The Los Angeles City Council put a temporary hold on Animal Service's plans to allow trained parolees to work with sheltered pit bulls this week. News of the program kicked up some of the most blatant biases we've seen in print in a long time.
"Notoriously vicious dogs"..."liability waiting to happen"..."sketchy trainers desperate for jobs to work with sketchier dogs." Huh?
Deep breaths, deeeep breaths.....No one ever said breed education would be easy.
We can point to dozens of dogs, including Hemi the Law Dog and Bailey, the mascot for a special kids program (right), who are alive and well thanks, in large part, to inmates at a Louisiana prison. The Louisiana prison system doesn't kid around when it comes to putting their population to work; it's one of the main reasons they were contracted to take care of pets during the Katrina disaster (above). The fact that most of the dogs that landed in their care were pit bulls from every background was never an issue....This was the population of animals that needed help.
It's amazing what a natural disaster will do to set people's priorities straight.
We're gnashing our teeth over the flack that the Pit Bull Training Academy is getting, but Tia Torres of Villalobos is the right man for the job. She's one of those people who, when the going gets rough, just gets tougher. Best wishes to all involved in this wonderful project!