We live in the 'hood. Not necessarily like you see in LA or New York or Chicago. No where near that. But, for the city we live in, even though it's not the worst part of the city, it can qualify as being the 'hood. We have break-ins. Stolen cars. And occasionally, even, a shooting. Thank God we've never been broken into. But we've had cars stolen. Actually -- minivans. Three in one summer. Craziness.
We even have a crazy lady down the street who's tried to kidnap one of my kids. Who actually did barge her way into our house one day. And, because of other things she did after the judge ordered no contact with us, she spent 6 months in jail and we got her to plead to a felony charge. We now have a five-year restraining order on her that, amazingly, she is abiding by.
We also have sex offenders in the general vicinity. Because we live close to a school, they're not right next door or even on our street. But they're there. And so we watch our kids like hawks, they watch each other, and we have safety rules.
All that being said, I love our neighborhood. I love the people who live around us. The people on our two blocks have lived here for decades. Many of them have birthed children, raised children, grown old and died here. The ones who are still alive have children who are moving back into the neighborhood to be close to parents and to take advantage of the relative safety of our pocket of the city. They move back in because of the amazing real estate prices. You can get a whole LOTTA house for your money in my neighborhood. Yeah, the homes need work -- like ours needs a ton -- but they have character. We have young families who are in ministry and plan to have lots of children who are moving in because they know they can afford what they want in our neighborhood. These young moms can home school because the house payment (including insurance and taxes) runs around $500 or $600/ month. I KNOW! Craziness, once again.
Despite all the bad in our neighborhood I listed above, there is one thing that I despise above all others about my neighborhood and that's the stray or loose dogs and cats. And the fact that every other person who walks through our neighborhood has a pitbull. And sometimes, these pits are loose and chase children. I'm more concerned about my child be mauled by a pitbull than I am about the crazy lady down the street or the sex offender three blocks away.
For the record, I know pitbulls can be nice dogs. My cousin has one and the kids love him. Nice dog. Wouldn't trust him around the kids alone, just in case, but no problems yet. But the pits in our neighborhood are not like Stryder. They're abused, neglected, and trained to fight. So when one gets loose, in my mind it's like firing a gun. Trained, fighting pitbulls are weapons. They can damage and kill just as easily as a gun. So when our dog warden kills pits that come into his facility without a waiting period -- puppies and all -- I'm okay with that. Because otherwise it's like leaving loaded guns lying around; you never know who might pick one up and fire. With a badly trained or abused pitbull, you never know when one will go off.
So, GOOD JOB! dog warden! I know you're catching flack for your policy but I, and many other parents of the city thank you!
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