Resource articles from the media about the growing onslaught of severe maulings by pit bulls. Medical doctors are now calling it a “public health crisis”.
In the first year alone after Denver’s Breed Safety Laws (BSL) were repealed, pit bulls raced to make up for lost time, as pit bull bites in 2021 skyrocketed to outnumber those of any other breed, and even of several other breeds combined
“Denver Animal Protection identified 117 bites in 2021 from pit bull breeds, which include the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and Staffordshire bull terrier under city ordinance. Of those, 10 bites were reported on young children, agency spokesperson Tammy Vigil tells Axios.
- By comparison, only 54 bites were reported by Labrador retrievers and 61 by German shepherds. [Ed: the combined number of 115 for both is still less than that of pit bull type dogs alone]
- Pit bulls also topped the list for the most multiple-bite injuries, considered Level 5 offenses on the Ian Dunbar Dog Bite Scale, which goes up to Level 6, signifying death. The city reports 3% of pit bull bites in 2021 reached this severity.”
The city councillors who had championed the return of pit bulls are unhappy with the numbers being broken down like this to single out pit bulls, and want the way the numbers are presented changed to make the data more “transparent.”
Alvarez, Alyana. Pit bull bites in 2021 outnumber those of any other breed. Denver, Colorado: Axios News. 5 January 2022.
When it comes to pit bulls, you can’t ignore genetics
“When you write the soft stories on rescued pit bulls, you ignore genetics. Dogs are purpose-bred. Border collies herd instinctively… Pointer pups will point at a feather on a string held by the proud owner of a litter… Bloodhounds track because they are bred to do so. Livestock guardian breeds do that job without fuss. Training sharpens the skills, but nobody has to get down on their hands and knees to hold the little puppy’s legs in position until they get the idea.
Pit bulls were bred for an activity so violent that it is a felony in all 50 states. The criteria for inclusion into the breed/type gene pool was the drive and ability to attack unprovoked and to continue that behavior until death occurs. Pit bulls are blood sport dogs. DNA is real.
American shelters are drowning in pit bulls. Most shelters harbor as high as 90 percent pit bulls. Look at the dogs available at the City of Cleveland shelter. Last time I did this, I found roughly 90 pit bulls and three or four other dogs. There is no demand for those pit bulls, and many of them are warehoused for months to years waiting for placement. Is this humane?
…Please give the downside as well as the upside when you share stories about pit bulls. The safety of the peaceful public should be considered.”
Letter to the Editor
November 14, 2021
Los Angeles Animal Services Plays Russian Roulette with Dangerous Pit Bull – Two Volunteers Attacked
Animal services are adopting out known dangerous pit bulls, and drugging them with Trazadone in shelters in an attempt to make them seem safer than they are.
“If you volunteer or adopt a Pit Bull or other aggressive dog from a Los Angeles Animal Services shelter, you may be taking far greater a risk than expected with your life and safety and that of your family, friends, pets, neighbors and your entire community… Playing Russian Roulette with dangerous dogs… can result in injury, suffering and even death of innocent and unsuspecting adopters and their families, neighbors, shelter employees and volunteers.”
Lawsuit Claims Best Friends Animal Society ‘Lost Its Moral Compass’
Background: Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) is a wealthy pit bull promotion organization based in Utah.
“In 2011, BFAS entered into a contract with the City of Los Angeles to operate the City’s Northeast Valley Shelter facility in Mission Hills as a pet-adoption facility. The contract required BFAS to pull thousands of dogs from City shelters. BFAS soon realized that among the dogs they were obligated to take in were hundreds of dangerous pit bull dogs, many of which had no histories or backgrounds and had either been abandoned or “owner surrendered.” With the public perception of pit bull dogs being that of dangerous predators or fighting dogs, their attempts to place pit bull dogs with adopting families was met with resistance and defendant [BFAS] soon found itself with hundreds of pit bull dogs that people were reluctant to adopt.
Faced with having to house and maintain an increasing number of pit bull dogs that it could not persuade people to adopt, some for months, if not years, defendant embarked on a national campaign to change the image of pit bulls. They entitled their crusade an attempt to “End Breed Discrimination” and renewed their clarion call to “Save Them All.”
Their campaign was wildly profitable in raising enormous amounts of monies, Exh. 38, but not sufficiently successful in persuading adopting families to adopt pit bull dogs. To further their nefarious efforts, they began removing the breed identifications from the pit bull kennels and began concocting fictitious breed names for their adoption agents to use with potential adopters. Next, they instructed their adoption personnel on the writing of fabricated descriptions of the dogs that could be read to potential adopters and posted on pet adoption websites.
This fraud was perpetrated on innumerable families and will be shown to have been employed to an extreme degree in the case of Henry, the dog that mauled Plaintiff Eve Karasik, when he was placed for adoption for a fifth time in its facility No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) after having attacked at least two people and killed one dog and severely injured another.”
Los Angeles attorney Ronald M. Papell states that Best Friends “repeatedly and fraudulently published fabricated benign descriptions of predatory dogs for consumption by potential adopting families and thereby into the care of its volunteers, and these practices were employed with a conscious disregard and had horrific consequences to unsuspecting adopters and volunteers…”
Phyllis M. Daugherty. City Watch Los Angeles. October 4th, 2021. https://citywatchla.com/index.php/cw/animal-watch/22722-pit-bull-attack-lawsuit-claims-best-friends-animal-society-lost-its-moral-compass
People who love pit bulls should support laws protecting them
“During my years of working to protect abused and neglected animals, I’ve seen firsthand that pit bulls are the dogs who suffer the most at human hands. More than any other breed, they are sought out and exploited. Their muscular physique, large jaws, “tough” appearance and willingness to do anything to please their guardians make them targets for dogfighters, drug dealers and others with cruel intentions.
That’s exactly why people who love pit bulls — and by “love,” I mean truly have pit bulls’ best interests at heart — should support laws regulating these dogs’ acquisition and care, including requiring them to be spayed or neutered.
It’s no surprise that these dogs — who were bred to kill each other in a pit and are disproportionately neglected and abused — often lash out, attacking other dogs or humans, sometimes fatally. But legislation can save lives: In San Francisco, the number of pit bulls euthanized by animal control dropped 24% in 18 months after the city passed a pit bull sterilization ordinance, and animal control officers reported that the pit bulls they encountered were calmer and better socialized — a result of sterilization.
Pit bulls are the number-one breed admitted to many animal shelters, and countless others eke out an existence on the streets…
Preventing more pit bulls from being born into a world where so many of them are exploited, abandoned or tormented isn’t breed-specific discrimination — it’s breed-specific protection. Pit bulls are bred, fought, abused and neglected because of their breed. It’s not only fair but also essential to protect and regulate them based on their breed as well.”
Teresa Chagrin. Levittown, Pennsylvania: Bucks County Courier Times. August 13, 2021. https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/opinion/2021/08/13/two-views-people-who-love-pit-bulls-should-support-laws-protecting-them/8106022002
Woman behind Arizona dog attack law hoping for federal legislation
“After four large [pit bulls] mauled a grandmother to death this week, the dogs’ owner is behind bars. A Glendale woman says a law she helped create makes harsher punishments after dog attacks.
[Sally Andrade] feels like dogs shouldn’t have to have a history of viciousness for the owner to be charged after an attack. “It’s just like a drunk driver or an illegal gun owner — I mean, you’re not gonna get a second chance, so why does an aggressive dog that has mauled to death get a second chance?” she said.
Andrade has turned her advocacy into a full-time endeavor, making sure state law is followed any time a person or pet gets hurt by a dog. “I’m a constant advocate for the victims of the dogs and the people, fighting for them as much as I can,” she said. “This has become my passion and I won’t stop.”
Arizona was the first state with a law like this one on the books, and now Andrade is focusing on Capitol Hill, hoping one day there will be a federal law to hold pet owners responsible.”
Spencer Blake. 3TV, CBS 5 Phoenix, AZ. July 7, 2021.
Shelters and rescues that push pit bulls on the unsuspecting public are morally irresponsible
“Not too long ago, over a million dogs and cats in shelter were euthanized each year because no permanent home could be found for them. Last year the number was around 350,000, down from 625,000 just two years ago. The decline in domestic animal euthanasia is a good thing, but the story is more complex than the simple triumph of humanitarianism. And there are some serious negatives.
“First, still too many animals end up in shelters and rescues. Overpopulation of dogs and cats is a long-standing issue. And the problem is exacerbated by unscrupulous breeders and by terrible owners who should never own an animal in the first place.
“Second, the “no kill” philosophy which has now become the moral ideal of animal rescue has placed considerable economic and logistical pressures on the shelter infrastructure. Shelters are determined to adopt out as many animals as possible. There are now financial incentives for bringing down the euthanasia rate. Third, the commitment to “no kill” means that, in too many cases, potentially dangerous animals are being sent into communities where they don’t belong. This is especially the case with pit bulls and other powerful dogs.
“Pit bulls are crowding shelters all over the United States. Following fashion, people run out and get themselves a pit puppy. At first the dog seems fun, but once it hits maturity (around 18 months to 2 years of age), the fun goes out of owning it. A mature pit is a handful. And they can be dangerous, not only to animals but also to people. Tens of thousands of pit bulls are abandoned to the shelters at this stage of life.
“Many of these dogs are hyper-aggressive and unpredictable. Through no fault of their own, they cannot really serve as household pets. Their genetic character militates against that possibility. These dogs should be euthanized, as there is no training the violence out of their behavior. But the shelters and rescues are not necessarily putting these dogs to sleep in the name of public safety. Instead, they are claiming to “rehabilitate” these animals and they are adopting them out into the community whenever they can.
“Can it be surprising, then, that as the no-kill philosophy has taken hold the number of people mauled and killed has disturbingly climbed? On more than a few occasions, a pit bull, adopted out from a shelter or a rescue, has gone on to kill someone–either its owner or a person in the owner’s household. This is the dark side of the no-kill philosophy: dogs are being saved, but people are being killed by dangerous dogs. Most often, the killer dog ends up getting euthanized. But if the dog had been euthanized at the shelter (as it should have been) then a human being would not have suffered a terrible death. And all because we, as a society, pretend that we “care about animals.”
“But the truth is: we don’t really care about animals, as we abandon them at remarkable rates. Many pit bulls will spend miserable lives in shelters and then they will be euthanized. It would be better not to bring such dogs into the world in the first place. They cannot live safely among us. I used to subscribe to the no-kill philosophy. I still believe in it as regards most dog breeds and the vast majority of cats. But I do not believe that pit bulls nd other dangerous dogs should be given the protection (and benefits) of no-kill. These dogs are a serious threat to public safety and they should be treated as such. Shelters and rescues that push pit bulls on the unsuspecting public are morally irresponsible and in my view they should be held criminally liable when one of their dogs “goes pit” and ends up mauling or killing someone.”
