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Punish the deed not the breed.

By   /   February 6, 2014  /   Comments

Not all Pitbulls are bad. They were born like any other dog. It is how you raise them that determines their character. It is like raising a child when you have a dog… They can be good or bad.

I want to tell you a story. There was a girl that moved to Albany 11 years ago with her boyfriend at the time. She had no friends and that is why her boyfriend chose this town. No one knew her and no one knew him. A”fresh” start, an unknown adventure for the both of them.

He began beating her everyday. He would pull her hair, slam her face into the floor and doors, drag her across the floor, and force himself on her. You wonder why she didn’t leave because she had no one, he convinced her family she was on drugs, and he was trying to keep her clean. He told her family limited contact was best, since she was “working” on making herself better. There was nothing out there for her in this town. No one to confide in.

Every time he began hitting her she begged for her life, she begged him to stop. The neighbors could hear her through the walls, but barely called the cops or even checked on her.

On occasions, cops were called but no marks were ever seen on her body and she knew he would kill her if she told. One time he caught her about to call 9-1-1 and she ended up being used to bust a window out with her back and her phone was broken beyond use after that.

Well, being an animal lover she wanted a companion. So she got a pitbull puppy one day. You know all though you choose your pet, if you really think about it they chose you. She loved this dog. She cared for her like a child.

One night as the beating began and the boyfriend held a knife to her throat and started raping the girl, she cried begging and pleading for him to stop. At that moment, her dog saved her life and protected her from this brutal attack. An attack that was not done by a pitbull, but a human. The dog got him away, never did she bite him, but she intimidated him with her growl and her snarls.

He got off the girl and her dog stayed by her side till she had the strength to leave him.

This story is not a fiction story. This story is a testimony that not all pitbulls are bad.

That girl was me.

This is a true story. I was single after that, so as far as my dog being very social, no she is not! I did not want her to let her guard down with people because my ex stalked me about 1.5 yrs after we broke up. I called the cops and was told for a restraining order there would have to be a verbal threat (there was none). I still suffer from PTSD, because of my past, but I have my pup. That saved my life.

I am a responsible owner. I do not take my dog in public places. I do not chain my dog and the only time she is loose is when she is in my yard. I do not take her where she could be hurt or vice versa. She has a pin that is 5′ wide by 10′ long with a 6′ high fence. It has a wood deck for the floor, so she can not dig under the fence. I had a covering for the top and even during the cooler months I cover the sides. She listens on command when she is told to heel. I’ve done everything, but insurance and fencing around my whole house… How am I suppose to pay insurance on her when I can not afford health insurance on myself? So, I can not begin to understand why I should be penalized for the irresponsible owners. Owners that do not care, backyard breeders, and illegal dog fighting rings are the problem. People that do not care about whether the dog is in good health and taken care of are the problem, not responsible owners that love the animal.

Not all dogs are bad. Saying all pits are vicious is like saying, since minorities commit more crimes… We (minorities) are all criminals then? The image your colleagues have painted for this breed, is the same image that is painted on the majority of citizens in this town. Are we all stereotyped because of the bad in this town? Are we all gang members, criminals, or thugs?

How can we call ourselves just and fair when prejudice engulfs the very being of this city. Fifty years ago it was race and today we fight the same battle, but with breed. They were wrong than and those proposing this ban are wrong now. This ban is the same as the “back of the bus” ideas of the 50s and 60s.

We want to make Albany grow. How can we, when we hold ourselves back with narrow minded thinking. Having ban laws would discourage people to move into this area. Do we really need anymore discouragement? In turn that means no new growth in commerce, but if the city fails more than it already has, maybe the voters will finally see it is the elected officials that fail us and ourselves. We are already ranked one of the highest poverty areas, why would we choose to do more to discourage new merchants, residents, and jobs?

The city needs to look at facts and not anti-pitbull propaganda. Consult people that have nothing to gain from BSL in this town. Look to outside sources for answers. Am I against vicious dog laws, no! I am against Breed Specific Legislation. BSL is like saying that all Caucasians are “rednecks”, all African Americans are “thugs”, and all Hispanics are “drug runners/dealers”. Are those stereotypes true, NO! Do we fight everyday to change negative thinking about races: YES! So, I am taking a stand to fight negative thinking about Pitbull types and there are a bunch more of us out there! We are educated, responsible owners, we have the numbers to back our beliefs, and we have love for a breed you would not believe.

I was just 20 when I moved here and had no one! My dog wasn’t asking to be born, but she needed a home and I gave it to her. In turn she saved my life. What the police could not do for me, she was there and gave me strength and comfort. Everyone has a female in their life whether it is a wife, girlfriend, mother, daughter, sister, or aunt, imagine if she was me. Beat for 2,190 days of her life. Finally on 2,191st her dog saved her life. How would you feel? Ban the breed or punish the deed? My dog and I were just two lost souls, who needed each other. I might have rescued my dog, but maybe when she picked me, I was the one who needed rescuing!

Punish the deed not the breed.




Charlene Maldonado is a local artist, pitbull advocate, and a person trying to make a difference.

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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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