There is moment in my favorite Saturday matinee movie, “The Vikings”—okay, it’s tied with the original “Journey to the Center of the Earth”–where Ernest Borgnine as Ragnar, the Viking King, is about to be thrown, hands bound, into a pit of ravenous wolves by his Britsih captors, A Viking, we have learned, can only go to Viking Heaven, Valhalla, if he dies with a sword in his hand. Just as Ragnar about to be tossed, Tony Curtis cuts his restraints and hands him a sword, and the Viking King, beaming, leaps into the pit with a victorious shout of “VALHALLA!” They didn’t have CGI back then, so we only got to hear the sounds of him killing snarling wolves left and right until he was finally mauled, but I always could picture Ragnar’s battle in my mind.
That’s also how I picture Chandra McKinnon, a Canadian law clerk, as she fights off the hoards of mindless anti-pit bull breed hysterics over at The Post That Never Dies, Unethical Website of the Month: Dogsbite.Org . which has over 5,000 Facebook shares and which has been attracting dog breed bigots regularly since 2015.
Chandra leaped into the pit shortly after I gave up trying to reason with these idiots. I finally added this to the post:
In the future, comments to this post that consist of nothing but repeating the same disproven myths and ignorant beliefs about the various pit bull breeds will not get through moderation. Any serious, well-researched, civil comments presenting counter arguments and genuine statistics to the facts and expert opinion discussed in these posts are welcome. Citing dogsbite.org as authority will guarantee rejection. Lumping multiple breeds together as “pit bulls” proves laziness, bias and ignorance, and will also result in the comment being spammed. Dumb arguments like “You can’t prove they aren’t pit bulls!” will have the same results.
It is depressing how many people will hold on to a factually unsupportable bias despite every effort to enlighten them, but then prejudice against humans works the same way.
It was getting ridiculous. The commenters, sent my way in intermittent waves by the website’s defenders, are usually semi-literate and always immune to reality. I have banned more commenters on that post than any three elsewhere on the blog. Here is part of a typical rant from one of them, since banned under the Ethics Alarms Stupidity Rule:
Mr Marshal, why is there a FB page titled Our Pets were Attacked by Pitbulls?… If pitbulls are no more aggressive than other breeds, then why are there no similar pages for other breeds?? Why no “Our Pets were Attacked by Poodles” FB page??…Because these breeds have never killed a human EVER, so most likely will not maul another dog!! …As an ethics person, do you think it’s ethical to prioritize the lives of one breed, the fighting pitbull, over the lives of numerous other breeds, and say well I don’t care about the lives of all those other breeds as long as we can own our pitbulls?? Doesn’t matter that pitbulls kill and injure multiple other breeds each and every day, as long as I fullfill my selfish want for a breed that has no purpose in today’s society since it was bred for a sick bloodsport, then I’m fine with that!! IS THAT ETHICAL???
However, I also object to having unchecked misrepresentations, bad stats and bad arguments on the site, so the pollution has to be addressed. Thus the timely intervention of Chandra has been a gift from the Viking gods. Here is a typical retort to the Dog Breed Racists, in this case responding to a commenter who contrasted herding breeds with those vicious, aggressive “pit bulls”:
Amazingly enough there was a study conducted by the BCSPCA wherein they re-homed 40+ dogs, half of which were what you would call “pit bulls”, the other half were non bully breeds including your general herders (who by the way alternate with hunters for top of the dog bite lists annually in Calgary, AB). The purpose of the study was to see which breeds exhibited aggressive behaviours (adoption, although fantastic, can be an extremely stressful event for a dog).
At the conclusion of the study, the BCSPCA released the results. Not one of the “pit bull” type dogs had exhibited ANY signs of aggression at all, and not one of the “pit bull” type dogs was returned to the shelter.
Now, for the non-bully breeds (including your herders), it would appear that there were reports of aggression by these dogs, some where the new homes decided to retain the dog and work with a trainer to address the aggression, and some where the dogs were simply returned to the shelter.
Surprised? I was not, because the peer reviewed scientific study on this specific subject matter confirms that breed is not a predictor of aggression (AVMA Dog Bite Risk Prevention: The Role of Breed). The American Temperament Testing Society, Inc. results confirm that “pit bull” type dogs rock temperament testing because they are such positive, responsive, intuitive and wonderful dogs. I am sure you will be quite dismayed to see where your herders landed when it comes to temperament (which includes aggression)….seems they did not score quite as well as the bully breeds. But a dog is a dog is an individual, so.
In fact, they beat out all of your herders when it comes to temperament.
Please, though, by all means…reply with the peer reviewed science on the specific subject matter that supports your opinion…I have been waiting for this group to come up with something, anything, for years now….still waiting.
This Ethics Hero award is given to Chandra in thanks and gratitude, both from me, and these unjustly maligned dogs…