Media articles about about the pit bull crisis

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”.

(See also: Specific pit bull attacks documented in mainstream media )

Jump to articles from 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 and earlier.


AT&T features pit bull that bit off a woman’s finger in one of its ads

Icon, the pit bull mix owned by NFL player Dak Prescott that chewed through a fence and bit off a woman’s finger while she was trying to protect her dogs on February 25, 2019, was featured by AT&T in a television commercial.

Dak Prescott dog stars in commercial… 4 years after neighbor attack. TMZ. 22 December 2022.

Estate of pit bull victim suing multiple public officials

The court document lists eight counts of negligence/wantonness on the part of all defendants listed. 29 people in total are being sued.

Williams, Javon. Estate of ADPH employee killed by dogs in Red Bay sues 29 defendants. Huntsville, Alabama: WAFF48 News. 21 December 2022.

Because letting your pit bulls maul people is not counted as a crime, victims have a hard time accessing victim funds

“A victim of a vicious pit bull attack spoke out about the challenges she’s faced in trying to receive care after the attack. Clevy Nelson is one of the neighbors who stepped in to help her elderly neighbor who was being attacked by 3 pitbulls on November 11, 2022.

The incident landed Nelson in the hospital and left her dealing with the financial burden, due to a lack of health insurance.

“There’s a victims program that I thought I would qualify for and they said that because there’s no crime at this current time that they cannot help me, they have a lot of services available but in the state of Texas it has to be related to an actual crime,” said Nelson.”

Cuevas, Jennifer. Victim of a vicious dog attack describes the challenges to receive care. Kfox 14. Saturday, 10th December 2022.

The pits: When ‘pets’ kill

The other day, one of our Voices columnists — we won’t reveal his name, but his initials are Mike Masterson — wrote a column about a pit bull / menace /time bomb that attacked his wife and small dog, who were out for a walk. All survived the attack.

A few days after that column ran, a lady we know was “treed” in her front yard by a couple of rascals that the neighbor let out. She has decided to carry a non-lethal spray when getting the mail. Think about that: Having to arm yourself, so to speak, to get around in your own driveway and front yard.

These are the stories with somewhat happy endings. There are all kinds of similar stories that have tragic endings.

You know how they go: Our precious pit bull never hurt a fly — not a fly — and was always sweet-tempered and happy. Until she killed our 6-month-old daughter. How many times will we have to read such a story, and such a statement from the dog’s owners/victims?

The Arkansas Legislature will go back in session next month, and we wonder if any one of our betters will be brave enough to sponsor a bill, or six, that will address this problem. The best idea might be to ban the breed altogether and allow current (neutered) pits to stick around under some sort of grandfather agreement. But that might be a reach for a Southern state.

Another idea would be to make the owner of a pit bull liable civilly for any damages the dog causes on first offense. Or make the owner of a pit bull liable criminally if the dog bites twice.

This problem has been debated among city councils and county courts for decades. But the stories about these dog attacks keep appearing in the public prints. Two toddlers were killed by the “family pet” near Memphis a couple of months back. A month before that, a grandmother was killed in Colorado. Over the years, Arkansas has had its own stories (and editorial columns).

Each time this space addresses the problem, we get the expected blowback:

• Pit bulls aren’t even a “real breed”!

Yeah, and who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes? Everybody knows from a pit bull. If we show you one, you’ll know. Large jaws. Stocky shoulders. As Mr. Justice Potter Stewart once said of pornography, you know it when you see it.

• Pit bulls don’t bite as often as Chihuahuas.

We’d like to see those stats audited. But we would stipulate that most Chihuahua bites aren’t reported to the cops because most Chihuahua bites don’t draw blood. But when the papers get filled with stories about Chihuahuas killing small children, we might be convinced to support a ban on them, too.

• Pit bulls that aren’t abused are just fine.

