Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Right now at TJO we have a beautiful golden retriever 
that hospitalized a woman for three days. It was a severe attack.
Pam Peebles, TJO Foundation

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Revised: June 21, 2012; 10:53 EST
Pam Peebles, Exec. Director
Thomas J O'Connor Foundation
Springfield MA

The comment (headline above) following the mauling of a nine-year-old child by three pit bulls on the eleventh of June is a remarkable and sad coincidence.

In November 2011 SRUV published a series of posts to the MSPCA after Kara Holmquist, the MSPCA Director of Advocacy, commented on television that there was no difference between the aggressive tendencies of pit bulls and golden retrievers. In April of 2012 we posted three posts to the NH SPCA about their references to golden retrievers. In May of this year we published a post to the NM Animal Humane about similar comments they made following an epidemic of pit bull attacks in their state.

In a separate series of posts over the last three months SRUV has published 12 posts about the origins of the pit bull/golden retriever formula, which are indexed here.

Deflecting responsibility away from an attacking pit bull has become commonplace, but so far not one of these alleged attacks by a golden retriever has been verified. In 2011 pit bulls caused 23 human deaths, while golden retrievers caused none.

These unsupported claims cannot be left unchallenged. Anyone who claims that a golden retriever has caused serious injury must offer supporting evidence. Hospital or animal control records must be provided or we should assume the story is apocryphal, as 100% of the stories thus far have been.

If SRUV is provided with fair copies of either a verified hospital report or an animal control action report, we will gladly offer our apology to Ms Peebles. Otherwise, Ms Peebles' account of the attack by the golden retriever must be considered a fabrication.

Making false claims about golden retrievers is slanderous and is worthy of civil action by the Golden Retriever Club of America. Journalists who receive any such claims must treat them with skepticism and investigate them thoroughly. The AKC must lodge a complaint against Ms Peebles in defense of golden retrievers.

Humane shelters and animal control officers have been given a public charge and work on behalf of the citizens and our companion animals. We expect these officials to discharge their responsibilities with honesty and with dignity. A false charge by an officer of an animal shelter, in this case slandering an innocent breed while exonerating the attacking pit bull, should be grounds for dismissal.

The larger question is not the culpability of Ms Peebles, but why advocates of fighting breeds compulsively use the Hannover Formula to displace responsibility of attacks by pit bulls.

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Source: WUSA9, Fox6, Springfield: Pit Bull Attacks Raise Questions About Dog Breed

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