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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Are pit bulls dangerous?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 26, 2014 1:49 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, August 27, 2014:

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Twenty people have been killed by pit bulls in 2014 across the country.  That's according to the group DogsBite.org, an organization that advocates for dog bite victims and works to reduce the number of dog attacks.

There have been a number of pit bull attacks in Central Pennsylvania.  Two people in York were attacked within a week of each other in July.  An 82-year-old Palmyra man was mauled last month as well.  All three survived but had serious injuries.

There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to pit bulls -- many believe the breed is dangerous because they were bred for fighting and should be controlled by law.  Still others think the problem lies with the dogs' owners and point out any breed can be aggressive if mistreated.  Pit bull lovers say there are just more of them. 

Some say that can be attributed to pro football player Michael Vick's conviction on dog fighting charges in 2007.  Vick's case evoked a lot of sympathy for pit bulls and many people began adopting them. 

Others point to gang and drugs activity in the late 1970s when pit bulls would often be used for intimidation.

Wednesday's Smart Talk focuses on pit bulls with Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania State Director for the Humane Society of the United States and Amy Kaunas, executive director of the Humane Society of Harrisburg.

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Amy Kaunas, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Harrisburg.

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Comments: 81

  • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-26 22:23

    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."

    • Marie Ledger img 2014-08-27 09:26

      Interesting to note, my vet did not ask me to report the attack. According to the statistics above vets benefit from the damage caused by pit bulls. Makes me wonder if vets have a financial reason for not wanting to ban any breeds.

      • bell5858 img 2014-08-27 12:55

        Good Pits certainly can cause horrific damages which can cost a great deal of money what ever the outcome.

        Most pits are well behaved in the presence of strong assertive leader/owners so most vets don't get to see good pits in action or learn first hand about the need for break sticks. But that doesn't help the senior citizen and child victims and certainly doesn't help 10,000's of dog/other animal victims.

        There are videos of loose pits attacking victim dogs. It is obvious that good pits feel happy while killing dogs.

        This is what the pre-pit-propaganda dog books explain as well. Good beagles wanna run bunnies. Good pits want to hunt for and kill dogs.

      • mom2cairns img 2014-08-27 14:23

        Absolutely!... however a few courageous vets across the country are scientifically, photographically and soundly coming out that Pits are a dangerous type of dog. The reality is that a large percentage, perhaps the majority... we can't be sure because the majority of these types of dog never see a vet... are never vaccinated, never spayed/neutered and when injured are treated at home. Their attitude is 'why spend money on someTHING that is disposable anyway'. Having worked in juvenile corrections and learning this first hand and then teaching in 'inner city' schools this is a solid estimation and reality from conversations with the families who participate in this covert activity.

      • mom2cairns img 2014-08-27 14:27

        Absolutely!... however a few courageous vets across the country are scientifically, photographically and soundly coming out that Pits are a dangerous type of dog. The reality is that a large percentage, perhaps the majority... we can't be sure because the majority of these types of dog never see a vet... are never vaccinated, never spayed/neutered and when injured are treated at home. Their attitude is 'why spend money on someTHING that is disposable anyway'. Having worked in juvenile corrections and learning this first hand and then teaching in 'inner city' schools this is a solid estimation and reality from conversations with the families who participate in this covert activity.

  • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-26 22:29

    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

    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.

    • Bob Cronk img 2014-08-27 08:37

      Gee quoting Merrit Cliffton the editor who ran Animal People into the ground, and now runs 24/7 which is nothing but a pit bull hating site.

    • Bob Cronk img 2014-08-27 08:39

      Animal People is not longer in business... poor editing.

  • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-26 22:43

    My Legislation Proposal to be enacted by all states,
    cities and counties in the US & Canada.

    All dogs must be:
    Or all dangerous dogs must be:
    Or all dangerous molosser breeds, including pit bulls (American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Bulldog, Bull mastiffs, dogo argentinos, fila brasieros, presa canarios, Japanese Tosa, cane corsos and their mixes and any dog generally recognized as a pit bull or pit bull terrier and includes a dog of mixed breed with predominant pit bull or pit bull terrier characteristics), rottweilers, chow chows, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, must be:

    * Licensed
    * All Pit bull type dogs Micro-chipped with any bite history in database for reference.
    * Insured: All dogs must be covered by mandatory liability insurance of $100,000 min. generic and $500,000 after a skin breaking bite with insurance companies based on actuarial statistic's determining said rate.
    * Spayed/neutered (except for limited approved show dog breeders)
    * All breeds involved in any bite incident must be kenneled in a locked five-sided enclosure with concrete bottom.

    For all other dog owners language can be written that enclosure such as fences must be capable of containing your dog period, such generic language puts the onus on the owner, have the fines be so onerous that said owner will ensure this they make this so.

    1,000 the first time, double the second time and permanent confiscation the third time with a ban on said person from owning any dog within city limits, this will create an effective outcome directly or indirectly.
    * All dogs must be on leashes outside of home enclosure
    * All molosser breeds must also be muzzled outside of home enclosure

    * No transport of declared dangerous dogs for the purpose of re-homing. (Dangerous dogs must be dealt with where their history is known.)
    * All of the rules listed above also apply to rescues: rescued dogs must be licensed and subject to inspection.

    $1,000 fine for noncompliance
    Elimination of the one-bite rule in all of the 50 U.S. states
    Manslaughter charges for owner of dog that kills a human
    Felony charge for owner of dog that mauls human, dog, or other domestic animal.!

  • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 00:19

    In North America, from 1982-2013, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 2,990 humans that resulted in 1,777 maimings and 275 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 1982-2013, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 105 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 61 maimings and 15 deaths.

    In North America from 1982-2013, Rottweilers were responsible for 514 attacks on humans, resulting in 81 deaths.
    Rottweiler mixes were responsible for 30 attacks on humans, resulting in 4 deaths
    ********************************************************************************
    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, former editor of Animal People, an animal rights charity/news group. Clifton now 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.
    ********************************************************************************
    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.

    ********************************************************************************

    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

    ********************************************************************************

    Merritt Clifton Editor Of Animals24-7:

    I have logged fatal & disfiguring dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada since September 1982.

    Of the 4,953 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 3,411 (68%) were pit bulls; 556 were Rottweilers; 4,247 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 567 human fatalities, 299 were killed by pit bulls; 87 were killed by Rottweilers; 430 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds.

