Monday, September 12, 2016

Serious dog attacks: 34 full years of data

In September of 1982, animal advocate Merritt Clifton first began logging and tracking disfiguring and fatal dog attacks on humans, collecting information on the type of attacking dog in each case, and the circumstances surrounding each attack.

Now, after 34 years, we are more well informed as a result of his undertaking, especially in the light of the CDC decision in 1998 to suddenly cease the collection or tracking of any data whatsoever pertaining to the attacking breed.

Despite this, and owing to the careful collection of such data by Merritt and other NGOs, it has become clear to anyone who examines that relevant data, that of all possible criteria to be considered in the question of dangerous dogs, the breed of dog is the single most significant determinant of risk, outweighing all other factors combined by a considerable ratio.

Prior to the 1980s, pit bull attacks were rare, as pit bulls were for the most part owned only by dog fighters. But during the 1980s, we began to see pit bulls cast as "victims" and re-branded as "family pets". The results have been bad for human victims, and absolutely disastrous for animal victims of pit bull violence.

The collected data reveals clear trends, including the fact that violence from pit bull outpaces all other breeds combined, and it has gotten worse over time. 

Before the 1980s, fatal dog attacks were extremely rare. Since then, during the period where pit bulls were still rare in normal communities, the numbers of attacks from pit bulls were growing, but the number of serious attacks from other breeds e.g. Rottweilers, were also of concern. After some 3 decades of relentless, extremely well financed pit bull advocacy, pit bulls are fairly common, and as a result, we are expected to accept the daily occurence of disfiguring and fatal pit bull attacks as the new normal.

Here are the top 5 offenders over the past 34 years, by breed:

Top 5 offenders by breed, 1982-2016

One significant trend is not immediately obvious from the 34 years of accumulated data, but if one looks strictly at the past 5 years, it appears with startling clarity. In terms of harm done to humans, pit bulls easily top this list, and Rottweilers are the 2nd breed. But a simple ranking does not convey the scope of the difference: over the past 5 years, pit bulls have committed 25 times as many serious attacks as Rottweilers, killed over 12 times as many people as Rottweilers, and permanently maimed over 34 times as many people as Rottweilers.

Here are the top 5 offenders over the past 5 years:

Top 5 offenders by breed, 2011-2016

One can't help but be alarmed at the fact that pit bulls continue to widen their lead over not only Rottweilers, but all other breeds combined.

And bear in mind that the problem of pit bull violence against animals is much, much worse - thousands of times worse. Watch this space for future reports on that unfortunate state of affairs.

The level of tolerance for purpose bred torturers in our communities is growing thin, despite the nonstop propaganda from the pit bull lobby, who are unwilling and/or unable to take responsibility for this growing problem, and at some point it's all going to blow up.

May you live in interesting times.

You may examine the full 34 year report here

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dog attack report - mid year 2016

Since this site last reported on serious dog attack cases at the beginning of the year, the vast majority of dog breeds have committed a grand total of zero disfiguring or fatal attacks on humans. Zero.

If only that were the whole story - but, as the discerning reader might well suspect, serious, life altering dog attacks have unfortunately continued.

In the first half of 2016 there were 484 serious attacks, 15 fatal attacks and one freak accident resulting in a death.

Of the 16 canine induced deaths in the US so far, 15 (94%) were attacks committed by pit bull type dogs or derivatives. The remaining death was an unfortunate incident where a dog picked up an unattended infant by the head, to move it, and the infant perished as a result of head injuries.

While the dog attacks continue, the eternal attempt to place the blame continues unabated. The pit bull advocates claim that breed has absolutely nothing to do with the risk of an attack, but when one simply looks at the data and considers all factors, one fact stands out in stark relief: Of all factors involved in disfiguring or fatal dog attacks, one factor towers so far above all others as to render them practically irrelevant, and that factor is the breed, or type, of attacking dog. To argue otherwise is to deny the obvious.

