Sunday, April 2, 2017

RIP Diesel

Each year tens of thousands of pets are murdered by loose pit bulls. Each one of these cases involves a deeply personal loss, a heartbreak, the needless and untimely death of a beloved companion animal in a brutal and violent attack.

Diesel, muddy, torn and bloody, before his death

Diesel was one of these innocent victims, brutalized in the "safety" of his own yard, where by all rights he should have been safe - as is very often the case in pit bull attacks.

His injuries were too severe for him to survive

Diesel's owner shared how the attack affected their family:
"It has been a very traumatic and life altering tragedy for my family. My daughter and Diesel were the best of friends. They competed all over the central and southwest states in AKC Junior Showmanship and Conformation. He was a once in a lifetime dog." 

First time showing together

"My daughter has never been the same emotionally since his death. She carried him home from the vet's office and insisted on being the one to lay him in his grave. She buried one of their big ribbons with him. We had to take her to the hospital the day after it happened to be treated for extreme panic attacks. I would find her sleeping on his grave for months after the attack ( even in freezing temps). She has tried to recover and move on with her new dog but I know a huge part of her childhood died that day with him. He was so much more than just a dog to us."

Much more than 'just a dog'

"I have spent most of my life involved in purebred dogs so I knew what they were bred for. The ones a had been around personally were all AKC show dogs so their temperament ( breeding for generations ) was closely watched for aggression issues. 
Last time in the ring together

Still I knew what they were capable of. I have a Facebook friend who would post news reports of attacks and I remember thinking " oh my dogs and family will be safe because I don't own pits and neither do my neighbors". I was horribly wrong. I made indoor outdoor runs in my garage complete with AC and Heating so that my dogs did not have to stay crated in the house while we were at work/school. Spent a heck of a lot of time and money building them. They have now all been torn down. My dogs are only allowed in the back yard when we are home and out with them. No walks, no going to parks, I don't even like taking them in the vet's office without checking for pits first." 

"My small town is infested with loose running bully breeds. 3 weeks ago while driving home ( two blocks from my house) I came across two female pits attacking a neighbor's dog in the road. It took 3 women and two grown men to break up the attack. The poor dog ran to his front door when we got them off of him but one of the pits broke loose from the owner and ran after him. When the elderly lady opened the door to let her dog in the pit damn near went in the house after the lady's dog. She was able to slam the door on the pits head which probably saved her from being attacked. The owner of the pits threw his dogs in his truck and sped away before anyone could get his tag info. The poor dog died two days later at the vets." 

"Just last week I noticed a pit bull had moved in across the street from us. Within a week it had broke through the fence and killed a dog next door. All of this within 3 blocks of my house in a month's time. I am now completely paranoid! We live very close to two schools and I pray everyday that no child is injured. Our local Facebook groups are full of posts for lost pits or rehoming pits ( of course they all say how friendly they are or how good they are with children). I feel like my dogs and family are living on a life raft surrounded by sharks!"

There is a very real problem in our communities.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mommy! Something is killing Cherry!

A gut wrenching report from a friend:

My cousin and I, along with her son (16 years old), my 12 and 5 year old, came home from dinner at approximately 6:00pm Friday.

My oldest daughter, who had just gotten home from work and let the dogs out, was in the front yard; frantic and begging for help!

"Something is attacking our dog, Mommy! Something is killing Cherry!"

I went to the backyard to discover two pitbulls have broken through a panel in the fence. The two pitbulls have dragged our border collie onto the other side and are mauling her to death.

Horrific attack 

Video of the attack was captured by my oldest daughter. Me and my cousin, along with my three daughters are begging for help. The next door neighbors come to our aid. One of them throws bricks at the pitbulls. However, they continue attacking our helpless dog; now laying on her side.

My 19 year old daughter called 911. Me and my cousin, who just arrived from Austin, were frantically searching for something to separate the pitbulls from our border collie.

The pit bulls broke the fence to get to Cherry

In order to protect my dog, family, children and neighbors, I grabbed a large knife from my kitchen, and jumped the fence (as my family begged me not to), and as I approached Cherry, the black pitbull began to walk towards me. I stabbed the pitbull.

A desperate attempt to save Cherry

Although severely injured from the attacks, my border collie was able to stand up and walk away, but the white pitbull followed her.

The injured black pitbull began walking the fence line and the white one trailed behind. Still fearful that the dogs were going to attack the kids, I followed them. The white pitbull turned and lunged at me, so I stabbed it.

My cousin and neighbor stayed with Cherry. My neighbor pulled his jeep behind the fence along the pipeline and loaded her up to transport her to the vet, but she died in my cousins lap on the way.

