Monday, March 17, 2014

My red nose pit bull

Velvet writes:  "I defended the breed. I always thought it was all in how they're raised. I had to learn the hard way when I put my loved ones in harms way. Never again"

Here's her story:

It all started about 10 years ago when I owned a red nose pit. We had gotten Coco when he was 6 weeks old, and he grew up with my small niece. They were always playing together and loved each other. He was a very loved and well socialized pet, and for nearly 4 years he was perfectly well behaved, with a wonderful temperament. Even when we would visit RV parks, people loved him

"Proof" that our pit bull was safe with children

 One day my niece came over and wanted to play, so we all went out into the fenced back yard. Coco and my niece were chasing each other, having a wonderful time as they had so often before. As I was attending to the gate, I heard her scream. I immediately struck the dog and was somehow able to grab my niece. She was bleeding badly from her face. We got to the hospital and as we was walking through the door she looked at me and said "Nana am I going to die?". It took everything I had not to cry in front if my baby. I told her no and handed her to the nurse. I hit my knees as they turned away. Not in a million years would I have guessed that big lovable baby would ever do that the the child he loved. Coco was put down, but not before leaving my niece scarred. There hasn't been a day go by that I don't regret not listening to my family when they tried to warn me about these dogs.

To top it off, last year my little 3 year old nephew was playing outside with
my 6 year old nephew when all of a sudden the neighbors pit came across the fence and attacked him, biting him in the back. It took my Dad and my 2 sisters to get the dog off of him. I consider myself fortunate to have both of them still alive and healthy.

Bite marks on my nephew's back

Sometimes I'm asked "What would it have taken to change my mind about pit bulls?" at a time when I was was so misinformed. "What could someone have said to you that would have made a difference?"

The fact is, nothing anybody could have said would have changed my mind.

From the start, I was determined that it was all in how they are raised. I believed that, and worse, I trusted those who fed me nanny dog myth. What hurt the most is that I trusted my dog, who I raised from a small puppy with love and affection, and I'd have never in a million years ever thought he would attack my niece. It's clear to me now that no matter what you do or how much you socialize a pit bull, it can turn in the blink of an eye.

Editor: Clearly, one cannot love away or train away the genetic characteristics of  purpose bred dogs. It's not about temperament or socialization. A pit bull can pass the ATTS with flying colors and then go home and viscously maul a 2 year old. It's the penchant for sudden, random, unpredictable violence that makes them such a risk.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dog attack report by breed - March 2014

Since publishing the 2013 end of year statistics for disfiguring and fatal dog attacks, we've seen a veritable full court press of frantic pro pit bull propaganda in the media. Unfortunately, disfiguring and fatal attacks have continued unabated, and, not surprisingly, pit bull type dogs are, this year, as last year, and so many previous years, the undisputed leader in the grisly race to claim the most deaths and injuries.

72 year old grandmother mauled by pit bull while gardening

At just over 2 months into 2014, pit bull type dogs have committed 100 serious attacks on humans. 76 of the attacks resulted in disfigurement and 6 of the attacks were so horrific that the victims died.

At the bottom of this page is a chart which lists the 5 most dangerous types of dog, based on the number of serious attacks on humans recorded in North America since 1982. One can see at a glance that pit bulls are the worst offenders, but because this information covers several decades, what isn't obvious is how much worse the pit bull problem has gotten in recent years. Despite - or perhaps because of - the millions of dollars poured into marketing the pit bull as a family pet, the number of horrific, violent attacks continues to rise, and hapless pit bull owners claim to be shocked each and every time.

In a little over a year since the December 2012 data was published, pit bulls have attacked many hundreds of human victims, claiming 40 lives, while attacks from other breeds have been relatively rare. For instance, during the period that pit bull type dogs mauled 40 human victims to death, the next most deadly type of dog, the Rottweiler, claimed 2 lives. The quantitative difference between the number of disfiguring and fatal attacks committed by pit bulls and those committed by all other breeds is telling. 

What's even worse, and something that is severely under-reported, is the level of pit bull violence against animals. Last year tens of thousands of innocent animals were cruelly killed by pit bulls. Dogs (including working seeing eye dogs and other service animals), cats, miniature ponies, goats, alpacas, baby seals and various types of birds were all slaughtered in the past year in numbers that shock most people. The adage "quantity has a quality all its own" takes on a certain ominous significance in this context. 

But it's difficult to blame the pit bulls for doing precisely what hundreds of years of purposeful breeding has given them the drive, the instinct and the inclination to do. The blame lies with those who promote them as safe family pets, spreading dangerous misinformation such as the nanny dog myth, and insisting that pit bulls are "just like any other dog". 

In 31 years there is not a single record of a fatal or disfiguring attack from an Irish Setter - good owner, bad owner, well trained, untrained, chained, not chained, it doesn't matter. Not a single fatal or disfiguring attack. Most dog breeds have a very low incidence of such attacks, such that they fall into the "once in a blue moon" or "freak accident" category. But an American is seriously injured by a pit bull every few hours on average. 

This data illustrates the illogical nature of anti BSL activism. We find the recent stealth anti-BSL politicking going on to be highly unsettling. It's been calculated that one is 2500 times more likely to be killed by a pit bull than by a labrador retriever, but proposed anti-BSL legislation seeks to make it a crime to differentiate between the two.

Top 5 offenders at a glance

The full March 8th report compiled by the animal people can be viewed here