Wednesday, February 13, 2013

U of IL & Pit Bulls: II

[This post is archived and is no longer supported. 07/06/15]

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San Jose Police Department raided two homes owned by Hell’s Angels motorcycle-club members and killed three dogs.
The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters [p.12]

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A lie of omission is an intentional failure to tell the truth in a situation requiring disclosure.

Also known as a Continuing Misrepresentation, a lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception. 

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Revised: Feb 20, 2013; 19:29 GMT

The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters [PDRIE], as mentioned in the previous post,  is funded by NCRC, authored by five advocates of fighting breeds, published by the University of Illinois,  and is widely used as a training manual for police.

On page eleven of the book the authors refer to a 2006 NYC case in which police officers fired 26 shots at a dog, ultimately killing it. On page twelve the authors refer to a precedent-setting case in which the city of San Jose and several surrounding communities raided two houses belonging to members of Hell's Angels in support of a murder investigation. In this case three dogs were killed.

Both cases are used to illustrate the excessive and inappropriate use of force by police. But in both cases the authors neglect to reveal information which is essential to understanding the officers' actions. It is necessary to visit the news archives from 2006 to learn about the NYC incident, in which a pit bull had "locked its jaws around [an] officer’s leg." In the San Jose case we must look at the court records to learn that the dogs were all essentially junkyard dogs, were described as "Bullmastiff" types, and were in the act of attacking when they were shot.

The authors have established a pattern of omitting relevant information when it is unflattering to pit bulls and fighting breeds, or when it explains the officers' use of force. This pattern of deceit by omission permeates the book and is a disservice to the police officers who read it for guidance.

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A cursory glance at current news of dog attacks illustrates why officers often resort to lethal force when confronted with a pit bull. In a recent incident in Salisbury, PA (see below) two residents were cut up in a 'Cujo-like' attack. The pit bull then attacked Oreo, a 25-pound cockapoo owned by Tammie Jesperger.
For 40 minutes, Jesperger [and her 73-year old father Bill Tittel] wrestled with the pit bull. At one point, Jesperger pulled a plastic stake from the front-yard solar lights and stuck the stake in the pit bull's mouth, momentarily freeing the cockapoo. Jesperger ran for the house, but the pit bull chased her down.
"He had my dog by the throat and wouldn't let him go. I poked his eyes. He didn't even budge. He just wanted to kill my dog."
"The dog was shot five times, three times with a .22 [rifle] and twice with a shotgun," Jesperger said. "He went after the cop and the cop shot it five times because it just wouldn't die. It was like a Cujo."
"The pit bull ripped my dog's throat open. I thought I was in a bloody nightmare."
Stories similar to this, which demonstrate the necessity of lethal force by officers of the law when confronting fighting breeds, are all too plentiful on the web. In one attack (see below) a single dog "savaged" five responding officers; some of the injuries were described as life-altering. Yet, the authors of PDRIE are insistent in their demand that pit bulls are not to be considered different from other breeds.

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Is a section titled "Assessing the Risk" the authors write the following:
Most dogs happily greet a new human. Some will be so enthusiastic about greeting that they will do this at a full run and then launch themselves at the officer. Absent any of the warning signals described below, an approaching dog is almost always friendly.
PDRIE, p.21
Full run? Launch? This is crazy talk when considering pit bulls. It is common knowledge that fighting breeds do not signal their attack by offering the "warning signals" the authors refer to in the excerpt above.

In this passage and elsewhere in PDRIE the authors would have us believe that the use of lethal force against pit bulls by police is unwarranted and is the result of inadequate training. In our opinion, officers who want to have a long, healthy, productive career, or who have families that need them, would be prudent to ignore the teachings of these five advocates of fighting breeds.

And the University of Illinois and the Police Training Institute must reconsider their connection to this manual and its authors, at least one of whom is an instructor on the PTI staff.

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This is the second in a series of four posts on the University of Illinois and fighting breeds. To see the index of all posts on this subject click here.

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The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters (View or download here)
The Myths of Multicaninism (Barbara Kay. National Post; Oct 24, 2012)
Hells Angels get $990,000 for dead dogs (Overlawyered)
Officer kills pit bull after attack (Morning Call, Feb 5, 2013)
4 Officers Hurt as Police Fire 26 Shots to kill dog (NY Times, July 24, 2006)
Pit bull owner jailed after five officers savaged  (BBC, Jan 21, 2013)

IGPA (Institute of Government & Public Affairs)
CPSJ (Center for Public Safety and Justice)
RICP (Regional Institute for Community Policing)
PTI (Police Training Institute)
COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services)

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

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.