06/28/2012 03:13 pm ET Updated Jun 29, 2012

Pit Bull Attacks Tiny Dog In New York City; Should Pit Bulls Be Kept As Pets? (VIDEO) (POLL)

A vicious dog attack at East 10th and Broadway (just a block away from the HuffPost office!) was caught on camera this week. In the video a pit bull can be seen with his jaw latched onto a tiny (Pekingnese?)dog. The pit bull's owner punches at his dog's head while the other dog owner screams in horror:

The video will likely be used by pit bull-haters to say the canines are dangerous animals that shouldn't be kept as pets. Just last week, for example, two men in Harlem were arrested when their pit bull attacked and seriously hurt a 7-year-old girl.

Denver enacted a ban on pit bulls in 1987 and as of 2010, the city had executed 3,497 of the dogs. (See a very sad photo series the dead dogs here.)

Of course, pit bull advocates will argue that it's not pit bulls that are the problem. The breed, they say, is actually gentle (see video below). The problem lies with pit bull owners who mistreat the pups. Buried in a great pit bull thread on The Dish, a reader writes:

I have been following this discussion thread with interest and the comparison to guns by this reader leads me to wonder if anyone has brought up the role that gangs/criminals play in the perpetuation of the "pit bull myth". Gang members, felons and parolees will often use pit bulls as replacements for actual weapons. Many have police records, obviously, and if they are caught with a gun or knife they'll have to do time. So instead, they get themselves a pit bull. For them, it's an ideal replacement. Walking around with a pit goes a long way to intimidate folks - and it's legal.

Also, dog-fighting. Last week, the NYPD arrested a Bronx man, and are searching for another man, on charges of animal cruelty in connection with an alleged pit bull fighting operation inside an apartment building basement. From CBS:

Raul Sanchez was arrested and inside the building authorities recovered a loaded .25-caliber handgun, 22 crude wooden cages, multiple pet carriers, dog treadmills, harnesses and muzzles, syringes, cash and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.

What do you think, New York?

[VIA Gothamist]