explain their decision.