Thursday, April 14, 2011
Letters To The Editor
Defending pit bulls
In last week’s issue (April 7, 2011) of The South Reporter I read yet another complaint about pit bull attacks. We hear on the news and read in the papers frequently about attacks on people and other animals by pit bulls.
Now, some cities and counties want to “outlaw” the pit. This is absurd! I haven’t heard anyone speak up in defense of them. I want to be the first.
Do not misunderstand me, any animal attacking people should be euthanized. There are rogue animals of every breed out there. How often do we hear about other animals that attack? Hardly ever, but believe me, they do. Are we going to outlaw them as well?
Shame on those of you who blame a pit bull for the actions of its owner. Any animal’s behavior depends on what we teach him from birth. All animals respond to the love or abuse given by its owner. There are people who should not be allowed to own any animals. Perhaps if we try screening prospective owners there would be no animal attacks. This makes more sense than outlawing animals. The pit has been given a reputation he does not deserve. He has been neglected, abused, and taught to fight. Have you seen one of these poor animals maimed and bleeding after a fight, thrown into a pen or tied up to die?
They are skeletons of the proud animal they used to be, just as capable of giving love as any other animal. The criminals (I use criminal because more fitting names cannot be put into print), that put these poor animals in a ring to fight do not even have the decency to put them out of their misery afterward.
Shouldn’t he be put between the two dogs in the ring? The penalties are not harsh enough for these crimes.
There are many pits out there who are loved by their families and who love them in return.
I would like to introduce you to one of them. My husband and I were blessed with a beautiful white pit for 14 years. We adopted him when he was five weeks old and named him O.J.
He grew up with us and all that time he didn’t know he was a pit or that he was supposed to attack because of it. However, he was attacked by our daughter’s Boston terrier frequently. He would simply turn his head, sigh loudly, then move to another room. He loved children and defended them when the need arose.
I watched him once when a father was about to spank his son. O.J took the father’s hand in his mouth gently, with just enough pressure to say, “you are not going to hurt this child.” He would place himself between a child and what he thought was danger. I have seen him ready to defend those he loved many times. He was very intelligent and understood exactly what we said to him and we had no trouble understanding him.
He often “asked” for his food and would eat from a fork if it was offered to him. Our “man” as we called him, and my husband were inseparable. They rode in the truck and the tractor together, they were even in a tractor wreck together.
There are so many stories I could tell about this lovable pit that didn’t know he was an attack dog.
He had his own door and was allowed to go and come around the community as he pleased. If anyone was afraid of him they never told us. Sometimes when a neighbor opened their door he would just go right in and make himself at home. If he became a pest the neighbors would tell him to go home and he would do just that.
The only time he wore a collar or leash was when he went to his doctor. It wasn’t really a collar, it was a halter that he learned was his “shirt.” When we got that shirt out he knew he was going to the doctor and he loved that.
You cannot imagine our grief and outrage when he was stolen simply because he trusted people. He was gone for three miserable days. We got him back only because we offered a large reward for his return. He had been sold to someone in Memphis for $35 as a fighter!
He defended himself, his home, and his human family with all of his strength when he needed to. Yes, he fought when he had to, as all animals will do.
We lost him almost two years ago to congestive heart failure. Time has not lessened the pain. We cherish our memories of him. Many people share those memories with us. Should he have been outlawed?
We urge every person who has, or had a pit bull like O.J. to speak in their defense.
Joel and Wilma Allen
Response to article
I am responding to an article in the April 7, 2011, South Reporter by Tom Stewart, titled Holly Springs – a place to put down roots.
In Mr. Stewart’s article he refers to the refined grace of Holly Springs in the antebellum days and how settlers were hand-picked by professional realtors; and how the realtor’s chose clients with money and the foresight to build the towns and establish the plantations. I quote, “These original people were educators, lawyers, planters, and bankers, as well as tradesmen, to support the civilization they would build.” He continues later in the article to mention the vast clay deposits and the iron foundry that forged the bricks and the wrought iron fences of the fine homes built in Holly Springs.
Not once does Mr. Stewart refer to the Africans’ contributions to the refined grace of Holly Springs. There is no mention of the slaves and how they arrived in Holly Springs, forced in captivity to travel with the planters from Virginia and North Carolina. There is no mention of the African-skilled tradesmen who helped design homes, make bricks and wrought iron fences. There is no mention of the services the many Africans provided to the refined grace of antebellum life, cooking, cleaning, nursing and laboring for free.
The Africans’ contributions to Holly Springs are historical facts, not fiction. It is incomprehensible to me how Mr. Stewart can write such a well-versed, knowledgeable article and leave out the Africans’ contribution. I do not agree with Mr. Stewart that the darkest hour for Holly Springs was the “saffron scourge.” I think the darkest hour for Holly Springs is the same as for the nation as a whole, the willingness to hold a people in bondage against their will while professing liberty and Christianity.
Africans were in Holly Springs from its beginning. Without the contributions of the Africans, our town would not be what it is today. Continuing to ignore the contributions of Africans to the history of Holly Springs will only delay the growth and development of our city. We can only continue to build our town by acknowledging everyone’s contribution to our society.
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