Letter writer: Pit bulls should be allowed to go extinct

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I appreciated Chris Tarantino’s letter [“Give ‘Bully Breeds’ a Chance,” Sept. 9, Xpress], and his eloquent advocacy for these dogs. However, my personal experience with pit bulls, including my own beloved Clara and those of neighbors, makes it clear to me that these dogs, through no fault of their own, have an overpowering instinctual drive to attack and kill other animals. This is the result of many generations of careful breeding by men who evidently enjoy watching animals kill each other.

My dog, Clara, was the sweetest, most affectionate person imaginable, and yet she killed my cat, with whom she had lived for two years. I realized then that pit bulls must never be given unsupervised access to any other animal (or child). Responsible management is critical.

Chris Tarantino is right in saying that these dogs should not be killed (no animals should be), but, I will argue, they should also not be bred — that this breed is so dangerous to other animals that it should be allowed to go extinct. This will happen, I am guessing, only when demand for pit bulls drops to zero, when men with low self-esteem no longer need dangerous dogs to make themselves feel powerful.

— Rusty Sivils

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32 thoughts on “Letter writer: Pit bulls should be allowed to go extinct

  1. Every trait that was BRED INTO these dogs-explosive,
    disproportionate and unprovoked aggression, gameness, and their uniquely
    damaging hold and shake attack style-makes them defective, destructive, and
    deadly as a PET animal (http://occupymaulstreet.blogspot.com/2012/12/darwin-dogs-pit-bulls-killing-and.html) and stupid, dangerous, and
    defective as any type of therapy or service dog: http://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2012/04/vintage-stunt-pit-picks.html

    There is only a controversy in the minds of people who want
    to avoid reality. Pit bulls are the number ONE breed for human fatalities and
    severe, life altering injuries (fatalpitbullattacks.com), serial attacks,
    rampage attacks, and failing a ‘second chance’ (dogbitelaw.com) as well as
    mauling and killing pets and livestock (17barks.blogspot.com). This is no more
    an appropriate and safe pet than a tiger or bear and should be regulated the
    same way.

  2. Pit bull apologists define a responsible dog owner as someone whose dog remains contained on their property. They do NOT consider it “irresponsible” to own a dog that, if it gets loose, will attack and kill a neighbor or another pet. They have labeled unprovoked aggression in pet dogs as normal dog behavior — just “dogs being dogs”. If a pit bull gets loose and puts a meter reader in intensive care, the dog is excused for just “protecting his territory”. If a pit bull chews through a wooden fence to disembowel the neighbor’s collie, he was “just being a dog” and “some dogs don’t like other dogs.” They deliberately put “dog bites” in the same category as “dog maulings”. For them, a border collie that nips the heels of playing children is just as aggressive as a pit bull that breaks bones and causes limb amputations.
    In the world of the pit bull fanatic, society must change to accommodate their fetish for a dangerous dog breed. They excuse the right of pit breeders to continue to breed dogs with the genetic drive and physical ability to kill other dogs. They consider the occasional dead child or permanently disabled adult victim of pit bull attacks a price worth paying for their right to keep aggressive dogs as “pets”. They insist that pit bulls represent the “new normal” in our relationship with domestic dogs, and we Americans had better just get used to it. For many of us who remember what owning a dog used to mean, remaining silent is no longer possible. http://blog.dogsbite.org/2012/01/saving-mans-best-friend.html

    • Sandra

      Totally agree.Just today I had a frightening situation with a running loose red nose pitbull.The dog was off leash at a public marina and she headed straight for my dogs who wear on leashes.It was my nightmare coming true and I literally yanked them up by their harnesses into my arms and on to my shoulders.Idiot owner just kept apologizing.Leave it to a pitbull owner to think it’s ok to let their dog run loose at a public place.No other dog owners with other breeds do this!I will never trust a pitbull to not go dead game especially on another dog.

  3. Gawd

    Evolution is a lie. The hand of Y-W-E-H made all creatures 2000 years ago. And pitbulls were made by GAWWWD.

    • TwiveShy

      I hope you’re kidding! John P Colby. Richard J Stratton. Dogfighters of today. These are the breeders of the pit bulls that are killing us. God was never a dog breeder and all dog breeds are created by people through selective breeding to get the treats that they want. What makes my stomach turn is that some people wan,as much death and blood and dismemberment and disfigurement as they can possibly see in a lifetime, so they get themselves a little four-legged minion.

