Seattle resident Ellen Taft—who critics call a "dog hater"—has seized on an attack last week to renew her crusade for a citywide ban on fighting breeds. As the AP reported, "Two pit bull dogs running loose attacked a 3-year-old girl and 74-year-old woman Thursday night in south Seattle." The girl and her family were reportedly leaving church when "one of the dogs allegedly jumped up and bit the 3-year-old in the face."
In response, Taft has blasted media outlets today to promote a Change.org petition aimed at the Seattle City Council and Mayor Mike McGinn. It endeavors to "eliminate all fighting breeds" by asking city hall for sweeping pit bull legislation.
Fighting breed dogs already in the city should be be spayed and neutered, the petition says, and then new fighting breed dogs should be prohibited outright. Finally, the petition asks for "safety precautions such as muzzles" when the dogs are in public. Taft's group, Families and Dogs Against Fighting Breeds, originally created the petition last year but waited to announce it, she says, "until an attack happened so I could respond instantly."
Of course, Taft has circulated a paper petition before, which didn't gain traction, but she expects this one to have more impact because it automatically blasts elected officials with emails. "A lot of people out there support my position," she says, "but they throw up their hands because the pro-pit-bull people get all the good press, the attention, and the sympathy. A lot of supporters are afraid to speak out because the pro-pit-bull people use ad hominem arguments and say we should be executed."
Taft's critics have responded to her past advocacy by posing photos of pit bulls with babies.