Friday, January 2, 2015

Dog attack report - 2014 year end

As the last of the year end reports rolled in, the record keepers have published the final 2014 update of the report on dog attacks, by breed. In a continuing trend well known to those who are paying attention to such details, pit bull type dogs have dominated the grisly contest as never before.

Savage pit bull attack on 6 year old  Zainabou Drame

During the entire history of the US up until the 1980s, fatal dog attacks were exceedingly rare. Years would pass with no incidents. But beginning in the 1980s, when pit bulls began to be aggressively pushed as family pets, fatal and disfiguring dog attacks on humans have been rising dramatically. In looking at the data, one makes the remarkable discovery that, if one could somehow remove pit bull attacks from the equation, we would be back to a 1960s level of dog attack related fatalities.

Zainabou Drame, 6 months after the attack

This of course flies in the face of the nonsensical mantra spouted by pit bull supporters that breed is not a factor. What is eminently clear to anyone who takes even a casual glance is that breed is by far the most significant determinant of risk.

A bloody aftermath: how much is enough?

It is an oft-repeated myth that pit bull attacks are a result of thugs, drug dealers and dog fighters mistreating these poor, misunderstood dogs, and "training" them to attack. So, just to be completely clear, we'll reiterate that the report does not include attacks by any dogs falling into that category:

"Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs, and dogs trained specifically to fight" are excluded.

A look at the individual cases makes it alarmingly clear that the majority of pit bull attacks on humans are from well-treated "family pit bulls" - and in most cases, as a sudden, prolonged and relentless surprise attack.

Rest in peace dear one

In the month of December, 41 people suffered serious attacks by pit bulls, 22 were maimed or disfigured for life, and 2 were mauled to death. One of those deaths was a Christmas day mauling by a well treated, loved and trusted pit bull in what has been called yet another "freak accident". I always thought of a freak accident as something which happens rarely if ever. For example, if a man were somehow killed by his Irish Setter, that would be a freak accident.  Sadly, pit bull attacks do not fall into that category, as Americans are suffering serious or fatal pit bull attacks daily, and proud pit bull owners and rescuers continue to be killed by their beloved pets. 

There was one other fatality in December, from a Rottweiler. There were no serious attacks by any of the other breeds listed in the top 5.

Animal lovers note - as bad as the toll of pit bull violence against humans may be, the horrific violence visited by it bulls upon defenseless animals is orders of magnitude worse in terms of sheer numbers. One can get an idea of the scope of the problem here: How many animals did pit bulls kill last year? Victims like this poor horse are numerous:

The full report which tallies the North American dog attacks by breed on humans since 1982 can be read in full here: Dog attack report 20141231


  1. Such is the sad level of American see no evil of pit bulls. Indeed such denial after clear evidence to the contrary can only be explained by severe intellectual deficits or emotional disturbances.
    A dog is not human. A dog can kill and it is really a question of just stopping the breeding of the monsters.

    1. Not just stopping the breeding, but also banning. It's just not worth the risk. Pit Bulls are already banned in Germany, Denmark, Italy and France as well as in many other locations.

  2. I never knew a type of dog could be so deadly. I knew there were some that was violent but never would I imagined what they have been doing for the last few decades. Something needs to be done about this very well known problem to stop the insanity they are inflicting on humans and other animals. How can people let the love of an animal cloud the fact that it can kill them or someone else?

    1. There's quite a few answers to your question.

      The sad truth is, there are people who work very hard to keep the danger of pit bulls a secret. This started around the late 70s-early 80s, when bloodsport became a felony all across the United States. Pit bulls were made for nothing but bloodsport, so the dogmen (dogfighters) gave themselves extra cover by saying pit bulls were REALLY GOOD pets, just misunderstood.

      By this time, pets (as opposed to utility animals) had been a thing for a couple decades. Pet stores focused on increasing sales, which involved playing with sentiment to make us feel our pets "deserve" expensive things when really, they're just fine with normal things. Dogs are the most easily anthropomorphized pet--perhaps the most easily anthropomorphized animal--so the pet industry focuses on them. So when the dogmen came forward and said pit bulls were misunderstood and forced to fight, America believed them.
      Along the way pit bulls have risen above all other animals as this celestial being that can do no wrong...since then it's snowballed into this HUGE fortress with us "haters" (people against pit bulls) hitting a corner with our swords and hammers, and largely not being listened to. But there have been little steps, and bit by bit our voices are being heard.

      This fortress I refer to is too extensive to talk about in one post. The short response to your question is money (the pet industry) and ego (even if a pit bull owner is nice, they get a smug trip out of owning an animal that scares people, for a very good reason).

  3. It don't matter if it was a pit bull any kind of dog can be trained to kill. If you ban one why not all. Ban people they kill too. I have 4 pits and they are great dogs. It is how you train them. Not all pits kill and not all people kill either.

    1. LOL, why is it you people always start talking about bans?

      Of course breed matters. Saying it doesn't matter is like saying it doesn't matter if you eat poison mushrooms, because any kind of mushroom can be poisoned.

      As for pit being "great dogs" I know a number of people who each thought exactly the same as you do. Until their well-treated pit bull launched an all out surprise attack.

      You say that it's how you train them, but the facts say different. It's how you contain them that matters.

      It may be that not every pit is guaranteed to kill, but that's the thing about unpredictability, isn't it? You also can't guarantee that any particular pit bull won't kill. Maybe you'll continue to be lucky - and maybe you won't.

      But the thing you're not grasping is that genetics matter. These dogs come from the breed specially designed to torture animals for sport. Is it any wonder, then, that pit bulls maim and kill so many innocent animals today?

      You can pretend that genetics don't matter, and that pit bulls are just like any dog, but you're only fooling yourself.


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