Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunday Concert



Marianne Hamilton, co-chairwoman of Music in the Park, said onlookers described a frightening scene where the pit bull "had [the terrier] by the neck, shaking it back and forth."

* * * * * * * * * * * 

To: Los Gatos Mayor Joe Pirzynski
      Los Gatos Town Council

Dear Mayor Pirzynski,

I read of the recent dog attack at the Civic Center in the Mercury News with great interest.

On the same day a similar attack occurred in Seattle; a dachshund and its owner were pulled to the ground by an attacking pit bull.  Passersby came to their assistance.

In the Seattle incident the pit bull had been adopted out by "the pound." Whether this refers to the city animal shelter or a humane society is not yet known. I suspect the owner of the Los Gatos dog revealed a similar history, when he left a message on the Mayor's telephone the following morning. 

The number of rescued pit bulls which are claimed to be "rehabilitated" and then are adopted out as safe family dogs has become a national scandal.  Humane Societies and rescue organizations that place pit bulls in family homes are facing increased liability as the number of attacks increases.

Animal control at the local level is also accountable for the growing number of attacks. In neither the Los Gatos attack nor the Seattle attack were the dogs removed from their owners, and neither owner was cited. Often attacking dogs are returned to the owners without prejudice, and the victims are left with no recourse.

These are only two of the countless attacks that have occurred in recent days.  Many municipalities are unwilling or unable to pass Breed Specific Legislation. Stronger oversight of rescue organizations will become a necessity as the liability for dog attacks is spread across humane organizations and civic institutions.

* * * * *


Related posts:  Shock and AweEscape Artist

* * * * * * * * * * *

Compiled from various news sources including the Mercury News



Escape Artists: II


The pit bull owner, meanwhile, quietly exited the scene, but was chased across Main Street by other concert attendees and detained until a police officer could arrive. No arrest was made.

* * * * * * * * * * 

From various news sources including Mercury News


Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Michigan Comment


Revised: May 13, 2015; 17:23 GMT


(Note: This post has been deprecated; links may be invalid.)


The comment below was a response to Michigan (posted June 13, 2011).

Our policy is to avoid debate on these pages. In this case we are making an exception and will respond to Anonymous. The comment is posted below and our reply follows.

The comment function on SRUV was disabled entirely on December 31, 2011.

* * * * *


Anonymous said...
Do you understand the science behind the discontinuation of tracking dog bites by breed? The average person cannot identify the correct dog breed on site. The only way to tell beyond a doubt is through DNA testing. Are you also aware that BSL has NOT decreased the numbers of violent dog attacks. It has increased the legal costs in areas such as Denver that have killed dogs w/ registration papers showing they are NOT a "pitbull." Meanwhile Calgary CA has managed to create a system that has protected residents and they are well on their way to being a no kill area. They managed this through identifying dangerous dogs, holding irresponsible owners accountable, educating the public, and increasing the fines for not having pets (cats and dogs) registered. Rather than spend so much time and energy attacking a type of dog and ALL the people who own them why don't you preach about ways to solve ALL aggressive dog attacks. After all, when a bullet from a gun kills a person do we blame the gun or the person holding it?


* * * * * * * * * * 

After all, when a bullet from a gun kills a person do we blame the gun or the person holding it?
> > > Both, of course. Are you serious?

Do you understand the science behind the discontinuation of tracking dog bites by breed?
> > > What planet have you been on?  Dog bites are indeed still tracked by breed, as well as other relevant factors. See Statistics, below.

The average person cannot identify the correct dog breed on site. 
> > > > Where did you get that idea? Everyone I know can identify a pit bull. Can't you identify pit bulls?

Are you also aware that BSL has NOT decreased the numbers of violent dog attacks. 
> > > Oh Good Lord, you've been reading all the fantasy numbers dreamed up by Best Friends and AFF. Both groups are upfront about their agenda, which is to promote pit bulls, so it's understandable that their data is biased.  It's a peculiarity of pit bull advocates that they accept only the information that supports the opinions they already embrace. There's plenty of other information out there, if you look at sites other than pit advocacy sites.

They managed this through identifying dangerous dogs, holding irresponsible owners accountable, . .  
> > > > Pit advocates endorse dangerous dog legislation for a good reason: under DDL the pit bulls that bite are often released back to their owners without prejudice, and the victims are left with no recourse. Often the victims and their pets or livestock are unable to get compensation. You can see evidence of this any day of the week by looking at the news. Pit bull advocates love DD legislation so much that they even offer to assist communities in writing this legislation. Would this make sense in a sane world? Why would any community allow pit bull advocates to write their dangerous dog legislation?!

