SLAPS: Don’t blame pit bulls!

The Saint Lucia Animal Protection Society (SLAPS), has placed the blame squarely on dog owners for attacks on humans by dangerous canines.

SLAPS President, Pamela Devaux, has told the Times that the problem of dogs attacking humans has nothing to do with dog breeds but how the animals are raised, trained and treated.

Devaux explained that all dogs have the potential to be aggressive.

She asserted that those that are brought up with a loving, firm hand become ‘wonderful companions.”

The SLAPS President said this includes pit bulls.

“I know a number of pit bulls here in Saint Lucia which are loving family dogs. Unfortunately they have a bad rap because when they are badly treated or ill treated or made to fight, it brings out a different side of their nature,” Devaux told the Times.

She said it is a terrible thing when dogs attack people.

“When somebody is killed, it is horrendous,” the SLAPS official observed.

However she said the fault in such instances lies with the owner of the animal and not the dog itself.

According to Devaux, that conclusion is borne out by various investigations.

“When a puppy is born, the way it is brought up is how it reacts,” she asserted.

Devaux noted that there is an Animal Act in Saint Lucia which bans the breeding or giving away of pit bulls and other dog breeds which are deemed to be ‘dangerous’.

“I think before we look to have any more laws, let’s see if the laws we already have on the books can be implemented before we use taxpayers’ money to bring in new laws which are probably not going to be enforced,” she said in response to suggestions that there should be a ban on ‘dangerous’ dogs.

Devaux noted that although it is against the law to breed pit bulls, people do it all the time.

She spoke against the backdrop of the recent reports out of  Barbados that a retired nurse was mauled to death by five dogs, including pit bulls.

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