Having lived in Olympia now for about six months, I have noticed with some distress, that the population of pit bull dogs is quite high. It would seem to be the pet of choice for our burgeoning homeless population. I see them on the sidewalks, in the transits and usually a couple of pit bulls are found in the parks at any given time. Why our community gets all worked up about firearms, and turns a blind eye to the growing threat of violent dog attacks is a puzzle to me.
When a pit bull attacks, the injury inflicted may be catastrophic. First responders such as police officers and firefighters understand this as do members of the media, who are quick to report these attacks. Ongoing social tension also keeps pit bulls in the news. The pit bull problem is now over 30 years old. In this time, most lawmakers have been “too afraid” to take breed-specific action to correct the problem. Due to this failure, horrific maulings continue to make headlines.
Make no mistake about it, this breed of dog is chosen not in spite of, but because of its aggressive behavior. A homeless man or woman may indeed be safer due to dragging this animal along, but only at the expense of anyone else within a block. I think it is high time that the city of Olympia addresses this risk to the pedestrian population in our parks and on our buses.