Why I will support the campaign to have pit bulls banned

I have never involved myself in the debate whether pit bulls should be banned, because I have always maintained an 'each to his own' belief. Until now.


I have always been a lover of animals. All animals, great and small. My first pet was a little dog which I named Brakkies. A gift from my grandmother, he was my first dog.

Brakkies, a pavement special, had personality to spare and slept in my bed every night for his entire life. Over five decades I have taken responsibility for many four-legged family members. Cats, dogs, a hedgehog, tortoise and even an orphan lamb were all part of my family at some stage.

My Charles is currently my best friend. A cross between a Great Dane and a ridgeback, he is a very temperamental, highly intelligent 55kg baby and if he could speak, he would tell the world that his favourite pastime is to braai. Whenever he sees me carrying a bag of charcoal, he gets an extra spring in his step.

ALSO READ: ‘Pit bulls are bred for aggression’, says expert following cases of attacks

This past weekend, my Charles fell victim to a vicious attack by a pit bull. A woman from the neighbourhood took her pit bull for a walk. Strolling past our house, Charles did his usual barking routine while sprinting along the palisade fence, like he does whenever joggers, cyclists and dog-walkers pass by.

The next moment, the pit bull ripped the leash from his owner’s hands, stuck his head through our palisade and locked his jaw around my baby’s cheek. Charles yelped like a baby, but the pit bull refused to let go. It was terrifying.

NOW READ: Angry residents, stab, stone and burn three pit bulls after they mauled a girl

When the woman tried to drag her pit bull off my Charles, the dog turned on his owner and attacked her. There was blood everywhere. Two men who happened to drive past, stopped and managed to restrain the dog. Although the whole incident only lasted a minute or so, it felt like an eternity.

The scar on my dog will probably remain for life. I have never involved myself in the debate whether pit bulls should be banned, because I have always maintained an “each to his own” belief. Until now.

That vicious, brutal attack on my Charles, was an eye-opener. I will never visit anyone who owns a pit bull again. And I will support the campaign to have them banned.

READ MORE: Government silent as petition launched to ban pit bulls in South Africa