  4. Tyler

    Ignorance like yours; is the ignorance that many pit bull owners have, and is the cause of their dogs aggression/or misdirection. I foster for the humane society; I’ve fostered about 100 dogs; lots who’ve been pit bulls; I’ve also owned 5… PIT BULLS no different than any other dog; besides the fact that they are powerful and have more potential due to their strength (not their temperament!). Unfortunately, a larger MARKET of people who seek pit bulls are the same people who lack the skills to maintain themselves; much less a pit bull. It’s all how you raise a dog that determines their personality. I was at the Buncombe County shelter yesterday. During that time; a REDNECK brings her pit bull in for free care. I overhear the lady behind the desk pleading with this women to have her dog neutered (As it was peeing/marking all over the waiting room); the receptionist even gave her a coupon to have it done for free PLUS GET 20$ for doing so! The REDNECKS remarks are “Why would I do that? My cousin RONNEY told me that if I have him neutered he’ll get more aggressive; I babysit little kids at my house and I cant have an aggressive dog their with them.”…. CASE AND POINT! Ignorant pit bull owner; who babysits little kids… I soon expect this chick to be on the 6 o’clock news; further adding to your ignorance!

    • I hope you know that three pit bull rescuers have been killed by their own pet pit bulls. Do you know how many owners of pits have been killed by their own pits? Pits are not normal canines, they were bred away from normal canine traits such as recognizing submission. They were bred for one thing and only one thing – to kill. Retrievers were bred to retrieve, border collies bred to herd, and pits were bred to kill. If you deny this, you deny every purebred out there. Roll those dice, take your chances. Just make sure no innocent people get mauled or killed because of your insistence that pits are normal dogs, they aren’t.

    • Ted

      You are dangerously wrong. There is a reason dog fighters almost exclusively use pit bulls. Every possible human need for a dog, except fighting, can be fulfilled with a less violent breed or less dangerous ankle biter. It is impossible to adequately vet potential pit owners to guarantee they can control or contain such an animal.

  5. OneWhoKnows

    I consider pit bull owners ignorant rednecks…black or white…they are usually the tattooed saggy pants prison dropouts type…

    low class people attract pit bulls …just sayin’ :) right ?

    • The pitbull lover

      Piss off so ure saying pit bulls are mean and only bab people have them so ure saying my 5 year old cousin is a prison drop.out this dog would never hurt a soul

  6. In North America, from 1982-2014, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 3,595 humans that resulted in 2,233 maimings and 307 deaths

    The Bullmastiff is a Pit bull type dog with the same genetic makeup and danger of a pit bull.

    The Bullmastiff was a cross of 40% Old English Bulldog or pit bull type dog and 60% English Mastiff.
    In North America, from 1982-2014, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 111 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 63 maimings and 18 deaths.

    In North America from 1982-2014, Rottweilers were responsible for 535 attacks on humans, resulting in 85 deaths.
    Rottweiler mixes were responsible for 30 attacks on humans, resulting in 4 deaths.

  7. The following is a list of the top 10 dog breeds involved in dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada involving humans from September 1982 to December 31, 2013, based on a larger table compiled by Merritt Clifton who is the editor of Animals 24-7.

    A Bullmastiff is considered a pit bull type dog and a pit bull mix between a pit bull and a mastiff and is 40% pit bull.

    Breed ****** Attacks doing bodily harm ****** Maimed ****** Deaths
    1. Pit bull **********2792 ***********************677 **********263
    2. Rottweiler *******514 ************************294 **********81
    3. Bull Mastiff ******105 ************************61 ***********15
    4. German Shepherd 102 **********************63 ***********15
    5. Wolf Hybrid ******85 *************************49 ***********19
    6. Akita **************68 ************************50 ************8
    7. Boxer *************62 ************************29 ************7
    8. Chow *************58 ************************39 ************7
    9. Pit bull/Rottweiler mix 50 ********************15 ************15
    10.Labrador ********50 *************************39 ************3

    The report states that the numbers are compiled from press accounts dating to 1982. It only includes attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, which have been kept as pets.

    All accounts are cross-checked by date, location and identity of the victim, according to the report.
    Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs and dogs trained specifically to fight are not included in the report.

  8. About 31,400 dogs attacked about 61,500 other animals in the U.S. in 2013, killing 43,500 and seriously injuring 18,100.

