Best protection against a SWAT team?

I keep reading that pit bulls are the "number one dog of choice for drug dealers."

While the line sounds as if it had been scripted for Hollywood or MSM consumption, what really shocked me was to see it echoed by the Humane Society of the United States.

When inflammatory code language like that is voiced by a leading humane organization, everyone who loves these dogs (or just believes in preserving what freedom we've still got) ought to take notice, because it is not their fault if "drug dealers" want them. They are strong, loyal, canine athletes.

Linking them to drug dealers really raises my hackles, and I don't give a rat's ass whether they are the dog of choice for drug dealers -- any more than I care about the drug dealers' car or SUV of choice, cell phone of choice, mp3 player of choice, or underwear of choice.

What the drug dealers might "choose" is not the fault of anyone but themselves, and it should not reflect on other people, nor should it in any way be used as an argument against whatever damned product they like.

In the case of pit bulls, the drug dealer rhetoric has contributed to making the police (along with countless social worker busybody types) terrified of these dogs, and trigger-happy -- thus leading to a plethora of recent dog shooting incidents which have been termed "puppycide."

If you think about it, if you are a drug dealer, having any dog makes a lot of sense. In the event of one of the increasingly common SWAT raids, the dog will not only blow the element of surprise (they hear and smell threats better than we do) but they keep the cops occupied, and if they shoot the dog, that's even more of a distraction. The hassle and the delay buys time, which can be used to flee, or ditch the drugs. To a drug dealer, they're not pets, but simply part of the cost of doing business:

These dogs aren't pets. To a dealer, they are equipment, inventory and a cost of doing business.

That's why the dealers don't often reclaim their confiscated dogs from shelters.

Sometimes the dogs are left behind in apartments or set free on the streets. They are as disposable as old girlfriends and back rent.

"All they care about is drugs or money," Klose says. "They don't care about the dogs."

Unfortunately, I can see why a dog -- any dog -- would be important to a drug dealer. It is a misuse of the animal, but is it fair to blame the animal which is being misused? Why? Simply because they're braver and stronger than other dogs? Because they're better at taking abuse?

If pit bulls are being used by drug dealers, how is that the fault of the dogs? And how is it in any way the fault of people who aren't misusing these wonderful dogs as an anti-SWAT team firewall system?

If all pit bulls disappeared, does anyone think the drug dealers wouldn't simply use another breed?

It occurs to me that pit bulls would also make a great dog of choice for researchers who want hardy and sturdy lab animals. I am serious; I don't like the idea of animal research, but they'd be great for it.

So, let's just suppose some of these animal lab scientists were to discover that pit bulls adapt better to lab settings (check; they're known for adaptiveness), are more pain tolerant (check), less likely to bite during procedures (check), and just plain healthier overall (again, check). If they eventually became the leading research breed, I'm sure some animal rights groups would scream that pit bulls are "the number one dog of choice for cruel animal research."

But would anyone use that as a argument for banning the dogs?


It would make about as much sense as it would to ban Korean Noo-rung-yee dogs because they're "the gourmet dog of choice in Korean dogmeat markets."

(But who ever said inflammatory rhetorical phraseology was supposed to be logical or sensible?)

posted by Eric on 12.19.07 at 02:02 PM


Ford is the automaker of choice for drug dealers.

McDonalds is the fast food of choice for drug dealers.

Arm and Hammer is the baking soda of choice for crack manufacturing.

AT&T is the cellphone carrier of choice for drug dealers.

Yep, it's a stupid as I thought it was.

Phelps   ·  December 19, 2007 2:59 PM

Well, the analogy points out that pit bulls are the best breed for people who need agressive guard dogs. Dogs are not people. Defending them as if they are all individuals is not appropriate. We can make judgements about animals that are not appropriate to make about people.

Why? Because dogs are intentionally bred for certain traits. People are not. We don't breed people to be soldiers or boxers. Certain traits that are present in pit bulls are not there by accident. They don't just happen to be so tough, or just happen to have powerful jaws. They were made that way. Making the suggestiont that if there were no pit bulls drug dealers would use another breed misses the point. Pit bulls were made to fill that role! If there were none, they'd be recreated!

If they were bred to be companion dogs, they'd look more like pugs.

Now, people can deny that dog breeds have behavioral traits. I don't think that's a strong argument. You can also claim that any individual dog won't have those traits. That's a good argument for people, but not for dogs. Dogs are bred for traits, and appearance is a good indicator of what those are. It's not always right, but it gives you a good idea.

So, taking human arguments and applying them to dogs is simply not appropriate. Dogs are not people. How one feels about individual humans should be treated has nothing to do with dogs. They were made by us for a purpose, and we need to acknowledge when that purpose can be dangerous.

It's not the dog's fault. It's the people who made him.

John lynch   ·  December 19, 2007 3:27 PM

Vicki Hearne takes on HSUS in _Bandit_

Ron Hardin   ·  December 19, 2007 5:27 PM

I am closely related to 2 SWAT Team members, and both tell me that the dog goes 1st...

Cruel?? Not in my opinion, if the dog is there and the express intent is for that dog to hurt me in the lawful execution of my duty, dog gone...

Dog gone it... :)

TexasFred   ·  December 19, 2007 7:01 PM

What about German shepards being a K-9 units dog of choice?

"I'm pro human rights, but I'm also pro human responsibilities too!"

Andrew Dawson   ·  December 19, 2007 10:28 PM

You know if drugs were decriminalized nobody would need pitbulls or swat teams.

Jardnero1   ·  December 19, 2007 11:32 PM

"if the dog is there and the express intent is for that dog to hurt me in the lawful execution of my duty"

SWAT Teams were designed for special situations involving things like terrorists and hostages. Now, they're routinely used in drug law enforcement. Without even getting to the question of whether drugs should be legal again, the whole thing is an exercise in overkill, because drug dealing involves consensual transactions, and unless there's a showing of violent criminal activity, there's no justification in using a SWAT team.

And what about mistaken SWAT raids? My dog is there to protect me. If armed invaders crash through the door and "shoot her first" for simply protecting me, that's a mistake I am unlikely ever to forgive. But for the misuse of the SWAT teams, not as many dogs would be shot.

Right now, my dog is at a higher risk of being shot by the police, simply because they've been programmed to do that in the name of the war on drugs. If this is "the price we pay," I think it sucks, and we ought to reexamine our priorities.

More here:

Eric Scheie   ·  December 20, 2007 12:35 PM

Post a comment

April 2011
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30


Search the Site


Classics To Go

Classical Values PDA Link


Recent Entries


Site Credits