Sunday, September 24, 2017

35 years of tracking dog attacks

It's been 35 years since Merritt Clifton first began collecting data on serious dog attacks in North America. (For the background - and an update -  visit this link: why Merritt started tracking dog attacks)

Young victim of pit bull attack

In collecting the data, Merritt carefully noted pertinent information, such as the type of dog involved in an attack. There are insights to be gained from studying this collection of data, and public safety would be well served by spreading it far and wide, especially in light of the fact that the CDC abdicated their responsibility by inexplicably halting the collection of such data in 1998.


Pit bull attacked it's owner when she tried to put a sweater on it

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the gap continues to widen between violent attacks by pit bulls, and by all other dogs. The data accumulated over the past 5 years or so makes the trend very clear.

Serious dog attacks May 03 2012 - Sep 20 2017

The number of violent attacks and deaths by pit bulls over the past 5 years are significantly greater than those from all other dogs combined. Pit bulls have killed 7 times as many people as the next deadliest, the Rottweiler. Pit bull mixes come in third, followed by the Bullmastiff (which is part pit bull) while German Shepherds and Boxers are tied for fifth.

Fatality comparison by breed, 2012 - 2017

To those who claim that their pit bulls are of a "sweet" temperament, allow us to offer this excerpt from the report:  "Temperament, I must emphasize, is not the issue illustrated by the above data, nor is it relevant. What this data reveals is actuarial risk. If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull or a Rottweiler has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed––and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price."

Tacoma woman mauled by loose pit bulls in parking lot

The report from Sep 20 2017 can be downloaded here
The report from May 03 2012 can be downloaded here

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Dog, interrupted - by death and mayhem

South Carolina former Pit Bull owner speaks out bravely, following her own devastating realisation that Pit Bull control is an illusion, and that placing faith in a bloodsport dog very often means mayhem and death. In her own words:

"Here is a photo of my pitbull playing fetch with my Boston terrier, Nala. A year later Nala would be killed tragically by the same dog I raised from a pup that came as a rescue from a close friend.




Less than a month later she killed my cat who she was also raised with. I made the heart wrenching decision to have her put down because of the risk she could do it again and it could have been a child. It's a punch in the gut when you think your doing everything right to raise a balanced pitbull and they take your perception and flip it upside down.

Moral of the story...you never know you have one that will kill until it does. For people who say it's how they are raised they are full of excuses and lack any form of empathy for people who did let an adorable "pibble" into their lives."

Monday, June 5, 2017

No animal deserves to die this way

"No animal deserves to die this way. Baby boy, baby boy.. I don't know where to start but no words will describe the love I have and always will have for you.:( 




I was walking my dog on our usual route we have walked for years. We were just a few blocks away from home when 3 pit bulls came out of no where / escaped the kennel they were locked in and attacked him. Watching my entire world get fought over like a chew toy was the most traumatizing thing I have ever experinced. He looked right in to my eyes like he was begging me to get them off of him and I tried. I tried and tried and tried and I wish I would have tried harder because now he is gone and I don't know what to do. He didn't deserve it. He was the best dog I have ever owned. I still can not grasp that he is gone.. 

Rest in peace baby boy. I am not okay with out you right now. I wish I would have known it was our last walk."

Kayla


Tears for the innocent.

Link to news report

Monday, May 8, 2017

Yet another sweet, harmless dog mauled to death by a pit bull

Berkeley, California, May 2017.



Last night, she took a photograph of her sweet pet dog and herself together.
Then he was mauled and killed by a Pit Bull in his own yard. One moment, "we were so happy", and the next, heartbroken, bereaved and traumatised. This is the lasting legacy of Pit Bulls; the dog that is MEANT to kill other dogs, to enjoy it, or to die trying.

In the owner's words:

"As I sit here and try to understand today's events I cannot do anything but have a heavy heart.

@ 10:25 am I took my precious dog into my backyard to handle his business and he was attacked by a neighbors pit bull.
How that pit bull was able to come on my property is a mystery, however damages were done .

I yelled "get your dog before I shoot". 3 times I yelled this, dude broke down my fence to get his damn dog - he could not get his pit off my dog , he had to literally take a shovel and beat the shit out of his dog to get him to let mine go....
My dog bleeding and yelling, neighbor screaming they sorry, my dog bleeding more and yelping in pain .

Animal control did show up and took the pit to be put to sleep.
My dog lost his life in Berkeley, ca at the vets hospital, his wounds were so extensive ...



Now, I'm angry, mad, upset, sad and depressed, my daughter crying uncontrollably, she would not let me console her, she was mortified that our precious dog is now deceased because a fucking idiot did not secure his fence, knowing he was breeding pit bulls on his property.

Emotional damage this has caused my family is unconceivable.
He was family, he sleep with me every night, we played , laughed and had good times . Now he is a memory."

Now, he is a memory. 😭

Tears for the innocent 😢😢😢

This happens every single day in our communities. Let that sink in.


#wontbackdown

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