    The animals killed included about 12,000 dogs, 8,000 cats, 6,000 hooved animals, and 17,000 other small domestic animals, primarily poultry.
    The seriously injured included about 12,400 dogs, 4,000 cats, and 1,700 hooved animals. Few small mammals and poultry survived reported dog attacks.

    Pit bulls inflicted 99% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000); 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520); 95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700) and on small mammals and poultry (16,150); and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280).

    About 30,000 pit bulls were involved in attacks on other animals, many of them killing multiple other animals.
    There are about 3.2 million pit bulls in the U.S. at any given time, according to the annual Animal24-7 surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption via online classified ads.

    Thus in 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal, compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds.
    Nationally, fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 since 2010, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    Altogether, 33 U.S. shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.
    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone before 2000 were two wolf hybrids, rehomed in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

  9. “Red Flag: Most insurance companies have come to the same conclusion, do no cover pit-bulls because they can’t afford the risk. Insurance companies have a calculated actuarial risk of pit bulls of 3,000% compared with other dogs.

    Pit bulls are seven times more likely to attack their owners. Dog attacks are the third most common claim on homeowner’s insurance.

    More evidence that people who have pit-bulls and certain other types of breeds are endangering people and other people’s beloved pets in our community.

    “Most dangerous dog lists are based on a 2002 study by the U.S.National Center for Injury Prevention and Control that looked at deaths resulting from dog bites over a 19-year period.
    Pit bulls and Rottweiler topped the list and accounted for half the 238 deaths where breeds were known, followed by German Shepherds and Huskies.

  10. Opinion: There is no need for pit bulls
    By Dr. David A. Billmire June 29, 2014

    Dr. Billmire is professor and director of the Division of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

    As one who, for the last 30 years, has been on the receiving end of the dog-bite injuries that pass through the Children’s Hospital Emergency Room, as well as on the staff at the Shriners Hospitals for Children where we see the late effects of these injuries from across the nation, I can categorically tell you that the problems associated with dog bites are indeed breed-specific.

    When I started my career, the most common dog-bite injuries were from German shepherds and occasionally retrievers. These injuries were almost always provoked, such as food-related or stepping on the dog, and in almost every instance, the dog reacted with a single snap and release – essentially a warning shot. There were no pack attacks.

    Starting about 25 years ago, my colleagues and I started to see disturbingly different types of injuries. Instead of a warning bite, we saw wounds where the flesh was torn from the victim. There were multiple bite wounds covering many different anatomical sites. The attacks were generally unprovoked, persistent and often involved more than one dog. In every instance the dog involved was a pit bull or a pit bull mix.

    Now, I am a dog lover and virtually every one of my family members has a dog. But it is a fact that different dogs have always been bred for specific qualities. My sheltie herded, my daughter’s setter flushes birds and my pug sits on my lap – this is what they are bred for. Pit bulls were bred to fight and kill and, unfortunately, many current breeders favor these aggressive traits. There is no need for any dog with the characteristics.

    I recently gave a talk summarizing my 30 years of practice in pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery, and one segment was titled “Why I Hate Pit Bulls.” I watched a child bleed to death one night in our operating room because a pit bull had torn his throat out. I have had to rebuild the skull of a child who had his ears and entire scalp torn off.

    I am currently reconstructing the face of a child, half of whose face has been torn off down to the bone. I have had to rebuild noses, lips, eyelids, jaws and cheeks of numerous children. On older children, I have had to reconstruct legs and hands. The unfortunate young victim whose recent attack has initiated this discussion will bear the scars of this attack for the rest of her life.

    Based on my extensive experience, I believe that the risk posed by pit bulls is equivalent to placing a loaded gun with the safety off on the coffee table. In my opinion, these dogs should be banned. I know this is an unpopular stand in some circles, but how many mauled children do we have to see before we realize the folly of allowing these dogs to exist?

    The arguments made by advocates of these dogs are the same arguments made by people who feel that assault weapons are an essential part of daily living. There are plenty of breeds available that peacefully coexist with human society. There is no need for pit bulls.

  11. 26 dead by dog attack in the US & Canada so far in 2015.
    21 killed by known pit bull type dogs / pit bull mixes, which include
    so-called ‘breeds’ like Bullmastiffs and American Bulldogs.

    Stars (**) indicate that the killer was someone’s beloved family pit bull that was never abused or neglected.

