This heart-wrenching, or perhaps that should be stomach-churning, story, has received much coverage, including here
. I don't share the author's concern for the attention currently being lavished on this mangy mutt, nor do I care that a $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the apprehension of the individual responsible.
I'm more concerned that these vile creatures are walking the streets of my own neighbourhood, and for once I have something nice to say about our wonderful boys in blue. Last month, they seized one of them
here in Sydenham, and hopefully it will be put down. In the UK, the pit bull terrier is now banned
; as far as I'm concerned they can ban the entire species, except working dogs, in particular the Golden Retriever, the Border Collie, and a few others that have legitimate uses.
The thing that really annoys me about this current pit bull story though is the sad way America seems to prioritise its medical care.
Last February, I watched a TV programme that has given me nightmares ever since. No, not one of those stupid zombie flicks, it was a BBC Panorama documentary about homelessness
in the USA. The camera team went out to meet people who were sleeping in the streets, in the drains in the case of one couple, or in tents. There was one homeless person though who struck me as being in desperate need. He was with his wife, I think they were married, if so, she could well be his widow by now. They were not young, and had been living rough. This guy was in urgent need of not simply medical treatment but an operation. He had a severe rupture, which must have left him in considerable pain. Worse than that, his intestines were all but hanging out.
One medic consulted during the programme said there was a real risk of him contracting a serious infection like septicaemia
, as if he didn't have enough problems already.
An operation would cost probably $20,000, but of course he had no insurance, yet they'll spend that sort of money on a dog. By the time they've tracked down the person responsible, tried and convicted him, we are talking about six figures, and that is without the cost of a gaol sentence and the inevitable appeal.
In the UK for all its faults, this man would have been admitted to hospital and operated on. Even a prisoner serving a lengthy sentence would have been dealt with similarly. So I'm sorry Mrs Goessl, but I couldn't care less if this mangy pit bull pup lives or dies. If America were to follow Britain's lead and ban the breed, we wouldn't be reading this story now. And I wouldn't go to bed tonight thinking of a man of sixty walking the streets with one hand on his stomach to keep his intestines from falling out, and that in the land of the free and the home of the brave.