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Dog trainers/animal control, Pit Bull breeders, owners, fanciers, experts, animal behaviorists, Vets, Doctors
KEVIN COUTTS, Head Dog Ranger, Rotorua, New Zealand
There was concern among dog authorities about American pitbulls being allowed into New Zealand as they were dangerous, unpredictable animals, Mr Coutts said.
"A lot of people in this town get them because they are a staunch dog and they will fight. They are perceived as vicious ... It's frustrating they were ever allowed in the country ... we can't go back now though," Mr Coutts said.
COUTTS' comment on a pit car mauling
This sort of thing happens when people own this breed of dog and then don't look after them.
VICTORIA STILWELL, celebrity dog trainer
Presas are not to be fooled with, they're dangerous. You've got a fighting breed here. You've got a dog that was bred for fighting. You've got one of the most difficult breeds to handle.
CESAR MILAN, celebrity dog trainer
"Yeah, but this is a different breed...the power that comes behind bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed - They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don't feel the pain anymore. He is using the bulldog in him, which is way too powerful, so we have to 'make him dog' (I guess as in a "regular" dog) so we can actually create the limits.
So if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it's not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender.". If you add pain, it only infuriates them..to them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it...
That's why they are such great fighters." Cesar goes on to say..."Especially with fighting breeds, you're going to have these explosions over and over because there's no limits in their brain."
GARRETT RUSSO, dog trainer
I estimate Medical & Veterinary bills related to injuries caused by pit bulls in the Tompkins Square dog run in 2011, $140,000.00. Estimated Medical (human) & Veterinary (canine) bills from all other breeds and mixed breeds combined during the same period, $5,000.00. (Estimate gathered from reports to by owners to the dog park association.)
STEVE DUNO, dog trainer, pit bull owner
"The dogs that participated in these attacks weren't Pekingese. You don't have herds of Pekingese roaming the city attacking people. When someone says all breeds are created equal, well then they're denying the definition of what a breed is. Breed serves a particular purpose."
"I like them. They're eager. They're athletic. They're aesthetically pleasing. But even if they're bred perfectly, they can be problematic, particularly with other dogs."
"When you combine the breed specific behaviors ... with owners who either don't give a rip, or with owners who (have) too much dog, you have a problem."
JEAN DONALDSON, dog trainer
Most commonly, she sees dogs with aggression problems. While she's a fierce opponent of "breed bans" like the proposed outlawing of pit bulls that San Francisco debated two years ago, she believes it's undeniable that some breeds are predisposed to violence.
Many breeds that were bred as guardians or fighting dogs were carefully designed to not like strangers, she says. She thinks it's disingenuous of breeders to further enhance this trait, and then expect owners to compensate with training.
ARLENE STERLING, Newaygo County, MI Chief Animal Control Officer
"It is genetically inbred in them to be aggressive. 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."
BOB KERRIDGE, New Zealand SPCA executive director
"That is the only real way to solve this problem - is to license owners and to give them the responsibility that goes with owning a dog. It would be extremely useful when you have a neighbour who is concerned about that dog next door. You can look at it and see they don't have a license and take it away. That's owner responsibility."
"We led the charge to stop the importation of the pitbull because of the concerns they would be crossbred with other dogs... But there's not a lot we can do about that because it's happened. We wish someone had listened all those years ago."
JIM CROSBY, pit bull hired gun
"Line breeding tends to concentrate recessive traits. The propensity for violent attacks by a dog would be a recessive trait."
MELANIE PFEIFFER, veterinary assistant
Working in a veterinary hospital, you are exposed to all kinds of animal trauma. One of the more common ones is dog fights. I can honestly say that in three out of four cases, an American pit bull terrier is involved. Many times, we are able to save the life of the afflicted, but yesterday, we were not.
I propose that all owned American pit bull terriers be registered and all breeding be halted indefinitely. How many mutilated faces, mangled limbs, butchered pets and even human deaths does it take to convince us that this breed needs to be phased out?
DIANE JESSUP, Washington pit bull owner and expert
"It's not sensible to get an animal bred for bringing a 2,000-pound bull to its knees and say I'm going to treat this like a soft-mouth Labrador," says Jessup, the former animal-control officer. She blames novice owners, as much as actual criminals, for bringing the breed into disrepute. "It's a capable animal, and it's got to be treated as such."
JOHN ROCKHOLT, South Carolina dogman
"It's inhumane not to allow them to fight. If you have to encourage them to fight they are not worth the powder it would take to blow them away. To never allow them any kind of combat...That's inhumane."
RAY BROWN, former pit bull owner, breeder, dog fighter
Pit bulls didn't become dangerous because we fight them; we fight them because the English specifically bred them to be dangerous.
MARK PAULHUS, HSUS southeast regional coordinator
If it chooses to attack, it's the most ferocious of all dogs. I've never known of a pit bull that could be called off (during a fight). They lose themselves in the fight.
F.L. DANTZLER, HSUS director of field services
"They're borderline dogs. They're right on the edge all of the time. Even if the dogs are not trained or used for fighting, and even though they are generally good with people, their bloodline makes them prone to violence."