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

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