Tell it to the families that have lost children to their family pet. This animal was bred to be aggressive and stubborn in its death grip. Over the centuries, it has mastered the art. They are genetically dangerous. And the problem is breed-specific.

But if it helps smooth the way toward legal reform, we’d allow that the owner of any dog that attacks, wounds and kills should be held liable. German shepherds. Dobermans. Chihuahuas.

We’re not sure if this problem can be solved, and if it can, whether it should be solved at the state or local level. (The locals seem to have trouble taking on the issue.) But one thing we are sure of, with every story about these animals:

Pit bulls are killers.

That may be even part of their attraction.

Editorial. Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. 9 December 2022.

Pit Bull Ownership Not a Constitutional Right, U.S. Federal Court Rules

Phyllis Daugherty. LA City Watch. 28 November 2022.

Pit bull dogs present too many problems

“Misleading people to believe that pit bulls are like any other breed of dog is dangerous and irresponsible.

In my 35 years of animal protection work, including as an animal control officer and shelter manager, I’ve seen firsthand that pit bulls are the most abused dogs. Their strength, “tough” appearance, and tenacity make them frequent targets for dogfighters and other criminals. On a daily basis, PETA fieldworkers find pit bulls chained, starved and neglected.

Dogs that were designed and bred to kill other animals and are disproportionately abused sometimes lash out, with fatal results. One man told me that his pit bull was “never right” after being fed gunpowder. A police officer shot the dog to death in an attempt to stop his relentless, ultimately fatal attack on another dog.

Pit bulls are also the No. 1 breed admitted to shelters, and the hardest to place responsibly. With millions of animals suffering for lack of homes, breeding more of any kind — especially a breed so vulnerable to exploitation — should be illegal.

People who have pit bulls’ best interests at heart support humane, commonsense laws regulating these dogs’ acquisition and care, including requiring them to be spayed or neutered.”

Teresa Chagrin, Animal Care and Control Issues Manager. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Norfolk, Va. 1 November 2022.

Why would anyone lobby on behalf of dangerous dogs?

“As I boarded the train to the New Statesman office this morning I made sure to reserve a seat for Spitty, my Mozambique spitting cobra. He’s a beloved member of the family and I take him everywhere because it is my right to do so. Sadly my fellow passengers reacted to the presence of a three-foot long venomous snake with ignorance and, it has to be said, prejudice, backing away from Spitty in horror. “Don’t judge him on appearances!” I pleaded, as Spitty reared up, seeking a pair of human eyes to hose with his burning venom. “He’s just being friendly!”

Many readers will have experienced a similar situation, although perhaps with a different – and much more dangerous – animal: the dog. While there hasn’t been a fatal snake bite in the UK for 50 years, 2022 is now the worst year on record for fatal dog attacks. Nine people have been killed this year by dogs, while the number of people, mostly small children, who have been injured and disfigured is also at a record level. A week ago a surgeon at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital told ITV News he sees new victims of dog attacks on a daily basis.

Last month a five-year-old girl was playing outside her home in Croydon, south London, when a bull terrier pinned her to the ground, inflicting “life-changing” injuries to her face. Of the nine fatal dog attacks in the UK this year, six were by bull terriers and four were by one breed, the Bully XL. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Veterinary Medical Association found that bull terriers and rottweilers accounted for more than two thirds of fatal dog attacks in the US in one year.

This is a controversial thing to point out, however. A well-funded charity lobby, led by the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross is calling for the repeal of the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), which bans certain breeds. They say this “breed-specific legislation” is discriminatory and unjust. While the charities themselves are careful to avoid making an offensive connection between the law as it applies to dog breeds and the racism experienced by millions of human beings, it seems to be a widespread view among activists, expressed in blogs, news interviews and petitions to parliament, that it amounts to “breedism”, “dog racism” and “basically racism”.

It’s important to weigh up the two sets of rights being debated here. On the one hand you have the right of five-year-olds not to be disfigured and traumatised for life; on the other, the right of adults to own certain breeds of dog.