Concerned citizen in Connecticut. Re-posted by permission. South Logan, Utah: The Herald Journal. June 25, 2021. Retrieved June 2021 from https://www.hjnews.com/news/state/best-friends-animal-society-releases-data-showing-most-significant-annual-decrease-in-animals-killed-in/article_22ca37fc-61d7-5351-8b7e-c658a59754ce.html
Pit Bull Activists Say Racist Legacy Tainting Insurer Attitudes Toward ‘Dangerous’ Dog Breeds
A frustrating and problematic look at the white-washing of pit bulls for insurance purposes. Lobbyists claim insurance bans on pit bulls are “racist”, while evidence from the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association shows dog bites cost the industry $853.7 million in 2020, an average of $50,245 per claim.
Jim Sams. Claims Journal. June 21, 2021. https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2021/06/21/304377.htm
Answering the Pit Bull Question
“…Don’t be fooled if owners attempt to disguise the name of the breed. Pit bulls are definitely a breed apart and can easily be identified. Their potential for violence is innately obvious to anyone who has ever had to stare one of these animals down – which, as a long time runner, I have had to do on several occasions. From their gun-slit eyes, to their armor-plated skulls, to their bone-crushing jaws, to their cropped ears, to their shoulder-width necks, to their pedestal-thick forelegs and their low center of gravity; they are clearly bred for combat. But, what is worse, they are innately combative. And, that’s the whole point of the breed, which was developed in England in the early 19th century specifically for the blood sport of dog fighting.”
Jeffery Dumas. Daily Camera, Boulder Colorado. June 15, 2021.
Over 5,800 letter carriers were attacked by dogs in 2020, US Postal Service says.
“The Postal Service announced on Thursday that more than 5,800 employees were attacked by dogs in 2020. “From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the general public,” the service said in a statement.” The Postal Service also announced which cities and states had the most dog attacks, with Houston topping the list of cities and California being the state with the most attacks.
Jordan Mendoza. June 13, 2021. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/06/13/united-states-postal-dog-attacks-employees-bite-awareness-week/7678504002/
Dog Fighting is Thriving in U.S. – Hundreds of Pit Bulls Seized in 2021
“Dog fighting operations and seizure of Pit Bulls is reported all over the U.S. by major news sources, ignored or diminished by the major humane organizations — Best Friends Animal Society, ASPCA and The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) — as they promote the adoption of surrendered pit bulls with known histories of aggression and, in many cases, absolutely no knowledge of their genetic history, past behavior or training.
The result is an alarming and inexcusable increase in attacks on children, adults, and other animals in communities all over the nation, amidst continued insistence by “rescues” that these dogs can be rehabilitated and retrained into wonderful pets. Dog fighting in the U.S. and the traditional selective breeding of “game” pit bulls to kill or fight to the death has been increasingly ignored or diminished by animal shelters and activists as a criminal activity since Best Friends Animal Society took 22 of the Michael Vick dogs [pit bulls] (for $18,275 each) and subsequently took focus away from stopping this brutal and atavistic bloodsport, diverting it to the seductive and lucrative tax-exempt business called “rescue.”
Phyllis M. Daugherty. June 13, 2021.
State law should have helped prevent dog-mauling death
“Ortega’s death raises serious questions. Martinez says the danger posed by Ribera’s [pit bulls] was well-known and authorities had received numerous calls about them. She said the dogs had previously come after her and her boyfriend and had attacked her chickens. Martinez also said a neighbor had recently killed one of Ribera’s dogs for attacking his animals. Even Ribera told a deputy one of the dogs recently bit a neighbor. So why were dogs known to be aggressive not properly confined? Why did Ribera have that many aggressive animals controlled by what law enforcement agrees was a flimsy fence? Martinez says people had confronted Ribera about restraining his dogs, but he refused… Being afraid of a dog or pack of dogs might attack is all too common in New Mexico, especially in rural areas. Just Google “dog mauling” and you’ll see the pain inflicted by irresponsible owners and their animals in our state. To that end, Ribera should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And Ortega’s family and the public deserve some answers as to why Ribera wasn’t held accountable for his dogs’ previous attacks until a man was lying dead outside his home.”
Editorial. Albuquerque Journal. June 12th, 2021.
Dog Breeds Banned By Home Insurance Companies
“Pit bulls, as defined by insurance companies, generally encompass Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers, or any combination of these breeds… Pit bulls of all types top the [banned] list. Many major insurers’ filings specifically state that coverage won’t be provided to households where these dogs live. And they won’t renew a policy if the presence of a “vicious dog” is discovered in the home… Many insurers believe they’re justified in their coverage bans… most especially against pit bulls. “Certain breeds can bite with the force averaging 1,000 pound per square inch,” says the APCIA’s Collins, “enough to severely injure a child or adult in seconds.” As a result, “we oppose efforts that would require the insurer to wait for a potentially devastating personal injury loss before deciding whether to provide or continue coverage.” Insurers have conducted their own studies that show which breeds do the most damage, and justifiably exclude certain breeds, says Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Institute, which compiles information on dog bites.”
Ed Leefeldt and Amy Danise. Forbes Magazine. April 13, 2021.
Dog bites dog: The use of news media articles to investigate dog-on-dog aggression
“The most reported attacking breed was the Staffordshire bull terrier. The victim tended to be a small-sized dog, and these attacks often had adverse psychological and physical effects. Costs as a result of the attack ranged from £75 to £9,000 (~ $98-11,800 USD). The owner intervened in just under half of cases and often suffered injuries defending their dog.”
V. Tamara Montrose et al. Journal of Veterinary Behavior. Volume 40, November–December 2020, Pages 7-15
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/study-examines-dog-on-dog-attacks-uk-analyzing-news-media-articles.html and https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2020.08.002
Thousands of pit bulls run the streets, and many end up as pets
Rescuing pit bulls off the streets and selling them to unsuspecting homes is now a big business for many Florida animal rescue shelters. The rescues are often unregistered even as businesses. “Thousands of pit bulls and similar breeds are found abandoned, starved and injured in the streets from Miami to Palm Beach, and many wind up in the homes of unsuspecting owners. The vast majority land first in county shelters that often have little information about the dog’s past.” Public safety advocates are calling for “increased responsibility for rescue organizations and shelters that often mislead families by hiding a dog’s true breed, failing to disclose their bite history and assuring the public they have been “assessed” for aggressive tendencies.”
Andrew Boryga and Eileen Kelley. South Florida Sun Sentinel (Florida). September 6 , 2020
Pit bull that killed Nova Scotia owner had shown violent tendencies before: documents
“Friends, though, say her pit bulls were the great love of her life.”
Bruce Fisko, CTV News (Nova Scotia). August 18, 2020
The editorial board of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette writes about the dangers of pit bulls: It’s the pits, all right
“We’ll no doubt hear from all those pit bull apologists who will say that their dog is sweet and kind. Certainly. And that’s the first comment made by all those owners who talk to the papers after their pit bulls have killed somebody: “He was such a sweet dog. Never hurt a thing. Until, of course, he killed that child.”
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, (Arkansas). August 8, 2020
As I See It: Stressing the danger of pit bulls
“Shelters are overloaded with unwanted pit bulls, pit bull terriers and mixes because no one wants them because they are aggressive. Some people who do adopt them, not knowing their history, take the dog home and the dog kills their infant or them. These attacks are a crisis that needs to be addressed now.”
Larry Giantonio, The Daily News of Newburyport (Massachusetts). February 10, 2020
Dog Attacks: How Many Deaths are Needed for a Pit Bull-Safety Recall?
“Attacks on employees in Los Angeles Animal Services shelters are increasing alarmingly–something that was a rare occurrence before the ‘No Kill’ prohibition on euthanizing aggressive dogs. ‘No Kill’ philosophy directly causes pit bulls and other dogs with a history of aggression to be released to harm humans, pets and other animals. And all breed-designation in L.A. city shelters has been changed to ‘mixed-breed’ so that pit bulls cannot be identified and ‘discriminated’ against.”
Phyllis M. Daugherty, City Watch, Los Angeles (California). February 10, 2020
CA Hits Record High in Fatal Dog Attacks in 2019 — Are Animal Control Policies Protecting Us?
Animal rescues have been caught hiding paperwork and history on aggressive pit bulls that they are trying to sell, and drugging them to make them appear more docile at the shelters to prospective new owners. “Mike Kaviani, then-director of the shelter said it is not necessary to disclose all information about the pet at first and also admitted that some dogs are drugged. CBS2 had obtained internal records which show that 23 out of 32 dogs with bite histories at the shelter had no warnings or any information about biting previous owners on their kennel cards. CBS2 also found the OC shelter drugged dozens of dogs, supposedly to calm them.”
Phyllis M. Daugherty, City Watch, Los Angeles (California). December 30, 2019
Mother to dog owners: ‘Don’t take any chances’
“She will never forget the horror her family lived through on the evening before Independence Day. “To anybody that has a pit bull, don’t take chances,” Janet said.”
Kevin Mertz, The Standard-Journal (Pennsylvania). December 26, 2019
Mia Johnson Joins Ari Goldkind: Should Ontario Lift Its Ban on Pit Bulls?
Short, concise interview with co-founder of National Pit Bull Victim Awareness on why pit bulls are not safe animals to have in our communities, regardless of what animal rescue workers are inviting us to believe.
Ari Goldkind Show. SiriusXM 167. 13 December 2019
Victims’ group decries proposed lifting of pit bull ban
“It’s like listening to the tobacco industry about the safety of smoking,” the NPBVA said about animal rights groups lobbying the province for change. “Studies in medical journals on the dangers of pit bulls are rapidly piling up.”
Paul Pedro, Blackburn News (Ontario). November 25, 2019
Pit bulls: An active 40+ year shelter director speaks out
“There is no way to predict when, and if one day, one action will change them from a sweet dog to a raging, unstoppable force that cannot be controlled. How do we even think of making that choice, of taking that chance with the life of a human or an innocent animal? How can some people be so smart, yet so stupid as not to understand basic genetics known to every dog breeder for generations?”
Debra Boswell. In: Merritt Clifton, Animals 24-7. November 9, 2019
Pit bulls: A retired humane professional speaks out at last
“When a dog type is bred for fighting, or for aggressive guarding, that becomes part of their genetics… Big organizations want us to ignore the science… How can a responsible animal welfare association promote these dogs?”
Deborah Turner. In: Merritt Clifton, Animals 24-7. November 8, 2019
Pit Bull Attacks We Can’t Forget, Shaquille O’Neal Helps a Victim
“Pit bull attacks have reached an epidemic level but are still treated as “normal” events by Animal Services departments and politicians across the country.”
Phyllis M. Daugherty, City Watch, Los Angeles (California). November 4, 2019
Pit bulls are bred to kill and don’t belong in a civilized society
“We can’t afford to be sentimental about this. One more pit bull attack is one too many. People don’t bite people, dogs bite people. If we are focusing on the owners, I think we are barking up the wrong tree.”
Letters to the Editor, Toronto Star, Toronto (Ontario). November 1, 2019
Rally held for pit bull victim awareness
“Pit Bulls are the number one canine killer of people, pets, and livestock every year. The trend in animal shelters and rescue groups to promote fighting breed dogs as ‘safe family pets’ is resulting in an epidemic of serious injury and death.”