    The double dagger (‡) indicates that the ‘pet’ pit bull belonged to the deceased person, their family or a relative.

    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
    Fredrick Crutchfield, 63 years old, Coal Hill, Arkansas ** ‡ Feb.4th
    Roy Higgenbotham Jr., 62 years old, Wheeling, West Virginia ** March.9th
    by Friends Pit Bull
    Kenneth Ford, 79 years old, Pahrump, Nev., March.13
    Julia Charging Whirlwind, 49 years old, White River, SD by Pack of Pit Bull dogs, March.14th, Native American on Rosebud Reservation.
    De’trick O. Johnson, 36 years old, Pine Bluff, Ark, March.21, by a pack of pit bull type dogs.
    Norberto Legarda, 83, Pecos, TX July.2
    Matthew Brigmantas – 38 y.o. – Hamilton, Ontario ** [July 8 – killed by pit bull mix he was walking]
    Annie Williams, 71, Shaker Heights , OH ** ‡ July.12 Granddaughters pit bull
    Carolyn Sue Lamp, 67 years old, Redbird OK, July.24th
    Porsche Nicole Cartee, 25 years old, Spartanburg, SC, ** ‡ Aug.22nd
    Cathy Wheatcraft, 48 years old, Cooleemee, N.C, Aug.24th
    Emilio Rios Sr., 65 years old, Riverside, CA, Sept.8th
    Carmen Reigada, 91 years old, Southwest Miami Dade, FL, ** ‡ Sept.22nd

    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (7):

    Declan Dean Moss – 18 mos. Old – Brooksville, FL ** ‡ January 19, mother’s pit bulls]
    Malaki Mildward — 7 years old — College Springs, Iowa ** ‡ January.22, 2 Pit Bull Mixes, Mother’s & friends Pit bulls.
    Taylynn Devaughnm 2 years old, West Mifflin, PA ** ‡ Feb.22 Aunt’s Pit Bull Mix
    Brayden Lamar Wilson, 2 month old baby, Dallas, TX, ** ‡ April.19, by family pit bull.
    James W. Nevils III, 5 years old, Southside Chicago, May.26th
    Jordon Tyson ‘Jo Jo’ Collins 3 years old, Lawton, Ok, ** ‡ June.29th
    Joshua Phillip Strother, 6 years old, Hendersonville, N.C., July.7

    Fatalities by ‘breed unknown’ (1)
    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 years old, Washington County, GA Mar 31, 2015

    Fatalities by ‘other breed’s’ (2)
    Gaege Ramirez ,7 years old, Canyon Lake, TX ** ‡ May.2
    Betty Wood, 78 years old, Sulphur Springs, TX ** ‡ March.13, by her pet Rottweiler

    Foreign deaths by pit bull type dog that we know of (10):

    Maxi Millian Guscott – 2 y.o. – St. Ann, Jamaica ** ‡ [January 2 – bullmastiff, which is a pit bull – mastiff mix]
    Emilia Mitroi – 53 y.o. – Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania [March 9 – attacked while feeding her son’s
    Itamir Fogaca da Silva – 45 y.o. – Sao Paolo, Brazil ** ‡ [March 12 – killed by his mother’s six pit bull mixes when he went to check on her]
    Rhona Greve – 64 y.o. – Ely, Cardiff, Wales, UK ** ‡ [March 20]
    Michael Dany Kassouah – 7 y.o. – Zahle, al-Kark region, Lebanon [April 7]
    Sheikh Kousar – 6 y.o. – Kakumanu Village, Andhra Pradesh, India [April 15 – roaming pit bulls]
    Unidentified man – age not reported – Lauro de Freitas, Brazil [April 22 – killed in his home by his own pit bull]
    Fred Savage – 13 y.o. – Otjomuise, Namibia ** [June 27 – the pit bulls continued to maul the boy even after being shot]
    Matthew Brigmantas – 38 y.o. – Hamilton, Ontario ** [July 8 – killed by pit bull mix he was walking]
    Matias Reynoso, 21-month-old , Leon, Mexico ** Killed by two pit bulls, July.17th

  12. Book Review: Misunderstood Nanny Dogs? A Critical and Objective Analysis of the Facts & Myths Concerning Pit Bulls.

    By J. Thomas Beasley dives into the sobering pit bull mauling epidemic in our country, the primary false myths trumpeted by the pit bull lobby and pulls in pop culture figures like Jon Stewart, Tia Torres and more.