* * * * * * * * * *

One thing that's obvious to anyone reading pit bull blogs is that pit advocates always argue with a conviction that borders on the obsessive. It's a given that pit advocates believe their opponents have not read or don't understand the literature. That's why the obsession of trying to educate the opponent is emphasized, and why it's so irritating and patronizing.

We could reach a better understanding of our problems and how to resolve them if we could raise the level of discussion. That hasn't happened here. As we've mentioned elsewhere in these pages, pit advocates have a limited number or arguments, most of which are canned. It's easy to debate advocates of fighting breeds, but it's a meaningless exercise.

* * * * *
Statistics:
Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

2014 Year-end report of dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; January 3, 2015
32 years of logging fatal & disfiguring dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; September 27, 2014
How many other animals did pit bulls kill in 2014?
   Animals 24-7; January 27, 2015

This page may also include information from Dogsbite &Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks

2014 Dog Bite Related Fatalities on Daxton's Friends
Index of canine fatalities on Daxton's Friends

Definitions:
SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.





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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Natural Consequences


(Note: This post has been deprecated; links may be invalid.)


As sure as summer follows spring, when there is a string of pit bull attacks there will soon be a coordinated public relations campaign to rehabilitate the reputation of the "world's most maligned breed."

The public relations blizzard following the recent attacks on Javon Roberson, Emako MendozaMarcella GilbertRoy McSweeney, as well as countless other recent attacks, clearly establishes a pattern. The advocates would like to displace the news of pit bull attacks by filling every news cycle with stories that  ignore the reality of the attacks. By doing so they engage in a massive disinformation campaign, and thereby disgrace themselves.

* * * * *

The following "news" stories were all published concurrently with the attacks mentioned above.

Giving Pit Bulls a Better Image

The Nanny Dogs

Shelter Partners for Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dog

In San Diego Attack, Dogs Were Victims Too



Related Post:  Tool Box


* * * * *
Definitions:
SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" should be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.

Statistics:
Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

2014 Year-end report of dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; January 3, 2015
32 years of logging fatal & disfiguring dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; September 27, 2014
How many other animals did pit bulls kill in 2014?
   Animals 24-7; January 27, 2015

This page may also include information from Dogsbite &Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks

2014 Dog Bite Related Fatalities on Daxton's Friends
Index of canine fatalities on Daxton's Friends






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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gameness: III




“Thud, thud, thud, it sounded like hitting a bucket,” he said.

He hit the dog about two dozen times. He said he used all his strength with each swing.
After each blow, the dog would whimper and back off before charging Gilbert again.
Vorel said the dog sank its teeth into her thighs and shook its head back and forth.

“He was crazy. It seemed like a game for him. It was really weird. Even when I hit him, he didn't care.”
“There was blood everywhere. It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

Sean Vorel describing the attack on Marcella Gilbert. 
From various sources including the Omaha World-Herald






Monday, June 20, 2011

Shock and Awe



When pit bulls attack the responses expressed by owners fall into one of two categories. Many owners defend their dogs with explanations that, in essence, ignore the reality that has just transpired. Often the owners' explanations deflect the responsibility onto the victim of the attack, suggesting the victim is responsible. This bizarre response is thoroughly documented here.

The excerpts below, collected from recent news stories, are representative of a second kind of response. the stunned acknowledgement of a painful truth.

* * * * *

"It's crazy! He's never been like this before," she said. Her young granddaughter could be heard screaming in the background. "I don't know why he attacked him. He's never given him a problem. I don't know."
     from Father dies after attack by son's pit bull (now archived by Google News)

* * * * *

"I feel really weird, upset, complicated, confused. My hands are tied."

* * * * *

“Makes you wonder how you can raise a dog all the way from a puppy and love it and be in the house every day and what would make it turn on its owner.”
* * * * *

"He hasn't done this before."
    from Escape Artists

* * * * *

"I have an emergency. My dog has gone crazy. He's attacked both of us. I need an ambulance. Please, somebody come shoot this dog. . . . "
     from Family Pets

* * * * * 

These raw expressions suggest that the speakers have experienced a transformative experience. The speakers have experienced an unwelcome revelation that has destroyed an underpinning of their faith.

This phenomenon is repeated so often that SRUV is suggesting a term to define the experience: Sudden Acknowledgement Syndrome.

* * * * * * * * * *

Related post: Discredited sources




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gameness: II



* * * * * * * * * * 


For about 10 minutes the dog went from one window and door to the next, looking inside and hurling its body against the openings. It already had a lot of blood dripping from its mouth from Kamaria. It kept looking in at us and trying to get in. It was like he was possessed. It was like a nightmare.


