Marci Bowman makes many good points in her letter in last week’s edition, but I have a few caveats. Numerous breeds, such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and pit bulls – a group name which Wikipedia notes is “particularly ambiguous” – have in times as recent as World War II been “nannies” to babies left on a blanket in the yard while their mothers went to work.
And Wikipedia goes on to note that mixed-breed dogs which physically resemble the various breeds lumped into “pit bulls” are often mis-labeled and therefore stigmatized. In addition, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “owners of pit bull-type dogs deal with a strong breed stigma; however, controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous. Because owners of stigmatized breeds are more likely to have involvement in criminal or violent acts, breed correlations may have the owner’s behavior as the underlying causal factor.”
Having lived at Lakeside for nine years, I have seen two main causes for dangerous pit bulls: machismo (the owner wants to look tough and encourages aggressive behavior in their dog), and owners who allow their pit bull outside their own yard without a leash. Machismo is going to take a long time to change, but strict enforcement of leash laws – “Chapala pushes ahead with stalled animal protection code,” Guadalajara Reporter December 7, page 1 – will start to combat much of the danger associated with many potentially dangerous dogs.
My dog has been badly bitten by aggressive dogs running loose, and they were not pit bulls.
The construction work on the (Chapala) Libramiento has been complete for four weeks and still there are no white lines separating the traffic lanes. This is a very dangerous road with lines, but without them it is extremely dangerous, especially at night. The contractor who did the work should have completed the lines, but now they are gone and the city of Chapala is left with the responsibility to get the work completed.
Hector España must talk to the mayor and impress on him how serious this is. Someone is going to get killed on this dangerous road.