    Press release:

    Misunderstood Nanny Dogs – New Trailer Objective Analysis of the Facts & Myths Concerning Pit Bull Type Dogs


    A synopsis of the book is provided on the blog below:

    Two different Visual depiction’s of what this book is stating can be seen here:


  13. Facts on the Danger of all Pit Bull Type Dogs

    The Truth about the success of Pit Bull type Dog Ban & BSL enforcement, Views of Dog trainers/animal control, Pit Bull breeders, owners,Canine experts, animal behaviorists, Vets, Doctors, Dog attack statistics for the USA, General Dog Bite Statistics across the country.

    And everything you were want to know about the pit bull type dog but were afraid to ask.!

    Out of The Blue Canine Attack Victims Memorial USA, Ohio, Michigan

    God Bless these souls through eternity and may there killers be dammed for eternity.!


    This is the truth of the Pit bull type dog’s Genetic reality and outcome: We the people “WON’T BACK DOWN”


    Wednesday, January 7, 2015
    2014 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs Most of the Expected, Longtime Killing Culprits


    Bite Statistics to Sink Your Teeth Into

    January 06, 2015

  14. Pit-bull bans controversial, but they work
    July 19, 2014

    WAUSAU – The city of Antigo has been pit-bull-free for almost 20 years.

    In 1995, the city hired an attorney who suggested that the city adopt an ordinance prohibiting the oft-maligned dogs from the city, said Kaye Matucheski, city clerk-treasurer for Antigo. The ordinance largely was a preventative measure; Antigo hadn’t had any vicious dog attacks, but pit bulls were being blamed for maulings all over the United States, so the city acted before an attack happened rather than waiting to react afterward.

    The ordinance the city adopted prohibits pit bulls and mixes of the breed, as well as any other vicious or dangerous animals, from being in the city. In the almost 20 years since it was adopted, Antigo has had no attacks, no maulings, and no dogs killed by pit bulls or other dogs.

    Contrast that with Wausau, where in June, a woman was attacked by a pit bull that charged from its home and killed the Chihuahua the woman was walking. That dog remains in quarantine at the Humane Society of Marathon County as a court case seeking to have it euthanized moves forward.

    Meanwhile, the owner of the dog was cited June 19 for allowing a dog to run loose, keeping a vicious dog, failing to license the animal and failure to have it vaccinated for rabies, according to Wausau Police Lt. Mike Juedes. And the woman who was attacked, Cindy Ryder, has called on the city to ban pit bulls as Antigo and other cities have.

    Municipal leaders where such bans have been adopted say the rules are simple and they work. They ensure that pit bulls are kept under control to protect the safety of residents and other animals. Critics of the laws, though, say they punish good owners for the actions of bad owners.

    The village of Stratford and the city of Greenwood both have similar bans on pit bulls and dangerous animals. Lonna Klinke, Greenwood’s clerk-treasurer, said her city’s experience is much like Antigo’s: no specific incidents inspired the ban, and since it was adopted, the city has had no attacks and issued no citations.

    Greenwood, she said, has no pit bull problem.

    How the bans work

    The June attack in Wausau was the latest in a series of maulings that has seen 10 dogs declared vicious by the city over the last six months, and police are called almost every week to a report of a problem animal running loose or threatening people.

    Marathon County spends about $68,000 a year sheltering stray, surrendered and impounded dogs, and last year, about half of the dogs in the Humane Society of Marathon County’s shelter were pit bulls awaiting adoption or euthanasia.

    In contrast, Antigo is pit-bull free, and authorities spend almost no resources chasing the problem dogs, Matucheski, the clerk-treasurer, said.

    “If there is an incident where we’re informed that a resident has a pit bull, they are visited by the police department and asked to remove the pit bull,” Matucheski said.

    Pit bulls that are found in the city are impounded, Matucheski said, and are kept at the humane society, where they can be adopted by people who live outside city limits.

    When Antigo adopted its ban, pit bulls already in the city were allowed to stay, but owners had to register them with the city and follow strict guidelines, including muzzling their animals and keeping them on short leashes when they are outdoors — a procedure similar to those in other municipalities that have adopted bans.

    According to national dog attack statistics from http://www.dogsbite dot org, pit bulls and pit bull mixes represent about 6 percent of all dogs in the United States but are responsible for the overwhelming majority of all maulings.

