Monday, February 11, 2013

U of IL & Pit Bulls

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

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Nor does [this guide] directly address public policy issues (such as dog-breed discrimination)
The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters [p.5]

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The booklet (hereinafter PDRIE) was developed under the auspices of the University of Illinois Center for Public Safety and Justice, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and made possible by a grant from the National Canine Research Council. The book is available from the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and is widely distributed. Following the introductory disclaimer about breed discrimination (above), PDRIE does refer to breed discrimination both explicitly and implicitly.

Four of the five authors of the book are founders or employees of pit bull advocacy groups. Ms Delise founded the NCRC, the single-purpose supplier of pit bull advocacy data. Ms VanKavage was the National Manager of  Pit Bull Terrier Initiatives for Best Friends Animal Society. The protective shield these five authors establish around pit bulls amounts to a form of reverse breed discrimination; a discrimination which favors pit bulls over their victims. The book is suffused with pit bull advocacy.

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Dog attack statistics are a particular problem for advocates of pit bulls, so great effort is expended in ignoring and discrediting the available data. Early in Chapter One the authors claim:
There is no national system in the United States for tallying reports of dog bites. [PDRIE p.8]
While there is no federal dog bite registry, there clearly is a national database of dog attack statistics. Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, is a compilation of the most serious dog attacks over the last thirty years. It is the only ongoing, continuously updated, authoritative statistical report of dog attacks, and thus is a favorite target of pit bull advocates. Another valuable source is Fatal Pit Bull Attacks, a heart-breaking calendar of canine-homicides. [see below for both]. Advocates of fighting breeds steadfastly refuse to acknowledge either; they would be forced to confront some unpleasant facts about pit bulls.

Any guide to policing and dog attacks is incomplete without inclusion of these two sources.

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The dissembling begins early in the book. The first sentence of Chapter 1 makes the following claim:
. . . no particular breed is more likely to be responsible for serious bites [PDRIE p.7] 
Of the 38 canine homicides of humans in the US in 2012, pit bulls, which comprise at most six 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].

According to a recent story in the National Post:
. . . . Pit bulls have represented half the total actuarial risk for injury since 1982. . . . Since 1851, in any given 10-year period, pit bulls alone have accounted for more than half of all fatal dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada, even though for most of that time they represented less than 1% of the dog population. [Kay, see below]
Advocates of pit bulls deny that these dogs are more aggressive than other breeds. Dismissal of the direct evidence can be found everywhere on the web, but is unforgiveable in a book used to train police officers, who often meet these dogs in the line of duty.

PDRIE is ostensibly a training manual for law enforcement officers, but a close reading reveals its real  purpose: to protect dangerous dogs at the expense of the officers and public safety. This book reflects poorly on the University of Illinois.

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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)

IGPA (Institute of Government & Public Affairs)
CPSJ (Center for Public Safety and Justice)
RICP (Regional Institute for Community Policing)
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 a 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.