WILX News 10 (Michigan). October 24, 2019
Declare a National Pit Bull VICTIM Awareness Day
“To date, 582 Americans have been fatally mauled by pit bull type dogs. Thousands more have been severely disfigured, dismembered and completely disabled by this fighting breed. Pit bulls kill thousands of beloved pets and livestock every year as well. This growing number of victims is largely ignored by the media and society in general. Victims, if they survive, suffer physical trauma, years of reconstructive surgeries, PTSD, emotional trauma, and ruinous medical bills. Medical doctors have called the increasing number of pit bull attacks a “public health and safety crisis”. It is time to raise awareness about the escalating number of pit bull attacks in an effort to save lives. We the People propose that Congress declare a National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day!”
Created October 22, 2019 on petitions.WhiteHouse.gov
Special Event at the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing Honoring National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day
“In recognition of National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day (October 26), members of the Responsible Citizens for Public Safety (RC4PS.org) will congregate on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing to hold a special tribute to the victims who have suffered or died in attacks by pit bulls. The event will include survivor and expert testimony, a live musical tribute, and a presentation about the need for robust Breed Safety Laws.”
Dogsbite.org, October 21, 2019
No good reason exists to reopen divisive pit bull debate
“If I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of safety and welfare for people — adults, children, alike,” Groetken said at last Monday’s council meeting. “My concern, being a police officer, was the exposure of the city to any potential liability issues. I want to reduce those and I want it to be safe for everybody. There’s no guarantees. I’ll be heartbroken if the ban goes away and something serious happens in a week.”
Mike Gors, Sioux City Journal (Iowa). Oct 20, 2019
If you can only love a pit bull, you’re not a dog lover
The battle over Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is lopsided. Pro-BSL are: attack survivors, epidemiologists, medical professionals and a tiny cadre of engaged media people like me, who see demonstrably high-risk dogs as a public health issue that can be easily and humanely addressed. Anti-BSL: advocacy groups and industry stakeholders philosophically averse to breed discrimination. Their spokespeople are well-financed, seasoned lobbyists, marketing the pit bull as a victim of baseless prejudice… Pit bull advocates are motivated by love of the breed for their intelligence, enthusiasm and work ethic, and/or a misguided understanding of canine “rights,” and/or the erroneous belief that “bad owners” and a lack of “training” are the primary drivers behind overwhelmingly skewed dog attack figures, rather than pit bull-type dog genes.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). October 10, 2019
Should Pit bulls and other dangerous dogs be banned?
“While the owner of the pit bulls has been charged with 2nd degree murder, some residents say it’s time for a city ban on the breed. Others say it’s on the owners to control their pets. The attack also has some residents questioning if the city is doing enough to control dangerous animals. We’ll debate if vicious dogs should be banned and how to prevent deadly attacks in the future.”
Fox 2 Detroit (Michigan). August 27, 2019
The day my beloved pit bull became a killer (LIVE)
“But one day, his pit, as sweet and loving a dog as Jim has known, just turned — she went after his other pets with the ferocity of a killer. “If you ever saw it, it’s scary. It’s terrifying. I would probably never be comfortable around her again,” Jim says.
Jim Gearhart, 101.5 Radio (New Jersey). July 12, 2019
Hey pit bull owners, grow up and be more responsible (Opinion)
“For all the times we hear of these tragedies involving pit bull attacks, it’s shocking how often they could have been prevented… Any dog can bite, but a pit bull is a particularly formidable breed that can do more damage than most. They are, after all, responsible for the most fatal attacks, according to the CDC. The same idiot who either lets them run loose or doesn’t make certain their property is escape proof is likely the same dope who doesn’t train their dog, doesn’t properly socialize their dog, and is the worst person to own a pit bull. It’s likely not much will happen to this woman. Which is a shame. When a pit bull kills it’s usually the owner’s fault and it’s usually preventable. Such a dangerous breed requires a diligent owner. Too often they get just the opposite.“
Jeff Deminski, 101.5 Radio (New Jersey). July 11, 2019
Pit bull attack victims: who speaks for them?
“Pit bull attacks continue to ravage the lives of animal and human victims across the U.S. and Canada at an epidemic level, as officials directly responsible for public safety manipulate policies and release unsafe animals to reach a nebulous goal set by Best Friends Animal Society to “save them all” and achieve “no kill.” Best Friends openly admits its political lobbying efforts to assure that no breed-specific legislation (BSL) interferes with or restricts pit bull ownership, and even those dogs confiscated during dog-fighting raids are adopted into homes.
Phyllis M. Daugherty, City Watch, Los Angeles (California). June 17, 2019
Study identifies dog breeds, physical traits that pose highest risk of biting children
“Researchers performed an extensive literature search from 1970 to current for dog bite papers that reported breed to determine relative risk of biting from a certain breed. This was combined with hospital data to determine relative risk of biting and average tissue damage of bite. Researchers found pit bulls and mixed breed dogs have the highest risk of biting and cause the most damage per bite. The same goes for dogs with wide and short heads weighing between 66 and 100 pounds. Dr. K. Craig Kent, dean of The Ohio State University College of Medicine said, “This research highlights a significant public health issue and provides a new decision-making framework for families considering dog ownership.”
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, May 22, 2019
Letter: Reinstate the pit bull ban
“The media and pit bull owners have run stories of pit bulls being sweet dogs that are the victims of bad owners. What about the hundreds and hundreds of articles about pit bulls raised in loving homes as a family member who suddenly attack? Perhaps if the media didn’t portray pit bulls as victims, but just like any other breed, that woman wouldn’t have rescued up that dog.”
Geraldean Rodriguez, Yakima Herald (Washington). April 14, 2019
For victims both human and pet, the real concern begins after a dog-bite attack
“Dogs can suffer ‘pretty severe mental trauma’ as a result of a dog-on-dog attack, and those who don’t can still be on a long road to recovery due to a variety of bacteria transferred during a bite.”
Joseph Ostapiuk, Staten Island Advance (New York). April 12, 2019
Who’s afraid of pit bulls? Everybody but Lise Vadnais
“Pit bull is a term many only dare utter with extreme caution. Mere mention is likely to cause the ears of a powerful and determined lobby to perk up. If associated with anything negative, it is certain to raise hackles or elicit a snarling backlash. And all too often, it forces critics to beat a hasty retreat. For those who defend pit bulls can be as ferocious as their beloved breed is reputed to be. “We live in a world where the pit bull is master, where it matters more than human life, where it matters more than children’s lives and public safety,” said the soft-spoken Vadnais in a recent interview. “People should be revolted by that.”
Alison Haines. Montreal Gazette, Montreal (Quebec). March 22, 2019
When loose dogs on public trails become dangerous
“People shared some hair-raising stories about being bitten when visiting a friend’s house, on the trails, on their neighborhood roads while walking and riding a bike. At least one friend spent the day in the hospital as a result… The issue of dogs off leash continues to be a huge hot button for our community. It is perhaps at its core a discussion about the rights of individuals to do as they please with their dog versus the rights of other people to have a safe and peaceful experience on the trails and their neighborhood roads.”
Cindy Brown, The Taos News (New Mexico). March 19, 2019
KIRO 7 Investigates: Why it’s so hard to track dangerous dogs in Washington
“Boman says all jurisdictions have different rules when it comes to dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs. “Some of the agencies don’t have county codes. If it’s potentially dangerous, they don’t regulate potentially dangerous animals. The state requires that it’s on the municipality or jurisdiction to govern those, so it’s all dependent on their codes,” Boman explained.”
Alison Grande, KIRO 7 (Washington). February 1, 2019
Editorial: Pit bull bans are still justified
“The problem with pit bulls — the generic term that most often refers to the three dog breeds of American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier or Staffordshire bull terrier — is that when they are aggressive and do attack, the strength of the dog’s bite and its propensity to continue to attack after the fight has begun result in more traumatic outcomes, particularly for children… identifying aggressive dogs before their first bite or attack isn’t easy, and for pit bulls that first incident is often too late.”
The Denver Post Editorial Board, Denver (Colorado). January 28, 2019
TATUM: Readers react to pit bull attack column
“Her impromptu anatomy lesson provided me with chilling new insights into what the catastrophic consequences of my canine confrontation might have been. “It looks like the bite just missed your arm’s brachial artery,” she said. “If that artery had been severed you would have bled out right there in your friend’s living room. If you hadn’t thrown your arm up and the dog had mauled your neck and pierced the carotid artery there, you likely would not have lived to tell or write about it.”
Tom Tatum, Daily Local News (Delaware). January 23, 2019
Pit Bull Attacks – Can We Afford the Risk?
“State Farm reports that it handed over a record $132 million to settle dog attack claims in 2017, and claims nationwide increased to a total of 18,522. State Farm’s own statement indicates that, since 2008, it has paid over $1 billion for dog-related injury claims. The company admits that the premiums paid by the owners of other breeds subsidize this cost.”
Phyllis M. Daugherty, City Watch, Los Angeles (California). September 17, 2018
Re-balance worth of humans against dangerous dogs
“[The pit bull] Blue, despite biting a child in New York, was routed through five rescue programs before landing in Virginia Beach at Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation. The rescuers described Blue as “passing his final evaluation with flying colors,” ignoring the fact that Blue was immediately returned by the first potential adopter in Virginia Beach due to the dog’s aggression. Undaunted, these rehabbers adopted Blue out to the family of Margaret Colvin, where the dog killed her within five hours. The punishment for Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation was $750 on misdemeanor charges.”
Bonny Lee, The Roanoke Times (Virginia). September 13, 2018
South African SPCA Cautions Public about Pit Bull Terriers
“The public needs to be educated about this power breed,” said senior SPCA inspector Salomé Bruyns. “For everyone’s safety, we are forced to humanely euthanise any pit bull that wounds a person seriously”… Bruyns said it has been proved worldwide that rehabilitation or re-homing of such a dog is impossible and compassionate euthanasia is needed.”
Wendy Jones, George Herald (South Africa). August 30th, 2018
Pediatrician: Pit bulls do not belong in homes with children
“For parents who are looking for advice about choosing a safe family pet, and are wondering about the safety of pit bulls, I recommend listening to pediatric medical experts, not a dog trainer or animal welfare organizations. Would you listen to the tobacco industry about the safety of smoking? Claiming that pit bulls are just like any other dogs and pose no increased risk to children is completely wrong. This unsupported claim is part of what is getting so many innocent children mauled or even killed by a these dogs. In my professional opinion, pit bulls do not belong in homes with children. The medical data is clear. Pit bulls cause about half of the severe injuries to children, and very often the worst of the injuries. The majority of other dog breeds don’t pose remotely this risk.”
Laura E. Marusinec, M.D Guest Columnist. The Herald-Tribune (Florida). August 22, 2018
Pit bulls: mean or misunderstood? Oceanside community reacts after dog attacks
“People need to wake up… these are not family-oriented dogs,” said resident Jamie Stern, the Manns’ neighbor who drove Kathy and Chloe — who was “covered in blood” — to the hospital. He added that Sasha is known in the neighborhood as “the killer pit.”
