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Police: Pit Bull Used in Alleged Hate Crime

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Des Moines man is charged with a hate crime after police say he commanded his pitbull to bite another man.

Police were called to the 2200 block of East 41st on a fight Sunday shortly after 5:30 p.m. When they arrived, they found 24-year-old Kanin Pierce with multiple bite wounds.

Pierce told police that his brother was walking to his car, parked in the street, when another vehicle came speeding past him, slammed on the brakes and came back in reverse.

Witnesses said two white men got out yelling profanities and racial slurs. Police say the driver, Joshua Stoll, 21, opened his door, brought out a pit bull and said "sick em Rider".

After Stoll gave the dog the command, the dog ran toward Pierce and began biting him. He has at least ten bite wounds on his arms and hands.

"He jumps up on my arm and from there on, adrenaline hit me and it was just a big fight. I grabbed the dog trying to get the dog off my arm," said Pierce.

While this was going on, the two brothers say Stoll continued shouting racial slurs. That's when about five men came out of the house and were eventually able to free Pierce.

"The fact that he's outside the car yelling these racial slurs to him, then siccing his dog on him, that's what makes it a hate crime," explained Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax.

Stoll claims one of the brothers threw something at his car. When he got out of his vehicle and asked the man what he threw, he said the man then called for his friends and started to fight him. That's when his dog got out and started biting one of the men.

"All the witnesses are confirming the story the victims are telling us, with the racial epithets and the dog being used in this manner," said Halifax.

Stoll was in the car with two friends. The male passenger ran off, but Valerie Lorimor stayed. Lorimor says Stoll isn't completely innocent, but that he isn't racist.

"A dog is going to stick up for its owner so he gets out and protects him and bites one guy and now all of a sudden the dog is a bad guy," she said, "They was beating him up and trying to kill the dog at the same time."

Police called for animal rescue and the pit bull has been quarantined. Animal Control officers say the dog doesn't have the required license and insurance and is not up to date on his rabies vaccination.

Stoll was taken to hospital and treated for a broken rib before being booked in the Polk County Jail. He has been charged with assault in violation of individual rights causing injury and probation violation. He's being held on a $6,000 bond.

A breath test showed he was under the influence of alcohol and above the legal limit at .128.


  • Nancy

    What a nut n hopefully that demon dog will be pts once it attacks a human it loses its right regardless whether he was trained or not (which the nutters will be defending any time now) it to much a danger with it bred n trained its a liability n needs to go …these dogs need to be banned just because their might be a very few responsible owners they’re too many that r not n they’re bred to be mean fighting dogs n some w/o being trained naturally attack regardless I’m working on getting a ban implemented here like other cities r coming around to doing n if the few so ca lled responsible owners (which how responsible r they owning this kind of danger in the first place ) can go find a country away from civilzation!

    • Megan

      but it is ok for a German Shepard to attack people on command because it is a police dog? There is no difference between theses dogs and your German Shepards or any other dog for that manner. It is discrimination even with dogs. It is the same as saying certain races are always going to be poor and always cause crime! Get over it, do your research! German Shepards are responsible for more attacks on humans than any other dog breed.

      • Nancy

        Wow megan your truly an idiot get off the pipe! One there’s no comparison to the human race to dogs that makes u a racist!!! Dogs breed determines their traits period end of story had u bothered to research we wouldn’t be discussing this stupid!! Futhermore proven all other breeds combined do not account for a quarter of the attacks n deaths that shitbulls do. .there goes ur german shepherd theory ding bat

      • Troy Hendrickson

        Sorry Megan but your claim is false.

        From 1982-2013, “pitbull” type dogs accounted for 2792 attacks on humans – 263 deaths, 1677 maimings. During the same time period, German Shepards accounted for 102 attacks.

        Pit bull mix breeds accounted for 191 attacks, german shepard mixes 43.

        Rots are #2 for attacks, at only 514.

        Those are the facts, sorry. You can argue the reasons all you want, I have friends and family with pit bulls, out a dozen probably only one shows any signs of aggression towards anyone or anything, and they dealt with that with a trainer who explained what was going on (pack behavior) and they haven;t had any problems with them since.

        On the other hand none of them are violent drunks either like this loser so…

    • Sue

      Megan, there is a HUGE difference between a police dog (who is considered an officer of the law) being ordered to attack a criminal and doing their job, then there is any other dog being used as a weapon against an innocent person. Police dogs do not attack and maim either, they attack and detain. If a police dog is given an order to attack, it is for the safety of innocent civilians, not the entertainment of some sicko!

    • Tom

      Stoll had no business having a pit bull either. People drive by yelling profanities at you simply ignore them or fight your own battle. He was drunk and looking for a fight and was ready to sic the dog on anyone who crossed his path or looked at him the wrong way. Idiot will get off with a slap on the wrist and the dog may be put to sleep. It’s Stoll that needs to be sent away !!!

