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Facts Needed: Pit bull v. "Dog" Attacks/Bites

April 27th, 2006, 11:14 PM
I had posted a "wanted" ad on one of my free recycling groups seeking supplies for the Rock-A-Bully Bash. The "group owners" have now deleted this post from the board and archives citing membership sensitivity to "The Pit bull issue" claiming that some members were offended.

"As we are sure that many members are aware of the new legislation of
pit-bulls that was passed last August 29, 2005. Also, the many people
that were either severely hurt and/or elderly lady recently killed by
pit-bull this past week we heard,

Taking into consideration the above mentioned, the subject of pit-
bulls is a very touchy and/or controversial subject for allot of
people and for very obvious reasons. Therefore, we ask that no
messages concerning pit-bulls be posted to this group (this one was
specific to a fundraiser for opposing obviously the ban of the
legislation re pit-bulls).

Thank you for trying to understand this."

Well - I don't plan to try to understand. This is obviously an opportunity to educate some folks and I do plan to respond with a post on the Cafe (an open forum discussion board for members) but need some facts and figures to back up my (hopefully) reasoned response. I would be interested in having some information on the # of dog bites/ attacks per year with a dog breed breakdown. I also recall someone posting the list of banned breeds in Italy and would be interested in seeing that again. And, well - anything else you experts think might be helpful - particularly as it addresses the net effect of this breed specific ban.

April 28th, 2006, 12:03 AM
You could point out that both the attacks that Bryant used as an example were later proven to not be pitbulls. Also, that the number of dog attacks went up in Winnipeg after the ban (the stats are here somewhere, hopefully someone else actually has them, I can't find them). Also, what woman was killed by a pitbull? Also, there have been three attacks in the past three weeks (I can give you names of people) in my area that went unreported in any major newspaper, none by pitbulls.

April 28th, 2006, 12:04 AM
Maybe let us know who to e-mail, and we'll let them know we're all offended as well!

April 28th, 2006, 12:24 AM
Two attacks in Niagara in the last six months. Two small dogs killed.

Both were double dog attacks. None were pitbulls. In the Port Colborne attack the same dogs that killed a small dog (and attacked a pit) had also killed another dog a few years previous...only the Welland Tribune printed a story.

Dog on dog attacks are important as usally a human tries to intervene and well you know how that ends up.

April 28th, 2006, 12:44 AM
There was also an Australian Shepherd mix who attacked a few people and had to be shot by police just a little while ago.

April 28th, 2006, 02:47 AM
If you look at these: a lot of them are not good stats for pitties and rotts, unfortunately. (Last I checked anyway)

jesse's mommy
April 28th, 2006, 06:00 AM
Aren't there more bite by goldens than pits?

April 28th, 2006, 09:15 AM
That makes NO sense. That lady in France got her faced ripped off by her labrador . . . Are we never allowed to say good things about labradors ever again?


April 28th, 2006, 01:01 PM
If you look at these: a lot of them are not good stats for pitties and rotts, unfortunately. (Last I checked anyway)
How many non Pit and Rottie attacks go unreported? One here about a month ago, a Black Lab attacked a lady on her walk!!! No one ever hears about these. Stats arent really a good source, it seems like ALL or MOST Pit, Rottie, Shep bites are reported. When you do hear of another breed biting there isnt any media coverage on it.
If your going to report one type of bite dont restrict which breeds are more "important" to report. The media seems to accentuate the fear of Rotties and Pits (ect.)
A few years ago close to here, there was a front page article about 3 Rotties killing a 6 year old (age may be off) 2 weeks after everything was said and done, there was a correction, on the last page in a small article (approx and inch and a half high) the 2 dogs were actually LabX and huskyX!!!

April 28th, 2006, 01:30 PM
Erykah, I don't think these statistics refer to "reported by the media", but more likely "reported to animal control" or "reported by doctors." Prejudice could still incline someone to report a minor bite of a pit bull but not the minor bite of a lab, but with regards to MAJOR injuries, it's probably a pretty accurate as far as easily recognizable breeds go (like dalmations and golden retrievers.) Someone whose arm or face was mangled by a dog would seek medical attention, no matter what breed it was. But another factor is that many people can't recognize pit bulls accurately and think that anything with four legs, a blocky body, and a smooth coat is a pit bull.

Also, you've got to look at the fact that idiots who purposely train a "guard dog" to attack (you know the people I mean) or abuse dogs are more likely to own a "scary looking" breed than, say, a chihuahua. Since they're not training their dogs to be social or treating them properly, they're more inclined to bite; since they own more pit bulls than toy breeds and retrievers, more pit bulls may indeed be attacking, not because its an aspect of the breed, but because they're being trained to (or abused until they do.)

Really, though . . . 279 dog deaths between 1979 and 1994 is only nineteen per year. Compare that to how many people die due to car-related injuries. Are those scary, scary cars also too traumatizing to be mentioned on that website?


April 28th, 2006, 09:45 PM
The fact that pitbulls are down on the list of breeds that bite most often, is usually met with, "Yes, but when they do, the damage they do!".

Well, airplanes don't crash as often as cars, but when they do, there are usually a lot more serious injuries...should we get rid of planes?

April 28th, 2006, 10:15 PM
I think more importantly than unreported bites are the misreported bites (the ones in the link I posted are usually hospital report stats). If people working in shelters can't properly identify breeds they see all the time, how can a doctor, soccer mom, cop, etc identify them properly?

We hear on the media pitties pitties pitties all the time- the minute an attack happens and the dog doesn't have the head of a collie or greyhound (i.e. long and narrow), then it's a pitty. Goldens are up there along with rotts because they are the most easily identified dogs out there. Right? Who doesn't know a golden when they see one? But what regular Joe can tell the difference between a pitty with delicate features and a lab with more angular features? You know?

April 28th, 2006, 10:37 PM
In Canada, three hundred and twenty-two people were killed and thousands were injured on the job in 2005. Many of these Canadians were injured or died because of workplace health and safety violations committed by their employers yet, the repercussions to employers are miniscule. In contrast, banned breed laws and by-laws have a far reaching and devastating impact on dogs and their people. Legislation enacted to protect people from harm, regardless of whether it concerns animals, vehicles, workplaces or consumer goods, should do just that. Breed specific legislation does not protect people from harm, it buys votes.

Thanks all for the info and opinions. Interestingly, the forum upon which I am - according to the free recycling (which is NOT freecycle) group "Owners" - required to submit my rebuttal to their deletion of my post now seems to be playing games with my group membership.