Pitbulls- Friend or foe?

The American pit bull is the most feared and at the same time, the most misunderstood. In the 1920’s and 30’s pits were called the nanny dog. In fact Petey who starred in the Little Rascals was an American pit bull. After years of manipulation pit bulls have a reputation that most of the time brings up a negative response.

Nancy Marcantel with the Animal Rescue Foundation of Lafayette says, “Dogs that are breed for fighting are the most aggressive. They breed the strongest and most muscular to improve their line.”

On April 17th, a man was arrested in Natchitoches for dogfighting. Twenty-three dogs were seized from his home and four had to be euthanized. Equipment used to train dogs for fighting were also found.

In April of 2014 Mia Derouen (4) of Houma was attacked and killed by Niko, a 130 pound male pit bull who was the family pet.  In 2008, Luna McDaniel (83) was taking an early morning walk in Ville Platte when she was attacked by three pit bulls. Ten days later she died from serious injuries suffered in the attack.

Louisiana’s state dog attack House bill 155 was passed because of Luna’s death. This bill increased the charges that could be brought against the owners of dogs who commit fatal attacks. Luna’s son Bob feels there is still a problem in Louisiana with the handling of these dogs. “By law they are supposed to be on cement and be behind at least six-foot high hurricane fence. They were behind very little fence virtually no fence.

Most people are split down the middle on pit bulls. They either love them or hate them. Pit bull advocates say these dogs behavior is directly linked to their owners.

Bob McDaniel, son of Luna, says, “They need direction and instruction just like an active child in order to stay in the boundaries.

Cassie Angelle and her husband love pits. They own two and, along with their four-month old baby girl Daisy, coexist just fine. “When she was born my husband took her baby Towl and brought it home to let them sniff it. After we brought her home he gave them a snack and they were fine with her.

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