    Of the 3,008 people who were disfigured, 2,090 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 327 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,569 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

    Pit bulls--exclusive of their use in dogfighting--also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class.

    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 in the past four years, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 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. 33 U.S. shelter dogs & one U.K. shelter dog have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.

    Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 7% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 00:22

    In North America, from 1982-2013, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 2,990 humans that resulted in 1,777 maimings and 275 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 1982-2013, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 105 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 61 maimings and 15 deaths.

    In North America from 1982-2013, Rottweilers were responsible for 514 attacks on humans, resulting in 81 deaths.
    Rottweiler mixes were responsible for 30 attacks on humans, resulting in 4 deaths
    ********************************************************************************
    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, former editor of Animal People, an animal rights charity/news group. Clifton now 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.
    ********************************************************************************
    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.

    ********************************************************************************

    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

    ********************************************************************************

    Merritt Clifton Editor Of Animals24-7:

    I have logged fatal & disfiguring dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada since September 1982.

    Of the 4,953 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 3,411 (68%) were pit bulls; 556 were Rottweilers; 4,247 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 567 human fatalities, 299 were killed by pit bulls; 87 were killed by Rottweilers; 430 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds.

    Of the 3,008 people who were disfigured, 2,090 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 327 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,569 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

    Pit bulls--exclusive of their use in dogfighting--also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class.

    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 in the past four years, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 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. 33 U.S. shelter dogs & one U.K. shelter dog have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.

    Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 7% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • Kris Baker img 2014-08-27 05:22

    I am deeply disappointed in both WITF and Smart Talk and am an avid listener and follower, up until today. Scott, you just resorted to using a pit bull hate group, dogsbite.org, who have not only been debunked by every reputable animal organization in existence but whose mission is clear. It's founder, Colleen Lynn has zero experience in dog behavior and is trying to avenge a bite that happened to her several years ago. Here is a direct quote from your source, "I hate these genetic freak of dogs, it is time they die for good." I am deeply disappointed in WITF, I thought you were about fair, and impartial reporting, shame on you!

    • Kris Baker img 2014-08-27 05:31

      And if you are interested in seeing the screen shots of hate from dogsbite.org and it's founder, Colleen Lynn, I have them.

      • John H. img 2014-08-27 07:25

        How about supplying web addresses to the reputable groups that have "debunked" Dogsbite.org.

        I don't want a "screen shot" I want the actual address link.

      • mom2cairns img 2014-08-27 14:59

        ONLY if you made them and altered them...

        would you like the screenshots of threats that Pit apologists have made on victims and on the survivors of attacks... I have plenty of THOSE as well. NEVER have BSL advocates every threatened the lives of Pit owners... NEVER have they threatened rape, gross disfigurment, mocking the parents of children lost to the maulings of Pit Bulls...

        Get a grip.. try to get a real life and face the fact that you are a part of the major problem. Unless you and other pro pit apologists come to the table for some solutions ALL dogs are at risk of being banned or severe restrictions... in the process of 'fair'.... and the 400+ breeds recognized by AKC the vast majority never even make a serious bite much less a mauling or kill (oh yes that proverbial THIRTY POUND 'POMERANIAN' that killed a baby simply was NOT a POM.... try a different lie)

    • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 11:44

      Rubbish, Merritt Clifton & Colleen Lynn of Dogsbite dot org compile dog attack incidents reported by the mainstream media where all aspects of said attack including confirming it was a pit bull type dog is done by first responders, animal and dog experts who are actually there, their stats are impeccably researched and compiled to accurately reflect the reality of the danger that is the pit bull type dog.

      Merritt Clifton & Colleen Lynn of Dogsbite dot org amasses data from media reports of dog attacks, media reports are a traditionally well respected, bona fide source for epidemiologists and historians of every subject on earth.

      Researchers in 39 countries had uncovered the same data Clifton et al have, and arrived at similar conclusions about pit bulls.

      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.

      • Bob Cronk img 2014-08-27 11:54

        Same copy and paste statement I have read 100 times. Collen lynn hires some dummy to cut and paste.. its either Darren Stephens or Thomas McCartney... always a cut and paste.

        • bkjr847 img 2014-08-27 12:11

          They are good little trolls.

        • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 12:14

          What about this do Pit bull advocates not understand.???????????
          over 45,000 killings last year of Human Beings, pets, livestock etc. is NOT acceptable, get it.!!

          Every year even if they survive Thousands of Human victims are disfigured & or crippled for life after being horribly mauled by these mutant undogs.!!

          If 45,000 cars were killing a person or pet or livestock a piece then that car would be banned even if there were 5 million more of them that harmed no one.!!!!!

          If there were 30,000 drunk drivers involved in incidents with over 17 million not involved
          (over 1.5 million drunk drivers arrested every year in the US) as over 30,000 pit bull type dogs were involved with attacks last year, with 3,170,000 pit bull type dogs that WEREN'T involved in attacks?

          Would there still be a BAN on drunk Drivers?

          Oh wait..................Hummmmmmmmmm there is one isn't there, Ooops you be so busted.!!!

          More then 70,000 attacks by pit bull type dogs last year against people, pets and livestock of which resulted in over 45,000 deaths of Human Beings, pets, livestock etc. by over 30,000 pit bull type dogs in those attacks with the number likely double this year that Kill, Maul, Maim, Disfigure, Dismember, cause Life Flights or trips to the Intensive Care Unit.

          With a human being usually am child killed every 7 days this year, what about those numbers do you NOT understand Pit Nutters??????

  • Kathryn Christiansen img 2014-08-27 06:12

    I almost wish WITF would avoid this issue, because it seems to only bring out the worst in both sides, as if there are two sides to this issue. There shouldn't even be a debate here.

    Any given dog can bite, and that likelihood is both a factor of breeding and how the dog was raised. Pitt-type dogs have suffered from popularity by people who practice poor breeding habits. Pitt type dogs have also been bred for their strength, giving them the ability to do more harm when they do bite. And in the past two decades they have been bred by some for fighting. Combined with many people who have Pitts that are either not training them properly or are denying that they have any potential to be dangerous and you do get dangerous dogs.

    That being said, a well bred Staffordshire Terrier that is raised with positive reinforcement and training, can be a wonderful family bet with no issues whatsoever.

    People who are suited to rehabilitate a shelter dog are wonderful, and I encourage adoption when possible, but many people are not ready to rehabilitate a dog. Good breeders, those who vett their clients and take back dogs if there are issues, are where those people should seek puppies; not the neighbor who didn't get their dog fixed or puppy mills.