My children, ages 12 and 5, witnessed the brutal attack on our dog.

Cherry, in happier times

Animal control came by Saturday morning to take statement and pictures of fence. They also stopped at the owners home to ensure the surviving, yet severely injured pitbull had been put down. The owner had taken it to the 24 hour ER Vet on Friday to have it euthanized.

The owners have offered to pay for all damages; cremation of Cherry, damaged fence, and cost of replacing Cherry. Which, makes me wonder whether or not they're trying to keep their Homeowners Insurance in the dark about this. To my knowledge, only two insurance companies in Texas will cover a homeowner if they are owners of a pitbull or pitbull mixed breed. Those insurance companies are Farmers and USAA.

The owners of the pitbulls also stated that they had "never seen that side of their dogs before." However, their dogs were involved in two incidents that I'm aware of. 

Two years ago, their pitbulls chased me and our border collie after breaking through a screened window in their owners home.

I have to wonder how many more incidents there were.

Rest in peace, sweet girl

This is not an isolated incident. Every single day, dozens of innocent pets and farm animals are brutally killed by pit bulls. A tiny fraction of these attacks are reported. Some brave souls attempt to cover this topic but it is an emotionally draining effort, and most can not keep it up for too long.

Facebook group dealing with the topic: Our pets were killed by pit bulls

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pit bull myths: "They never start a fight but they always finish it"

One of the most obviously bogus pit bull myths is the old story that pit bulls never start a fight, but always finish it.

Let's correct the record here: pit bulls always start the fight. And they will always finish it too, so long as the victim is unable, unwilling or unequipped to fight back effectively. But not being known for high intelligence, pit bulls sometimes pick a hard target.

The following video is an interesting study. Spoiler: The owners manage to break up the fight before any serious lasting damage is done.

The pit bull clearly wanted to fight the big dog, an American Akita, but didn't seem willing to tackle him head on, and kept trying to go outside his field of vision to bite him. The Akita is not looking for a fight, but also does not suffer fools gladly. He keeps warning the pit bull away with growls, bluff charges and air snaps. Finally, in jumping on the Akitas back to bite him, the pit bull transitions from nuisance to threat, and the Akita goes all in, knocking the pit bull down, dragging it around by the scruff of the neck, putting it on it's back and roughing it up.

We've seen far worse outcomes than this for pit bulls that attack, e.g. livestock guardian breeds. Unfortunately, pit bulls rarely attack American Akitas, Kangals, or 160 pound Great Pyrenees, apparently preferring much softer targets. Had the intended victim in the video link above been the typical chihuahua, shih-tzu, yorkie or mini-poodle, it's likely that the poor little dog on the receiving end would be dead, or nearly so.

The behavior of a breed designed to kill dogs for sport will be very different from a breed designed to, say, point, herd, retrieve, or guard. The very real, hard-wired genetic differences are not something that should be dismissed out of hand. You ignore DNA at your own peril.

For more info, check out the informative article below about dog language and signals, and how pit bulls differ from other dogs in this regard - starting fights even when we don't think they're starting them.

Language of dogs, normal and psychopathic

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Current risk assessment: Serious attacks and fatalities, 5/2012 through end of 2016

After publishing the final figures for 2016, we decided to look at all breeds which have accounted for 5 or more fatalities total since 1982, and looking at their stats just over the past 5 years. (since May 2012)

The reasons for this are simple. The current data represents a collection of attacks going back to 1982, and we are interested in more current trends; the past 5 years or so provide a quick look. When we concentrate on the more recent data, we can spot trends which might be hidden in the larger collection.

Here is the quick summary:

Here is a pie chart:

Clearly, there are dangerous dogs and then there are dangerous dogs. The relative risk varies widely, even among the power breeds.

It should come as no surprise that pit bulls pose a bigger problem than ever before, with over 13 times as many fatalities as their closest competitor. It's really no contest.

On the other hand, Wolf Hybrids, which had accounted for 19 deaths over previous years, appear to be much less of an issue now. We're guessing that the fad is less popular these days.

Labs appear to be something of an outlier here; though good sized, capable dogs, they are known as especially good natured. "easy" dogs; being the most popular breed in North America is likely the most significant factor driving their appearance on this list at all.

At any rate, the full reports from which the differentials were derived can be found here (2012) and here (2016)

Dog attack report - 2016 final

The final year end tally has been completed by Animals 24-7 for their ongoing record of serious dog attacks in North America and Canada.

The report covers serious dog attacks on humans, with breed identification where possible, from Sept 1982 through the end of 2016.

Below is a list of breeds responsible for human deaths during 2016. It should come as no surprise that pit bulls outnumber all other breeds combined. and are directly followed in the order by pit bull mixes. Lab mixes make a rare appearance this year.