  • BrutallyHonest

    This guy looks like your typical pit bull owner. These dogs need to be banned so scum like this guy cannot get them.


    more ignorance there are just as many attacks by other dogs in the world as there are pit bulls if not more considering many are mistaken as pit bulls and yet the only reason you see pit bulls as being more dangerous is because right now they’re the ones people have decided to put in the media recently in the past it was other breeds and there was no more need to ban them then there is to ban pit bulls deal with the real problem not a symptom of the problem which is the useless pieces of sh** training them otherwise it wouldn’t matter to ban them anyways they’ll pick another dog maybe your favorite breed next to train for fighting

    • Scootiep

      Guest, while i share your sentiment, that’s not exactly a correct statement. In the US, Pit Bulls (or rather, their OWNERS) are responsible for more dog attacks than any other breed by a far margin. That’s statistical fact and it can be verified by multiple government sponsored websites. But you are absolutely right that this is because of their frequently idiotic owners. These attacks only happen because of the reputation Pit Bulls have. Not because of the breed itself. This reputation attracts exactly the kinds of owners that are looking for such a reputation so that they can train these dogs to attack. Because of that, it is a perverted statistic, however accurate it may be. Banning any dog breed is simply idiotic. Banning individuals from owning dogs, or any pet for that matter after they have shown themselves to be irresponsible owners, however, makes perfect sense.

      • Bob Cob

        You are absolutely clueless on this issue, so just stop posting. There are no government organizations that track ALL dog attacks. In fact, there are no organizations of any kind that track all dog attacks. The only attacks that are tracked are those that are reported or hit the news, so claiming that it’s a “fact” is disingenuous at best. There’s just no way to track any others. And which type of dogs elicit the most website clicks? Pit bull-type dogs, of course. So naturally they’ll come out on top of most lists.

    • Scootiep

      Any human being is capable of training their hands to be lethal weapons. Should we begin cutting off all people’s hands? A Pit Bull is no more a weapon than a butter knife. It is its owner that decides what it will become.

      • Nancy

        Research the facts it is bred into them there’s nothing anyone can do with dna .people have been affectionate n loving n not abused them n they still turned years later check out cindy whistleman story recently

  • Hank Britton

    !. This could have been with any dog. Pit Bulls are NOT naturally human-aggressive. That was bred out of the breed long ago. That’s why you often hear of people beating Pits to death. They would naturally rather die than bite a human. The dogs that are aggressive are usually mixed breed, or have been abused, neglected or trained to be so. It takes a lot of effort to make a good Pit Bull mean.
    2. This guy used a dog instead of a gun, but that is no less a weapon than using a gun. This guy should have been charged as using a lethal weapon in the commission of a felony.
    3. Take the dog away from him. Ban him from ever owning a dog for life. Get the animal evaluated by a Pit Bull specialist to see if re-education/training would work prior to putting him down.
    4. I am a Pit Bull owner, a responsible person, am community involved and believe in the responsibility that any dog owner, much less a Pit Bull owner, should have towards the community and the people around them.. I am not a “scum” as some people would claim me to be for owning a Pit Bul. Mine are loving, socialized, happy and truly love people. I strongly suggest that people put aside their bigotry towards both the owners and the dogs and see this for what it is. A criminal, who trained/abused his dog to be mean and used it against another human being.

  • lilreb

    Poor dog! Very sad at the life he was given. As for you Nancy, I hope anything you put in writing trying to get this ban is a bit more legible than your post here! Good luck on that too! You see the City of Altoona just changed their ban on breed specific dogs right?

    • Nancy

      More n more cities r implenting them .the writing is on the wall its only a matter of time til their gone logical people along eith city officials n other experts see this n only the stupid lowlifes r the minority .as for my city there have been to many deaths n maimings.that its enough with this breed

  • Heather

    Should have been charged with child endangerment also he tried running my son and his baby off the road before he did this

    • Bob Cob

      Because a story about a poodle biting someone wouldn’t get the page clicks and comments like a pit bull does so it wouldn’t get put on the front page.

      • 131313

        Bob C——- That’s because poodles don’t leave the same kind of bite that pit bulls do! Can’t stand pit bulls or the “ahem” people that own them.

      • Nancy

        Because when poodles bite they release u need maybe a band aid of at best a stitch or two but with shitbulls their bite down n don’t release is what sends people to icu n cemetary n that is y their in the news other breeds r not in news because there’s nothing to report duh!

  • guest

    This guy also busted open the mother of his two children’s cheek. He is complete scum and it definitely is more his fault than the dog’s.

  • jenny

    Its not the dog. Its the human. Ingorant people any dog can be trainned to attack. From German shepards to little dogs. I am more scared of those little demon dogs then any big dog. Do you know how many kids get hurt by littles dogs. You just don’t see it on the news, because its not a hit. That poor dog has to suffer because of its owner now that’s sad. I love my pitbulls.

    • LaAfroCubana

      That has to be the stupidist comment yet. First of all, you can kick the heck out of a little dog to get it away from you, you will not be doing that with a pitbull. Pitbulls have certain inherent traits and one of them is to lock on when biting. Another is that they will attack without warning or provocation. You own a ticking time bomb that may or may not go off, but you don’t know. Pitbulls can show no aggressive behavior for years and suddenly snap. They are a public danger and extremely unreliable as pets. They are the reason I carry bear mace with me, because people own these dogs thinking theirs is just fine and could never snap.

