Video: Pit bull propaganda, courtesy of BuzzFeed

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      They seem like the most adorable dogs in the world until you realize that pit bulls accounted for 64 percent of dog-bite related fatalities in the United States last year.

      Comments

      30 Comments

      Steven K.

      Jun 2, 2015 at 9:03am

      Seriously? You are pointing readers to a propaganda site with your "statistic". The page is only discussing fatalities (only 42 in 2014 in the ENTIRE USA). Thats an incredibly insignificant number. The page also neglects to present data (admittedly hard to gather, but important to the discussion) on the living environments of the dog. Was the dog abused? Used for fighting? Kept tethered? Guard dog or pampered pooch?

      For a Canadian source why not check out Canadian Veterinary Journal article looking at fatal dog bites in Canada from 1990 to 2007 (17 YEARS!). 1 American Staffordshire related fatality. Interesting. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2387261/

      And how about an article from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association which concludes:
      Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog’s breed with certainty, enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises con- stitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:836–840)"
      The full paper can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/images/dogbreeds-a.pdf

      We all know that buzzfeed isn't journalism, but neither is this story. Pushing your uniformed agenda and citing a source that is 100% propaganda is disgusting and sensationalist.

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      Bruce

      Jun 2, 2015 at 9:46am

      Pit bulls account for 64% of bite-related fatalities, but only 2% of dogs.

      So (64 / 0.02) / (36/0.98) = 87 times more likely to kill than the average non-"pitty".

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      Steven K.

      Jun 2, 2015 at 11:35am

      ^that would be registered/licensed dogs, which relies on the owner to pay a fee and provide accurate information.

      There are many factors that skew the "pitties are 2% of dogs fact" There are tons of unregistered dogs all over the US and Canada. Judging by most of the dogs I meet here, I would estimate at least 50% of dogs are not licensed but putting a number on an invisible population is tricky. Because pitties are so stigmatized (thanks to articles like this) many are not registered. Also, lots pitties are pretty complex mixes so owners will report a different breed mix on the licenses to skirt local ordinances or get apartments that will allow their dog.

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      View from the Coast

      Jun 2, 2015 at 11:53am

      Steven,
      Contrary to what you say, a simple google search brings up entirely pit bulls and attacks. More often than not, the people that own these dogs think of themselves as badass and want a badass dog to reflect themselves. With all the wonderful breeds of dogs out there, there is no reason to own one.

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      Bruce

      Jun 2, 2015 at 12:07pm

      Fatal attacks are the tip of the iceberg. Do a google search and you find scores of stories of children maimed by "pitties".

      A few years ago my own dog was attacked by a "pitty", entirely unprovoked, while a group of dogs were playing at a dog park. He had several bites, and needed stitches. I believe he only survived because he's fast.

      While we tried to calm him down, the "pitty" owner, an older woman, made her escape. According to other dog owners, her dog was unlicensed and had attacked other dogs before. The reason "pitty" owners don't license their dogs isn't stigma, it's that they don't want a record of the number of attacks on other dogs. For every fatal attack on a human I'm sure there are 100 maimings, and for every maimed human probably 10,000 maimed normal dogs.

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      Steven K.

      Jun 2, 2015 at 12:11pm

      ^a simple google search can also bring up alien abductions and Fox News stories. Doesn't make them true.

      You bring up a fantastic point when discussing the owners. Much of a dogs behavior is dictated by the owner. I'm not saying that dogs will not bite on occasion, but this breed specific narrative is not helpful or accurate. It actually fuels the belief that pit bulls are more aggressive and bad ass than other dogs, leading to idiot owners encouraging aggressive behaviors. With the wrong owner, any dog can be aggressive. People are the perpetrators, not the pit bulls.

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      Sgt Transom

      Jun 2, 2015 at 12:15pm

      The problem is that although all dogs are capable of biting humans and other dogs, Pit Bulls bites are often going to be lethal and once they sink their teeth in it is almost impossible for them, and humans to get them to let go. To me it's like playing with a loaded gun.

      I honestly get angry when I read Pit Bull owners blaming other owners for the problem when in reality it's just too dangerous of a breed to be allowed to exist amongst us. Yes the wrong sort of person most often chooses Pit Bull's, but they do so because they like having a dangerous pet.

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      Bruce

      Jun 2, 2015 at 12:18pm

      "Guuns don' kall people, people kall people!"

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      Steven K.

      Jun 2, 2015 at 12:21pm

      Bruce,
      That sucks about your dog getting attacked. My Retriever/Collie mix has been attacked at dog parks a few times as well and its no fun. Once it was a Black Lab/Shepherd mix. once it was an Weimaraner. Never a pit bull, even when I lived in LA where the dog parks were 85% pittie mixes.

      Seriously though, people telling me to google stuff like I've never heard of it. Check the links to the articles I provided (published in veterinary journals). I found them using google.

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      Steven K.

      Jun 2, 2015 at 12:29pm

      The numbers though......... 2014: 42 fatalities in the US caused by dogs (all dogs), 5157 fatalities caused by guns in the US. They are not equivalent.

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