To add some further insights to the risk matrix as a function of breed, here is a breed chart of the numbers of disfiguring or maiming attacks on humans during 2016:

The full report from Animals 24-7 is available here

Thursday, December 1, 2016

We all bear the costs of pit bull advocacy

We came across this article and found the subtitle worthy of note:


We've all been bombarded with the smarmy, well known pit bull propaganda talking points, which use faulty logic, non-sequiturs and emotionally charged civil rights terminology in an attempt to make us all feel guilty for not wanting to expose our children or our pets to unpredictable canine IEDs.

To the average man, who doesn't know anything about the bloody and violent genesis and history of the bull-baiting and pit fighting breeds, this may all sound plausible, and invoke some sort of sympathy, but what the narcissistic pit bull activists don't tell us is that we all, as a society, pay the price for their delusion.

This poor girl, one of many innocents whose lives have been touched by pit bull violence, is a solid argument for the need for change in our laws. It's time to start holding the perpetrators strictly accountable.

Do we blame pit bulls for being and doing precisely what they were designed and bred for centuries to be and to do? That's irrelevant. The blame must be placed on those who lie about the facts, who attempt to obfuscate, shift the blame and hide the danger, and traffic pit bulls into unsuspecting neighborhoods.

If we were placed in charge, this would be the policy: In the event of a pit bull attack, the pit bull is to be put down, immediately. If a citizen at the scene of the crime is able to disable or kill the pit bull to save the victim, that citizen shall be held blameless. The pit bull owner or responsible party shall be charged with the attack, and punished accordingly - not token fines, but jail time and/or serious financial penalties.

Feel free to weigh in with your feedback on our thoughts, as well as the article in the link below -

Pit bull mauling launches Newark 8 year old on 2 year trek to save her arm

Monday, September 12, 2016

Serious dog attacks: 34 full years of data

In September of 1982, animal advocate Merritt Clifton first began logging and tracking disfiguring and fatal dog attacks on humans, collecting information on the type of attacking dog in each case, and the circumstances surrounding each attack.

Now, after 34 years, we are more well informed as a result of his undertaking, especially in the light of the CDC decision in 1998 to suddenly cease the collection or tracking of any data whatsoever pertaining to the attacking breed.

Despite this, and owing to the careful collection of such data by Merritt and other NGOs, it has become clear to anyone who examines that relevant data, that of all possible criteria to be considered in the question of dangerous dogs, the breed of dog is the single most significant determinant of risk, outweighing all other factors combined by a considerable ratio.

Prior to the 1980s, pit bull attacks were rare, as pit bulls were for the most part owned only by dog fighters. But during the 1980s, we began to see pit bulls cast as "victims" and re-branded as "family pets". The results have been bad for human victims, and absolutely disastrous for animal victims of pit bull violence.

The collected data reveals clear trends, including the fact that violence from pit bull outpaces all other breeds combined, and it has gotten worse over time. 

Before the 1980s, fatal dog attacks were extremely rare. Since then, during the period where pit bulls were still rare in normal communities, the numbers of attacks from pit bulls were growing, but the number of serious attacks from other breeds e.g. Rottweilers, were also of concern. After some 3 decades of relentless, extremely well financed pit bull advocacy, pit bulls are fairly common, and as a result, we are expected to accept the daily occurence of disfiguring and fatal pit bull attacks as the new normal.

Here are the top 5 offenders over the past 34 years, by breed:

Top 5 offenders by breed, 1982-2016

One significant trend is not immediately obvious from the 34 years of accumulated data, but if one looks strictly at the past 5 years, it appears with startling clarity. In terms of harm done to humans, pit bulls easily top this list, and Rottweilers are the 2nd breed. But a simple ranking does not convey the scope of the difference: over the past 5 years, pit bulls have committed 25 times as many serious attacks as Rottweilers, killed over 12 times as many people as Rottweilers, and permanently maimed over 34 times as many people as Rottweilers.

Here are the top 5 offenders over the past 5 years:

Top 5 offenders by breed, 2011-2016

One can't help but be alarmed at the fact that pit bulls continue to widen their lead over not only Rottweilers, but all other breeds combined.

And bear in mind that the problem of pit bull violence against animals is much, much worse - thousands of times worse. Watch this space for future reports on that unfortunate state of affairs.

The level of tolerance for purpose bred torturers in our communities is growing thin, despite the nonstop propaganda from the pit bull lobby, who are unwilling and/or unable to take responsibility for this growing problem, and at some point it's all going to blow up.

May you live in interesting times.

You may examine the full 34 year report here