City council likely to revisit Aurora’s ban on pit bulls after critics rally to Stallone’s side

“I’m thinking that now is probably the time to bring it back,” Councilwoman Renie Peterson said. “It’s all about how you treat an animal, it’s not the breed of animal, it’s the owner.”

His battered face smiling at the attention, a badly abused pit bull walked free last week from the city’s animal shelter, destined for a new life in New Jersey.

The case of the dog named Stallone marked one of the few times in recent years that the city’s oft-criticized ban on pit bulls stepped to the forefront of local municipal mumblings — a far cry from the days when the city instituted the ban in 2006 over the howls of pit bull advocates.

Kelly Anderson and her son (left) get some puppy love along with Frederick John Katz III who recently adopted Stallone and Stallone's lawyer Juliet Piccone, Nov. 8 at the Aurora Animal Shelter. Stallone was being transported from Arizona to New Jersey for adoption when he was taken by animal control officers after attacking a dachshund at an Aurora dog park. (Nathan Leach-Proffer/For the Aurora Sentinel)
Kelly Anderson and her son (left) get some puppy love along with Frederick John Katz III who recently adopted Stallone and Stallone’s lawyer Juliet Piccone, Nov. 8 at the Aurora Animal Shelter. Stallone was being transported from Arizona to New Jersey for adoption when he was taken by animal control officers after attacking a dachshund at an Aurora dog park. (Nathan Leach-Proffer/For the Aurora Sentinel)

But that quiet is likely to go away as opponents of the ban renew their calls for change, and at least one city council member floats a full repeal of the ban.

“I’m planning to bring it back this spring,” said Councilwoman Renie Peterson.

Peterson has been a critic of the city’s ban for years. In 2011 she pushed a repeal, but the measure didn’t get enough votes to pass council.

Still, that last effort saw the city amend the ban so it includes only three breeds — American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terrier. Those are the breeds most commonly referred to as pit bulls.

Peterson said that with council warming to idea of backyard chickens in recent months, she’s hopeful they’ll also be willing to scrap the city’s ban on pit bulls.

“I’m thinking that now is probably the time to bring it back,” she said. “It’s all about how you treat an animal, it’s not the breed of animal, it’s the owner.”

Since the ban took effect in early 2006, 1,158 dogs from the restricted breeds have been destroyed in Aurora. The ban allowed for dogs already living in Aurora when the ban took effect to be “grandfathered” in if the owners met a handful of requirements.

Those requirements included paying a registration fee — which was $200 per year when the ban started, but has since been dropped to $125 per year.

In that first year, there were about 500 pit bulls registered with the city, but the number has steadily dropped since.

The ordinance requires the city to track data regarding the ban, including the number of pit bulls killed and the number impounded.

Since the measure took effect, the number of dogs destroyed because of the ban has dropped steadily.

In the first year of the ban, the city killed 636 pit bulls, but the number dropped to 173 the next year. So far this year, 43 dogs have been killed. In all, the city has destroyed 1,158 dogs as a result of the ban, and animal control officials say the majority of those are dogs that were stray, unclaimed injured or ill animals.

When the ban became law, there were about 500 registered pit bulls in the city, but the number dropped to just 90 last year.

The number of restricted breed citations has also dropped, from 222 in 2006 to just 34 so far this year.

City records show that the number of reported dog bites in Aurora has remained the same for about 10 years, about 200 per year, but the number of bites from restricted breeds has gone from about 30 a year to less than 10.

A 2010 study by the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora reported that mixed breeds and Labrador retrievers are the cause of most human bites, which correlate to their popularity among dog owners. Proponents of restricted breed bans point to national studies showing pit bulls account for a large proportion of dog-bite fatalities.

While the ban has always had some very vocal critics — council meetings where the ban is discussed are often some of the best attended — the issue has hardly been a hot one politically.

During the recent city council election, the ban on pit bulls barely came up.

“In the whole campaign for my re-election, I don’t recall it coming up at all,” said city Councilman Brad Pierce, who was re-elected to an at-large seat on council.

Pierce backed the ban when it was passed in 2006 and said he still supports it. Certain breeds should be restricted because they are simply more dangerous than others, Pierce said.

“There just seemed like a lot of instances where particular breeds of dogs were either biting people or other dogs. I thought at the time and think now that its a good ordinance to have,” he said.

And, Pierce said, if dog owners pay the registration fee and take the necessary precautions, they are welcome to keep their dog.

“It’s not like we are making people get rid of their dogs, they can keep them,” he said.

But the ban still has its opponents, something evidenced by a small crowd that rallied before Stallone’s court hearing at Aurora Municipal Court last week.

Juliet Piccone, the lawyer who represented Thomas Beard, the man who was transporting Stallone from Arizona to New Jersey when the dog attacked, said bans like Aurora’s are bad policy.

“Breed bans don’t solve the problem that they are trying to address, which is irresponsible owners or dog bites or dog attacks,” she said.

What cities need instead are laws that address all breeds and call for responsible dog owners, she said.

“They all have to play by the same rules, and they all have to be accountable,” she said.

Piccone said that wasn’t the case with Stallone. While the dog attacked a much smaller dachshund Oct. 26, pinning the little pooch named Misty to the ground and horrifying its owners, that wasn’t the crime Stallone’s caretaker was charged with.

Instead, when animal control officers arrived at the dog park, they charged Beard with a single count of violating the city’s breed ban. He wasn’t charged with having a vicious dog or even violating the city’s leash law.

“I am 95 percent sure that a golden retriever with the same sweet demeanor as Stallone would have gone home on a home quarantine and would not have been impounded,” she said.

In Stallone’s case, the pooch stayed locked up in the city’s impound for almost two weeks.

Piccone has stressed that she isn’t defending what Stallone did, and has admitted that her client made a boneheaded move when he brought a dog as badly abused as Stallone to the dog park. But, she said, the breed ban meant that Stallone found himself in far deeper trouble than a different breed would have.

Peterson said she expects council meetings to take on the raucous atmosphere that dominated previous pit bull debates when she proposes repeal next year.

“I think when I bring it back up we are going to have the same kind of thing,: she said. “And council is going to think I’m a headache.”

  • Thank you Councilwoman Peterson for being willing to bring this issue back to the table. The time is here for respectful dialogue and finding solutions that truly serve public safety by addressing reckless owners and adopting breed neutral laws. We are sorry that Councilman Pierce is struggling with the evolution that so many communities have embraced as they remove BSL. We hope he can perhaps work further to educate himself to the facts and engage in an open, truth based conversation. True experts, rather than people who run websites, have resoundingly offered their opinion that breed discrimination does not work. It’s time for all of Colorado to drop these archaic laws that do nothing but punish responsible owners.

  • Cindy

    I truly hopes that Aurora can become a city that removes BSL. As a former resident, who doesn’t own a banned dog, but chooses not to live in any city that supports BSL, I believe that BSL does more harm then good. It puts attention on defining that only one breed of dog is dangerous and that makes people think other breeds are safe. I have witnessed a horrible bite to a person from a Golden Retriever that only caused the dog to be quarantined. If it had been a Breed Restricted dog it would have been put down immediately without even looking at the circumstances. How is that fair? Any breed of dog can be dangerous and by putting the focus on a breed rather that an owner makes no sense. I hope that Aurora really takes the time to consider repealing this ban and I thank Renie Peterson for standing up and saying no to the ban.

    • KaD

      The truth about ‘breedism’: It’s absurd to pretend that breed specific characteristics which were deliberately created by humans don’t exist. And to call those who recognize these breed specific characteristics “racist” reveals a profound ignorance on the part of the accuser.

      A final thought: When someone speaks of the unfairness of “killing off a breed” what they are actually talking about is eliminating a specific set of characteristics which have proven to be a problem. The fact that sadistic humans created a “breed” to torture animals is no mandate to continue the existence of said breed. Nobody has suggested killing off the domestic dog – only those man-made expressions of temperament and behaviors which have proven to be harmful and cruel.
      http://www.17barks.blogspot.com/2013/08/breedism-what-is-breed.html

      • Sue Marie

        Are totally crazy, This breed was NEVER bred to be anything but a working dog whether it be babysitting the families children or pulling large loads and everything in between. These dogs have had the unfortunate “LUCK to have been TRAINED” for fighting by low life monsters. Even after being brutalized by humans and other dogs (or even being the “wining dog”) they are able to become valued family members, therapy dogs, service dogs and all around happy loving forgiving Gods creatures. So KaD get real, get educated and do a reality check.

        • Jason Fraser

          If you really believe pit bulls, or any other breed/type dogs, were ever used for “babysitting,” you belong in a mental institution!

          • YoYo

            They believe the “nanny” myth and that’s why so many children have been mauled to death by their family “pets.”

          • chrisitne

            Jason, its obvious that you are biased. Why don’t you try to own one, foster one or visit one. You are the advocate to kill pit bulls and its obvious you are ignorant in your statement.

          • stephanie

            Correct!

        • stephanie

          Actually this breed never was a nanny dog. That is actually from a fictional book.

  • Karen Batchelor

    Councilman Pierce obviously didn’t hear what President Obama had to say about BSL: “Bad law”. “A bad idea”. “Bad governance”.

    • KaD

      As if Obama has anything right.

      • Sue Marie

        You certainly need to get real, get facts, ( you know try looking at both sides with an open mind). I used to be ignorant of facts but pride myself upon education. Try it, it is freeing!

    • stephanie

      Obama sucks buttholes!

  • Stephanie

    This is great! The American Veterinary Association AND The American Temperment Test Society both disagree with BSL. It does not work! No more killing dogs just because they look a certain way.

    • KaD
      • Sue Marie

        That’s because they trade on fear and stupidity.

      • Stephanie Eberhardt Wooley

        Sweetie, you REALLY need to do some research on this subject. Not just book research. Real research like getting up close and personal. Watch a tape on dog fights. Do a ride along with Animal Control to check on chained down dogs with no socialization. Then take a Pit puppy and put it with a puppy of any other breed. You will find that breed has nothing to do with this. Humans have everything to do with it. FYI, Pits scored second highest on the temperament scale surpassing all breeds except the Labrador Retriever. This is according the American Temperament Testing Society.

  • I helped save Stallone

    What, Thomas McCartney hasn’t posted his cut and pasted 26 posts about how all pitbulls should be killed on sight yet?!? Thomas, get lost! We don’t want your words of hate here! I, along with a great many others (Who actually LIVE IN COLORADO) can only hope and pray that city counsel WILL review and over turn the remaining pitbull ban here in Aurora

    • He’s busy on the editorial piece 😉

    • Fayclis

      Thomas is actually a woman and just one of her many alias.

  • Terry S – Aurora Voter

    “In the whole campaign for my re-election, I don’t recall it coming up at
    all,” said city Councilman Brad Pierce, who was re-elected to an
    at-large seat on council.

    Really Mr Pierce – I and many others voted AGAINST you because of your stance on BSL in Aurora – perhaps you should ask yourself if it did not come up or if you simply ignored its presence as a issue……..

    • Agreed Terry as we posted candidates stances on BSL so that voters were informed.

  • “City records show that the number of reported dog bites in Aurora has remained the same for about 10 years, about 200 per year, but the number of bites from restricted breeds has gone from about 30 a year to less than 10. ”

    Did I read right, that 10 years ago there were 30 bites out of 200 per year from restricted breeds? My calculation is 15% of such bites were pit bulls. So what breed made up the remaining 85% and why were pit bulls targeted? Quite frankly, if the number of bites haven’t changed since the ban, surely it’s clear the problem isn’t the breed of dog!
    Aurora councilmembers, I do hope you review your legislation with more scrutiny.

  • Erica Podjasek

    The issue is not “Do dogs bite?” Of course they do. That’s the point. All breeds have bitten someone at some point in time. All breeds are capable of harming someone or another dog. Targeting one breed or a small group of breeds does not address the core problem, the owner. The size of the dog does not matter, a bad owner with a poorly socialized and ill trained dog has created a dangerous situation. Often it is the “Cute” small breeds that are the most vicious because the bad behavior is dismissed as “Adorable”. I have witnessed a “Cute” tiny chihuahua that had never been trained or socialized bite a vet tech’s face resulting in her needing multiple reconstructive surgeries and nearly loosing an eye. Had the dog involved been a larger breed, there would have been cries of “Killer!” Because the dog was small, the owner actually giggled a little and said “Oh, he’s just a big silly!” There needs to be an even playing field and equal consequences, regardless of breed, and the correction needs to start with the humans, not the dogs.

  • Karin

    Why call a dog fore a Labrador when it´s not a pure breed?
    WHO can tell ½ is not Pit?
    Keep the ban fore people and animals sake!

    • Jo Presti Brisson

      Karin don’t you think that all dog owners should be responsible? dogs are dogs first breed second, BSL doesn’t work and one day it maybe yur dog thats on the list. They kill innocent dogs based upon appearance only, I am hoping that your not profiling humans as well. Please educate yourself first before you speak.

    • Karin- Aurora has allowed American Bulldogs (who many groups for BSL call pit bulls) and pit bull mixes since 2011. Funny how most people aren’t even aware of that. It’s called the placebo effect.

    • Reb Furr

      Karin Pit bull pushers don’t care about other people or their pets. They ONLY care about their pit bulls. They have proven this time after time. That’s why we call them NUTTERS.

      • They call us names because they need to distract from the real facts.

      • Sue Marie

        At least we are not called ignorant of facts. Try educating yourself with more than BSL BS!

  • Jennifer Bryant

    Thank you to Councilwoman Peterson for taking this issue on once again, after another 2 years have shown the Restricted Breed Ordinance to be ineffective. I believe we were able to get through some of the “raucous atmosphere” in 2011 and hope we can forego it altogether this spring by engaging in a mutually respectful discussion of the facts, and alternatives to the breed ban. For that, I respectfully ask both advocates and council to put past experiences and negative expectations aside and focus on creating a safer, more humane community for all of it’s residents.
    This same message goes to Brad Pierce. Councilman Pierce’s response in this article shows that perhaps he does not have a complete understanding of the law, or how the law effects Aurora residents. I can only hope he will be open to hearing out his constituents despite his past statements.

  • Bcbikc

    BSL does WORK! Pitbulls and Staffordshire bull terriers kill humans on average every 10 days. This breed needs to be destroyed and removed from this planet. The are only breed to kill and fight. The idiots calling these dangerous breeds “nanny dogs” was started by pitnutters trying desperately to save these land sharks. How many more people must die at the jaws of one of these land sharks, before we put a nationwide ban on all Pits and Staffy’s?????

  • KaD

    This is crap and I won’t stand for it. Your are misinformed if you think it’s the owners. Pit bulls are killing the people who breed, rescue, and advocate for them. http://www.thecaninegamechanger.blogspot.com/2013/09/pitbull-loyalty-by-jenny-rosenquist.html

  • KaD

    A dog BITE is entirely different from a pit bull MAULING:http://thecaninegamechanger.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-fanatacism.html

  • KaD

    An example of why leashing and licensing laws don’t work to solve the breed-specific problem of pit bulls:
    Pitbull supporters always point to Calgary Model as the perfect solution when dealing with dangerous dogs. The city introduced its responsible pet ownership bylaw in 2006. Calgary’s bylaw department emphasizes responsible pet ownership through intensive licensing, hefty fines and owner education.

    Has their model worked? The statistics from the past four years would indicate a resounding “NO”. For the past four years dog bites have risen steadily every year, and over 350% in the past 4 years, from 58 in 2009 to 203 in 2012. And In 2010 Pit bulls led the ‘bite’ count. http://maultalk.blogspot.co.nz/ Meanwhile in Toronto, four years after implementing Breed Bans, dog bites were down 32%, from 486 to 329. Bites in Toronto blamed on the four banned breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010. Considering these breeds regularly inflict the most serious damage, this is an undeniable win for the citizens of Toronto.

  • KaD

    Remember what happened to the gun grabbers? Well don’t you DARE repeal a law keeping us safe from this defective, dangerous and deadly dog breed: Breed SPECIFIC report on dog attacks and maimings in the US and Canada from September 1982 to January 2012: http://images.bimedia.net/documents/Dog+attack+stats+with+breed+2012.pdf There is a persistent allegation by pit bull terrier advocates that pit bulls are overrepresented among reported dog attack deaths and maimings because of misidentifications or because “pit bull” is, according to them, a generic term covering several similar types of dog. However, the frequency of pit bull attacks among these worst-in-10,000 cases is so disproportionate that even if half of the attacks in the pit bull category were misattributed, or
    even if the pit bull category was split three ways, attacks by pit bulls and their closest relatives
    would still outnumber attacks by any other breed.

  • KaD

    Breed SPECIFIC report on dog attacks and maimings in the US and Canada from September 1982 to January 2012: http://images.bimedia.net/documents/Dog+attack+stats+with+breed+2012.pdf There is a persistent allegation by pit bull terrier advocates that pit bulls are overrepresented among reported dog attack deaths and maimings because of misidentifications or because “pit bull” is, according to them, a generic term covering several similar types of dog. However, the frequency of pit bull attacks among these worst-in-10,000 cases is so disproportionate that even if half of the attacks in the pit bull category were misattributed, or
    even if the pit bull category was split three ways, attacks by pit bulls and their closest relatives
    would still outnumber attacks by any other breed.

  • KaD

    The truth about BSL: Banning pit bulls works to prevent severe life altering injuries and fatalities BEFORE they happen: http://blog.dogsbite.org/2010/06/cities-with-successful-pit-bull-laws.html

  • KaD

    Pit bulls do not attack due to anxiety or lack of positive associations and trust. They do not attack because of resource guarding. They attack because they have a genetically determined, strongly heritable brain dysfunction.”…”The idea that you can socialize a pit bull to be a peace-loving dog is a fairy tale. In the past thirty years, I have seen people try this experiment again and again. They get a pit bull puppy, determined to prove that if only you raise them kindly and socialize them with other dogs, the pit bull will turn out to be just like any other dog. This has every single time resulted in tragedy.” http://monkeybutlerinvasion.com/media/semyonova-response-to-marmeladov.pdf How and why training and socialization fails in pit bulls.

  • KaD

    The odds of a child being killed by the family pit bull and being killed by a loaded firearm in the house are approximately equal-even though there are over 50 million homes with firearms and only 3 million with pit bulls: http://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/safety-flyer-pit-bull-as-dangerous-as-firearms.pdf

  • KaD

    “the pit bull community should have decided to fix the pit bull.
    But that did not happen, and the sharp rise in mayhem and the number of these dogs seems to have ended the opportunity. At this point, states, cities and counties should enact breed specific
    laws that, at the very least, will prevent the breeding of pit bulls and thereby eliminate this clearly defective and destructive breed of dog over the course of time.” It’s time for the pit bull recall: http://mainphrame.com/media/PressRelease-ItsTimeforthePitBullRecallToo.pdf

  • KaD

    Every 5.4. days, a body part is severed and lost in a pit bull attack. This statistic DOES NOT EXIST for any other breed . http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/San-Antonio-study-could-help-push-for-new-pit-1693528.php

  • KaD

    Pit Bull Rescue Central-an honest pit bull group. You might be surprised: It is a fact that our APBTs, ASTs and pit mixes come with a built-in fighting heritage. It doesn’t matter where we get them from, whether it be the pound, a stray we pick up, or a puppy we buy from a breeder. The majority of pit bulls will, at some point in their lives, exhibit some degree of dog-on-dog aggression … We cannot predict when or where it will happen and we can’t love, train or socialize it out of the dog. Pit bulls may not start a fight, but they will finish it. http://blog.dogsbite.org/2008/06/some-educators-are-frank-about-pit-bull.html

  • KaD

    Yes, other dog breeds can attack too. But other dog breeds attack with neither the frequency nor the ferocity of pit bulls. Since 1851 pit bulls have KILLED more people than all other breeds COMBINED, every single decade. http://www.fatalpitbullattacks.com

  • KaD

    A case study in how biased media twists the truth to make pit bulls look good: http://blog.dogsbite.org/2011/02/activist-questions-journalistic.html

  • KaD

    Little dogs bite more-NO, they don’t. Pit bulls lead bite counts across the US: http://blog.dogsbite.org/2009/07/pit-bulls-lead-bite-counts-across-us.html

  • KaD

    An example of why leashing and licensing laws don’t work to solve the breed-specific problem of pit bulls:
    Pitbull supporters always point to Calgary Model as the perfect solution when dealing with dangerous dogs. The city introduced its responsible pet ownership bylaw in 2006. Calgary’s bylaw department emphasizes responsible pet ownership through intensive licensing, hefty fines and owner education.

    Has their model worked? The statistics from the past four years would indicate a resounding “NO”. For the past four years dog bites have risen steadily every year, and over 350% in the past 4 years, from 58 in 2009 to 203 in 2012. And In 2010 Pit bulls led the ‘bite’ count. http://maultalk.blogspot.co.nz/ Meanwhile in Toronto, four years after implementing Breed Bans, dog bites were down 32%, from 486 to 329. Bites in Toronto blamed on the four banned breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010. Considering these breeds regularly inflict the most serious damage, this is an undeniable win for the citizens of Toronto.

  • KaD

    Two dog breed categories have accounted between them for more the 90% of all the dog attack fatalities in the U.S. and Canada since 1982, but are together only 14% of the dogs. One of these categories are the molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes. The other are the “wolf-like” breeds, including huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds, Akitas, German shepherds, and their mixes. Of the 4,402 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 2,792 (63%) were pit bulls; 536 were Rottweilers; 3,565 altogether were of the molosser class. Of the 514 human fatalities, 261 were killed by pit bulls; 84 were killed by Rottweilers; 384 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds. Of the 2,502 people who were disfigured, 1,670 (66%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 314 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,080 (83%) were disfigured by molosser breeds. Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict about 10 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class. Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 6% of the U.S. & Canadian dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%. 424 dogs were in the wolf-like category, killing 81 people and disfiguring 238. The wolf-like breed category includes 3.9% of the U.S. & Canadian dog population.-Merritt Clifton

  • KaD

    If it’s the owners then why haven’t Michael Vicks dogs killed anyone? Wasn’t HE the epitome of a bad owner? But pit bulls ARE killing the people who breed, rescue, and advocate for them: http://www.thecaninegamechanger.blogspot.com/2013/09/pitbull-loyalty-by-jenny-rosenquist.html

    • MJC

      No, he was NOT! Pit bulls were created (bred) for the purpose of killing large animals such as bulls and bears and when England outlawed these blood sports, the dogs were used for fighting each other. People who have been involved in pit bull-fighting say the fighting dogs are much less dangerous to human beings, and much less likely to “snap,” than those pit bulls people take into their homes and attempt to turn into pets. Dogs are purpose-bred to perform specific tasks and it stands to reason that when a dog isn’t allowed to perform the task for which it was bred, the animal becomes frustrated and if the dog has vicious tendencies, as the pit bull does, it becomes more vicious and more likely to turn its anger on other animals and human beings.

  • Thomas McCartney

    28 dead by dog attack so far in 2013.
    Pit bull type dogs killed twenty-six of them. fifteen of the twenty-six dead are children.
    Stars indicate people killed by a ‘family’ pit bull – ones that had been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, ‘never showed aggression before’, and knew the victim.

    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (15):
    Christian Gormanous – 4 yrs old Montgomery County, TX
    Isaiah Aguilar – 2 yrs old Sabinal, TX
    Ryan Maxwell – 7 yrs old ** Galesburg, IL.
    Dax Borchardt – 14 mos old ** Walworth, WI.
    Monica Laminack – 21 mos old ** Ellabelle, GA.
    Tyler Jett – 7 yrs old Callaway, FL.
    Jordyn Arndt – 4 yrs old ** Prairie City, IA.
    Beau Rutledge – 2 yrs old ** Fulton County, GA.
    Ayden Evans- 5 yrs old ** Jessieville, AR.
    Nephi Selu – 6 yrs old ** Union City, CA.
    Arianna Jolee Merrbach – 5 yrs old Effingham, SC.
    Daniel (surname as yet not revealed) – 2 yrs old (Gilbert, Arizona) **
    Samuel Eli Zamudio – 2 yrs old** Colton, CA
    Jordan Ryan– 5 yrs old Baker city, Oregon
    Levi Watson-Bradford-4 years old** White County, Arkansas

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type (11):
    Betty Todd – 65 yrs old ** Hodges, SC
    Elsie Grace – 91 yrs old ** Hemet, CA
    Claudia Gallardo – 38 yrs old Stockton, CA.
    Pamela Devitt – 63 yrs old Littlerock, CA.
    Carlton Freeman – 80 yrs old Harleyville, SC.
    Linda Oliver – 63 yrs old Dayton, TX.
    James Harding – 62 yrs old -Baltimore, MD
    chased into traffic by two attacking pit bulls
    Juan Campos – 96 yrs old Katy, Texas.
    Terry Douglass 56 years old. **Baltimore, MD
    Katherine Atkins-25 years old ** Kernersville, NC
    Nga Woodhead-65 years old Spanaway, WA.

    (1 non-pit type killing) [Rachel Honabarger – 35 yrs old – mauled to death by her own GSD mix] Coshocton, OH.

    (1 husky-mix killing, unknown if the other half of the dog was pit bull) [Jordan Lee Reed – 5 yrs old] Kotzebue, AK

    Two of the pit bull type dogs were BULL mastiffs, ie 40% pit-fighting bulldog.

    If 24 of 28 dead were killed by pit bull attack, that’s 86% dead by pit attack, 7% dead by ‘molosser’, 3.5% by some kind of GSD mix, 3.5% by a husky + possibly pit mix

    If you count the pit-mix mastiffs as pit bull types, that’s 93% killed by attacking pit bull types. Pit types are only about 5% of the entire dog population.

    The man who ran into traffic kept pit bulls himself. He knew perfectly well what the two stranger pit bulls that were chasing him would do if they caught him, so he preferred to risk a swift death by oncoming car.

    474 maimed by pit type dogs 2013 (as of November 9).

  • Thomas McCartney

    Council Bluffs, Iowa.
    Pit bulls are not only problematic in large cities; they threaten mid-sized cities and small towns as well. Located in the heartland, Council Bluffs, Iowa has about 60,000 citizens.

    After a series of devastating attacks, beginning in 2003, Council Bluffs joined over 600 U.S. cities and began regulating pit bulls.

    The results of the Council Bluffs pit bull ban, which began January 1, 2005, show the positive effects such legislation can have on public safety in just a few years time:1.

    Council Bluffs: Pit Bull Bite Statistics.

    Year Pit Bull Bites % of All Bites.
    2004 29 23%.
    2005 12 10% (year ban enacted).
    2006 6 4%.
    2007 2 2%.
    2008 0 0%.
    2009 0 0%.
    2010 1 1%.
    2011 0 0%.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Of the 4,098 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the past 30.5 years,

    2,540 (62%) were pit bulls;

    530 were Rottweilers;

    3,295 were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, Cane Corsos, mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 507 human fatalities,

    256 were killed by pit bulls;

    84 were killed by Rottweilers;

    378 (69%) were killed by molosser breeds.

    Of the 2,264 people who were disfigured,

    1,455 (61%) were disfigured by pit bulls;

    304 were disfigured by Rottweilers;

    1,861 (82%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to May.25, 2013.

    By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2013, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.

    Study highlights

    Pit bull type dogs make up only 6% of all dogs in the USA.

    The combination of Pit Bulls, rottweilers, their close mixes and wolf hybrids and other Pit Bull Type Dogs:

    84% of attacks that induce bodily harm.

    75% of attacks to children.

    87% of attack to adults.

    72% of attacks that result in fatalities.

    80% that result in maiming.

  • Tsk

    Wait, was James Holmes a pit bull? Seems kind of obvious what the real risk is in Aurora, but you’re all too scared of the NRA to mention it, so you fuss about a dog.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Behaviorists/veterinarians

    RANDALL LOCKWOOD, PhD
    Randall Lockwood, who said he has witnessed the best and worst of pit bulls, said illegal dog-fighting is perpetuating dogs that are hazards to humans and other animals. Shaped by dog-fight enthusiasts, they are “a perversion of everything normal dogs should do. What they’ve created is a canine psychopath.”

    “Fighting dogs lie all the time. I experienced it first hand when I was investigating three pit bulls that killed a little boy in Georgia. When I went up to do an initial evaluation of the dog’s behavior, the dog came up to the front of the fence, gave me a nice little tail wag and a “play bow” — a little solicitation, a little greeting. As I got closer, he lunged for my face.”

    The pit bull, in its purebred or mixed form, has been responsible for most of the fatal dog attacks on humans in the last two years. In 1987, there were eight deaths from dog attacks in the country, and seven involved pit bulls. In 1986, there were 13 deaths, seven involving pit bulls. But pit bulls have been victimized by hype.

    The dogs are no strangers to ordinances. A pit bull ban was passed in London in the 1400s.

    These dogs can be canine crocodiles. They have a dark and bloody history.

    In the United States, pets are considered property in the eyes of the law. And one of the most hotly defended rights of the individual is the right to own anything, no matter how stupid or dangerous the choice — even when what someone wants to own is a threat to them, their family, and the community around them.

    FRANKLIN LOEW, dean of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
    I’m not aware of any other breed of animal that has ever been singled out this way. This is man biting dog.

    HUGH WIRTH, veterinarian
    RSPCA Victoria president Dr Hugh Wirth said the dogs were a menace and were not suitable as pets for anyone.

    “They are time bombs waiting for the right circumstances.”

    “The American pit bull terrier is lethal because it was a breed that was developed purely for dog fighting, in other words killing the opposition.

    “They should never have been allowed into the country. They are an absolute menace.”

    “The fact of life is that the community doesn’t want American pit bull terriers. They’ve said it loud and clear over and over again – they want them banned.”

    GRAEME SMITH, veterinarian
    My views about associating a breed with dangerous behaviours were challenged over time as I saw the impact of Pit Bull attacks. Talking to owners with dogs of this breed who have themselves been turned on, it became clear that these animals are unpredictable and when they attack they can cause serious injury or death.

    It is very hard to give Pit Bulls the benefit of the doubt.
    Avoiding the identification of dogs and their behaviours by their breed means the legislation in place can be such that allows these Pit Bulls “one free bite.” This “one free bite” can have fatal consequences.

    If it looks like a Pit Bull, it is a Pit Bull.
    What’s at stake is the safety of people and their own pets in the wider community, there is no room for gambling with an unpredictable animal.

    And that is so often the case. No one knows where these dogs are until they come out and cause some form of grief. My position is about protecting the public and other animals from these animals.

    NICHOLAS DODMAN, BVMS, ACVB, ACVA
    Rottweilers were originally bred to guard the money of peasants returning home from the city of Rottweil in Germany, so their fierceness was prized. Staffordshire bull terriers and pit bulls were programmed to deliver a full crushing bite to the noses of bulls. “They’re locked and loaded,” as Dodman puts it.

    on breed profiling
    But Dodman defends the practice. “The insurance companies have no ax to grind,” he says. They base their decisions on actuarial statistics showing that certain breeds in certain homes are a recipe for trouble and the cause of lawsuits.

    on the MA muzzling law
    After a spate of attacks by pit bulls this summer, Massachusetts lawmakers passed legislation requiring the dogs to be muzzled in public. Some pit bull owners protested, but a Tufts expert says the law may be a good idea. Breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers, says animal behavior expert Nick Dodman, are hardwired for aggression.