The Current citizen watchdog compiled report is available here
The animal people report as of 6/5/2016 is available here

Other resources -

Monday, January 4, 2016

Dog attack report - year end 2015

The serious dog attacks in North America and Canada for the year 2015 have been tallied by the hard working analysts at animals 24-7, and the results are presented here for your consideration. What with the availability of cell phone cameras everywhere, leading to more and better information, the trends we've seen have become more pronounced.

The bottom line: There are over 330 dog breeds which did not kill a single person last year. Of those few breeds that did, the vast majority of fatal attacks were committed by one particular type of dog, the pit bull.

This report covers the US and Canada, but the first fatal attack of 2016 served as a grim reminder that other countries have growing pit bull problems as well - including the UK, where pit bulls are ostensibly banned. However the loopholes and exemptions, along with selective enforcement, have effectively nullified the pit bull ban, thus facilitating the sort of horrific cases like the UK man who was attacked and mauled to death by his girlfriend's pit bull while suffering an epileptic seizure on new year's day. The full US report can be seen in the link below, which also provides some information on dog attacks in foreign countries.

Record 33 fatal pit bull attacks in 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

A dear little friend mauled to death

It breaks our heart to see this sort of thing, but the sad fact of the matter is that pit bulls and their owners are literally getting away with murder on a daily basis. This is a glimpse at just one tragedy among hundreds every day inflicted by purpose bred torturers which are being hyped as family pets.

"Last Friday the 24th, I went out into my garage to find a pit and another dog circling my car. I shooed them away with a push broom and watched their retreat. Several houses down, the pit bull reached down a lifted up the body of a lifeless cat. With no regard for my safety, I ran toward the pit and took the cat away from him. It was my little buddy Sly."

"7 years of companionship and love gone in the instant it took this mindless killer to grab and break his neck. I've enclosed 2 photos. 1 showing how much Sly was loved, the 2nd showing what can happen to our lives when 4 legged killing machines wander from neighborhood to neighborhood. Sly was loved and the pain still hurts."

Bob from Springdale, Arkansas

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dog attack report - 3Q 2015

In observance of pit bull awareness month, the stats on serious and fatal dog attacks in North America have been updated with the current figures as of 10/1/2015

The bottom line over the past 6 months is summarized in the pie charts below.

This pie chart illustrates the fact that pit bulls inflicted over 6 times as many serious injuries and disfigurements on human victims as all other breeds combined during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2015.

This pie chart illustrates that pit bulls inflicted over 93% (15 of 16) of the fatal dog attacks on human victims during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2015. That's 15 times as many fatal attacks as all other breeds combined.

You may view and download the full report here: Dog attack data - 3rd Qtr 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pit bull myths: "forced to fight"

From back in the days when I used to accept the pit bull propaganda with which we are all continually bombarded, one of the most sympathetic claims I can remember was that pit bulls deserved our pity because they were "forced to fight", an assertion typically presented along with some sort of disturbing dog fight imagery, or a picture of a pit bull that had been disfigured by another pit bull. Naturally, someone sympathetic to dogs, but knowing nothing about pit bulls specifically would surely be roused to action by such dramatic appeals. Typical of this type of propaganda are images of battle scarred pit bulls with especially smarmy, sentimental and anthropomorphizing captions:

This is the myth

If only it were true that pit bulls don't want to fight...

Reality: poor Garth had a pit bull for a neighbor

As any pit bull owner will readily admit to fellow pit bull fans, pit bulls are all too eager to fight. The real trick would be to somehow stop them from wanting to fight. But pit bulls engage harmless little dogs in one-sided fights every day, with heartbreaking results. 

Poor little "Soup" was one of the lucky ones

The following video (warning - if you have any compassion for animals you will find it quite disturbing) is typical of the sort of carnage that is occurring in our communities, as pit bulls do precisely what they were designed and bred to do:

Pit bull kills harmless dog while bystanders cower

Shortly after being "rescued" from Michael Vick's dog fighting operation, a "Vicktory" pit bull at the Best Friend's Animal Society chewed through 2 fences to attack and tear the head off of another dog, named Bean, who was kept there, before attacking another "Vicktory" pit bull, resulting in serious injuries.

