Saturday, October 11, 2014

Welcome new blogger!


We are pleased to introduce Dick Johnson's new blog, "mainphrame"


We've long enjoyed Dick's insights here and at other places where he's commented. Let's extend a warm welcome to Dick, and check out his inagural blog post here: A closer look at a "hero pit bull" story


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dog attack report by breed - October 2014

In this month's update it is, not surprisingly, the pit bull type dog - originally designed specifically to commit atrocities against animals for sport - which continues to commit fatal and disfiguring attacks at a rate greater than all other breeds combined - this despite the continued insistence from pit bull promoters that "it's all in how you raise them".

Human victims of pit bull violence
 

Animal lovers also continue to be hit hard by pit bull violence, as beloved animal companions are killed in front of their horrified owners. Occasionally such attacks make the news. Lady, the harmless little dog shown below, was mauled to death on a Portland street car by a pit bull, even as she tried to get away by hiding behind her owner. One witness told reporters that it was the most horrific thing he'd ever seen.

RIP Lady (L); the blood spattered street car (R)

Aside from the violence against animals, pit bull type dogs injured 72 people, maimed 47 and mauled 4 people to death in the past month; pit bull mixes and other bully breeds committed 5 attacks.  

All other breeds combined were involved in a total of 3 attacks during the same period.


Top 5 offenders over the past 32 years

Without the pit bull attacks, it would have been a rather quiet month. It's apparent, when one looks at the 32 year record, comparing it to current month to month totals, that the pit bull problem is worsening. Unfortunately it will continue to worsen, until our leaders find the political will to stand against the pit bull lobby.

A copy of the full report as of Oct 5 2014 can be accessed here


Friday, September 5, 2014

Dog attack report by breed - Sept 2014




The top 5

In the 25 days since the last published report on August 7th, there were no reported attacks on humans in North America by Rottweilers, Huskies, Wolf hybrids, or Bull Mastiffs. There was one attack by a Boxer and one attack by an unidentified breed. During the same interval, pit bulls inflicted serious injuries on 25 people, maimed 19, and mauled to death 3 individuals. 


The human cost of pit bull violence

The rate of pit bull attacks against animals is far more horrific, there being on the order of 100 times as many attacks on animals as there are on humans


There are many serious or fatal pit bull attacks on pets every day. 

It's worth noting that, if you remove pit bulls from the equation, it would shape up as a relatively quiet month, and that's the case most of the time.

The full current report from animals24-7.com is available here




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dog attack report by breed - Aug 2014

We've been busy lately with some other "big picture" activities, but with the summer of 2014 beginning to wind down, it's about time to publish a current version of the statistics on serious and fatal dog attacks. 

Since the previous summer report in June of last year, 39 people have been mauled to death by pit bulls; an additional 737 have been maimed or disfigured. Attacks from all other breeds combined are but a small fraction of that number.


One of the lucky ones - pit bull attack survivor Lorrie George
In reaction to these reports, there are invariably accusations, denials, and questions from pit bull advocates who are angered by the identification of breed in the attack data, and who charge that the media reports are all based on hearsay, that nobody can identify a pit bull, etc. So it's helpful to share an excerpt from the report here:
Compiled by the editor of ANIMALS 24-7 from press accounts since 1982, this table covers only attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, who have been kept as pets. All accounts are cross-checked by date, location, and identity of the victim.  Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs, and dogs trained specifically to fight are also excluded. 
What does this mean, in practical terms? Well, first of all, it means that the breed identification is fairly reliable. It also means that the attacks counted in this report did not come from fighting dogs or guard dogs, but were, for the most part, committed by family pets. The only anomaly in that regard affects Huskies, as many of the Huskies involved in the recorded attacks were actually semi-feral sled dogs, raising the numbers above what would normally be expected.

Here is a graphical summary from the report, listing the 5 breeds most involved in serious attacks on humans. As you can see, pit bulls remain the top offenders, and all other breeds combined don't come close to their level of violence.



