Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Huffpost Media Blitz

Revised: April 23, 2014; 14:23 GMT

To: Alissa Scheller, Associate Infographics Editor, Huffington Post
Re: Pit bulls are just about the nicest dogs there are

Your infographic is very appealing, but unfortunately it is dead wrong. Here's why.

Your chart is based on information from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS). The text on your infographic claims that pit bulls are
. . . among the most tolerant dogs tested by the American Temperament Test Society
Your infographic fails to mention a number of salient points. The ATTS was designed to test Schutzhund dogs, and serves primarily as a breed suitability test for the German Shepherd. As the ATTS website states, the test simulates a casual walk through a park or neighborhood where everyday life situations are encountered.

There have been twenty fatal dog attacks on humans so far in 2013; pit bulls have accounted for nineteen of those attacks. There have been four hundred twenty-one disfiguring attacks on humans this year, three hundred seventy-seven of them by pit bulls.

These attacks did not occur on a casual walk in the park. They often occurred in the homes of those who have unwittingly adopted a pit bull, and the victim is often a family member who has loved the dog until the moment of the attack. The ATTS does not test for idiopathic rage (sometimes called Sudden Rage Syndrome).1

It comes as no surprise that your infographic was published during the month of October, which is celebrated as "National Pit Bull Awareness Month."  During October shelters around the country make a determined effort to place surplus pit bulls in family environments. This goal is achieved through a massive outreach campaign, making use of all the print and electronic media outlets at their disposal. This year the Huffington Post has surpassed itself with at least six pit bull advocacy media events (videos, slide shows, and graphics), including yours, during the month of October.

The Huffington Post has published, along with your graphic, a code which enables other advocacy sites to easily embed the graphic in their own sites. Your graphic will be published on hundreds of sites which advocate for fighting breeds. With its adorable puppy and the punchy graphic your infographic will be seen by tens or hundreds of thousands of people and will do immeasurable damage for months to come.

Huffington Post October pit bull media blitz :

Your Kids and Pit Bulls Love Each Other
   Photo series; October 25, 2013

Why It's Ridiculous People Think Pit Bulls Are Inherently Mean
   Infographic, October 24, 2013

The Real Story of Snow White
   Photo series; October 22, 2013

Meet the Pit Bull That Learned to Trust Humans Again
   Blog, October 21, 2013

Hero Pit Bull Saves Cat
   Video; October 14, 2013

Elle the Pit Bull Named 2013 Hero Dog
   Video; October 8, 2013

* * * * *
1 The use of the ATTS by advocates of pit bulls was discredited years ago, on The Truth About Pit Bulls.

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 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.