Matthew D’Onofrio, The Nassau Herald, Garden City (New York State). July 26, 2018
Dogs of war: Pit bull breeds and crosses are by nature dangerous. Why are animal charities refusing to acknowledge this?
“When I was a child in the 1950s it was unheard of for someone to be killed by a dog. Dogs were rarely killed by other dogs. By the early 1990s, things were different… Kindly ‘blame the deed’ people say it is unfair to discriminate against a type of dog, and that any breed can be dangerous if you treat it badly. In their view, what is important is training and being a good owner; genetics count for little… Yet it’s not setters or retrievers that are killing and mauling… It’s absurd to conflate the ‘bites’ of ordinary dogs with the life-threatening attacks and maulings of fighting-bred dogs.”
Julia Lewis. The Spectator (London, England). July 14, 2018
Pit bulls deserve their bad reputation
“Pit bulls aren’t the misunderstood animal that some dog lovers claim. They are a dangerous breed, and blaming owners alone for vicious attacks by pit bulls does a disservice to public safety. Pit bulls account for the vast majority of fatal dog attacks. Some pit bull advocates allege a conspiracy against this breed and say many of these dogs wouldn’t hurt a fly. They argue it’s nearly impossible to distinguish pit bulls from other breeds and say dog-attack statistics have been manipulated. In their minds, the pit bull is the real victim.”
Editorial. The Gazette, Janesville (Wisconsin). June 19, 2018.
Why have a pit bull?
“Why would you desire the one breed of dog that has killed more people in the United States than any other, often unprovoked, often after years of showing no aggression.”
Jeff Deminski. 101.5 Radio (New Jersey). June 13, 2018
Renters, don’t falsify your pit bull as a ‘service animal’ in Oklahoma
Tenants have been saying their pit bulls are service animals by buying bogus certification over the internet.
Richard Mize. The Oklahoman (Oklahoma). May 26, 2018
When Pets Attack: Are Pit Bulls More Dangerous Than Other Dogs?
“After being horribly attacked by a pit bull, Lisa McEwen, 42, of Chicago, can’t help but believe there’s something about this kind of dog. “I used to be one of those people who said it’s all about how they are raised,” McEwen said. “it’s not.”
Gina Tron, Oxygen. May 17, 2018
Why do pit bulls attack? The answer is complicated
“[Pit bulls] tend not to make threatening gestures, such as snarling or baring of teeth, prior to attacking and so there may be no warning of impending aggressive behavior,” the study said. “Pit bulls also take multiple bites and have greater jaw pressures than most other dogs, reaching 1,800 pounds per square inch.” They also attack continuously, as compared to other breeds that may just bite once. Combining all of those features with aggressive personalities and large sizes makes them “highly dangerous to children,” the study said. “We accept that we don’t have to train a pointing dog to point,” Lynn said. “We accept that we don’t have to train a retrieving dog to retrieve. “Why do we refuse to accept that we don’t have to train a fighting dog to fight?”
Wesley Muller, John Fitzhugh, and Anita Lee. Sun Herald (Mississippi). May 16, 2018
Likeville — Punditry and Prophecy (E14). Barbara Kay talks with us about the pit bull controversy
“I wrote this piece on pit bulls and I have never received such hate mail. I have written on lots of controversial issues, and people have disagreed with me, sometimes quite strenuously, but I have never received anything quite like that. I was almost ready to contact law enforcement.”
John Faithful Hamer. April 19, 2018
KOLR10 Insider: Do We Only Report on Pit Bull Attacks?
In response to complaints from some viewers that pit bulls are mentioned in attack stories: “We don’t only name pit bulls in dog attack coverage. We also don’t control which types of dogs attack and we rely on authorities to give us accurate information on the types of dogs involved. And we accurately report that information to you.”
Wes Perry, KOZL-TV, Springfield (Missouri). April 11, 2018
Opinion: Pit Bull Bans are Good Policy
“Public education about responsible dog ownership is not the best answer to the problem of dangerous dogs. There are 300 breeds of dogs that even when neglected and abused do not turn on people or kill other animals as a result. While certainly bad owners can be part of the problem, it is wrong to focus only on the owner, and not also on the breed. If animal organizations cannot or will not solve the issue, it is obvious why laws are needed.”
Mia Johnson, Montreal Gazette, Montreal (Quebec). April 10, 2018
Maintaining pit bull ban wise; expanding dangerous dog ordinance even smarter
Editorial argues that a more comprehensive dangerous dog ordinance should be applied on top of pit bull ban, not replace it.
Editorial Board, Yakima Herald-Republic (Washington State). April 7, 2018
Legal system not always a remedy for dog bite victims
Owners of pit bulls rarely have insurance, so victims of their animals often end up being doubly victimized by having to cover all the medical bills as a result of that pit bull’s attack upon them. “This scenario — when victims of dog bites and even maulings are left holding the bag for costs associated with medical treatment and lost wages — is all too common.”
Cynthia McCormick, Cape Cod Times (Massachusetts). March 4, 2018
Dangerous dog owners will face criminal penalty in Alabama
Alabama dog owners will now face harsh fines or prison time if their animal injures or kills another person. The bill is named “Emily’s Law” after 24-year-old Emily Colvin who was mauled to death by pack of pit bulls in front of her home in December 2017. Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, a Republican, said he met a family who didn’t open the casket at their daughter’s funeral because she was so mutilated by pit bulls.
Associated Press. Montgomery (Alabama). February 28, 2018
Animal bite bill makes its way to Virginia Governor’s desk
The bill would require animal rescue agencies to ask if an animal has a bite history and disclose its findings to future adopters. The bill would make it a class three misdemeanor if an adoption agency fails to disclose an animal’s bite history to a future adopter — but the fine will only be $500.
Jacyln Lee, 13 News Now. Norfolk (Virginia). February 26, 2018
Are pit bulls dangerous? Attorney Kenneth Phillips answers
Interview with dog bite lawyer Kenneth Phillips
Rover’s Morning Glory. Interview February 16, 2018
‘Do Not Adopt a Pit Bull’ Super Bowl Commercial Pays Off!
“There are two possible futures. If the public will speak out, there will be support for animal control departments, obedience to animal control laws, and restrictions on pit bulls and other dangerous breeds. If the public is silent, our lawmakers will continue to kowtow to those who push these violent breeds on us and force harm on the innocent.”
Phyllis M. Daugherty, City Watch, Los Angeles (California). February 12, 2018
New bill could require animal facilities to disclose dog bite history
“A new bill working its way through the General Assembly is aiming to regulate animal training centers after a 90-year-old woman was mauled by a pit bull. The woman’s family adopted the dog from Forever Home Rehabilitation Center, however, the center allegedly never disclosed the dog’s bite history.”
Taylor Johnson, ABC 13 News (Virginia). January 29th, 2018
The Pit Bull Controversy
The Director of Education and Advocacy for the HugABull Advocacy & Rescue Society complained that the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s (CBC) “Pit Bulls unleashed: Should they be banned?” fell short in many ways, and violated CBC Journalistic policies of balance and fairness. The complainant also disputed Dr. Golinko’s interpretation of his own medical data. The CBC Ombudsman weighed the complaints and rejected them, responding that “overall this documentary conformed to CBC journalistic policy.”
CBC Radio Canada, Toronto (Ontario). January 23, 2018
New study raising awareness on dog attacks
“Dr. Golinko’s studied examined over 1,500 bites. His new report shows that pit bulls were implicated in half of surgeries performed, and pit bulls are 2.5 times as likely to bite in multiple anatomic locations as compared to other breeds… That’s what happened to Wisconsin resident Jeff Borchardt’s son Dax… Jeff says their family had two pet pit bulls that snapped — attacking the 14-month-old. “These dogs never showed any signs of aggression before. They were great dogs up until the day they weren’t.”
Elisabeth Armstrong, ABC 7 News (Arkansas). November 22nd, 2017.
Pit bull attacks: Is it the breed or the owner?
“Pit bull attacks are happening everywhere in America. Alicia discusses some of the attacks, the reactions of the communities, what the towns and cities are doing to prevent them, and what’s involved in breed specific legislation.”
Alicia Preston, Newscycle, Nov 8, 2017
I’m a Pit Bull! I’m Not a Pit Bull! LA Animal Services Playing Games with
Breed ID Labels!
Los Angeles Animal Services’ Commission to remove all dog-breed ID information in an effort to get more pit bulls adopted out. “Jeffrey Zinder, Senior Partner at the Mission Hills law firm of Zinder, Koch & McBratney, opined, “This is one of the most absurd steps being proposed in an effort to empty the shelters regardless of impact on public safety.”
Phyllis M. Daugherty, City Watch, Los Angeles (California). October 30, 2017
National Pit Bull Awareness Month competes with National Pit Bull Victim
Awareness Day for attention
“With millions of dollars at their disposal, the wealthy pit bull lobby has wreaked havoc in Canada and the United States—denying the danger of pit bulls in families, encouraging No Kill shelters, allowing inter-state and cross-border transportation of pit bulls on death row, pressuring council members to drop breed restrictions, and lobbying for anti-BSL [breed-specific legislation] bills in Congress.”
Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight, Vancouver (British Columbia). October 27, 2017
Pitbull ban would have prevented dog attack
“Set your Google alerts to dog attacks and you’ll see the never-ending reports of gruesome assaults on people and pets each and every day — almost always by pit bull type dogs. Not because that’s what the media chooses to report on, but because these attacks are far more catastrophic than the bites from regular non-fighting breed dogs It’s hard to argue with so many dead and mutilated bodies, but the fanatics do exactly that. One of their most common statements is “it’s all how you raise them.” That is entirely untrue, with countless cases of well raised, much loved pit bull type dogs suddenly attacking without provocation, often on their owners. But even if it were true, why should anyone’s life depend on how well someone else raises their inherently dangerous dog?”
Lori Welbourne, Kelowna Daily Courier (British Columbia). October 27, 2017
Pit bull attack spurs call for provincewide dangerous dog registry
Following a recent dog attack in Chilliwack, the provincial association that backs animal control officers is calling once again for a provincewide dangerous dog registry… the [attacking pit bull’s] owner hid the dog, even altering its colour, but with the help of the RCMP, animal control tracked down the dog…”
Paul Henderson, Surrey Now (British Columbia). October 25, 2017
Time for a BC ban on pit bulls
“I believe the children’s hospital plastic surgeon and other doctors who have seen firsthand the extreme violence and injuries very young kids and even infants have suffered, over the claims of pit bull advocates… Some of those owners tend to be rather vicious themselves when it comes to attacking anyone who writes negatively about pit bulls or supports a breed ban… Pit bull owners are often their own worst enemies. But I refuse to be intimidated by either them or their pets, as dangerous as at least the latter are. So if you worry about the danger of pit bulls to yourself, children or pets, tell your MLA to ban pit bulls in B.C. It’s time our safety came first over the right to own a potentially deadly animal.”
Bill Tieleman, The Tyee (British Columbia). October 24, 2017
Is “Pit Bull Awareness” becoming mandatory?