The charities opposing the act encourage a focus on “deed not breed”, which presumes that dogs are full citizens with the right to commit a “deed” – mauling a child with their teeth and claws – and then rehabilitate. The price of extending those rights to a dog is the safety of vulnerable humans.

Oddly enough, while the RSPCA campaigns against law that discriminates between dog breeds, it isn’t bothered about discriminating between species. Each year, thousands upon thousands of pigs (which are widely thought to be more intelligent than dogs) are electrocuted, minced and made into tasty, RSPCA-approved sausages. But then, the RSPCA is also very much the Royal Society for Getting People to Bequeathe it Money, and if you’re going to persuade the nation’s elderly to include you in their wills, a big-eyed pooch is just the job. Under capitalism, charity is as much a market as anything else.

This is the grim truth of the pet industry: in a country in which 3.9 million people live in poverty, the UK spends £10bn a year on dogs and £8bn a year on cats. The cats don’t care and the dogs, given half a chance, would eat us. The government should expand and enforce the laws that protect us from them.”

Will Dunn. 31 October 2022. The New Statesman.

Dog attack victim’s lawyer speaks on difficulties of holding owners of attacking pit bulls responsible

“SPARTANBURG, S.C. We continue to investigate dogs running loose and attacking neighbors in the Upstate.

Last month, we told you about dogs attacking a man named James Pittman, near Skyline Road, in the Spartanburg County part of Greer. Those dogs were impounded to check for rabies and returned. While following up, we found out that this has been happening for more than ten years.

Back in 2019, we covered an attack near Gap Creek Road. Barbara Lee was bitten by five dogs while attending a funeral and paying respects to her husband at WoodLawn Memorial Park, in Greer. The dogs were owned by the same couple: Daisy and Timothy Chad Anderson. Lee’s attorney, Wes Kissinger, is still pursuing justice three years later. The lawsuit was filed in 2021. There is a default judgement, because Daisy hasn’t answered. She was subpoenaed for a deposition, she was served, and she didn’t show up. Kissinger is also representing Daisy’s landlord.

“Mrs. Lee has close to $20,000 in medical bills. She has permanent nerve damage in her left leg. She had to go through a series of rabies shots,” said Kissinger.

Daisy Anderson has quite the criminal history and has taken the bulk of the complaints, citations, and fines. At the time, her last name was Lawrence. And the dogs were with her at an address on Gap Creek Road. The name rang a bell for Kissinger. “Oddly enough, I remembered that I had actually sued Daisy Ann Lawrence, years ago, in a dog attack that was near that same location,” Kissinger said.

We spent hours looking through the documents of Kissinger’s Freedom of Information Act request. Daisy has been subpoenaed at least twice. And at one point, she had five arrest warrants. There are two statements of surrender documented.

On the day of Lee’s attack, reports show an officer was interviewing Daisy from the back of a police car as she was being arrested for outstanding warrants. She still wouldn’t surrender the dogs and no explanation for how they got out. “Spartanburg County code spells out what those violations are and what the penalties are,” said Kissinger, “And then, they’re pursuing that. I don’t think the law necessarily contemplates a serial offender.”

And that’s why victims are having such a hard time. The crime is a misdemeanor. It goes like this: you’re fined or you go to jail for up to 30 days. Then, as Kissinger explains, the cycle continues repeatedly. He says he doesn’t have high hopes that Lee will be compensated. “That’s the problem with this kind of case. We can get a judgment against Mrs. Anderson, but collecting it is something entirely different. She has judgements pending against her, already, that have not been paid,” Kissinger said.

The Andersons have racked up $12,000 in unpaid fines.

On Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcements reports, at least eight different dogs were involved in attacks over the years. The complaints range from bites, to running at large, to no visible rabies tags.

