Interesting but tragic story here in CA about an elderly San Diego woman who had to have a leg amputated after being attacked by two pit bulls. The dogs, apparently crawled through a hole in a fence to gain access to the 75 year old woman’s backyard. The story says she was bitten all over, and that she could also lose her other leg and an arm.
This is nothing new. NBC News reports that over the space of four months last year, pit bulls killed two toddlers in San Benardino County. Both were “family dogs.” According to Dogsbite.org, there were 33 fatal dog attacks in the U.S. in 2010. Pit bulls accounted for 67% of the deaths. In the 6-year period from 2005 to 2010, rottweilers and pit bulls accounted for 71% of all recorded deaths (181).
“From 2005 to 2010, pit bulls killed 104 Americans, about one citizen every 21 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 25 Americans, about one citizen every 88 days.”
When it comes to dogbite incidents, pit bulls are at the top of the list in at least 20 states. Dogsbite.org reports that in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, “In June 2011, Severna Park Patch reported that from 2009 to 2010, there were 233 incidents involving pit bull attacks against people and dogs in Anne Arundel County. In that same period, the next closest breeds, German shepherds and Labs, caused just 93 incidents combined. Lt. Glenn Shanahan of Anne Arundel County Animal Control said that pit bulls lead all other breeds in the county by at least two to one when it comes to attacks over the last five years. “The numbers say what they say. We’re not making it up,” Shanahan said. “It’s demonstrably overwhelming.” Officials said that pit bulls are also more frequently labeled “dangerous.”‘
Here’s an idea. You want a pit bull or a rottweiler? Fine. You can have one, provided you take the time and trouble to pass a dog owner’s training course and pay for a special license, just as though you were licensing a gun. Potential pit bull owners should also be required to provide proof of a substantial amount of liability insurance. That alone would dissuade some from the desire to own a dog from hell. Either that, or let everybody carry a gun so that we can defend ourselves on our evening walks through the neighborhood when Cujo decides to attack.
That’s what these dogs were originally bred for. Attacking. Not hunting, not herding, not companionship. Attacking. The original bulldogs, tough though they were, were not aggressive enough for some so they cross-bred bulldogs with the more aggressive terrier and arrived at the pit bull, which got its name from the “sport” of “bullbaiting” in 16th Century England. This so called “sport” involved staking a bull to a given spot so that it was partially immobilized and then siccing one or two pit bulls on it until it was either exhausted from the battle or dead. That was followed by “bearbaiting.” When bullbaiting and bearbaiting were outlawed in 1835, sadists turned to setting the dogs on one another in dogfights. All the while unscrupulous breeders worked to improve the breed by making it a more effective weapon.
Which brings us to the modern pitt bull, and its numerous variations.
I know, I know, it’s not the dog’s fault, it’s the owners who are ultimately negligent for failing to control their animals. We’ve all listened to that blather for years. All the while, I don’t recall anyone having their leg or arm bitten off by a lab or schnauzer. Why do you suppose that’s the case? Could it be that too many people are buying these potentially deadly dogs in an attempt to be macho, or because they feel a need for protection and only later learn they can’t control the animal? Of course that’s what’s happening. And the dogs are responding by racking up a record of attacking innocent humans. Not to mention other dogs.
There are more than 150 dog breeds registered with the American Kennel Club. Get something else.