PITBULLS can be social animals.
That is the belief of vice-president of the Trinidad and Tobago Canine Advocates group, Jean-Claude Al-Jmayel, who reiterated yesterday that it was irresponsible owners training dogs in aggression and attack, and not in obedience, socialisation and control.
“There are hundreds and thousands of owners who have well-socialised dogs, (among them) the American pitbulls that were never involved in an incident and do not show signs of aggression,” said Al-Jmayel.
“We must take into consideration this is the most popular breed in Trinidad and Tobago and there are thousands more than any other breed in the country. That is one of the reasons that the number of attacks recorded are so many and so frequent.
“Some of the people who own this breed are not being very responsible and they are having these dogs trained with aggression without any form of obedience. They are not properly socialising the animals. This is resulting in a lot of the attacks.”
Al-Jmayel said the breeding of pitbulls locally has almost come to a halt, since there is not a high demand for them. He said the breeders have found the business to be no longer viable.
“The breeding of the dogs has mainly stopped since the law was passed in the Upper and Lower House, so we don’t see breeding being a problem, but we see that people are not taking our advice in terms of the management of the dogs.
“A lot of breeders have puppies on their hands and if they are getting them sold, the money that they are getting is next to nothing. The breeding is basically done, and we are just waiting for another popular breed until the Government realises that they are not addressing the root cause, but just one breed. There have been other attacks by other dogs.”
Of the latest attack, where 82-year-old grandmother Lillian Bunsee was mauled to death on Monday at her home in Maraval where the dogs were being bred, Al-Jmayel said: “We are very disappointed in particular with this last attack... how it was so gruesome. And the cause of it is that the dogs were being trained in aggression where this woman lived. The environment was set up for something to happen.”