Kissinger knows this is an ongoing battle. “I have a commitment to Mrs. Lee. She is a wonderful lady. And she’s been through a lot,” Kissinger said, “So, I will pursue this to the end, for sure, regardless of the outcome financially.”

We have tried to contact the Andersons by leaving a letter in their mailbox. There has been no response. Someone claiming to be Timothy Anderson’s sibling reached out. We were supposed to sit down and talk, but they stopped responding. We will keep trying. Daisy Anderson is still at the Spartanburg County Detention Center. She was sentenced to 90 days. We will be there for Daisy’s next court date in November.”

Tresia Bowles. Fox Carolina. 25 October 2022

Children killed

“Many of you likely caught the story out of Millington, Tenn., about a mother whose 2-year-old daughter and 5-month-old son were mauled and killed by two family pit bulls that also badly injured her. In her attempt to save both children from the dogs’ attack, she wound up hospitalized in critical condition, which was later elevated to stable.

While these dogs were part of her family, it was yet another story of larger dogs suddenly turning vicious.

This incident bought to mind the attack not long ago by an unrestrained pit bull mix that bounded from its owner’s yard and nearly killed our little dog Benji while injuring my wife, Jeanetta, as they walked along a public street in Harrison.

Any time dogs kill or savage people, especially those who care for them, we all have a serious problem, particularly so when a species with a track record of unpredictable violent behavior is not effectively restrained from the public.

If these pit bulls, which were euthanized, would do this to two children and their owner, what would they have potentially done to others and their pets if left to roam?

Ask Lavonne Spotlightener of Harrison, who was badly injured and her eight cats killed by two roaming pit bulls that came into her yard and onto her porch to attack, or the badly injured older man in Maumelle whose little dog was killed on his property by two unrestrained pit bulls.

The debate over keeping pit bulls as pets has raged across communities for years. Some cities have banned them while many owners often try to convince non-owners they are not inherently violent. But long-term statistics tell a far different story that can no longer be overlooked.

Those who favor this breed and their mixes basically say that if they are violent and vicious, it’s because they’ve been taught to be that way by humans. While I have no doubt there are those who breed them for fighting, I seriously doubt this grieving mother trained hers to fight, just like I don’t believe the majority who choose to keep this breed “teach” them to have a ruthless streak.

That leaves the plausible explanation that they have an inherited side to them that can generate spontaneous viciousness even against small children, or a woman walking her little dog along a street, or a man walking his dog in his own yard.

Data collected over the years tell a story. According to, from 2005 to 2017, pit bulls accounted for 284 dog bite-related fatalities. This represents a staggering 65 percent of deaths due to dog-bite injuries, especially considering that there were 433 total of dog bite victim fatalities.

It also means there are other larger breeds capable of such vicious and fatal attacks. But 65 percent for me is an eye-popping number.

The law firm of Fuicelli and Lee in Denver has compiled its own statistics:

“Pit bulls and Rottweilers make up 77 percent of all fatal dog bites, despite making up only 6 percent of the U.S. dog population… Pit bulls are responsible for 60 percent of all injuries… Pit bull terriers are 48 percent more likely to attack without provocation than other breeds. Pit bull attacks have higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than attacks by other breeds.”

“During 2005-2017, pit bulls killed one citizen every 16.7 days, totaling up to 284 Americans… Rottweiler and pit bull attacks contributed to 76 percent of dog bite deaths. When comparing 2005-2010 to 2011-2017, pit bull attack deaths have increased from 58 percent to 71 percent. Alternatively, Rottweiler deaths decreased from 14 percent to 7 percent.”

Returning to the latest pit bull attack in Tennessee, I awoke this morning feeling deep sorrow for this 30-year-old mother who fought to save her children as they were being slaughtered by the two dogs.

When this mother recovers from her injuries, the agony of those moments watching her children being savaged and being unable to stop it, plus the knowledge that of many possible choices, she chose to bring this breed of dog into their home, will haunt her forever.