    “Some of these dogs are as dangerous as a loaded handgun,” Dodman– director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at TuftsSchool of Veterinary Medicine – said in an interview with The Boston Globe Magazine.

    Genetics play a big role.

    “No doubt about it, pit bulls are genetically predisposed toward aggression,” he told the magazine. “Justas certain breeds of dogs were bred to herd, certain were bred to hunt, certain to point, and others to swim.”

    While most pet owners accept that their dogs have certain genetic behavioral characteristics, there is still resistance to the idea that some dogs are more dangerous than others.

    “Everybody accepts [genetic behaviors like herding or hunting] until you throw in the word ‘aggression’ and things like a full, crushing bite, which some breeds were specifically bred for in the past.”

    Statistics on dog attacks reinforce the link between certain dogs and dangerous behavior.

    “It’s like a scene from “Casablanca” when they say, ‘Roundup the usual suspects,’” Dodman told the Globe.“It’s always German shepherds, chow, husky, pit bull.The numbers do the talking.”

    He added that pit bulls and Rottweilers alone account for more than 50 percent of the fatal dog attacks every year. Despite the danger, the owners of these dogs often fail to take proper precautions.

    “A lot of owners of aggressive breeds are suffering from denial and ignorance, because no one wants to be fingered as having that kind of dog,” Dodman said.

    “Genetics does play a role and people who think it doesn’t are kidding themselves,” says Dodman. “The pit bull is notorious for a very hard bite. They are always No. 1 in the lethal dog bite parade. The dog was bred for pit fighting. It was bred to never give up, to bite and hang on.”

    KATHERINE HOUPT, VMD, PhD, DACVB
    Says Katherine Houpt, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell and author of Domestic Animal Behavior: “Different breeds have genetic predispositions to certain kinds of behavior, though that can be influenced by how they are raised. The pit bull is an innately aggressive breed, often owned by someone who wants an aggressive dog, so they’re going to encourage it.”

    “I have seen so many pit bulls taken by very nice, very dog-savvy people who did all the right things,” said Houpt. “They take them to socialization class, they take them to obedience school, they are fine for a few years, and then they kill the neighbor’s dog.”

  • Thomas McCartney

    This week, Riverside County supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance requiring pit bulls older than 4 months in unincorporated areas of the county to be spayed or neutered. Registered breeders, law enforcement and therapy dogs are exempt from the ordinance, which takes effect next month.

    In 2010, San Bernardino County supervisors passed a similar ordinance for unincorporated areas of the county, such as Mentone. Owners of non-sterilized pit bulls can be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $300 for subsequent offenses.

    Highland and Yucaipa adopted the same ordinance, according to Brian Cronin, chief of the county’s animal control division, which handles animal control in those two cities.

    The San Bernardino County ordinance said pit bull breeds account for about 20 percent of the dogs at animal shelters and are put down more often than any other breed.

    Cronin emailed figures showing the county’s intake of pit bulls has decreased 28 percent since the ordinance took effect and that euthanization rates have dropped by 56 percent.

    The ordinance was passed to reduce the number of dogs destroyed at taxpayer expense, Cronin said.

  • Thomas McCartney

    In Calgary, by Bill Bruce’s own admission and documentation, pit bulls lead the serious bite count with 13% of the city’s serious bites attributable to pit bulls, yet pit bulls account for less than 1% of the city’s dogs.

    In fact, pit bulls are responsible for nearly as many serious bites (13%) as the ENTIRE sporting breeding category (15%), which includes all of the most popular breeds (Labs, Goldens, Poodles, Spaniels, etc) and houses 70% of Calgary’s dogs.

    Why aren’t these breeds attacking in the face of irresponsible ownership?

  • Thomas McCartney

    Myth: Pit Bulls have been called the Nanny Dog.

    Truth: This myth was started by statements made by two people. Mrs. Lilian Rant, President, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, magazine editor said they are referred to as a nursemaid dog in an interview published in the New York Times in 1971.

    Second in 1987 Toronto Star article where Breeder Kathy Thomas, president of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Association said “In England, our Staffies were called the nanny-dog”.

    No sources, citations or evidence just two biased people heavily invested in trying to change the image of Pit Bulls made these statements and started this whole myth.

    The “nanny dog” is a complete historical fabrication. The sole known published reference to the “nanny dog” notion, before the rise of opposition to breed-specific laws in recent decades, came in a 1922 work of fiction, Pep: The Story of A Brave Dog, by Clarence Hawkes, a blind man who wrote by dictating his stories and, though able to spin a gripping yarn, routinely muddled his facts.

    This work of fiction also appears to be the point of origin of many of the other popular myths about the history of pit bulls. Indeed some dogfighters did photograph their pit bulls with their children, to help advertise the sale of their cull dogs as pets, but that hardly means pit bulls were safe pets.

    One of the most notorious of these gents, professional dogfighter John P. Colby, of Newburyport, Massachusetts, produced his first pit bull litter in 1889. The Boston Globe on December 29, 1906 reported that police shot one of his dogs, who mauled a boy while a girl escaped. On February 2, 1909 the Globe described how one of Colby’s dogs killed Colby’s two-year-old nephew, Bert Colby Leadbetter.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Letter received from a pit bull owner:

    I was an upper middle-class pit bull owner just like you. My husband is a doctor and I am a stay-at-home soccer mom and we live in a lovely suburban neighborhood. We got our dog as a puppy from a reputable breeder and put her through puppy classes and basic obedience. She was spayed and properly vaccinated, stayed indoors and was very loved. I used to defend the breed to everyone I met, just like you. I used to think I knew my dog inside and out, and I was sure she would never, ever hurt my child.

    Then my dog turned 3 and, literally overnight, her dog-aggression came out. She tried to attack the neighbor’s poodle through the backyard fence (she had been in a fenced yard beside this same dog literally thousands of times with no show of aggression).

    When my 8 year old daughter tried to pull her away from the fence, our pit bull locked onto her forearm (she only got her forearm because my daughter threw it up to protect her face, she was going for the face) and it took 8 minutes for my husband to beat her off, he eventually wound up using the weed whacker, after a baseball bat broke over the dog’s back without even being noticed by her. My daughter lost partial use of her right arm and she is still relearning all of the basic skills with her left. Her life will never be the same.

    We have been accused of being at fault for not “being there to call off the dog”. Well, we were there, we were sitting on patio chairs watching my daughter throw a ball for our pet, who she had spent three years playing with and which had never shown so much as a lip lift to anyone or anything up to that point. We couldn’t, physically, call off the dog.

    We couldn’t physically BEAT off the dog for over 5 minutes. After the dog was off my daughter, my husband was on the ground struggling with it to keep it from going at her again as I pulled her into the house. There was so much blood that I kept sliding on it and falling down. There are still blood stains on the patio almost 2 years later. All the dog wanted was to get back on my daughter and finish the job. The dog didn’t make any noise while she was
    attacking and her tail was wagging faster and harder than it had ever wagged
    before. I believed then, and I believe now, that that dog was the happiest it
    had ever been when it was locked onto my daughter and trying to kill her.

    Let me tell you, you have no idea – none – how completely different pit bulls are from normal pet dogs. When that dog was triggered she went from being a goofy pet and companion to being a cold-blooded predator in a millisecond. You cannot imagine what it is like knowing that your dog is trying to kill your child and knowing that it might just succeed because it is stronger than you are. There is nothing like it in the world.

    There was no news coverage of my dog’s attack on my daughter. None. So much for the overhyped media aspect, hush?

    You are insane to own a fighting dog when you have children. Absolutely insane. I wish we had been protected from our own stupidity by legislation. What is worse is that you are also, by your own admission of a picket fence the dog could easily escape over, putting other people’s children at risk. Fighting dogs are not pets and we need laws in place to protect people from them.

    P.S. You are also insane if you take your fighting breed dog to a dog park, besides being pathologically narcissistic and criminally selfish.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Kenneth Phillips, the country’s leading attorney for victims of dog attacks. This is what he sent me:

    I just finished giving a 21 minute interview to a reporter for a major San Francisco newspaper on a similar topic.

    In 2013, there have been 18 canine homicides of which 17 were committed by pit bulls or pit bull mixes. Our dogs are not killing us. Pit bulls are killing us.

    And although pit bulls attack and kill strangers like Claudia
    Gallardo, 38 (killed by a pit bull in the front yard of its owner’s house in Stockton, California) and Pamela Devitt, 63 (killed by 4 pit bulls running at large as she took a walk in Antelope Valley, California), the usual victims are our children, parents and guests.

    I have come to believe that the modern pit bull should not be thought of as a dog at all. A dog is man’s best friend, but this is an animal that will kill the man, his wife, his children, his parents and the guests in his home.

    Clearly this is not man’s best friend; clearly it is not a “dog”
    in the sense that we think of a dog. Charles Manson was
    anatomically a man, sociologically a neighbor, and legally a citizen, but he is spending his life behind bars because he was a deranged individual who orchestrated mayhem and murder.

    Just because pit bulls look like dogs, they do not have
    to be thought of like we think about dogs such as golden retrievers and Yorkshire terriers.

    In almost all homicides carried out by pit bulls, the owners and neighbors express shock and disbelief because the animal never gave a sign that it wanted to kill anyone. But to me, this is like a drunk driver expressing shock and disbelief that his car could kill.

    In both types of cases, a person made a choice to do something incredibly reckless, either by getting drunk or by getting the animal that makes headlines because of the frequency and brutality of its killing. We need to stop people from doing
    these reckless things.

    Lawmakers have to stop listening to the nonsense about breed specific laws which is spouted by the owners of bully dogs like pit bulls. Since 2006 there have been 3 psychological studies which focused on the personality and behavioral traits of the owners of pit bulls and other high-risk breeds of dog.

    A study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence
    showed a link between ownership of high-risk dog breeds and deviant behaviors, crimes against children and domestic violence. Another study concluded that “vicious dog ownership may be a simple marker of broader social deviance.”

    A third study established that the owners of high-risk
    breeds of dog displayed more antisocial thinking styles, have an arrest history significantly higher than owners of other dogs, and engage in fighting to a significantly greater degree than other dog owners.

    They also had higher levels of overall criminal thinking patterns to go with the actual criminal behavior. These people, who are fixated on the animals that kill, maim and terrorize, are not the people that a lawmaker needs in his camp.

    Reasonable people want fair laws that provide a solution to the
    obvious problems caused by pit bulls.

    I hope this helps the cause.

    Sincerely,

    Kenneth M. Phillips
    Attorney at Law

  • Thomas McCartney

    MARK WULKAN, MD, surgeon at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
    “There is a difference with the pit bulls. In the last two years we’ve seen 56 dog injuries that were so severe the patient had to be admitted to the hospital so this doesn’t count just a little bite and then goes to the emergency room. Of those 56, 21 were pit bulls. And then when we look at our data even further, of the kids that were most severely injured, those that were in the hospital for more than 8 days or had life threatening injuries, 100% of those were pit bulls.

    STEPHEN COHN, MD, professor of surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center
    “I think this is a public health hazard, this particular dog. We just have to have them contained in a way that protects the general public. I don’t want to see another kid come in dead.”

    JOHN BINI, MD, chief of surgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center
    “There are going to be outspoken opponents of breed legislation, who say: ‘My pit bulls lie with my baby and play with my rabbit.’ And that’s fine. I just think we’re seeing something here, and I think it does warrant a discussion as to whether this is a risk that a community wants to take.”

    MORTALITY, MAULING, AND MAIMING BY VICIOUS DOGS, April 2011 Annals of Surgery
    “Fortunately, fatal dog attacks are rare, but there seems to be a distinct relationship between the severity and lethality of an attack and the breed responsible,” they wrote in an article published in the April issue of the medical journal Annals of Surgery. “These breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.”

    DAVID E. BLOCKER, BS, MD, Dog Bite Rates and Biting Dog Breeds in Texas, 1995-1997
    Bite Rates by Breed page 23
    One out of every 40 Pit Bulls (2.5%) and about one out of 75 Chow Chows (1.4%) generated a reported human bite each year (Table 29; Figure 7).

    One out of 100 Rottweilers (1%) caused a reported bite, and less than one out of 250 German Shepherds (0.37%) bit a human each year, not statistically different from the average for all dogs combined (0.53%).

    Huskies, Dobermans, and Australian Shepherds had bite rates slightly lower than German Shepherds but higher than Labrador Retrievers.

    Less than one in every 500 Labrador retrievers (0.15%) was associated with a reported bite each year. All other breeds examined individually, including Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Dachshunds, had bite rates lower than Labrador Retrievers.

    Odds ratios for each of the five most commonly biting dog breeds versus all others presented similar findings (Table 30). The odds of a Pit Bull in Bexar County causing a bite were 5 times greater than the odds for all other breeds combined, at 4.9 to 1.

    Chow Chows and Rottweilers also had odds ratios significantly greater than the average, at 2.9 to 1 and 1.8 to 1, respectively. The odds ratios for German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers were significantly lower than the average, at 0.67 to 1 and
    0.26 to 1.

    PETER ANTEVY, pediatric E.R. physician, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
    Dr Antvey sees at least five dog-bite victims a month in his emergency room. Unfortunately, he said, “the biggest offender is the pit bull.”

    MELISSA ARCA, MD
    The reality is that any dog can bite, and statistically speaking, a child is most likely to be bitten by the family dog or a dog that they know. When you’re talking about bite severity resulting in life-threatening and even fatal injuries, pit bulls and Rottweilers are the main culprits.

    Experience absolutely colors our perception, and in this case I can’t help but be affected by what I’ve seen. I will never forget a young child I treated in the ER during my pediatric residency. She suffered severe facial lacerations and tears to her face after a pit bull attack in her local park.

  • Thomas McCartney

    9.16.2013

    Legal Experts and the Enemy of Humanity

    THOMAS J. MOYER, Chief Justice, Ohio Supreme Court 1987-2010
    “The trial court cited the substantial evidence supporting its conclusion that pit bulls, compared to other breeds, cause a disproportionate amount of danger to people. The chief dog warden of Lucas County testified that: (1) when pit bulls attack, they are more likely to inflict severe damage to their victim than other breeds of dogs; (2) pit bulls have killed more Ohioans than any other breed of dog; (3) Toledo police officers fire their weapons in the line of duty at pit bulls more often than they fire weapons at people and all other breeds of dogs combined; (4) pit bulls are frequently shot during drug raids because pit bulls are encountered more frequently in drug raids than any other dog breed…. The evidence presented in the trial court supports the conclusion that pit bulls pose a serious danger to the safety of citizens. The state and the city have a legitimate interest in protecting citizens from the danger posed by this breed of domestic dogs.”

    WILLIAM M HOEVELER, US DISTRICT JUDGE, ADOA v Dade County, Florida
    Despite plaintiffs’ contention that there is no such animal as a pit bull, plaintiffs’ own experts have written articles about their pedigreed dogs referring to them by the common nickname of pit bull. At trial, these experts identified photographs of dogs as pit bulls, rather than delineating the dogs into any one of the three breeds recognized by the kennel clubs. Moreover, veterinarians commonly identify dogs as pit bulls — rather than one of the three recognized breeds — by their physical characteristics.

    Two veterinarians, testifying for the defendants, stated that they are often called upon to identify a dog’s breed because it is an integral part of the animal’s health record. This they do by reference to standard physical characteristics. Generally, these veterinarians testified, owners themselves know what breed their dog is.

    There was ample testimony that most people know what breed their dogs are. Although the plaintiffs and their experts claim that the ordinance does not give them enough guidance to enable owners to determine whether their dogs fall within its scope, the evidence established that the plaintiffs themselves often use the term “pit bull” as a shorthand method of referring to their dogs. Numerous magazine and newspaper articles, including articles in dog fancier magazines, refer to pit bull dogs. Veterinarians typically refer to the three recognized breeds and mixed breeds with conforming characteristics as pit bulls. In addition, the veterinarians who testified stated that most of their clients know the breeds of their dogs.

    DON BAUERMEISTER, Council Bluffs, IA prosecutor
    All dogs can “get into it”. The reality, though, for way too many dog owners is the sudden, unprovoked, violent and very serious attack from a pit bull. These folks have to pay the immediate vet bill. Yes, sometimes, the Court is able to intervene and order restitution, but what about the dead dog. What about the psychological damage to those who had to witness the attack. I have seen pit bulls attack and injure other dogs. It is something that you will never forget. A very purposeful bite, indeed. Pit bulls are pros and the rest of the dog world are amateurs. Man made them this way.

    KORY NELSON, Denver, CO City Attorney
    The most significant point about the justification for bans or restrictions of pit bulls is that these are not dependent upon a claim that every pit bull has a higher than average propensity for attacking humans. The justification is based on the clear evidence that, as a group, pit bulls, compared to other breeds, generally have a higher propensity to exhibit unique behavioral traits during an attack.

    These behaviors havea higher likelihood of causing more severe injuries or death. The Colorado Dog Fanciers trial court made this clear, stating that, while it could not be proven that pit bulls bite more than other dogs, there was “credible evidence that Pit Bull dog attacks are more severe and more likely to result in fatalities.” The court, in great detail, noted fourteen separate areas of differences, including: strength, manageability and temperament, unpredictability of aggression, tenacity, pain tolerance and manner of attack.

    A municipality that is experiencing a problem with pit bull attacks needs to consider for itself the best course of action to protect its citizens, especially those most likely to be unable to defend themselves from the tenacious and sustained attack of a pit bull, who will likely bite, hold, and tear at its victim despite efforts to stop it. However, given the clear rational evidence, breed-specific legislation is still a legally viable option.There is no new evidence that undermines the holdings of Colorado Dog Fanciers, only new relevant evidence that adds additional support for BSL, as the differential treatment of pit bulls is based upon logical, rational evidence from the scientific field of ethology.

    BOB JOHNSTONE, Cincinnati, OH city attorney
    We have amassed what I consider an overwhelming amount of information that demonstrates to me that pit bulls are, by far, responsible for more fatal or serious attacks than any other breed.

    JUDGE VICTOR E. BIANCHINI, San Diego, CA
    A pit bull is the closest thing to a wild animal there is in a domesticated dog.

    U.S. SUPREME COURT, April 26, 1897, SENTELL v. NEW ORLEANS & C. R. CO.
    Laws for the protection of domestic animals are regarded as having but a limited application to dogs and cats; and, regardless of statute, a ferocious dog is looked upon as hostis humani generis, and as having no right to his life which man is bound to respect.

  • Thomas McCartney

    HORSWELL BB, CHAHINE CJ, oral surgeons
    Dog bites of the facial region are increasing in children according to the Center for Disease Control. To evaluate the epidemiology of such injuries in our medical provider region, we undertook a retrospective review of those children treated for facial, head and neck dog bite wounds at a level 1 trauma center.

    Most dog bites occurred in or near the home by an animal known to the child/family. Most injuries were soft tissue related, however more severe bites and injuries were observed in attacks from the pit-bull and Rottweiler breeds.

    Younger (under five years) children sustained more of the injuries requiring medical treatment. Injury Severity Scales were determined as well as victim and payer mix demographics, type and characteristics of injury, and complications from the attack.

    DR RICHARD SATTIN, chief of unintentional-injuries section of the Centers of Disease Control
    We’re trying to focus public attention on this greatly underestimated public hazard.

    In 1979, pit bulls accounted for 20 percent of fatal attacks by dogs. That figure had risen to 62 percent by 1988.

    Nobody knows the dog population of the United States or the exact breakdown by breed. We do not believe that pit bulls represent anywhere near 42% percent of dogs in the United States. Therefore, we believe that the pit bull excess in deaths is real and growing.

    ROBERT D. NEWMAN, M.D.
    As a pediatrician I was disturbed to read Vicki Hearne’s assertion that there are no bad breeds, just bad dogs (Op-Ed, April 15). There is ample evidence to suggest that certain breeds of dogs are more dangerous to children than others.

    From 1979 to 1994, there were 177 known dog-bite-related fatalities in the United States. Of these fatalities, 66 percent were caused by five breeds: pit bull, Rottweiler, shepherd, husky and malamute.

    If you include crosses among these five breeds, that number rises to 82 percent. Other breeds, like Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers were not implicated in a single fatality during this same period.

    I laud the American Kennel Club’s attempt to include information about dog breeds considered ”not good with children” in the coming edition of ”The Complete Dog Book,” and lament the fact that the book is being recalled at the request of some breeders.
    Seattle, April 16, 1998

    Dr. EDGAR JOGANIK (after trying to reattach scalp and ear to a pit bull victim)

    Pit bull attacks are typically the most severe, and in about one-third of all attacks, the animals are family pets or belong to close friends.

    That should be the message, that these dogs should not be around children, adults are just as likely to be victims.
    Everyone should be extremely cautious.

    DR. MICHAEL FEALY
    When a Pit Bull is involved the bites are worse. When they bite, they bite and lock and they don’t let go… they bite lock and they rip and they don’t let go.

    DR. CHRISTOPHER DEMAS
    Bites from pit bulls inflict much more damage, multiple deep bites and ripping of flesh and are unlike any other domestic animal I’ve encountered. Their bites are devastating – close to what a wildcat or shark would do.

    DR. AMY WANDEL, plastic surgeon
    I see just as many dog bites from dogs that are not pit bulls as bites from pit bulls. The big difference is pit bulls are known to grab onto something and keep holding so their damage they create is worse than other breeds.

    DR. PATRICK BYRNE, Johns Hopkins Hospital
    I can’t think of a single injury of this nature that was incurred by any other species other than a pit bull or a rottweiler.

    ANDREW FENTON, M.D.
    As a practicing emergency physician, I have witnessed countless dog bites. Invariably, the most vicious and brutal attacks I have seen have been from the pit bull breed.

    Many of the victims have been children. In a recent study from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, pit bull attacks accounted for more ER visits than all other breeds combined.

    In young children, the most common part of the body injured was the face. Numerous studies have proven that the number-one cause of dog bite fatalities is the pit bull breed.

    I am certain that many attacks are due to owner negligence, but the fact remains that many were unpredictable and were perpetrated by formerly “loving and loyal” pets.

    Dr. Chagnon has every right to leave our town as she claims she will if pit bulls are banned, just like every one of her patients has the right not to attend her clinic where she brings her pit bulls.

    I applaud Mayor Pro Tem Joanne Sanders for bringing this issue to the forefront. In the interest of public safety, I recommend we enforce a spay/neuter requirement on pit bulls while reviewing and revamping all of our policies relating to animal bites.

  • Thomas McCartney

    BONNIE V. BEAVER, BS, DVM, MS, DACVB, Professor and Chief of Medicine, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University
    Executive Director, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
    By its origin, a pit bull is a fighting dog that takes very little stimulous to initiate aggression, and it will continue to fight regardless of what happens.

    Pit bulldogs have been responsible for about 70 percent of the deaths of humans killed by dogs since 1979.

    The AVMA warns veterinarians to be careful about supplying behavioural evaluations of dogs for insurance purposes.

    “It’s risky for veterinarians,” said Dr. Beaver, explaining that there are many situations in which a dog may behave aggressively, and temperament tests can’t rule out the possibility of aggression. “You don’t have temperament tests that can identify all possibilities.”

    KATHRYN HAWKINS, DVM
    After seeing another dog die from a pit bull attack, I feel compelled to write. The opinion that pit bulls are “mean because of the way they are raised” is often not the case.

    A Both of the dogs I took care of that died were attacked unprovoked by pit bulls that were in families that raised them responsibly. Just as a retriever is bred to hunt birds — an instinct you can’t stop — many pit bulls have a genetic tendency to attack other animals.

    When they do, they are extremely powerful and don’t quit. I have never been bitten or growled at by a pit bull — they are very friendly. But when the instinct to attack another animal occurs, they cause serious damage, or death.

    They don’t bite people any more often than other breeds but when they do, it’s bad. The aggressiveness toward other animals and damage they do is not because of “the way they are raised” — it is usually due to a genetic instinct not in the control of the owner.

    ARTHUR HERM, veterinarian, animal control
    He said he disagrees with those people who believe they can train aggressiveness out of dogs, and added he believes aggressiveness is “inherent” and “genetic” in all dogs while pit bulls “seem to have more of that.”

    MICHAEL W. FOX, veterinarian, animal behaviorist
    “I spent 20 years studying the behavior of dogs and it’s not in their nature. Man, has created a monster, If you wish…These dogs were selectively bred to fight, they have greater propensity to fight than other animals, which is brought out in training.”

    “They can attack people, and because the attitudes of Pit Bulls it is more likely they will attack people. The worry is the power of the dogs jaw…to bite and not let go. It’s quite sufficient to crush right through a child’s arm or leg.”

    SHERYL BLAIR, Tufts Veterinary School symposium – Animal Aggression: Dog Bites and the Pit Bull Terrier
    The injuries these dogs inflict are more serious than other breeds because they go for the deep musculature and don’t release; they hold and shake.

    Colleen Hodges, Veterinary Public Health spokeswoman
    Some families think that they can raise a loving pet if they treat a pit bull like any other dog. They may not realize that the dog was bred to fight and that some of these dogs may have fighting in their genes.
    They are tough, strong, tenacious. They are much more capable of inflicting serious damage, and some of them do. I would not recommend pits as a family dog.

    GARY WILKES, animal behaviorist
    No other breed in America is currently bred for fighting, in such great numbers as the American Pit Bull Terrier. No other breed has instinctive behaviors that are so consistently catastrophic when they occur, regardless of how rarely they happen.

    The reality is that every English Pointer has the ability to point a bird. Every Cattle Dog has the ability to bite the heel of a cow and every Beagle has the ability to make an obnoxious bugling noise when it scents a rabbit or sees a cat walking on the back fence. Realistically, if your English Pointer suddenly and unpredictably points at a bird in the park, nobody cares.

    If my Heeler nips your ankle, I’m going to take care of your injuries and probably be fined for the incident. If your Beagle bugles too much, you’ll get a ticket for a noise violation. If your Pit Bull does what it’s bred to do…well, you fill in the blank.

  • Thomas McCartney

    TRISH KING, Director, Behavior & Training Dept. Marin Humane Society

    “There is no direct eye contact or very little direct eye contact. It is very quick and over with. Which is one reason why with pit bulls and rottweilers, we have problems. Because they’re bred to do direct eye contact and so they are off putting to other dogs and actually scary to other dogs.”

    The fourth undesirable characteristic – arousal or excitement – is actually the most problematic. Many bully dogs cannot seem to calm themselves down once they get excited. And once they get excited all their behaviors are exacerbated.

    Thus, if a dog is over-confident and has a tendency to body slam or mount, he or she will really crash into the other dog or person when he’s aroused, sometimes inadvertently causing injury. He may begin to play-bite, and then bite harder and harder and harder.

    When you try to stop the behavior, the dog often becomes even more “aggressive.” In this way, play can turn into aggression fairly quickly. Research on the brain has shown that excited play has exactly the same chemistry as extreme anger. This allows a play behavior to switch quickly into aggression. And, once the dog has become aggressive a few times, the switch is much easier.

    DIANE JESSUP, pit bull expert, breeder, former ACO
    “Jessup, the animal control officer in Olympia, uses two pit bulls to train police and animal control officers on surviving dogs attacks.
    Unlike dogs who are nippers and rippers, her pit bulls are typically “grippers” who bite down and hang onto their victims.”

    Jessup believes that much of dog behavior comes from their genes. “I truly believe that a dog is about 90% genetics,” says Jessup.
    on protection sports

    This difference in “sheepdog versus bulldog” mentality in a trainer is best understood when training the “out!” or release command. It is common practice for those training shepherds and sheepdog types to use force such as hard leash corrections or electric shock to get the dog to release the sleeve.

    Sadly, I had one young man come to me because a club trainer was slugging his little Am Staff female in the nose, till she bled, trying to get her to release the sleeve.

    She would not! And of course she would not! She was a good little bulldog, hanging on for dear life, just as her bull and bear baiting ancestors of old did.

    She was a super little gripping dog, who took the pain she experienced as just “part of the job” once her owner set her upon the sleeve. And this is the response from well bred pit bulldogs—to ignore pain while gripping. It is, after all, what they are bred for! Give me a bulldog like her, rather than one which will allow itself to be yanked off the sleeve due to pain.

    MICHAEL BURNS, Los Angeles Animal Control Lt.
    You have a dog that has aggressive tendencies enhanced through constant and incestuous breeding. If there are some recessive genes on the aggressive or psychotic side, they will make themselves manifest.

    They are different. There’s an absence of the normal sounds a dog makes when it attacks. It’s almost a workmanlike way they hold on in an attack. It’s a persistence I haven’t seen in any other breed.

    KURT LAPHAM, a field investigator for the West Coast Regional office of the Humane Society
    Most breeds do not multiple-bite. A pit bull attack is like a shark attack: He keeps coming back.

    DAVID GENDREGSKE, Clare County MI Animal Control Director
    “In my opinion they appeal to the most irresponsible pet owners and to younger people,” he said.

    “The younger people have no jobs to support the animal, or they have to move where animals aren’t allowed and (the dogs) end up here.” Certain people like pit bulls because they are intimidating, he said. “They want to scare people. It’s an intimidation thing.

    They’re number one with those being incarcerated. If there’s a dog left behind (when someone is sentenced to jail or prison), it’s always a pit bull,” he said. He cited the time a pit bull got out of a car and attacked a horse.

    He was pulled off, but he went back and grabbed the throat. He was pulled off again and again and went back after different parts of the horse. “What kind of a dog but a pit bull would do that?” he asked. “All dogs can bite but not with that ferocity. “ Some people will say that how a pit bull acts and reacts is dependent upon how the dog is raised, he said.

    “But he was raised to kill for centuries,” he said. “You can’t breed it out in one generation.” If the popularity of pit bulls is a fad, it’s a long term one, he said. “I keep seeing more and more pit bulls,” he said. “It’s getting worse.”

    Pit bulls, he said, are not good as a working dog, except for perhaps wild boar hunting. “And they’re not one of the smarter breeds,” he said, despite other’s beliefs that they are intelligent.

  • Thomas McCartney

    KEVIN COUTTS, Head Dog Ranger, Rotorua, New Zealand
    There was concern among dog authorities about American pitbulls being allowed into New Zealand as they were dangerous, unpredictable animals, Mr Coutts said.

    “A lot of people in this town get them because they are a staunch dog and they will fight. They are perceived as vicious … It’s frustrating they were ever allowed in the country … we can’t go back now though,” Mr Coutts said.

    COUTTS’ comment on a pit car mauling
    This sort of thing happens when people own this breed of dog and then don’t look after them.

    VICTORIA STILWELL, celebrity dog trainer
    Presas are not to be fooled with, they’re dangerous. You’ve got a fighting breed here. You’ve got a dog that was bred for fighting. You’ve got one of the most difficult breeds to handle.

    CESAR MILAN, celebrity dog trainer
    “Yeah, but this is a different breed…the power that comes behind bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed – They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don’t feel the pain anymore. He is using the bulldog in him, which is way too powerful, so we have to ‘make him dog’ (I guess as in a “regular” dog) so we can actually create the limits.

    So if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it’s not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender.”. If you add pain, it only infuriates them..to them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it…

    That’s why they are such great fighters.” Cesar goes on to say…”Especially with fighting breeds, you’re going to have these explosions over and over because there’s no limits in their brain.”

