Monday, September 3, 2012

Pit Bulls Don't Exist

Revised: Sept 03, 2012; 20:21 GMT
Revised: Sept 11, 2012; 15:57 GMT

There is not a definition of pit bull, you don’t know what the dog is because there is no such thing as a pit bull.
Lesa Hoover, Attorney and vice president of government affairs
Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington

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Dear Kate Alexander,

We are writing to correct several misrepresentations in your recent article, Experts say 'pit bulls' don't exist  (Washington Post, Aug 28).

The sentence at the top of this page includes several errors. Accurate definitions of pit bulls do exist. Over 350 municipalities are currently protected with Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Most (if not all) of these ordinances include language which defines pit bulls, and many of these definitions have withstood court challenges. Numerous legal precedents include definitions of pit bulls, which Ms Hoover can find in our post Jabberwocky.

Another expert (Susan Reaver of Pits and Rotts for Life Rescue Inc) repeats the claim:
Unfortunately, they don’t realize that there is no such thing as a purebred pit bull.
Advocates of fighting breeds have  worked assiduously to confuse the issue of pit bull identification, but the United Kennel Club (UKC) would disagree with Ms Reaver. The UKC makes vast sums registering American Pit Bull Terriers. The American Kennel Club (AKC) also registers pit bulls, under the name American Staffordshire Terrier, as proven by the fact that numerous breeders cross-register the same dog in both clubs. Dogs with dual registration, as American Pit Bull Terriers from the UKC and American Staffordshire Terriers from the AKC, are highly prized.

The fact that crossbreeding exists among dogmen and backyard breeders of pit bulls is so common it is hardly worth mentioning; these crossbreeds represent the true fighting dogs. Perhaps we should give the last word on what to call these fighting dogs to the men and women who breed, crossbreed, and often fight them. Dogmen call these crossbreeds pit bulls and sometimes, bulldogs.

Your article claims to present the wisdom of experts, a word which often appears in the title of pit bull journalism.1  We have noticed that many of the experts who are quoted are simply self-appointed advocates of fighting breeds, who gull the journalists into presenting their views.


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1 See also Delise's Dark Shadows

Experts say pit bulls don't exist

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