While I don’t know the circumstances, it sounds as if these dogs did all right in the family for some time, giving the impression all was fine. And that’s the most insidious part of this tragedy. Things obviously were never fine. All it took was one unknown trigger event from small children to set the dogs into their murderous rampage.

Such stories appear regularly nationwide. The Daily Mail carried a story the other day of an elderly North Carolina couple out for a peaceful stroll who were attacked by an unrestrained pit bull. As a result, she lost a foot and he was critically injured. The dog, the Mail reported, was euthanized after the attack.

The latest deaths and similar horror stories we learn about should provide strong impetus for conscientious city and state lawmakers to pass laws that hold those who own large dogs legally (even criminally) accountable if they aren’t effectively restrained.”

Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master’s journalism program at Ohio State University.

Mike Masterson. Oct 16, 2022. Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Best Friends Animal Society conducting nation-wide backroom campaign to revoke Breed Safety Laws

“Best Friends Animal Society appears to be in the midst of a political campaign to revoke the rights of cities, villages, towns and states nationwide to pass or enforce Breed Specific Laws (BSL) for public safety, including prohibiting Pit Bulls or other dangerous dog breeds. Best Friends Animal Society is involved in attempting to revise laws through legislative bodies all over the country—and without a vote by residents—to repeal breed-specific legislation. BSL allows various degrees of prohibitions against  owning/keeping certain breeds—primarily Pit Bulls, but also other dangerous dogs. These safety measures were put in place by the communities where the voters pay taxes (and ultimately foot the bills for any attacks that take place on municipal property.)”

Phyllis M. Daugherty. October 25, 2021

Question/answer with founder Colleen Lynn

On Aug 5th, 2022, Colleen Lynn, the founder of did an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the subreddit for victims of dog maulings and discussions about the dangerousness of pit bulls. Lynn has been a major reputable and strong champion for victims since day one.  “Colleen is a lightning rod and a punching bag for pit bull extremists. She is constantly under fire for speaking out, and we have tremendous respect for Colleen and her work in this field.” Here is a transcript of the questions and answers.

Question/answer with attorney Kenneth Phillips

Question/answer with attorney Kenneth Phillips of on Reddit. Phillips answers many questions about breed-specific laws, the pit bull lobby, service animals, shelter dogs with bite histories and more.  Kenneth Phillips Q&A. 10 June 2022/

If owners rather than dogs are responsible for severe attacks, make them pay severe consequences

“If we accept that dogs, capable of ripping people apart at the seams, are never to blame for such behaviour because they are victims themselves of owner neglect, stupidity or abuse — a familiar refrain, well beyond the canine world — then let’s run with that and see where it takes us. If the owner is responsible for an animal that kills someone, then that owner should face a manslaughter charge, at the very least. If the dog maims someone, then aggravated assault would be appropriate. Guilty verdicts come with serious jail time on those charges.

In similar fashion, the civil court system should provide serious financial redress for any injuries inflicted upon an innocent bystander by these animals. A few damage awards requiring the subsequent sale of an owner’s home would seem reasonable and appropriate. Hey, if bad owners are the cause, then bad owners should pay a commensurate heavy price.” — Nelson, Chris. If owners rather than dogs are responsible for severe attacks, make them pay severe consequences. Calgary, AB: Calgary Herald. 9 June 2022.

Do pit bulls have more rights than attack victims?

“This, and providing financial support to unregulated and unmonitored “rescuers”—often individuals or groups with no animal-behavior experience and no licensed facility required—is based on escalating the number of (“dangerous”) Pit Bulls and other dogs “pulled” from shelters each year. It has created a non-profit industry that operates in homes in unsuspecting neighborhoods where children should be safe to play, without government regulation or restrictions. It also has resulted in little, or no, accountability or liability for damages and injury and promoted uncontrolled breeding of these dogs.
The focus of victims, as a group, must be shifted from a dog that is doing what it is genetically bred to do—maim and kill—and placed on exposing those who are making millions of dollars annually in donations—and the legislators who are influenced by them–to promote and enable a dog that is increasingly attacking helpless women and children. ” — Daugherty, Phyllis M. Do pit bulls have more rights than attack victims? Los Angeles, CA: City Watch LA. 16 May 2022.

