Poll was unfair

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 9, 2005

Your poll is two-fold and not a fair poll.

Banning pits is one issue and keeping any dog on a chain is quite another.

If you want to be fair then split the poll to get a true measurement and reaction.

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I am not for banning any breed and especially pits.

I am against chaining any dog!

Now you figure out how to put that in your poll!!

Nancy Sidebotham

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I am a breeder and owner of American Staffordshire Terriers.

I stumbled over your poll of October 6th 2005 and was appalled.

This poll question was &uot;Should Suffolk study banning pit bull ownership or making it illegal to keep dogs chained?&uot;

This quite possibly is the most poorly constructed poll question ever created!

I could not have created a more confusing question if I had tried.

After more then 10 years of breeding and showing pure breed dogs, I am against all breed bans! Although I am opposed to all breed legislation, I would heartily support a chain ban. There is not a single &uot;Bad Breed&uot;–only bad owners.

Gerrit VanVoorhees


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Response to your web poll on banning pit bull terriers and chaining them (tethering them) outside, would have received more response if you had presented it as two separate questions.

Wording two issues in one question limits response.

Tethering dogs and limiting contact with a dog is certainly a lack of socialization that can lead to a dangerous/vicious dog.

For this (and any other) lack of socialization and training owners must be held accountable.

However, being a pit bull does not automatically equate to dangerous and vicious.

Many people would have responded NO to banning and YES to no tethering and requiring properly fenced yards.

One step further (separate question) would be EVERYONE should be required to obedience train their dogs.

S. Sholar, President

California Federation of Dog Clubs

Media coverage baffling

I am writing you about the news articles regarding the tragic death of the young boy in Suffolk.

I am baffled by the media regarding this story and so many others that are similar to his.

Without question, this boy was criminally neglected by his parents and that negligence ended in his death. I cannot say if I have an opinion to whether they should be charged, as I am sure each day for them is a life sentence of the worst pain imaginable and my heart goes out to them.


I take issue with the fact that an officer at the scene (presumably) informed the Associated PRess that the dog was a pit or a pit bull mix.

To my knowledge, the officer is not a trained judge of dogs.

This dog doesn’t look like it has any pit bull in it to me, and if so, a tiny amount from 10 generations back.

It might not seem to be that big a deal mentioning the wrong dog breed in a story about the death of a toddler, but let me assure you that it is.

The pit bull dogs in this country are wrongly vilified and wrongly identified all the time. For that reason, many cities and counties are looking at restrictions and bans. Bad press leads to an ill-informed public and public sentiment is what drives legislation.

It is a big deal to those folks in Denver that have had their pets seized and killed. I have heard of neighbors hearing stories like this one throwing poison into a yard with a pit bull puppy in it resulting in the death of the dog.

The press here in Indiana (thanks again to the cops and AP) ran headlines about pit bulls mauling school boys – the dogs were a breeding pair of unaltered American Bulldogs.

I challenge you to please, please take the high road with this.

First, correct the breed.

This dog is unknown.

Then, educate the public.

Children should not be left with dogs – period! Mother dogs with puppies and unaltered males are a very high risk group for bites. This dog was very emaciated, perhaps starving.

The whole thing was a tragedy in the making from the get-go and my guess is that this family didn’t know any better? Maybe if you mentioned the Center for Disease Control, or American Veterinary Medicine Association suggestions for dog-bite prevention, some reader will change their behavior and you could help prevent the next fatality.

I would be very happy to supply you with a lot

of relevant research, data, teaching materials and whatever else you need to run an informative story at your request.

Patricia Offenbacker