That pit bulls have demonstrated an enormous appetite for the blood of harmless, non-threatening animals comes as no surprise to anyone who knows of the of centuries of breeding by the animal abusers of the old UK, in order to produce a type of dog that would eagerly, happily and relentlessly tear apart weaker or more vulnerable animals which posed absolutely no threat to them.

Ironically, now that dog fighting is outlawed (supposedly for humane reasons) the number of animals harmed by put bulls every year is at an all time high, which begs the question: what is the point of outlawing dog fighting while allowing these fighting dogs to proliferate?

So we now have this oversupply of "working dogs" whose "work" is now considered a crime, so long as it occurs in a formal setting. If 2 willing pit bulls are allowed to square off in the ring, it's a crime. But if a pit bull "goes to work" on an unwilling animal, tearing the victim apart, it's not a crime. How is that in any way humane?

Livestock and farm animals also suffer from the oversupply of "rescued" pit bulls. A rancher might discover a sheep missing one morning, and realize that there are hungry wolves or coyotes in the vicinity. That's an unfortunate incident, although one from which they can recover. But imagine coming home to your ranch, to find every last sheep tortured, mutilated, dead or dying; faces chewed off, legs broken, victims disemboweled in a heart breaking, gruesome tableau. Thanks to the abundance of pit bulls in the hands of owners who have no ability to contain them, this is happening all too often. 

Use your search engine of choice and you will find a seemingly endless number of savage mass killings of sheep, goats, alpacas and other animals by loose pit bulls. It's not that the pit bulls are hungry - it's the confident, well fed pit bulls that escape confinement, find a pasture full of helpless victims, and spend an agreeable afternoon mauling the terrified victims. Sadly, there is seldom any justice in these cases. Most often, the pit bulls continue to terrorize local animals, and the pit bull owner faces nothing more than a slap on the wrist in the form of a trivial fine for "unleashed dog" or "failure to vaccinate" - or perhaps, in an extreme case, a sternly worded post-it note, left on the pit bull owner's door.

Some are quick to claim that "any dog" could attack an animal, but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of serious attacks on animals are committed by pit bulls. The best estimates are that pit bulls were responsible for 96% to 99% of canine attacks on animals last year. Not only dogs, cats, rabbits etc, but sheep, goats, alpacas, pigs, miniature ponies, and other animals continue to be brutalized by "out of work" pit bulls. Tens of thousands of such attacks are committed every year, the majority of which are so severe that the victim does not survive.

The fact is, pit bulls are different because they were deliberately made different by the dog men of the old UK, over centuries of breeding for hair trigger aggression, relentless drive to attack, insensitivity to pain and injury, and for the compulsion to execute the killing bite, as sport. 

In closing, let me make one final point: All of the long time pit bull breeders/dog fighters I've ever heard from have been unanimous in the statements that they never, ever had to force a pit bull to fight. The only dogs "forced to fight" are the tens of thousands of normal dogs every year, dogs like poor Garth or poor little Soup, who are forced to fight for their lives in hopeless, one sided battles with "out of work" pit bulls, and most of whom die of their injuries. 

That is exactly what one would expect to happen when you outlaw "dog fighting", while continuing to breed fighting dogs.

In loving memory of Cowboy, Bandit and Sugar Butt

References -

Yard accident at best friends 'sanctuary', dog killed
Its a slaughterhouse out there

Pit bull home invasion killings
Heritability of Behavior in Abnormally Aggressive Dogs
Regarding pit bulls: the testimony of the experts
Forum: neighbor's pit bull attacked my dog
Forum: my dachshund violently killed by neighbors pitbull

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pit bull behavior: 3 distinctions

This post from a couple years ago has been updated and bumped to the top, as it has become increasingly relevant in the current climate. We see a surreal contrast between, on one hand, the daily toll of disfigured, maimed and mutilated pit bull victims, and on the other hand, the swarms of sociopathic pit bull promoters angrily attacking any news site reporting any news of pit bull attacks, bullying and threatening any who say a word about the pit bull problem.

