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Pit Bull 101
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Discounting the CDC Report
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Promoting responsible dog ownership from the heart

 

Is there anything that compares to the unconditional love, devotion and loyalty that our dogs bring to our lives?  Think of that face in the window as you pull in the driveway or the butt wiggling out of control when you walk in the door after a long day at work....  Our dogs ease our minds and our tensions while filling our lives with joy and love. 
 
Responsible Dog Ownership is the result of the love we feel for our dogs and our desire to keep them safe and happy.  It is our duty to be the best caregiver we can be.  That duty is not limited to providing food, water, and shelter ONLY, but should incorporate the desire and needed effort to properly socialize and train your dog to ensure he or she is a well rounded canine citizen. 
 
Responsible Dog Ownership is also the obligation dog owners have to incorporate their dogs into the community and be considerate of their neighbors and the citzens of their community as a whole.     

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In a perfect world, Responsible Dog Ownership begins BEFORE you get a dog.  It means that you've researched the breed you've chosen, and learned about all the little quirks inherent to that breed.  It means that you understand that some breeds are prone to a certain set of physical and behavioral problems, while other breeds have a propensity toward other problems or issues.  It is an understanding that there is no perfect dog, and that dogs do not teach themselves house manners or not to jump on people or how to walk on a leash.  
 
Responsible Bull Breed Owners, however, are held to a higher standard.  In addition to all the above, a responsible bull breed owner must understand that his actions can impact the rights of others to own bull breeds.  Because the media and the public thrive on sensationalized pit bull narratives, its imperative that pit bull owners become breed advocates and model responsible ownership practices in their communities.  Bull breed owners must be responsible owners in order to help overcome the public's negative views of the breed brought about by the irresponsible and careless owners.  

There is no such thing as being too responsible when it comes to your pit bull... NEVER allow your pit bull to roam freely, ALWAYS walk your pit bull on a leash, ALWAYS supervise your pit bull with other animals, NEVER keep your pit bull chained or tethered for extended periods of time or without your supervision (an unattended pit bull is a prime target for theft), and as with any dog, ALWAYS supervise children with dogs.

RESPONSIBILITY MATTERS!
Taking the BITE out of irresponsible ownership
 
No longer are responsible pit bull owners willing to compromise their ability and/or right to own a breed of dog that has fallen victim to a growing number of  irresponsible owners.  Responsible pit bull owners must take a defensive stand against breed specific legislation (BSL) and make their voices heard.  It is not the responsible owners that will be the downfall of this incredible breed... it is the very visible minority of irresponsible pit bull.  The negligent and careless owners must take responsibility for their actions and the actions of their dogs.  We, the responsible pit bull owners, must be the driving force that encourages the prosecution and punishment of irresponsible dog owners.  
 
I have wondered many times what can one person do to make a difference.  The answer is always the same... EDUCATE.   Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee was formed to be a voice for responsible pit bull owners in Tennessee and across the country. 
 
The facts are crystal clear:  if we are ever going to stop dog attacks, we must address the root cause of such attacks - irresponsible owners.  Education is the key to making a difference in the safety of our communities and maintaining the right to own our dogs.

 

THE IMPACT OF IRRESPONSIBLE PIT BULL OWNERSHIP

When we talk about the difference that one person can make in improving the image of the breed, we must ultimately think about how much damage one person can do in the destruction of the breed.  In many cases where pit bull bans and/or breed regulations have been passed, often times, one person can be found at the root of the problem. 

Think this is impossible?  Take Sparta, Tennessee for example.  I was there.  I listened to the city council and the citizen complaints.  There were no dog attacks.  There were no drug dealers or criminal to blame.  There was ONE MAN who let his dog roam loose every night.  Read the article for yourself.  

There are many reasons why we must address irresponsible ownership - but there is none greater than the simple fact that we could all lose the right to own our dogs. 

 

Top 10 Reasons To Leash Your Pit Bull

Virtually every community throughout Tennessee has a leash law. State law requires that dogs be kept on a leash at all times when on public property. While on private property, dogs must be under the control of their owners. The intent of this law is to protect the health and safety of the public and to protect your pet. The use of a leash will benefit you, your neighborhood, and your pet. There are many good reasons to keep your dog on a leash.

In addition, a growing number of shelters WILL NOT release a pit bull - many euthanize pit bulls upon entering their facilities.  Thus, if your pit bull is picked up as a stray, the chances of your ability to NOT get your dog back are extremely high. 

If that is not enough to convince you to leash your pit bull and not let him roam freely, please continue reading...

  1. It's a great good neighbor policy, preventing your dog from trespassing on neighbor's property during your walk. It also keeps your dog from jumping on people you encounter, ensuring that your dog has the chance of being properly introduced.
  2. Improved companionship. A well trained and leash-obedient dog is a pleasure to walk with.
  3. Walking your pet on a leash will prevent the spread of disease. It is less likely that your dog will be exposed to Parvo or Distemper. A leashed dog can be restrained from sniffing the droppings of other animals.
  4. A leash is commonly referred to as "Your Pet's Lifeline," protecting your pet from traffic and unrestrained animals. Accidents or animal bites are greatly reduced when responsible pet owners obey the leash law.
  5. An obedient and well behaved dog is a positive reflection of its owner.
  6. Re-locating your dog into another household is 100% easier if your dog is obedient and leash trained.
  7. It's a great way to reward your dog. Your dog will immediately respond with a wagging tail the moment he or she sees you holding the leash.
  8. It's a great identification tool, symbolizing that the dog has an owner, and enabling someone who sees the leash and identification tag attached to the dog's collar to find you if you and your pet should become separated.
  9. It's a great relief to wildlife, keeping your dog from chasing squirrels, deer and other wildlife.
  10. It's the law! The law is in place to protect other members of the public and your pet from injury.

