Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Doubling Down

The Los Angeles Times has published three opinions concerning pit bulls in the last 26 years. In August of 1987 the Times Editorial Board called for Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) banning pit bulls, even before the term BSL existed.

Twenty-six years later, on August 8, 2013, following two fatal pit bull attacks in Southern California in 2013, the Times' editors reversed direction and published an opinion defending pit bulls. This act of journalistic contempt followed a half-dozen other recent articles by Times' editors which promoted pit bulls.

Two months later, on October 11, 2013, the Times published an opinion which attacked the Supervisors of Riverside County. This opinion came after the Supervisors voted unanimously to mandate sterilization of pit bulls on a limited basis in unincorporated areas of Riverside County.

The October 11th opinion came 18 days after the third fatal pit bull attack in Southern California in 2013, in which 2-year old Samuel Eli Zamudio was killed in San Bernardino County. The opinion page editors have steadfastly ignored the fatal pit bull attack on Samuel Zamudio.1

There have been twenty fatal dog attacks in the US in calendar year 2013; pit bulls have committed nineteen of the twenty attacks. The LA Times' advocacy of pit bulls seems compulsive, even obsessive, given their legacy of pain and grief.

Doubtless the editors are dedicated to animal welfare. But many of us who are equally dedicated find the LA Times' obsessive advocacy of fighting breeds, including their senseless, unnecessary attack on the Riverside Board of Supervisors, incomprehensible. It is beyond understanding.

* * * * *

1 The October 11th opinion opens with the following line: After several recent, highly publicized pit bull attacks on people in Southern California, two of which were fatal, . . .  Our post Factchecking the LA Times (October 4, 2013, which was sent to all the members of the editorial board) lists all five 2013 fatal pit bull attacks in California, including the three in Southern California.

LA Times Opinions (signed by Editorial Board):
Why target pit bulls?
   (Opinion by the LA Times Editorial Board, October 11, 2013)
Are pit bulls a menace?
   (Opinion by the LA Times Editorial Board, August 8, 2013)
Biting back at pit bulls
  (Opinion by the LA Times Editorial Board, August 25, 1987)

Recent LA Times Editorials:
Michael Vick's prize pit bull, and how he became a loving pet
   LA Times, Carla Hall, July 10, 2013
Where my dog's at
   LA Times, Jessica Naziri, May 19, 2013
Hey haters, people love dogs
   LA Times, Alexandra Le Tellier, May 17, 2013
LA County's Dilemma
   LA Times, Carla Hall, May 16, 2013
The Gift of a great dog
   LA Times, Meghan Daum, May 16, 2013
Pit bulls in trouble again
    LA Times, Carla Hall, May 10, 2013

Woman recovering from pit bull attack in Riverside County
    LA Times, August 13, 2013
LA County beefs up response to vicious dogs
    LA Times, June 25, 2013

Related Posts:
Hotel California (Index of SRUV posts on California)
California Timeline (Recent pit bull attacks in California)

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