    So the issue isn't Pitt Bulls; the issue is breeding and training practices for all dogs. Have your pets spayed or neutered! Take your dog to training!

    • bell5858 img 2014-08-27 10:55

      Many/most pits are not pets, rather they are status symbols, weapons, anti theft devices, for fighting, for breeding income, or owned for the vicarious power virility and aggression they provide their owners.

      Because pit welfare is not of importance, these dogs will never be spayed or neutered, even where it's free, unless it is made mandatory then enforced.

      Many who own pets for nepharious purposes would not own dogs if spay/neuter was enacted and enforced.

      Tragically, the pit bully people do not actually care about pit bulls. Proof is their refusal to offer or accept any ways to reduce the breed specific pitbull crisis.

      When they get all huffy about a particular situation here and there, that's not because they actually care about pit welfare, that's because they love a fight. But they happily accept the production of a million surplus pits annually so that many must be killed in pounds in order to make room for the next swarm of surplus pits.

      If the bully people cared about pits, they would support breed specific laws to reduce pit breeding. But they don't, so they won't.

      Thanks to the bully people, and their pit mongering, the pit bull crisis grows daily.

    • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 11:50

      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.!

      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

      • Kathryn Christiansen img 2014-08-28 07:02

        You can breed in/out characteristics though, that is how we got collies and pointers and retrievers and terriers to begin with. Not enough people research the breed characteristics before buying/adopting.

        Go to a dog show full of all breeds of dogs, all un-fixed, and there are no fights or maulings. The breeders are careful to mate dogs that can be around other dogs and can be handled by themselves and the judges. While I do know there are some very wrong hints with dog shows and some specific breeds (pugs and bull dogs are a prime example), the flip side is there are many many good breeders who have homes lined up for puppies not yet born and who carefully track pedigree.

        Careful breeding can really reduce behavior problems, and add on to that proper training and exercise and most breeds of dogs can be handled safely.

  • Michele Avery img 2014-08-27 07:46

    Using dogsbite.org as a reputable source for anything is a JOKE as they make it clear they want all Pit Bulls eliminated from society. Thankfully, you have two wonderful women who are actually on the front lines of animal issues and know and understand the behaviors of dogs in various situations.

    I've been in animal sheltering and rescue for 15 years and met, handled, and fostered hundreds of dogs, many of them being pit bulls, as well as cats. I have 2 pit bulls rescued from a local shelter who are wonderful dogs with people, live with each other (and the occassional foster dog), along with my 3 cats (and foster cats) all harmoniously without issues. They do not deserve to die because other dogs who may look like them have hurt or killed. That idea is ridiculous.

    There needs to be better ownership of all animals (especially pit bulls since they seem to get the worst treatment of all), less abuse and neglect, more accountability in the criminal system for abuse and neglect, more proper training and spay/neuter, and a crack down on backyard breeding and dogfighting. It's time for humans to stop failing these dogs and ensure their safety and the safety of all animals and people by simply being more responsible pet caretakers.

    • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 12:25

      Dog bite website defends its credentials

      Re: Punish aggressive behaviour of individual dogs, not the breed, Opinion, Sept. 18

      The co-authors of the article falsely state Vancouver Sun columnist Stephen Hume "bases his facts and statistics on data that is neither peer reviewed nor published in scientific publications, and is therefore unreliable."

      The co-authors then cite DogsBite.org as one source of Hume's data.

      Both authors ignored the peer-reviewed scientific study Hume wrote about in his article: Mortality, mauling, and maiming by vicious dogs, by John K. Bini, MD, et al., published in the Annals of Surgery in April 2011.

      Pit bull injury data from DogsBite.org is cited in several areas of this study. Hume indisputably relied upon peer-reviewed data and Dogs-Bite dot org data has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific publication.

      The pair next state: "This American-based group is run by an attack victim whose only agenda is to exterminate what it considers to be 'dangerous breeds.'"

      DogsBite.org is a tax-exempt public charity organization with a board of directors, advisers and volunteers with the following mission: "A national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks."

      Hume got it right.

      Colleen Lynn President and founder, DogsBite.org

    • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 12:26

      Re: Letter to the editor, Breed-specific language ‘inherently flawed and does not work,’ 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.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.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.org
      Austin, TX

    • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 12:36

      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.org, a national dog-bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks.

      Orlando Sentinel

  • bell5858 img 2014-08-27 07:57

    Question for Amy Kanaus and Sara Speed:

    How do you justify the continued breeding of the dog created to seek and destroy dogs..the dog that is the best at maiming and killing dogs for no reason, the dog fighter's choice?

    Who can guarantee that their dog will never become a loose dog? No one can.

    Most pit bully people are sociopaths. They attempt to defend their mutant choice of dog, saying " pits weren't bred to kill humans, they were bred to kill your dogs ". That's insane.

    • Bob Cronk img 2014-08-27 09:24

      Actually they were originally bred to be an all purpose dog and a farmers dog. I have two pit bull type dogs .. always together and have had 3 before.. How come they dont fight.. just wondering since you seem to know every thing...
      I once read a post about a woman named Debbie Bell who runs a rescue and was such a bad dog handler she used a break stick on an eight month old puppy.. wonder who that is ?

      • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 11:52

        IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO IDENTIFY A PIT BULL

        The legal definition of a pit bull is a class of dogs that includes American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog and any other pure bred or mixed breed dog that is a combination of these dogs, dogsbite dot org says. Weight and shape can vary significantly among pit bulls from 35 to 100 or more pounds.

        Dogsbite dot org also says scientific proof of a dog's breed is not required to enforce breed-specific laws nor is it required to properly identify a dog breed. “Misidentification tricks and theatrics were constructed by pro-pit bull and animal welfare groups and endure today for one class of dogs only: pit bulls,” it says.

        More than 700 communities nationwide have enacted pit bull ordinances and several have claimed on dogsbite dot org that their legislation has made their communities safer.

        The Myth:
        No one can correctly identify a pit bull. Fighting breed advocates claim that most people shown a collage of dog photos online can’t tell which one is the pit bull.

        The Reality:

        A recent ASPCA study in Virginia revealed that 93% of shelter workers were able to properly identify a “pit bull,” meaning one of the three closely-related (or identical) breeds above.

        Many pit bull advocate groups post a collage of dog pictures online and ask the public to “identify the pit bull”.

