I am writing in response to Mike Perricone’s letter regarding his statement that pit bulls be outlawed in Riverside (Letters, Aug. 24). 

I preface this letter by saying I can’t even imagine the terror and feeling of total helplessness Mr. Perricone experienced witnessing his beloved little dog being brutally attacked by a vicious dog, and the emotions he is experiencing now as a result of his pet’s tragic death. My deepest condolences to him and his family for their heartbreaking loss. 

While it is understandable that as a result of his experience he would advocate for pit bulls to be banned from the village, it could just as easily been another breed that attacked his dog (for example, the beagle/shepherd mix owned by the same family that was responsible for multiple bites on a Riverside resident). Should we ban beagle/shepherd mixes, too, or all beagles and all shepherds? 

Breed discrimination is not the answer. Responsible ownership is, which includes spaying/neutering and proper training and socialization, so all breeds of dogs can be out in public safely. 

And while Mr. Perricone also believes that “any dog of this size and temperament” should wear a choker or spiked collar (undoubtedly referring to a prong collar), what he doesn’t know is that dogs that are already reactive on leash can become even more reactive and aggressive due to the frustration and pain they are experiencing from the use of an inhumane collar. 

Nothing is going to bring back Mr. Perricone’s beloved little dog, but a knee-jerk reaction condemning an entire breed as the result of the actions of one individual animal is not the answer.

Jennifer Vlazny

Riverside