  • jenny

    His bite marks look really serious. I’m pretty sure the little dog that bit my friends daughter that caused her to have plastic surgery didn’t make the news. Bs

  • DoctorYOU

    Ridiculous. There’s nothing missing to this story, a neighbor even confirmed the victim’s report. This inbred used the dog with the intent of a lethal weapon and the use of racial slurs make it a hate crime. The bail should be a lot higher as I’m sure his meth addict friends and family members will all come together to get him out of there.

  • victim

    I personality was attacked by him two2months ago and he had to have his dog help him. I’m not one for putting dogs down because I myself have a pit and he has never attacked nor harmed anyone. A dog that has attacked twice is never gonna get it out of his system. My charges got dropped because I faught back. hasand the dog bothh to comeg.

    • Haha

      Dustin Palmer

      You have some nerve talking. Many witnesses told police you went to his home starting problems had nothing to do with this case! Don’t go somewhere you don’t belong

  • Nancy

    Excellent quote from dawn james “pitbulls are always in the wrong hands because the right hands have too much common sense to own them”

  • dustin

    Haha I for one didn’t say anything to that rum. He asked us to drop off his kids. And when we pulled up he came to my “rolled up” window and started acting wreck less. In front of his kids. If u weren’t there really shouldn’t put your two sense in anything. That dog needs put down that’s all I had to say.

  • Troy Hendrickson

    “Police say the driver, Joshua Stoll, 21, opened his door…A breath test showed he was under the influence of alcohol and above the legal limit at .128”

    So where are the drunk driving charges then?

  • Jake Moretti

    Especially on the east side the African American kids are always lookin at u all crazy and thinking there tough when u drive down the road past them, Gets old!!!! lol…….. And can’t say anything back to them because in these days & ages we are the ones that get in trouble or arrested for hate crimes when they are the real racist ones” this country is just doomed lol…….

  • Skeptical

    “The brothers” are trouble makers in the neighborhood and are known for it……right??? Was the party of 6 that came out of the ONE house given a drug or alcohol test? More than likely NO!!!! If a man is attacked he can defend himself from another man, YET in this case it appears that instead of going after JUST the dog that was attacking to defend themselves…..Stoll was attacked for his WORDS and received broken ribs and bloody nose!!! Isn’t this America??? Why aren’t others arrested??? No one else has any marks, but STOLL!!!!!! (with the exception of the brother that received bite marks that should never had come out of the house before he called the police). I am not justifying Stoll stopping his car, BUT do WORDS give them the right to do what they did??? Shouldn’t more than one person be in jail???? Why didn’t the brothers just run in the house and call law enforcement???? WHY DIDN”T the news ask this question???? Why didn’t law enforcement ask this question???? I don’t look at them as victims I look at the as perpetrators who provoked someone into committing a crime. Why does law enforcement pick sides? Why don’t they arrest them ALL and make them ALL have their day in court???? I am sure Stoll deserves to be in jail for a probation violation and possibly another charge, BUT I question the charges given to him and how much REAL investigation took place. We as children are brought up to believe it takes TWO!!!! Why are their sides taken when it comes to law enforcement?????? Ask all yourselves that!!!!!!!!

    • No1uno

      I’ve also reserved having an opinion due to this very thought. There’s more to this, but the media has a way of editing and running with the version that’ll better suit continued interest = ratings. I’m not defending one side or the other, but hope to hear more details, and both parties involvement more accurately.

  • kc

    As a family friend with an interacial household – just asking before anyone post something that instead of reaching for HATE that you reach for HOPE. Hate never changes anyone for the better but fuels the negative. Hope is what Josh needs – this isn’t about pit bulls – I had a Lab who protected me in my own home from an attack – most dogs will do that. The media is fueling things like “Pit Bull” and “Hate Crime” for readership and ratings – there is always things we aren’t told. Obviously Josh has some substance abuse, bad decisions and problems going on in his life -and ran into some others with similar issues perhaps, Lets all HOPE and even Pray he can work through them and have a better future. This guy spent half his childhood with my son at our interracial home – He is a Father, Son, Friend, Brother to people who do care about him – I know he can be saved if he wants to. A Hand of Hope changes Hearts.

    • mhmmm

      As a personal Acquaintance of josh for many years he’s always had this substance abuse issue and has many opportunities to get the “hope” he needed to change. And yes he has grown up in an interracial environment, but it does not give him the right to talk to other races the way he does and has for so many years! And referring him as a father that is loved shows you have not know him in the past couple years, because if you did you would know all of the horrible things he’s done that his children and even his family have gone through and all of the suffering they’ve been through because he’s selfish and just VIOLENT!

  • No1uno

    Much appreciation for proving KC’s point. Too much hate and not enough hope. It is what it is, and takes an open mind to understand.

