Saturday, February 1, 2014

2000 - 2013

The Annotated Cultural Bibliography of Pit Bull Journalism

In six sections:

Argumentum ad misericordiam (forthcoming)

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Managing the Stigma of Outlaw Breeds: A Case Study of Pit Bull Owners
   2000; Society and Animals Forum
[Note: References to 'racism' in pit bull literature had been mentioned as early as 1987 (and perhaps earlier). This forum may have introduced the concept of 'stigma' in relationship to dog ownership. Malcolm Gladwell used the concept to memorable effect in his 2006 New Yorker article. See below.]

Dog Holocaust web site
[Note: First known use of the term 'Holocaust' in conjunction with Breed Specific Legislation]
See Breed Holocaust

Fatal Dog Attacks: the Stories Behind the Statistics
   2002, by Karen Delise

Breed-Specific Legislation Revisited: Canine Racism or the Answer to Florida's Dog Control Problems?
   Spring 2003, by Karyn Grey
   27 Nova L. Rev. 415

Does breed specific legislation reduce dog aggression on humans and other animals?
   2003, by Linda Watson

Canine Profiling: Does Breed-Specific Legislation Take a Bite out of Canine Crime
    by Heather K. Pratt
   108 Penn St. L. Rev. 855 (2003-2004)

Pit Bull Panic
    April 10, 2003; by Judy Cohen

Breed Specific Legislation: Unfair Prejudice & (and) Ineffective Policy
    2004, by Devin Burstein
    10 Animal L. 313

The Case Against Dog Breed Discrimination By Homeowners' Insurance Companies
   May 2, 2005, by Larry Cunningham
   St. John's University School of Law

Troublemakers, by Malcolm Gladwell
    Feb 6, 2006; The New Yorker

Why Breed-Specific Legislation Won't Solve the Dangerous-Dog Dilemma
    April 2006, by Safia Gray Hussain
    74 Fordham L. Rev. 2847

Breed-specific legislation and the pit bull terrier: Are the laws justified?
   July/August, 2006
   by Stephen Collier
   hosted online by

Pit bull bans and the human factors affecting canine behavior
   by Jamey Medlin,
   56 DePaul L. Rev. 1285 (2006-2007)

[April 25, 2007: Arrest of Michael Vick]

The Pit Bull Placebo; The Media, Myths, and Politics of Canine Aggression
   2007, by Karen Delise

The pit bull terrier: a dangerous or a defamed breed?
   2007, by Stephen Collier
   hosted online by Defense of the American Pit Bull Terrier

The Pitbull's Transition from Mainstream to Marginalized Masculinity
    August 2007
    by Theresa Allen
    In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
Underlying much breed-specific legislation are biases based on class and race. This dissertation demonstrates the importance of broadening the scope of Sociology through the examination of human-animal relationships to show that animals also represent a marginalized population worthy of consideration. Additionally, it offers insight into the symbolic position of animals as mediators of race and class relations. 

Pit Bulls are Innocent
August 20, 2007; Salon

Demonizing the Pit Bull: Breed-Specific Legislation and the Circuit of Communication
   Spring, 2009
   Dissertation by Bethany Gibson
   hosted online by

It Ain't Easy Being a Pit Bull Owner
   July 9, 2009; Scientific American

"The Constitutionality of Breed Discriminatory Legislation"
in Guide to Handling Dangerous Dog Issues
by Joan E. Schaffner
ABA 2009

Animal Ethics and Breed-Specific Legislation
   by Bernard E Rollins, Ph.D.
   5 J. Animal L. 1 (2009)
Similarly, if I can show that there is a moral-conceptual flaw underlying breed-specific legislation then I don't need to assemble supporting facts. That is what I propose to do in this talk . . .
[Note: This paper may have introduced the now common (and repugnant) device of comparing the fewness of deaths caused by fatal pit bull attacks relative to the number of deaths by lightening, falling coconuts, etc.]
See also SRUV Post: Animal Ethics

Dead Dogs: Breed bans, euthanasia, and preemptive justice
by Colin Dayan, The Boston Review
March 01, 2010
See also SRUV Post: Dead Dogs (forthcoming)

Irrationality Unleashed: The Pitfalls of Breed-Specific Legislation
    Spring 2010, by Kristen E. Swann
    78 UMKC L. Rev. 839
INTRODUCTION: A TALE OF TWO "PITTIES": A young woman struggles with an overfull trash bag in a chilly, hissing rain. Hefting the bag into the trash bin behind her apartment building, she hears weak but insistent mewling. Seven impossibly tiny puppies huddle in the wet detritus behind the container.  [Etc, etc.]

Pit bulls and Moral Panic (poster)
By Samantha Rindler  and  Dr. Brian M. Lowe
October 14, 2010

Like a Dog
by Colin Dayan, The Boston Review
July 01, 2011
See also SRUV Post: Like a Dog

Licked to Death by a Pit Bull
by Bronwen Dickey; Garden and Gun
December 2011

I'm a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America's Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet
by Ken Foster
Published October 25, 2012
[Note: Coffee table book that is arguably the apogee of the pit bull public relations campaign]
Review by Merritt Clifton

In Defense of the Pit Bull
February 5, 2013; Salon

In Praise of Pit Bulls: Author Jim Gorant Speaks Out About Misunderstood Dogs and the Laws Aimed At Them
February 14, 2013; Forbes

Defending the pit bull: Experts say animals no more aggressive or prone to attack than other breeds
July 7, 2013; The Journal Times (Racine, WI)
[Note: This exculpatory article appeared several weeks after a 15-month old infant was attacked by the family pit bull in nearby Caledonia and four months after 1-yo Daxton Borchardt was killed by a pit bull in Walworth County, WI]

The Softer Side of Pit Bulls
by Paul Tullis
Time Magazine, July 22, 2013
[Note: This article includes six remarkable billboard-sized glamor studio shots of pit bulls, shot against pastel backgrounds.]

“Becoming in Kind”: Race, Class, Gender, and Nation in Cultures of Dog Rescue and Dogfighting
by Harlan Weaver
American Quarterly; Volume 65, Number 3, September 2013
This article takes up these debates in order to explore how specific relationships between humans and pit bulls reveal intersections among race, class, gender, nation, breed, and species. 

Culture, Theory and Critique (2013): The Dangerous Individual('s) Dog: Race, Criminality and the ‘Pit Bull’
October 11, 2013; by Erin C. Tarver

The Tragedy of America's Dog
by Jake Flanagan
The Pacific Standard, February 28, 2014

Attitudes and laws against pit bulls soften
by Bill Draper
Associated Press, March 11, 2014

"Canine profiling," in Global Guide to Animal Protection
by Joan E. Schaffner
Univ. Illinois Press, 2014

Dog/Fight: On Pit Bulls and Their People
by Bronwen Dickey
(forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf, 2015)

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