“What is alarming to folks on my side of the argument is that the vast majority of residents in the nation’s shelters are pit bull type dogs. In fact, it is estimated that at least a third and up to 70% of the shelter dog inventory in the U.S. are pit bulls… One of the reasons conscientious people go to pet stores to buy dogs is that shelters are full of pit bulls, and many conscientious people do not want to own a pit bull.”
J. Thomas Beasley, Animals 24/7, October 18, 2017
Pit bull lobby put on its heels by Quebec’s dangerous dog bill
“Mild-mannered Fifth Estate host Mark Kelley found his [telling interview moment] in conversation with Ledy VanKavage, hired lobbyist for the pit bull advocacy group, Best Friends Animal Society. Kelley asks VanKavage: “Why do [pit bulls] need a lobby?” Back flows a silky stream of advocacy mantras: “misunderstood,” “hysteria,” “media hype,” “fake news.”… Kelley gently asks if reports of a lethal attack on 14-month-old Daxton Borchardt by two pit bulls are also fake news. … VanKavage [said] “Y’know, I can’t, I can’t — I don’t know the history of the dogs. I don’t know if the child was crying.” Kelley (incredulous but calm), “But if the child was crying?” VanKavage — you can see the light dawning — realizes she has inadvertently given her lobby’s game away. She has (wickedly!) shifted the blame for his death to a 14-month-old baby rather than admit that pit bull type dogs are inherently unpredictable and, once aroused, exceptionally vicious. To these activists (and trust me, such blame-shifting is commonplace amongst them), the victims are nothing; the dogs’ image is everything.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). October 11, 2017
Pit bull advocacy exposed by the CBC Fifth Estate with host Mark Kelley
“Pit bull advocates have been screaming bloody murder since the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation last night, September 22, 2017, aired Pit Bulls Unleashed: Should They Be Banned? The hour-long documentary, produced by the investigative news magazine program The Fifth Estate, the Canadian counterpart of the CBS news series 60 Minutes, amounts to the first major mass media exposé ever of what host Mark Kelley sums up as “a multi-million-dollar lobbying effort to rebrand the pit bull as a family-friendly dog so that more will be adopted out.”
Merritt Clifton, Animals 24/7, September 23, 2017
Pit Bulls Unleashed: Should They Be Banned?
“Pit bulls, with their jaws of steel, can kill and maim. Traumatized families and public safety advocates support a ban, but a powerful group of lobbyists say pit bulls are the most misunderstood breed of dogs. Mark Kelley investigates.”
Mark Kelley, The Fifth Estate, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. September 22, 2017
Shelter that adopted out pit bull involved in fatal Virginia Beach attack changes its name
“The dog rescue that adopted out a pit bull terrier that mauled a 91-year-old woman to death in Virginia Beach is reopening under a different name. Forever Home Rehabilitation Center will now be known as Back to Balance: Doggy Daycare, Training and Boarding. A private Facebook group called Back to Balance: Doggy Daycare, Training and Boarding had 53 members around noon on Friday. The administrators of that group were Lydia Enright and Toni Enright, two of the three women who ran Forever Home. When approached outside the group’s Virginia Beach location, Lydia Enright ran inside the building and locked the doors behind her. A few minutes later, Toni Enright emerged and told a reporter, “We have nothing to say to you. We’re still Forever Home,” before locking the doors again. The Back to Balance Facebook group was no longer publicly viewable by 3:30 p.m. Friday, after the Enrights had been contacted by The Pilot.”
Ryan Murphy, The Virginian Pilot (Virginia). September 15, 2017
Pit Bulls — Five Part Series
Investigative report on the Montreal pit bull ban and the influence of the pit bull lobby. “Drafted to advise the province on the subject of its dangerous dog laws, the
Association of Veterinary Doctors of Québec relayed to government “scientihic and
objective information.” But its report withholds large portions of crucial medical
studies on the ravages of pit bulls, and puts forward studies funded by the powerful
pit bull lobby. Which side does the science support?”
Marie-Claude Malboeuf, Montreal (Quebec). August 13, 2017
English translation from plus.lapresse.ca
Also see: http://blog.dogsbite.org/2016/10/montreal-pit-bull-ban-veterinary-report-pit-bull-lobby.html
Promoting “Nanny Dogs” is a threat to public health
“According to the pit bull advocacy narrative – narrative being so much less rebarbative than hard facts – the pit bull’s menacing looks are misleading. Yes, they fight well and often to the death, but they are forced into it by bad people who exploit their willingness to please, we are told. Why according to the narrative, the fighting dog is by nature a very good dog, a gentle dog, so gentle that he…he…he is, and always has been, the “nanny dog” of the canine world. Which is why, on pit bull advocacy websites, one so often sees photos of pit bulls with infants or young children draped over them in trusting sleep. In reality, no amount of historical sleuthing has ever produced any evidence that the pit bull was known as the “nanny dog.” It is a fiction cut from whole ideological cloth, specifically by Lilian Rant, then president of the Staffordshire Club of America, in a 1971 newspaper interview.”
Barbara Kay, Animals 24/7, August 6, 2017
Pit bulls are not our friends
“Pit-bull advocates present dogs as victims that need championing. They know the names of the dogs they believe deserve a second chance, but they usually don’t mention the names of the human victims. Often, incidents involve a dog that had never before showed signs of aggression… I had a conversation with a former president of the Ontario Veterinarian Medical Association, which came out strongly in favour of repealing Ontario’s pit-bull ban in 2012. He conceded that he was an expert in neither dog genetics nor behavior—subjects that are only cursorily covered in veterinary schools. He also admitted that veterinarians have a conflict of interest on this issue, since they benefit financially from treating dogs and risk losing business if they take a stand against any breed. He told me he wished his clients would simply adopt “Heinz 57” mutts—dogs that evolution produces. But he did pay lip service to several widespread mantras (“bad owners, not bad dogs,” “all dogs bite,” “don’t judge a book by its cover,” etc.). The last question I asked him was whether he would recommend adopting a pit bull to a family with young children. Before he had a chance to think of the correct response, the words were out of his mouth: “No, of course not.””
Barbara Kay, The Walrus, Toronto (Ontario). May 1, 2017
Pit bull bylaws make sense
“Marie-Claude Malboeuf blew the lid off rampant conflict of interest amongst such stakeholders. In particular she revealed that the anti-ban Ordre des Médecins Vétérinaire du Québec (OMVQ) had promoted bogus pit bull lobby “studies” as scientifically credible, for which they were forced to publicly apologize. But even when invoking credible studies, the OMVQ cherry-picked data, omitting, for example, unequivocal statements in them indicting pit bulls as an elevated risk to public safety, especially children. Emeritus McGill University professor Barry Pless, an expert in Pediatric Trauma and Epidemiology, as well as founder of the journal Injury Prevention, looked into the file for La Presse, and was scandalized at the abuse of epidemiological norms he found being used to launder pit bulls: “To conduct studies, which aim first of all to prevent laws from being adopted and not declare their conflict of interest, is the strategy employed by the weapons lobby and the tobacco lobby.”
Barbara kay, The Suburban, Montreal (Quebec). November 16, 2016
Canada is importing pit bulls by the hundreds from the U.S., worrying dog advocates
“The number of bites in Ontario has actually climbed since it banned pit bulls in 2005. But critics say the issue is not simple bites, it is sustained attacks that cause serious injury and even death. “I see pits deemed aggressive in the [California] shelters being taken out by rescuers and transported to Canada and other places,” says Pat Dunaway, a dog-rescue veteran who is following the phenomenon from her home in Rialto, Calif. “It is disturbing.”
Tom Blackwell, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). July 7, 2016
Pit bulls are different — they can maim and kill
“After Ontario banned the breeding of pit bulls in 2005, the number of pit bull attacks dropped dramatically. Critics are right to point out that the number of dog bites overall went up, but not all dog bites are equal, and to claim otherwise is not only categorically false but also morally indefensible. Yet aside from spewing the age-old cliché of there being no bad dogs, only bad owners, the people defending pit bulls emphatically refuse to acknowledge that pit bulls and other similar breeds carry with them a great responsibility and should not be in the care of a novice dog owner. Owning a dog, especially a dog that has the ability and the genetic make-up to maim, maul and kill, is not an unalienable right. It is nothing other than a privilege, one which the state has the full authority to restrict.”
Supriya Dwivedi, Toronto Sun, Toronto (Ontario). June 23, 2016
Don’t wait on public opinion to ban pit bulls
“A powerful lobby is intent on misleading the public and verbally mauling anyone who would dare raise the prospect of [a pit bull ban]. It’s a loose coalition of official organizations and pit bull lovers intent on harassing people out of their opinions on social media… It’s a lobby that misleads people with cute photos of friendly pit bulls and tall tales of the dogs serving as nannies to children. Of course, such images stand in stark contrast to pictures of savage wounds from pit bull bites — and to statistics that clearly show the danger these dogs can pose. Pit bulls don’t just bite. They maul.”
Jesse Ferreras, Huffington Post, June 13, 2016
There’s no argument pit bulls kill
“Most pit bull attacks are entirely unprovoked, and about half of the children killed are the victims of pit bulls raised with love in their own households.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). June 11, 2016
Dog attacks surge 76% in England in 10 years
Dog attacks in England increased by 76% in 10 years and appear to be still rising rapidly in frequency and severity, largely owing to Staffordshires, a pit bull line that was exempted from the ban in 1997.
Merritt Clifton, May 31, 2016
Dog Bites Insurer
“Insurers are attempting to underwrite the dog exposure by identifying the breed of the dog in question and assessing the extent to which the exposure is increased by that breed. From an underwriting perspective, statistics are more powerful evidence than how gentle and loving the owner claims his pit bull or Rottweiler is.”
Christopher J. Boggs. Insurance Journal. May 16, 2016
An open letter from Beth Clifton to Best Friends, the ASPCA and HUSUS
“As a person who cares deeply for all animals and humans, I am publicly requesting that you review and reverse your present policies of promoting pit bull acquisition and proliferation, and that you, as leaders of the humane movement, cease turning a blind eye to the suffering of the thousands of innocent men, women and children, and many tens of thousands of pets and farmed animals who continue to be victimized by pit bulls. I am further requesting that you support any legislation to prevent more births of pit bull-type dogs, and to acknowledge the necessity of stopping pit bull proliferation, which eventually and ultimately causes the suffering of the dogs themselves. The facts scream aloud. To ignore the facts is a dereliction of duty to your supporters and the animals for whom you advocate and seek to protect.”
March 25, 2016
How the Americans with Disabilities Act has become the “Pit Bull Pushers Act”
The Americans with Disabilities Act is increasingly being used as a way for pit bull owners to circumvent laws, as they lie and claim that their pit bulls are “service dogs.”
Merritt Clifton February 19, 2016
Pit bulls killed 24,000 other other dogs and 13,000 cats in 2015
“When pit bulls kill or disfigure other animals, increasingly often it isn’t news, because such mayhem is more and more just what is expected of pit bulls, seen by many reporters and editors as no more remarkable than roadkills, no matter how many petkeepers are left to grieve and pay for the havoc.”