No-kill animal shelters result in death for other animals and people

“In February, a 71-year-old woman came to a bad end while trying to do a good thing. A volunteer at a Florida dog “rescue” group, she was in an outdoor play area with Gladys, a 125-pound pit bull mix, when the dog suddenly snapped, mauling her to death. The group had at least some indication that Gladys was unstable: Two weeks earlier, a staff person had commented that she was “not good” with certain people and that her severe fear issues “might be … a little over our heads.” Yet the group was apparently trying to prepare her for adoption anyway.

You might think that this horrific case was an isolated incident, but you would be wrong. Dozens of animal shelter volunteers and staff, as well as people who have adopted dogs — and adopters’ children, animal companions and neighbors — have been severely maimed or killed by dogs with known histories of aggression. Who is to blame for these killings? Ironically, the “no-kill” movement plays a large role.

Under pressure to join the wave of “no-kill” facilities, a growing number of shelters and “rescue” groups have developed tunnel vision. They focus on increasing “save rates” so that their numbers look good and they can maintain their “no-kill” status at any cost, even if it means adopting out dangerous dogs to unsuspecting members of the public — consequences be damned.

Here’s a chilling example: Albuquerque, New Mexico’s shelter admitted that it had allowed 100 dogs who failed a standard behavior test to be adopted. Program analyst Jim Ludwick confessed that “in reducing our euthanasia rate, mistakes have been made …. Our responsibility is not just to the animals staring us in the face as they stand in our cages. We have a responsibility to the animals and children who are out of sight and out of mind … who might pay the price if we unleash the dogs we should euthanize for public safety reasons.”

There’s another fact that few shelters dare to share openly because it’s wildly unpopular even to suggest it: Even if they haven’t previously shown violent tendencies, pit bulls sometimes attack without any warning or provocation.

And they aren’t to blame for doing what humans have bred them to do for centuries. Humans deliberately engineered pit bulls to fight and kill in a highly focused, fearless way and to be strong and tenacious enough to bring down full-sized bulls. Even those who haven’t been abused or trained to fight — dogs who have been loving, gentle companions — sometimes snap, with deadly results. And no one knows what triggers them.

A steady stream of incidents bears this out. In Florida, a pit bull mix named Smokey killed an 87-year-old woman in a wheelchair just two weeks after being adopted. The dog “did not display any aggression toward humans,” according to the shelter. In California, an adopted pit bull named Polo attacked and killed a 3-day-old infant when the baby’s mother “suddenly coughed.” According to the president of the shelter from which the dog had been adopted, “There was not a fragment of aggression seen in this dog before tragedy struck.” In Virginia, a pit bull named Blue fatally mauled his new guardian’s 90-year-old mother the day she adopted him. “He never showed any aggression while at our training facility,” the self-described “rescue” group claimed. And so it goes.

Dogs who bite are often relinquished to shelters and, like boomerangs, repeatedly adopted out and then returned. Some are caged for months, years or the rest of their lives, suffering from severe emotional distress and slowly going insane. This is not only extremely cruel, but, as the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association points out, such “no-kill” practices also lead shelters to turn away other homeless or lost animals because they don’t have any room.

Shelters must be brave and honest. They must stop putting statistics above the welfare and safety of animals and the public. Dangerous animals should never be released to anyone, including self-professed “rescues.” Additionally, shelters should provide anyone seeking to adopt a large, strong dog — especially a pit bull — with training and information about the special precautions needed with such dogs.

And all of us should speak out against reckless “no-kill” shelter policies that ultimately hurt dogs and the people who care about them.”