You may access the full report here

A tale of two breeds

In 3 plus years since this article was originally published (6/5/2011) there have been scores of people killed and thousands maimed or disfigured in the US by "family pit bulls", and yet the myth persists that pit bulls are harmless, misunderstood dogs. Pit bull advocates like to try to deflect the negative attention away from pit bulls, to other types of dogs, such as Akitas - which they claim are much more dangerous than pit bulls, but interestingly enough, Akitas have been responsible for a grand total of zero human fatalities in the US during the same period.

News flash: Dogs can be dangerous - especially strong, good-sized ones. We rely on their sanity and good temperament to inhibit them from attacking. Not all dogs are created equal though, and a certain few species have caused concern, arising either from their size and strength, or their behavior, to the point that they have been designated as "dangerous dogs". I have mixed feelings about Breed Specific Legislation, but that's a discussion for another day.

With all the reports of pit bull violence in the news lately, I find it interesting to compare the "marketing" of pit bulls with that of another breed which is also sometimes considered dangerous - the Akita. Both breeds are physically capable of causing a lot of trouble, and both breeds have their fans, rescuers and advocates. But the marketing of the two breeds is very different, as are their respective records of violence.





Let's take a look at how Akita advocates characterize the breed, for those seeking information:


Akitas are inherently aggressive towards other animals and for this reason, they should not be allowed to run free or roam at will.

Akitas like to take charge--an inherited trait from their wolf ancestry and may at some time, challenge you for the dominant position.

Akitas may respond with aggression if treated harshly.

Akitas do not like to be teased and can respond by biting.

Akitas consider eye contact a challenge and can react aggressively. 


That sort of advice provides some serious food for thought, making it clear that these dogs can be dangerous. While responsible Akita owners generally have good, well-behaved dogs, it's clear that Akita ownership is not for everybody. That particular advice came from the akitarescue.org site, but the same advice has been available for some time from most Akita organizations.

It's interesting to how compare this to how pit bulls are described by their advocates - the following points were taken from a representative pit bull information site, and any of them, if googled, will provide pointers to a number of other web sites where you can read these and similar claims:


The bull breeds are nicknamed the "nanny dog" - they are great with kids.

Pit Bulls are not human aggressive. They are gentle and loving dogs.

In actuality, pits are bred to be affectionate toward people

Pit Bulls are no more vicious than Golden Retrievers, Beagles or other popular dogs!


Very interesting. In contrast to the dangerous Akita, the pit bull seems rather harmless - it's all blue skies, rainbows and butterflies, if the pit bull advocates are to be believed. Excellent news!

Just to make sure though, let's see if we can confirm this marketing info with empirical evidence. There have been a number of 3rd party studies on dog attacks that we can reference. Here are a few of them:


U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities January 2006 to December 2008
Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to June 25, 2010
Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs
Are "Pit Bulls" Different? An Analysis of the Pit Bull Terrier Controversy

Even a casual glance through studies referenced above destroys the assertion of the advocates that pit bulls are harmless and gentle with people.

Some highlights of the studies: Pit bulls, estimated to be around 5% of the dog population, were responsible for more maimings and deaths than all ofher breeds combined during the 28 year study period. Rottweilers are a distant second, while Labs, German Shepherds and Dobermans were far below the leaders. Akitas were even further down in the rankings, vying with Pomeranians and Beagles for last place. There was a single death attributed to an Akita, which pales in comparison to the 73 deaths by Rottweiler and the astounding 166 deaths by pit bull.


The study by the Emergency Room doctors (Bini et al) made the following conclusion: "Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs."

So to recap, Akita advocates warn that Akitas must be treated with respect and caution and can be dangerous. There have been some injuries and even a death from an Akita bite. On the other hand, pit bull advocates claim that pit bulls are just misunderstood people-pleasers who have been unfairly demonized by a vast media conspiracy. But what do we see in the cold hard reality of the real world? These "nanny dogs", touted as "great with children" are known to have killed 175 children in the USA so far. These misunderstood "people pleasers" are known to be more likely to turn on their owners than any other breed.