As pit bull fans like to say, pit bulls are not like other dogs, and we must agree, but not for the reasons they would like. As a natural result of a long, bloody heritage, pit bulls have a set of behaviors and motor patterns which differ from other canines.

Pit bull attacks A/C officer

Those differences emerge often in the following notable pit bull behaviors:
  • Performing a remarkable escape in order to attack a victim.
  • Entering a stranger's house to torture and kill the animals living inside.
  • Unexpectedly mauling an owner or other family member.

How can we explain this? Do we chalk it up, as the pit bull promoters would have us do, to a problem exclusively of "bad owners"? How then do we explain so many kindly, loving pit bull owners like Darla Napora who have been suddenly betrayed and mauled by their well-treated and well-behaved pit bulls? No, we have to look at the genetic characteristics of the breed - this should be patently obvious. Only someone with a very specific agenda could deny the reality of breed-specific characteristics. Why do pit bull fans refuse to accept or understand the role of genetics in pit bull behavior?

Certainly, we can all agree that pit bulls are canines, along with wolves, coyotes, jackals and domestic dogs, which cover an incredible range of size, shape, temperament and behavior profile. If humans varied in size as much as different breeds of domestic dogs, then adult humans would range in height from about 2 feet tall to 33 feet tall - a remarkable variation!

One marvels at the flexibility of canine DNA, expressed in the sheer variety of characteristics for which domestic dogs have been bred - quite apart from size and shape, a remarkable variety of behavior and temperament is on display. From common ancestors have emerged dogs bred to point at birds, or to retrieve downed birds with soft mouth.

Shepherd types were bred to herd livestock, while the livestock guardians were bred for the complementary role of guarding and protecting livestock. Livestock guardians are remarkable to see in action. For hundreds of years they have had the job of acting independently to protect herds of livestock, using gradually escalated measures - only as much force as is required - to deal with any threat to the flock. Over the past several centuries they have capably performed a difficult role.

 The bull dog, on the other hand, was created and bred to torture livestock - as far back as 1500, sadistic britons watched bull dogs torture doomed bulls, and bear cubs were raised in Bear Gardens specifically to be tortured by bull dogs. After these barbaric practices were outlawed in 1835, the dog men, needing a new target for their sadism, decided that watching dogs kill other dogs in the fighting pit would be a worthwhile new pastime, and the pit fighting bull dog or "pit bull" was born. The early pit fighters found that mixing terrier with the bull dog made for a more energetic bull dog, creating a more relentless attacker, the pit bull/terrier mix, known as the "Staffordshire Terrier".

Dog fighters who brought their Staffordshire "pit bull" terriers to the new world renamed them "American Staffordshire Terriers" and to this day, a registered AmStaff can also be dual registered as an "American pit bull terrier".

There are a lot of names and nicknames for these purpose bred canines, and their derivatives (e.g. the American Bulldog). Perhaps in an attempt to disassociate these breeds from their bloody past, several new names have been given - some of them, like the "New Yorkie" or the "St Francis Terrier", did not stick, but other deceptively cute and harmless names like "Staffie" or "AmStaff" are in current use. (The deceptive labeling of pit bulls as other breeds by shelters is a subject for another blog post.)

Regardless of what new names are given them, these canine IEDs continue to make headlines  with bloody, violent surprise attacks on innocent animals (though only a small fraction of such attacks are ever reported) and to a lesser degree, on unsuspecting people - people who thought they knew these animals well.

Pit bulls are indeed special - but not in any sense that should be celebrated.

References -
Partial list of pit bull home invasion attacks

Should pit bulls be called "life flight dogs"?

Pit bulls allowed to abuse animals

Darwin attacks