  • julie

    My neighbor required plastic surgery after her cute loving little Shitzu suddenly attacked her face. The dog turned out to have a brain tumor. My miniature Schnauzer bit my father when he hit me. Ask a mail man about the achillies tendon biting little dogs. My Aunt had a Lahsa Apso that would bite anyone but her. I ‘ve owned numerous Doberman another breed that gets a bad reputation. They are gentle and loving if you are. It doesn’t matter the breed. If you are hyper and high stressed, your dog will be too. If you are mean your dog will be also. If you are kind, gentle, calm, and loving your dog will be also. That includes American bulldogs, often called pits. Which is a terrier breed. Back when dogs originally bred many were bred for various jobs. The rat terrier was to dig and kill rats. Rats are fierce so the terrier had to be also. Doberman were bred as guard dogs for factories in warm to hot locations. How bout the Fox hound chases and catches fox, malmutes pulled dog sleds, Golden Retrievers bring back the hunters kill. Labs track down and point out prey to kill. Dogs are domesticated now. Seldom are they used for what they originally bred for, thus proving that yes that can be un-bred in them. I’ve had the pleasure of owning many breeds, schnauzers, doberman, golden retrievers, malmute, German sheperd, collie, husky, lab, cocker spaniel and an American Bulldog/pit bull. Pure bred registered, to mix breed. Big dogs wanting to sit in your lap and sleep with their head on a pillow and not once have any of my dogs been vicious or attack others, they love children, allow them to pull on their ears and tails.
    Ban the owners – which many sanctuaries for specific breeds are trying to do as are the ARL ‘ S. Unfortunately there are always going to be the occasional bad dog owner that will manage to get a pet but that is where the focus needs to be, not just banning breeds or charging more for insurance to those that are willing to love and train a beautiful sweet animal. It is somewhat like racism it’s just finding a new place to place your anger and hatred. Love is what the world needs. Love thy neighbor, love thy pet, do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    ALEXANDRA SEMYONOVA, animal behaviorist

    You will also not prevent the dog from being what he is genetically predisposed to be. Because the inbred postures and behaviors feel good, fitting the body and brain the dog has been bred with, they are internally motivated and internally rewarded.

    This means that the behavior is practically impossible to extinguish by manipulating external environmental stimuli.

    The reward is not in the environment, but in the dog itself! As Coppinger and Coppinger (2001, p. 202) put it, “The dog gets such pleasure out of performing its motor pattern that it keeps looking for places to display it.” Some dogs get stuck in their particular inbred motor pattern.

    As pointed out above, this kind of aggression has appeared in some other breeds as an unexpected and undesired anomaly – the golden retriever, the Berner Senne hund, the cocker spaniel have all had this problem.

    The lovers of aggressive breeds try to use these breeding accidents to prove that their aggressive breeds are just like any other dog, “see, they’re no different from the cuddly breeds.” But a cuddly breed sometimes ending up stuck with a genetic disaster does not prove that the behavior is normal canine behavior. All it proves is that the behavior is genetically determined.

    “These dogs aren’t killers because they have the wrong owners, rather they attract the wrong owners because they are killers.” The 100 Silliest Things People say about dogs.

    JOHN FAUL, animal behaviorist

    Faul said they were dangerous and a threat to life. He said the pitbull was bred to be absolutely fearless and had a “hair-trigger” attack response.

    “The cardinal rule is that these dogs are not pets,” he said.

    “The only way to keep them is in a working environment.”

    He said the only relationship one could have with the pitbull was one of “dominance, sub-dominance”, in which the dog was reminded daily of its position.

    ANDREW ROWAN, PhD, Tufts Center for Animals

    “A pit bull is trained to inflict the maximum amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. Other dogs bite and hold. A Doberman or a German shepherd won’t tear if you stand still.

    A pit bull is more likely to remove a piece of tissue. Dogs fight as a last resort under most circumstances. But a pit bull will attack without warning. If a dog shows a submissive characteristic, such as rolling over most dogs wills top their attack. A pit bull will disembowel its victim.”

    “A study by Dr Randall Lockwood of the US Humane Society found that pit bulls are more likely to break restraints to attack someone and that pit bulls are more likely to attack their owners, possibly as a result of owners trying to separate their dogs from victims.”

    Jørn Våge, Tina B Bønsdorff, Ellen Arnet, Aage Tverdal and Frode Lingaas, Differential gene expression in brain tissues of aggressive and non-aggressive dogs

    The domestic dog (Canis familiaris), with its more than 400 recognised breeds [1], displays great variation in behaviour phenotypes.

    Favourable behaviour is important for well-being and negative traits such as aggression may ruin the owner-dog relationship and lead to relinquishment to shelters or even euthanasia of otherwise healthy dogs [2,3].

    Behavioural traits result from an interaction of both genetic and environmental factors. Breed specific behavioural traits such as hunting, herding and calmness/aggression are, however, evidence of a large genetic component and specific behaviours show high heritabilities [4-8].


    However, Alan Beck, director of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine Center of the Human-Animal Bond, favors letting the breed go into extinction.

    “This breed alone is a risk of serious public health factors,” Beck said. “We are keeping them alive against their own best interests.”

    Beck said while he does not advocate taking dogs from current and caring owners, he does feel that it has become more of a social and political issue for people than a health one.

    “If these dogs were carrying an actual disease, people would advocate euthanizing them,” Beck said. “This breed itself is not natural.”

    “It has this sort of mystique that attracts a population of people. Of course, most of these dogs are never going to bite, as champions of the breed will tell you. But most people who smoke don’t get cancer, but we know regulations help reduce a significant risk.”

