NY Daily News, Queens Chronicle

Christina’s Letters to the Editors Against Breed Specific Legislation published in NY Daily News (see above) and Queens Chronicle

Dear Editor:

Regarding the recent proposed ban on pit bulls, pit bulls owned by irresponsible and criminal owners are over- represented by the media and factual statistics regarding pit bulls are not generally known. In 2005, at the American Temperament Test, pit bull dogs scored 83.8 percent, higher than the collie and golden retriever. At the 2004 American Temperament Test, pit bulls scored 86.6 percent, higher than the German shorthaired pointer, the winner at Westminster’s Best In Show that year.


Currently, pit bulls contribute to society as U.S. Customs drug sniffing and bomb sniffing dogs, as search and rescue dogs and by visiting nursing homes, hospitals and schools as certified therapy dogs. The true genetic lineage of pit bulls is that they have always been bred to be non-aggressive to people and in fact are very affectionate and obedient dogs.

This is not to dismiss that pit bulls have often been the dog of choice for irresponsible owners and criminals such as drug dealers and barbaric dog fight promoters and “trained” by abuse and torture to be aggressive. However, any dog breed can be trained to behave aggressively. The problem of dog aggression lies not with the dog breed but the owners. This fact has been supported time and again by studies of dogs. Experts on dog behavior and dog breeds who have spoken against breed specific legislation include the American Kennel Club, ASPCA, HSUS, National Canine Research Council and the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Breed specific legislation will not work as its target is misplaced to the dog and not the owner. It embodies faulty ideas about genetics and depends upon a law enforcer’s subjective opinion about how a dog looks. A small faction of irresponsible or criminal owners looking for a “dangerous” dog breed will simply choose another breed and abuse that dog breed into becoming aggressive. Breed specific legislation will result in the killing/euthanasia of thousands of very worthy dogs who will not be allowed homes simply because of the way they physically look and not based on the way the dog actually behaves.


Christina Shusterich,
President, NY Clever K9,
1/11/07