Sound Off: Stop adopting out pit bulls

The American people are typically not passive, nor shy, in generating loud social outcries when learning of the marketing of products that have potential to harm the consumer — especially our children. And so I must confess to being totally mystified at the passiveness of so many U.S. communities, including Oak Harbor and my Illinois hometown, in dealing decisively and forcefully with the pit bull problem that grows slowly but surely with each passing year.

When I read the recent “Pit Bull Problems”, the first thing that left me shaking my head is the report that WAIF works to find homes for surrendered pit bulls. I simply don’t understand how they, in all good conscience, can adopt out animals that may well have questionable backgrounds and genetics.

I understand they make good efforts to screen animals and potential owners. But despite their efforts, it is a total lack of social responsibility to hand over these animals. They should be banned from our communities, and they should be euthanized when surrendered.

I am not lacking in compassion for the pit bull. It has become the victim of miscreants who breed them for fighting, who own them to portray a manly man image, who mistreat them as a matter of course. These dogs are, without question, the victims of man’s ill intent. But to refuse to face up to the fact that we must take a hard stand on this issue is to contribute to an ever growing and notably dangerous problem.

Another thing that I find objectionable is that WAIF has now refused to accept surrendered pit bulls. What do they think will happen as a result? How many of those animals will be set loose to roam the streets and fend for themselves? Would it not be wiser to accept them and then euthanize them?

I understand that WAIF is a “minimal kill” facility. And, as a dog and cat owner and a strong supporter of the organization, I appreciate that. However, there comes a time when the citizens who did nothing to create this problem, but who have the power to take the very hard and not compassionate steps toward solving it, must step to the forefront and make those very difficult decisions.

Our city leaders are among those citizens with the power. Our caring and compassionate WAIF workers are among those citizens.

How many more adults, children, and pets must be mauled or killed before we wake up?

Are we deliberately asleep at the wheel?

Barbara Sheffield is an Oak Harbor resident.

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