    “I know you’re going to get beat up for this. But they just aren’t good dogs to own. That’s why so many of them are relinquished to shelters. There are too many other breeds out there to take a chance on these guys.”

    MERRITT CLIFTON, journalist, Animal People editor

    There are very few people, if any, who have written more on behalf of dogs over the past 40-odd years than I have, or spent more time down the back alleys of the developing world observing dogs in the habitats in which normal dogs came to co-evolve with humans.

    But appreciation of the ecological roles of street dogs & coyotes, exposing dog-eating and puppy mills, opposition to indiscriminate lethal animal control, introduction of high-volume low-cost spay/neuter and anti-rabies vaccination, introduction of online adoption promotion, encouraging the formation of thousands of new humane societies worldwide, etc., are not to be confused with pit bull advocacy.

    Pit bull advocacy is not defending dogs; it is defending the serial killers of the dog world, who kill, injure, and give bad reputations to all the rest. Indeed, pit bull advocacy, because it erodes public trust in dogs and people who care about dogs, stands a good chance of superseding rabies as the single greatest threat to the health, well-being, and human appreciation of all dogs worldwide.


    “A dog’s breed tells us a lot about that dog’s genetic heritage and makeup. Genetics is a strong determinant of personality. In the absence of any other information, we can make a reasonable prediction about how the dog will behave based upon its breed.” p 84

    “When we crossbreed, we lose some of that predictability, since which genes will be passed on by each parent and how they will combine is a matter of chance. Fortunately, there is some data to suggest that we can still make predispositions without knowing much about its parentage.

    John Paul Scott and John L Fuller carried out a series of selective breeding experiments at the Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine. By happy chance, their results revealed a simple rule that seems to work. Their general conclusion was that a mixed breed dog is most likely to act like the breed that it most looks like.” p 77

    Dog trainers/animal control, Pit Bull breeders, owners, fanciers, experts

    TRISH KING, Director, Behavior & Training Dept. Marin Humane Society

    “There is no direct eye contact or very little direct eye contact. It is very quick and over with. Which is one reason why with pit bulls and rottweilers, we have problems. Because they’re bred to do direct eye contact and so they are off putting to other dogs and actually scary to other dogs.”

    The fourth undesirable characteristic – arousal or excitement – is actually the most problematic. Many bully dogs cannot seem to calm themselves down once they get excited. And once they get excited all their behaviors are exacerbated.

    Thus, if a dog is over-confident and has a tendency to body slam or mount, he or she will really crash into the other dog or person when he’s aroused, sometimes inadvertently causing injury. He may begin to play-bite, and then bite harder and harder and harder.

    When you try to stop the behavior, the dog often becomes even more “aggressive.” In this way, play can turn into aggression fairly quickly. Research on the brain has shown that excited play has exactly the same chemistry as extreme anger. This allows a play behavior to switch quickly into aggression. And, once the dog has become aggressive a few times, the switch is much easier.

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    KEVIN COUTTS, Head Dog Ranger, Rotorua, New Zealand

    There was concern among dog authorities about American pitbulls being allowed into New Zealand as they were dangerous, unpredictable animals, Mr Coutts said.

    “A lot of people in this town get them because they are a staunch dog and they will fight. They are perceived as vicious … It’s frustrating they were ever allowed in the country … we can’t go back now though,” Mr Coutts said.

    COUTTS’ comment on a pit car mauling

    This sort of thing happens when people own this breed of dog and then don’t look after them.

    VICTORIA STILWELL, celebrity dog trainer

    Presas are not to be fooled with, they’re dangerous. You’ve got a fighting breed here. You’ve got a dog that was bred for fighting. You’ve got one of the most difficult breeds to handle.

    CESAR MILAN, celebrity dog trainer

    “Yeah, but this is a different breed…the power that comes behind bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed – They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don’t feel the pain anymore. He is using the bulldog in him, which is way too powerful, so we have to ‘make him dog’ (I guess as in a “regular” dog) so we can actually create the limits.

    So if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it’s not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender.”. If you add pain, it only infuriates them..to them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it…

    That’s why they are such great fighters.” Cesar goes on to say…”Especially with fighting breeds, you’re going to have these explosions over and over because there’s no limits in their brain.”

    GARRETT RUSSO, dog trainer

    I estimate Medical & Veterinary bills related to injuries caused by pit bulls in the Tompkins Square dog run in 2011, $140,000.00. Estimated Medical (human) & Veterinary (canine) bills from all other breeds and mixed breeds combined during the same period, $5,000.00. (Estimate gathered from reports to by owners to the dog park association.)

    STEVE DUNO, dog trainer, pit bull owner

    “The dogs that participated in these attacks weren’t Pekingese. You don’t have herds of Pekingese roaming the city attacking people. When someone says all breeds are created equal, well then they’re denying the definition of what a breed is. Breed serves a particular purpose.”

    “I like them. They’re eager. They’re athletic. They’re aesthetically pleasing. But even if they’re bred perfectly, they can be problematic, particularly with other dogs.”

    “When you combine the breed specific behaviors … with owners who either don’t give a rip, or with owners who (have) too much dog, you have a problem.”

