Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Askin' Jackson

The owner was actually on this dog pounding it with his fist,
 trying to [make him] drop my dog.

* * * * * * *

Jackson died Sunday after being attacked by a pit bull in the hallway of his condominium on Rivertree Lane in Winston-Salem, where he lived with his human.  Jackson was a widely followed advice columnist, dispensing relationship advice on his Facebook page to fans across the US and in Europe.

Jackson was returning from a walk on Sunday at 1:30pm. The attack occurred when the neighbors across the hall opened their door to leave. Jackson died on the way to the emergency vet.

Forsyth County Animal Control did not take the pit bull into custody because it was not considered dangerous under current local and state laws.

North Carolina law states that a dog is not considered dangerous until it attacks a human. For the dog to be considered "dangerous," Jackson's owners would have to go to court.

The owner of the pit bull, Erica Reaves,  said Monday evening that the pit bull "is a good-hearted dog." Reaves said the dog gets along with people and nothing like this incident had happened before.

"It is unfortunate that some dogs don't like each other," Reaves said.

Reaves said her 19-month-old son was near the door when the attack occurred. The dog was protecting the boy when it attacked Jackson, she said.

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Compiled from various news sources, including

Sunday, April 24, 2011


On February 19th a 10-day old infant was killed by the family pit bull in Kalamazoo, MI.  On March 2nd the host of the local radio station interviewed Don Bauermeist​er, the Assist. City Attorney of Council Bluffs, IA, where he helped pass bsl legislation.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unsupported Rhetoric

Revised: Dec 23, 2012; 19:29 GMT

SRUV received a one-line email in response to a recent post. The message is reproduced in its entirety below, followed by our reply.

*  *  *  *  *

Your e-mails are unsupported rhetoric and I hope that responsible people just trash them.  I do.

Jane Doe
Associate Professor of Law
Animal Law Program
- - - - - - - - University

*  *  *  *  *

Hello Jane Doe,

We've been thinking about your use of the word responsible. We understand it is intended to humiliate us. Of greater interest is that you have made a defamatory comment about the people who, rather than trash our letters, find them of some interest.

The simple truth is, SRUV is a blog, not an academic paper.

Yet we make every effort not to talk down to our readers, or to call the views of our opponents trash. If you take our emails out of your trash bin you will notice that each of our major posts ends with an appeal for cooperation. For example:

Letter to the Animals & Society Institute:
"Perhaps ASI will serve as a beacon in this forthcoming discussion and lead all of us to a new perspective on public safety. Perhaps ASI will lead us to the realization that as animal advocates, we can fulfill our moral and ethical responsibilities as animal stewards by a wiser use of our resources, by directing our compassionate care to the animals who are often the victims of pit bull attacks, and by finally acting to diminish the number of those attacks."

The Future of the APBT:
"Millions of pet owners and tens of  thousands of attack victims, and their families, look to the UKC for responsible leadership on this issue."

Rescue and Relocation (the post which gave you such offense):
"Pit bull advocacy groups such as Bad Rap, Animal Farm, and others, who have unwittingly encouraged the proliferation of the breed, are positioned to lead this campaign."

 And so on. Your email was an attack on SRUV, not on our proposals. As  responsible readers we couldn't ignore it.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Good Neighbors

He didn't come through the gate, he came over the fence.

* * * * *

BAYARD, Iowa -- Jack Smith said he felt helpless as he watched his dog take its last breath.

"He was just something else. He's irreplaceable." said Smith.

The two were walking down the alley behind the Smith's home when the unthinkable happened; a pit bull living two houses down jumped the fence and attacked Jake.

"It had my dog by the neck. Thirty seconds, and the dog was dead," said Smith. "We had a tussle. I was afraid he would mutilate the dog, and I didn't want that."

Smith struggled with the pit bull for about five minutes, trying to free his lifeless dog. Smith said the pit bull bit his hands as he tried to grab Jake from the dog's mouth.

"This is probably what's so hard for me to take. I was right there and I could hear the bones cracking. It's different if you walk out and find your dog dead, but I was in the middle of it and I couldn't do a thing."

The pit bull is being quarantined for 10 days and then will be released back to its owner.

The owner of the pit bull declined a request for an on-camera interview, but called it an unfortunate situation for both families.

