I’m not a big fan of dogs – I guess I have a form of cynophobia – but I respect dog owners and the reason why they have dogs. It’s the bond between an animal and a human that can’t really be compared to the bond between two humans. Be honest, you’re more likely to cry over a picture of a puppy or a kitten than over a human baby. They’re just cute, and I completely understand that. If there is one breed of dog that I simply cannot understand though, it would be the Pitbull.

I’m not talking about the ear-irritating Hispanic rapper. I’m talking about the vicious dog that has given serious injury to its human counterparts. Let’s throw some statistics out there. 94% of attacks on children by pit bulls were unprovoked, and out of 101 attacks studied in the year of 1991, 42 of them were attacks made by pit bulls – almost half the percentage of total attacks. Pit bulls have a tendency for violent behavior, something that should be on the minds of families looking for pets to adopt.

Personally, I have had a few encounters with pit bulls that have been less than pleasant. My most recent experience with one occurred this past April and caused some actual psychological damage. I normally go out for runs during the night, but that night in April back home, a pit bull jumped over the tall barrier separating the street from my neighborhood and attacked me. It tackled me over, and it took me a couple minutes to escape from the territory that the dog was occupying. Other than a few scratches and bruises that came from falling down on the pavement, there was no physical damage to my body. But after that night, I experienced some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as my not being able to  go out at night – forget running – without feeling afraid or anxious. I generally don’t like dogs, and being chased by a pit bull caused some psychological damage which still affects me.

I do believe there are some very nice pit bulls out there, but it’s the whole debate between nature vs. nurture. If you raise a pit bull the way it should be treated in a family setting, it should become a very friendly, non-violent dog, but one can’t raise a pit bull like a more aggressive dog in a recreational neighborhood or society. I luckily did not suffer any serious physical injury from my encounters with them, but if you replaced me on that night in April with a child, I honestly would not be able to say the same. It’s a very serious issue, and families should take it into consideration when getting a dog. Pit bulls, unless raised right, are not dogs suitable for families, and especially not suitable for a neighborhood that has residents venturing outside for a casual stroll or run.

Usmani is a member of

the class of 2017.

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