    GARRETT RUSSO, dog trainer
    I estimate Medical & Veterinary bills related to injuries caused by pit bulls in the Tompkins Square dog run in 2011, $140,000.00. Estimated Medical (human) & Veterinary (canine) bills from all other breeds and mixed breeds combined during the same period, $5,000.00. (Estimate gathered from reports to by owners to the dog park association.)

    STEVE DUNO, dog trainer, pit bull owner
    “The dogs that participated in these attacks weren’t Pekingese. You don’t have herds of Pekingese roaming the city attacking people. When someone says all breeds are created equal, well then they’re denying the definition of what a breed is. Breed serves a particular purpose.”

    “I like them. They’re eager. They’re athletic. They’re aesthetically pleasing. But even if they’re bred perfectly, they can be problematic, particularly with other dogs.”

    “When you combine the breed specific behaviors … with owners who either don’t give a rip, or with owners who (have) too much dog, you have a problem.”

    JEAN DONALDSON, dog trainer
    Most commonly, she sees dogs with aggression problems. While she’s a fierce opponent of “breed bans” like the proposed outlawing of pit bulls that San Francisco debated two years ago, she believes it’s undeniable that some breeds are predisposed to violence.

    Many breeds that were bred as guardians or fighting dogs were carefully designed to not like strangers, she says. She thinks it’s disingenuous of breeders to further enhance this trait, and then expect owners to compensate with training.

    ARLENE STERLING, Newaygo County, MI Chief Animal Control Officer
    “It is genetically inbred in them to be aggressive. They can be very nice dogs, but they are very prey driven and they are extremely strong. It makes them high risk dogs and it makes them extremely dangerous.”

    BOB KERRIDGE, New Zealand SPCA executive director
    “That is the only real way to solve this problem – is to license owners and to give them the responsibility that goes with owning a dog. It would be extremely useful when you have a neighbour who is concerned about that dog next door. You can look at it and see they don’t have a license and take it away. That’s owner responsibility.”

    “We led the charge to stop the importation of the pitbull because of the concerns they would be crossbred with other dogs… But there’s not a lot we can do about that because it’s happened. We wish someone had listened all those years ago.”

    JIM CROSBY, pit bull hired gun
    “Line breeding tends to concentrate recessive traits. The propensity for violent attacks by a dog would be a recessive trait.”

    MELANIE PFEIFFER, veterinary assistant
    Working in a veterinary hospital, you are exposed to all kinds of animal trauma. One of the more common ones is dog fights. I can honestly say that in three out of four cases, an American pit bull terrier is involved. Many times, we are able to save the life of the afflicted, but yesterday, we were not.

    I propose that all owned American pit bull terriers be registered and all breeding be halted indefinitely. How many mutilated faces, mangled limbs, butchered pets and even human deaths does it take to convince us that this breed needs to be phased out?

    DIANE JESSUP, Washington pit bull owner and expert
    “It’s not sensible to get an animal bred for bringing a 2,000-pound bull to its knees and say I’m going to treat this like a soft-mouth Labrador,” says Jessup, the former animal-control officer. She blames novice owners, as much as actual criminals, for bringing the breed into disrepute. “It’s a capable animal, and it’s got to be treated as such.”

    JOHN ROCKHOLT, South Carolina dogman
    “It’s inhumane not to allow them to fight. If you have to encourage them to fight they are not worth the powder it would take to blow them away. To never allow them any kind of combat…That’s inhumane.”

    RAY BROWN, former pit bull owner, breeder, dog fighter
    Pit bulls didn’t become dangerous because we fight them; we fight them because the English specifically bred them to be dangerous.

    MARK PAULHUS, HSUS southeast regional coordinator
    If it chooses to attack, it’s the most ferocious of all dogs. I’ve never known of a pit bull that could be called off (during a fight). They lose themselves in the fight.

    F.L. DANTZLER, HSUS director of field services
    “They’re borderline dogs. They’re right on the edge all of the time. Even if the dogs are not trained or used for fighting, and even though they are generally good with people, their bloodline makes them prone to violence.”

  • Thomas McCartney

    ALEXANDRA SEMYONOVA, animal behaviorist
    You will also not prevent the dog from being what he is genetically predisposed to be. Because the inbred postures and behaviors feel good, fitting the body and brain the dog has been bred with, they are internally motivated and internally rewarded.
    This means that the behavior is practically impossible to extinguish by manipulating external environmental stimuli.

    The reward is not in the environment, but in the dog itself! As Coppinger and Coppinger (2001, p. 202) put it, “The dog gets such pleasure out of performing its motor pattern that it keeps looking for places to display it.” Some dogs get stuck in their particular inbred motor pattern.

    As pointed out above, this kind of aggression has appeared in some other breeds as an unexpected and undesired anomaly – the golden retriever, the Berner Senne hund, the cocker spaniel have all had this problem.

    The lovers of aggressive breeds try to use these breeding accidents to prove that their aggressive breeds are just like any other dog, “see, they’re no different from the cuddly breeds.” But a cuddly breed sometimes ending up stuck with a genetic disaster does not prove that the behavior is normal canine behavior. All it proves is that the behavior is genetically determined.

    “These dogs aren’t killers because they have the wrong owners, rather they attract the wrong owners because they are killers.” The 100 Silliest Things People say about dogs.

    JOHN FAUL, animal behaviorist
    Faul said they were dangerous and a threat to life. He said the pitbull was bred to be absolutely fearless and had a “hair-trigger” attack response.

    “The cardinal rule is that these dogs are not pets,” he said.

    “The only way to keep them is in a working environment.”

    He said the only relationship one could have with the pitbull was one of “dominance, sub-dominance”, in which the dog was reminded daily of its position.

    ANDREW ROWAN, PhD, Tufts Center for Animals
    “A pit bull is trained to inflict the maximum amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. Other dogs bite and hold. A Doberman or a German shepherd won’t tear if you stand still.

    A pit bull is more likely to remove a piece of tissue. Dogs fight as a last resort under most circumstances. But a pit bull will attack without warning. If a dog shows a submissive characteristic, such as rolling over most dogs wills top their attack. A pit bull will disembowel its victim.”

    “A study by Dr Randall Lockwood of the US Humane Society found that pit bulls are more likely to break restraints to attack someone and that pit bulls are more likely to attack their owners, possibly as a result of owners trying to separate their dogs from victims.”

    Jørn Våge, Tina B Bønsdorff, Ellen Arnet, Aage Tverdal and Frode Lingaas, Differential gene expression in brain tissues of aggressive and non-aggressive dogs
    The domestic dog (Canis familiaris), with its more than 400 recognised breeds [1], displays great variation in behaviour phenotypes.

    Favourable behaviour is important for well-being and negative traits such as aggression may ruin the owner-dog relationship and lead to relinquishment to shelters or even euthanasia of otherwise healthy dogs [2,3].

    Behavioural traits result from an interaction of both genetic and environmental factors. Breed specific behavioural traits such as hunting, herding and calmness/aggression are, however, evidence of a large genetic component and specific behaviours show high heritabilities [4-8].

    ALAN BECK, Sc.D
    However, Alan Beck, director of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine Center of the Human-Animal Bond, favors letting the breed go into extinction.

    “This breed alone is a risk of serious public health factors,” Beck said. “We are keeping them alive against their own best interests.”

    Beck said while he does not advocate taking dogs from current and caring owners, he does feel that it has become more of a social and political issue for people than a health one.

    “If these dogs were carrying an actual disease, people would advocate euthanizing them,” Beck said. “This breed itself is not natural.”

    “It has this sort of mystique that attracts a population of people. Of course, most of these dogs are never going to bite, as champions of the breed will tell you. But most people who smoke don’t get cancer, but we know regulations help reduce a significant risk.”

    “I know you’re going to get beat up for this. But they just aren’t good dogs to own. That’s why so many of them are relinquished to shelters. There are too many other breeds out there to take a chance on these guys.”

    MERRITT CLIFTON, journalist, Animal People editor
    There are very few people, if any, who have written more on behalf of dogs over the past 40-odd years than I have, or spent more time down the back alleys of the developing world observing dogs in the habitats in which normal dogs came to co-evolve with humans.

    But appreciation of the ecological roles of street dogs & coyotes, exposing dog-eating and puppy mills, opposition to indiscriminate lethal animal control, introduction of high-volume low-cost spay/neuter and anti-rabies vaccination, introduction of online adoption promotion, encouraging the formation of thousands of new humane societies worldwide, etc., are not to be confused with pit bull advocacy.

    Pit bull advocacy is not defending dogs; it is defending the serial killers of the dog world, who kill, injure, and give bad reputations to all the rest. Indeed, pit bull advocacy, because it erodes public trust in dogs and people who care about dogs, stands a good chance of superseding rabies as the single greatest threat to the health, well-being, and human appreciation of all dogs worldwide.

    STANLEY COREN, PhD
    “A dog’s breed tells us a lot about that dog’s genetic heritage and makeup. Genetics is a strong determinant of personality. In the absence of any other information, we can make a reasonable prediction about how the dog will behave based upon its breed.” p 84

    “When we crossbreed, we lose some of that predictability, since which genes will be passed on by each parent and how they will combine is a matter of chance. Fortunately, there is some data to suggest that we can still make predispositions without knowing much about its parentage.

    John Paul Scott and John L Fuller carried out a series of selective breeding experiments at the Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine. By happy chance, their results revealed a simple rule that seems to work. Their general conclusion was that a mixed breed dog is most likely to act like the breed that it most looks like.” p 77

    Dog trainers/animal control, Pit Bull breeders, owners, fanciers, experts

    • frznsld

      Ah, Mr. McCartney, you purport to know so much about genetics and DNA, yet you have either never heard of Epigenetics or you are deliberately ignoring it. In case you honestly haven’t Epigenetics is the influence of environment over DNA. Since the early 19th century it has been shown that environmental factors can and do actually change the genetic structure of humans. Take for example Scandinavian peoples. They are pale skinned and light haired. Their environment is berefit of sun for most of the year. African people, Middle Eastern peoples, and others from regions closer to the equator have dark eyes, skin, and hair. Are you attempting to tell us that the sun has/had nothing to do with this – it is, in fact, nothing more than coincidence? And do you deny that the sun is part of the environment?

      For the past 40 years Epigenetics has moved to the forefront of scientific research and discovery, and advances are being used in medicine, psychology, sociology, and even research. Might I respectfully suggest that instead of trolling the internet for negative anecdotal articles containing anything even remotely negative about “pit bulls” that you can cherry pick for purposes of cutting and pasting to promote BSL and check out some REAL, credible, actual scientific websites about Epigenetics?

      And before you start in about the “discoverer” of the field being “discredited,” I’m already there. When he first made his findings public he was scoffed at. Now he’s a hero. Kind of like Copernicus, Gallileo, Newton – you know, those guys who discovered things like gravity, and proved the earth isn’t flat, and that the earth revolves around the sun and such. They killed those poor guys because the truth they discovered didn’t match the prevailing irrational and primitive beliefs of the day which were often used to control the average person who didn’t know any better than to believe them and had no way to find out. Fortunately, we now have the ability to find the truth for ourselves. Get the facts, from the source. Not from hearsay.

      • MJC

        I couldn’t help laughing when I read your “definition” of “epigenetics.” Epigentic changes CAN modify certain gene activation, but NOT the DNA sequence, which means epigenetic changes occur only within the lifetime of an individual and such changes CANNOT be passed to the next generation.

        Accordingly, epigenetics has nothing to do with the fact people closer to the equator have darker eyes, etc. This is a result of evolution, something most of us learned in elementary school.

        I suggest you read the fox domestication experiment conducted in Novosibirsk, Russia, which gives an excellent insight into how dogs were first created from wolves.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Behaviorists/veterinarians

    RANDALL LOCKWOOD, PhD
    Randall Lockwood, who said he has witnessed the best and worst of pit bulls, said illegal dog-fighting is perpetuating dogs that are hazards to humans and other animals. Shaped by dog-fight enthusiasts, they are “a perversion of everything normal dogs should do. What they’ve created is a canine psychopath.”

    “Fighting dogs lie all the time. I experienced it first hand when I was investigating three pit bulls that killed a little boy in Georgia. When I went up to do an initial evaluation of the dog’s behavior, the dog came up to the front of the fence, gave me a nice little tail wag and a “play bow” — a little solicitation, a little greeting. As I got closer, he lunged for my face.”

    The pit bull, in its purebred or mixed form, has been responsible for most of the fatal dog attacks on humans in the last two years. In 1987, there were eight deaths from dog attacks in the country, and seven involved pit bulls. In 1986, there were 13 deaths, seven involving pit bulls. But pit bulls have been victimized by hype.

    The dogs are no strangers to ordinances. A pit bull ban was passed in London in the 1400s.

    These dogs can be canine crocodiles. They have a dark and bloody history.

    In the United States, pets are considered property in the eyes of the law. And one of the most hotly defended rights of the individual is the right to own anything, no matter how stupid or dangerous the choice — even when what someone wants to own is a threat to them, their family, and the community around them.

    FRANKLIN LOEW, dean of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
    I’m not aware of any other breed of animal that has ever been singled out this way. This is man biting dog.

    HUGH WIRTH, veterinarian
    RSPCA Victoria president Dr Hugh Wirth said the dogs were a menace and were not suitable as pets for anyone.

    “They are time bombs waiting for the right circumstances.”

    “The American pit bull terrier is lethal because it was a breed that was developed purely for dog fighting, in other words killing the opposition.

    “They should never have been allowed into the country. They are an absolute menace.”

    “The fact of life is that the community doesn’t want American pit bull terriers. They’ve said it loud and clear over and over again – they want them banned.”

    GRAEME SMITH, veterinarian
    My views about associating a breed with dangerous behaviours were challenged over time as I saw the impact of Pit Bull attacks. Talking to owners with dogs of this breed who have themselves been turned on, it became clear that these animals are unpredictable and when they attack they can cause serious injury or death.

    It is very hard to give Pit Bulls the benefit of the doubt.
    Avoiding the identification of dogs and their behaviours by their breed means the legislation in place can be such that allows these Pit Bulls “one free bite.” This “one free bite” can have fatal consequences.

    If it looks like a Pit Bull, it is a Pit Bull.
    What’s at stake is the safety of people and their own pets in the wider community, there is no room for gambling with an unpredictable animal.

    And that is so often the case. No one knows where these dogs are until they come out and cause some form of grief. My position is about protecting the public and other animals from these animals.

    NICHOLAS DODMAN, BVMS, ACVB, ACVA
    Rottweilers were originally bred to guard the money of peasants returning home from the city of Rottweil in Germany, so their fierceness was prized. Staffordshire bull terriers and pit bulls were programmed to deliver a full crushing bite to the noses of bulls. “They’re locked and loaded,” as Dodman puts it.

    on breed profiling
    But Dodman defends the practice. “The insurance companies have no ax to grind,” he says. They base their decisions on actuarial statistics showing that certain breeds in certain homes are a recipe for trouble and the cause of lawsuits.

    on the MA muzzling law
    After a spate of attacks by pit bulls this summer, Massachusetts lawmakers passed legislation requiring the dogs to be muzzled in public. Some pit bull owners protested, but a Tufts expert says the law may be a good idea. Breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers, says animal behavior expert Nick Dodman, are hardwired for aggression.

    “Some of these dogs are as dangerous as a loaded handgun,” Dodman– director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at TuftsSchool of Veterinary Medicine – said in an interview with The Boston Globe Magazine.

    Genetics play a big role.

    “No doubt about it, pit bulls are genetically predisposed toward aggression,” he told the magazine. “Justas certain breeds of dogs were bred to herd, certain were bred to hunt, certain to point, and others to swim.”

    While most pet owners accept that their dogs have certain genetic behavioral characteristics, there is still resistance to the idea that some dogs are more dangerous than others.

    “Everybody accepts [genetic behaviors like herding or hunting] until you throw in the word ‘aggression’ and things like a full, crushing bite, which some breeds were specifically bred for in the past.”

    Statistics on dog attacks reinforce the link between certain dogs and dangerous behavior.

    “It’s like a scene from “Casablanca” when they say, ‘Roundup the usual suspects,’” Dodman told the Globe.“It’s always German shepherds, chow, husky, pit bull.The numbers do the talking.”

    He added that pit bulls and Rottweilers alone account for more than 50 percent of the fatal dog attacks every year. Despite the danger, the owners of these dogs often fail to take proper precautions.

    “A lot of owners of aggressive breeds are suffering from denial and ignorance, because no one wants to be fingered as having that kind of dog,” Dodman said.

    “Genetics does play a role and people who think it doesn’t are kidding themselves,” says Dodman. “The pit bull is notorious for a very hard bite. They are always No. 1 in the lethal dog bite parade. The dog was bred for pit fighting. It was bred to never give up, to bite and hang on.”

    KATHERINE HOUPT, VMD, PhD, DACVB
    Says Katherine Houpt, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell and author of Domestic Animal Behavior: “Different breeds have genetic predispositions to certain kinds of behavior, though that can be influenced by how they are raised. The pit bull is an innately aggressive breed, often owned by someone who wants an aggressive dog, so they’re going to encourage it.”

    “I have seen so many pit bulls taken by very nice, very dog-savvy people who did all the right things,” said Houpt. “They take them to socialization class, they take them to obedience school, they are fine for a few years, and then they kill the neighbor’s dog.”

  • Thomas McCartney

    This week, Riverside County supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance requiring pit bulls older than 4 months in unincorporated areas of the county to be spayed or neutered. Registered breeders, law enforcement and therapy dogs are exempt from the ordinance, which takes effect next month.

    In 2010, San Bernardino County supervisors passed a similar ordinance for unincorporated areas of the county, such as Mentone. Owners of non-sterilized pit bulls can be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $300 for subsequent offenses.

    Highland and Yucaipa adopted the same ordinance, according to Brian Cronin, chief of the county’s animal control division, which handles animal control in those two cities.

    The San Bernardino County ordinance said pit bull breeds account for about 20 percent of the dogs at animal shelters and are put down more often than any other breed.

    Cronin emailed figures showing the county’s intake of pit bulls has decreased 28 percent since the ordinance took effect and that euthanization rates have dropped by 56 percent.

    The ordinance was passed to reduce the number of dogs destroyed at taxpayer expense, Cronin said.

  • Tsk

    There are some seriously weird people commenting here. Thomas McCartney, the cat icon guy, has posted something like a dozen long comments in a row about dogs. Meanwhile, we’re talking about Aurora, site of one of the most horrific mass shootings in recent history. But none of you have the guts to deal with the real threat. Just a bunch of kooks talking about dog breeds.

    • Reb Furr

      You apparently don’t know the facts so perhaps you should actually READ some of Thomas’ posts. Pit bulls KILL more people EVERY year than ALL other types of dogs COMBINED! This year there have been 28 DEATHS from dog attack and 26 of the 28 of those FATAL attacks were PIT BULLS!

    • Yes there are Tsk. It’s the usual people. Fortunately they do not live here and have zero say beyond the cut and pastes on forums.

  • Thomas McCartney

    The total number of fatal and disfiguring attacks by all types of pit bull in the U.S. combined, Staffordshires included, came to just 103 in the eleven-year 1982-1992 time frame.

    The annual total reached 100 for the first time in 2003 (128), topped 100 twice more in the next three years, and has now risen for six consecutive years, from 74 in 2007 to 467 thus far in 2013.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Merritt Clifton Editor OF Animal People:

    Of the 4,558 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 2,923 (64%) were pit bulls; 541 were Rottweilers; 3,696 were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 523 human fatalities, 269 were killed by pit bulls; 84 were killed by Rottweilers; 392 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds.

    Of the 2,593 people who were disfigured, 1,753 (67%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 319 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,169 (83%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

    Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict about 10 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class.

    Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 6% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Learn and become educated about the genetic truth and reality of the Pit bull Type dog and the danger they present:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ban-All-Pit-Bull-Type-Dogs-Everywhere-Today-All-Dogs-must-be-on-a-Leash/180634022056782

  • Thomas McCartney

    The ASPCA has no obligation to share safety issues about pit bulls with the public. On their “Pit Bull Information” web page, they write: “Sadly, pit bulls have acquired a reputation as unpredictable, dangerous, and vicious.” Yet, spelled out in the ASPCA Shelter Guidelines — designed to protect shelter workers — are the unique risks attributed to pit bulls. One of them is that they “attack without warning,” which is equivalent to unpredictable behavior.

    From the ASPCA’s The Care of Pit Bulls in the Shelter Environment:

    There are “cases of experienced handlers who had developed good relationships with the dogs over a period of months still being attacked without warning or obvious provocation.”

    Pit bulls “ignore signs of submission from other dogs” and “give no warning prior to attack.” They add that this is “different than normal dog behavior.”

    “Today’s pit bulls” have multiple names including: “Staffordshire Terrier (AKC 1936), American Staffordshire Terrier (AKC 1972, Am Staff), American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier.”

    “These dogs can be aggressive towards humans and more likely to cause fatal attacks to people than other fighting type dogs.”

    “Pit bulls will climb fences, chew up stainless steel food and water bowls, destroy copper tubing of automatic water systems and conventional cages, and attack other animals through chain link fences.”

    “Pit bulls can break through conventional cage doors and destroy typical epoxy paint on the floors and walls.”

    “Pit bulls require special housing considerations” and “isolation from other animals if dog aggressive or have a high prey drive.”

    “Install a panic button in rooms housing pit bulls along with other restraint equipment in any room housing pit bulls.”

    It seems unlikely that the ASPCA or shelters participating in the “Adopt-A-Bull Contest” will tell potential adopters to install a panic button in their home or that pit bulls attack without warning.

  • Thomas McCartney

    In a discussion of the Denver ban, Assistant City Attorney Kory Nelson recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that:

    “Since 1989, when that city instituted a pit bull ban, ‘we haven’t had one serious pit bull attack,’ said Kory Nelson, a Denver assistant city attorney. His city’s assertion that ‘pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds of dog’ has withstood legal challenges, he said.

    ‘We were able to prove there’s a difference between pit bulls and other breeds of dogs that make pit bulls more dangerous,’ he said.”

    Sources: Denver Post
    ***************************************************
    Toronto:

    In a November 2011, public health statistics published by Global Toronto showed that pit bull bites dropped dramatically after Ontario adopted the Dog Owners Liability Act in 2005, an act that banned pit bulls:

    The number of dog bites reported in Toronto has fallen since a ban on pit bulls took effect in 2005, public health statistics show.

    A total of 486 bites were recorded in 2005. That number fell generally in the six years following, to 379 in 2010.

    Provincial laws that banned ‘pit bulls,’ defined as pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and dogs resembling them took effect in August 2005. Existing dogs were required to be sterilized, and leashed and muzzled in public.

    Bites in Toronto blamed on the four affected breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010. This accounts for most of the reduction in total bites.
    ***************************************************

    Salina, KS

    Rose Base, director of the Salina Animal Shelter who lobbied for the ordinance, told the Salina Journal:

    The ordinance has made a difference, she said. Records at the Salina Animal Shelter indicate there were 24 reported pit bull bites in 2003 and 2004, and only five since — none from 2009 to present.

    Salina has 62 registered pit bulls, Base said. Before the ordinance she guessed there were “close to 300.” Since the first of this year three of the registered pit bulls have died of old age.

    “We definitely haven’t had the severity of bites that we had in the past,” Base said. “Our community has been somewhat safer because of the law that was passed
    ***************************************************
    Prince George’s County, MD
    Prince George’s County passed a pit bull ban in 1996. In August 2009, Rodney Taylor, associate director of the county’s Animal Management Group, said that the number of pit bull biting incidents has fallen:

    “Taylor said that during the first five to seven years of the ban, animal control officials would encounter an average of 1,200 pit bulls a year but that in recent years that figure has dropped by about half. According to county statistics, 36 pit bull bites, out of 619 total dog bites, were recorded in 2008, down from 95 pit bull bites, out of a total of 853, in 1996.”
    ***************************************************
    Salina KS (a second article)

    Note that they admit that the pit bull ban did not reduce the number of bites, but it did reduce the severity of bites reported by all breeds. Proof that when pit bull deniers find a jurisdiction that banned pit bulls, but reported no decrease in overall bites, is a moot point. Its death and dismemberment we are focusing on, not bite counts.

    In the monthly city newsletter, In Touch, published in September 2006, the City of Salina reported that the pit bull ban adopted in 2005 significantly reduced pit bull biting incidents in just a 12 month period.

    The number of pit bull bites depicted in the “Salina Pit Bull Bites Reported” graph shows 2002 with 13 pit bull bites, 2003 with 11 pit bull bites, 2004 with 15 pit bull bites and 2005 with only one bite. The newsletter notes that “animal bites reported have remained constant, but the severity of bites have decreased dramatically” since the enactment of the pit bull ban.
    ***************************************************
    Springfield, MO

    In April 2008, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department released data to a local TV station – following the City of Springfield’s adoption of a 2006 pit bull ban:

    “The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports that dog bites and vicious dog complaints are declining since the implementation of the Pit Bull Ordinance in the City of Springfield two years ago. In 2005 the health department fielded 18 vicious dog complaints, but only eight in 2007. Bites were down from 102 in 2005 to 87 in 2007.”
    ***************************************************
    Washington

    In 2008, the City of Wapato passed an ordinance that bans new pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiffs. Nine months after its adoption, in March 2009, Wapato Police Chief Richard Sanchez reported successful results:

    “Nine months into the ban and police calls about vicious dogs have been cut in half. The Wapato Police tell Action News they’ve gone from 18 reports in January, February and March of last year to seven so far in ’09. “Seven calls in three months… that’s nothing,” says Chief Richard Sanchez, Wapato Police Department.

    Chief Sanchez credits local cooperation for the decline of dangerous dogs.”
    ***************************************************
    Rhode Island

    When the City of Woonsocket was debating a pit bull ordinance in June 2009, the animal control supervisor in Pawtucket, John Holmes, spoke about the enormous success of Pawtucket’s 2003 pit bull ban:

    “Holmes says he predicted that it would take two years for Pawtucket to experience the full benefit of the law after it was passed, but the results were actually apparent in half the time.

    “It’s working absolutely fantastic,” said Holmes. “We have not had a pit bull maiming in the city since December of 2004.”
    ***************************************************
    Per section 8-55 of Denvers pit bull ban:

    A pit bull, is defined as any dog that is an APBT, Am Staf Terrier, Staff Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of anyone (1) or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards set by the AKC or UKC for any of the above breed.

    Over the course of 22 years, the Denver ban has withstood numerous battles in state and federal courts. It has been used as a model for over 600 USA cities that legislate pit bulls, as well as US Navy, Air Force, Marine and Army bases ( so much for Sgt Stubby).

    without it, we’d see just what we see in Miss E’s lame replies. Every pit owner would claim their land shark was anything but a pit bull.

    Miami Dade county voted 66% to keep their pit bull ban, just as it is worded, last year.

    • What Kory didn’t say was their was a fatality of a child from another breed and that even today, Denver hospitalizations from dog bites greatly out number bites in non-bsl counties.

      • Fayclis

        Denver with its years of BSL has more bites than nearby cities.

  • Thomas McCartney

    An example of why leashing and licensing laws don’t work to solve the breed-specific problem of pit bulls:

    Pitbull supporters always point to Calgary Model as the perfect solution when dealing with dangerous dogs. The city introduced its responsible pet ownership bylaw in 2006.

    Calgary’s bylaw department emphasizes responsible pet ownership through intensive licensing, hefty fines and owner education.

    Has their model worked? The statistics from the past four years would indicate a resounding “NO”. For the past four years dog bites have risen steadily every year, and over 350% in the past 4 years, from 58 in 2009 to 203 in 2012.

    And In 2010 Pit bulls led the ‘bite’ count. Meanwhile in Toronto, four years after implementing Breed Bans, dog bites were down 32%, from 486 to 329.

    Bites in Toronto blamed on the four banned breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010.

    Considering these breeds regularly inflict the most serious damage, this is an undeniable win for the citizens of Toronto.

  • Tsk

    Thomas McCartney, can I interrupt your cutting and pasting to ask a question? Q: Was James Holmes a pit bull? Why don’t you worry about THAT threat?

    • Reb Furr

      Pit bulls have killed more people this year than James Holmes did. They kill more people EVERY year than James Holmes did. http://www.fatalpitbullattacks.com The count of people KILLED BY PIT BULLS is nearing 400 now!

      • Tsk

        Do you have any idea how many have been killed by psychos with assault rifles? Or is that a taboo subject around here?

        • Reb Furr

          We aren’t talking about assault rifles here, we’re talking about PIT BULLS. Do you have any idea how ridiculous it is that people are allowed to keep a type of dog that has KILLED 16 kids this year alone? If ANY product had killed that many kids, it would be IMMEDIATELY pulled off the shelves and BANNED. Pit bulls should be banned because they have proven year after year that they are FAR more likely to cause LIFE THREATENING and DISFIGURING injuries and DEATH. Pit bulls have KILLED 26 of the 28 people who have been killed by dogs this year. The same thing happens EVERY year without fail. Pit bulls are ILL BRED and they should have been outlawed when they outlawed dog fighting.

  • Thomas McCartney

    10 – 26 – 2013
    Barbara Kay

    It Should be Pit Bull BEWARE-ness Day
    On October 26, the Montreal SPCA and Pit Stop Montreal are celebrating “National Pit Bull Awareness Day.”

    Pit bulls may seem like an odd topic for a conservative journal, but as the (now) old saying goes, “the personal is political,” and nothing that affects our emotional lives in this heavily politicized world is exempt from the rule.

    Anyone who owns a dog, or knows someone who does, understands that dog attachment can be a deeply emotional phenomenon. And one of the most emotionally-charged issues in the canine world today is fuelled by an ideology I call multicaninism because it springs in spirit from the ideology of multiculturalism, and is peddled by a well-organized political advocacy movement.

    The crux of the ideology was enunciated in a remark by Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA in the press release detailing the events of National Pit Bull Awareness Day.

    Ms Devine states, “All dogs, no matter their appearance or heritage, are individuals and deserving of love and compassion.” If you took out the word “dogs” in that statement and substituted the word “children,” the statement would be both true and laudatory.

    But as it stands, it is a lie. Unless they are mongrels – and in this context, they are not, Ms Devine is warming up for her pitch to rehome pit bull type dog breeds specifically—dogs are not individuals in the same sense that human beings are.

    Human beings breed randomly. As line-bred, artificial constructs, dogs are bred to conform to a stereotype in which specific, predictable traits express themselves.

    Genetics play an enormous role in dog breeding and, once bred in, dominant characteristics are notoriously difficult to breed out. Greyhounds were bred for speed, and even the slowest greyhound is faster than the fastest bloodhound. Moreover, like all breed dogs, greyhounds take pleasure in doing what their physical nature suits them for.

    Pit bull type dogs—like the American Staffordshire, for example, whose neutral name belies the fact that he is genetically 100% pit bull—are endowed with a genetic trait called “impulsive aggression,” and have never been bred for anything but inflicting pain on other animals and humans.

    Their typical attack mode is relentless, their instinct to inflict massive damage with little regard for pain incurred in the attack. They are genetically programmed to seek opportunities to exercise their impulse to fight.