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Compiled from various sources, including KCCI8 Des Moines,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Letter to ASI: Pt 4

The literature on the role of pit bulls in dog bites and dog fatalities is considerable and, in toto, provides a strong critique of the policy of breed-specific legislation (e. g., Voith, Ingram, Mitsouras, & Irizarry, Comparison of Adoption Agency Breed Identification and DNA Breed Identification of Dogs, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 2009, 12, 3, 253-263).
   Kenneth Shapiro, Executive Director
   Animals and Society Institute, Inc.

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Dear Mr Shapiro,

The scope of this study (Voith, Ingram, et al) is narrow and does not consider dog bites, dog fatalities, or Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), as you suggest.

The purported subject of the paper, breed identification, is a gloss, and contains false logic and inconsequential arguments. The paper is a scant eleven pages, only half of which is explication. The sample base consisted of only twenty mixed breed shelter-adopted dogs, not one of which was predominantly a pit bull. The paper suggests there is confusion about the genetic makeup of (non-pit bull) mutts; well, so what?

In most academic fields scholars would refrain from citing such a paper, but that seems to be of little consequence to pit bull advocates. Voith, Ingram is cited by VanKavage (Fiscal Bite & Breed Discrimination: Utilizing Scientific Advances & Economic Tools in Lobbying, Mid Atlantic Animal Law) and is featured on this page at, a primary resource page for challenges to BSL.

The paper (or a version of it) is also cited by the ASPCA, the Animal Law Coalition, and the NCRC. It's heavily cited among less reputable web pages including,, as well as hundreds of similar sites. In fact, this paper is dredged up to lend academic credentials to pit bull advocates in almost any situation. It's therefore understandable that you would cite it, even though your use of it seems misplaced in the context of your reply.

What the paper in question does not say may be far more revealing than what it says. Mars Veterinary, the company that conducted the DNA analysis for this study (Voith, et al), responded to an unrelated inquiry as follows:
Due to the genetic diversity of this group, we cannot build a DNA profile for the Pitbull [sic]. Any Pitbull type breed tested using Wisdom Panel™ MX Mixed Breed Analysis is likely to reveal a combination of several breeds.
--- letter to the American Pit Bull Terrier Assoc. Inc. (NZ)

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Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, published by Animal People. To view or download the current PDF click here. This page may also include information from Dogsbite and Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Information on euthanasia rates is from Pit bulls and Political Recklessness, by Merritt Clifton. Shelter intake and euthanasia rates are published annually in the July/August edition of Animal People.


Thursday, April 14, 2011


Jesse Lorange and his Shih Tzu, Bailey, appear in this undated photo.

* * * * * *
People who live in a south-Ottawa apartment building are angry after a neighbour's pit bull attacked and killed a small dog -- while the 11-year-old owner watched in horror.

Jesse was taking Bailey for a stroll after school on Wednesday when he encountered a woman walking three dogs, including two pit bulls.

Suddenly one pit bull broke free from its leash and attacked, going for Bailey's throat. The Shih Tzu was dead moments later in what witnesses say was an unprovoked attack.  The 10-year-old American red nose pit bull, Tyrus, wasn't wearing a muzzle, in violation of provincial law.

The Ontario government issued a pit bull ban in 2005. The law prohibits breeding, importing or abandoning pit bulls in Ontario, and requires a muzzle for existing pit bulls when in public .

Charlie Mayer told us the dog belongs to his daughter. He also admitted to having a pit bull of his own, and said that the dogs had never behaved violently before. "In the past, it was very controllable," he said. Mayer now faces the possibility of eviction.

"I feel really weird, upset, complicated, confused," Jennifer Mayer said Thursday. "My hands are tied. If it was my choice, I'd be keeping my dog."

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Compiled from various news sources, including CTV OttawaCBC News, and the Toronto Sun.

Over, Under, Through

Revised: Dec 18, 2013; 22:20 GMT

Joshua Tate, 25, of Phelan holds one of two dogs that survived a pit bull attack where the pit bulls dug under a fence, entered the garage and forced opened the door to the kennel and killed Tate's dog last Friday in Phelan.
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OAK HILLS • Seth Tate, 19, arrived home recently to a sight that appalled him: his brother’s black Scottish Terrier dead on the garage floor.

The dog’s throat was ripped open, and two other pit bull-type dogs Tate recognized as belonging to his neighbors were hovering over the dead pet, according to Seth Tate's father, Dan Tate.

What was especially concerning to the Tate family was that the two pit bull-type dogs had apparently dug their way through a hole below their fence, made their way into the open garage and broke open the kennel that the terrier, Jax, had been locked inside.

