At least five chihuahuas and two other dogs were killed when four pit bulls broke into a neighbor's yard in a San Diego neighborhood on Saturday. The incident took place at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday and took place in the 7700 block of Jamacha Road, Skyline neighborhood in San Diego. Dan DeSousa, from the San Diego County Animal Services, says that the four pit bulls have since been turned over by their owner to animal services for euthanasia.
The four pit bulls, named Patron, a 2-year-old male, Crunch, a 4-year-old male, Travieso, an 11-month-old male, and Toast, a 6-year-old female, belonged to 37-year-old Juan Jimenez. While the owners of the chihuahuas that were killed by the pit bulls have asked for animal services to press criminal charges against Jimenez, Dan DeSousa says that that cannot be done since animal services did not witness the crime, Fox 5 San Diego reports. So while Jimenez has received eight citations for the killings, they have so far been considered as misdemeanors.
And surprisingly, this isn't the first incident involving Jimenez and his pit bulls. Back in 2013, two dogs from Jimenez's address, including the now-6-year-old Toast, were impounded by animal services, after they broke off their chain and attacked a sheriff's deputy. The dogs were later reclaimed by the owner.
This isn't an isolated incident involving aggressive pit bulls. Pit bulls were created by breeding bulldogs and terriers together. They were meant to be fighting dogs for blood sport, and as such, were selectively bred to be aggressive and vicious. Today, a few hundred years later, such games are illegal, but the breed lives on and with a bad reputation.
Many people argue that pit bulls are not vicious breeds by birth, and it is the owners of these dogs that lead them into becoming vicious. While it is true with any large/working breed of dogs that an inexperienced owner can lead it to become aggressive and vicious, incidents of aggression from pit bulls are more commonly reported than with other breeds, possibly owing to the bad reputation.
The United Kennel Club, the second oldest kennel club in the United States, and possibly the world's largest performance dog registry, describes the characteristics of the American pit bull terrier as strong, confident, and having a zest for life. They are also said to make good family dogs and are good with children and other pets, such as cats.
While many pit bulls are gentle and happy family dogs, incidents such as these have led several countries around the world and some states in the U.S. to impose restrictions, and in some cases outright bans, on the ownership of the breed.