    Which is why dog fighters will not use any other breed of dog for their loathsome “sport”; no other breed of dog can be made to engage in fighting with such savagery.

    And it is also why, when you look at statistics, the rates of maulings, maimings, dismemberments and fatalities are so preposterously skewed to pit bull type dogs that any explanation other than genetics is simply untenable.

    Yet pit bulls, once a tiny fragment of the breed population in people’s homes, have over the last two decades risen dramatically in numbers. At about 6%, they are only surpassed in popularity by Labrador Retrievers.

    And as their popularity waxes, so too do the rates of maulings and killings. According to investigative reporter Merritt Clifton’s ongoing reports,1 the pit bull now represents 3000% the actuarial risk compared to other dogs. Hundreds of jurisdictions have banned them for that reason.

    All dog industry people know this, but in the last three decades, virtually all dog industry people have conspired to ignore that reality. The Montreal SPCA is typical of the shelter community in aggressively “pushing” pit bulls, marketing them as lovable family pets, even though pit bulls are five times more likely to kill a family member – usually a child – than all other breeds combined.

    Why the wilful blindness? The simple explanation is that when the pit bull was associated with white dog fighters – the Ku Klux Klan financed much of their operations through dog fighting – the breed was rightly feared, despised and shunned.

    But in the 1970s, as the KKK morphed into garden-variety gangs, members of the black criminal class took up the slack in dog fighting, as well as using the dogs to guard marijuana grow-ops and to intimidate people generally.

    Now white liberals had a problem. How could they despise a breed that was the darling of “racialized” youth? They couldn’t! So instead they embraced the pit bull as himself a victim of the same prejudice that afflicted blacks.

    The same theorists who gave us the canard that all cultures are equal in value, and any discrimination based in cultural judgment is unacceptable, projected this notion on to dogs.

    Pit bulls are to dogs what Blacks, natives, women and aboriginals are to multiculturalists: the Victim of a racializing, sexist, imperialist society. Read the pit bull advocacy movement literature, including academic theses by Phd candidates who are now flocking to the subject of the pit bull as a media victim, and you see words like “rights,” “racism,” “hate,” and “stereotyping,” words that are intellectually untenable in connection with creatures that emblemize the very word “stereotype.”

    And here are the trickle-down fruits of all that theorizing: humane shelters whose personnel know very well that pit bull type dogs present a high risk to other animals and humans, but are pushing them anyway. There is already a lot of blood on the humane movement’s hands, and if they do not own up to the reality of pit bull genetics, there will be much, much more.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Last year, a pit bull killed somebody in the U.S. every 13 days… ripped off a person’s body part (ear, scalp, foot, hand, etc.) every 3 days… killed other pets and seriously bit multiple people every day.

    Pits are 4% of dogs in the U.S. but responsible for 80% of bites that need medical attention, 69% of fatal maulings (95% for 2013 so far, one every 9.5 days).

    Pits are 6x more likely to attack their owners than other breeds are; 30x more likely to bite in a given year (per capita basis) than other breeds, and 16x more likely to escape confinement.

    Even untrained pits can pull thousands of pounds, so they are absolutely uncontrollable by any mere human holding a leash.

    Pits are bad. It has nothing to do with “bad owners.” Does it take a bad owner to bring out the herding instinct in a Border Collie or the hunting instinct in a Beagle? Well, it doesn’t take a bad owner to bring out the 150 years of breeding-for-aggression in a pit bull, either.

    Aggression is the NORMAL, DEFAULT behavior for pit bulls. If bad ownership was responsible for the pit maulings, how come there are millions of Beagles, Springers, Goldens, etc. in the hands of bad owners, and none of them are mauling or killing anybody?

  • Thomas McCartney

    In the last thirty years pit bulls have killed 241 humans and disfigured another 1,302 (that we’re aware of). Fully half of these casualties, 126 of the fatalities and 640 of the disfigurements, have occurred in the last five years. That amounts to an average of 25 pit bull canine homicides of humans a year, or a death every two weeks.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Pit bulls debated at Peoria animal-ordinance meeting
    By NICK VLAHOS (nvlahos@pjstar.com)
    OF THE JOURNAL STAR
    Posted Oct 02, 2013

    PEORIA — Some dog enthusiasts believe pit bulls are no more dangerous than other canine varieties.

    Beth Akeson believes it’s a matter of severity, not propensity.
    “What is important for people to understand is pit bulls, when they do attack, they deliver an injury that is completely different than other dog bites,” the at-large Peoria City Council member said Wednesday night. “That is a fact.”

    Akeson spoke during and after the first of two scheduled public forums about proposed changes to the city’s animal-control code. About 15 people gathered at the Lakeview Branch of the Peoria Public Library to review a task force’s handiwork.

    What might be the centerpiece proposal creates a “reckless dog owner” category. Offenders would be fined and receive a three-year dog-ownership ban if they violate the animal-control ordinance at least three times over 36 months.

    Owners would be required to keep dogs behind a fence when on private property. Unattended tethering of dogs also would be prohibited. Specific types and lengths of tethers would be mandated.

    Those who spoke publicly seemed to favor the proposals, although the tethering issues confused some. Akeson said tethering language will be clarified.

    But when it came to pit bulls, it appeared there was a difference of opinion.
    Deb Yang, a Peorian who helps operate an animal-rescue service, said vicious dogs cross breeding lines.

    “Breed-specific law does not work,” she said.
    Kimberly Brown agreed. She was accompanied by her service dog Sweety, a boxer-pit bull mix.

    “I’ve seen all types of breeds be vicious,” Brown said. “I’m not for the pit bull bashing.”
    Both women said better education of owners can help alleviate problems with canine aggression.

    Akeson cited statistics that showed pit bulls responsible for more bites reported in Peoria than any other dog variety. She provided a study that stated pit bull attacks have a higher risk of death than those of other breeds.
    The councilwoman also offered graphic evidence — perhaps too graphic for some.

    Akeson showed the crowd photographs of a person who had been wounded in a pit bull attack in Peoria. The victim was treated at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. The victim’s family and OSF officials gave Akeson permission to use the photos, she said.

    Assistant City Manager Chris Setti, who attended the forum, advised against revealing the bloody images, Akeson said. One audience member left the room before they were projected.

    But Akeson believed the viewing was necessary.
    “The damage caused right now by pit bulls is off the charts,” she said.
    The councilwoman stopped short of calling for an immediate pit bull ban. Instead, she emphasized responsible dog ownership.
    “I think for right now, we want to create conditions where dogs don’t bite,” Akeson said.

    Another public forum about the proposals is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Neighborhood House, 1020 S. Matthew St. Additional forums might ensue, said Akeson, who targeted December as a possible time for City Council consideration.

  • Tsk

    Assault rifles: perfectly OK, available to every psycho. Pit bulls: DANGEROUS! I swear, if Jefferson came back to life, he’d think he’d been reincarnated in a home for the mentally challenged.

    • Reb Furr

      With FN pit bulls roaming the neighborhoods, you NEED an assault rifle to protect yourself. THAT is what is crazy.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Merritt Clifton (all written in 2013):

    “From 1930 to 1960 the U.S. averaged fewer than one fatal dog attack per year. Pit bulls during that time killed nine people. Dobermans killed two, one in 1955 and one in 1960, and that was enough to create the lasting image of the Doberman as a dangerous breed.

    Since 2010 we have averaged 23 fatalities per year from pit bulls alone. From 1960 to 1985, the U.S. averaged about 600,000 bites per year requiring medical treatment, with a dog population of about 35 million.

    From 2000 to today, with a dog population of about 70 million, the average number of dog bites per year requiring medical attention has been between 4.7 and 4.8 million. What changed? In 1960 pit bulls were about half of one percent of the U.S. dog population. By 2000 they were about 4%, and now they are 6%.”

    “No pit bulls from shelters are known to have killed or disfigured anyone in the first 90 years of the 20th century, but 43 have in the past four years, and there have also been 19 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs. The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone, ever, before 2000 were two wolf hybrids in 1988 and 1989.

    31 shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010, 29 of them pit bulls, bull mastiffs, and Rottweilers. In addition, pit bulls & related breeds adopted from shelters have killed & disfigured around 100 other pets for every person who has been killed or disfigured.

    The bottom line is that in the rush to try to get to no-kill status without stopping the proliferation of dangerous dog breeds first, the animal shelter & rescue communities are grossly failing the public trust, and need to be called to account for it.”

  • Thomas McCartney

    To those who claim that it’s all in how you raise them, I think it may be of interest how dogs are trained for police work and some military work.

    These dogs are kenneled and intentionally NOT socialized. They were not LOVED on like a dog in a home would be. We didn’t want them friendly to people but their handler.

    They are AGITATED/PROVOKED on purpose by a person using techniques that gets them intensely serious to want to attack. We trained them daily to ATTACK people. We trained them to attack HARD to take a person down and to CALL OUT on command.

    It took months to get them to be serious enough even with all of this work. These dogs were by their DNA, NORMAL AGGRESSIVE dogs.

    They were German Shepherds, Dobermans & Malinois mostly. When have you heard of these dogs biting someone so severely they were maimed and required months of rehabilitation and plastic surgery?

    When have you ever heard of them killing a human? Even with all of this practice none were KILLER dogs. In fact, they were some of the most safe dogs to be around.

    They were predictable, they warned, they were stoppable and they recognized submission not using it for a kill. Pit Bull advocates make fools of the naive who buy into the idea that “it’s all in how you raise them.”

    The dog fighters know that other breeds of dogs don’t make good killers. 400+ breeds of dogs are raised in as many a variety of ways including abusive (greyhounds/beagles) as Pit Bulls yet NONE of them go around maiming and killing People, pets & livestock.

    Those people who’ve had the privledge of training the elite dogs who have life and death jobs to do on the police/military force, use the best NORMAL AGGRESSIVE breeds of dogs NOT the ABNORMAL AGGRESSIVE Pit Bull/Molasser types.

    These abnormal aggression breeds go from happy faces and wiggley butts (non-aggression) to sudden uncontrollable rage, unprovoked without warning and unstoppable. Not a good recipe for such work.

    They are like a loaded gun in the hands of a child running around playing with it. You never know IF or WHEN it will go off or if you could STOP it from firing fatally or which child running around with a loaded gun would cause it to fire.

    • Kathy Mitchell-Wales

      your said it yourself they were TRAINED to stop…. I agree with Coloradogs before you speak or paste think about it how it shows your ignorance.

      • Thomas McCartney

        Yes normal police dogs are trained but pit bulls are not used a police dogs as they are not trainable, that can not be controlled, simple as that.

        • Eva Matos

          Get a life. There are bully breed dogs as rescue dogs, therapy dogs, service dogs, military working dogs and are used by the police as drug sniffing dogs and police dogs. Why is this if they are, “not trainable” ? Oh, by the way The American Humane Association Hero Award WINNER is Elle, the Pitbull, Go to her FB page idiot. She goes into Elementary Schools, where CHILDREN read to her, thus giving them confidence and helping them with their reading skills. She also does community work where she lives.
          She is now doing meet and greets though out the US on TV Shows and at special events.
          You are ranting and raving like a lunatic and to me, YOU are more frightening to me than any bully breed dog would.

          • MJC

            No “military working dogs” are pit bulls! In fact, pit bulls are banned on the majority of military installations. As for Elle, the pit bull, she deserved that award about as much as Bernie Madoff deserved those billions of dollars he stole!

        • Benjamen Ortiz

          pretty wrong genius. the US army has an explosive ordinance. border patrol and a few law enforcement have narcotics, I have a human remains detection Pittie. and there are several others that are in search and rescue, two that are in FEMA taskforce

          • MJC

            There is a difference between police dogs that must be trained to halt an attack on a human being, and drug/cadaver sniffing dogs and those used in search and rescue.

  • Thomas McCartney

    An article about dog attacks in the journal Annals of Surgery 2011:

    The article starts by describing a pit bull attack on an infant. The baby had to be given CPR, and a tracheal intubation upon arrival at the hospital. Wounds included “scalp degloving,” (skin ripped off head) and multiple bites to the face, neck, chest, buttocks and genitals. The infant died and the article includes a very graphic and awful picture of a pit bull- related fatality.

    Here are some stats from the article:

    Pit bulls attack indiscriminately

    Responsible for 65% of all fatal attacks in 2008

    6 of 7 fatal dog bites in Texas in 2007 were inflicted by pit bulls

    94% of attacks on children by pit bulls were unprovoked

    81% of attacks that occurred off the owner’s property involved pit bulls

    One person is killed by a pit bull every 14 days

    One body part is severed and lost every 5.4 days as a result of pit bull attacks

    2 persons are injured by pit bulls every day

    You have a more than 2500 times higher chance of dying if attacked by a pit bull type dog compared to other types of dogs

  • Thomas McCartney

    BADRAP surrenders to facts

    “A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants.” ~Mark Twain

    on May 20 @ 9:00am PST, BADRAP made the following proclamation:

    It’s Dog Bite Prevention Week. Did you know that there was never such thing as a ‘Nanny’s Dog’? This term was a recent invention created to describe the myriad of vintage photos of children enjoying their family pit bulls.

    While the intention behind the term was innocent, using it may mislead parents into being careless with their children around their family dog – A recipe for dog bites!

    • Hmmm, only it wasn’t actually a “surrender.” Many of us do not believe the “Nanny dog” term and know it was out of context. Just another fact for you Thomas.

    • Sue Marie

      Funny you should quote Mark Twain while spreading your vicious lies with impunity!

  • Tsk

    Thomas McCartney…um, are you mentally ill, by any chance? You just keep posting one long cut and pasted passage after another. It’s creepy.

    • Reb Furr

      The ones who are mentally ill are the pit bull lovers who IGNORE damning statistics that CLEARLY show that pit bulls KILL people FAR more often than ALL other dog breeds combined. For example, so far in 2013 there have been 28 people KILLED by dogs.. 26 of the 28 were KILLED by pit bulls. 16 of those killed were people’s kids! People have a RIGHT to be protected from ill bred animals that pose a risk to the public. KEEP the ban Aurora. Show the nation that you STILL care more about people than dogs!

      • Tsk

        You could save many more people by working against the NRA, but I realize that’s a taboo none of you are brave enough to confront. So sure, keep talking about dogs.

        • Reb Furr

          Guns do NOT jump out the window, dig under the fence or tear out the screen door and go down the street to attack somebody of their own volition. Pit bulls DO.

          • Yet guns kill exponentially more people every year.

  • Thomas McCartney

    craven desires
    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    New ASPCA study shows SPCA workers can correctly ID a pit bull 96% of the time.

    “The ASPCA Shelter Research and Development department designed a study
    and provided a grant for Richmond SPCA to act as the shelter laboratory
    for this work.”

    The Mars Wisdom Panel agreed to work with the ASPCA on the project
    because, I’m guessing, if it went as planned, Mars Wisdom Panel would be
    selling millions of tests to shelters and rescues.

    Alas, things did not go as planned. The RSPCA believed that if each pit
    type dog had a DNA test done and the results displayed, the pit types
    might get adopted faster. They planned to divide dogs that would
    usually be visually identified as a pit type or pit mix into two groups.
    One group would get the DNA test done and the results would be shown
    on the cage for potential adopters to see and the other would be
    labeled pit mix or pit type as usual.

    For this to work, the RSPCA workers must have expected to see wonky DNA results showing that the pit type dogs were actually black Russian
    terrier x tibetan terrier x dandie dintmont terrier x pembroke welsh
    corgi x duck tolling retriever x whippet x briard mixes. After all,
    that’s what usually happens.

    But the whole experiment ran off the rails when it turned out that the
    RSPCA workers’ visual identification of pit bulls was correct 96% of the
    time.

    How do I know Sugar is a pit bull?

    Because she looks like one.

    I still don’t believe that three large breeds, two of which have long
    fur, could produce this little short haired dog with all that white
    flash. But there still are questions about the accuracy of a test that
    doesn’t even profile APBT DNA to identify pit bulls.

    http://www.cravendesires.blogspot.ca/2013/11/new-aspca-study-shows-spca-workers-can.html

    • Here’s the full article and one that makes us grin:

      http://www.aspcapro.org/blog/2013/09/25/bully-this%E2%80%94-results-are-in%E2%80%A6

      The results of the study actually show that people adopt shelter dogs based on behavior and not on DNA results. People were not less apt to adopt dogs with pit bull in them. Truth is important when we discuss these issues.

      • Thomas McCartney

        75% of all Animal Shelters in the US will euthanize all pit bulls, pit crosses or any dogs that even looks like one immediately with no attempt to adopt them out.

        The other 25% will also euthanize within a few days to a week if adoption doesn’t take place.

        Why is this?, because nobody wants any of the evil disgusting Mutants, they can’t give them away, that is why 93% of all Pitts in Animal Shelters in the US are killed , over 1.1 Million Pit Bulls every year are killed in this manner every year after year after year after year in the US alone.

        Over 100 a day are killed in animal shelters in LA county alone, 73,000 a year after year after year after year.

        That is over 12 million pit bulls killed in Animal Shelters in the US in the last decade alone.

        The Idiot Pit Nutters who are playing their rescue game are losers and losing the battle as the few hundred they save is a pittance compared to the Million plus killed the same year.

        They show their support for these mutants by fighting against laws against their breeding that could prevent this as a result much needed mass slaughter of pit bulls, they are responsible for all of this and show their ignorance and hypocrisy by continuing fight against what is actually in the best interests of this perverted breed.

        That’s 2,750 a day or 345 every hour, right this moment somewhere in the US a pit bull will rip, ravage and maul no more and instead is feeling the loving sting of death, oh what a lovely truth and reality that no pit loving pervert can deny or combat, how does that feel pit nutters……Now the pit bull will find it’s true forever home, the deep dark forever night, all that it warrants or deserves, bye bye mutant and don’t come back!

        • Thomas- Why insult if you actually have a valid point? Also, we are huge fans of real conversations not people who cut and paste the exact same thing on every forum across the US.

        • Sue Marie

          Thomas must be nice to be so full of hot air and spout misinformation like it was fox news!

      • Thomas McCartney

        There is NO DNA test to determine any breed at the moment, so your premise is not credible, only sire and pups DNA can be determined re their relationship to each other.

        The fact that 1 million pit bull type dogs a year are put to death in US animal shelters speaks for itself re the interest of the public in adopting pit bull type dogs.!!

        • Whoa! Thomas? Is that you? There is no DNA that identifies for American Pit Bull Terrier but does for American Staffordshire. The premise is absolutely credible as it is genetics 101 as each purebred has certain genetic markers. If the genetics tests were not credible, why would you post an article touting that shelter workers could identify pit bulls 96% of the time. How would you know which were pit bulls and not without DNA identification Thomas? That would lead us to believe the actually agenda is to just ban a dog who “looks” a certain way without any proof.

          • Thomas McCartney

            Your simple wrong, there is no DNA test for any dog breed or type for identification period, this according to the University of Cal Davis and every other expert you may wish to consult.

            The identifications in the article i posted re 96% were visual identifications not DNA based, read it and weep.!!

            All dog breeds are easily and clearly visually identifiable and have always been so, that is how dog shows operate.

          • Oh Thomas- You might want to read the whole article and not just the edited version posted on Craven Desires. DNA testing is used for identification and accepted in court cases. It’s why Aurora allows for pit bulls showing less than 50% staffordshire ( that is the markers they have at this time). You are in fact wrong and I suggest you rethink what you are posting. But that fact hasn’t seemed to stop you thus far so, proceed with the misinformation.

          • Sue Marie

            Dude you are so past hope not even worth the time it takes to refute your total BS!

        • frznsld

          No DNA test? This statement is incorrect, and by making it with such brazenness you have done nothing more than provide unequivocal evidence of your complete lack of knowledge of science and genetics, meaning that every post you have ever or ever will make about “pit bull type dogs” being bred to be vicious is totally unfounded and incorrect.

          DNA testing is in fact so accurate that for many decades now scores of death row prisoners have been exonerated due to DNA testing which proved “beyond the shadow of a doubt” their innocence of the crimes of which they were convicted. And before you say “that’s different,” please be advised that it is not. Any statement you make suggesting any such thing will only further demonstrate your ignorance of the subject. DNA is DNA and while testing of DNA material can be used for numerous different purposes, the actual testing process and the end goal of such testing is the same – to obtain a match of genetic material at its very source. Lowest common denominator, to put it in simple terms.

          In the context of canine genetic testing, this means that a DNA test of a particular dog’s genetic origin is almost 98% accurate. Nothing in life is guaranteed, therefore claims of 100% accuracy in anything are patently false, as are any absolutes in life. Although the test RESULTS will always contain information on every single breed in the ancestry of the dog tested, the REPORT prepared of the test results will only indicate the breeds and their percentages that comprise 15% or more of what they identify. The sole reason they don’t report each and every finding under 15% is COST. You see, every dog on the face of the earth has the same common ancestry – the wolf – although after over 100,000 years they have split into two completely separate lines, Canis Lupis and Canis Familiaris. The genetic footprint of the companion animals of today bear very little similarity to that of today’s wolves, and their behavior even less. In case you still don’t understand, all of the foregoing means that one dog’s complete DNA structure could conceivably include the genetic material thousands of different breeds. It’s simply not cost effective and would certainly be far too time consuming to report every fraction of a percent of every breed in the dog’s mix, so a cutoff point was determined for the lesser included breed material. That cutoff is 15%.

          As concerns your posting, if you possessed a scintilla of the “scientific” knowledge you pretend to have on all these boards, you would most certainly not be posting this false and misleading hearsay on every site that even mentions BSL. Accordingly, one can only conclude that your are fully aware of your dishonesty and choose to spread malice, hatred, and fear that you know is false, inflammatory, and calculated to end in a specific result. One can only speculate on your reasons for doing so. Being a person who values honesty and fact, I will not.

  • Whoops! Looks like our out of town friends made it over here from the other article to hijack our community yet again. Stay tuned, we will be announcing a community forum where Coloradoans can go to discuss their point of view on BSL, where respectful dialogue will be required, and people with no investment in our state are not included in the discussion. We want to hear what you, fellow Coloradoans, have to say.

    • Reb Furr

      Just to remind you, Miami Dade put the vote to keep pit bulls banned before the people and the people voted to KEEP pit bulls banned. I hope the Aurora lawmakers put the BSL before the people of Aurora and you pit bull lovers are going to get a nasty surprise. Most people do not trust pit bulls and with good reason.

      • Thank you Reb for the reminder but we were aware. If your family lives here, we would love for them to be a part of the conversation.

        • Scott

          Interesting that NO WHERE that has BSL has seen a decrease in dog bites. Also interesting that 94% of animal control officers cannot correctly identify a pit bull (APBT, AmStaf) from 23 similar appearing but genetically different breeds. The most dangerous dog internationally? A dachshund. Mr McCartney’s statistic below is incorrect, because that study was done without DNA testing. The ‘correctly’ identified a ‘pit bull’ based off other’s visual identification, that’s like saying that black guy over there is Jamaican because he also has dreds and we know all black people who have dreds are Jamaican. Explain to me why states that explicitly ban BSL but encourage spayneuter, owner education and responsible ownership have significantly lower bite statistics than states that don’t?
          And Mr McCartney, obviously you have a lot of time on your hands and a knack for finding statistics from dogsbite.org. You need a more constructive hobby.

          • MJC

            Most places that enacted BSL have a decrease in dog bites. What is “strange” is that you and the other pit bull proponents believe and repeat what you read on pit bull advocacy websites without checking the results yourselves. Why else would so many of you continue to perpetuate the “nanny dog” nonsense when even the organization Bad Rap has finally admitted it is nothing more than a myth?

    • Reb Furr

      You pit bull pushers are the ones who are “hijacking the community” Neighborhoods where people are allowed to keep pit bulls become places where nobody is safe to walk their dog, let their kids walk to a friends house or even let their own pet out into their OWN yard for fear of somebody’s ill bred pit bull attacking and severely injuring or KILLING them. THAT is “hijacking a neighborhood”.

      • Hey Reb! Are we having the conversation on this forum now?

        • Reb Furr

          Well it looks that way doesn’t it?

          • Indeed. Can you let your family who are Colorado residents know that we will be posting a forum link soon and would like for them to join us if they are interested in sharing their thoughts?

    • Reb Furr

      I was born and raised in CO. All of my family lives there and every one of them are aware of the dangers of pit bulls and wish to see them banned. So there you go.. there’s some of your Coloradans that you want to hear from. That would be four brothers, three sisters, several nieces and nephews and my Mom.. all live in CO and all agree that pit bulls are too dangerous to be kept as pets.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Ryan Maxwell
    7-years old | Galesburg, IL.

    Ryan Maxwell, 7-years old, was attacked and killed by a pit bull while visiting family friends at a home on Whiting Avenue. Ryan had spent the previous night at the home. At the time of the attack, the boy had been playing in the backyard. Investigators believe the dog was tethered before the attack, but broke free. When police arrived, the pit bull was still clamped onto the boy’s neck.

    After police “disengaged” the dog, the animal was shot to death to prevent additional attacks. The boy was transported to Cottage Hospital where he later died from his injuries. The owner of the pit bull, Ashiya Ferguson, said she tried everything she could to get the dog off the boy, including beating the dog with a shovel. “I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t stop it.” Ferguson repeated in anguish after the attack.

    She vowed to never own another pit bull again. In June, authorities announced that no charges would be filed. According to Knox County Assistant State’s Attorney Elisa Tanner, there was no evidence that a crime occurred.
    [source citations]Date of death: March 2, 2013.
    Chained: No
    Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family.
    Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Family friend.
    Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
    On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No.

    Daxton Borchardt
    14-months old | Walworth, WI.

    Daxton Borchardt, 14-months old, was savagely mauled by his babysitter’s two pit bulls while under her care. Susan Iwicki, 30-years old, was babysitting the boy at her home on North Lakeshore Drive when her two pit bulls attacked. Iwicki called 911 stating that she and the boy were under attack by her two dogs.

    Capt. Dana Nigbor said that a deputy arrived at the attack scene just minutes after the call, which occurred outdoors. The deputy discovered Daxton in one of the rooms of Iwicki’s home. The toddler was fully naked and lying motionless on his back on the floor in a puddle of blood. He was barely alive. Daxton was transported to a hospital then airlifted to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin with critical injuries.

    He died less than 3-hours later. Both pit bulls, each 3-years old and sterilized, were removed from the home and euthanized. No criminal charges against the babysitter are pending.
    [source citations]Date of death: March 6, 2013.
    Chained: No
    Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family.
    Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Babysitter.
    Spay/Neuter: Yes Multiple dogs: Yes
    On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No.

    Monica Laminack
    21-months old | Ellabelle, GA.

    Monica Laminack, 21-months old, was mauled to death by a pack of family pit bulls in the backyard of her home. Authorities believe Monica crawled through a doggie door unnoticed and was attacked — the dogs lived both inside and outside the home. A 911 call at 6:36 pm reported the girl’s grandmother woke up from a nap after hearing dogs barking, looked out the back window and saw the attack happening.

    She and other family members rushed outside to pull the dogs off the toddler, but it was too late. Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith said that when EMS arrived on scene the child’s body was already cold, indicating she had been dead for awhile. Authorities believe Monica was attacked at about 6 pm, a half hour before the 911 call.

    The child’s 18-year old mother, Summer Laminack, two adult relatives and two young boys were inside the home during the mauling. Summer was subsequently charged with second-degree cruelty to children.
    [source citations]Date of death: March 27, 2013.
    Chained: No
    Breed of dog: Pit bull (7) Relationship to dog: Family.
    Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Family.
    Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
    On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes.

    Tyler Jett
    7-years old | Callaway, FL.

    Tyler Jett, 7-years old, was brutally attacked by two pit bull-mix dogs while playing in the front yard of his home on April 2. Tyler was flown to Scared Heart Medical Center in Pensacola with life-threatening injuries. The boy suffered a punctured carotid artery and his head, face and neck were badly bitten. The two dogs, owned by Edward Daniels II, 21-years old, escaped their owner’s fenced-in property prior to attacking.

    Several days earlier, Daniels had been cited for allowing his dogs to run free and terrorize neighbors. Daniels was charged with a felony count of tampering with evidence; he washed the blood off the face and paws of one of the dogs after the attack. Tyler did not regain consciousness while in intensive care. He died five days after the attack.

    Authorities subsequently upgraded the charges against Daniels to manslaughter. On August 29, 2013, a jury found Daniels guilty of manslaughter after two hours of deliberating.
    [source citations]Date of death: April 7, 2013.
    Chained: No
    Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family.
    Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Neighbor.
    Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
    On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes.

    Claudia Gallardo
    38-years old | Stockton, CA.

    Claudia Gallardo, 38-years old, was mauled to death by a “big, nasty pit bull,” according to Sgt. Tom Rees of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies received a report of a dog mauling in east Stockton about 8:20 pm. When deputies arrived, they found a woman in the driveway of a residence with massive wounds.

    She was pronounced dead on the scene. Neighbors said the same pit bull, named Russia, had been terrorizing the area for months. The owner of the dog, Brian Hrenko, was away when the attack occurred. His female roommate was home. She alleged the victim jumped over the front fence and claimed to be there to clean the house when the dog attacked.

    After being detained and questioned by police, Hrenko admitted that the victim had been to his home at least once before and had interacted well with his dog. As of April 25, 2013 there have been no additional updates. [source citations]Date of death: April 11, 2013.
    Chained: No
    Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family.
    Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Property owner.
    Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
    On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Pit Bulls Lead ‘Bite’ Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties.
    Dog Biting Incidents: 2008 to 2012.

    Animal control departments in at least 25 U.S. states report that pit bulls are biting more than all other dog breeds. These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

    The oft-quoted myth by pro-pit bull groups that pit bulls “do not bite more than other breeds” is categorically false. In addition to leading bite counts, the pit bull bite is also the most damaging, inflicting permanent and disfiguring injury.

  • Thomas McCartney

    An Ox be a Mutant Undog pit bull type dog by another name……………..works for me, this should be the outcome for all pit bull type dogs and pit nutter owners, we should include this in the next proposed BSL here, there and everywhere.

    28 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.

    29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

  • Thomas McCartney

    “The LA Times (and other advocates) are fond of mentioning that many pit bulls live without incident as gentle pets. These advocates ignore more compelling facts.

    321 humans have been killed or disfigured by dogs during calendar year 2013; 316 of those attacks were by pit bulls.

    16 of the attacks have caused human fatalities, 15 of those deaths were caused by pit bulls.***.

    California leads the nation in fatal pit bull attacks with 25% of the nation’s total.

    To omit this essential information in an editorial opinion on pit bulls is tantamount to a lie of omission.”

  • Thomas McCartney

    Sadly one does not even have to search for the many attacks of these savage mutant undog’s on humans and pets, there are literally hundreds of new incidents every day carried out by these disgusting creatures, here is another.

    These are all major daily newspapers and network TV station accurate factual reports with direct access to Doctors, ER’s Animal control officers, Police, the victims family, witnesses, the guilty pit nutters, all in news reports from major city newspapers and TV stations, as legit therefore as it possibly can be.

    There is only one breed that has every been or is a threat to public safety and that is the pit bull, the sooner they are exterminated the sooner tragic attacks like the one below will be ended.