Teresa Chagrin, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Commentary: ‘Life at any cost’ animal shelter policies often result in death. Tribune News Service. 21 April 2022.

We need to stop dismissing the deaths of children at the jaws of their parents’ pet pit bulls as “unforeseeable accidents”

“On Monday last week Bella-Rae Birch, aged 17 months, was killed in her St Helens [England] home by an American bully XL dog. It savaged the little girl as her mother, Treysharn Bates, screamed hysterically. According to neighbours, the family had acquired the dog, a member of the pit bull family, just a week earlier, paying only “buttons” for it. There is a fundraising page for Bella-Rae’s funeral, set up by Ms Bates, who described her “gorgeous blue eyed” daughter as having been “lost” to a “tragic sudden accident”. The dog was put down by police.

This is a horrible, mortifying and desperately sad story, and perhaps the correct response should be simply to grieve for that young life taken away and to sympathise with the family. It was, after all, a “tragic sudden accident”. That is usually what we do in such circumstances — and as a consequence the death is soon forgotten as just another one of those awful things that happen by chance. To ask difficult questions would be a case of that dreadful thing “victim-shaming” — even if, to my mind, the only innocent victim in this is Bella-Rae Birch.

We have been conditioned to be non-judgmental about the way other people lead their dreadful lives. Cultural relativism forbids it. “Don’t judge me!” has become a familiar shriek from the imbecilic or the selfish who have just done something antisocial, damaging, lethal or fabulously stupid. So let me buck the trend a little.

If you have a 17-month-old child and you decide it would be a really, really good idea to introduce into the family home one of the most ferocious animals legally available to you, then you are not merely fabulously stupid and selfish but, to my mind, also culpable if the dog subsequently kills your toddler. You are the one to be judged. No parent with tiny children and an ounce of common sense would buy a pit bull terrier or a related breed (such as a Staffordshire bull terrier).

The pit bull breeders will tell you that there is nothing wrong with their dogs; they’re no different from any others — it’s all down to the owners. But this is a convenient and easily disprovable lie. Bull terriers were bred to bait bulls — the name’s a give-away, isn’t it? In other words, to attack and to keep attacking — and that instinct remains.
Further, they have an especially powerful jaw, enabling the creature to clamp onto its opponent — a bull, a small child — with exceptional force, thus causing more serious injury. Only 6 per cent of pet dogs in America are pit bulls, but they are responsible for 68 per cent of attacks on humans. So far in the present century 43 people — many of them children — have been killed in the UK by dogs. Of that number, pit bulls, Staffies and similar breeds were implicated in no fewer than 31 cases.

When you hear of a savage dog attack on the news — usually in some run-down hellhole near Leeds or Liverpool or Manchester — you just know it’s going to be a pit bull or similar. And later you hear the self-serving bleatings from the family: oh, he was such a lovely dog usually — how can this have happened?

Listen: there are no Labs or King Charles spaniels or poodles on that list of British deaths from dogs. But then the sort of people who buy pit bulls wouldn’t be seen dead with a King Charles. It is the very ferocity of these animals — usually given an agreeable name such as Tyson or Satan or Hitler — that attracts them. That they may also end up eating their family doesn’t seem to bother them. Sometimes they are bought by drug dealers for protection, sometimes by wannabes just for the kudos. These people know their dogs are a danger. That is why they have them.

In this, as in so many other transgressions — addiction, crime, morbid obesity and so on — we are too quick to excuse appalling “life choices” as simply happenstance: no use crying over spilt milk. We deny people responsibility for their own actions, and so the tragedies happen again, and again, and again.

Little Bella-Rae’s death was not a “sudden accident”. It was, I believe, a “strong possibility” occasioned by a decision made by her parents.”

