Dr. Maxwell is the author of the Roanoke Times' pet behavior advice column The Teacher's Pets. This column runs on the first Tuesday of every month.
A responsible news paper such as the Roanoke Times should not have published such a crudely written, irrational and unsubstantiated piece. Animal welfare professionals like me work every day to help the public to understand that shelters are the only responsible place for them to acquire a new four-legged family member. “Rescue dogs” come in all varieties, temperaments and sizes and they may be pure bred or mixed breed. Most of them will make wonderful family pets. Similarly, not all families are alike. There are without doubt some dogs, of all types not just pit bull type or bully breed dogs, who are not well suited for a . That certainly does not mean that these dogs should be killed, only that a responsible shelter will place them in an appropriate home where they and the human occupants will understand each other and be happy.
Bonny T Lee, It is the essence of bigotry to believe that large groups of individuals all share the same traits. By no means are all pit bulls inappropriate matches for families with children or the elderly. To the contrary, there are pit bulls that are suitable companions for these categories of people, and others who are not, as is true for all types or groups of dogs. Animals are individuals, and their placement in homes should be thoughtfully arranged on an individualized basis. In your opinion piece published in the Roanoke Times, you even go beyond lumping all pit bulls together by repeatedly referring to “rescue” dogs as being the problem, sweeping into your prejudice all dogs acquired through shelter or rescue group adoptions. This is wildly unreasonable since there is no evidence whatsoever that rescue dogs present more dangers to people than do dogs purchased from breeders and pet stores. Adoption agencies like the Richmond SPCA work diligently to assure the appropriate placement of each individual dog and cat into the right loving and responsible home. We object to your continual collective reference to rescue dogs and to your unreasoned prejudice against pit bulls. Adopted pets make wonderful, loving companions, and your irresponsible disparagement of them is offensive and counterproductive to our efforts to save their lives.
Teacher's Pets: Home for the holidays - Roanoke Times
The Teacher's Pets | Life | - Roanoke Times