    Between 1982 and 2013, pit bulls were responsible for 275 deaths and 1,779 maimings, according to the organization, which tracks dog attacks.

    Over the same time period, Rottweilers caused 81 deaths and 294 maimings; German shepherds caused 15 deaths and 63 maimings; and Dobermans caused seven deaths and 10 maimings.

    About the bans:
    Many pit bull bans share stipulations:

    Bans on dogs known as “pit bulldogs,” including the Staffordshire bull terrier, the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier breeds, and any dog that has the appearance or characteristics of any of these breeds

    Pit bulls that were registered with the city before a ban was implemented are allowed to remain, provided the owner uses a muzzle on the pit bull and that it is kept on a leash no more than four feet long

    Owners who have been allowed to keep their pit bulls must have a minimum of $50,000 in single-incident insurance

    Owners must post Beware of Dog signs that can be easily seen by the public

    Any puppies born to a registered pit bull must be removed from the city within six weeks of their birth

  15. Ottumwa, Iowa

    Population 24,998

    In July 2010, Police Chief Jim Clark said there had been no recorded pit bull attacks since the city’s 2003 pit bull ban. Between 1989 and 2003, the city had a pit bull ordinance, but still allowed pit bulls as “guard” dogs.
    “Police Chief Jim Clark says since the ban, there have been no recorded attacks by the animals.

    “We haven’t had any attacks since then for one thing because it is illegal,” said Clark. “Most people are keeping their dogs inside their house or inside their basement and not letting them out loose so therefore they’re not around other people to attack them.”

    “In the two-and-a-half years before the 2003 ban, Ottumwa police recorded 18 pit bull attacks, including the death of 21-month-old Charlee Shepherd in August 2002. There were at least three other attacks on children during this time.”
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Population 189,515

    When the City of Indianapolis was discussing a pit bull sterilization law in April 2009, Little Rock Animal Services Director Tracy Roark spoke about Little Rock’s successful 2008 pit bull ordinance:

    “There was a day when you could walk down any street in center city Little Rock, you could see several pit bulls chained up. You don’t see that anymore,” said Tracy Roark with Little Rock Animal Services.

    Roark told Eyewitness News over the phone that pit bull attacks have been cut in half and credits their new law with getting them there.
    “This is the most abused dog in the city,” said Roark.

    The Little Rock law passed last year and requires pit bulls to be sterilized, registered and microchipped. Also dogs – regardless of the breed – are also not allowed to be chained up outside.”
    Fort Lupton, Colorado
    Population 6,787
    When the City of Fort Collins was mulling a pit bull law in March 2009, Fort Lupton’s Police Chief spoke about Fort Lupton’s successful 2003 pit bull ban, including zero pit bull biting incidents since the law’s adoption:

    “Fort Lupton Police Chief Ron Grannis said the city hasn’t had a pit bull bite since the ban was enacted, but it still has the occasional pit bull that is picked up and taken away.

    Although he said the ban has not been well-received by every resident, he thinks it was the right decision for the city.

    “I believe it makes the community safer,” he said. “That’s my personal opinion. Pit bulls are not the kind of dogs most people should have. They are too unpredictable. … These dogs have been bred for thousands of years to be fighters.

    You can’t take it out of them. A lion cub may be friendly for a while, but one day it can take your head off.”
    Reading, Pennsylvania
    Population 80,560

    After an 8-year legal battle, pit bull advocates dismantled a pit bull law adopted by Reading in 1998. It was reported in the same news article, in February 2008, that the law had significantly reduced biting incidents:

    “Reading’s 1998 law required that aggressive or dangerous dogs, when outside the home, be muzzled and kept on a leash shorter than three feet long with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds.

    The law also punished violators with fines of up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail.
    The law is credited with helping to reduce dog bites from 130 in 1999 to 33 in 2006. As a result, the law – or at least elements of it – were not being actively enforced, the Reading Eagle reported last year.

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

    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.
    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

  17. Marines tighten leash on pit bull policy.


    Stars and Stripes.

    Published: October 5, 2009.

    Each year, dogs bite 4.7 million Americans, according to Gail Hayes, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, 386,000 of those bitten go to the emergency room. About 16 people die, according to the CDC. The CDC does not keep statistical data on bites by breeds, Hayes said.

