Friday, July 8, 2011

Daily Camera

Revised: August 3, 2012, 04:41 GMT

To: Boulder Daily Camera Editorial Board
      Boulder City Council; Nederland Trustees

Not About the Breed (July 7) is signed by Clay Evans for "the Camera editorial board". This OP-ED piece is remarkable in several respects. The editorial board has apparently made the determination that pit bulls are not a public safety menace, despite the nine human deaths attributed to them already this year. But even more remarkable is that the editorial serves as a public rebuke to Michael O'Neill of Nederland, who was attacked without provocation on May 29th while on a hike.

Mr Evans writes Does it matter that the friendly dog happened to be a "pit bull"?  This is the first of many inaccuracies in Mr Evans' piece; the friendly dog that greeted Mr O'Neil prior to the pit bull's attack was a black lab, according to the Daily Camera's excellent coverage by Laura Snider (July 4).

Mr Evans' opinion piece is replete with inaccuracies.  One of his most egregious errors is the reference to  the ATTS (American Temperament Test), which pit bull advocates religiously referred to, and still do even though it has been discredited. The test was designed to measure aptitude for schutzhund and has been discredited here. In addition, Mr Evans cherry-picks statistics but fails to mention that pit bulls are accountable for over 60% of fatal maulings while comprising only 3.3% of the dog population.

Mr Evans lifts many of his phrases directly from pit bull advocacy sites, all of which are easily refuted. Evans closes his article with the argument favored by pit bull advocates: that the attacking dog was untrained and aggressive and is therefore not accountable. Evans makes this argument despite the fact that the dog had not previously demonstrated human aggression and was well-cared for.

Like many pit bull advocates, Clay Evans absolves the pit bull, blames the owner, and dismisses the horror of the pit bull attack. This essay by the Daily Camera editorial board must be retracted.

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