        What the public does not know is that the majority of dogs pictured are shot from camera angles deliberately designed to mislead. In addition, they show heads only, so size cannot be considered—this would not be the case when seeing the dog in real life.

        They also feature many rare breeds that are related to pit bulls, but which are extremely uncommon in the United States (e.g., the Dogue de Bordeaux, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, and Ca de Bou).

        And one of the dog breeds that is included is an American Staffordshire Terrier which is the exact same breed as the American Pit Bull Terrier, but registered with another organization.

        It should also be noted that many humane societies offer discounts on spaying/neutering of pit bulls. If pit bulls are so difficult to identify, then how do shelter workers identify who qualifies for the discount?

        There are also many pit bull rescues with the term “pit bull” in the organization name. How do these groups know which dogs to rescue?

      • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 12:20

        Pit bulls have killed more people in the first 14 years of the 21st century
        (243 known fatal attacks) than in the previous 200 years of the 19th and 20th centuries combined (199 known fatal attacks).

        See the list: http://www.fatalpitbullattacks.com/

      • mom2cairns img 2014-08-27 15:42

        Pit Bulls were bred not to herd or any of the other mythology you printed. They were bred to hold cattle while being slaughtered. You don't think those lovely beef roasts magically appeared on spits and then the lord's banquet table do you? They had to be killed... and 400=500years ago that was NOT an easy task. The butchers found it was easier to slit the throats to collect the blood (remember 'blood pudding?) when the legs were held firm and a small 45 lb strong terrier was bred for the job... and dogmen bred and collected to rent them out for this purpose.

        When the village became disgusted with this bloody scene, the butchers were able to move indoors to sheds where they could easily pen the cattle for slaughter. The sawdust was there to soak up the excess blood.... blood makes really slippery mud and muck, you know....

        The PIT terriers were out of business and the dogmen out of a fiscal stream. SO they had to create some activity to keep the pennies rolling in... so BULL BAITING started and used those now empty sawdust pits for the activity... and again societal outrage at this practice closed it down and these dogmen turned to having these dogs attack each other... and to breed them to do so.

        Having raised and trained gun dogs, GSDs for smaller police depts... my pointers POINT, not because of any genius on my part but because I chose deliberately bred dogs and good lines or pointers, my retrievers, RETRIEVED...WORKING breeds pull and rescue.... hounds track, herding breeds herd and protect flocks and herds of domestic animals....

        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.!! IF that were true, the 2/3 of the deaths which are by 'family 'pet' Pits', those owners of the pits that kill their own human children would have to be charged with manslaughter if not murder because it would mean that these people DELIBERATELY raised their pups to attack a family member at some later date... I don't believe this is true no matter how sociopathic the owners might be.... but who knows?

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

        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.

    • Jacqueline Bedsaul Johnson img 2014-08-27 10:46

      wow...talk about a gross generalization! Contrary to your statement, "most" pittie owners are not sociopaths. I know doctors, lawyers, homemakers and executives that own pitties. I know teachers, salesclerks, and vet techs that own pitties. Yes, some dogs are owned by a very unsavory element, but many of them are not. I am a 55 year old, college educated professional woman. I spent 30 years working in the Social Service field. And I am owned by two dogs rescued from fighting busts. Not once in the years since they were rescued has there been one single issue with them. These are not monster dogs...these are devoted, silly companions. Since many dogs labeled as "pits" are actually mixed breeds...many of the dogs don't even have common dna. You can't blame a breed that doesn't exist. Otherwise you are saying that it is a short coated muscular frame and block head that causes aggression. That isn't even logical.

      • Bob Cronk img 2014-08-27 13:07

        I own two pit bull type dogs.. retired Navy Supply Corp Officer, with an MBA and the same civilian job in supply chain for almost 20 years.. yep I am a psycho... I wonder what Debbie Bell does... probably a meth addict.

        • bkjr847 img 2014-08-27 14:40

          I work in the Social Services field as well and have three wonderful pit bulls. In my spare time, I am actively involved in rescue and have placed to date, 33 pit bulls in homes, where they are doing wonderfully. Not a single one has ever been returned or had an issue whatsoever. They, like us, are products of their environments and are individuals. Stastics show that white heterosexual males between their late 20's and early 30's are 86% more likely to be a serial killer. I would venture that serial killers kill way more people than dogs do, regardless of breed, in this country on any given year. So, should be round up all the white males that fit this profile?

  • bell5858 img 2014-08-27 08:26

    Colby, pit breeder, fancier /fighter, author wrote:
    inasmuch as dog fighting is illegal...as long as these dogs are bred there will be pit contests to prove who owners the better fighting dog."

    The pit bully people, the pit mongers, enable dog fighting.

  • John H. img 2014-08-27 08:34

    Did she say a half a million insurance? Because it's only 50 thousand; which can be used up quick depending on the injury.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:42

    Nick emails,

    Pit Bulls are a loving and gentle breed, when treated properly. I've only ever had rescued pit bulls and I've only ever had amazing experiences. ANY large dog that's mistreated can be dangerous, labs and retrievers included. Pit Bulls became a status symbol for "tough" young people and has since been subjected to over breeding and wide-spread neglect.

    There are so many pit bulls in shelters NOT because they are innately dangerous, they ARE over bred, and neglected, especially in the inner-city. I'm so tired of hearing about pit bulls and how dangerous they are. Any responsible dog owner can raise ANY dog to be a loving member of their family. The same is true of the inverse, a black lab can kill. The difference is black labs aren't popular in the inner city where dog fighting and over breeding is an epidemic.
    Nick in York

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:46


    Maria From Lancaster emails,

    I have a balanced opinion on pit bulls. I have been around some very sweet pits who were trained well.

    I have also been jumped on by pit bulls who were not under the owner's control, here in Lancaster city. The last time was just a week ago. Luckily, these were dogs that weren't aggressive.

    But I have a friend who was walking her dog, a small dog, and was attacked by a pit bull. Her dog suffered many dog bites. She literally was rolling around on the ground trying to protect her dog and get it away from the pit. The owner was nearby and did nothing to help her. There was no collar on the pit. I find this is common here in Lancaster: no collar on the pit.

    Her dog survived. Then no more than a week later, I was walking my dogs and heard a commotion and looked to see the same pit bull attacking another man's dogs. He was an off duty police officer who put the dog in a choke hold. Once again, this owner did nothing.

    Then the same irresponsible owner was walking his two pits and one of them killed a neighbor's small dog.

