Thursday, February 7, 2013


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

If you are bashing a person who has done a lot of work to make animal welfare an issue no longer sitting on the back burner for politicians, then you are sending your hate-mail to the wrong person. I have worked with, trained with and highly respect Ledy. Not to mention I too am an advocate for the most exploited and abused animal in the US. The Pit Bull. I am also the proud owner of one.
Do not send me any further hate filled emails.
* * * * *
Revised: Feb 8. 2013; 16:58 GMT

We received the letter above from Chelsea Angelo, the animal control warden for the city of Urbana, Illinois. The hate mail to which she refers is our previous post, Champaign. We are at a loss to find expressions of hate in the post, but Ms Angelo and other pit bull advocates are given to dismissing opponents, those of us who advocate for public safety restrictions on pit bulls, as haters.

Ms Angelo's response is something we would expect to find in the pit bull chat rooms, where irrational, inflammatory language is common. But Ms Angelo's letter raises alarms for more significant reasons; she holds a position of authority for the city of Urbana. This officer instructs the police forces of Champaign and Urbana about dangerous dogs but apparently fails to recognize the most dangerous type of dog. The mentor to whom she refers, Ledy VanKavage, is an instructor at the Police Training Institute in Urbana. Pit bull advocates with extreme views, like Ms Angelo and Ms VanKavage, do not possess the objectivity and judgement necessary to train officers how to handle situations which involve fighting breeds. They do not acknowledge that pit bulls are different from any other dog.

* * * * *

Of the 38 canine homicides of humans in the US in 2012, pit bulls, which comprise roughly five percent of the dog population, caused 23 (over 60%) of the deaths. That amounts to one pit bull canine homicide every sixteen days. This figure far surpasses the total canine homicides of all other breeds combined [see details below]. Every pit bull owner who enjoys a a successful, uneventful life with their dog makes the disastrous mistake of thinking all pit bulls are like their own; they fail to look at the overall picture. And these advocates fail to recognize that it is impossible to predict the idiopathic aggression which pit bulls are subject to.

* * * * *

In our previous post we mentioned the role Ms VanKavage played in rescinding Topeka's Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), which led to the recent tragic death of a two-year-old child. Earlier last fall Ms VanKavage experienced a major setback when the citizens of Miami-Dade County voted overwhelmingly to retain their BSL, despite her efforts to rescind it. Her miscalculation in Florida resulted in an expensive, humiliating defeat for herself and for her employer, BestFriends.

Numerous recent news accounts of pit bull attacks on police K-9s and their handlers, as well as on other officers (see Google news links below) illustrate just how prevalent these attacks have become. Further, these accounts prove that lethal force is often required to stop the attacks. Ms VanKavage would impose unnecessary burdens on officers, making it difficult for them to effectively stop pit bull attacks.

* * * * *
Champaign police will train to deal with dogs, (News-Gazette, Feb 3, 2013)
Dog fatally shot by police officer, (News-Gazette, Nov 17, 2012)

Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 32+ 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.