    Ban the breed and end the deed.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Cesar Millan quote unquote:

    “Yeah, but this is a different breed…the power that comes behind the bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed – They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don’t feel the pain anymore. … So if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it’s not going to happen.

    They would rather die than surrender. If you add pain, it only infuriates them…to them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it… That’s why they are such great fighters.”.

    He goes on to say: “Especially with fighting breeds, you’re going to have these explosions over and over because there’s no limits in their brain.” Wow, is that what you want in a pet? A dog that has “explosions over and over” in its brain?

  • Thomas McCartney

    A pit bull BSL works EVERYWHERE it is useful in almost eliminating all serious dog attacks that maim, disfigure, dismember, maul, cripple.
    or kill, this is a simply proven fact in all cases.The number of pit bulls is dramatically reduced as are the numbers of them put to death.

    The need to have BSL is to have a preemptive capability to avoid a pit bull attack from happening due to it’s extremely savage consequences.

    It is enacted against all pit bulls as they all have the genetic DNA propensity to carry out these horrific attacks that are non existent in 99% of all other breeds, ban the breed and you ban the deed, simple as that.

    Dealing with an attack after the fact is simply not acceptable due to the horrific nature of said attacks.

    With any other breed other then Rottweiler’s, wolf hybrids and Akita’s and a few others in very small numbers it is not a naturally genetic reality for them to carry out such horrifying attacks.

    Hence they need to be dealt with in an aggressive reactive modality where all of the breed are not looked on as one but rather based on the actions of the individual misbehaving dog.

    This can be done in a very aggressive proactive manner so that as soon as a dog like a lab lets say starts behaving inappropriately severe consequences can be brought to bare on the owner and their dog in an escalating manner as needed to deal with a situation that has developed.

    This duel track approach can deal with the pits issue as other normal dog breeds can be dealt with as well so vicious dogs of other mainstream breeds are also held accountable for their actions.

    There should be mandatory Spay/Neuter programs for all breeds but clearly the one that needs it the most and where the most change would be effected would be with the Pit Bull type dog.

  • Thomas McCartney

    17 Barks

    Sunday, July 28, 2013.

    Pit shelter and euthanasia stats.
    Merritt Clifton, Editor at Animal People recently shared some pertinent information about the number of pit bulls in shelters and their ultimate disposition.

    I think it bears repeating because it refutes the idea that “BSL” is somehow to blame for all the pit bull deaths.

    The current U.S. pit bull population is about 3.2 million, and it has been about three million for about 10 years now, according to the annual ANIMAL PEOPLE surveys of classified ads offering dogs for sale or adoption.

    About one million pit bulls per year enter animal shelters, about two-thirds surrendered by their keepers, most of the rest impounded for dangerous behavior.

    Most of these dogs have already been through three homes — their birth home, the home that bought them, and a subsequent pass-along home, before they arrive at shelters.

    An average of just over 900,000 pit bulls per year over the past 10 years have been killed in shelters after flunking behavioral screening, with a peak of 967,000, a low of 835,000, and 910,000 killed last year.

    This is about 60% of all the dogs killed in U.S. shelters today, up from about 50% in 2003. The average age of pit bulls killed in animal shelters is about 18 months.

    So what we have at any given time is a third of the pit bull population having not yet reached maturity, a third (at most) in homes they will still occupy at the end of the year, and a third flunking out of homes and being killed — which translates into a 50% failure rate among adult dogs in homes each & every year. Among all other dog breeds combined, about 5% enter shelters each year.

    Animal people news.

  • Thomas McCartney

    REAL STATISTICS ON PIT BULLS.

    Sadly, here are the real statistics on what happens to pit bulls, provided by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, who has compiled statistics from all over the country since 1982. He states, “Pit bull attacks are way up:”.

    –We had 184 fatal & disfiguring pit bull attacks in 2012.

    –To date in 2013, we have had 342 fatal & disfiguring pit bull attacks.

    “An average of just over 900,000 pit bulls per year over the past 10 years have been killed in shelters after flunking behavioral screening, with a peak of 967,000, a low of 835,000, and 910,000 killed last year. This is about 60% of all the dogs killed in U.S. shelters today, up from about 50% in 2003.

    “The average age of pit bulls killed in animal shelters is about 18 months. So what we have at any given time is a third of the pit bull population having not yet reached maturity, a third (at most) in homes they will still occupy at the end of the year, and a third flunking out of homes and being killed — which translates into a 50% failure rate among adult dogs in homes each & every year.

    “About two-thirds of the fatal and disfiguring dog attacks occurring in the U.S. during the past 30 years have been by pit bulls. The low rate of sterilization among pit bulls contributes mightily to the repeated finding that the majority of fatal and disfiguring dog attacks are by non-castrated male dogs.

    “But about two-thirds of the fatal and disfiguring attacks by castrated male dogs are also by pit bulls, including at least nine fatalities since 2010 inflicted by pit bulls who were adopted from animal shelters after both castration and passing standard pre-adoption behavioral screening.”

  • Thomas McCartney

    A pit bull type dog is what it is and does what it is.You can no more alter it genetic makeup then you can a collies to herd, a hounds to track, a retriever’s to retrieve, a labs to swim, a pointers to point, a sled dog to run and pull.

    They do what they are and a pit bull type dog is a mauling violent killer that has been bred to be a land shark, nothing you do can change that, even if you have them from birth.

    No matter if you love them, or how you nurture, train, rehabilitate, raise them optimally as normal dogs from birth, you can not change their Genetic reality to Kill, Maul, Maim, Disfigure, Dismember, cause Life Flights or trips to the Intensive Care Unit.

    For over 600 years the current pit bull type dog was brought into being through careful selective genetic breeding to create the most violent murderous fighting dog possible.

    Alexandra Semyonova canine Behavioral and Dog training Expert:

    The history of the ‘bull’ dog began in England, somewhere in the middle ages. It took hundreds of years of selective breeding to create dogs aggressive enough that they were fit for bull- and bear-baiting. The sport had its heyday during the reigns of Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I, but as the law slowly abolished the torture of humans, public opinion began to turn also against the torture of animals for sport. In 1835, Britain passed a law that abolished bull- and bear-baiting.

    The people – in particular the breeders supplying the dogs and those who ran the gambling rackets – had to turn to some other avenue of livelihood. Pitting ‘bull’ dogs against each other became the thing. No need to have, sustain and hide a bull or a bear. No need for an elaborate fighting pit that was big enough to protect the audience from a bear fighting for its life against a bunch of bulldogs.

    The bulldogs were cheaper to keep, required only an improvised fighting pit, and could be quickly hidden if police were on the way. Some lines were modified by adding terrier. This didn’t lead to losing the bulldog’s love of a fight to the death but made the dogs smaller. These smaller bulldogs were easy to transport on Naval ships, and so the British fighting dogs spread around the world.

    It had taken a thousand years of careful breeding to create these specialized fighters / baiters that are so unlike any normal domestic dog. The British breeding program was so successful that these fighting dogs were used all over the world to increase the fighting tenacity of indigenous fighting and/or mastiff breeds. Never before or since was an experiment in changing the domestic dog so successful as the British thousand-years bulldog one. Even today, mixing in this type of dog is the only way to create new aggressive ‘breeds’. It doesn’t matter what you mix the bulldog type with, the trait will prevail — it’s genetic and strongly heritable.

    Every single living ‘bull’ type dog is a direct descendent of these vicious Elizabethan baiting / fighting bulldogs.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Occupy Maul Street.

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013.
    Count Me In As A Hater.

    “That’s Canine Racism!”
    A common tactic used by the pit bull industry to shut down any public safety discussion is throwing out the pit bull race card. The Pit Bull problem is an entirely man made creation which could be solved by breeding safer dogs in responsible numbers.

    Instead, the breed community seems to be locked onto the blaming others and creating excuses for the situation they’ve created. Pit Bull attacks are always the fault of the owner or victim, and never caused by reckless breeding or the dog fighting industry.

    Then the tone deaf advocates hide behind the excess pit bulls they created and blame society for the “Hate”…. totally oblivious that the hatred is not toward these poor animals, but that it is aimed toward the grotesque and criminally irresponsible breed stewardship that they toil day and night to perpetuate.

    Race Card Phenomenon:
    Frederick Schauer, who teaches a course on the first amendment at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, was reading about some dog lovers who claimed ”canine racism” in response to measures to curb attacks by pit bulls in New York City.

    That particular race card, he said, was an extreme example of how society has become so obsessed with avoiding any stereotypes that it ignores reality.

    Pit bulls are more aggressive than other breeds, he said, just as statistics show older people have slower reflexes than the young, and there are more bad drivers in Massachusetts than in Vermont. A fair number of generalizations, he insists, turn out to be accurate.

    Let’s explore reasons to hate the $Billion dollar a year tax free Pit Bull Industry:

    I hate it when a kid is laying on the coroner’s table.

    I hate it when someone’s Grandmother is poured into the life flight helicopter.

    I hate it that dogfighters kill 250,000 pits a year…hell bent on engineering a better mauler.

    Fatal dog attack, Rosie Humphreys.
    I hate it when a nice lady and her dog are killed by a chain breaking pit bull and the owner gets a mere $150 ticket.

    I hate it that the dog lobby is behaving as corruptly as the tobacco lobby in the 50’s and 60’s.

    I hate it that Pit breeders pump out one Million excess dogs that the taxpayer has to euthanize….to top it off they don’t pay taxes.

    I hate it that only convicted felons seem to be able to properly identify Pit Bulls.

    I Hate it when well intentioned Dog Safety Legislation is perverted into a Pit Bull Breeder’s and Dog Fighters Bill Of Rights.

    I hate the grotesque breed stewardship exerted by the Pit Bull community.

    I hate when family members of Officers in a state Pit Bull club are busted trafficking fighting dogs.

    I hate The Nanny Dog Lie.

    I hate it that Law Enforcement is continually having to shoot these animals.

    I hate it that the Animal Control Professions and Animal welfare Community have abandoned their public safety responsibility.

    I hate it when a pit bull owner leaves a blind person and their injured service dog helpless.

    I hate it when radicalized Humane orgs like the Toronto Humane Society spent in excess of $400,000 saving a Pit Bull that attacked on 4 separate occasions, yet this woman can’t get plastic surgery:

    Marie-Helene Tokar

    I hate it that Pit Bull mauling victims have to hold bake sales and blood drives to pay medical costs, while some Pit Bull advocates live in 500K plus houses.

    I hate it that nearly 130 Americans have been killed by Pit Bulls since the Vick Bust in 2007, yet they claim success.

    I hate it that Michael Vick’s Beagles have been erased from history.

    I hate it that Pit Bull advocates show zero respect to their victims by not wearing black on Pit Bull Awareness day.

    I hate it when the neighborhood Mail Carrier is put on the disability rolls.

    I hate it when a neighborhood dog is ripped apart by a Pit Bull.

    I hate it that Pit Bulls are approaching 500 world wide DBRFS yet their breeders insist they aren’t human aggressive.

    I don’t mind it so much when a consenting adult pit bull owner is attacked by their own animal, but I do hate the first responder costs…just being honest!

    Oh well…Hose the blood off the sidewalk and pump out another litter!

  • Thomas McCartney

    The Front Burner: Banning pit bulls saves lives and protects the innocent.
    By Colleen Lynn Guest columnist.
    May 24, 2013.

    Whether to ban pit bulls is a human health and safety issue that should be steered by health and safety officials. Public safety is not the profession of animal advocates. Thus, public policy coming from animal advocates concerning protecting humans from pit bulls is fundamentally flawed.

    So far this year, 13 of the 14 Americans who have been killed by dogs — 93 percent — were killed by pit bulls and pit mixes. This is well above the average of 60 percent from 2005 to 2012.

    As the pit bull population rises, more human fatalities ensue. During the last eight-year period that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied fatal attacks by breed (1991 to 1998), pit bulls were estimated at 1 percent of the U.S. dog population. Pit bulls killed an average of three people per year.

    The pit bull population has since grown to 4 percent. During the most recent eight-year period (2005-12), pit bulls killed an average of 19 people per year.

    Miami-Dade County, which banned pit bulls in 1989, has avoided this loss of life. Other Florida counties — prohibited by state law from regulating dogs by breed — continue to experience deaths and disfigurements due to pit bulls. Since 1989, 18 Florida citizens have been killed by pit bulls — none within Miami-Dade.

    The threat from pit bulls results from the combination of the animals’ inclination to attack without warning — an essential trait of fighting dogs — and the type of injuries that pit bulls typically inflict.

    Most dogs bite and retreat, but pit bulls have a hold-and-shake bite style, and tenaciously refuse to stop an attack once begun.

    Often a pit bull releases its grip only when dead — the trait dog fighters describe as being “dead game.”

    Ban opponents often blame dismembering and fatal attacks on environmental factors, such as neglect. That, unfortunately, is the plight of too many dogs of all breeds, not just those who kill and maim.

    Opponents also fail to distinguish dog-bite-injury severity. They argue that bans “do not reduce all dog bites.” Of the 4.7 million Americans bitten by dogs each year, 9,500 require hospitalization for severe dog-bite injuries. The most extreme injury level, mauling injury, requires life-saving procedures at trauma centers.

    The purpose of a pit bull ban is to eradicate mauling injuries and deaths inflicted by pit bulls, the breed involved in more than half of all severe and mauling attacks.

    Since 1986, 18 appellate decisions have upheld lower-court findings that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dog breeds.

    Since 1988, four peer-reviewed studies published in leading medical journals have reviewed the severity of pit bull injury. “Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs,” published in the Annals of Surgery in 2011, concluded the following:

    “Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs. Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the U.S. mortality rates related to dog bites.”

    In April 2012, the highest court in Maryland declared pit bulls “inherently dangerous,” altering common law pertaining to pit bull attacks. Pit bulls are prima facia dangerous in Maryland and held to a strict liability standard. In instances of a tenant’s pit bull attacking, this liability extends to the landlord. The court cited the entire abstract of the 2011 Annals of Surgery study in its opinion.

    Influential pit bull advocates have supported regulation in the past and are doing so now. On its Facebook page, the Villalobos Rescue Center, founded by Tia Torres of Animal Planet’s Pit Bulls & Parolees — expressed support for a proposal in Louisiana on the heels of a mutilating attack on a woman by her own pit bulls.

    It is time for Florida pit bull advocacy groups to follow suit.

    Colleen Lynn is the founder of DogsBite dot org, a national dog-bite victims’ group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Barbara Kay: Dog bites man — again and again.
    Barbara Kay | 13/08/22.

    Thanks to (literally) thick skin, a Calgary-resident beagle named Arlo will recover from a recent unprovoked attack by two neighbouring pit bulls. The vet bill for stitching up Arlo’s neck and shoulder — $3600 — tells us that what will be officially recorded as “bites” were in fact the mauling typically associated with pit-bull-type dogs.

    If Arlo had been the family’s thin-skinned child, one shudders to think of the likely outcome. Here is yet another reminder that the vaunted “Calgary model” for containing dangerous-dog harm isn’t working.

    Because of the disproportionate damage they cause to other animals and humans, especially children, some 600 communities across North America have chosen breed selective legislation to ban pit-bull-type dogs. But Calgary opted for “responsible pet ownership”: strict licencing, public education and owner accountability.

    So the (unlicenced) pit bulls’ owner is paying the vet bill. Which is no solace to Arlo and his owners, or other neighbours, now understandably fearful in their instantly-devalued homes.

    Arlo’s assailants should be euthanized. Instead they will be “assessed,” after which they may get a second chance, as juvenile first (human) offenders usually do. Trouble is, dogs are not humans.

    The purpose-bred fighting breed cluster pit bulls represent, genetically programmed for impulsive aggression, cannot be trained into reliable sociability, any more than greyhounds can be trained to adopt the running gait of a sled dog.

    If this strikes you as mere common sense, reader, you are out of the canine-correctness loop. Most dog-industry spokespeople — veterinarians, humane shelters, animal charities — have bought into the sentimental, but anti-scientific tropes promoted by pit bull advocates. Ignoring hard evidence, they piously invoke common mantras like “all dogs bite” and “it’s bad owners, not bad dogs.”.

    Both statements are misleading. Unlike pit-bull-type dogs, non-fighting dogs usually only bite defensively. When they do, they grab and release; they don’t maul in the grip-and-rend style of fighting dogs. Explosive, unpredictable aggression can emerge in pit bulls as young as four months. Bad owners may exacerbate pit bulls’ inherited traits, but even ideal owners cannot eliminate or reliably control them.

    In his continually updated “Clifton Report,” available online, Animal People editor Merritt Clifton publishes tallied of serious human damage — maulings, maimings and fatalities by dogs — tallied by breed. (He has been tracking such data since the early 1980s.)

    According to these numbers, derived from Centers for Disease Control and police reports, amongst other sources, pit-bull-type dogs represent 3000% of the actuarial risk of more typical breeds. Rottweilers represent 2000%, and — to show the disproportion — German Shepherds, the third highest-risk breed, represent only 300% average risk.

    Since 1982, pit bulls have killed 259 of the 511 North American victims of fatal dog attacks.
    In fact, Farmers Group Insurance in California recently stopped liability coverage for pit bulls and Rottweilers (and wolf hybrids). Tellingly, the number of attacks and the amount of payout has doubled in those jurisdictions that — like Calgary — refuse to enact breed selective legislation.

    Before the late 20th century proliferation of pit bulls into the dog population, no other breed had ever killed or maimed humans in numbers that come even remotely close to those killed by pit bull type dogs. (Dobermans, widely maligned in their fashionable day as dangerous, have killed four people in the U.S. since 1982.)

    The exponential growth of pit bull love — they currently represent the second most popular breed after retrievers in sales — is a worrying cultural phenomenon. Now 6% of the dog population, since 1982, pit bulls have killed 259 of the 511 North American victims of fatal dog attacks, according to Clifton.

    Bans work. They eliminate the loathsome crime of dog fighting and ancillary criminal activity, notably drug dealing, that dog fighting attracts. They stop the co-optation of public spaces by intimidating youths parading canine weaponry. Overcrowded humane shelters empty out, as dumped pit bulls represent much of their intake.

    Most important: Bans spare animals and people horrible suffering. San Francisco saw an 81% decline in fatal or disfiguring pit bull attacks in the eight years following its ban; Toronto dog bites have decreased by 32% — from 486 to 329 — since the 2006 Ontario ban on pit bulls.

    The Calgary model is failing. Despite its record licencing rate of 90% — four times higher than the average in other cities — Calgary area pit bull attacks have more than tripled: from 58 in 2009 to 201 in 2012.

    Facts are facts. What part of “public safety hazard” does Calgary not understand?

    National Post

  • Thomas McCartney

    BARBARA KAY: The Dog (Bite) Days of Summer.
    BY BARBARA KAY.
    1 August 2013.

    Behaviourists (and I) call the cluster of breeds imbued with a genetically-endowed propensity for impulsive aggression – such as the mastiff, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentina and others – “pit bull type dogs.”.

    Earlier this month my esteemed colleague at the National Post, George Jonas, wrote a reminiscent column about irascible dogs.

    Dogs are a suitable topic for the dog days of summer, and – considering the additional time spent out of doors by children with exposed limbs – dog bites an even more timely theme. But, little did Jonas know, not being immersed as I am in the bizarre world of canine politics, that he committed an enormous faux (ahem) paw in his ruminations.

    The two dogs Jonas singled out as particularly ill-tempered were Soossee, a female “of uncertain breed,” but definitely containing some mastiff blood, and Muki, a Rottweiler hybrid, who bit him when he was a child, in the course of a dog fight Jonas attempted to break up.

    Later in his column, Jonas remarks: “Startle a Spaniel and it may cost you an upper lip; startle a Rottweiler and it’s likely to be an arm and a leg.” He is not wrong, but nowadays it is considered caninely incorrect to “stereotype” any breed, even though stereotyping is just another word for genetic line breeding.

    A mastiff is a larger version of a pit bull, and Rottweilers are first cousins to pit bulls. The genetic history of both the mastiff and the Rottweiler is rife with “impulsive aggression,” a consistent, often deadly trait, for which the pit bull (sometimes known by its image-laundering alias of American Staffordshire) is the poster canine.

    Many dog behaviourists (and I) call the cluster of breeds imbued with a genetically-endowed propensity for impulsive aggression – such as the mastiff, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentina and others – “pit bull type dogs.”.

    Most dogs will not attack humans under normal circumstances. Of those that have attacked humans, 70% are mixed-breeds, and 30% are purebreds. There are about 400 breeds of dog. Of them, only 44 are statistically represented in attacks on humans. Of the 44, pit bulls and Rottweilers account for 75% of the total actuarial risk for injury since 1982.

    When you get into the highest-damage categories of maulings, maimings, dismemberments and dog bite-related fatalities, it can truly be said that pit bulls and Rottweilers own the field.

    So Jonas did not distinguish the mastiff and Rottweiler hybrids out of malice. The malice encoded in those dogs’ genes created the high probability that they would exhibit memorably bad behaviour.

    Which brings us to the question of what to do if you are the victim or the witness to an attack by dogs like these. Pit bull type dogs do not just “bite,” as normal dogs do. They grip and tend not to let go. As they grip, they rend their way through flesh to the bone. Pit bulls have not earned the sobriquet of “land sharks” for nothing. Photographs of pit bull maulings bear a sickening likeness to shark attacks.

    It is never a good thing to intervene in any dog-on-dog fight (as George Jonas learned the hard way), but especially dangerous to put your hand anywhere near the mouth of a fighting dog, in case he redirects his murderous ferocity onto you.

    Once engaged, gripping dogs almost never react as normal dogs do to commands or painful blows to the head or body with sticks or baseball bats. Even bullets, unless they hit the brain or heart, can be fruitless in the case of pit bulls, as many policemen can attest. Either they don’t feel the pain as normal dogs do, or they feel it but their drive to fight to the death overrides it.

    One thing you can do if you’re desperate to stop the fight or attack is to lift a gripping dog’s hind legs high into the air. He can’t turn on you and he won’t be able to sustain his attack very well, even if he doesn’t let go. At least it allows for his owner to leash him while he is immobilized.

    Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People News, is the world’s leading investigative journalist/historian on the subject of fighting dogs. He strongly advises against hitting a gripping dog on the head with any object, as it won’t deflect the dog, and will likely serve only to drive the teeth further into the flesh. Pepper spray – illegal for citizens to carry in Canada – is not the best choice, as one has to get very near the dog to be effective, and the fumes spread with the breeze. In any case, according to Clifton, it is only successful about 40% of the time.

    Clifton’s rather surprising weapon of choice is a fire extinguisher, which has a success rate of about 70% with pit bulls. Unlike pepper spray, with a fire extinguisher, you can stand farther back and aim with precision.

    The spray suffocates them if they don’t let go. Obviously you won’t have a fire extinguisher handy in the normal course of a day’s outdoors activities, but in the U.S., of 123 fatal or maiming attacks on children in 2013 so far (120 of them by pit bull type dogs), 47 occurred on public streets, but 49 of them occurred at home. In those cases, a child’s life or limbs could have been saved by deployment of a handy fire extinguisher. Clifton always has a fire extinguisher in his car, a prudent idea that can’t do harm, and may prove useful in any number of scenarios.

    Not a cheery-beery topic, but the sobering fact is that because of misleading propaganda put out by the pit bull advocacy movement and Rottweiler fans, pit bulls are growing in popularity as pets; as a result, maimings of humans by pit bulls in North America have gone from 35 in 1992 to 184 in the first six months of 2013 (equal to all of 2012).

    The bottom line: Don’t intervene in a dog fight between normal dogs, as the fight will almost certainly resolve swiftly with relatively minor damage to either dog. Keep your own dogs, and especially kids in your care far, far away from pit bulls and Rottweilers (and in Canada to unleashed Huskies, whose track record for risk is problematic, often for geo-cultural reasons, a topic for another day).

    Most important for your own safety and that of the humans and animals you love: Don’t believe a word of the propagandist (pit) rubbish you hear and read. Fighting dogs really are high-risk dogs you should never “rescue” or buy.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Dogs are not humans, there is every reason to be threatened by a pit bull just because of what it is, no different then it would be to feel threatened by ANY bear, lion, tiger, wolverine, cobra etc. that you encountered, if they charged you then there would be justification to kill any of them if you were carrying, same thing with a pit bull, any pit pit bull.

    You can no more be biased or prejudiced against any pit bull then you can be so against any bear, lion, tiger, wolverine, cobra etc. so that is an absurd argument on the part of the nutters.

    That 4% of the dog population carries out 70%+ of the killings, mauling, crippling, disfiguring and dismembering attacks to such a disproportionate extent speaks for itself and to the genetic truth and reality that exists in any pit bull type dog, it is what it is and does what is in it’s DNA.This has been breed into them over 600 years and is their truth, they must therefore become extinct.

    Any other dog will bite and run giving you a few stitches, a pit bull will not stop till you are DEAD.What about that do you not understand, the difference between another dog’s bite and a pit bulls mauling and dismembering, disfiguring and killing.

  • Thomas McCartney

    17 Barks
    Musings on Canidae and alternative views of life.

    Saturday, August 3, 2013.

    Breedism: what is a breed?
    What is a breed, anyway? It may seem like an inane question, but it’s a good idea to be clear about what we mean.

    It can be rather frustrating to take part in a discussion where each party is using the same terms and assumes they mean the same thing to everyone, but where each party attaches radically different meaning to those terms.

    A quick consultation with Google provides this basic definition of the noun “breed”: A stock of animals or plants within a species having a distinctive appearance and typically having been developed by deliberate selection.

    It was popularly believed that our domestic dogs descended from wild wolves tamed by humans, but more recent research indicates that domestic dogs evolved gradually from canine ancestors in response to conditions in their environment, adapting themselves to a niche on the fringes of human civilization.

    These canids differed from wolves in that they were less fearful of humans. They scavenged food from human garbage dumps, living in close proximity to man.

    These early “village dogs” would have been killed off had they presented a threat, but because they were able to coexist peacefully with humans, their destiny connected with ours, and Canis Familiaris became man’s best friend.

    Since the appearance of the early dogs, the remarkable flexibility of Canine DNA has given rise to a diverse collection of domestic dog types, with an incredible range of size, appearance, temperaments and behaviors, which we’ve grouped into over 400 breeds.

    If humans displayed same range of diversity as canids, we could have adults ranging from 1 foot tall to 17 feet tall, and we’d have drastically different body types, temperaments, and mental capacities.

    Of course, there is no such range diversity in human biology. What diversity of human appearance does exist is extremely minor compared to that found among the population of the domestic dog.

    We’re all humans, and respond in similar ways to given environmental conditions. In other words, there is only one human race, and the concept of different breeds as in the domestic dog simply has no parallel in humanity.

    But I digress. The point I want to make here is that Canid DNA is incredibly adaptable, and that the various breeds of domestic dog have taken on distinct, breed specific characteristics, in response to deliberate efforts by humans to select for those very characteristics.

    For instance, pointers were bred to point to waterfowl, while retrievers were bred to retrieve downed waterfowl, with a soft mouth. Sheep herding breeds arose from selection for the ability and inclination to herd sheep. Livestock guardians were bred to protect weaker creatures under their care. Each of these working breeds was equipped, over time, with the skills to do it’s specific job, from birth.

    Beginning in the Elizabethan era, bull dogs were bred by selecting for temperament and physical characteristics useful in dogs which would torture animals – for instance de-horned bulls or de-clawed bears – for “sport”.

    When bull-baiting was outlawed in 1835, the “sportsmen” turned to dog fighting, and bred specifically for those characteristics best suited to a life in the fighting pit, tearing apart dogs (A bit of terrier was added to the bull dog for more energy, creating the “bull & terrier”).

    Such characteristics, copiously documented in diverse places, include, but are not limited to, a hair trigger attack reflex, a determination to continue attacking the victim, ignoring signals of submission, as well as injury to itself, and a freakish insensitivity to pain.

    This collection of traits characterizes the “pit bull”, or the “pit fighting bull dog”, which, though called by various names over time, has always displayed the distinctive traits which speak of its original purpose.

    There’s an old saying which is somewhat apropos here: “You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can’t take the fight out of the dog”. Just as frustrated border collies without sheep to herd will take to herding children, frustrated pit bulls, without opponents in the pit to attack, will escape confinement and go looking for neighborhood pets to kill.

    The propensity for a pit bull to jump out of a moving car or a second story window to attack and kill a little dog is well documented, as is the rather breed specific pit bull behavior of finding ways into other people’s houses to torture and kill the animals inside.

    There have been several such cases just within the past few weeks, and such nightmares are truly heartbreaking for anyone who has the least bit of compassion for animals.

    The foregoing background was a preparation for the question: If we have deliberately bred lines of dogs for centuries to produce breed-specific characteristics, why is it somehow “racist” to note the existence of these very breed specific characteristics which we’ve deliberately produced?

    Another question comes to mind: If we can accept that for instance border collies must have a job to do, and their job is herding, because it’s in their DNA, why do we deny all genetic influence when it comes to pit bulls?

    These bully breeds are working dogs too, and their work is killing. I’m at a loss as to how the pit bull propaganda machine continues to condemn “breedism”, as though there are no genetic factors in a dog’s behavior. They speak as though a pit bull were no different from a lab.

    Why does the pit propaganda machine shout “racism” and speak nonsensically of “condemning a breed for the actions of a few” when that’s not at all the issue?

    The issue is instead recognizing that specific breeds were created with specific purposes, and we deny reality at our peril. A quick glance at the statistics for serious and fatal injuries from dog attack over the past 30 years makes it clear that it is all about the breed, regardless of owner or upbringing.

    Bottom line: It’s absurd to pretend that breed specific characteristics which were deliberately created by humans don’t exist. And to call those who recognize these breed specific characteristics “racist” reveals a profound ignorance on the part of the accuser.

    A final thought: When someone speaks of the unfairness of “killing off a breed” what they are actually talking about is eliminating a specific set of characteristics which have proven to be a problem. The fact that sadistic humans created a “breed” to torture animals is no mandate to continue the existence of said breed. Nobody has suggested killing off the domestic dog – only those man-made expressions of temperament and behaviors which have proven to be harmful and cruel.

  • Thomas McCartney

    US NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH.

    Breed-Associated Behaviors
    “Setting aside the issue of anomalous behaviors, studies show that there are both behavior and personality traits associated with specific breeds (18, 53, 54, 132, 146).

    Simply put, border collies do not herd sheep because they are raised on sheep farms; rather, they are raised on sheep farms because they herd. In addition pointers point, retrievers retrieve, and mastiffs guard, all because those traits are part of their breed expectations, meaning strong and continuous selection in the underlying breeding program “.

    Simply put Pit bulls do not attack because they are raised with dog fighters and drug dealers, dog fighters and drug dealers use pit bulls because they attack!

    It is their nature, their genetic truth and reality.
    It is not how you raise them rather it is simply what they are.

    Just like sled dogs run and pull, it is just their nature.

  • Thomas McCartney

    American Temperament Test:
    The ATTS test, was NOT created to evaluate dogs for “pet” suitability.

    In 1977, Alfons Ertel designed the American Temperament Test in hopes of creating a uniform temperament test for dogs. Of the 75 million dogs that populate the U.S. today, 20 about 933 are tested per year (0.001% of all dogs).