    I know at this point one of the pits has been declared a dangerous dog. I am afraid to walk my dogs anywhere near that block. This has severely restricted my walking. There are many pit bulls in the city.

    I see that there seems to be a cultural thing about having a pit and being able to walk that dog off leash, with the dog listening to the owner's commands. Maybe these men think this makes them "macho."

    I don't know. But they are irresponsible owners.
    Also, pit bulls have been bred in the city by individuals to sell the dogs. this has gone on for years. I have heard that the new popular dog for breeding in homes to sell are Yorkies. Not sure if that is true.

    I feel sorry for the dogs. It is how they are treated, and I know some of these people hit this dogs to try to make them obey. It is sad.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:47

    John from Carsonville emails,

    If such a high percentage of pitt bulls are available in dog rescue facilities I see that as responsible people getting rid of a problem specie dog !

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:47

    Jody emails,

    Please slop tip toeing around the real problem with the explosion in pitbull numbers. Pitbulls became very popular in black culture and from that point forward the dog bite and attack numbers have skyrocketed.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:47

    Fred emails,

    No one can argue that pittbulls are capable of killing. I must make the parallel to guns. Just like guns, owners are the problem. Unlike guns there is no legislation that limits a child's access to an animal that possesses the ability to kill.


  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:48

    Dale from Lancaster emails,

    To the point, suggested by your guest, that some people believe dogs of a particular breed should be rounded up and euthanized as a solution. I agree, it can’t be done, however, solutions are possible. All dogs have been bred selectively for given traits, if not they’re wolves. Your guest postulates that the pitbull was bred for its loyalty, therefore they are good at fighting in a dog ring killing for their owner. That can be bred out of the dog, just as it was bred in. Something similar was underway several decades ago with Dobermans where conscientious owners were selecting for docile temperaments. I don’t know if that was successful, I don’t follow the breed. I know, however, selective breeding worked with foxes to make them domesticated. And I know every breed appears and acts as it does because of breeding. Unfortunately, with pitbulls, the wrong type of owner is deliberate about selecting for traits, with the worst possible outcome.

    I agree, the owner is one of the most important factors in good dog behavior, but simply suggesting that a loving, understanding home is a solution is ridiculous because inherent traits are simply that, part of their nature. Unless there is a large-scale effort made collectively by owners to select for different behaviors the problem will remain. In addition, good policing is paramount. I know in my community police have a wishy washy attitude about dogs off-leash. If that indifference extends into their enforcement or cracking down on dog fighting rings, an effort to select for better traits is nearly impossible. Dog fighting happens in all sorts of places, even on Amish farms, and it doesn’t seem to be taken seriously enough. Until that happens there can be no concerted effort to breed for better characteristics.

    • Chef David Edelstein M img 2014-08-27 08:58

      Just out of curiosity... what is your background in Animal Welfare? Are you a licensed DVM? Behaviorist? Trainer? Animal Control Officer?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:48

    Yasmin from Camp Hill emails,

    When are we going to address the low life kind of people that breed pit bulls to be aggressive and intimidating and use them for fighting. When are we going to going to go after these kind of people. It's not the dogs that are the problem, it's a certain kind of people. Don't go after decent citizens that are trying to bring back the pit bull that it used to be, the most loving, loyal and friendly dog breed. We are barking up the wrong tree.


    "The compassion for animals is the most noble virtue of human nature".
    Charles Darwin


    • bell5858 img 2014-08-27 10:32

      How do the pit bully people support the continued breeding of dogs specifically mutated to kill dogs? What trait could possibly be worse, to anyone who cares about dog welfare?

  • Chef David Edelstein M img 2014-08-27 08:54

    Reputable Groups that directly oppose the "opinions" (not facts) of DBO are none-zero.
    Why? Because any reputable organization is not going to waste a single moment debating the nonsense that is DBO.
    BUT... if you want to see all the organizations that oppose breed specific laws/ restrictions based on facts/ actual research (not: "Cuz I saw it in the paper or on the 6-o-clock news")/ and who do animal welfare for a living... google search ANY ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATION (ie HSUS, ASPCS, AVMA, AVSAB, AKC, UKC, etc) and then do a search on their site for "Breed Specific Legislation" to read their official position statements discrediting BSL and the fallacy that regulating a single breed of dog is going to invoke public safety.
    Here, Ive made it simple for the Pit Bull Hate Conglomerate:
    http://www.TeamPitAFull.org/ThoseInTheKnow.html (with links to sources)
    and The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recently released their own study and position on BSL:
    http://www.TeamPitAFull.org/files/Breed-Specific_Legislation-download-1.pdf
    AND... just a mere 18-20 months ago, The American Bar Association (ie an organization that has no ties to either Pro or Anti Pit Bull platforms) came out with their own statement and the suggestion that the enforcement of BSL directly violates both the 4th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution.
    As for the CDC statistics: those slanted and manipulated numbers... its old. The Pit Bull hating community has been using those for years DESPITE the CDC's official position against BSL and their offering that those numbers are not original findings.

    Lets face facts: The Pit Bull hating community is on the bottom rung... cities replacing or rescinding their breed specific laws out number those adopting it 9 to 1.
    No one likes being on the losing team... but when you choose a platform lead by an emotionally unstable hack of a web developer or a ambulance chasing attorney (Kory Nelson, Parker, CO)... youre destined to disappointment.

    VIVA PIT BULLS and the responsible humans who keep them.

    Team Pit-a-Full
    Denver, CO

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:55

    Jason emails,

    Question - How do dog bites get reported?

    Or, who do you report a dog bite to?

    Lots of references to reports but no mention on who to take these reports to.

    Cheers!
    Jason D

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-27 08:57

    Erin emails,

    Read an article of number of months ago (was an older story) about the “Michael Vick dogs”. It was fascinating in that a number of the dogs went on to become therapy dogs. One of them with kids no less in the LA area. To me this was just further evidence that the breed isn’t bad, it’s what is done TO them. That can be said of any dog, Pitties just happen to have size, strength and reputation, hence the bad coverage. Of all the Pitties I’ve met, everyone has been a huge love bug. I’d be more concerned about being attacked by a Terrier of some nature!

