Friday, June 26, 2015

Fox News 2: II

Doing The Numbers with Huel Perkins
. . . One of the most defining moments of [Terry Hodskins'] rescue life was when Huel Perkins called after a show on the news and . . . he finally said, “Terry you are right. I cannot discriminate against 1% of the breed that does wrong verses [sic] the millions that do right.” 
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In all fairness, we can not be certain that Mr Perkins actually made this statement; the supposed telephone call from Mr Perkins was reported by Terry Hodskins and appeared on the Mi-PACA Facebook page, apparently keyboarded by Courtney Protz-Sanders.1

Regardless of who made the claim that only 1% of pit bulls do wrong, it is a number worth considering. Is there any truth to the claim?

According to a recent Opinion article in the Montreal Gazette,2 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal. That figure may account for Ms Protz-Sanders' 1%, a number that now appears with depressing frequency in our culture.

In 2013 the neighborhood around Detroit's West Chicago and Livernois was the most dangerous neighborhood in the country.3  A person standing at the intersection has a one in seven chance of being the victim of a violent crime. To claim that only 1% of pit bulls do wrong is similar to standing on the corner of West Chicago and Livernois at one o'clock in the morning and thinking you know the city of Detroit; it's a narrow, simplified view of reality.

The article in the Gazette, by Barbara Kay, presents the other 99% of the information. According to Ms Kay,
Forty-two people in the U.S. were killed by dogs in 2014, 31 of them by pit bull type dogs, the other 11 by all breeds combined, a disproportion that remains constant over the years. Half the victims were children, and of them, 13 were killed by “beloved family pets.” In virtually every one of these “good owner” cases, it was claimed (often erroneously) that the dog had never shown any sign of aggression before.

As for animal victims of dog aggression, the toll is dramatically higher. About 30,000 pit bulls a year are involved in attacks on other animals. In 2013, about one pit bill in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal, as compared to about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds. Most of these attacks were not incited or encouraged by owners, nor were they the result of “training.” It is as natural for pit bulls to attack other animals as it is for bloodhounds to track scents and greyhounds to run fast.

Pit bulls are inherently high-risk dogs
By Barbara Kay
May 13, 2015; Montreal Gazette
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Mr Perkins, or Ms Protz-Sanders of Mi-PACA as the case may be, should not present 1% of the truth as if it represents the entire truth about pit bull attacks.

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1   Readers of SRUV are familiar with both Ms Hodskins (of Michigan Pit Bull Education Project) and Ms Protz-Sanders (of Michigan PAC for Animals).
2   Pit bulls are inherently high-risk dogs, by Barbara Kay (Montreal Gazette May 13, 2015); Ms Kay used data originally published in How many other animals did pit bulls kill in 2013? (Animals 24-7; March 22, 2014).
3   Most Dangerous Neighborhoods (Huffington Post, May 22, 2013)

Primary Sources:
Mi-PACA Facebook post of December 12, 2014
   (Cached mhtml version: )

Other Sources:
How many other animals did pit bulls kill in 2014?
Animals 24-7; January 27, 2015

How many other animals did pit bulls kill in 2013?
Animals 24-7; March 22, 2014

Pit bull bans work
by Barbara Kay
June 19, 2015; The National Post

Pit bulls are inherently high-risk dogs
By Barbara Kay
May 13, 2015; Montreal Gazette (Opinion)

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.