    JEAN DONALDSON, dog trainer

    Most commonly, she sees dogs with aggression problems. While she’s a fierce opponent of “breed bans” like the proposed outlawing of pit bulls that San Francisco debated two years ago, she believes it’s undeniable that some breeds are predisposed to violence.

    Many breeds that were bred as guardians or fighting dogs were carefully designed to not like strangers, she says. She thinks it’s disingenuous of breeders to further enhance this trait, and then expect owners to compensate with training.

    ARLENE STERLING, Newaygo County, MI Chief Animal Control Officer

    “It is genetically inbred in them to be aggressive. They can be very nice dogs, but they are very prey driven and they are extremely strong. It makes them high risk dogs and it makes them extremely dangerous.”

    BOB KERRIDGE, New Zealand SPCA executive director

    “That is the only real way to solve this problem – is to license owners and to give them the responsibility that goes with owning a dog. It would be extremely useful when you have a neighbour who is concerned about that dog next door. You can look at it and see they don’t have a license and take it away. That’s owner responsibility.”

    “We led the charge to stop the importation of the pitbull because of the concerns they would be crossbred with other dogs… But there’s not a lot we can do about that because it’s happened. We wish someone had listened all those years ago.”

    JIM CROSBY, pit bull hired gun

    “Line breeding tends to concentrate recessive traits. The propensity for violent attacks by a dog would be a recessive trait.”

    MELANIE PFEIFFER, veterinary assistant

    Working in a veterinary hospital, you are exposed to all kinds of animal trauma. One of the more common ones is dog fights. I can honestly say that in three out of four cases, an American pit bull terrier is involved. Many times, we are able to save the life of the afflicted, but yesterday, we were not.

    I propose that all owned American pit bull terriers be registered and all breeding be halted indefinitely. How many mutilated faces, mangled limbs, butchered pets and even human deaths does it take to convince us that this breed needs to be phased out?

    DIANE JESSUP, Washington pit bull owner and expert

    “It’s not sensible to get an animal bred for bringing a 2,000-pound bull to its knees and say I’m going to treat this like a soft-mouth Labrador,” says Jessup, the former animal-control officer. She blames novice owners, as much as actual criminals, for bringing the breed into disrepute. “It’s a capable animal, and it’s got to be treated as such.”

    JOHN ROCKHOLT, South Carolina dogman

    “It’s inhumane not to allow them to fight. If you have to encourage them to fight they are not worth the powder it would take to blow them away. To never allow them any kind of combat…That’s inhumane.”

    RAY BROWN, former pit bull owner, breeder, dog fighter

    Pit bulls didn’t become dangerous because we fight them; we fight them because the English specifically bred them to be dangerous.

    MARK PAULHUS, HSUS southeast regional coordinator

    If it chooses to attack, it’s the most ferocious of all dogs. I’ve never known of a pit bull that could be called off (during a fight). They lose themselves in the fight.

    F.L. DANTZLER, HSUS director of field services

    “They’re borderline dogs. They’re right on the edge all of the time. Even if the dogs are not trained or used for fighting, and even though they are generally good with people, their bloodline makes them prone to violence.”

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    Council Bluffs, Iowa.
    Pit bulls are not only problematic in large cities; they threaten mid-sized cities and small towns as well. Located in the heartland, Council Bluffs, Iowa has about 60,000 citizens.

    After a series of devastating attacks, beginning in 2003, Council Bluffs joined over 600 U.S. cities and began regulating pit bulls.

    The results of the Council Bluffs pit bull ban, which began January 1, 2005, show the positive effects such legislation can have on public safety in just a few years time:1.

    Council Bluffs: Pit Bull Bite Statistics.

    Year Pit Bull Bites % of All Bites.
    2004 29 23%.
    2005 12 10% (year ban enacted).
    2006 6 4%.
    2007 2 2%.
    2008 0 0%.
    2009 0 0%.
    2010 1 1%.
    2011 0 0%.
    From the CDC (1998 report, page 4):

    “Despite these limitations and concerns
    (about identifying the exact ‘breed’ of pit bull type dog responsible for a
    killing), the data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted
    for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998.

    It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the
    United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a
    breed-specific problem with fatalities.”
    In June 2013, after a Bay Area child was killed by a family pit bull, San Francisco Animal Care and Control cited the decrease in pit bull bites and euthanasia since the adoption of a 2005 pit bull law.

    After 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish was fatally mauled by his family’s pit bulls, the city adopted a mandatory spay-neuter law for the breed. The reasoning was that fixed dogs tend to be calmer and better socialized.

    Since then, San Francisco has impounded 14 percent fewer pit bulls and euthanized 29 percent fewer – which is a “significant decrease,” said Rebecca Katz, director of the city’s Animal Care and Control department.

    Another significant indicator, she said, is that there have been 28 pit bull bites reported in the past three years – and 1,229 bites by other breeds during the same period. In the three-year period before that, there were 45 pit bull bites and 907 incidents involving other breeds.

    Results of mandatory breed-specific S/N in SF: success in San Francisco, where in just eight years there was a 49% decline in the number of pit-bulls impounded, a 23% decline in the number of pit-bulls euthanized, and an 81% decline in the number of pit-bulls involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks.

