Letter writer: Give ‘bully breeds’ a chance

Graphic by Lori Deaton

As an inmate, I understand the stigma placed on bully breeds. Many look at them as dangerous because of a few terrible incidents. When I say “few,” I mean we are five times more likely to be killed by lightning — not just struck, but killed — than be involved in a dog-related fatality. Statistically, death by dog is an irregularity.

Not to diminish the tragedy of these deaths because that’s what they are, tragic. But it is unfair to condemn an entire breed because of these unfortunate cases. That is like saying human beings are inherently bad because of the actions of a few. Should society be held responsible for my actions, for my mistakes? I ask these questions because I believe these dogs, like us, should be looked at as individuals. There are so many factors that go into a situation where a person is attacked, and most times, it could have been avoided.

Instead of euthanizing thousands of dogs, maybe we should educate ourselves and prevent these situations altogether. Furthermore, it seems everyone condemning bully breeds has no professional experience, nor have they interacted with one [of the dogs]. Maybe we could ask the opinions of those qualified to give one.

— Chris Tarantino
Inmate dog trainer with the New Leash on Life program
Craggy Correctional Center

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4 thoughts on “Letter writer: Give ‘bully breeds’ a chance

  1. He is diminishing the deaths by pit bulls. Most people try to take cover when there is lightning BTW. So it only makes sense that we try to prevent all these deaths by pit bulls. After all, dogs live with us, are all around us everyday. We don’t deal with lightning that much. Man’s best friend should not be killing man, but the pit bull is doing just that. And the attacks by pits who sleep with their masters are climbing, it isn’t the abused pits doing the deeds. You can’t use that as an excuse any more. Educating ourselves means that we select another breed, one that is specifically and selectively bred for one thing and only one thing – to kill.

  2. Eighteen people have been killed by lightning in 10 states so far in 2015. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has more details on most of those fatalities.

    25 dead by dog attack in North America so far in 2015.
    21 killed by known pit bull type dogs / pit bull mixes.

    2015 Lightning Deaths:
    Florida: One death in Bonita Springs on May 13 and another in Port Orange on June 26.
    Iowa: One death in Moscow on May 4 and another near Palo on June 20.
    North Carolina: Two deaths total on April 9. One in Cary and another in Anderson Creek.
    New Mexico: One death in Carrizozo on May 15.
    West Virginia: One death in Fayetteville on June 1.
    Arkansas: One death in Benton County on June 13.
    Florida: One death in Largo on June 19.
    Alabama: Two deaths total on June 23 in Opp.
    Arizona: One death on June 27 in Mogollon Rim, Northern Arizona and another in Benson on June 30
    Texas: One death on July 2, victim initially struck May 21 in Port Lavaca
    Alabama: 12-year-oil girl passed away July 7, after being struck by lightning on July 5.
    South Dakota: One death on Juy 12 on a disc golf course in Spearfish.

    2015 Fatal Dog Attacks
    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (7):
    Declan Dean Moss – 18 mos. Old – Brooksville, FL ** ‡ [January 19, mother’s pit bulls]
    Malaki Midward – 7 y.o. – College Springs, IA – ** ‡ [January 22, two six m.o. pit mixes]
    Taylynn DaVaugn – 2 y.o. – West Mifflin, PA — ** ‡ [February 21]
    Brayden Wilson – 2 mos. Old – Dallas, TX — ** ‡ [April 19 – an 8 y.o. pit bull that had been ‘peaceful’ until it killed the child]
    James W. Nevils III – 5 y.o. – Chicago, IL — ** ‡ [May 25 – owned by his adult cousin; pit bull didn’t let go despite being stabbed multiple times]
    Jordan Tyson ‘Jo Jo’ Collins – 3 y.o. – Lawton, OK – ** ‡ [June 28 – owned by his grandparents]
    Joshua Phillip Strother – 6 y.o. – Henderson, NC – [July 7 – neighbor’s adopted, one-year-old shelter pit bull; the child had played with this pit bull before]

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type dog (14):
    Eugene Smith – 87 y.o. – Frederick MD ** ‡ [January 7; ‘rescue’ pit bull, kept as indoor family pet]
    Frederick Crutchfield – 63 – Coal Hill, AK ** ‡ [February 4, found dead in woods with ‘multiple canine injuries’ inflicted by his son’s pit bulls]
    Roy Higgenbotham Jr. – 62 y.o. – Wheeling, WV — ** ‡ [March 8, killed by his pit bull while trying to do CPR on David Wallace; the two men owned the pit bull jointly, had raised it from pup]
    Julia Charging Whirlwind – 49 y.o. – Rosebud Reservation, White river, SD [March 14]
    De’Trick Johnson – 36 y.o. – Pine Bluff, AR – [March 21]
    Kenneth Lawrence Ford – 79 y.o. – Pahrump, NV ** [attacked March 13, died April 14; two of the three pit bulls kept attacking even after being shot]
    Nolberto Legarda – 83 y.o. – Pecos, TX ** [July 2]
    Matthew Brigmantas – 38 y.o. – Hamilton, Ontario ** [July 8 – killed by pit bull mix he was walking]
    Annie Williams – 71 y.o. – Shaker Heights, OH ‡ [July 12 – killed by her son-in-law’s pit bull]
    Carolyn Sue Lamp – 67 y.o. – Redbird, OK ** [July 24 ]
    Porsche Nicole Cartee – 25 y.o. – Spartanburg, SC ** ‡ [August 22 – DOA, her own 10 y.o. pit bull]
    Cathy Wheatcraft – 48 y.o. – Cooleemee, Davie County, NC ** [August 24 – DOA, neighbor’s pit bull]
    Barbara McCormick – 65 y.o. – Billingsley, AL — ** ‡ [September 4 – pit bull mixes]
    Emilios Rios Sr – 65 y.o. – North Shore, Riverside Co., CA [September 8]

    Rottweiler killings (1):
    Betty Wood – 78 y,o, — Sulpher Srings, TX – ** ‡ [March 12]

    Fatalities by ‘breed unknown’ (2)
    Unidentified Native American – about 40 y,o. – Gallup, NM [January 2, found dead at the roadside after altercation with ‘feral dogs’]
    Neta Lee Adams – 81 y.o. – Washington County, GA – [found dead in a ditch due to dog attack on March 31]

    Fatalities by ‘breed being hidden from the public’ (1):
    Gaege Ramirez – 7 y.o. – Canyon Lake, TX — ** ‡ [May 2]

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