The day my beloved pit bull became a killer (LIVE)
We've been following a sad story, here at New Jersey 101.5. Police say two pit bulls fatally attack a leashed dog — and there owner has been charged after allegedly lying to police about the incident.
Every time we write about a pit bull attack, we see the same sort of chatter on our Facebook page and in other social media. On one side, there are people saying pits are inherently dangerous, likely to snap, and should never be trusted as pets around children or other small animals.
On the other, we hear from loving parents of pits who say their dogs — in some cases, they've owned several — would never hurt anyone. It all comes down to how the dogs, any dogs, are raised, they say.
A CDC report on dog-bite fatalities between 1978 to 1998 indicates that pit bulls are responsible for more deaths than any other breed, but the ASPCA cautions the public to keep in mind that many dog breeds can be trained to be aggressive.
"The reality is that dogs of many breeds can be selectively bred or trained to develop aggressive traits. Therefore the responsible ownership of any dog requires a commitment to proper socialization, humane training and conscientious supervision," the ASPCA says in a statement on its website.
For a long time, Jim Gearhart was in the just-raise-them-right camp. He's a loving pet owner — to many pets over the years — and gave his own pit bull plenty of care, affection and structure, Jim says in this week's LIVE recording of the Jim Gearhart Show podcast, at Facebook.com/NJ1015. Each week, Jim and Bob Williams take your questions and comments in the Facebook chat.
But one day, his pit, as sweet and loving a dog as Jim has known, just turned — she went after his other pets with the ferocity of a killer.
"If you ever saw it, it's scary," Jim says. "It's terrifying. I would probably never be comfortable around her again."
He concedes, any dog can go wrong without the right training — and urges pet owners not to take in any big, powerful animal unless they're cautious and willing to put in that constant work.
"There is a time bomb in there. ... There's something back there somewhere that says this is a killer," Jim says.
That's just part of what Jim and Bob Williams take on in the latest installment of his podcast. Check out the full episode to hear the rest. And email Jim at Jim@NJ1015.com.
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