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The risk of having Pit Bulls as pets | News

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The risk of having Pit Bulls as pets
News, Pets
The risk of having Pit Bulls as pets

WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) - After all of the recent attacks by Pit Bulls running loose in West Michigan, why would anyone choose a dog from that breed for a pet?

"They are some of the nicest dogs we get," explains Humane Society Of West Michigan animal behavior specialist Lyndsey Kubik.

"They aren't vicious, that's for sure," adds HSWM veterinarian Dr. Wendy Swift. "They love their people."

Over the last several weeks, Pit Bulls have killed a baby in Kalamazoo, mauled a man in Wyoming, killed a poodle in Grant and attacked a jogger near Morley in Montcalm County.

"It is genetically inbred in them to be aggressive," says Newaygo County Chief Animal Control Officer Arlene Sterling. "They can be very nice dogs,  but they are very prey driven and they are extremely strong. It makes them high risk dogs and it makes them extremely dangerous."

The experts say the difference between a good Pit Bull and a bad Pit Bull is usually how it is trained and kept by its owner. Some dogs are mistreated, making them aggressive and angry.

"To get them to be protection type dogs, usually there is some mistreatment," says Dr. Swift. "People are purposely mean to the dog and any dog, regardless of breed, if you were to beat it, to starve it, anything like that, will change its temperament."

There is now an overpopulation of Pit Bulls in West Michigan. Many owners don't have their pets spayed or neutered because they can sell the puppies for hundreds of dollars. The more pit bulls, the more problems.

"There are so many of them you are bound to have more incidents," says Kubik. "The more you have of anything the more incidents you are going to have."

"The answer is population control," says Officer Sterling. "There are more pit bulls than ever before."

Staff at the HSWM say the majority of dogs they receive are Pit Bulls. Most of them they spay or neuter and put up for adoption, but about 45 percent are euthanized because of medical or behavior issues.

News, Pets