Merritt Clifton, January 31, 2016
Elected leaders must protect against pit bulls
“Outlawing the breeding of [pit bulls] would be a sensible start. The “jobs” pit bulls were created to do are a felony in every province across Canada and every state across the U.S. Unless we plan to legalize dogfighting again, there is no reason to keep producing these gripper/fighter canines.”
Lori Welbourne, The Province, Vancouver (British Columbia). January 29, 2016
Stronger dog laws help protect the community
“Owners of pit bull type dogs only make up one per cent of the population, yet this vocal minority has effectively bullied the majority of lawmakers, members of the media and the general public into allowing their desire to own bred-to-kill dogs take precedence over public safety. It’s not just victims that are negatively affected, it’s everyone. The extensive number of attacks takes a significant toll on taxpayers, the health-care system, animal control services, police staff, fire departments and emergency responders.”
Lori Welbourne, The Province, Vancouver (British Columbia). January 21, 2016
Should it take a mauling to keep us safe from dogs?
“Neighbors say these “crazy” dogs have been terrorizing them for weeks, causing them to stop walking their own dogs in the neighborhood or start carrying weapons whenever they ventured outside. Authorities have been called but nothing has been done. It shouldn’t take a mauling to enable authorities to take action and protect a neighborhood.”
Daily Times Editorial Board (Maryland). January 15, 2016
Attacks Keep Coming, Ban Dangerous Dogs in BC Now
“So does a child have to be killed by a dangerous dog and the public totally outraged before politicians finally find the courage to act? I deeply fear that is likely, because elected officials appear to be more afraid of dog owners and their fearsome lobbying organizations that fight proposed laws restricting pit bulls and other dangerous breeds than they are of a fatal dog attack.”
Bill Tieleman, Vancouver (British Columbia). January 5, 2016
Port Huron Official Blames the Victim
“Decades ago we learned to not blame victims of rape for being victims of rape. Victims of domestic abuse are often still blamed for being victimized. Now Dr Dragovic has added a new class of victims to those who are held accountable: victims of fatal pit bull attacks.”
Sudden, Random, Unprovoked and Violent, December 13, 2015
Pit Bulls — just like any other dog?
“My understanding of dog behaviour (through many years of study) and my experience dealing with the breed in training classes, consultations and work at a local shelter has convinced me that pit bulls are at far higher risk for abnormally aggressive behaviour towards other dogs…. It is time that dog lovers took off their blinkers, put aside political correctness (it is almost as though the breed has become a symbol of the oppressed, misunderstood underdog and the fight against prejudice)and faced up to reality. Pit Bulls are not “bad” dogs, but they are what WE have designed them to be.”
Taryn Blyth. (South Africa). December 12, 2015
Pit bull-type dogs have no place in civil society
“The pit bull lobby has been effective at convincing people that pit bulls are dogs like any other dogs. With the help of pit bull enthusiasts, social media, websites, news stories, celebrities and TV reality shows, pit bulls have been presented as safe family pets when they are not. Pit bull victims and public-safety advocates have been belittled and threatened… Innocent people should not be ripped apart by an animal while simply walking to the mailbox, going for a jog, playing outside or walking on the street. A complete ban on the breeding of pit bull-type dogs to eliminate the vast majority of barbaric dog attacks and avoid the euthanization of a million unwanted pit bulls every year isn’t just logical, it’s doable. And it should be implemented nationwide.”
Lori Welbourne, Detroit News, Detroit (Michigan). December 11, 2015
Pit bulls were never meant to be household pets
After these two gruesome stories were published, pit bull fanatics did what they always do: they defended the killer dogs, blamed the owners and the victims, posted pictures of their own “adorable” pit bulls, and called public-safety advocates haters and dog racists. They also repeated their usual rhetoric — “It’s all how you raise them” and “Blame the deed not the breed.” This is pure fiction… Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is desperately needed for the protection of all, including the pit bulls, who are victims as well. They are the most exploited, abused, neglected, abandoned, tortured, raped, overbred and euthanized dogs in North America. The only ones who won’t benefit from BSL are dogfighters, breeders, anyone else profiting from their existence and pit bull owners who don’t want to comply with reasonable regulations to keep the public safe. People, pets, livestock, taxpayers, first responders, animal control and rescue workers would all be better off without the existence of pit bulls in our society.”
Lori Welbourne, The Times Herald (Michigan). December 8, 2015
Should Pit Bulls Be Trained As Police K9s?
“The prey drive associated with pit bulls, otherwise known to aficionados of the breed as gameness, is erratic. Prey drive in pit bulls is meant to be directed toward killing other dogs in a fighting pit, but is too often misdirected toward our More Vulnerable Animal Companions, or worse, toward a human. There is no evidence that the pit bull’s prey drive, i.e. gameness, is a trait that can be put to use in a positive way. It is impossible to understand how a dog with this kind of prey drive would be a suitable candidate for police work.”
Sudden, Random, Unprovoked and Violent, December 6, 2015
Detroit should adopt pit bull ban it didn’t 9 years ago
“Unfortunately, until we get an ordinance that can stop this kind of thing, I don’t know what we can do,” Beckham said. “[Pit bulls] are almost like lethal weapons on the loose, and we have too many incidents like this. We have a lot of pit bulls running around the city… The state Senate approved a bill in October that would prohibit local governments from banning specific breeds of dog. It was described by the Free Press as part of a nationwide animal rights push to end laws that discriminate against pit bulls. What the what??! On one hand, dead children. On the other hand, pit bulls with a discrimination complaint? Yeah, that makes sense.”
Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, Detroit (Michigan). December 5, 2015
Let local laws determine how to reduce dog attacks, restrict breeds
“Americans value individual freedoms that allow us to choose what house to buy, what pet to own and what car to drive. However, there are many situations when individual freedom is not the best choice for society. Drinking and driving, or texting while driving the cars of our choice, both come to mind. Similarly, enabling the proliferation of dogs well known to be dangerous and even fatal to people and other animals should not be in the best interest of any community.”
Mia Johnson and Joan Kowal, Michigan Live (Michigan). December 4, 2015
Pit Bulls in Cleveland
“Most of the dogs we adopt out are pit bull or pit bull type dogs,” says Cleveland’s Chief Animal Control Officer Ed Jamison… As the pit bull population grows in Cleveland, so do reports of pit bull attacks. Cleveland [did] away with breed specific laws in 2011. Still, the city’s Chief Animal Control Officer, Ed Jamison, insists that pit bulls pose no particular danger to the public. “I do not believe that the City of Cleveland has a pit bull problem,” Jamison said. Shaker Heights Law Director William Gruber is considering a new law that would tighten restrictions on current pit bull owners, and ban any future pit bull ownership in Shaker Heights. “We just can’t allow that kind of danger to exist in the city without doing something about it. By the time we find a dog is vicious, that means it already killed a domestic animal, cat or dog, or has severely injured a human.”
Carl Monday Investigation, Cleveland 19 News, Cleveland (Ohio). November 2, 2015.
Pit bulls, Trooper & “The personal is political”
“I am often asked, for example, with withering condescension, “Do you even own a pit bull?” as if owning a pit bull were a prerequisite to forming an opinion about the level of risk inherent in this type of dog. This question is often accompanied by a paean to the writer’s own excellent pit bull, who has never hurt a fly… One comes to a policy position through exposure to epidemiological trends, not personal anecdotes. Public policy is not about “you” or “me” or anyone in particular. It is about risk assessment. There are many people who smoke all their lives and never get lung cancer. That does not mean that smoking is safe. Pit bulls present an elevated risk to other animals and to humans. That is settled fact. What to do about it is the question you should be considering instead of limiting your focus to your particular pet.”
Barbara Kay, November 6, 2015
How many more children must die?
“The majority don’t pay much attention to this issue. They won’t even voice their desire for BSL (breed-specific legislation) for fear of a backlash from aggressive pit bull fanatics — a bullyish vocal minority who care nothing about public safety or the pain and suffering of others and only care about the reputation of the pit bull and retaining the right to own a pet from the most murderous dog breed on the planet… Prior to that horrifying attack, Thomas had believed “it’s all how you raise them,” not realizing that is just one of the many myths promoted and perpetuated by the well-funded pit bull advocacy camp that are currently fooling too many people.”
Lori Welbourne, The Province, Vancouver (British Columbia). November 3, 2015
Pit Bulls Pose in Support of Breed-Specific Protective Legislation
“PETA supports breed-specific legislative protection for pit bulls—to prevent even more of these beleaguered dogs from being born into communities bursting at the seams with unwanted ones. This protection must include a requirement that pit bulls be spayed or neutered.”
Michelle Kretzer, November 1, 2015
Parallels between the messages sent by advocates for aggressive dogs, and the messages internalized by victims of domestic violence
“Pit bull rescuers/supporters and the perpetrators of violence against women and children seem to share the same techniques for convincing victims that they are to blame for the injuries they suffer at the hands of a violent partner… promoters of dangerous dogs tell victims of dog attacks that they are the ones responsible for the dog’s violent actions. If only they were better owners, if only they hadn’t provoked the dog by not recognizing his discomfort, if only they had understood the dog’s triggers, the attack or bite would not have happened. The dog just needs more love, more understanding, more training. Sound familiar?”
Branwyn Finch, October 31, 2015
Protection for People, Pets and Pit Bulls
[Lawn darts] were taken off the market decades ago when a bereaved father went on a crusade to make them illegal after his daughter died from one accidentally penetrating her skull… It turned out this game had caused the death of three children in total. Kids have been killed by pit bulls 54 times that amount since the late ’80s, yet so far, defying all logic, there are few cities that have any bans or other restrictions on pit bulls whatsoever. 163 children have died and for most of these youngsters, the deaths have been torturous and gruesome, often with body parts being torn off during savage maulings that are sometimes described by first responders and medical staff as “feeding frenzies.” Far more common than the tragic fatalities are the countless vicious attacks that result in disfigurements and life-altering injuries that can leave victims and their families with ever-lasting emotional trauma and financial ruin. Despite all this death and destruction on children, these dogs aren’t just still on the market as one pet to consider, they are actively being pushed onto the public and deceitfully promoted as safe family pets by many shelters, rescues, dog experts and pit bull fanatics. I can’t tell you how many online images I’ve seen of babies and kids hugging, riding and kissing pit bulls with the utterly false message that “it’s all how you raise them.”
Lori Welbourne, The Province, Vancouver (British Columbia). October 22, 2015
Do you want to adopt a dog? Reconsider the pit bull
“The Internet is awash in pit bull-friendly sites featuring pit bulls in tutus, pit bulls with flower wreaths around their heads, pit bulls curled up asleep with infants draped over them, adorable pit bull puppies, and of course endless heartrending streams of sad-eyed abused, starved, chained, scarred and burned pit bulls. Nowhere on any of these sites do you see the damning statistics or the names and faces of the human victims… If you are yourself, or know someone who is considering rescuing a dog from a shelter, please proceed with extreme caution. Because pit bulls occupy about two thirds of the space in shelters, staff are very eager to “push” them for adoption.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). October 22, 2015
Pit bulls deserve breed-specific protection
“Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to “Animal Advocates” or sometimes “Experts.” In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds. Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as “dog lovers” or “canine advocates” and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.”