Be a good neighbor. Be a good friend. Use a leash.

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The 10 Commandments of Pit Bull Ownership

1. Thou shalt NEVER trust thy Pit Bull not to fight.

2. Thou shalt contain thy Pit Bull securely when not supervised by an adult.

3. Thou shalt NEVER leave thy adult Pit Bull alone and unsupervised with another dog.

4. Thou SHALT attend obedience classes most faithfully with thy Pit Bull.

5. Thou SHALT keep thy Pit Bull socialized with ALL KINDS of people.

6. Thy Pit Bull wilt NEVER be allowed off leash in a public place.

7. Thy Pit Bull wilt NEVER be allowed to roam free in thy neighborhood, EVER!

8. Thou SHALT take thy well-trained Pit Bull out in public and show him/her off — on leash for good breed PR.

9. Thy Pit Bull shalt go forth into the world as an ambassador of the pit bull breed.

10. THOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY WRONG DONE BY THE DOGS!

Source: Pit Bull Rescue Central, www.pbrc.net

 
 
What is Responsible Dog Ownership?
 
Regardless of whether you are a pit bull owner or you've chosen another breed as your companion, there are some universal steps in being a responsible dog owner.  Following the below steps will help dogs become model canine citizens and also result in safer communities, thus resulting in a reduction of the proposal of adverse legislation that targets bull breed owners and pet ownership in general.  
 
• Realizing that a pet is for LIFE, and dedicating yourself to the life of your dog

• Learning all you can about your breed of choice

• Investing in proper health care throughout your dog's life and making healthy choices for him or her

• Training your dog through gentle means to be a good canine citizen and helping him achieve that goal

• Teaching your children to respect animals and not abuse them through play (this is also Responsible Parenting)

• Teaching other humans how to interact with your dog

• Obeying the laws set for your protection and the protection of others, even when your dog "doesn't need a leash".  By not obeying the laws, you are only ruining it for everyone else

• Coming to terms with the fact that not everybody likes dogs, and asking yourself, what can you do to ensure that your dog is likable, even to them?

• Doing your part to help the pet overpopulation problem and keeping your intact dog at home and away from other intact animals, or neutering him or her to prevent future health issues.   

Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee urges pit bull owners to spay and neuter their dogs.  Pit bulls are going through a booming popularity trend which is resulting in an overflow in shelters.  There are more than enough wonderful pit bulls in shelters that have been "thrown away" by irresponsible owners.  Please do your part to ensure that thousands of pit bulls don't die in shelters - PLEASE spay or neuter your pit bull.  Looking for LOW COST spay/neuter facilities in Tennessee?  Click here!

• Understanding that if you do choose to breed your dog, you (1) only breed dogs with excellent tempermants and (2) you ask questions of and be picky about the puppies new homes (i.e., DO NOT breed for a particular color only and DO NOT sell puppies in the WalMart parking lot to the first person who comes along with cash in hand).

• Holding yourself, as the dog owner, liable for whatever damage your dog does, and taking steps to rectify it

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The Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee believes in taking a pro-active stance on fighting irresponsible dog ownership.  We have an obligation to ourselves and to our dogs to encourage officials to be just as pro-active in their pursuit of irresponsible dog ownership practices.  
 
Perhaps one person cannot make a difference, but together we can make our collective voices heard.  Please join the Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee and help encourage responsible pit bull ownership in Tennessee and across the country.   

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**PRESS RELEASE**
 BULL BREED ALLIANCE OF TENNESSEE
 
With respect to the recent attack involving a pit bull on             , 2007, in    (city)       (state) , we the members of the Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee respectfully request you pursue the owner of the dog involved in this incident with criminal charges.
 
Dog ownership is a responsibility.  Responsible bull breed owners are simply not willing to be held accountable for the actions of the minority of pit bull owners whose actions are careless and irresponsible.  Responsible bull breed owners (1) do not allow their dogs to freely roam, (2) do not allow their dogs to live their lives at the end of chains, (3) train and socialize their pit bulls and keep them as devoted and loved house pets and (4) supervise children and teach them proper and safe ways to interact with dogs.  We firmly believe that but for the deviation of the dog's owners from at least one of the above points, this incident would not have occured, thereby making the owner directly responsible.
 
Quite frankly, it is time to make owners responsible for the actions of their dogs - regardless of the breed they own.  Irresponsible dog ownership is an epedimic across the country.  If we do not make owners accountable for their actions, what incentive will they ever have to become responsible?  What have we achieved by euthanizing a dog if we have not addressed the irresponsibility of that dog's owner?  Even worse, we place no restrictions on that owner preventing his obtaining another dog to be just as irresponsible with.  It is a vicious cycle that must end now - the safety of our communities is at stake.  
 
The members of the Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee implore your office to take every measure necessary to ensure that       (dog's owner)          be charged criminally and, if convicted, is prohibited from owning, possessing, or caring for animals.
 
Thank you for your diligence in this matter and for your time and consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jodi Preis, on behalf of the
Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee
 

 
 
MEMBERS:  Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee

Jodi Preis & Harlan - Cookeville, Tennessee
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Robyn Kevlyn & Mackie - Nashville, Tennessee
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Wike Family w/Bo and Duchess - Gallatin, Tennessee
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Candi Vaughn w/ Sassy, Max & Shy - Dyersburg, TN
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Jenn Stainbrook & Rane - Allons, Tennessee
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Sue Laney & Tank - Lenoir City, Tennessee
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Tracy McPherson & Piglet - Pegram, Tennessee
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Sonja Maxwell & Austin - Gallatin, Tennessee
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