Rod Liddle. Dogs like Bella-Rae’s killer are meant to be aggressive. Don’t get one if you have a child. Sunday March 27 2022, 1.01am BST, The Sunday Times (Paywall)

Pit bull euthanized, but problem of dangerous dogs persist

“On Saturday, February 26, 2022, exactly 6 months to the day after Zeus, the homicidal pit bull, nearly killed a woman and her dog that were peacefully walking by Granite Hills High School, Zeus was euthanized. Sadly, it apparently took another violent event for the dog to finally be put down. From what I understand, Zeus, reportedly “bit” his owner’s brother. Reports are that animal control took the animal on the 25th and it was euthanized on Saturday.

Throughout this entire traumatic, mishandled, fiasco, the entire neighborhood has been put at extraordinary risk. This “dangerous dog” problem is national and appears to be even international. Dogs that kill and maim are routinely returned back to their owners. Often, it’s children that are killed. The Humane Society hides behind the law even though there is much more they can do. The truth is they care more about dogs, even the homicidal ones, than they do about people. It’s really tragic that another human being had to be injured in order for the dog to finally be euthanized.”

Bettie Wells. East County Magazine. San Diego, California. March 4, 2022.

(Bettie Wells is the wife of El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, who helped save a neighbor being attacked by a pit bull in October 2021.)

Pit Bull Attacks: Cancer Survivor Mauled, Baby Dies, as Wealthy Animal Groups Fight Breed Specific Laws

“However, most [pit bull] attacks are not reported by the media. As an example, in New York City alone, there were 2,600 pit bull bites recorded by the Department of Health in a recent three-year period. During this period only 20 bites were actually covered by the media.”

“The group of wealthy animal “charities” thriving on the public’s soft heart for animals and generous donations, including Best Friends Animal Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) , and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), joined by the nation’s most prominent dog breeding organizations, the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA), which began as a registry to fighting dogs, are preparing for an appearance  before Canadian Insurance Legislators to convince them that this breed is no more dangerous than a toy poodle and control the laws regarding dangerous breeds of dogs.”
Phyllis M. Daugherty. City Watch Los Angeles. February 14th, 2022.

Doctor calls for pit bulls to be banned from residential areas

“In the 12 Jan. 22 Barrington Times Police Log, an entry for Thursday, Jan. 6 tells of a pit bull pulling to the ground and biting the dog sitter watching it — then attacking a 10 year-old Golden Doodle. Since in the past I have asked the Barrington Police Department to name the breed involved in dog attacks in their reports — suspecting that in many instances they were Pit Bulls — I was not at all surprised to learn that was the case here. As an M.D., I am a firm believer in the importance of genetics — and pit bulls were bred to attack and kill. (Plus, their powerful jaws inflict a more severe injury than the usual “dog bite”.) Pit bulls should be banned from a residential, suburban area like Barrington with a large population of children. (There is a nationwide precedent for that.)”

Karl F. Stephens M.D.
Barrington, Rhode Island
January 21, 2022,101153

Pit bulls responsible for most NYC bite victims over three-year period

New York City data shows that pit bull type dogs are attributed to 2,610 bites between 2015-2017 which is 7 times higher than the next documented breed. NPBVA is quoted within this article. “American Pit Bull Terriers and mixes accounted for 2,610 bites between 2015 and 2017 — 30 percent of all dog-bite victims, according to the most recent city Department of Health stats. The disturbing tally is more than seven times any other breed — despite pit bulls being just the sixth most common breed of licensed dogs in New York City. (Yorkshire Terriers are first.) Shih Tzus were the second worst NYC biters with 364 attacks, followed by Chihuahuas, with 344.”

January 8th, 2022. New York Post



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.”
2021 Denver pit bull ban recall results

2021 Denver pit bull ban recall results in skyrocketing severe attacks upon people.

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.”

Carol Miller
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.”

Phyllis M. Daugherty. October 25, 2021

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 and

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

Ohio pit bull activist charged with 28 felonies

Man instrumental in push to rescind Ohio’s public safety laws against pit bulls now charged with 28 felonies relating to his pit bull promotion activities.

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