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Dear House Armed Services Committee members,
I’m a supporter for a national, non-profit dog attack victim’s group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks and supporting victims – National Pit Bull Victim Awareness.
I’m writing to ask you to please oppose section 1050 of SB 4049 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. This section will remove breed specific legislation from military housing.
Doctors are calling pit bulls a “public health crisis.” See this page for a quick overview of just how wide-ranging and devastating the scope of pit bull attacks has now become. https://www.nationalpitbullvictimawareness.org/attacks/pit-bull-attack-database/
It is not an accident that pit bull restrictions are challenged. Cities and towns face heated challenges instigated by people sympathetic to the pit bull lobby [https://www.nationalpitbullvictimawareness.org/pit-bull-lobby/], which spends tens of millions of dollars disputing both local bans and enforcing bills at the State level to prevent BSL state-wide [https://www.dogsbite.org/legislating-dangerous-dogs-bsl-faq.php#statepreemption].
The purpose of a breed specific ban is not to prevent bites, but to prevent maulings. Bites require band-aids or a few stitches; maulings require amputation, plastic surgery, and rehabilitation therapy.
On average, 30 to 50 people are directly killed every year by pit bulls. Hundreds more people die of related causes such as falling downstairs to escape an attack, having a heart attack during the mauling, or being hit by a car escaping an attack. Thousands and thousands are hospitalized for emergency surgery. Reconstructive surgery with skin grafts, tissue expansion, and scar diminishment often requires multiple procedures over a period of years.
Pit bulls make up 7% of the dog population but inflict 72% of dog bite-related human fatalities [https://blog.dogsbite.org/2019/05/2018-dog-bite-fatality-statistics-discussion.html]. Anyone who understands statistics knows this is enough proof they are dangerous in our neighborhoods. Most insurers don’t cover pit bulls because they can’t afford the actuarial risk.
Twenty-four articles recently published in refereed medical journals conclude pit bulls pose the highest risk of biting, cause the most damage per bite, and the most deaths by dogs. Some of these studies examine thousands of hospital cases. [https://www.nationalpitbullvictimawareness.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Articles-in-Refereed-Medical-Journals.pdf] In addition, Level 1 trauma center dog bite studies from all geographical regions in the U.S. are reporting a higher prevalence of injuries from pit bulls than all other breeds of dogs, a higher severity of injury, and require a greater number of operative interventions. [https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-studies-level-1-trauma-table-2011-2018.php]
Supporting breed specific bans not only increases public safety but decreases pit bull breeding and the number of pit bulls being euthanized at shelters. BSL also cuts down on the transport and re-homing of dangerous pit bulls between states from No Kill shelters, which are desperate to reduce their numbers.
There are 1,160 cities in the USA and 50 countries outside the USA that enact breed specific ordinances because pit bull type-dogs present an unreasonable risk to health and public safety. [https://www.scribd.com/doc/56495216/Estimated-U-S-Cities-Counties-States-and-Military-Facilities-with-Breed-Specific-Pit-Bull-Laws]
I hope you will consider these facts when considering restrictions for this kind of dog in military bases.
Oppose Section 1050 of SB 4049Read the Petition