    And he was a printer, NOT an animal behaviorist. He owned German shepherds and was involved in the sport called shutzhund, which involves training dogs in the same manner in which police dogs are trained.

    The ATTS was intended to test working dogs for jobs such as police work and it favors bold animals, i.e., dogs that face danger head-on without hesitation or fear.

    Courage was a desirable trait, timidity an undesirable trait. Thus, German shepherds did much better on the ATTS than did collies and other timid breeds.

    In fact, 95% of the dogs that fail the ATTS do so because they “lack confidence,” e.g., when approaching a weirdly-dressed stranger.

    Of course, pit bulls are going to score well on a test geared toward aggressive behavior because these monsters were bred for the purpose of fighting and killing other pit bulls and nothing deters them, certainly not weirdly-dressed strangers!

    The temperament data published by the group is not based upon scientific random sampling of any dog breed. It seems it would be virtually impossible to develop such a reliable study, as the base population source group is unidentifiable.

    Due to the temperament data being objectively statistically unreliable, it is also highly misleading. Pit bull advocates frequently use this misleading data to point to the breed’s good temperament and to advocate against breed-specific laws (“Pit bulls pass the ATTS test more often than beagles!”).

    Yet anyone one who has a minimal understanding of critical statistical analysis should be able to see that the ATTS “breed statistics” temperament data21 is essentially valueless.

    The 12-minute test stimulates a casual walk through a park with a range of encounters. The test focuses on stability, shyness, aggressiveness and a few other factors. According to the group, the overall pass rate (the combination of all breeds) is 81.6%.22.

    Unlike the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test, no part of the ATTS test is performed without the dog owner present. It also fails to evaluate the most basic scenario that leads to aggression: How a dog reacts when it sees another dog.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Quick statistics ::

    This page is a collection of dog bite statistics that are located on DogsBite.org or can reached by a web link. Notably, each year, an American has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog.1.

    In the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, two dog breeds accounted for 73% of the attacks that resulted in death: pit bulls and rottweilers.

    2012 Dog Bite Fatalities by DogsBite.org, 2013.

    71% of the pit bull fatalities have occurred in the past 10 years; 42% in the past four years; 24% in the past two years.

    30-Year Summary: Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada September 1982 to December 26, 2011 by Merritt Clifton, Animal People, 2012.

    Over 600 U.S. cities have adopted breed-specific laws since the mid 1980s, just after pit bulls (fighting dogs) began leaking into the general population.

    Estimated U.S. Cities, Counties and Military Facilities with Breed-Specific Laws by DogsBite.org, 2012.

    By 2016, pit bulls are projected to maul 275 Americans to death since 1998, the year the CDC stopped tracking fatal dog attacks by breed.

    Fatalpitbullattacks.com, 2013

    In the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, pit bulls killed 151 Americans, about one citizen every 19 days.

    2012 Dog Bite Fatalities by DogsBite.org, 2013.

    In 2012, roughly one-third, 32%, of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog’s owner when the fatal attack occurred.

    2012 Dog Bite Fatalities by DogsBite.org, 2013.

    In the 3-year period of 2006 to 2008, 18% of all fatal dog attacks occurred off owner property. Pit bulls were responsible for 81% of these attacks.

    Report: U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities January 2006 to December 2008 by DogsBite.org, 2010.

    In the first eight months of 2011, nearly half of the persons killed by a pit bull was the dog’s owner and primary caretaker.

    2011 Dog Bite Fatalities by DogsBite.org, 2011.

    Over 30 countries across the world regulate dangerous dog breeds with breed-specific laws including: France, Norway, Spain, Portugal and Great Britain.

    Estimated U.S. Cities, Counties and Military Facilities with Breed-Specific Laws by DogsBite.org, 2012.

    In 2011, adult victims of fatal pit bull attacks more than doubled the number of child victims.

    2011 Dog Bite Fatalities by DogsBite.org, 2012.

    A study published in 2010 showed there were 4 times as many dog bite-related ED visits and 3 times as many hospital stays in rural areas than in urban areas.

    Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Stays Involving Dog Bites, 2008 by AHRQ, 2010.

    Pit bull terriers were selectively bred for a violent activity that is now a felony in all 50 U.S. states: dogfighting.

    Dogfighting Fact Sheet by the Human Society of the United States.

    Over 260 U.S. military bases governed by the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Space Command, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and Navy regulate dangerous dog breeds.

    Estimated U.S. Cities, Counties and Military Facilities with Breed-Specific Laws by DogsBite.org, 2012.

    Dog attack victims suffer over $1 billion in monetary losses annually. JAMA reports this estimate to be as high as $2 billion.

    Dog Bites Recognized as Public Health Problem by R. Voelker, JAMA, 1997.

    A 2010 study showed that the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, about 50% higher than the average injury-related hospital stay.

    Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Stays Involving Dog Bites, 2008 by AHRQ, 2010.

    Dog bites occur every 75 seconds in the United States. Each day, over 1,000 citizens need emergency medical care to treat these injuries.

    Nonfatal Dog Bite-Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments – United States, 2001 by the CDC, 2003.

    Dog bites are the fifth highest reason why children seek emergency room treatment due to activities they voluntarily engage in, such as playing sports.

    Incidence of Dog Bite Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments (1992-1994) by H. Weiss, D. Friedman and J. Coben, JAMA, 1998.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Re: Letter to the editor, Breed-specific language Burnaby NOW, Sept. 10, 2013.

    Dear Editor:

    DogsBite dot org advocates on behalf of victims of serious dog attacks. The United States-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization also tracks U.S. dog bite fatalities, dog bite injury studies, jurisdictions with breed-specific laws and appellate court rulings that uphold these laws.

    Statistical data from DogsBite dot org is cited in the peer-reviewed scientific medical study, Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs, published in the Annals of Surgery in April 2011.

    The study’s conclusion:”Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs. Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the US mortality rates related to dog bites.”

    The amicus brief DogsBite dot org submitted in the landmark case, Tracey v. Solesky, helped move Maryland’s highest court to modify common law.
    In April 2012, the Court of Appeals declared pitbulls “inherently dangerous” and attached strict liability when a pitbull attacks a person. This liability extends to landlords when a tenant’s pitbull attacks a person.

    The Maryland Court of Appeals went as far as pointing out in their decision ­– concerning the opposing brief written by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which sought to eliminate a financial remedy for the young mauling victim – the following:”Some are similar to the arguments made in the appellant or amicus’ briefs filed in the present case by supporters of pitbulls.

    In light of Maryland’s situation, we find those particular arguments unpersuasive. We have fully reviewed and considered all the briefs.”

    Research and statistical data from DogsBite dot org has exceptional credibility with appellate court justices, surgeons and medical practitioners, attorneys who champion and represent dog mauling victims, the many local, national and international news agencies which have cited our data, parents and activists and of course the victims themselves.

    Colleen Lynn
    Founder and President, DogsBite dot org
    Austin, TX

  • Thomas McCartney

    9/10/2013

    Bites by pit bulls have dropped dramatically since 2004
    Hearing on Alix’s leash law violation put off to Sept. 20
    By ETHAN SHOREY, Valley Breeze Staff Writer

    PAWTUCKET – The city has seen a dramatic decline in the number of attacks by pit bulls since a 2004 ban on the breed went into effect, according to data released by local officials.

    In response to an open records request by The Breeze, the Pawtucket Police Department and Pawtucket Animal Control, through City Solicitor Frank Milos, provided documents showing just how rarely pit bulls have attacked people or animals in the city since the ban was enacted.

    For the four years leading up to the ban, from 2000 to 2003, officers responded to 71 incidents of biting or scratching involving pit bulls in Pawtucket, a majority of those, 51, involving attacks on people.

    In the 10 years since the ban was put in place, police responded to 23 total attacks involving pit bulls, with only 13 of those involving attacks on people.

    For three years, 2008, 2010, and 2012, there were no attacks by pit bulls reported, according to the information provided by the city.

    The following are the 71 pit bulls attacks separated out by year for the four years before Pawtucket’s pit bull ban went into effect:

    * 2000 – 20 incidents, 18 involving attacks on people, two involving other animals.

    * 2001 – 14 incidents, nine involving attacks on people, five on animals.

    * 2002 – 17 incidents, 14 involving attacks on people, three on animals.

    * 2003 – 20 incidents, 11 involving attacks on people, nine on animals.

    The following are the 23 pit bull attacks in the city for the 10 years since Pawtucket’s pit bull ban was unanimously approved by the Rhode Island General Assembly:

    * 2004 – Eight incidents, five involving attacks on people, three involving attacks on other animals.

    * 2005 – One incident involving a person being attacked.

    * 2006 – Three incidents, one involving an attack on a person, two on animals.

    * 2007 – Four incidents, one involving an attack on a person, three on animals.

    * 2008 – No incidents.

    * 2009 – Two incidents, both involving attacks on people.

    * 2010 – No incidents.

    * 2011 – Two incidents, both involving attacks on people.

    * 2012 – No incidents.

    * 2013 – Three incidents, one involving an attack on a person, two on animals.

    John Holmes, Pawtucket’s veteran animal control officer and the key proponent of the 2004 ban, said the numbers before and after 2004 “speak for themselves.”

    “The law’s worked,” he said. “We didn’t put this law in to destroy pit bulls, in fact, quite the opposite.”

    The last serious pit bull attack in Pawtucket was the day the bill was signed into law, said Holmes. Residents have been safer because of the ban, he said.

    “Public safety has always been the issue,” he said. “They’re just missing so much of what this is all about. We’re going backward here.”

    Al Alix, the lifelong city resident and real estate agent who plans to challenge the city’s pit bull ban in court, told The Breeze he questions the numbers provided by the city. Instead of taking so much time to enforce a blanket ban, said Alix, officials should be spending more time getting to know the dogs they are trying to keep out of the city, like his pit bull “Chubs.”

    A hearing on Alix’s violation of the city’s leash law has been postponed from this Friday, Sept. 13, to Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. in Pawtucket Municipal Court. Depending on the outcome of that hearing, Alix says he plans to take the city to court over their efforts to take away Chubs. If city officials came to the ball field to see all the children who come over to pet Chubs, they would have difficulty telling him that his dog poses a danger, said Alix.

    “Of course” he feels badly about attacks by pit bulls, said Alix, but he remains convinced that pit bulls who go on the attack are not raised properly by caring owners. When pit bulls are outlawed, said Alix, the “bad guys” just find another type of dog to train to fight.

    He also feels “sick” for the families who have had to give up their family pet in the name of a law that should never have been passed in the first place, he said.

    The pit bull issue is now a “national issue,” said Alix, with even President Obama coming out in August in support of the breed and against breed-specific legislation. With state legislators passing a ban this year on breed-specific legislation, said Alix, Pawtucket “doesn’t stand a chance” if this conflict comes down to a court battle.

    Even though the General Assembly voted this year to prohibit municipalities like Pawtucket from instituting bans on specific breeds like pit bulls, city officials say they see the law as “prospective” in nature and therefore having no impact on ordinances already in place. Police have said they’ll continue enforcing the pit bull ban as long as it is in place.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Wichita, Kansas
    In January 2009, the Wichita Department of Environmental Services released a number of pit bull statistics. The figures are based upon the Wichita Animal Control department’s investigation of 733 dog bites in 2008.

    Included in the data are pit bulls encountered by the Wichita Police Department. In the 1-year period, 95% of police encounters with aggressive dogs were pit bulls.

    The report also showed that the percentage of pit bull encounters had increased from 66% in 2004 to 95% in 2008. Subsequently, four months after the release of this data, the City of Wichita enacted a mandatory pit bull sterilization law.

    55% of all dogs deemed dangerous were pit bulls (41 pit bull dogs deemed dangerous).

    34% of attacks and bites involved pit bull dogs (246 pit bull attacks/bites).

    28% of dogs found running at large were pit bulls (1,279 pit bulls found running loose).

    25% of dogs impounded were pit bulls dogs (1,575 pit bulls impounded).

    37% of all dogs euthanized were pit bull dogs (1,255 pit bulls euthanized).

    23% of dog complaints involved pit bull dogs (2,523 complaints involved pit bull dogs).

  • Thomas McCartney

    From the CDC (1998 report, page 4):

    “Despite these limitations and concerns
    (about identifying the exact ‘breed’ of pit bull type dog responsible for a
    killing), the data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted
    for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998.

    It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the
    United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a
    breed-specific problem with fatalities.”

    Results of mandatory breed-specific S/N in SF: success in San Francisco, where in just eight years there was a 49% decline in the number of pit-bulls impounded, a 23% decline in the number of pit-bulls euthanized, and an 81% decline in the number of pit-bulls involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks.

    Ed Boks, Executive director, Yavapai Humane Society (responsible Jan 2004 as director City Center for Animal Care & Control in NYC for trying to rename pit bulls New Yorkies; is pb owner)

    Pit bull type dogs represent 3000% the actuarial risk compared to other types of dogs.
    Insurance companies will have calculated the risks the other listed breeds represent based on what they’ve had to pay out through the years.
    This isn’t ‘prejudice’, this is cold statistical reality. Actuarial realities don’t yield to sentiment or a feeling of entitlement — they just are what they are.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Pit bull type dogs were created for one purpose: to torture other animals to death. When you manage to keep a pit bull from killing your dog (or horse, or sheep — or child), this doesn’t mean the danger has subsided.

    If you let it live, the pit bull will persistently try to return to finish the job of killing. Even if it does kill, it’ll come back some other day to see if there’s more pit bull fun to be had (a new victim).

    The pit bull isn’t like this because it has bad owners. It attracts a certain type of owner because it is inherently vicious.

    The only part of the problem the owners create is that they are unable or unwilling to keep their killer away from other people, our children and our pets. They don’t care because they assume we and our loved ones will die, never their pit bull.

    Never let a pit bull leave your yard alive.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Beyond the Interview: Father of Child Killed by Babysitter’s Pit Bulls Speaks Out After Attack ‘Believing the Myth is What Left Us Without a Son’.

    http://blog.dogsbite.org/2013/07/beyond-the-interview-essay-of-a-fatal-pit-bull-mauling.html

    This speaks volumes and in a nutshell reflects the reality of what animal shelters are doing throughout North America where vicious pit bull type dogs are misrepresented as family lassie or rin tin tin type dogs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6s0NCgKKkk

  • Thomas McCartney

    BSL Advocates are the watchmen, listen to their truth about the genetic evil of the pit bull type dog, if you heed them not then the consequences of this evil shall be foisted upon thee and them.

    Ezekiel 33:1
    The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman,

    and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

    He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself.
    But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life.

  • Thomas McCartney

    I wish the pit BULLY people would be honest.
    If they were, this is what they would write:

    I am a bully. I’m attracted to the vicarious power and aggression of pits, THE choice of all USA dog fighters.
    I HAVE MY RIGHTS, my right to own the dog of my choice and the right to let my dogs do what they want. My dogs are an extension of myself, so you’d better not limit my dogs, as you’ll be limiting me!

    I have the right to breed, sell and own THE dog that were created by dog fighters and pits who created the dead game fighting dogs. All USA dog fighters use.

    If you don’t want your pets to be torn apart and killed by my pits, don’t own any pets! If you don’t want your kids to be attacked by my pits, don’t have kids!
    If you don’t want to be attacked and killed while taking a walk, then stay indoors.

    And as this Aiken has now added: Don’t dare give me a dirty look and avoid my dog killer dog when I come to a dog park, otherwise I’ll get mad then go have a self-pity orgy.

  • Thomas McCartney

    10 Reasons Why Pit Bulls Are NOT Dogs.

    #1 They’re driven to kill their own
    species, dogs are not.

    #2 They give NO warning of impending attack, dogs warn
    you.

    #3 They attack unprovoked, out of the blue, dogs attack for a reason.

    #4
    They break out of their housing and break into houses to attack, dogs aren’t
    driven to break out to attack.

    #5 They attack to kill, dogs attack to protect,
    out of fear, dominance and more but not driven to kill.

    #6 Pit Bulls continue
    to kill their victims long after their victim is dead, dogs will kill a rabbit
    for example and when it’s dead, eat it , carry it or leave it.

    #7 Pit Bulls
    become more enraged with increased pain, dogs will stop attacks when pain is
    intense.

    #8 Pit Bulls do not recognize nor honor submission, dogs do.

    #9 Pit
    Bulls fight to their own death, dogs do not.

    #10 Pit Bulls most often kill
    their owners or members of the family, dogs do not. None of Pit Bulls
    aggressive characteristics are dog-like or even like any other animal, wild or
    domestic.

  • Thomas McCartney

    20-something people think the present level of dog attack violence is normal, because they never knew a time when it was not. From 1930 to 1960 the U.S. averaged fewer than one fatal dog attack per year.

    Pit bulls during that time killed nine people. Dobermans killed two, one in 1955 and one in 1960, and
    that was enough to create the lasting image of the Doberman as a dangerous
    breed.

    Since 2010 we have averaged 23 fatalities per year from pit bulls alone.
    From 1960 to 1985, the U.S. averaged about 600,000 bites per year requiring medical treatment, with a dog population of about 35 million.

    From 2000 to today, with a dog population of about 70 million, the average number of dog bites per year requiring medical attention has been between 4.7 and 4.8 million. What changed? In 1960 pit bulls were about half of one percent of the U.S. dog population. By 2000 they were about 4%, and now they are 6%.

    Never forget: For every human they maul or kill, pit bull type dogs maul or kill probably a hundred other animals.

  • Thomas McCartney

    The recall of Jeeps is a reminder that effective laws can and should be enacted to eliminate another source of preventable deaths and injuries: I am talking about pit bulls and the law.

    Today, Chrysler agreed to recall 2.7 million Jeeps because in 14 years there have been at least 37 Jeep accidents that caused at least 51 deaths. Compare those numbers with deaths caused by pit bulls: in 7 years (half the number of years), pit bulls have killed 151 Americans (three times as many as those killed in Jeeps). There are those who believe that it is at least as important to fix the pit bull problem as it is to fix the Jeep problem.

    Now, suppose a state enacted a law that prohibited Chrysler from recalling the Jeeps? We would decry such a law, but that is exactly what California and some other jurisdictions did when they prohibited breed specific laws which aimed at pit bulls (i.e., requiring that they be muzzled in public, or banning them entirely). To those who would point out that Jeeps have not been banned, the answer is that they were not banned because they can be fixed — and so can pit bulls, which also
    can and should be “fixed” (i.e., neutered). States like California need to fix their statutes and permit communities to enact the laws that are required locally to protect their inhabitants.

    As journalist Merritt Clifton has pointed out, “It is time to stop pretending that all dogs are created equal, and instead take the lead in seeking legislation which recognizes that some breeds are in fact enormously more dangerous than others–just as legislation recognizes that a puma or African lion or even a 20-pound bobcat must be regulated differently from a ten-pound tabby. This is what would be most fair to all dogs and all people who keep dogs.” (Merritt Clifton, Bring breeders of high-risk dogs to heel, Animal People, Jan-Feb 2004.)

    Never forget that for every human they maul or kill, pit bull type dogs maul and kill probably about a hundred animals — including your dog at the dog park.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Merritt Clifton (all written in 2013):

    “From 1930 to 1960 the U.S. averaged fewer than one fatal dog attack per year. Pit bulls during that time killed nine people. Dobermans killed two, one in 1955 and one in 1960, and that was enough to create the lasting image of the Doberman as a dangerous breed.

    Since 2010 we have averaged 23 fatalities per year from pit bulls alone. From 1960 to 1985, the U.S. averaged about 600,000 bites per year requiring medical treatment, with a dog population of about 35 million.

    From 2000 to today, with a dog population of about 70 million, the average number of dog bites per year requiring medical attention has been between 4.7 and 4.8 million. What changed? In 1960 pit bulls were about half of one percent of the U.S. dog population. By 2000 they were about 4%, and now they are 6%.”

    “No pit bulls from shelters are known to have killed or disfigured anyone in the first 90 years of the 20th century, but 43 have in the past four years, and there have also been 19 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs. The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone, ever, before 2000 were two wolf hybrids in 1988 and 1989.

    31 shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010, 29 of them pit bulls, bull mastiffs, and Rottweilers. In addition, pit bulls & related breeds adopted from shelters have killed & disfigured around 100 other pets for every person who has been killed or disfigured.

    The bottom line is that in the rush to try to get to no-kill status without stopping the proliferation of dangerous dog breeds first, the animal shelter & rescue communities are grossly failing the public trust, and need to be called to account for it.”

  • Thomas McCartney

    Fatalities reported in 2005

    News organizations reported at least 29 fatal dog attacks in the United States
    in 2005. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks
    were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (15 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (6
    attacks):

    Fatalities reported in 2006

    News organizations reported at least 30 fatal dog attacks in the United States
    in 2006. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks
    were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (16 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (9
    attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2007

    News organizations reported at least 34 fatal dog
    attacks in the United States in 2007. The category of dog most commonly
    reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (18
    attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2008

    News organizations reported at least 23 fatal dog
    attacks in the United States in 2008. The category of dog most commonly
    reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (14
    attacks), followed by Huskies (3 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2009

    News organizations reported at least 30 fatal dog
    attacks in the United States in 2009. The category of dog most commonly
    reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (14
    attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2010

    News organizations reported at least 34 fatal dog
    attacks in the United States in 2010. The category of dog most commonly
    reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (18
    attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2011

    News organizations reported at least 31 fatal dog
    attacks in the United States in 2011. The category of dog most commonly
    reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (21
    attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2012

    News organizations have reported 34 fatal dog
    attacks in the United States in 2012. The category of dog most commonly
    reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (20
    attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2013

    News organizations reported at least 18 fatal dog
    attacks in the United States so far in 2013. The category of dog most commonly
    reported involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (16
    attacks), followed by German Shepherd (1) “large, longer haired, black
    “Mixed breed or Mastiff-Rotweiller (1)

  • Thomas McCartney

    Opposing Views:

    ANIMAL RIGHTS
    Are Animal Shelters Adopting Out Dangerous Pit Bulls In Order To Be ‘No Kill’?

    By Denise A Justin, Fri, August 09, 2013
    When members of the public do a good thing for animals and open their hearts and homes to homeless shelter dogs, don’t they deserve to be told if the dog has a history of biting humans or killing other animals or has been returned to the shelter because it bit a prior adopter or perhaps a child?

    Dr. Becky Morrow believes they do. She told KDKA2 News recently that she does not want another person to experience the type of devastating attack that almost cost her an eye when she attempted to give a rabies shot to a Pit bull, named Chad. The animal shelter website says, “Chad is a brindle bundle of joy.”

    Dr.Morrow says she is not the only one at the Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley shelter who has been bitten by aggressive Pit Bulls–some with a history of biting–that are available to the public for adoption.

    “This is Forrest,” Dr. Morrow told KDKA2 News, “Forrest has bitten two people we know of at least. One was a police officer while Forrest was walking outside on a leash.” The shelter website says: “If Forrest could talk, he would say, ‘Play ball!'” “Forest is a puppy at heart.”

    Zara, says the website, is “looking for an energetic owner/family who will understand his need for exercise.” Dr. Morrow says Zara killed a pug about a month ago.

    Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, located in New Kensington, PA, states on its homepage, under Pit Corner, “Adopting pit bulls, especially in a no-kill environment, can be difficult at times…On any given day, if we have 23 dogs in our kennels, at least 15 of the dogs will be a pit bull type dog.”

    Animal Protectors call Pit Bulls “A misunderstood breed” and explain, “Locking jaws. Unpredictable behavior. Aggressive. Status symbol. All of these words have become associated with the pit bull breed. It’s our goal to change these words to loyal. Playful. Family pet. “

    A doctor and a former staff member call the facility a “ticking bomb,” saying many of the dogs are capable of attacking anyone that takes them home.

    Video taken inside the shelter by animal rescue volunteers in the last week shows not a single dog marked as dangerous, KDKA2 News reports.

    “I have a professional obligation to the public,” Dr. Morrow said. “One of the things we take an oath on is protecting public health and that’s the reason why I’m so worried a child or another dog will get killed.”

  • Thomas McCartney

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008
    Peter Strauss Injured In Pit Bull Attack

    By Bret Bradigan
    Ojai actor and citrus rancher Peter Strauss spent nearly half an hour in a dance of life and death with a raging pit bull.
    Strauss survived. But the outcome was very much in doubt.

    Interviewed Tuesday, his voice hoarse from shouting for help, Strauss was making a routine inspection of his orchards on Sunday at noon, when he saw the brown pit bull mix scrabbling against the boards that blocked him into the neighbor’s yard on Avenida Del Recreo.

    “I could see him pull his head through, and thought, ‘My God, this dog is going come for me,’” Strauss said. The dog charged the 32-foot distance in seconds, but left the orchard owner — armed only with clipboard — plenty of time to imagine his peril. “He leapt at me, and I hit him with the clipboard, as I moved back toward a tree.”

    The dog grabbed Strauss’ leg, furiously shaking his head and tearing and puncturing the calf. “I knew if I went down to the ground, I was dead. I thought, ‘I’m going to die on my own farm like this.’”

    Strauss was able to grab a piece of wood to swing at the dog and fend him off. “I hit the dog as hard as I could, and it just wasn’t enough. I would hit him, and he would just shake his head.”

    He broke off one chunk of wood on the dog’s head, but was able to pick up another piece, as the tense and brutal dance continued for 20 minutes. “He would either try to jump up, or go for my leg.”

    Strauss alternated between shouting for help, and yelling at the dog to go home. Neither strategy brought results, though he later learned that his pleas were heard, and that people attempted to come to his rescue.
    After the standoff, the dog eventually backed off, and Strauss was able to get to Soule Park and make the call for help.

    The Animal Control officer, Mark Wisma, arrived 25 minutes later and the pair went searching the Siete Robles neighborhood for the errant dog. “The dog flew out of a different corner of my property,” Strauss said. As the dog continued its vicious lunging and snarling, both Strauss and Wisma, he said, felt vulnerable. “I was terrified. The dog couldn’t be caught.”

    The dog eventually ended back at its owner’s house on Avenida Del Recreo. Wisma ordered the owner to collar and leash the dog, which he did. Strauss described the dog’s owner as remorseful and cooperative.
    Kathy Jenks, director of Ventura County Department of Animal Regulation, said the owner signed a release and the dog would be euthanized this morning. Its brain will be removed and sent to a lab to check for diseases, though it reportedly has had its rabies shots.

    The dog, a neutered male adopted from a Los Angeles County Shelter, had no previous record of attacks, though Jenks reported that it bit someone else that day.

    “Dogs like this don’t belong in this community,” Strauss said.
    He found a card in his mailbox the next day from neighbors, who have their names as Dennis and David. They had heard his shouts for help, but were unable to pinpoint his location.

    Strauss said he was ably treated and released from Ojai Valley Community Hospital’s emergency room with lots of stitches and a course of antibiotics. He said he was determined to keep an appointment to make a presentation to the Ojai City Council Tuesday night.

  • Thomas McCartney

    The TRUTH About Pit Bulls
    Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. John Adams, U.S. president 1797-1801
    7.18.2013

    The science of how behavior is inherited in aggressive dogs by Alexandra Alexandra SemyonovaFrom ANIMAL PEOPLE, July-August 2013:

    Probably most people recognize that every dog breed results from human manipulation of inherited physical traits.
    Until recently, most people probably also recognized that much dog behavior is also a result of manipulating inheritance: if you want to do sheep trials, you get a border collie. If you get a beagle, he will likely become instantly deaf to your calls if he picks up a scent to track.

    But after discussion started about perhaps banning breeds who often attack and kill, defenders of these breeds began to dispute the heritability of any kind of dog behavior.

    Conformation

    Only when behavioral inheritance is understood, beginning with basic biological concepts, can we have a clear and honest discussion about aggression in domestic dogs. First we must understand the relationship between “physical conformation” and “behavioral conformation,” which may be seen as opposite sides of the same coin.

    “Physical conformation” describes how a dog has been bred to become physically shaped specifically for the task we want him to perform. The purpose-bred dog’s body––brain, skeleton, muscles, and metabolism––will be different from those of other dogs. The dog will feel physically comfortable doing the job, whatever it is.

    The border collie is physically designed for the stalking stance and for switching easily and often from standing to lying down to standing again. A greyhound enjoys sprinting, with a deep chest that easily provides enough oxygen to the dog’s muscles to fuel a burst of high speed. The same deep chest means the greyhound cannot run marathons because the deep chest prevents a greyhound from losing heat efficiently.

    The greyhound’s brain has been shaped by selective breeding to steer the legs in a gait that provides maximum speed in a sprint. The unique composition of a husky’s skeleton, muscles and brain enables a husky to pull a sled with a different gait, and to sustain a brisk pace for long distances.

    The greyhound runs by leaping, the husky by pushing, always with one foot on the ground. Each dog is genetically wired to use the specific body the dog has.

    Dog breeders have for centuries selected for particular traits by simply watching how a dog performs. They have bred dogs for specific tasks by removing the dogs who perform less well from their breeding stock. Sometimes they will cross in a dog breed they think will add traits to perform the task better.

    Breeders select for performance without always knowing exactly which traits they are breeding for. For example, until recently no one realized the husky was being bred for a particular heat economy; they just chose the dogs who kept running the longest. Eventually, successful breeders produce dogs who are physically shaped to do the dog’s task better than any other dog, no matter how well the other dog is trained.

    “Physical conformation” leads to “behavioral conformation.” First of all, each dog’s brain is genetically predisposed to grow to efficiently direct the body it is born in. Then the dog’s brain adapts itself further to the body it is in as it grows in the developing puppy.

    There is no gene for running or stalking, but there are genes that give a dog four legs and make those legs longer, shorter, more or less flexible, and so forth. It is because of the action of the genes that confer differently shaped bodies and brains that the pointer enjoys pointing, the border collie stalks and stares, the Newfoundland floats in cold water, and so on.

    Selecting for aggression

    Just as we cannot make a dog into something the dog has no genetic capacity to be, we cannot prevent a dog from being what the dog is genetically predisposed to be. Because inherited postures and behaviors are suitable for the body and brain the dog was born with, they are internally motivated and internally rewarded: they feel good. This means that inherited behaviorial traits are practically impossible to extinguish by manipulating external environmental stimuli.

    In breeding dogs to perform certain tasks or have a certain look, humans often select (sometimes inadvertently) for abnormalities in body and behavior. We do this by looking for mutations and then breeding for them, or by crossing breeds to get combinations of traits.

    To speed the process up. A clear case of this is the old English bull dog, who can hardly walk, hardly breathe, and cannot be born except by Caesarean section. The bull dog has also been crossed into other breeds by people who wanted to increase aggression in a breed without waiting for mutations to appear.

    There is such a thing as normal aggression in dogs, as in all animals. Maternal defensiveness, territorial defense, and predatory behavior and depend on different neuronal and hormonal mechanisms, and are all normal coping responses. These dog behaviors have been accepted by humans in the process of domestication, as long as the behaviors can be foreseen.

    But abnormal disinhibited behavior is not functional, and it is unpredictable. Although high arousal and sudden attack can be functional in certain environments, this behavior is pathological in a safer environment, where a high level of arousal and aggressivity are not necessary and only lead to unnecessary attacks and injuries.