* * * * * * * * * * 


Read the full post: Reasonable Doubt

News coverage of the berserking attack on Kamaria appeared in The Daily Record..


Monday, June 13, 2011

Michigan



(Note: This post has been deprecated; links may be invalid.)


To:  Rep Hugh Crawford
        Rep Tim Bledsoe
        Rep Sean McCann
          and hundreds of others

When Darius Tillman of Kalamazoo was slain by a pit bull in February Michigan was once again reminded of the horrors of pit bull attacks.

Michigan has a long history of violent pit bull attacks. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology published a report on pit bull maulings which analyzed six deaths in Wayne County, all of them attributed to pit bulls. That report is available, if you have the stomach for it, by clicking here.  It is evident from this report that the damage pit bulls inflict during a mauling is unlike that of any other dog.

The pit bill advocacy movement is well-connected and well funded.  When any community considers public safety measures regulating pit bulls,  advocates mount an overwhelming, coordinated attack. Michigan is at a particular disadvantage in protecting its citizens, because Kalamazoo is home to the United Kennel Club, the country's registry for the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Pit bull advocates clearly love their dogs and claim they are normal, affectionate dogs. This may indeed be true, until the moment they attack. Some pit bulls may never attack. Others may be normal, affectionate pets for years then suddenly, without warning or provocation, revert to their fighting heritage and attack their own human family. This has happened thousands of times, and owners continue to profess how wonderful their dogs are, until they attack, after which they express profound bafflement.

Those of us who study these patterns of pit bull behavior grow weary of witnessing the useless, avoidable carnage. It takes courageous politicians to withstand the avalanche of pit bull advocates, who target the politicians in important positions. Of course the vast majority of letters you receive will be from advocates defending the pit bull.

A similar distortion is also true in the media, as we witness from the recent coverage in the Detroit Free Press.  As usual the reporter interviewed pit bull advocates including the president of the American Pit Bull Terrier Association, who is kept busy defending their breed of obsession.

As we write this letter we received news that a 74 year old man lost both arms and suffered severe facial injuries yesterday  This is only one of many such attacks, all of which are preventable if those in positions of responsibility would only take action. We urge Mr Crawford and others to please move House Bill 4714 to a vote before the legislature.

 * * * * * * * * * *

Statistics:
Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

2014 Year-end report of dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; January 3, 2015
32 years of logging fatal & disfiguring dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; September 27, 2014
How many other animals did pit bulls kill in 2014?
   Animals 24-7; January 27, 2015

This page may also include information from Dogsbite &Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks

2014 Dog Bite Related Fatalities on Daxton's Friends
Index of canine fatalities on Daxton's Friends

Definitions:
SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.





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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gameness: I



Gameness is the ability to maintain the attack  . . .  despite ripped flesh, dehydration, exhaustion or broken bones.
          -- Wikipedia

* * * * * * * * * * 

          The dog may crawl, stagger, or drag himself toward the other dog as long as he doesn't stop or hesitate.  . . .


           In one well-known case, the owner of a dog demonstrated how courageous his dog was by cutting off each of her legs, one leg at a time, while she continued to drag herself to attack. . .  . The dog was lost, but her offspring were in high demand.

          -- Pit Bulls for Dummies, D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Premack's Second 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


* * * * *

This comment was originally posted in reply to The Future of the APBT. It is reprinted here with the permission of Dr Premack.

Also: Premack's Principle (Wikipedia)




* * * * *

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tool Box

Revised: Jan 25, 2013; 16:46 GMT

(Note: This is an outdated post and links may be invalid.)

Pit bull advocates are given to misstatement: pit bulls are commonly referred to as the world's most maligned breed.

This is hyperbole. Pit bulls enjoy the services of one of the world's largest and most sophisticated public relations machines, which is constantly burnishing their reputation. Advocacy groups employ staff attorneys, public relations staff, legislative lobbyists, and writers. Pit bulls enjoy the support and prestige of the most venerable humane institutions in the country, and the support of generous donors with deep pockets. They have a slick documentary movie, and TV shows about them. Best Friends, aided by a $240,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, has recently launched another campaign, Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dogs, to combat the perceived "media-driven bad reputation." Animal Farm Foundation has launched the I Am The Majority Project, despite the fact a majority of Americans do not want to live next door to a pit bull. The campaign in behalf of pit bulls may be the largest public relations campaign in behalf of any animal since Dumbo.

This effort presents a glaring contradiction: if pit bulls are as excellent as the advocates make them out to be, if the breed is really deserving of this investment of time and treasure, wouldn't it be self-evident to everyone? Would the campaign be necessary? The pit bull advocates have created a conundrum that turns back in on itself like Möbius strip.

