Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Cautionary Note

I love dogs. Yet I love people more. It seems that the new fashion in Tirana is to walk around with large, vicious-looking dogs. This may seem perfectly fine, except for a few facts of concern arising from observation and a reading of reports such as this one by Sacks, Sinclair, Gilchrist, Golab, and Lockwood:

  • Some dogs have historically been bred to fight.
  • The number of stray dogs in Tirana that appear to be purebred or have close ancestry from purebreds suggest that many owners do not keep proper control over their dogs. 
  • Any type of dog breed can be aggressive if taught to be so.
  • Some of the owners of aggressive-looking dogs appear to be mere children or youths, barely able to keep their dogs under control. 
  • Dogs are known to hurt people.

My concern is that the new fashion of owning aggressive dogs my lead to serious injury or death. As a son, a parent and a teacher, I am particularly concerned for the children, the elderly, or the disabled (not to mention the strong and the able) who may be attacked by dogs. I am concerned that owners may not be able to control the behavior of their dogs, may let their dogs run free, or may neglect their dogs. This may allow the dogs that have been bred or trained to be vicious to attack innocent children or passers-by. Furthermore, these dogs may interbreed with the many wild dogs that roam Tirana and produce wild offspring that are genetically predisposed to be more aggressive.
My recommendation is that the city of Tirana would house all stray dogs in shelters for adoption or destruction, and that all other dogs be licensed and their owners made legally responsible for the behavior of their dogs. The UK's dangerous dog act may provide a model in this case.
If we as a community do not address the risk posed by uncontrolled dogs, then we may find the blood of innocent victims on our hands. We should love dogs and make sure dogs are properly trained and cared for; we should love people more and make sure that our community members are safe from dogs that are bred and/or trained to injure others.

No comments:

Post a Comment