    TOKYO — Last year, a pit bull fatally attacked a 3-year-old boy at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

    In August, a pit bull mix at Yokota Air Base in Japan climbed out of its enclosure at the base kennel, killed one dog and wounded another.

    During the past year, military bases and privatized military housing began banning certain dog breeds and types.

    Now, the Marine Corps has issued the first worldwide policy banning pit bulls, Rottweilers, wolf hybrids and any dogs with “dominant traits of aggression” from all U.S. Marine Corps bases and housing facilities.

    The policy, issued in August, allows Marines and families currently living in base housing to keep their pets if they apply for a waiver by Oct. 10 and if their dogs pass a behavior test. That waiver will last only as long as the family remains at the same base or until Sept. 30, 2012, at which time all Marine housing and Marine-controlled housing should be free of any full or mixed breeds considered pit bulls, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids, according to the policy.

    The policy comes as more local governments and public housing facilities are instituting similar bans, said Daisy Okas, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club in New York.

    “We’re seeing breed-specific bans pretty regularly,” she said. “We’re very against it. We look at how a dog behaves. It’s a frustrating topic.”

    It can also be a terrifying one, some say.

    “It’s pretty horrifying to see the jaws of one of these dogs ripping into you,” said Colleen Lynn, who was attacked by a pit bull two years ago and now runs a Web site,www.dogsbite.org, dedicated to tracking attacks. “It never goes away.”

    Marines living on a base where another service controls housing will continue to follow that base’s rules. On Okinawa, where housing for all services is controlled by the Air Force, Marines may keep their dogs in family housing, at least for now, 18th Air Wing spokesman Ed Gulick said last week. The base is reviewing the policy, however.

    Tiffany Jackson works for Marine Corps Community Services on Okinawa and volunteers with the Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society, a series of foster homes for abandoned pets in the military community there.

    Currently the network is caring for 30 dogs and 30 cats. Jackson is the only one who will take pit bulls.

    She can care for three abandoned pit bulls at a time, and her house is currently full. Many dogs she sees had owners who wanted the dog as a token rather than a pet. That neglect, she says, leaves both their bodies and their temperament in need of much care.

    “Yes, it’s an aggressive dog,” Jackson said. “It takes a lot of patience and trust. It’s a step-by-step process. They learn you’re not there to beat them.”

    She’s been able to find new homes for all the dogs she’s cared for in the past.

    Even though the ban might not affect Okinawa Marines, Jackson and her fellow volunteers are worried about a wave of abandoned dogs as news of the policy spreads. When asked what the Marine Corps is doing to discourage abandoned dogs, a Marine spokesman said that would be up to each base commander.

    “I think the calls will come more,” Jackson said of dogs needing homes. “We have already talked about it. And we don’t know how we’re going to handle that.”

    Waiver application deadline Oct. 10

    Policies and changes.


    Under the Marines’ rules, anyone seeking family housing after Aug. 11 may not house a Rottweiler, pit bull or wolf hybrid with them, according to a Marines spokesman. Anyone in family housing before Aug. 11 with those dogs must apply for a waiver by Oct. 10.

    The dog then must pass a “nationally recognized temperament test” by a certified tester at the owner’s expense, the policy states. The waiver must be approved by base commanders.

    Owners of banned dogs will still be able to bring their pets on base for veterinary care, the policy states.

    The ban covers mixed breeds, and it will be up to a military or civilian veterinarian to determine classification if registry papers do not exist, according the Marine spokesman. Installation commanders may ask for a base wide exemption from the policy, though that had not happened as of the middle of last week, the spokesman said.


    Early this year, the Army endorsed a similar dog ban at its privately run housing facilities, according to William Costlow, a spokesman for U.S. Army Installation Management Command.

    There is no ban for Army family housing in.

    traditional on-base settings, Army spokesmen said.


    The Navy’s policy allows that certain breeds may be prohibited, though local commanders have jurisdiction, according to Navy spokeswoman Rachelle Logan.


    The Air Force allows each base commander to decide on the issue, and some have banned the same breeds, according to Air Force spokesman Gary Strasburg.

  18. Benjamin Hart, professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and an animal behaviorist, said he wasn’t surprised by dog behaviorists positive assessment’s of pit bull type dogs after attacks.

    “It’s quite common for a pit bull to show no signs of aggression,” Hart said Wednesday. “People will call it a nice dog, a sweet dog, even the neighbors – and then all of a sudden something triggers the dog, and it attacks a human in a characteristic way of biting and hanging on until a lot of damage is done.”