Ingrid Newkirk, October 20, 2015
Pit Bull Awareness Month
“On October 1st, timed to coincide with “National Pit Bull Awareness Month”, the [New York] Times published the first of several articles promoting pit bulls. The Times subsequently published pit positive articles on October 7th, 9th, and 10th, and there may be more to come. Many of these articles are published as a result of outreach from advocacy groups, and could have been ghostwritten by them… The Times, like other major newspapers, appears indifferent to the toll of devastating economic hardship, grief, and suffering caused by pit bull attacks on their own turf. The Times did not cover the September 6th attack on 15- year old Briana Neira. Briana was attacked by a pit bull the family had rescued from a city operated shelter that very day. Nor did the Times cover the September 8th attack on a homeless man in Brooklyn, which was stopped only when the dog was shot by an off-duty corrections officer.
The Times failed to report on the eruption of attacks in the East Village in August and September. Nor did the Times cover the September 11th attack on Francesco Bove, an attack so violent that a priest at Mount Carmel gave Bove last rites. Farther afield, the October 5th attack on an Appleton couple, by their recently rescued pit bull, went unreported. The Times has devoted many column inches to the plight of pit bulls, but certainly the human victims of pit bull attacks are more deserving of our consideration. It is because the media, including the New York Times, has failed to report the victims’ stories that the victims, those who are able, have been forced to tell the story themselves.”
Sudden, Random, Unprovoked and Violent, October 18, 2015
Selfies & Sharks… and Pit Bulls — commentary on Pit Bull Awareness Week
“Outside of one or two local newspapers, there is usually very little media coverage of pit bull related deaths. Besides the shocking number of fatalities caused by Pit Bull dogs every year, literally hundreds of people suffer life-threatening, disfiguring injuries at the jaws of Pit Bulls. And again, the news media is practically silent concerning these attacks, save for a few local stations. The result is that most Americans are ignorant of the mass violence caused by these dogs.”
J. Thomas Beasley, October 12, 2015
Time to neuter all pit bulls, jail owners for attacks
“Another vicious attack by not one, but four pit bulls. Dare we say anything lest we raise the ire of the breed’s apologists? I have been in veterinary practice for 43 years and never have seen anything like the infusion of this breed. Having worked with more than 100,000 dogs of all breeds, I defy any apologist to offer up such experience. Sure, there are sweet pits, but telling one from the bad ones, the Jekyll and Hyde ones that can be incited to violence by some catalyst, is near impossible… I’ve had it with pit bulls and their mixes trying to bite me during exams or scaring other pet owners. Six weeks old, three months old, you can’t trust them; you can only make excuses for them.”
Douglas Skinner, DVM, October 6, 2015
“Pit Bull Awareness” Day & Month Mark 33 years of Exponentially Accelerating Pit Bull Mayhem
“Among the most grievous casualties of engaging in pit bull advocacy, for animal care-and-control agencies, animal rescuers, and the humane movement as a whole, is a rapidly accelerating and thoroughly deserved loss of credibility, in consequence of pit bull promotional tactics…”
Merritt Clifton, October 3, 2015
Censored by pit bull bullies
“Any media that’s dared to publish facts about the inherent dangers of pit bulls has had to deal with mob campaigns conducted by pit bull fanatics from all over North America threatening to harass advertisers or whatever else they can think of in order to convince editors and publishers to shy away from this topic in the future. “Don’t bully my breed” is a common message from the pit bull advocacy camp. Ironically, they have no problem bullying anyone who speaks the horrifying truth, and that includes the bereaved parents of dead children who were killed by pit bulls. The multimillion-dollar-funded pit bull advocacy camp is very efficient. As soon as an article or interview perceived to be maligning the reputation of the pit bull has been posted to the internet, the troops are gathered to launch their assault. Nancy Grace, Judge Judy, Dr. Laura and many radio hosts, journalists and TV personalities have experienced it first hand. This menacing group may be able to intimidate some into silence, and they may be able to trick some into believing pit bulls are just like any other dog, but they can’t seem to stop the ongoing daily attacks reported in the news. They also can’t change the fact that pit bulls only make up 6% of the dog population in the U.S., yet maim, disfigure and kill more children, adults, pets and livestock than all other breeds combined. None of the other 160+ breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club even come close. Censoring this message isn’t just disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of human and animal victims, it’s highly irresponsible to the public at large.”
Lori Welbourne, The Province, Vancouver (British Columbia). September 23, 2015
Won’t Back Down
“In my last column, “Pit bull propaganda is deadly,” I described how canines bred for hundreds of years to be champion dog killers are not a safe family pet. Within moments of the article being published… I was inundated with the usual rhetoric: pit bulls get a bad rap; it’s all how you raise them; blame the deed not the breed; pit bulls are harmless wiggle butts; they were bred to be nanny dogs; it’s impossible to identify a pit bull; the media only reports pit bull attacks; poodles (or insert any other breed) bite more; you’re a dog racist; you’re a dog hater; all dogs bite; all dogs kill; cars kill more people; people kill more people; coconuts kill more people; and the list went on. The familiar myths were often written in the most aggressive language and tone imaginable.. ”
Lori Welbourne, The Province, Vancouver (British Columbia). September 10, 2015
Pit Bull Propaganda is Deadly
“The popular online news site Huffington Post just published an irresponsible series of articles and images promoting pit bulls as safe family dogs for their second annual “Pit Bull Week.” During those seven days a 25-year-old woman was killed by her own beloved pit bull of 10 years, a 48-year-old woman was mauled to death by her neighbour’s pit bull on her way to the mailbox, an 18-month-old boy was rushed to hospital in critical condition because of his family pit bull, and at least 10 other people were savagely attacked in the U.S. by pit bulls. None of these horrifying tragedies were covered by Huffington Post.”
Lori Welbourne, The Province, Vancouver (British Columbia). September 3, 2015
Pit bulls are disproportionally dangerous. Why is Calgary importing more of them?
“Of his 2006 Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw, Bill Bruce [Calgary’s former director of animal and bylaw services] stated, “Our philosophy is that aggression is a human problem with respect to managing their dog more than it is a canine issue, and if we address the human side, the canine problem will take care of itself.” But in spite of assiduous attention to the “human side,” which did produce high licencing statistics, Bruce’s predictions of diminished canine ravages were trumped by fighting-dog genetics. There were 58 dog attacks in 2009, 102 in 2010, 127 in 2011 and 201 last year, a disproportional number of them by pit bulls… Calgary was ill-served by the bias Bill Bruce brought to his job. Even during his tenure in Calgary he was (still is) an advisor to the National Canine Research Council, a leading U.S. pit bull advocacy organization, and a propaganda mill for the breed relativism Bruce embraces… Years ago, any dog that attacked a human being was instantly euthanized. Today, thanks to the relentless efforts of “no-kill” activism, it is common for rescue operations to promote dogs for adoption they claim to have “rehabilitated,” but that are in fact at elevated risk for further depredations.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). August 11, 2015
Vancouver needs to get a grip on pit bulls
“In only four months, pit bulls kill as many people as Dobermans killed in the past 60 years. Pit bulls killed as many American people in the last 30 months as black bears killed in the past 115 years, yet no one would allow a black bear to sleep with their child. Pit bulls, well known to be aggressive to other animals, were responsible for 95 per cent of the 15,000 dogs killed by other dogs in the U.S. last year…But few movements are as vociferous as pit bull advocacy, and it is well funded. Best Friends Animal Society, promoters of pit bull-type dogs in the U.S., generated $66.6 million US in 2014. Animal Farm Foundation Inc., an advocacy group larger than the average American charitable organization, made enough money in 2014 to keep 80 per cent of it for themselves. The political arrogance of powerful groups like these has distorted reason and deceived pit bull enthusiasts to the point at which potentially vicious dogs are relentlessly promoted as companion animals to children and even babies.”
Mia Johnson, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver (British Columbia). July 10, 2015
We’re not the answer to U.S.’s pit bull problem
“When a chihuahua from a U.S. shelter finds a home in Calgary, chances are good that chihuahua is not going to cause someone to end up in hospital, requiring plastic surgery to fix the horrific wounds resulting from its bite. With pit bulls, this can indeed be the case. The United States has a serious pit bull overpopulation problem that municipalities need to deal with, but the problem should not become Calgary’s to fix.”
Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald, Calgary (Alberta). July 3, 2015
Love your pit bull. but pay the price
“Claiming [pit bulls] are no different than poodles is daft and an insult to those killed or maimed in attacks. So, if pit bull owners are willing to pay the million-dollar-plus liability insurance premiums that should be mandatory, and accept jail time if their pet kills or maims, then fair enough. Because to accept the argument that there are no inherently bad dogs means such tragedies must fall resoundingly at the feet of the owner.”
Chris Nelson, Calgary Herald, Calgary (Alberta). June 26, 2015
Pit Bull Bans Work
“The battle is extremely heated and can become vicious – to the point that survivors of pit bull attacks or the loved ones of those killed by pit bulls are subjected to harassment campaigns when they speak out about the dangers this cluster of fighting dogs poses to public safety. The epidemiological and medical facts favour one side, emotion and the cultural popularity of identity victimhood the other. Pit bull advocates are particularly incensed when towns and cities impose bans on their beloved breed, so they go to extraordinary lengths to prevent them, or to repeal them.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). June 19, 2015
As family mourns, propaganda hides danger of pit bull attacks
“People buy into this idea that it’s all in how you raise [pit bulls]. That’s the bottom-line propaganda,” she said. “But it’s just not honest. It denies all the heritage of the breed. For centuries, these dogs were bred to attack and to kill… there’s this big cover-up about pit bulls. Yes, all dogs bite. That’s a big part of the propaganda. But the real issue is the severity of the attacks… It’s like holding a firecracker in one hand and a hand grenade in the other. Yes, either one of them can explode. But one of them is going to do a whole lot more damage than the other.”
Steve Blow, The Dallas Morning News (Texas). April 22, 2015
Start protecting us from dangerous pit bulls
“Should we have the right to protect ourselves from vicious dogs? Or do we just roll over, play dead and refuse to speak up because the misguided pit bull lobby makes a lot of noise? Olsen admits pit bull owners are vocal. And often being vocal is enough to scare off good laws. You don’t have the right to own a lion, bobcats or leopards. The same is true for gorillas, crocodiles, alligators, cobras, mambas and sharks… So why is it that local jurisdictions can outlaw all of the above as pets, but can’t outlaw the deadliest of them all?”
Editorial. The Modesto Bee (California). March 21, 2015
Famous Dog, infamous owners
“What’s going on at Dark Dynasty should not be permitted and it certainly should not be celebrated and endorsed by mainstream media. Their unnecessary breed of intimidators is about to make an already bad situation so much worse. Perhaps if dog owners were to be prosecuted for the deeds of their pet as if they themselves were the culprit, fewer people would be buying animals they have no business owning.”