  • mycoffee img 2014-08-27 09:21

    Euthanizing pit bulls, posting pit bull attacks on the front page of newspapers, socially isolating those who own pit bulls responsibly and rescue them is not the answer to the problem. It's like pouring water into a bucket with a hole. The origin of pit bull problems lies somewhere totally different. That's what needs to be focused on. The problem is certain kind of people that use the pit bull for unethical purposes, exhibiting animal abuse and cruelty. It needs to be addressed and criminalized by law enforcement. But that anti pit bull activism in suburbia is not leading anywhere, nor is it solving any problems. Cops shouldn't go out shooting pit bulls wherever they please. They need to go find the criminals, animal abusers, intimidators with pit bulls on chain leashes, etc that cause the pit bull's bad reputation. The pit bull was an amazing breed before people like that got their hands on them and ruined the breed. Pit bulls were used to watch over children and babies in the turn of the century, nanny-dogs is what they were called. It's sad!

  • Marie Ledger img 2014-08-27 09:23

    My dog was attacked a few weeks ago by my neighbor's pit/lab mix in Harrisburg. She was not on a leash and without any warning attacked my corgi. I had to hit her in the head with a brick. It was awful. My dog has a lot of loose skin around his neck and she kept releasing and trying to get a better hold on my dog's neck. So thankfully, he had punctures and needed some stitches. She would have killed my older dog.

    What bothers me the most is that this was supposed to be a 'therapy' dog for an army veteran. He said he was going to have the dog put down, a few days later, his mother trying to walk the dog. He has since moved.

    After listening to a portion of the program, sorry to say, the police were not called. Should I call and report it to someone now?

  • Dale img 2014-08-27 09:23

    The solution to pitbulls is not necessarily an open mind and heart. My e-mail wasn't read completely or accurately on air, so I'll post a similar thought here. I agree that the solution to bad dog behavior is NOT rounding up and euthanizing all dogs of a particular breed. However, solutions are possible, and the most obvious is to reverse what made the breed what it is. All dogs have been bred selectively for given traits, otherwise they’re wolves. As today's guest postulates pitbulls were bred for their loyalty, therefore they're good at fighting because they are 'loyal' to their owners. All of its objectionable traits can be bred out of the dog, just as they were bred in. Every breed leans towards its inherent traits because of selective breeding. A Jack Russel was bred for its tenacity, as the Dalmatian was bred for its spots, as a greyhound was bred for its speed. Evey domesticated dog is a designer dog——even mutts inherit their traits from their dominant breeds. Pitbulls are what they have been bred to be. Several decades ago, conscientious owners of Dobermans began selecting for docile temperaments. Whether that had some impact I don't honestly know? I do know, however, selective breeding worked with particular foxes to make them domesticated. And I know this is true for every domesticated animal; traits are selected for particular reasons. Unfortunately, the wrong type of owner is one deliberate about selecting for traits in the case of pitbulls (whether knowledgeable about bloodlines or not) and with the worst possible outcome. Of course the owner is one of the most important factors in good dog behavior, but simply suggesting that loving, understanding homes are the solution is ridiculous because inherent traits are simply that, part of a breed's nature. Unless there is a large-scale effort made collectively by owners to select for different behaviors, as well as, acceptable physical traits, the problem will remain.

    That said, the only way to accomplish better breeding is good policing. I know in my community police have a wishy washy attitude about dogs off leash. If that indifference extends into their enforcement of dog fighting, an effort to select for better traits is nearly impossible. Dog fighting happens in all sorts of places, even on Amish farms, and it doesn’t seem to be taken very seriously. Until the community at large gets truly serious about the problem there can be no concerted effort to breed for better characteristics. The current trend is nothing more than sinking to the lowest common denominator——more stable homes for ever-increasing numbers of pitbulls. Accommodating to a threat is never a good solution. The solution is addressing and correcting the problem.

    • Bob Cronk img 2014-08-27 09:40

      I vol. at a shelter and have been doing so for about 10 years. I have adopted 5 pit bull type dogs over 20 years. I have learned it is important to adopt for temperment.. not the looks of the dog. Every dog that comes into a shelter is evaluated for temperment, food aggression, reaction to noise etc. If you are serious about adopting a dog it is important to meet with the dog several times, to get a feeling for its temperment. If you do not know enough about dog behavior to figure out a dogs temperment.. a power breed dog is probably not your best selection.

      • Dale img 2014-08-27 17:10

        Despite any argument for the breed, it is, and will remain, problematic when dogs are bred explicitly for fighting. Interesting choice of words, by the way; “power breed?” It’s a “fighting” breed. My wife and I have thirty years experience with dogs and have worked with problematic dogs. Yes, they come in all breeds, much of which is related to the owners. In fact we very recently adopted a dog that has suffered numerous abuses. Why does there always seem to be the assumption, when someone like me points to a problem with dogs or ownership, that there's lack of knowledge, or compassion, or both. Incidentally, my wife has also volunteered in shelters, and I have personally experienced more than a few misinformed persons working for dog rescues. That aside, my previous remarks remain valid. The answer to the pitbull debate is really as simple as 'biology,' and denials in any guise do not deflate that point. Until a serious attempt is made to alter the breed to acceptable standards, a problem remains. I know there are plenty of exceptions having fallen for more than a few lovable pitbulls myself, but asking the public at large to tolerate a proliferation of a particular breed with a natural penchant for unacceptable behavior is like tolerating increasingly poor driver skills without truly addressing the problem, but that's occurring as well, isn't it? Fortunately, the near future holds cars that drive themselves as the population becomes more and more inept at driving. Perhaps there’ll be technological advances for questionable dog breeds, given our unwillingness to address their potential risk?

        It's those words "risk," or “problem,” or “dangerous” that bother breed advocates. The breed was designed to be dangerous both to other dogs and humans, and the increase in the breed demonstrates that a lot of people want those qualities to persist. People get so carried away with this topic of pitbulls’ agreeability that they'll go to enormous lengths to spin this tale of their docility. If they are cherished for their loyalty and affability, why is their physical prowess necessary? Why their tenacity? The physical characteristics of these dogs serve no constructive purpose other than to fight. They don't herd, hunt, or rescue because of their selected traits, nor does their physicality offer anything that makes them better companions. Sure, like any dog they can be trained, but we have breeds better suited for all kinds of tasks, so keeping this breed intact seems pointless. It’s terrible what happens to these dogs, and I'm no different from you in my level of compassion for those who have suffered abuses, but does my or anyone else’s blanket acceptance mitigate the potential of a dangerous breed? Let's face it, when the potential for danger decreases, their threatening traits will disappear as well.

        • Bob Cronk img 2014-08-27 17:37

          my comment was directed at other types of dogs also. rot ties, mastiffs,ridge backs. Also pit bull type dogs do well at other things besides fighting. For example pulling and if I Remember correctly a pit bull won the national freebie catching contest.

