To the editor:
A heartbreaking case of animal abuse took place in Kansas City, Mo., a few days ago involving a Staffordshire terrier (slang, "pit bull") that had been tortured. The dog was not vicious, and, in fact, the vet commented on how sweet the dog was.
Animal abuse is not only directed against Staffordshire terriers; however, there is a backlash now against this breed, which is not an inherently vicious breed. This is fueled by unbalanced reporting. Whenever there is a report of a dog attack I hear media reports that "it may have been a pit bull," or "it may have been a pit bull-type." So now in the mind of the general public there is fear and loathing of this breed.
Behavioral problems will result from a situation in which any dog, no matter what the breed, is mistreated or neglected. The media should emphasize this fact rather than sensationalize cases of dog attacks that malign a specific breed. This particular animal may have been spared this torture if people were responsibly informed rather than manipulated by the media.
There should be a public outcry over a case of animal abuse such as this, but the public doesn't know because the media is silent on this matter.