The advocates obviously are investing in this campaign, which has continued without pause for years. Does this imply that there are problems the advocates have yet to overcome? And if there are problems, is the breed of obsession really deserving of all this expertise and effort?

We wonder at the motives for the campaign. Why would any animal welfare society or humane institution support the breed that is responsible for more human deaths than all other breeds combined?* Why would any respected institution promote public policy that is detrimental to the public safety?

* * * * * * * * * *

The following list represents a small fraction of the resources available for pit bull advocates.

Best Friends: Tools to Use

Animal Farm Foundation: Community Resources

Partners in Shelter Services: Materials, downloads, pit ed CAMPS, etc.

BSL News: Talking Points page.

Love-a-Bull: anti-BSL page

American Kennel Club: Government Relations Toolbox

ASPCA: BSL page

Humane Society of the US: Pit Bull Resources

Pit Bull Rescue Center: Anti-BSL resource page

Dog Holocaust:  MASSIVE page of resources

and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other advocacy blogs and websites. These efforts consume resources which are consequently denied to humane services for other breeds.

But there is another tool which every responsible pit bull owner should have:

 

This device is known variously as a "Break stick" or "Parting stick" and is widely available for sale on the web. It is inserted into the pit bull's mouth behind the molars and pressure is exerted upward against the palete. If you have one handy, and if you can manage it in the midst of a dogfight or attack on a human, it might be of help. It is the only known way to remove a pit bull from its victim. Electronic parting sticks are also available.


* * * * *
Notes:

* Statistics are from Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, published by Animal People. To view or download the current PDF click here.

Photo courtesy of Catchdog Release tool.


.

Escape artists

In 2011 SRUV published a series of posts highlighting pit bull owners who leave the scene after their dog attacks another dog, a horse, livestock, or a human. This was the first post of the series.
* * * * *

In a previous post (Petersham Meadows0 SRUV described an attack on a group of pregnant cows in a park in the United Kingdom. Included in that post is a video in which the dog owner is seen escaping in the final frames.

A little more than a week later and only a dozen miles away, a similar scene unfolded when a pit bull attacked a horse and rider on Epsom Downs.

On May 12th Sophie Harwin was riding Zoe Brooks' horse Dancer through the park on Epsom Downs when a bull terrier attacked. The attack began at 3:15 pm and lasted at least ten minutes. Dancer received wounds to the chest, foreleg elbow, and hindquarters.

Passerby Martin Hill, 51, explained how he "couldn't see the dog ever giving up." Hill was also attacked by the dog while assisting the rider.

The dog's owner was present throughout the attack. Ms Harwin felt "the owner clearly didn't care; he didn't even apologize." Mr Hill said the owner spoke only to say "He hasn't done this before." He then proceeded to get into his car and "speed off".

* * * * * * * *

Details of the attack on Dancer are from Horse and Hound



Friday, June 3, 2011

Child Endangerment: I




A Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety report obtained by the Kalamazoo Gazette under the state Freedom of Information Act shows that detectives sought charges of involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to animals against Darius’ 25-year-old mother, but the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office declined to authorize charges.

* * * * * * * * * * 


To: Carrie Klein, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney,
      Kalamazoo County
Re: Details of fatal mauling

I read the account by Rex Hall of the Kalamazoo Gazette in today's news with great interest.

The death of Darius Tillman is a tragic event that would seem to offer few lessons. The dog had not previously exhibited signs of aggression, was a family pet, and had been fed and cared for. The mother of the slain infant had not been negligent in her care of the dog or her child.

This and dozens of similar cases present difficult legal and moral issues for children's services and enforcement officers, and especially for the Prosecutor's Office. The decision of whether or not to bring charges against a mother who has lost an infant in such horrifying circumstances presents a dilemma that would trouble most minds. The same issues apply in the thousands of cases in which children in their own homes are attacked by family pit bulls, even though a death may not have occurred.

It is a normal human instinct to extend sympathy to the mother under such circumstances. It seems the most reasonable course of action is to accept the horror of this death, accept the dog's action as an aberration, and to allow the mother and her family to live with their pain.

Yet there are lessons to be learned from this tragedy, if we care to acknowledge them. There is overwhelming evidence that pit bulls are predisposed to sudden, violent, unprovoked attacks. For 500 years dog breeders have been selecting specific traits in this breed and all the love, care, and attention a family can bestow on a family pit bull does not obviate that heritage. A pit bull's unprovoked attack is not an aberration for the breed.

The only way to assure that tragedies like the death of Darius Tillman are avoided is to recognize that pit bulls are inherently dangerous, and to bring any pit bull into a family situation is an act of child endangerment. When this understanding of the pit bull is accepted the dilemma will be resolved.