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As a dedicated animal rescuer and animal-rights activist, I was extremely pleased to see D.C.’s pit-bull issues make the front page of the Washington City Paper (“Dog Days,” 11/23). The District’s pit-bull “problem” is multifaceted and, at this point, quite desperate: I felt it particularly important that writer Paul Ruffins included a wide variety of opinions, namely those of animal abusers, rescuers, and activists but also community representatives and the like. For many years, like many city residents, I have been concerned by the animal abuses that go on in this city, but it is admittedly incredibly difficult to figure out where one’s personal politics can fit into the larger issues. It is worth asking if it wouldn’t just be easier to have the breed-specific ban. And, since so many neighborhood commissionsas opposed to the more removed upper Northwest, McLean, and Chevy Chase brand of activistare interested in such bans, if it wouldn’t be more fair to answer these cries for help.
In the face of these realities, there are realistic alternatives to the pit-bull ban. Randall Lockwood, vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, said it best: “There are two reasons why I’m not behind a ban. First, a mandatory spay/neuter law would go just as far to solve the problem. Second, a ban just doesn’t address the human factor.” This logical explanation is worth repeating when and wherever the issue is brought up.
Thanks for writing an article that actually attempts to expose the real problems and encourage thinking about healthy solutions. (Hint, hint: Spay and neuter your pets to prevent animal overpopulation…and how ’bout stiff penalties for animal abuse?)