      • Dale img 2014-08-27 20:13

        No dispute there. I acknowledge your plaudits. Yet, my point still stands. It's unnecessary to preserve any trait within a breed that's intended for fighting. So where's the harm in a concerted effort to breed out undesirable traits, especially if it helps to resolve issues with unwanted behavior? And it would be a significant step in the right direction without question! But, I'm not going to beat a dead horse restating the obvious, unless, of course, there's some salient argument against selecting for better traits, but I haven't heard any, and it's not likely I will because that would be inane.

        • Bob Cronk img 2014-08-28 07:15

          I do agree that power breed dogs for the most part should not be breed for aggression.. unless it is specifically breed to be a police dog or military dog. There are reputable American Pit Bull Terrier Breeders but there are plenty that are not. Most of the pit bull type dogs that come to our sheler show no signs of being involved in a dog fight.

          I do not support government or any group of people that I refer to pit bull haters to regulate breeding. For the most part they do not seem to understand dog behavior or probably even own dogs. However I am not sure that backyard breeders care enough to really breed for temperment. One possible solution is if a dog mauls a person then the breeder of the dog would be investigated... but the problem there is trying to find the breeder.

          • Dale img 2014-08-28 11:27

            We're almost on the same page now, though I still go further. I believe that various breed characteristics are unnecessary, and that there should be a concerted effort to make dogs less threatening when it serves no constructive purpose, especially given there’s already a common practice of modification through selective breeding. This is the twenty-first century after all, and we have no reason to preserve fighting breeds as they are. I also believe policing measures are too lax and that a change here would spur greater effectiveness in weeding out problem owners/breeders. Maybe laws need to be firmed up as well? But I adamantly disagree—despite considerable experience and history of ownership—that those who don’t have dogs, or experience with them, have no right to be involved in a solution. Furthermore, let’s agree that not everyone who opposes the opinions of advocates is a "hater." Name-calling doesn’t serve any constructive purpose. An issue exists because these dogs, like dogs of any breed, pose a risk in a community. There is a potential for harm and misuse that transcends ownership or familiarity. Wave around a weapon of any sort and there’s cause for objection, right? Even if it’s an exceptional few who pose the threat. And never mind that ownership doesn’t make a person an expert on dogs anymore than procreation makes a parent an expert on children. Plenty of poor dog owners as there are poor parents. As I mentioned earlier, even those with best intentions get it wrong. What matters most in this conversation are folks who value both facts and reason. Breed modification satisfies both sides of this disagreement, whereby the breed remains, but in a more benign form in all respects.

            I can’t make my point any clearer, so I’m guessing our conversation has run its course? People who oppose the opinions of pitbull advocates feel threatened by the breed, and not because they’re misinformed. Like myself, I think they hear your contentions, that pitbulls are loyal, even-tempered companions, and a dog is a dog is a dog, so pitbulls pose no greater risk than any other breed. What most argue against, I think, is a refusal to acknowledge a greater potential for harm in this particular breed. Denying that dangers exist any greater in one breed than another is similar to believing that weapons have all been created to have the same degree of destructiveness. The problem is we know the breeds’ history; we know what it was bred to be; we know it remains mostly unaltered; moreover, we know that fighting dogs are an antiquated, hazardous idea. With that, I have to add that I still take exception to the use of the vague term “power breed,” which conveniently masks specific purpose of breeds. Rottweilers properly fall into the category of herding and military dogs, first used by the Romans. Mastiffs fall into the category of guard dogs, bred for size and courage, but more importantly, also for docility. And Ridgebacks are hunting dogs, and specifically sighthounds, bred for speed and strength. As you know, the term Pitbull encompass a variety of terrier breeds that were primarily bred for fighting. It’s clear why anyone would want to disassociate a nasty past, which brings my comments full circle—why don’t we do it properly, through breeding?

    • mycoffee img 2014-08-27 10:53

      The breeding is a problem. But people breed dogs, mainly to satisfy their selfish desires. We already know that it is often not to the benefit of the dog. It has always bothered me a bit. Why does a Boston Terrier have to have to suffer from eye diseases just because people think his bulging eyes are cute. Shouldn't we start looking at that. After all we are stewards of the dogs. Pit bull breeding for muscle strength and aggression so we can fight them is not appropriate. Loyal they were already. There needs to start being some serious consideration and legislature if necessary. Don't know where to start.

    • Dale img 2014-08-28 11:03

      We're almost on the same page now, though I still go further. I believe that various breed characteristics are unnecessary, and that there should be a concerted effort to make dogs less threatening when it serves no constructive purpose, especially given there’s already a common practice of modification through selective breeding. This is the twenty-first century after all, and we have no reason to preserve fighting breeds as they are. I also believe policing measures are too lax and that a change here would spur greater effectiveness in weeding out problem owners/breeders. Maybe laws need to be firmed up as well? But I adamantly disagree—despite considerable experience and history of ownership—that those who don’t have dogs, or experience with them, have no right to be involved in a solution. Furthermore, let’s agree that not everyone who opposes the opinions of advocates is a "hater." Name-calling doesn’t serve any constructive purpose. An issue exists because these dogs, like dogs of any breed, pose a risk in a community. There is a potential for harm and misuse that transcends ownership or familiarity. Wave around a weapon of any sort and there’s cause for objection, right? Even if it’s an exceptional few who pose the threat. And never mind that ownership doesn’t make a person an expert on dogs anymore than procreation makes a parent an expert on children. Plenty of poor dog owners as there are poor parents. As I mentioned earlier, even those with best intentions get it wrong. What matters most in this conversation are folks who value both facts and reason. Breed modification satisfies both sides of this disagreement, whereby the breed remains, but in a more benign form in all respects.

      I can’t make my point any clearer, so I’m guessing our conversation has run its course? People who oppose the opinions of pitbull advocates feel threatened by the breed, and not because they’re misinformed. Like myself, I think they hear your contentions, that pitbulls are loyal, even-tempered companions, and a dog is a dog is a dog, so pitbulls pose no greater risk than any other breed. What most argue against, I think, is a refusal to acknowledge a greater potential for harm in this particular breed. Denying that dangers exist any greater in one breed than another is similar to believing that weapons have all been created to have the same degree of destructiveness. The problem is we know the breeds’ history; we know what it was bred to be; we know it remains mostly unaltered; moreover, we know that fighting dogs are an antiquated, hazardous idea. With that, I have to add that I still take exception to the use of the vague term “power breed,” which conveniently masks specific purpose of breeds. Rottweilers properly fall into the category of herding and military dogs, first used by the Romans. Mastiffs fall into the category of guard dogs, bred for size and courage, but more importantly, also for docility. And Ridgebacks are hunting dogs, and specifically sighthounds, bred for speed and strength. As you know, the term Pitbull encompass a variety of terrier breeds that were primarily bred for fighting. It’s clear why anyone would want to disassociate a nasty past, which brings my comments full circle—why don’t we do it properly, through breeding?

