What Kind of Dogs Are Pit Bulls?
The non-profit organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wrote to the Minister for Fisheries, Livestock and Dairy this July that people have chosen to keep dogs like pit bulls because of their aggressive nature. Pit bulls, the letter says, belong to a “bully breed” that “was originally bred for bull and bear baiting (a form of ‘entertainment’ in which dogs are instigated to attack a caught bull or bear.”
Bear baiting was a sport in England until it was banned in 1835. PETA asked the minister to amend the 2017 Cruelty Prevention (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules to ban the “owning and breeding of foreign breeds” of bred dogs for “fight, race.”
Tandrali Kuli, who works with Friendicoes, a nonprofit that cares for stray, abandoned and injured dogs, said the term “pit bull” is typically used to refer to four different breeds of dog: the American pit bull terrier, the Staffordshire terrier and the Bull Terrier, and the American Bully.
“They were bred as a cross between bulldogs and terriers. So they have the strength of bulldogs and the tenacity of terriers. They were bred to fight bulls,” Kuli said.
Aaron D’silva, an animal behaviorist from Delhi-NCR, said: “Pit bulls are used as attack dogs in dog fights that take place in parts of Haryana. People think they are tough dogs. Because they are bred locally in India, the puppies are inbred with backyard breeders. You are not very well behaved.”
What Makes Pit Bulls Dangerous?
Every dog is different. Some breeds are friendlier and more docile than others; Some are happier around people and more comfortable in smaller homes than other breeds. Some breeds are more clearly one master dogs than others. Pitbulls have a breed-specific personality; However, the problem often lies with the dog owners rather than the dogs.
Owning a pit bull has become a fad, D’silva said. “Owners think they own a dog that is macho and tough, but don’t pay attention to those dogs’ needs. Most people with dogs like this end up tying them up. Pitbulls are energetic dogs. But the pet owners‘ ignorance causes them to face bad behavior problems. They need a certain amount of exercise, and if they don’t get it, they can become destructive or aggressive. Dogs sometimes tend to nip because there isn’t enough socializing going on,” he said, adding that proper training is also crucial.
Kuli said, “Pit bulls need to have their mental and physical stimulation met. They need to be socialized early. You need a canine behaviorist who can explain the psyche of the breed to you.”
What legal liability does an owner have for incidents like those involving pit bulls?
In the Ghaziabad and Gurgaon incidents, the pet owners were charged, among others, under Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code (negligent conduct in relation to animals), which carries a penalty of imprisonment or a fine or both. The section states: “Anyone who knowingly or negligently fails to provide, when in his possession, an arrangement sufficient to prevent a probable danger to human life or a probable danger of serious injury from such an animal, shall Imprisonment punishes either Description for a sentence which may extend up to six months, or a fine which may extend up to one thousand rupees, or both.”
The 2015 Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) guidelines state that pet owners cannot be banned by RWAs or homeowners associations from using elevators or elevators for dogs. The guidelines state that pet owners are required to keep their pets on a leash in all public areas.
“The owner must keep an eye on the strength of the dog. When a dog is capable of causing harm, it is important to take steps to control that dog. The responsibility lies with the owner,” said Kuli. “People buy them (Pitbulls) and then realize they can’t take care of them, so they give them up. Friendicoes takes in at least three pit bulls a week,” she said.