The contrast between the Akita and pit bull communities is as stark as the difference between the respective records of violence of the two breeds. While the Akita community has proven to be cautious, frank and responsible, the pit bull community appears to live in denial and has a credibility problem.


The disconnect with reality is unbelievable. But what concerns me even more is that the disconnect is going to get even worse. There is a renewed push from top pit bull advocacy groups to "rehabilitate the image" of the pit bull and counter it's "bad rap" by ramping up the "education" campaigns.

That's right - instead of working to reduce the number of pit bulls dumped into the system by breeders, or holding pit bull owners accountable for attacks committed by their animals, they are just going to turn up the pit bull hype machine instead.

Instead of help for victims of pit bull violence, we're going to have to endure even more feel-good articles about how safe pit bulls are. More pit bulls will be pushed onto an unsuspecting public, and the pit bull death toll will continue to rise, even while the propaganda machine blares forth the message, ever louder and more frantically, that pit bulls are wonderful. War is peace. Black is white. Love is hate. It's 1984 all over again! Stand by for further announcements from the Ministry of pit bull Truth.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

I just saved my dogs life

Lucy says:

The pit bull across the street (a new one) darted across the street into my yard and started going after my Chihuahua and ran in side my house trying to catch her. I have this combo mace/alarm siren device and a knife I always carry on me. I deployed the siren, dropped the mace, opened up my knife. It was complete mayhem. Both of my daughters and my husband were trying to get the pitbull away from our Chihuahua. The pitbull then ran outside and the owner of the pitbull face planted on our driveway and was all bloodied from trying to get his pitbull under control. I stabbed it between the shoulder blades in the back, and it took off across the street back to his house with the bloody owner chasing it. I stood in the driveway and screamed at the top of my lungs. My husband told me to get into the house which I did. My girls came with me while my husband talked to the owner. I do believe that, this time, I was prepared. I managed to save my dogs life.
Roxanne, safe after the attack
Update: the owner of the Land shark that came into our house to attack our dog didn't know that I stabbed the beast until he read the police report today. He called the police to press charges against me and they said "Absolutely Not".

Update - the owner of the mauler that tried to kill Roxanne has concocted a story to peddle to social media:



 The all too predictable reaction from those eager to form a lynch mob:


Unfortunately this is quite typical after a pit bull goes on a killing spree. The pit bull owner paints himself and his mauler as victims, and spreads his own narrative. Lying comes to these people as easily as breathing comes to most of us. (Fortunately the post above was removed once the fraud was discovered - but the damage has been done)

The epidemic of pit bull violence against pets, livestock and companion animals is horrific, and getting worse every decade. Roxanne was blessed to have an owner who was ready and willing to defend her.

A close escape

The number of innocent animals mauled by pit bulls is simply heartbreaking. It's a welcome reprieve when a beloved animal companion survives such an attack. Here is one victim who survived.

It has been a year since my Yorkiepoo, Colette, was attacked by an unleashed bully breed dog. I'll never forget her screams while she was being attacked.




The attack was awful, but could have been much worse. I was walking my Yorkiepoo and Jack Russell terrier when two unleashed bully breeds (one American Bulldog and one Pit Bull) came at us. Luckily, the pit bull and my JRT just stood there, but the American Bulldog savagely attacked. I keep reminding myself that I was fortunate that Colette wasn't hurt worse (or killed), that the second dog didn't attack, that my JRT wasn't attacked and that my injuries were minimal. but it makes me hesitant to walk in a very nice neighborhood.

A recent picture of Colette.

Note - out of all canine attacks on animals, pit bulls appear to have committed no less than 95% of such attacks, an unprecedented level of violent aggression, but one which can be accounted for by the specific purposes for which pit bull type dogs were developed, and the specific resulting traits which define their genetic imperative.

See the study How many animals do pit bulls kill? for more information.