I'm against ALL dangerous dogs, whatever the breed. While it's true that irresponsible owners are the root of the problem of pervasive dog attacks across this nation (and the world), more laws will not alone mitigate the problem. Folks break the law all of the time, and it is usually an innocent victim that is the biggest loser.
There is an ASTOUNDING amount of statistical evidence demonstrating that some breeds ARE more likely to be aggressive toward both humans and other animals.
"Of the 88 fatal dog attacks recorded by DogsBite.org, pit bull type dogs were responsible for 59% (52). This is equivalent to a pit bull killing a U.S. citizen every 21 days during this 3-year period."
By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2009, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, determined the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death:
Breed Bodily harm Child Victims Adult Victims Deaths Maiming
Pit bull terrier 1451 628 499 153 777
Rottweiler 447 257 115 67 244
Wolf hybrid 81 67 4 19 45
Husky 49 32 4 17 13
German Shepherd 79 52 20 9 50
Bullmastiff (presa canario)48 17 20 8 26
Chow 52 35 14 7 34
Akita 50 34 14 1 41
Some communities adopt pit bull ordinances that declare the breed "potentially dangerous" or "dangerous," which triggers special rules for pit bull owners. In the instance of Ohio, the whole state adopted such a policy. The State of Ohio declared pit bulls as "vicious" and requires owners to carry $100,000 in liability insurance, securely constrain the dog when on-property and to use a chain-link leash when off-property.
Various cities within Ohio increased these restrictions. The most publicized one to do so is Toledo, which added the limitation of one pit bull per household and muzzling when off-property. Toledo's pit bull ordinance was heavily litigated over a period of years. As recently as February 2008, the United States Supreme Court halted the legal wrangling. Not only is Toledo's breed-specific ordinance constitutional, it cannot be appealed further.
Pit bulls are not only problematic in large cities; they threaten mid-sized and rural communities as well. Located in the heartland, Council Bluffs, Iowa has approximately 60,000 citizens. After a series of devastating attacks, they joined over 500 cities nationwide and enacted a pit bull ban. The results of the ban -- which took effect January 1, 2005 -- demonstrate the positive effects such legislation can have on public safety in just a few years time:
Year Pit Bull Bites
2005 10% (year ban enacted)
Until you are on the ground, on your back, fighting for your life (as I was in January 2010 - I weigh 105lbs) you will never understand the horror that can be visited upon you in a split second. I was attacked on a PUBLIC road, while jogging. Yes, the "reason" for the attack was that the irresponsible owner let his dog (pit bull) roam free, though there is a local animal ordinance that prohibits this (people break the law all of the time - laws alone will not protect you). Now I am being victimized further by law enforcement officials who refuse to ENFORCE the laws that are in place... the owner of the dog has all of the rights, and victims are always secondary.
If the dog was not there, I would not have been attacked... PERIOD! By the way, the dog that attacked me was NEUTERED. Pit bulls are like loaded guns without a safety; reference the story in Tampa Bay on April, 15, 2010 regarding the pit that killed the 7-day old baby sleeping by its mother's side.... I bet the dog's owners thought that there animal was "sweet and gentle" as well. A similar attack occurred in Atlanta two months before, with the family pit bull going into a 5-day old baby's bassinet to kill it... when are folks going to get the message that these animals DO NOT BELONG within our communities?
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