In defense of pit bulls

Dear Dear Editor:Banning pit bulls and other so-called dangerous breeds is not the answer. ("Pit Bull Ban," Letters to the Editor, 7/18/13) However, I believe that having any dog is a life-long responsibility and having a pit bull takes that responsibility up another notch. Training and socialization are the keys to having a well-behaved dog of any breed. Years ago we found a pit bull puppy wandering the streets of Downey. I was initially opposed to "that kind of dog" and took her to our vet for his opinion. I was told she was a "keeper." I enrolled in calsses with the Downey Dog Obedience Group and Rowdy was an ambassador for the pit bull breed. We got a second pit, Bogey, who was wonderful as well. The Downey Patriot did a front page story in the 12/5/08 edition entitled "Pit Bull Helps Children Learn to Read." Both our dogs were therapy dogs, first the Therapy Dogs International and then with BARK Therapy Dogs (a local group out of Long Beach of which I am the evaluator for new teams). Rowdy achieved the following: 1999 Delta Society Beyond Limits Special Service Award 1999 Outstanding Volunteers Metropolitan State Hospital 2000 AKC Gazette Linda and Rowdy featured in an article of Service Dogs/Hero Dogs 2002 Secured a $5,000 grant for children's books for Metropolitan State Hospital and acquired over 4,000 books for Rowdy's Reading Room 2003 Woman of the Year, 38th Congressional District 2007 Honorable Mention AKC Ace Award for Canine Excellence Linda Bates Downey

********** Published: Aug. 1, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 16