    When the City of Auburn debated enacting a pit bull law in January 2010, Sgt. Bill Herndon of the San Francisco Police Department weighed in about the success of San Francisco’s 2005 pit bull law:

    “Since requiring all pit bulls to be neutered, they say they are finding fewer pit bulls involved in biting incidents.

    Sgt. Bill Herndon, of the San Francisco Police Department’s vicious dog unit, said the numbers and severity of pit bull attacks are down since San Francisco enacted an ordinance in 2005 after the mauling death of 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish.
    “The number of complaints of mean pit bulls has dropped dramatically,” Herndon said.

    San Francisco’s animal control department reports more than 30 percent fewer pit bulls at the shelter or being euthanized.”
    Ed Boks, Executive director, Yavapai Humane Society (responsible Jan 2004 as director City Center for Animal Care & Control in NYC for trying to rename pit bulls New Yorkies; is pb owner)

    Pit bull type dogs represent 3000% the actuarial risk compared to other types of dogs.
    Insurance companies will have calculated the risks the other listed breeds represent based on what they’ve had to pay out through the years.

    This isn’t ‘prejudice’, this is cold statistical reality. Actuarial realities don’t yield to sentiment or a feeling of entitlement — they just are what they are
    Doctors at University Hospital Respond

    In 2011, the Annals of Surgery published a critical peer-reviewed scientific study pertaining to severe and fatal pit bull injuries (Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs, by John K. Bini, et al.), authored by doctors at San Antonio University Hospital.

    In the landmark 2012 Tracey v. Solesky decision, which declared pit bulls “inherently dangerous,” the highest court in Maryland cited the entire abstract of this study. The conclusions by the University Hospital doctors:

    pit bull Conclusions: Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs. Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the US mortality rates related to dog bites.

    The majority of the San Antonio Express-News article pertains to this study and a rehearsed rehashing of the 30-year old pit bull debate.

    One of the primary authors of the study, Dr. Stephen Cohn, is interviewed in the article. “We’ve had people that have almost lost their legs just going out for a run,”
    said Dr. Stephen Cohn, a professor of surgery at the Health Science Center.
    “This is a complete hazard for all of us.”


  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    In North America, from 1982-2013, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 2,990 humans that resulted in 1,777 maimings and 275 deaths.

    The bullmastiff is a Pit bull type dog with the same genetic makeup and danger of a pit bull.

    The Bullmastiff was a cross of 40% Old English Bulldog or pit bull type dog and 60% English Mastiff

    In North America, from 1982-2013, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 105 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 61 maimings and 15 deaths.

    In North America from 1982-2013, Rottweilers were responsible for 514 attacks on humans, resulting in 81 deaths.
    Rottweiler mixes were responsible for 30 attacks on humans, resulting in 4 deaths
    The following is a list of the top 10 dog breeds involved in dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada involving humans from September 1982 to December 31, 2013, based on a larger table compiled by Merritt Clifton, former editor of Animal People, an animal rights charity/news group. Clifton now is the editor of Animals 24-7.

    A Bullmastiff is considered a pit bull type dog and a pit bull mix between a pit bull and a mastiff and is 40% pit bull.

    Breed ****** Attacks doing bodily harm ****** Maimed ****** Deaths
    1. Pit bull **********2792 ***********************677 **********263
    2. Rottweiler *******514 ************************294 **********81
    3. Bull Mastiff ******105 ************************61 ***********15
    4. German Shepherd 102 **********************63 ***********15
    5. Wolf Hybrid ******85 *************************49 ***********19
    6. Akita **************68 ************************50 ************8
    7. Boxer *************62 ************************29 ************7
    8. Chow *************58 ************************39 ************7
    9. Pit bull/Rottweiler mix 50 ********************15 ************15
    10.Labrador ********50 *************************39 ************3

    The report states that the numbers are compiled from press accounts dating to 1982. It only includes attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, which have been kept as pets. All accounts are cross-checked by date, location and identity of the victim, according to the report.

    Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs and dogs trained specifically to fight are not included in the report.
    About 31,400 dogs attacked about 61,500 other animals in the U.S. in 2013, killing 43,500 and seriously injuring 18,100.

    The animals killed included about 12,000 dogs, 8,000 cats, 6,000 hooved animals, and 17,000 other small domestic animals, primarily poultry.

    The seriously injured included about 12,400 dogs, 4,000 cats, and 1,700 hooved animals. Few small mammals and poultry survived reported dog attacks.

    Pit bulls inflicted 99% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000); 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520); 95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700) and on small mammals and poultry (16,150); and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280).

    About 30,000 pit bulls were involved in attacks on other animals, many of them killing multiple other animals.

    There are about 3.2 million pit bulls in the U.S. at any given time, according to the annual Animal24-7 surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption via online classified ads.

    Thus in 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal, compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds.

    Nationally, fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 since 2010, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    Altogether, 33 U.S. shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.

    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone before 2000 were two wolf hybrids, rehomed in 1988 and 1989, respectively.


    Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to May.25, 2013.

    By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2013, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.

    Study highlights

    Pit bull type dogs make up only 6% of all dogs in the USA.