Lori Welbourne, Kelowna (British Columbia). March 10, 2015
Denying a Dog’s Danger — Pit Bull Advocates In Denial But Ban On Breed Has Wide Support
“Pit bull advocates are as fierce as the dog breed that has killed and maimed more people than any other by a wide margin. But worse, many pit bull owners and supporters… go into denial when faced with grim stories, blaming “bad” owners — even the parents of attacked children and babies — and saying their pit bull is sweet and loving.”
Bill Tieleman (British Columbia). January 21, 2015
Enough with Attacks, BC Must Ban Pit Bulls Like Ontario and Winnipeg do
“Defending pit bulls is a major industry. Yes, irresponsible owners help create monstrous dogs intended solely to fight and maim, but family “pets” have also killed at home. Yes, other dogs sometimes fatally bite, but not anywhere near as often as pit bulls. And breed bans actually do work.”
Bill Tieleman (British Columbia). January 10, 2015
What pit bull activism says about our culture
“The novel and most disturbing aspect of this issue is the army of advocates who literally devote their lives (and some their considerable fortunes) to laundering the pit bull’s image. This is the first time in the history of human-animal relations that a movement has formed, not to promote the well-known virtues of a beloved breed, but to promote denial of a beloved breed’s well-known vices. Alas, the movement produces extraordinarily effective “Big Lie” propaganda… These fanatic activists are far more numerous and well-organized than the small corps of ban proponents I support. Bans on fighting dogs have eliminated dogbite-related fatalities in many jurisdictions, but thanks to the pit bull advocacy movement’s relentlessly-bruited mantras (“blame bad owners,” “all in how you raise ‘em”), some of those bans have been repealed on “discrimination” grounds… The consequence of pit bull advocacy’s willed denialism of this genetic reality can be measured, first in the capitulation of municipal and provincial governments to activist intimidation, and then in the blood that flows in a steadily widening pool from the growing mass of innocent animals and people who weekly, daily, hourly fall victim to the canine killers in our midst.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). January 2, 2015
Pit bulls, Ann Landers & Dr. Laura
“It is important for the organized victims’ advocacy groups to realize that while victim advocacy is in its infancy in terms of a “movement,” pit bull activism has had the advantage of decades of “community” training, with the added advantage of cultural memes relating to humans — “discrimination,” “rights,” “guilt by association,” and all the rest — to blow confident wind into their sails. Even though beating against the cultural current, victims’ advocacy groups should not be intimidated or discouraged. The silent majority of people do not want dangerous animals in their neighborhoods, as surveys demonstrate, and they are under no illusions about what constitutes a dangerous dog.”
Barbara Kay, December 24, 2014
Victims of Canine Attack Issue Open Letter to Arianna Huffington During Inaugural Canine Victims Awareness Week
“The Open Letter to Arianna Huffington outlines the devastation experienced by canine attack victims which can be overwhelming to body and mind, as well as financial status, as bills accumulate for emergency care, reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation. Families of the deceased struggle with profound loss and survivors often suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.”
PR Web Press Release. November 13, 2014
Pit bulls can be deadly; hold owners accountable
“That two citizens of this county can be killed in their own yard by a neighbor’s uncontrolled animals is an outrage. A rolling car, an exploding gas can, a random gunshot all would likely result in charges. Why not death by dogs? Where is the justice if a death is insufficient for charging the owner of four pit bulls — a breed known for its violent attacks on humans and other animals?… Sheriff Adam Christianson says he’s not sure the owners can be successfully prosecuted. Unless the homeowner was negligent in letting the dogs escape; unless the dogs were documented nuisances or dangerous; unless they were intentionally made vicious, Christianson says it will be hard to bring charges.”
Editorial. The Modesto Bee (California). October 31, 2014
Open letter to Arianna Huffington
“We urge you, Ms Huffington, as a professional journalist, as well as a mother and an animal lover, to reconsider your editorial decision to promote and encourage pit bulls as desirable companion animals. At the very least, we urge you to withdraw your overt support for the pit bull advocacy movement, and adopt a position of neutrality. From those to whom much influence has been given, greater responsibility is expected”
Bereaved Families, Awareness for Victims of Canine Attack — AVOCA, August 2014
Dog Bites Man — Again And Again
“For some time now, I’ve seen the Pitbull Advocacy Movement privileging the rights of dogs over the rights of human beings and their own pets. by accusing people who are skeptical about the aggression of fighting breeds of being “racists,” ”bigots,” and “breed bullies.”… The mandate of these evangelists has been to persuade the public that pit-bull phenotypes are just like any other dog and any problems with temperament can be laid squarely at the feet of the owner. In order to push pit bulls into private homes, these evangelists rely on the average person’s general unfamiliarity with the heritability of dog behaviour.”
Heather Clemenceau, Ontario. July 27, 2014
There is no need for pit bulls
“When I started my career, the most common dog-bite injuries were from German shepherds and occasionally retrievers. These injuries were almost always provoked, such as food-related or stepping on the dog, and in almost every instance, the dog reacted with a single snap and release – essentially a warning shot… Starting about 25 years ago, my colleagues and I started to see disturbingly different types of injuries. Instead of a warning bite, we saw wounds where the flesh was torn from the victim. There were multiple bite wounds covering many different anatomical sites. The attacks were generally unprovoked, persistent and often involved more than one dog. In every instance the dog involved was a pit bull or a pit bull mix.
Dr. David Billmire, Cincinnati (Ohio). June 29, 2014
Attack of the pit bull advocates
“Pit bull lovers spring to their Twitter posts, denouncing the alleged media conspiracy that keeps demonizing pit bulls, and indignantly demanding that newspapers also report the daily severe attacks on children by Golden Retrievers, dachshunds and Cocker Spaniels that they willfully ignore. There is no point in patiently explaining to them that all severe attacks are reported, that when other breeds bite children, it is usually a “bite” rather than a mauling requiring hospitalization, and that this and other pit bull attacks could not have been prevented by love, socializing, training or “responsible” ownership, since pit bull type dogs are genetically programmed for unpredictable impulsive aggression. The pit bull advocacy movement… passionately resists all evidence that casts their beloved breed in a negative light.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). May 13, 2014
Are Pit Bulls Really Dangerous?
“Do pit bulls deserve their reputation as vicious “attack” dogs? An overwhelming amount of evidence suggests, in some instances, they do… It’s worth noting that no matter how these data are arranged — mixed breeds versus pure breeds, injuries versus fatalities — pit bulls consistently rank at the top of the list for attacks, and by a wide margin. (Rottweilers generally rank a distant second.)”
Marc Lallanilla, February 14, 2013
Woman loses half her face in assault; judge rules it’s her fault
“Here you have the three pillars of straw on which the pit bull advocacy movement rests. Frequency of bites in dogs is a red herring in this context. In terms of maulings, maimings, dismemberments, and fatalities, pit bulls are not only “worse” than other breeds, they leave all other breeds combined in the dust. Pit bulls and other fighting breeds are indeed genetically different, are indeed genetically programmed for impulsive aggression, and insurance company rates — or refusals of coverage — testify to that now proven fact. And the absurd canard that line-bred dogs — the epitome of eugenics stereotyping — are comparable to randomly bred people, or that epithets such as “racism” and “discrimination” may be applied to dog breeds with a straight face — is the height of irrationality.”
Barbara Kay, Prince Arthur Herald (British Columbia). May 10, 2013
Dogs that bite and people that don’t listen
“On the basis of these [severe attack] statistics alone one would expect that Labrador Retrievers would have the highest bite rate yet they are virtually invisible in this data set. Instead we find that pit bulls are responsible for more than 50 times the rate of bite injuries than what we would expect given their population numbers. This is from information taken as part of medical intake of dog bite victims who are being treated for trauma. It is not based on press reports, nor does it represent some kind of inherent bias against square-headed dogs. No matter how much one may love the bully breeds, these are facts that, like a surveillance video of a robbery which identifies a perpetrator, cannot simply be explained away under the cloak of bias or misrepresentation.”
Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C., Psychology Today. April 3, 2013
2012 and earlier
Pit-bull owners are right. They are the problem
“The pit bull advocacy movement never sleeps in its campaign to portray pit bulls and their close genetic kin as normal dogs unjustly maligned through media bias. In challenging breed bans, their spokespeople are well-versed in the discourse of civil and human rights (“racism,” “discrimination,” “profiling,” “genocide”). The result is widespread acceptance of the seductive dogma of “multicaninism”: There are no intrinsically dangerous breeds, just “bad owners… Malcolm Gladwell’s pit bull defence in The New Yorker, later incorporated into his book, What the Dog Saw, argued that profiling dogs indirectly sanctions racial profiling. But to conflate line-bred dogs — the epitome of the eugenically constructed stereotype — with naturally evolved humans is intellectually untenable and insulting to African-Americans.”
Barbara Kay, National Post, Toronto (Ontario). October 24, 2012
Mother of Two Responds to “Pit Bull Awareness Day” in Massachusetts
“The Massachusetts SPCA (MSPCA) is caught in a conundrum; despite all their efforts at educating owners regarding responsible dog ownership, despite the easy availability of low cost and free spay/neuter programs, low cost training programs, owner support, and all kinds of pit bull specific benefits, these dogs keep making headlines with their attacks, and keep flooding the shelter system. And because they have aligned themselves politically with the dog breeder lobby, and officially oppose breed-specific laws (BSL), they cannot address the problem at the source. As more and more unwanted pit bulls fill the shelter, the SPCA certainly cannot be honest with potential adopters about the typical traits of pit bull dogs. Educating potential owners about the fact that pit bulls can become dangerously dog aggressive as they get older, even with dogs they have lived with for years, or that pit bulls should never be taken to dog parks, would only serve to reduce adoptions. So they have decided to anthropomorphize the dogs and make this a civil rights issue.”
Branwyne Finch, October 22, 2011
Pit bull stereotypes rooted in fact
“One thing that was confirmed for me by several politicians in jurisdictions where breed bans (pit bulls and some other more exotic breeds) were being considered was the speed and thoroughness with which pit-bull owners, fanciers, breeders, and people in the pet business would deluge them with e-mails, phone calls, faxes, and letters. Campaigns are mounted on several popular Web sites devoted to pit bulls, and the word soon spreads around the world. Even though Doogie claims not to have a pit bull, you can comfortably be assured that he is among this bunch. The e-mails are always the same, utilize the same facts (specious, misleading, or factual), are usually of the length seen above, have the same tone of outrage and the same slogans, and are full of links.”
Martin Dunphy, The Georgia Straight, Vancouver (British Columbia). April 16, 2009
Pit bull terrier has only one solution
“A highly respected veterinarian who asked that his name not be used told me that the viciousness of the pit bull is in the genes. Although some breeders insist that the dogs are gentle unless provoked, most are not.”
Ann Landers, Chicago Tribune (Illinois). January 21, 1989
Pit bulls a national menace
“Dog-owner groups and kennel clubs argue that pit bulls aren’t the problem. They say it is humans who breed and raise the animals improperly. This argument is fallacious… The owner’s right to have a dangerous dog must stop short of his neighbor’s throat.”
Ann Landers, Ocala Star-Banner (Florida). October 26, 1987