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Once bitten twice shy

I was saddened reading about the pit bull that attacked a teenager.

First of all, the pit bull is supposed to be banned from Malta. Instead, in recent years we had American pit bulls, which are as different as Coca Cola is from Pepsi Cola.

All the bull terriers are designed for fighting and the thrust of their paw is very powerful. Their temperament is unpredictable and it is near to impossible to know where you are with them.

About a year ago, I bought a basset hound puppy from Italy, which I took to Ta’ Qali for some free running and socialisation. At a distance, I could see two young men with a pit bull who gestured to me as if to say I could let my puppy play with theirs. Hardly a minute passed that the pit bull grabbed my basset from the neck and shook him from side to side. I was afraid but did not panic and when I saw the pit bull yawn-ing I pulled my puppy from his mouth.

Luckily, no harm was done because the pit bull’s bite locks in a way that no superman will ever manage to release. If the authorities are not knowledgeable about the breed and how it should be handled, rather than putting them all to sleep, should instruct their owners to ensure the dogs wear a muzzle at all times when in public areas. Muzzles nowadays are large enough to allow the dog to puff and pant as much as it wants.

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