    Research implicates the frontal cortex, subcortical structures, and lowered activity of the serotonergic system in impulsive aggression in both dogs and humans. Impulsive aggressive behavior in dogs seems to have a different biological basis than appropriate aggressive behavior.

    Kathelijne Peremans, DVM discovered this by studying two different populations of impulsively aggressive dogs. Each dog had executed one or more attacks without the classical preceding warnings, and the severity of the attacks was out of all proportion to environmental stimuli. Peremans found a significant difference in the frontal and temporal cortices of these dogs, but not in the subcortical areas, compared to normal dogs.

    Peremans also found significant dysfunctions of the serotonergic systems among these dogs. Serotonergic dysfunction has been widely shown in many different species to be connected to abnormal, impulsive aggression.

    Peremans studied dogs of various breeds, selected purely on the basis of their behavior. Peremans was not interested in implicating any particular breed, but rather in finding the mechanism behind the behavior in any dog it occurred in.

    She found that all of the dogs with a history of abnormal impulsive aggression shared the same physical abnormalities in the brain. The gender of the dog made no difference. Neither did whether the dog was castrated or spayed.

    Peremans left open the possibility that we will later find other physical factors that contribute to abnormal impulsive aggression. For example, the adrenergic system may also play an important role.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Heritability of behavior

    Another researcher, Linda Van Den Berg, investigated specifically the heritability of impulsive aggression among golden retriever, a breed rarely involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks. The goal was find out whether impulsive aggressive behavior was inherited in those few golden retrievers who exhibit it, and if so, to isolate the gene responsible for the behavior. Van Den Berg found high heritability of impulsive aggression, but did not succeed in isolating the responsible gene(s).

    The heritability of abnormal aggression in certain breeds of dogs can no longer be denied. The bodies of these dogs have been selected to execute a killing bite more efficiently than other breeds. These dogs share physical conformation to the task of killing, including exaggerated jaw muscles, heavy necks and shoulders, and body mass that makes defense against an attack much more difficult. Among people who want dogs who can kill, these are the breeds of choice because they are physically more fit for it than other breeds.

    But breeders also selected for behavioral conformation. To perform well, a fighting dog had to attack without provocation or warning, and to continue attacking regardless of the response of the other animal. Bull and bear-baiting dogs had to be willing to attack in the absence of the species-specific signs that normally provoke aggression, responding to the mere presence of another animals, and not stopping in response to external stimuli.

    The Dogues du Bordeaux used to guard extended farmlands in France, the Boerbulls used similarly in South Africa, and the fugitive slave-chasing dogs of Latin America, such as the Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasiliero, all were selected to specifically for a propensity to kill.

    As they selected for performance, breeders could not know exactly which physical changes they were selecting for. But research now shows that selection for aggressive performance includes consistently selecting for very specific abnormalities in the brain. These abnormalities appear in many breeds of dog as an accident or anomaly, which breeders then attempt to breed out of the dogs.

    In the case of the aggressive breeds, the opposite occurred. Rather than excluding abnormally aggressive dogs from their breeding stock, breeders focused on creating lineages in which all the dogs would carry the genes causing them to reliably exhibit the desired impulsive aggressive behavior.

    Now that we know exactly which brain abnormalities the breeders of fighting dogs have been selecting, the assertion that this aggression is not heritable is no longer tenable. It is also not tenable to assert that not all the dogs of these breeds will carry the genes that make them dangerous.

    These genes may occasionally drop out through random accident, just as golden retriever may acquire the genes to be impulsively aggressive. But the failure to have these gene, in the aggressive breeds, is just that––a failure. It is therefore misleading to assert that the aggressive breeds will only have the selected genes as a matter of accident, or that most of them will be fit to interact safely with other animals and humans.

    As in the pointer, the husky, the greyhound, and the border collie, the genes of aggressive breeds have been selected so that certain postures and behaviors just simply feel good. These dogs will seek opportunities to execute the behaviors they have been bred for. Because these behaviors are internally motivated and rewarded, they are not subject to extinction. Learning and socialization do not prevent these dogs’ innate behaviors from appearing.

    Environments such as the fighting pit, confrontations with tethered bulls and bears, and the pursuit of escaping slaves, for which these behaviors were selected as an adaptive response, are so extreme that there is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life. Functional in the pit or facing the bull or bear, these behaviors must, in all other contexts, be called pathological. Because the behavior selected for was impulsive aggression, by definition this behavior will always emerge suddenly and unpredictably.

    Speculating in favor of the aggressive breeds, suppose that human artificial selection will fail as infrequently in the aggressive breeds as it does in the golden retriever. Van Den Berg found impulsive aggression in approximately one out of a hundred golden retrievers. If behavioral selection fails comparably often in fighting breeds, there is only a 1% chance that their keepers will not endanger others in their surroundings.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Can aggression be bred out?

    Can impulsive aggressive behavior be bred out of fighting breeds?
    The fiction that, for example, the American Staffordshire terrier is a different dog from the pit bull, just because the breeding has (also fictionally, by the way) been going on separately for several decades is just that: a fiction.

    The Russian researcher Dmitry Kontanovich Belyaev reported that he had bred fear out of foxes in only eighteen generations, but impulsive aggression is a more complex response and much more dangerous to live with while you try to breed it out. Further, Belyaev’s foxes were bred under laboratory conditions, where there was absolute control over not having the wrong genes creep back in again.

    As Belyaev bred his foxes into the pettable creatures he wanted, they began to have an increasingly floppy-eared mutt exterior. Belyaev’s discoveries suggest that the interface of physical and behavioral conformation mean it is not possible to breed out the impulsive aggressive behavior of fighting dogs while retaining their shape and appearance.

    Form follows function: one cannot have a dog whose entire body and brain are adapted to executing the killing bite, without having a dog who will execute the killing bite.

    [Alexandra Semyonova, a dog behaviorist and former Dutch SPCA inspector, is author of The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs (Hastings Press, 2009.)]

  • Thomas McCartney

    The pit bull drooler’s don’t get it, they are in effect demanding that they be able to walk around with a loaded.

    hand gun, round chambered, safety off with a hair trigger & that we all smile when they point it at us.

    Pit bulls or Pit bull cross, same difference, same outcome, same reality as to what they are.

    And all Pit bulls or restricted dogs including pit bull crosses by law should have leashes and Muzzles which they almost never have, this should become the law everywhere, and all to often you see them running around as such unmuzzled, this is an even greater problem then them being unleashed.

    Pit bulls and Pit bull crosses and others like mastiffs, Rotts etc. attack and kill and maim while normal dogs bite, that is the big difference in the outcome and should result in a completely different attitude towards these dogs and why they should be banned outright.

    The stats are very clear and accurate and show this reality even if you want to put your head in the sand, it still is what it is.

    Certain breeds like Pit bulls etc.are fundamentally evil in nature and action and do not deserve the freedom of action to carry out their DNA.

    “Pit bulls are different; they’re like wild animals,” says Alan Beck, director for the Center for the Human Animal Bond at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, West Lafayette, IN. “They’re not suited for an urban environment. I believe we should open our eyes and take a realistic approach to pit bulls.”

    A 1993 Toronto study found pit bulls accounted for 1 percent of licensed dogs but 4 percent of bites. More ominous is a 2000 study by the Centers for Disease Control looking at 20 years of data on fatal dog attacks in the U.S.

    Of 238 such incidents in which the breed of the attacking dog was reported, “pit bull-type dogs” were involved in 32 percent of them while being 1% of the population.

    Pit Bulls should be banned from inside city limits anywhere.

  • Thomas McCartney

    In an article dated 03/02/2012.
    SPCA executive director Bob Kerridge last week said pit bulls are the exception to the rule that dogs are not born bad.

    “The pit bull is the exception to the way we talk about dogs. No dogs are born bad, except pit bulls – with other normal dogs owners make them bad,” he said.

    Kerridge was responding to a spate of dog attacks.
    Six children have been attacked by dogs in the last month – at least three by pit bulls or pit bull crosses.

  • Thomas McCartney

    This is based on actuary proof that mutants are different, violently do different and cause violently different outcomes compared to almost all other breeds hence their policy change based on facts, stats, and truths about the pit bull and the other breeds banned, they are saying in effect it is not the owner, they are all raised like other dogs and it is the Breed.

    Farmers Insurance no longer covering dog bites for certain breeds
    Owners of pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf hybrids asked to sign waivers

    Feb 11, 2013

    Farmers Insurance no longer covering dog bites for certain breeds

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —A recent change in the Farmers Insurance policy is surprising many dog owners: The company is no longer providing liability coverage for dog bite claims when it comes to three breeds — pit bulls, rottweilers or wolf hybrids.

    “They didn’t send me a notice. My agent didn’t call me,” said Dawn Capp, who owns two pit bulls and learned about the change from a friend. “They are discriminating against me and my dogs, not based on our individual responsibility level or risk level, but just because my dog happens to look a certain way.”

    Erin Freeman, the chief communications officer for Farmers, told KCRA 3 the company is not canceling policies.

    Rather, she said, since mid-January, Farmers agents have been requiring customers to sign an exclusion waiver of liability coverage for the dog bites.

    Without the signature, the policy would not be renewed.

    “These breeds accounted for 25 percent of dog bite claims,” Freeman said in a statement. “In addition, these breeds cause more harm when they attack than any other breed.”

    Nicole Mahrt Ganley, of the Association of California Insurance companies, advises dog owners to explore the policies of different insurance companies.

    “Insurance companies have to manage their book of business. So, if they’ve seen an increase in claims from dog liability of certain breeds, they may decide (they’re) not going to cover that as much,” she said.

    Capp decided to switch to a company whose policy would cover her dogs — and argued there’s a better way for Farmers to do business.

    “Look at the individual owner. I think that would be a better risk assessment. Do they do obedience training?” she said. “Look at the dog in general, not the breed.”

    Freeman said Farmers is one of the last companies to make this policy change.

    According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog-bite claims paid out by all insurers in 2011 totaled $92.7 million for 2,400 claims in California.

  • Thomas McCartney

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Surgeon: No place for pit bulls, rottweilers around children
    Wednesday, March 10, 2010
    By Alexis Stevens

    One little girl’s scalp and ears were gone. Other children have suffered head injuries, damage to their trachea’s, and critical face wounds. And there are the children who don’t survive.

    In 2009, 29 children were admitted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for treatment of serious injuries due to dog attacks, according to a pediatric surgeon. Those children represent the most severely injured. Dozens of others arrive at hospital emergency rooms for treatment for dog bites. “Unfortunately, a lot of times, it’s the family dog or the neighbors’ dog,” Dr. Mark Wulkan told the AJC. “People get this false sense of security.”

    The death of a 5-day-old Rockdale newborn by the family’s pit bull heightens the need for people to use extreme caution with having certain dog breeds near children.

    “There’s no place for pit bulls or rottweilers around children,” said Wulkan, Children’s Healthcare surgeon in chief and an associate professor at Emory.

    Every year, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs, and about 20 percent of the victims require medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control. On average, 16 people die every year in the United States following dog attacks, according to CDC data. That number is on the rise in recent years.

    Atlanta-area dogs have made the news several times in recent weeks following attacks.

    Earlier this month, a Cobb County 7-year-old girl suffered a severe leg injury when she was attacked by a mixed-breed bulldog on her way home from school. A 26-year-old man came to her aid and fought the dog off of the child, according to police. The dog’s owner was later cited, and the dog was put down.

    Tuesday morning, two pit bulls chased an elderly Marietta woman in an apartment complex. The woman sustained minor injuries. The dogs were later caught and the owner was cited.

    As far as children are concerned, Wulkan said pit bulls and rottweilers in particular are responsible for the most severe injuries.

    “With German shepherds, they bite you and then that’s it,” he said. “Pit bulls and rottweilers, once they go, they’re going for the kill.”

    Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, did an in-depth analysis of dog injuries by breed based on 24 years of data.

    According to the Clifton study, pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74 percent of attacks and 68 percent of the attacks upon children. In more than two-thirds of the cases included in the study, the life-threatening or fatal attack was apparently the first known dangerous behavior by the animal in question.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Eventually pit bulls and their gripping cousins will be responsible for 100% mauling’s as they will be the only dogs left.

    In 2009 there were 32 dog mauling fatalities in the United States. Of this total 14 were due to pit bulls, 44%

    In 2010 there were 33 dog mauling fatalities in the United States. Of this total 22 were due to pit bulls, 67%

    In 2011 there were 31 dog mauling fatalities in the United States. Of this total 22 were due to pit bulls, 77%

    In 2012 there were 38 dog mauling fatalities in the United States. Of this total 23 were due to pit bulls, 61%

    In 2013 from January 1st to March 6th there have been six fatal dog mauling’s in the United States. Of this total 6 were due to pit bulls, 100%

    Scorched Earth, the Politics of Pit Bulls: Popular post updated, Ohio’s Breed Specific Advocate
    scorchedearththepoliticsofpitb.blogspot.com

  • Thomas McCartney

    Gary Stein: Pit bull lovers throw a few bombs

    Gary Stein Columnist
    March 10, 2013

    Always striving to gain more knowledge, I must admit I have learned many things about pit bull owners in the past week.

    What I have learned, in particular, is pit bull owners have a great love for their dogs, and for one particular four-letter word that starts with “f.”

    At least, that’s the impression I got after receiving more than 300 emails, online messages and calls after a column last week when Broward County was considering a possible ordinance to ban pit bulls — a proposal that went nowhere.

    The responses came mostly from South Florida, but there were some from around the country, from as far away as California. I guess they have heard of “f-bombs” on the West Coast, also. The vote was about 98 percent in favor of pit bulls, about the same plurality you get in your basic Cuban election.

    To refresh your memory, the column was about the public hearing where pit bull lovers showed up to say the possible ordinance was unfair, awful, etc. I wrote how some of them quoted Gandhi and Helen Keller and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to try to make their point. I wrote how many of their arguments sounded just like gun lover arguments.

    And, while I think pit bulls should not be allowed in an urban area like South Florida, I said I would be in favor of making pit bull owners carry a ton of insurance, and muzzle their dogs when outside.

    Was I sarcastic? Sure. But I was reiterating my opinion that pit bulls don’t belong in urban areas. Miami-Dade voters, by the way, recently upheld their pit bull ban by a large margin. Just sayin’.

    Here is a small sample of the responses I got. Children, please cover your ears and eyes.

    “Can I call you Gary? Great. Gary, you are an a——.” Also, “my dog thinks you are a —-.”

    “You are an idiot.”

    “People like me think you should be muzzled.”

    “You’re an idiot.” Are you detecting a trend yet?

    “More b——- like this could be more dangerous to everybody like pitt (sic) bulls.”

    “Hey, you dumb f—.” Kids, I warned you.

    “Perhaps you think what Hitler did to the Jews was right?” I promise, I’m not making that one up.

    “A big f— to you.”

    “In the photo of you that is in the article, you appear to be homosexual.”

    “…that garbage hole you call a mouth.”

    “You are a moron.” I guess they got tired of using “idiot.”

    I could go on for a long time, but you get the idea.

    I was accused of being a doggie racist. I was accused of discrimination. Some of the remarks were blatantly anti-Semitic. Some said I need to find Jesus. Some said I was so mean, I probably don’t have children. Interesting. Who’s tuition bill am I paying?

    I stand by every word I wrote, that pit bulls don’t belong in an urban area. I can give you statistics — for one example, check out DogsBite.org. Pit bull lovers don’t like that site, because it makes their dogs look bad. And they, in turn, can quote sites that show other breeds bite just as often. Fair enough.

    As for those who asked if I have ever actually met a pit bull, I did a column awhile back sitting with a nice pit bull owner and her dog in her Oakland Park apartment for an afternoon. The dog was wonderful, friendly, and didn’t treat me like I was a sack of White Castle burgers. And nobody, not even mean old me, wants to see a pit bull abused.

    I’ve just seen too many awful incidents involving the dogs to think they belong in such a close-quartered area like South Florida. My opinion.

    Anyway, while I learned a lot from this exercise, there is one other opinion I formed.

    I really feel sorry for the pit bulls that have to live with some of these people.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Are pit bulls the problem, or their owners?

    Pit bulls are back in the news in Broward, although I’d like to see them banned rather than be in the news.

    But that won’t happen, even though county commissioner Barbara Sharief would like to see the state give Broward permission to ban pit bulls.

    Won’t happen. Miami-Dade is the only county in the state that bans pit bulls, and that happened before the state said breed-specific legislation was a no-no. That won’t change now.

    Instead, we’ll get the usual rhetoric about how it’s not the dog that’s the problem, it’s irresponsible owners.

    While it’s true that irresponsible pit bulls owners are a part of the problem, you don’t see people yelling about irresponsible owners of cocker spaniels. Because it is the DOG that’s the main problem.

    You hear the same thing from gun nuts – it’s not the gun, it’s the person behind the gun that’s the problem. Sorry, the GUN is the problem. Just like the pit bull is the problem.

    Pit bulls have no place in an urban area like Broward. If I had a small child, I wouldn’t want him walking anywhere near a neighbor walking a pit bull. And no way would I let him hang out in a home that had a pit bull.

    But don’t worry, pit bull lovers. You’ll still keep your dogs And you can still whine that it’s the owner, not the dog.

    In fact, you can come up with other slogans that gun lovers love.

    Maybe “When pit bulls are outlawed, only outlaws will have pit bulls.”

    Just don’t tell me the gibberish that the owner is the main problem. It’s the dog. Just ask somebody who has been mauled.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Animal Planet
    Pit Bulls Already Banned in a Dozen Countries
    By Terrence McCoy Wed., Feb. 27 2013

    Pit bulls have been banned the world over
    Though a proposed ban on Broward County pit bulls was shelved last night, if the legislation reemerges in some form — and actually passes — the prohibition on the dog wouldn’t be anything unusual.
    In 1989, Miami may have been one of the first communities to ban pit bulls — but it sure hasn’t been the last, raising questions as to whether it’s only a matter of time before every municipality imposes some sort of regulation on the animal.

    Already, more than a dozen countries have banned pit bulls, making it, quite possibly, the most regulated and feared dog in the canine world.

    Composed from various online resources, here’s a breakdown of the bans and regulations:

    Countries that have enacted regulation on pit bulls (or some deviation):

    **In 1991, Singapore prohibited the entry of pit bulls into the country.

    **In 1993, the Netherlands banned pit bulls.

    **In 1997, Poland enacted legislation enforcing pit bull owners to display “clear warning signs” and keep the animal behind reinforced fencing.

    **In 2000, France banned pit bulls. The goal was to let the breed “die out.”

    **In 2001, Germany banned pit bulls.
    **In 2001, Puerto Rico banned pit bulls.
    **In 2003, New Zealand banned the importation of pit bulls.
    **In 2004, Italy banned pit bulls.
    **In 2009, Australia prohibited the imports of pit bulls.
    **In 2009, Ecuador banned pit bulls as pets.
    **In 2010, Denmark banned pit bulls and pit bull breeding.
    **In 2014, Venezuela will ban pit bulls.

    Nationwide, a ban on pit bulls is also far from exceptional.

    Cities that have laid down some sort of legislation:

    Sioux City, Iowa
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Independence, Missouri
    Royal City, Washington
    Denver, Colorado
    Springfield, Missouri
    Youngstown, Ohio;
    Melvindale, Michigan
    Livingston County, Michigan.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Pit bulls fill 77 percent of Detroit Animal Control cages

    By Gus Burns | fburns@mlive.com
    on February 04, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    There’s no question that the pit bull is the dog breed of choice in Detroit, says Animal Control Manager Harry Ward.
    He said the city’s cages, of which there are nearly 200 — about 100 currently occupied — are filled with 77 percent pit bulls or pit bull-mix dogs.

    That figure is lower than usual, said Ward.

    The American Kennel Club (AKC) last week issued it’s annual list of “most popular” dogs nationally and in Detroit, but the pit bull — a broader classification that includes the pure breeds Staffordshire bull terrier and the American bull terrier — did not make the list.

    Ward said the AKC collects information based on dog owners who actually register their breed with the organization, and in Detroit, dog registration on any level is “chronically low.”

    Ward said he does see a healthy number of German Shepherds and Rottweilers, which were ranked no. 1 and no.2 respectively on the AKC list.

    Fewer than 15 percent of the estimated 50,000 dogs in Detroit are registered, Ward believes. He said between the Michigan Humane Society, the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society and animal control, about 15,000 dogs are removed from the streets of Detroit each year and it doesn’t seem to make a dent in the overall dog population.

    Of over 800 bite reports made to Detroit Animal Control last year, the “vast majority” were inflicted by pit bull-type dogs, according to Ward.

    He says his agency, with on bite investigators and six animal control officers is extremely understaffed for the problems it faces in Detroit, where the landscape is increasingly opened and offering of abandoned homes and possible shelters to strays.

    To register a dog in the city of Detroit, owners may visit their veterinarian to receive a mail-in licensing from. The cost is $15 for animals that can breed and $10 for animals that are fixed, a cost much lower than in many other surrounding communities, said Ward.

    The city also allows owners to register their animals at one of four recreation centers; Butzel Family Center, 7737 Kercheval; Farwell Recreation Center, 2781 E. Outer Dr.; Patton Recreation Center, 2301 Woodmere; or Williams Community Center, 8431 Rosa Parks.

    Detroit Animal Control center took in 1,723 dogs in 2011, of which 1,137 were stray.

    The center does not adopt out animals directly, but works with the Human Society to adopt out animals deemed to be candidates to become good companion pets, said Ward.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Pit bulls have been proven dangerous

    Jan 24, 2013

    Re: “Local woman continues fight to muzzle pit bulls,” Jan. 11

    Dear Editor,

    The fight to muzzle pit bulls in Airdrie is a stepping stone to a more controversial matter in the specific legislation or banning of the animal that has touched cities, provinces and countries globally.

    In the continuing account from the article “Local woman continues fight to muzzle pit bulls” in the City View dated Jan. 11, another article appeared the following day Jan. 12 in the Calgary Sun. Dog owners charged in attacks in which two separate pit bull attacks on people lead to multiple charges against four people.

    Medical attention was required for one victim in the Whitehorne area of Calgary after two pit bulls attacked the one victim. Each animal had a different owner.

    Still another recent attack in the Calgary Ogden area on Dec. 31 involving the death of a Pomeranian dog by a pit bull, and charges including three unlicensed dogs laid against the owner of three pit bulls. The pit bulls were under the care and control of the owner at the time of the attack stated the animal and bylaw services.

    Adding further to the controversy is the article appearing in the Calgary Sun Jan. 16, “Vicious Attack” where an unprovoked pit bull ripped a portion off the face of a seven-year-old boy, obviously leaving a scar for life. The boy, attacked in his own home needed two blood transfusions and four hours of surgery.

    There is much support regarding the animal and without a doubt “emotional support” as noted in the article “Local woman continues fight to muzzle pit bulls,” which states:

    “..since launching the petition she has received several angry phone calls and emails from people opposed to her idea.” This woman’s idea is mild and should not stir such a response.

    It has been noted that animal aggression, especially dog aggression is common with the pit bull breed and should be considered normal. It is also said that proper training will prevent the aggressive behaviour. Is this so and is there evidence, and can the owners control the dog?

    The evidence indicates this is not so. To appropriately train any dog takes a dog training expert and most persons are not equipped in this area, as can be seen in the pit bulls that attack even when under the care and control of their owner.
    A teenage boy biking a pathway in east Airdrie last summer was bitten on the leg by a dog and needed stitches, while the two owners did nothing but watch.

    Children are the most vulnerable in pit bull attacks. The difference with pit bulls, as compared to other sometimes aggressive breeds as the rottweiler, shepherd, doberman and husky is the manner of attack, which is vicious, which is why pit bulls were bred for dog fighting.

    They fight with little or no provocation and have a high tolerance for pain. Unlike guard dogs like German shepherds they don’t attempt to simply restrain their opponents by biting and holding, they try to inflict maximum damage by biting, holding, shaking and tearing.

    There are many more attacks by this breed than other breeds. In a widely-reported case, Toronto police fired more than a dozen bullets into two pit bulls that had turned on a man who was walking them as a favour for a friend. In another attack in London, Ontario, a woman and her seven-year-old son watched in horror as a pit bull latched onto her husband’s arm as he tried to keep the family puppy out of the reach of the dog.

    The matter involving pit bulls are global and encompasses many other countries. Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals promised a banning of the pit bulls after a series of high-profile Ontario attacks. “Mark my words, Ontario will be safer,” Attorney General Michael Bryant, who introduced the bill, said after it passed.

    The United States federal government has not enacted breed-specific legislation, but one state government and several hundred municipal governments in the United States have enacted breed-specific legislation banning or restricting pit-bull-type dogs and a few other breeds.

    The Canadian federal government does not regulate pit-bull-type dogs, but one provincial government and some municipal governments in Canada have enacted breed-specific legislation banning or restricting pit-bull-type dogs.

    The issue regarding the pit bull is supported by global facts and are supported because of a predisposition toward aggressive and dangerous behaviour.

    Muzzling and or banning the dog falls under breed-specific legislation and should be considered. Canada’s Constitution as contained in the Charter guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person.
    The issue is the freedom to move about without fear. Reflecting on Constitutional principles of law suggest that cities should not have unleashed areas and to enact legislation through government to protect society.

    Lorne Peterson, Airdrie

  • Thomas McCartney

    Pit bull attacks on children lead to renewed calls for B.C. ban
    Recent attacks took place in White Rock and Kelowna.

    BY ZOE MCKNIGHT, VANCOUVER SUN AUGUST 30, 2012.

    Emma-Leigh Cranford, 4, nearly had her throat ripped out in White Rock by a dog belonging to a friend of the family, a responsible dog owner.

    METRO VANCOUVER — Recent and vicious pit bull attacks on children have renewed calls for a pit bull ban in the province.

    In a recent attack in White Rock, Elizabeth Cranford watched in horror as her four-year-old daughter Emma-Leigh nearly had her throat ripped out by a dog belonging to a friend of the family, a responsible dog owner.

    “I used to think it was the owner, but now I don’t. I think it’s the breed. I think there’s something in them, the way they were bred, they can just snap,” said Cranford, who wants to see a local or provincial ban.

    Her daughter survived with 40 stitches across her jaw, but not before a two-hour surgery at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

    Last Thursday, Cranford and her daughter had been at a family barbecue no more than 15 minutes when the two-year-old pit bull lunged for Emma-Leigh’s throat.

    “I heard a growl and the next thing I knew the dog was attacking my daughter. It went right for her neck,” she said. Her brother pulled the dog away from the child and it was later euthanized, according to a statement from the White Rock mayor’s office.

    Days later, local media reported a three-year-old Kelowna boy received 32 stitches in his face after he reached down to pet a pit bull. And a Calgary woman appeared in court Wednesday on aggravated assault charges after allegedly ordering her two pit bulls to attack another woman, who remains in intensive care with life-threatening injuries to her arms and face.

    White Rock city councillor Alan Campbell said he personally supports a municipal ban, calling the attack “a very unfortunate occurrence.”.

    He said he would bring up the possibility of a ban when White Rock council reconvenes Sept. 17.

    A statement from the office of mayor Wayne Baldwin said that tightened-up animal bylaws were to thank for dealing with the dangerous animal, but did not mention a ban.

    The BCSPCA said a pit bull ban wouldn’t work, and different steps should be taken to protect public safety.

    “We can certainly understand people wanting to take action. Especially when something this tragic happens, it’s so frightening,” said Lorie Chortyk, BCSPCA general manager.

    “We think [breed bans] give people a false sense of security. And we think municipalities need to address the root cause of the issue and take steps that are really going to protect families,” like breeding regulations, spay-neuter bylaw enforcement, breeder licensing and education or mandatory training for certain breeds.

    People who breed dogs to be aggressive will simply switch over to other breeds like German Shepherds or Dobermans if pit bulls are banned, she said.

    “In every breed, there are fabulous, gentle animals and then there are some that are going to be problems, and that’s true of pit bulls as well… the reality is they do have very strong jaws and they can do more harm.”.

    She said chihuahuas, terriers and Golden Retrievers are more likely to bite, but pit bulls can do far more harm.

    In Ontario, where pit bulls have been banned since 2005, it’s illegal to breed or otherwise bring them into the province even for a short visit. Pit bulls born before 2005 must have their dogs sterilized, muzzled and kept on leashes.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Credibility at risk
    ANIMAL PEOPLE has warned, many times, that the trustworthiness of the humane community itself is at risk when animal advocates deny the realities of the pit bull crisis.

    One of these realities is that shelter and rescue dogs have disfigured 26 Americans since 2007 and have killed six–twice as many people in less than five years as were disfigured or killed by shelter and rescue dogs in the preceding 25 years. Sixteen of the dogs who inflicted disfiguring injuries since 2007, and four of those who killed people, were pit bulls.

    Another was a Presa Canario, produced by crossing a pit bull with a mastiff. The cumulative liability from attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues in lawsuits known to have been settled within the past year alone is in excess of the annual budgets of more than 93% of all U.S. humane organizations.

    Another reality is that many of the statements repeatedly uttered by animal advocates on behalf of pit bulls are demonstrably false and easily exposed.

    No, pit bulls were never “America’s favorite pet.” There is scant evidence that pit bulls were commonly kept anywhere as family pets until barely 20 years ago.

    No, pit bulls were never “nanny dogs.” The sole known published reference to this notion, before the rise of opposition to breed-specific laws, came in a 1922 work of fiction, Pep: The Story of A Brave Dog, by Clarence Hawkes, a blind man who wrote by dictating his stories and–though able to spin a gripping yarn–routinely muddled his facts.

    There is scant published reference to pit bulls as anything but fighting and pig-hunting dogs before recent decades. The most prominent news media mentions of pit bulls 50 years ago, in 1961, came in coverage of the purported centennial celebration of an annual dogfighting convention held in Lafayette, Louisiana.

    No, bloodhounds as we know them today were not a feared breed in the 19th century. The much-feared “Cuban bloodhound” of the mid-19th century was a cross of pit bull with mastiff, much like today’s Presa Canario, bred to hunt and kill runaway slaves. The dissimilar and unrelated floppy-eared English bloodhound came to the U.S. decades later.

    No, there is no evidence that if pit bulls were unavailable, some other type of dog would be comparably exploited. Dogfighters have been trying to produce more dangerous dogs for centuries. No breed not closely resembling a pit bull and derived from essentially the same lineage has ever succeeded as a fighting dog.

    No, it is not true that breed-specific laws do not reduce bites, though the reduction is typically proportionate to the numbers of pit bulls formerly within the jurisdiction. The reduction in bites reported in Ontario after pit bulls were banned was 4%.

    However, the primary goals of breed-specific laws are to reduce dog attack fatalities and disfigurements, and to reduce shelter killing. These goals have been fulfilled wherever breed-specific laws have been brought into force.

    No, breed-specific legislation is not inherently hard to enforce because of the difficulty of defining particular breeds of animal–so long as the definitions are written to be practical, instead of dwelling on the minutiae for which dog show breed standards are notorious.

    Many animal control agencies already enforce breed-specific regulations pertaining to what sorts of dogs and horses may be kept outdoors in freezing weather. Breed-specific rules have also long governed horse racing and livestock exhibition.

    Yes, the “bad boy” comic strip and silent film character Buster Brown kept a pit bull named Tige. But the whole story is that Tige appeared in four films. His roles included attacking two humans and one other dog.

