As an inmate, I understand the stigma placed on bully breeds. Many look at them as dangerous because of a few terrible incidents. When I say “few,” I mean we are five times more likely to be killed by lightning — not just struck, but killed — than be involved in a dog-related fatality. Statistically, death by dog is an irregularity.
Not to diminish the tragedy of these deaths because that’s what they are, tragic. But it is unfair to condemn an entire breed because of these unfortunate cases. That is like saying human beings are inherently bad because of the actions of a few. Should society be held responsible for my actions, for my mistakes? I ask these questions because I believe these dogs, like us, should be looked at as individuals. There are so many factors that go into a situation where a person is attacked, and most times, it could have been avoided.
Instead of euthanizing thousands of dogs, maybe we should educate ourselves and prevent these situations altogether. Furthermore, it seems everyone condemning bully breeds has no professional experience, nor have they interacted with one [of the dogs]. Maybe we could ask the opinions of those qualified to give one.
— Chris Tarantino
Inmate dog trainer with the New Leash on Life program
Craggy Correctional Center