    Hart said pit bulls are responsible for about 60 percent of dog attack fatalities each year, which is “way out of proportion” compared with other breeds. Pit bulls make up less than 5 percent of the American dog population.

    “It’s very poor policy to allow any child around a pit bull, in my mind, let alone climb on a dog,” Hart said.
    The pit bull’s unusual breeding history has produced some bizarre behavioral traits, de- scribed by The Economist’s science editor in an article published a few years ago, at the peak of a heated British controversy over dangerous dogs that saw the pit bull banned in England.

    First, the pit bull is quicker to anger than most dogs, probably due to the breed’s unusually high level of the neurotransmitter L-tyrosine. Second, pit bulls are frighteningly tenacious; their attacks frequently last for 15 minutes or longer, and nothing—hoses, violent blows or kicks—can easily stop them.

    That’s because of the third behavioral anomaly: the breed’s remarkable insensitivity to pain. Most dogs beaten in a fight will submit the next time they see the victor. Not a defeated pit bull, who will tear into his onetime vanquisher. This, too, has to do with brain chemistry.

    The body releases endorphins as a natural painkiller. Pit bulls seem extra-sensitive to endorphins and may generate higher levels of the chemical than other dogs. Endorphins are also addictive: “The dogs may be junkies, seeking pain so they can get the endorphin buzz they crave,” The Economist suggests.

    Finally, most dogs warn you before they attack, growling or barking to tell you how angry they are—”so they don’t have to fight,” ASPCA advisor and animal geneticist Stephen Zawistowski stresses.

    Not the pit bull, which attacks without warning. Most dogs, too, will bow to signal that they want to frolic. Again, not the pit bull, which may follow an apparently playful bow with a lethal assault.

    In short, contrary to the writings of Vicki Hearne, a well-known essayist on animals who—in a bizarre but emotionally charged confusion—equates breed-specific laws against pit bulls as a kind of “racist propaganda,” the pit bull is a breed apart

  19. luluthebeast

    Let’s not forget Cocker Spaniels! They’re right behind Pit Bulls with 59 savage murders. Kill them all and let God sort them out. Actually, any dog that bites should be put down and the owner should be thrown in the slammer. Maybe then they will start being responsible. I can’t even tell you how many dogs myself and my family have had, including pitbulls. How many bites? One, and that was because my wife was dumb enough to try and take a bone away from her Lhasa. People need to be thrown out of town, not dogs.

  20. luluthebeast

    But come to think about it…A Møøse once bit my sister…

  21. KaD

    According to pit bull advocates, dog owners need “training and education” to own a dog. Is that even remotely realistic or practical? Should every dog owner be required to have a PhD in animal behavior, take special training classes, learn to read their “body language”, and carry special equipment (like a break stick for prying your pit bull off of another dog)? Does the average American family — the “good enough” dog owner — really have the time, the desire, and the money to invest in managing a dog that if anything goes wrong, will pose a deadly threat to their neighbors?
    And what, exactly, is a responsible dog owner? Pit bull apologists define a responsible dog owner as someone whose dog remains contained on their property. They do NOT consider it “irresponsible” to own a dog that, if it gets loose, will attack and kill a neighbor or another pet. They have labeled unprovoked aggression in pet dogs as normal dog behavior — just “dogs being dogs”. If a pit bull gets loose and puts a meter reader in intensive care, the dog is excused for just “protecting his territory”. If a pit bull chews through a wooden fence to disembowel the neighbor’s collie, he was “just being a dog” and “some dogs don’t like other dogs.” They deliberately put “dog bites” in the same category as “dog maulings”. For them, a border collie that nips the heels of playing children is just as aggressive as a pit bull that breaks bones and causes limb amputations.
    In the world of the pit bull fanatic, society must change to accommodate their fetish for a dangerous dog breed. They excuse the right of pit breeders to continue to breed dogs with the genetic drive and physical ability to kill other dogs. They consider the occasional dead child or permanently disabled adult victim of pit bull attacks a price worth paying for their right to keep aggressive dogs as “pets”. They insist that pit bulls represent the “new normal” in our relationship with domestic dogs, and we Americans had better just get used to it. For many of us who remember what owning a dog used to mean, remaining silent is no longer possible.

  22. Phoenix Boyer

    My dog Athena like the god she a pit bulls i got in tourble for having her in the city .

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