Pam Hoffman, spokeswoman with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victor Valley station, said deputies responded to the incident around 5:10 p.m. Friday. They found the pit bulls next door covered in blood, she said.

But she noted sheriff’s officials will not get involved in animal attacks unless they find there to be a criminal element.

“Two pit bulls had dug under the fence and broke into a kennel and killed a dog at the location, but then we turned everything over to (San Bernardino County) Animal Control,” Hoffman said. “Viscious dogs are not criminal, unless we could prove that the owners knew that the animals were vicious and didn’t do anything about it — then we might be able to get criminal (charges) — but it’s pretty difficult.”

* * * * *
This article was originally published in the VV Daily Press.

Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, published by Animal People. To view or download the current PDF click here. This page may also include information from Dogsbite and Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Information on euthanasia rates is from Pit bulls and Political Recklessness, by Merritt Clifton. Shelter  intake and euthanasia rates are published annually in the July/August edition of Animal People.

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks in the US


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Clifton's Rules for Humane Rescue

The comments below from Merritt Clifton of Animal People News were previously posted as a correction to the SRUV post Rescue and Relocation.

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I noticed a few fairly significant factual errors.

For example,  humane relocation was a major & quite successful cottage industry for 15 years or more before the pit bull people got into it -- we spotlighted it in our March & April 1993 editions,  focusing first on the North Shore Animal League program & then on the breed rescue networks affiliated with AKC.

When the pit bull people did get into it,  some of the first were convicted scammers & dogfighters,  e.g. Mercedes & Cesar Cerda,  who went to prison in California.

Also,  pit bulls & their close mixes have accounted for about half of all the dogs killed in shelters nationwide since 2001,  not just in Los Angeles since 2007.

Best Friends posted & promoted the following item of mine in 2004,  but proceeded to ignore it themselves after Hurricane Katrina,  with the predictable outcomes.  They ended up having to sue one scammer who took a lot of their animals.


My ironclad rules for doing humane relocation safely are:

1)  Do not do business with non-sheltered rescues on the receiving end.  If an organization doesn't have isolation,  quarantine,  and clinic facilities of its own to handle any problems,  don't touch it with a 10-foot pole.  Just having a fostering network,  a vet,  and a day at PetsMart or Petco isn't good enough.  Such arrangements are very precarious and financially shaky if any real problems develop.

2)  Do not do business with any organization at either end that
     does not--
      a)  Have a published,  verifiable physical address,  with zoning that
           allows the presence of the animals.
      b)  Have a fixed-site telephone number.  Just a cell phone is
           not good enough.
      c)  Have 501(c)(3) status and file IRS Form 990 in a
           complete and timely manner,  whether or not it has
           enough income that it is legally required to do so.
     d)  Have a verifiable board of directors,  consisting
           of reputable persons.
     e)  Keep detailed, verifiable records of the destination
          and fate of every animal handled.

3)  Look out for the common scams.

4)  Always move animals with two drivers.  Shit happens,
     and when it does, having a backup person is essential.

These are not difficult standards for anyone who is half-assed serious about rescue to meet.  If people stringently observe them,  they won't have disasters.  If they don't,  they will join the legions of people we are hearing from who have been bilked out of hundreds of dogs,  dozens of cats,  and tens of thousands of dollars by dogfighters,  ordinary con artists,  hoarders,  and various other cruds who have somehow been persuasive in declaring their alleged good intentions.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Premack's 2nd Principle

In my view, the first time a breed kills a child — without extreme provocation — the breed should be eliminated. After all, there is no difficulty producing breeds that do not kill children. Indeed, breeds that do not kill children despite extreme provocation can be readily produced.

        David Premack

* * * * *

The comment above was originally posted
in reply to The Future of the APBT.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jack Russell

Judge Rules Pit Bull Not Dangerous After Attack in Pecos 4/5/11

Meron Berkson
CBS 7 News
April 5, 2011

PECOS - A decision has been made after a Pit Bull attacked and killed a Jack Russell Terrier at a Humane Society Mobile Care Unit in Pecos.

The owner of the Jack Russell filed a civil suit trying to get the Pit Bull euthanized claiming it was a “dangerous dog”. According to State law, a dog is considered dangerous if it attacks a human, not an animal. But the case of attacking another animal could be brought to a judge for further review.

After a neighbor’s testimony about the Pit Bull and Animal Control said the dog did not seem harmful in their care, the judge ruled that it was not a “dangerous dog” and ordered the owner to pay for the vet bills. The dog was returned to its owner.