    Egregious misrepresentation aside, the offense for which the humane community is most culpable is promoting pit bulls in a manner which provides free advertising to the pit bull breeding industry.

    Paradoxically, some humane organizations recognized back in 1987, when Budweiser introduced the party bull terrier Spuds MacKenzie to promote beer, that this might lead to more people acquiring bull terriers on a whim and then dumping them at shelters.

    Spuds MacKenzie, though often remembered today as a pit bull, was actually a much smaller and facially different breed of dog–but his bodily resemblance to a miniature pit bull also produced some concern about him possibly helping to make pit bulls more popular.

    But that concern was quickly forgotten in the rush during the next 10 years to condemn Walt Disney Inc. for popularizing Dalmatians by re-releasing the 1959 animated anti-fur classic 101 Dalmatians, and then, at intervals of about three years, producing a live-action version plus a sequel.

    Indeed the popularity of the 101 Dalmatians films did precede a surge of Dalmatian surrenders to shelters–which raised total Dalmatian intake at shelters to about 1% of all dogs. Pit bull intake at shelters during the same years doubled, to 15% of all dogs.

    An even more dramatic demonstration of the influence of exposure on dog breed popularity came when Taco Bell in 1997 introduced a mascot Chihuahua.

    Chihuahua acquisitions soared sixfold in 10 years, making Chihuahuas the third most popular dog breed, and for the first time inundating animal shelters in parts of the U.S. with more small dogs than they could rehome. Shelters in California and elsewhere in the southwest are now exporting surrendered Chihuahus to adoption agencies as far away as Vancouver, British Columbia.

    But while blaming Taco Bell for the Chihuahua explosion, much of the humane community remains oblivious to the role of adoption promotions featuring pit bulls in expanding the market for pit bull breeders, leading inevitably to more pit bulls eventually coming to shelters.

    It works like this: humane societies vociferously allege that pit bulls make wonderful pets. But shelter dogs of any breed have a reputation as damaged goods. The ever-increasing numbers of fatal and disfiguring pit bull attacks increase public apprehension of adopting an adult pit bull of unknown history, but the public tends to believe that pit bulls can make great pets if “raised right” from puppyhood.

    However, shelters typically don’t have puppies these days. Pit bull puppies are in effect in the commodities speculation market, until they grow up and are dumped in shelters. So, persuaded by advertising meant to promote adoptions to acquire a pit bull, Joe and Josephine Q. Public buy a pit bull puppy from a backyard breeder. About one of those puppies in three will come to a shelter within less than two years.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Pit Bull Dangers Part 3A
    Necessary Legislation

    Dog owners must be held accountable for the actions of their animals. This should be done in the same way drivers are held culpable in areas such as with automobiles and drunk driving.

    Examples of culpability in autos are charges of vehicular manslaughter, intoxication assault and related charges.

    I feel dog owners should be charged with assault when their dog attacks, aggravated assault when they cause serious injury and manslaughter or negligent homicide when their dog kills.

    The fines for the regulations listed in part 3 must be heavy enough to actually motivate people not to violate them. Repeatedly violating the steps should end in jail time for offender.

    We must recognize that people and human life come first, everything else comes after. Thus we have to act to stop the attacks, the injuries and the deaths they cause, and we must act now not after thousands more are maimed mauled and serious injured. We must prevent these deaths.

    The bottom line is that it really does not matter right now why these attacks and the resulting injuries and deaths occur. First we must prevent them, after we have accomplished that we can address the reasons and causes for this problem in other ways such as education.

    Pit Bull Dangers Part 4
    Myths and Misinformation Part 1 of 2

    Most people can find a ton of information online easily about Pit Bulls and Dangerous Dogs. The problem is the vast majority of this information is not cited, sourced or accurate. Even when it is sourced most sources are just other sites spreading the same opinions, rumors, or misinformation. This leads many well meaning people to repeat these statements as if they are fact when in truth they are not.

    Myth: Temperament testing by the ATTS proves pits are less dangerous, less aggressive etc.

    Truth: The temperament test was developed by Alfons Ertelt in 1977. Mr Ertelt was not an animal behaviorist, he worked in the print industry but his passion was dogs and he was involved in Schutzhund. (Schutzhund is a dog sport that mirrors the training of police dog work and it is dominated by German Shepherds) The ATTS test was initially intended to test working dogs for jobs such as police work.

    When looking at its scoring system you realize that it rewards aggressive dogs and penalizes timid or calm dogs meaning it in no way tests for the suitability of these dogs to be around people or be pets at all.

    Myth: Pit Bulls have been called the Nanny Dog

    Truth: This myth was started by statements made by two people. Mrs. Lilian Rant, President, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, magazine editor said they are referred to as a nursemaid dog in an interview published in the New York Times in 1971.

    Second in 1987 Toronto Star article where Breeder Kathy Thomas, president of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Association said “In England, our Staffies were called the nanny-dog”. No sources or evidence just two heavily vested and bias people’s statements started this whole myth.

    Pit Bull Dangers Part 5
    Myths and Misinformation Part 2 of 2

    Most people can find a ton of information online easily about Pit Bulls and Dangerous Dogs. The problem is the vast majority of this information is not cited, sourced or accurate.

    Even when it is sourced most sources are just other sites spreading the same opinions, rumors, or misinformation. This leads many well meaning people to repeat these statements as if they are fact when in truth they are not.

    Myth: It is always the owner never the dog

    Truth: While the owner can make a difference no amount of training, nurture or socializing an animal can change its nature, genetic heritage or instinctual behavior.

    Pointers will point, retrievers will retrieve, fighting dogs will fight, and this is true without training or even after being trained not to. Humans can choose to act upon instinct or not act upon it; dogs do not have that choice.

    Many type dogs are owned by the same type people as pit bulls, are abused like pit bulls, and are trained to fight like pit bulls. Many of these type dogs out number pit bulls yet pit bulls maim, maul and kill more people than all other dogs combined. This proves that it is not just the owner or treatment of the animal that makes them so dangerous.

    Myth: BSL and Laws do not work

    Truth: If laws do not work then why do we have them? Because they do work, while some may not obey the law most people do. Most of those people who do not will eventually wind up in court or in jail as it right. Thus laws do work and are needed in many areas especially in protecting human life from dangerous animals and their irresponsible owners.

    Myth: BSL Does Not Lower the Number of Dog bites

    Truth: No BSL anywhere was ever designed or put in place to prevent dog bites. Most areas have seen dog population increase and so the number of dog bites increases. Yet due to the BSL laws serious injuries, fatalities, shelter populations and dogs euthanized have been reduced.

    In most cases the truth is that BSL has worked exceedingly well. Yet the groups that profit financially from these dogs knowingly try to deceive the public by claiming that BSL does not work because dog bites did not go down. Dog bites do not compare to pit bull attacks in any way form or fashion.

    Douglas Wolfe
    PitBullDangers.com
    Written 07/28/2011
    Last Update 10-15-2011

  • Thomas McCartney

    By Douglas Wolfe in Pit Bull Dangers
    Pit Bull Dangers Part 1

    Defining the Pit Bull Problem:

    Pit Bull type dogs kill, maim and seriously injure more people each year than all other type dogs combined. This means that one type dog that makes up less than 5% of the dog population kills more than 60% of all people who die in dog attack related fatalities.

    Pit Bull type dogs are notorious for actions unique to these type dogs.

    Pit Bulls turn on and attack their owners 6 times more often than other dogs.

    Pit Bulls escape containment 14 times more often than other dogs.

    A person’s relative risk of death in a Pit Bull attack is 2500 times higher than a person’s relative risk of death in a Lab attack.

    Pit Bulls once they start an attack will not stop even when subjected to intense pain in many cases.

    Pit Bull type dogs attack in the manner of many wild animals in that they grab, hold and shake the victim to do even more damage similar to the way large cats, sharks and other predators do.

    There have been several studies done over several decades and while the opinions of the authors may differ the numbers are generally consistent in proving that Pit Bulls kill more than all other type dogs.

    Another unique trait of Pit Bulls is that they are the only type dog known to attack adults as often as children. An example is the “Mortality, Mauling & Maiming by Vicious Dogs” study, published in April 2011 in the Annals of Surgery. Where it shows that in the age group 21 to 54 Pit Bulls were responsible for 82% of the deaths.

    Let me close by saying that this is a serious and persistent issue that must be addressed. We have to find ways to stop the senseless and vicious maiming, mauling, and killing of our children and others by these animals. These attacks and deaths are preventable and we as a society must act to prevent them.

    Pit Bull Dangers Part 2
    These Attacks are Preventable

    I want to discuss the most sensible and effective solutions, and why we need them. Because discussing any problem without discussing a solution is counterproductive. Most will agree we definitely have a problem though they may disagree on exactly what the problem is.

    While no solution to any problem is ever 100% effective. Proper laws, and effective controls properly enforced will prevent the vast majority of attacks, injuries and deaths caused by these animals today.

    Many people will say laws do not work, if that is so then why do we have laws? Because they do work, not everyone will obey them but most will and those that do not will eventually wind up in court or in jail.

    Many will say we have existing laws and enforcing them will solve the problem. Again this is not true. Since existing laws are reactive not proactive and provide little punishment for the owners in these attacks, they are ineffective where it matters the most. Preventing these attacks and the resultant maiming, mauling, permanently life altering injuries, disfiguring, dismemberment, disabling and deadly effects should be our number 1 priority.

    You can not return a child killed to its parents after an attack, you cannot give back what is lost to a victim after a hand, arm or leg has been amputated. You cannot hide or cure the effects of permanently disfiguring scars that so many suffer from the rest of their lives. We have to stop these attacks and we have to do it now.

    Pit Bull Dangers Part 3
    The Solutions

    I feel that the steps listed below are the most sensible and effective solution possible for this issue.

    1. Making sure all animals are registered and assessing stiff penalties for not doing so in a timely manner or violating other restrictions placed upon the animals and their owners.

    2. Requiring proof of shots, micro-chipping and a minimum of $100,000 liability insurance for any dog weighing 30 pounds or more.

    3. Requiring that an annual up to date photo of the animal is provided to animal control at the time of registration.

    4. Requiring proper fencing and or kenneling is provided for animals not living in the house or home of the owner. This fencing or kenneling should meet minimum standards to ensure the safety of the public from the animal and the safety of the animal from the public.

    5. All dogs weighing 30 pounds or more must be on a 4 foot chain link leash and have either a muzzle or a halter in use whenever outside the dogs fencing or home.

    6. Passing a law that makes dog owners responsible for their animal’s actions and liable both civilly and criminally, yet making sure that the law is clearly written and does provide protections for animals defending the owner, family or property.

    7. Passing a law making it illegal to allow anyone under the age of 18 to be in control of or be allowed to take out for a walk any dog weighing 30 pounds or more outside of its home or kennel without adult supervision.

    8. Mandatory spay neuter laws are very effective, but would need to allow for exemptions some cases.

    9. Preventing the owners of these animals from taking them to places frequented by children, such as schools, day cares, church, playgrounds, etc.

    10. Strict regulation of breeders, pet stores, shelters and rescues.

  • Thomas McCartney

    L.A. NOW
    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA — THIS JUST IN
    Lancaster’s dog ordinance is cited in helping to drive down gang crime January 21, 2010

    A Lancaster ordinance imposing stiff penalties on owners of “potentially dangerous” and “vicious” dogs is reaping positive results, and may have even helped to drive down gang crime in the city, officials said.

    The law, adopted in January 2009, was primarily aimed at preventing gang members from using dogs, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, to bully people or cause physical harm, officials said.
    City officials said that 1,138 pit bulls and Rottweilers were impounded last year by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. Of those, 362 were voluntarily surrendered by their owners in response to Lancaster’s ordinance.

    “A year ago, this city was overrun with individuals — namely, gang members — who routinely used pit bulls and other potentially vicious dogs as tools of intimidation and violence,” Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement.

    “These individuals delighted in the danger these animals posed to our residents, often walking them without leashes and allowing them to run rampant through our neighborhoods and parks. Today, more than 1,100 of these animals have been removed from our city, along with the fear they create. Lancaster is now a great deal safer because of it.”

    Parris believes there is a correlation between the results of the dog ordinance and a drop in the city’s gang crime rate. Lancaster’s violent gang crime, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, fell by 45% last year, and there was a drop in overall gang crime by 41%, Parris said, citing statistics from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

    Under the dog ordinance, a hearing officer can deem a dog to be potentially dangerous, for example, if the animal becomes aggressive when unprovoked.

    The dog can be impounded, and the owner must have it properly licensed, implanted with a microchip and vaccinated at his own cost before the animal’s release.
    Dogs deemed to be vicious can be destroyed if they are determined to be a significant threat to public safety, according to the ordinance.

    It also requires owners of potentially dangerous dogs to ensure proper leashing and muzzling, complete a dog obedience training course, spay or neuter their animals, and pay a fine of up to $500 for each offense.

    Owners of dogs deemed to be vicious face fines of up to $1,000 per offense, and they could be prevented from possessing any dog for up to three years.

    Though city officials praise the dog law, some residents continue to challenge its fairness. They argue that “breed-specific” legislation is an injustice to canines, because irresponsible owners are to blame for a dog’s behavior, not the dog.

    — Ann M. Simmons

  • Thomas McCartney

    Barbara Kay: Beauty queen becomes target of the pit bully lobby
    Barbara Kay | 12/09/06

    There used to be a time when beauty contests were only about beauty. Fortunately that all changed, and beauty queens today hold and express confidently strong opinions on how to make the world a better place.

    Indeed, the motto of the Miss World competition is “beauty with a purpose.” Canada’s Nazanin Afshin-Jam is a Canadian treasure in that respect, because she has used her 2003 Miss World Canada title effectively, and to great public approval, to further women’s rights under the misogynistic regime in Iran.

    But another Canadian beauty queen, who also wants to use her title to contribute to the public good, is presently under attack. More than 2,300 people have signed a petition, demanding that Sahar Biniaz be stripped of her title of Miss Universe Canada 2012.

    What controversial and offensive opinion has Ms. Biniaz expressed to receive such condemnation? Merely this: Ms. Biniaz has called for Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) to ban or severely restrict the movement of pit bulls in the province of British Columbia.

    Like many advocates of BSL, Ms. Biniaz arrived at her stand on pit bulls through lived experience. She was herself severely bitten in an unprovoked attack on her when she was 14 by her family’s pit bull.

    Reason is on her side. Anyone who follows my Twitter account knows that I regularly post news reports of pit bull attacks in Canada. Lately British Columbia tops the list for nauseating stories.

    Just 10 days ago, four-year old Emma Cranford of White Rock, B.C. was at a family gathering when the pit bull of her uncle’s girlfriend suddenly lunged at her face. He took off part of her ear and tore a gash in her face that, a few inches lower, would have ripped out her jugular. The attack was completely unprovoked, as pit bull attacks on people and other animals typically are.

    Like Ms. Biniaz, Emma’s mother Elizabeth now realizes that pit bulls are not like other dogs. She says: “This was an unprovoked incident. I want parents to be aware. I don’t want this to happen again.” Those who know their nature use the shorthand of SRUV for pit bull attacks: Sudden, Random, Unprovoked, Violent.

    Pit bull advocates are quick to voice their mantra that the problem is bad owners, not bad dogs. There are certainly many bad owners of pit bulls, just as there are bad owners of all other types of dogs. But bad ownership cannot explain the fact that pit bulls kill twice as many humans yearly as all other breeds of dogs combined.

    When they attack, they are machines. In northwest Calgary, on September 5, it took a stun gun and three officers to restrain a pit bull that had escaped from a nearby backyard as it attacked a man and his dog. The pit bull was described as “unstoppable” and even a beating with a fence post “didn’t even faze him.”

    Pit bulls – and pit bull types: “gripping” dogs of the same genetic strain — are a serious public health issue. They kill a North American every two to three weeks. They maul, maim or dismember at least one North American every day.

    The petition against Ms. Biniaz is not a spontaneous phenomenon, but the fruit of a well-oiled, extremely well-funded propaganda campaign by the pit bull advocacy movement (PBAM). The PBAM is wedded to the fiction that the pit bull, sadly victimized by a biased press, is a gentle, affectionate, child-loving dog.

    They are — until suddenly they aren’t. And nobody knows when or why they will strike with their rending, crocodile teeth and implacable to-the-death grip, except that the answer lies in their genes. The pit bull is a genetically manufactured ambulatory grenade and deserves every bit of condemnation it receives.

    The PBAM is a powerful lobby group that has successfully coerced complicity in the propagation of pit bull myths from kennel clubs and humane societies, and shamefully misled gullible media.

    Ms. Biniaz is the best thing to happen for public education about pit bulls in a long time, and I urge her and the Miss Universe organizers to turn a deaf ear to her detractors, and use her high public profile to grow a spine in the dog industry’s institutional spokespeople.

    The PBAM is surely the oddest breed fan club in human history. All other groups exist to promote the proven virtues of their beloved breed. Only the PBAM exists to promote denial of their beloved breed’s proven vices.

    National Post

  • Thomas McCartney

    Hume: Certain dog breeds and owners combine for violence

    Pit bulls, Rottweilers and dog-wolf hybrids are responsible for most attacks — so why aren’t they more restricted?

    By Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun September 13, 2012

    This time it was an 84-year-old Kamloops woman. She required 98 stitches after a Rottweiler savaged her last Sunday while leaving a restaurant.

    Reports in the Kamloops Daily News say the same dog attacked a postal carrier in June, leaving bone-deep puncture wounds from wrist to elbow.

    Pardon an impertinent question: Why was this dog even around to savage a second victim?

    We terminate bears for rooting in garbage, wolves and coyotes for attacking livestock and cougars for hanging around campgrounds. Why the tolerance for dogs that attack people when zero tolerance is the rule for other dangerous animals?

    How many toddlers have to have their faces ripped off before attack dog enthusiasts start acknowledging there’s a serious problem here — and that it’s not with the children, it’s with the dogs?

    Earlier in August, a four-year-old White Rock girl required two hours of reconstructive surgery and 40 stitches to repair the facial wounds left when a pit bull went for her throat. A three-year-old Kelowna boy needed 32 stitches to repair his face after a similar pit bull attack.

    In Calgary, it took three police officers and a stun gun to subdue one pit bull attacking a man and his black Lab. Then there’s the young Alberta woman sent to intensive care with life-threatening injuries after being attacked by two pit bulls.

    Let’s face an unpleasant fact: Pit bulls and Rottweilers are the lethal, loaded weapons of the canine world.

    A study by DogsBite.org, a U.S.-based group seeking to reduce serious dog attacks, found that from 2006 to 2008, pit bull-type dogs killed 52 Americans. From 2005 to 2011, pit bulls and Rottweilers combined accounted for 74 per cent of fatal dog attacks. Another 19 per cent were attributed to dog-wolf hybrids. So these three canine categories, comprising less than five per cent of the total dog population, inflicted 93 per cent of the fatal attacks.

    This should give any reasonable person cause for alarm.

    Now, before the emotive clamor about a dog-hating media conspiracy: I like dogs. I grew up with dogs. My brothers own likable dogs. What they don’t own are genetically engineered killing machines which they then delude themselves are cuddly-wuddly house pets.

    Yes, you can be bitten by a Yorkie or a Siamese cat.

    You can be wounded with a BB gun, too. But a BB gun in the hands of an irresponsible fool doesn’t pose the same public threat as one wandering around with a loaded rocket-propelled grenade launcher, which is why we severely restrict one and not the other.

    Pit bulls, Rottweilers and wolf crosses are the bazookas of the dog world. Perfectly safe as long as they don’t go off; devastatingly lethal when they do. And nobody, least of all their owners, seems to be able to predict when they will go off.

    So please, no more dismay from attack breed owners expressing surprise that their lovable doggie-woggie suddenly went berserk and tore the scalp off some infant or disembowelled a passing Chihuahua. I have as much sympathy for them as I have for people who leave loaded guns around the house and profess horror when a curious child is shot.

    And spare me the duplicitous argument that it’s not the dog, it’s the dog owner.

    No, it’s the dog AND the owner.

    To be more precise, it’s pit bulls, the genetic traits that their breeding amplifies and the folks who think such animals make appropriate pets. Pit bulls were bred for dog fights and thus for sudden attacks — 94 per cent of attacks on children are unprovoked — aggressive tenacity, powerful jaws and a “hold and shake” bite that causes horrific injuries similar to those inflicted by shark bites. It’s no coincidence that some in-your-face pit bull owners proudly refer to their dogs as “land sharks.”

    A 2011 study published by the medical journal Annals of Surgery analyzed 15 years of dog bite hospital admissions. It reported that in the U.S., one person is now killed by a pit bull every 14 days and one body part is now severed and lost in a pit bull attack every 5.4 days.

    In the U.S., 885,000 people a year require medical attention for dog bites, 31,000 require reconstructive surgery and total losses related to dog bites may exceed $1 billion per year. Most troubling, dog bites now account for fully 20 per cent of children’s visits to American emergency wards.

    “Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs,” researchers concluded and observed that strict regulation of pit bulls might substantially reduce mortality rates related to dog bites.

    Yet in the bizarre rhetoric of the attack dog lobby, when it comes to pit bull and Rottweiler savaging’s, maiming’s and deaths, it’s not the attack dog culture that’s held to blame. It’s the rest of us.

    And no, this isn’t a knee-jerk call for banning specific breeds.

    It is a suggestion that perhaps we should have a serious public discussion about whether to make the licensing of attack dog owners and the registration of such breeds mandatory, with liability insurance of the kind we deem appropriate for automobile owners, big fines for owners of such dogs if they are found out of their direct control and criminal liability when those dogs attack people or animals.

    If dog enthusiasts have other proposals for addressing this problem, let’s by all means hear them.

    But no more conspiracy theories and heaping blame on the victims, the increasingly fearful public and the media as a way of evading what poses the biggest public threat — a dangerous and inappropriate combination of dogs and owners of a particular kind.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Barbara Kay: Study proves pitbull ban is justified

    There’s nothing more humiliating for a journalist than pontificating on a subject with ardent conviction, and then being proved wrong. But there’s nothing more gratifying for a journalist than pontificating on a subject with ardent conviction and being proved right.

    At the moment I am doing a modest little victory dance as I type. One of the first columns I ever wrote for the Post (December 10, 2003) argued that pit bulls were a danger to society because of their nature. Naturally I backed up my claim with plenty of statistical ammunition. And today I feel vindicated.

    I was, even as a newbie, aware that readers who disagree with you can get pretty hot under the collar, but I had no idea how exponentially explosive the response is when you diss a dog breed. My column was distributed to dog-owner sites and I received a tsunami of hate mail the like of which I have never seen before or since. I was called unprintable names – and more than one pitbull owner spelled out in graphic detail what he would like to see a trained pit bull do to me. (One responder, curiously enough, expressed the hope that I would get all my fingers chopped off while playing the piano. Not sure what the connection to pitbulls is there.)

    Anyway, reasonable people shared my opinion.

    Well, all those pitbull owners can now turn their wrathful attention to Dr. Malathi Raghavan, a University of Manitoba epidemiologist, and author of a new study of dog bite cases between 1984-2006 in the journal Injury Prevention that suggests the controversial bans are having a positive effect. After “breed-specific legislation” was passed, Manitoba’s overall provincial rate of bite-related hospitalizations dropped from 3.5 to 2.8 per 100,000 people. A spokeswoman, commenting on the study, conceded that pitbulls “genetically hard-wired” to be combative, but diplomatically added the usual refrain that all dogs have the capacity to be nasty if they are ill-trained.

    The idea that pitbulls owned by nice people are no more dangerous than any other breed is a myth, of course. Dogs bite four to five million Americans every year. Serious injuries are up nearly 40% from 1986. Children are victims of 60% of bites and 80% of fatal attacks. Nearly half of all American kids have been bitten by the age of 12. Pitbulls or crosses alone account for more than a third of dog bite fatalities.

    Sure all dogs bite, but most dogs let you know before they bite that they have hostile intentions, and they let go after they bite. As I noted in my previous column, “Unlike other biting dogs, pitbulls don’t let go. They are impervious to pain. Neither hoses, blows or kicks will stop them. Other dogs warn of their anger with growls or body language like terrorists, pitbulls attack silently and often with no perceived provocation.

    The breeders, trainers and Kennel Clubs know all this. Yet dog civil libertarians resist “profiling” or penalties that impinge on the dog’s “right to due process” (their actual words). Gordon Carvill, (at the time of my 2003 column), president of the American Dog Owners’ Association, is implacable on breed profiling, falsely claiming, “There is no dog born in this world with a predisposition to aggression.” This is canine political correctness run amok. Disinterested experts overwhelmingly disprove this claim with ease.

    Just so pitbull owners shouldn’t feel lonely, Rottweilers aren’t always so cuddly either. In 1998 there were 1,237 reported dog attacks in Canada, and a full half of them were accounted for by pitbulls and Rotties. Some jurisdictions in Quebec ban both, and it doesn’t cause me a single minute’s loss of sleep.

    It’s a pretty strange society that imposes speed limits on cars (because we all know it isn’t cars that kill, it’s bad drivers) and doesn’t allow guns to be carried in the street (because we all know it isn’t guns that kill, it’s bad people), but (even though we all know it’s pitbulls that kill, whether their owners are good or bad), won’t take the simple step of reducing harm to our citizenry, especially children, their easiest prey, by banning high-risk dogs.

    National Post

  • Gwen Pilcher

    Remove BSL. No dog should be banned and lose the chance to be a part of a loving home!

  • Julia

    Research continues to prove that BSL does not work, and that pit bull type dogs have better temperaments than most other breeds (American Temperament Testing Association). Numerous cities are doing away with banning certain breeds of dogs, pit bull dogs in particular, as more research becomes available. Even the current POTUS agrees that BSL is a bad practice. Shame on Denver, Aurora, and the rest of the cities in CO which continue these bans! It’s backwards and makes these cities look like they still live in the dark ages!

  • Karen Batchelor

    Colleen Lynn has been so discredited by qualified and respected experts
    it’s amazing to see anyone quoting her Pit-hating propaganda.

    Having been injured as a result of her own injudicious actions she has
    embarked on a rabid hate campaign for the breed. She is not a dog breed
    expert, or a dog behaviour expert, or even a dog trainer. She has no
    qualifications to support her views at all.

    http://legal.pblnn.com/pro-bsl-experts/dogbiteorg/109-collen-lynn-seattle-animal-control-records

    http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2010/03/the-truth-behind-dogsbiteorg.html

    http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/pit-bull-stigma-abandoned-dogs/515b26d62b8c2a17ca0000cb

    When you challenge them they do bizarre stuff like this somehow hoping to blacken your name:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D_5_KIqtYA

    Tawaroa
    is another dogsbite.org troll with multiple fake i.d.s. Actually, I
    don’t know and am not related to any of the people in this twisted piece
    of work and can’t understand why this person has brought the business
    featured into it. And of course I am not a dog fighter.

    This is an important read for those wanting the truth:

    http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2013/11/equal-time.html

  • Robert L

    Mr. Pierce, if what you say is the case about some breeds are just more dangerous.; does this same statement hold true to studies that say crime comes from certain family situations or areas of our community, should we ban those people people and areas because they cause more crime! No you get those responsible for crimes (in this case irresponsible owners). Its the ignorance like this that has scarred our country’s history!

  • mdkroma

    Aurora has one of the finest pit bull bans that has ever been crafted.

    This is because their ban compels the Animal Care division to keep detailed records on dog on human and dog on animal attacks. It also ensures those records include data on the severity of those bites, including classifications of minor, moderate, severe and fatal.

    Aurora’s data shows that dog bites of unrestricted breeds are up, severe dog bites from unrestricted breeds are up and that the citizens of Aurora are no safer than they were prior to the ban being put into effect.

    Furthermore, a study conducted at the University of Denver in Aurora, Colorado showed that “that unsupervised children are most at risk for bites, that the culprits are usually family pets and if they bite once, they will bite again with the second attack often more devastating than the first” and “most often it’s a breed considered `good’ with children, like a Labrador retriever.”

    In short, Aurora’s pit bull ban is great because it has given lawmakers the opportunity to clearly and without a doubt recognize its ineffectiveness and obsolescence, and replace it with a policy that works.

  • muttlover

    In my extended dog loving family we have twice had to do the responsible thing and have a dangerous dog euthanized. One was a Malamute who did fine with people but attacked small dogs for no known reason. When she attacked an old pointer mix and my sister realized that dog was too big and powerful for her to totally control and too dangerous to not be under control, she lovingly stayed by her side as she was euth. I inherited a Chow that my Dad had gotten as an adult. With 3 adults standing there and a fence in between he still almost got the 3 year old next door. I couldn’t get the little guy to understand that a big soft teddy bear looking dog had missed critical socialization. Neither of these dogs are usually singled out for breed bans. In the meantime there was goofy, friendly, dog loving Gordon sitting at the shelter at which I volunteer. We had to be so careful to get the right family because he is a pit bull. He’s a good ambassador. But some of the people interested in adopting him…whew!

  • muttlover

    Another problem in identifying dogs as pit bulls is that there are way too many misidentifications. I don’t think the average person knows how to tell a “pit bull” from an adult Sharpei mix, a Cane Corso, a Mastiff, a Boxer mix or any other short haired blocky dog with a wide head. Until people can safely tell the difference stats are always going to be scewed

  • Hybrid21

    I hope Aurora does the right thing and creates a dangerous dog ordinance that is focused on behavior and not breed. It’s a shame so so many tax payer dollars are lost and the safety of the community has not increased at all. It’s time for lawmakers to do the right thing and realize its time to admit they are elected to protect the people and quit wasting taxpayer money to “save face” on a bad decision they made.
    I live in NoCo and have friends in Aurora. I don’t have a Pit Bull, but have a Heeler mix who is often mistaken for a pit. We don’t go to Aurora to go to the movies or out to eat with our friends or go there for a weekend getaway. They come to FTC to visit us instead, at least monthly, and spend their money in FTC, since our outings are usually full day events….to long to leave the dogs in a city an hour away for the day. There are many people here who do have bull breeds or non-bull breeds that could be mistaken for bull breeds who avoid Aurora for the same reasons.

  • Proud pitbull owner

    My e-mail to Brad Pierce

    “Just a friendly FYI from a concerned dog owner:

    You are a danger to responsible pit bull owners and their pets. You are also a deterrent to recruits being sought for hard-to-fill high-tech positions in your town. Case in point, after reading about the aftermath of Aurora’s failed BSL laws, I am declining a high-level regulatory affairs position with a medical device company in your area in favor for one here in Philly. In Philly, I don’t have to worry about losing my dog because of some knee-jerk elected morons who supports ill-founded BSL.”

  • Jason Fraser

    “His battered face smiling at the attention, a badly abused pit bull walked free last week ….”
    What a load of garbage. Dogs do not SMILE!

  • chrisitne

    BSL does not work. The bad owners will still let their bad dogs bite people and be irresponsible. I support to overturn this ban. It’s unconstitutional. I will be on the side to repeal this stupid ban. If a german shepard bites, that dog and owner needs to be treated the same. There are many good pit bulls out there. I’m tired of the pitbull taking all of the blame. When will we start looking into the bad owners out there?? Man is the most dangerous animal that I know….