  • Michael img 2014-08-27 10:08

    Both of the guests seemed to base their support of pit bull type dogs on personal anecdotal experiences ( the pit bull puppies lick my face when I pick them up ) in the face of overwhelming data to the contrary. They then launch into their well practiced "stump speech" which soon glazes the eyes over. The guests talked on way to long to say very little of an objective point, backed by widely recognized data. It does seem that often those with nothing much of a fact based point take a very long time to present it. This is surely a case of "talk is cheap".

    • bkjr847 img 2014-08-27 12:04

      Anecdotal evidence, seriously? In case you missed the introductions, they both work for the Huamane Society and have daily first hand experience and knowledge of the subject matter in question. The anecdotal evidence is coming from the other side who reads a story that has been sensationalized by the media and my hate groups like dogsbite.org and makes the audacious assumption that because they read about one dog, they know them all. There are millions of pit bull type dogs living in homes across the county and they are beloved family members. People on the other side of this debate are arguing for the misinformed opinion while we are fighting for our family members who have done nothing wrong.

      • Michael img 2014-08-27 13:19

        Well, if they had all of this information they never identified it and using your description still sounds like anecdotal evidence from very biased commentators. There has been much fact based studies identified from several emailers already, take a look. The only published data these two commented on was the CDC study which they dismissed outright with no fact based opposing data. I do realize that their background and position mandates their going the " all dogs are good, people are bad " route. Do some objective research prior to rant.

        • bkjr847 img 2014-08-27 14:15

          I am not the one ranting or disputing the experience of the guests on the show today, that was your position. I am merely stating they are more than qualified to speak on this topic and they have day to day and decades long experience. Both of them work in shelters and work with these dogs every day.

  • Darrin Stephens img 2014-08-27 12:09

    Houma, La, USA.
    Another day, another mauling

    Keith Magill
    Executive Editor
    Published: Saturday, August 2, 2014

    Hyundai last week recalled 883,000 Sonata sedans manufactured between 2011 and 2014 because of a transmission problem it says hasn't been blamed for a single crash, injury or death.

    GM says it spent $1.3 billion to repair millions of cars it recalled during the first three months of the year, including the 2.6 million cars whose faulty ignition switch has been linked to at least 13 deaths.

    Lots of people, including me, would say recalls are a necessary expense if they keep unsafe cars off the roads.

    Too bad the same logic is so infrequently applied to something that kills far more people — a breed called the pit bull, which one count says is responsible for 25, or 78 percent, of the 32 dog-bite deaths in the U.S. last year.

    Last Sunday, a Dulac woman suffered life-threatening injuries after her family pit bull mauled her in a horrific attack she says lasted 45 minutes. A 41-year-old Chackbay woman was severely injured by a pit bull July 6 as she stopped to visit with its owner. And then there is the tragic death of 4-year-old Mia Derouen, killed by her family pit bull March 25 inside her Houma apartment.

    Unfortunately, Terrebonne and Lafourche parish officials have responded with far less ferocity than the dogs responsible for these brutal attacks. Neither council has shown an inclination to pass breed-specific laws that would make a difference. Instead, they cater to constituents who live in a fantasy world where all dogs deserve equal treatment under the law; where there are no bad dogs, only bad owners; and where an individual's joyful experience with a loving and harmless pit bull is transferred to an entire breed.

    In such a world, facts serve only to entrench these misguided beliefs. The believers discount a documented report that shows pit bulls have killed 263 people and maimed nearly 1,700 in the U.S. and Canada since 1982. Or others that show pit bulls are responsible for half or more of all dog-mauling deaths — far outpacing any other breed. Or the conclusion reached by the Annals of Surgery in 2011 after a study of emergency room dog-bite treatments over 15 years.

    “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,” the medical journal says. “Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the U.S. mortality rates related to dog bites.”

    Anyone searching for practical solutions can find several at dogbitelaw.com. The website, run by San Francisco attorney Kenneth Phillips, a nationally known expert in such cases, includes case studies, statistics and sample dog-bite laws.

    “The question we must ask ourselves is whether the risk of this being repeated is worth taking,” Phillips writes. “When any other dog has a bad day, somebody can get hurt; when a pit bull has a bad day, somebody can get killed.”

    I agree, and that's why I have suggested a that pit bull ban is one solution our parish councils might consider.

    “If this breed is not to be banned altogether, it certainly must be restricted in several important respects: who may own it, where it may live, and how it is to be confined and restrained whether on public or private property,” Phillips writes.

    He suggests applying such rules to pit bulls and other breeds that statistics show have a propensity to kill or maim, including rottweilers and presa canarios. Among options Phillips proposes:

    -- Ban certain people from owning a pit bull. They might include persons convicted of dealing drugs, fighting dogs or violating animal regulations.

    -- Ban pit bulls from certain places, such as day-care centers, apartment buildings or parks.

    -- Require leashing and muzzling of pit bulls at all times except when in the owner's home while the owner is present and no guests or children are there.

    -- Require at least $100,000 in insurance for covering injuries inflicted by pit bulls.

    -- Increase civil damages if a pit bull injures a person.

    If local officials aren't interested in a ban, they have other options to reduce the carnage. But to be effective, officials will have to get breed specific.

  • bkjr847 img 2014-08-27 12:17

    Here is an actual peer-reviewed, credible, and legitimate source on Breed Specific Legislation. Every animal welfare, rescue, and behavioral institution in this country, does not support BSL or the notion that pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds of dogs. Dogsbite.org and Merritt Clifton are well known for the hate and desire to euthanize all pit bull type dogs in this country and they are not experts or even working in the field of canine research. It's deplorable to use them as a source, and it displays a clear lack of journalistic integrity.

    http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/blog/breed-specific-legislation-is-myth-based-and-ineffective-according-to-the-american-veterinary-society-of-animal-behavior-avsab/

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