Sunday, September 29, 2013

Say It Again

On Sunday, September 22nd a 2-year old child was mauled to death in Gilbert, Arizona. On Monday the 23rd Samuel Eli Zamudio, also 2 years old, was mauled and killed in Colton, California. Then on Friday, September 27th, 5-year old Jordan Ryan was mauled to death in Baker City, Oregon.

These deaths bring to 19 the number of fatal dog attacks during calendar year 2013; 18 of the 19 deaths have been caused by pit bulls.

The fact of three fatal dog attacks within the space of six days establishes a new framework of horror; we have crossed a threshold in our relationship with pit bulls that cannot be ignored, and from which we will never return.

The circumstance that links each of the deaths this week, aside from the fact that all of the children were killed by pit bulls, is that each child was in the care of a babysitter or family member at the time of his death. This horrifying fact will make prosecutors reevaluate the liability of those who have the privilege and responsibility of caring for children.

Three deaths within a week should also make prosecutors question how much liability the parents must bear, for placing their children in the care of someone who exposes their child to such an extraordinary level of danger. The parents are ultimately responsible.

Three children may have been killed in the space of a single week, but that has not quieted the advocates of fighting breeds. Carla Hall of the Los Angeles Times has made a name for herself, and for The Times, by defending pit bulls following fatal attacks. In her mid-week editorial column Ms Hall claims:
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again -- a mauling by a pit bull is not an indictment of all pit bulls.

Experience proves otherwise, Ms Hall. Pit bulls are responsible for 95% of the fatal dog attacks this year. We may close our eyes as tightly as possible but the grossly disproportionate number of fatal pit bull attacks leaves nothing in doubt.

Following a week in which three children were killed by pit bulls your assertion sounds more like a desperate wish than a fact.

* * * * *

Pit bull that attacked Bay Area fireman twice is spared
   LA Times, September 27, 2013
Kindergartner dies after pit bull attack
   KTVB, September 27, 2013
Pit bulls kill toddler; pit bulls are killed
   LA Times (Carla Hall), September 25, 2013
Pit bulls kill toddler; Grandmother, uncle arrested
   The Sun (San Bernardino, CA), Sept 24, 2013
Little boy mauled by pit bulls in Gilbert, AZ, September 22, 2013

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