    The combination of Pit Bulls, rottweilers, their close mixes and wolf hybrids and other Pit Bull Type Dogs:

    84% of attacks that induce bodily harm.

    75% of attacks to children.

    87% of attack to adults.

    72% of attacks that result in fatalities.

    80% that result in maiming


    Merritt Clifton Editor Of Animals24-7:

    I have logged fatal & disfiguring dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada since September 1982.

    Of the 4,960 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 3,417 (68%) were pit bulls; 556 were Rottweilers; 4,253 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 567 human fatalities, 299 were killed by pit bulls; 87 were killed by Rottweilers; 430 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds.

    Of the 3,014 people who were disfigured, 2,096 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 327 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,575 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

    Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class.

    Fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 in the past four years, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone, ever, before 2000 were two wolf hybrids in 1988 and 1989. 33 U.S. shelter dogs & one U.K. shelter dog have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.

    Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 7% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    Myth #1: It’s the owner not the T-rex

    Myth # 2: It’s impossible to identify a T-rex

    Myth #3: Human-aggressive T-rex’s were “culled”

    Fatal attack statistics about T-rex’s are false

    The media conspiracy against T-Rex’s

    T-rex’s are not unpredictable

    T-Rex’s do not have a locking jaw, they just eat you alive

    T-Rex’s used to be the most popular dinosaur in America

    T-rex’s pass the American Temperament Test

    Punish the deed not the breed (of dinosaur)

    T-rex’s originally were “nanny dinosaurs”

    T-rex’s were once known as nanny dino’s.

    T-Rex’s will lick you to death.

    There’s no need to muzzle and leash your T-Rex in the Doggy Park.

    Don’t forget to attend our ‘Million T-Rex March’ on The White House. President Obama loves T-Rex’s and he thinks everyone should own one. Except him.

    Its not an attack if the T-rex is wagging its tail.

    There no bad T-rex’s…only bad owners.

    I’ve seen chihuahuas more aggressive than my T-Rex.


    TSL has been proven not to work in Denver

    Best babysitters ever….NOT

    MY T-rex is the sweetest dino ever.

    T.Rex’s make the BEST Therapy Dinos ever. And are wonderful as Guide-Dinos for The Blind.

    velociraptors bite more than T-rex’s.

    Let’s set up a T-rex kissing booth for our kids.

    Let’s bring a T-rex into school and let the children read books to a perfectly trained T-rex

    Let’s bring our T-rex to the walk for the victims of T-rex’s in Houston to show them they don’t have to be afraid of T-rex’s

    T-rexBite dot org

    Hey now…educate yourself guys.

    My T-Rex likes coconuts!

    you’re all just racist against T-Rex’s!!!

    please leave t~Rex’s alone my family had bred them for years and the only time i was bitten was by a pibble.

    educate yourself you hater,I hope get mauled by a chihuahua.

    t-rex make the best nanny dinosaur, its all how they are raised don’t you know.

    I will be posting this at the dinosaurs love kids and kids love dinosaurs.

    don’t you know the famous dinosaur barney?

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    31 People dead by dog attack in 2014
    Pit bull type dogs killed 28 of them.
    17 killed by pit bull type dogs of the 30 dead are children.

    Stars indicate people killed by a ‘family’ pit bull – ones that had
    been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, ‘never showed aggression
    before’, and knew the victim.

    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (17)
    Kara E. Hartrich, 4 years old, Bloomington, Illinois. **
    Je’vaeh Maye, 2 years old, Temple Texas. **
    Braelynn Rayne Coulter, 3 years old, High Point, North Carolina. **
    Kenneth Santillan, 13 years old, Patterson, N.J. by a Bullmastiff
    Raymane Camari Robinson, 2 years old, Killeen, TX by a Bullmastiff **
    Mia Derouen, 4 years old, Houma, Louisiana **
    Christopher Malone, 3 years old, Thornton, MS **
    John Harvard, 5 year old, Riverside, AL **
    Kassi Haith, 4 years old, Felton, Del.
    Demonta Collins, 13 years old, Augusta, Georgia
    he dashed into traffic as he was running from a pit bull attacking him and was hit by a car and was killed.
    Davon Jiggetts,17 years old, Riverdale, Georgia
    he dashed into traffic as he was running from a pit bull attacking him and was hit by a car as was the pit bull, both were killed.
    Holden William Garrison-10 weeks old, Springfield Township, MI **
    Friends of family state that the dog is a Pit bull Mix a Catahoula Hound mixed with Pit Bull.
    Logan Shepard, 4 years old, Riverview, Florida **
    Jonathon Quarles Jr, 7 months old, Dayton, Ohio. **
    Joel Chirieleison, 6 years old, Fanning Springs, FL **
    Deriah Solem, 22 months, ST. Charles, Mo. **
    Javon Dade, Jr, 4 years old, Goulds, FL **

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type (10):
    Christina Burleson, 43 years old, Houston, Texas. **
    Klonda S. Richey, 57 years old, Dayton, Ohio. by two Bullmastiff’s
    Nancy Newberry, 77 years old, Phoenix, AZ. **
    Dorothy Hamilton, 85 years old, Kaufman, TX **
    Petra Aguirre, 83 years old, San Antonio TX **
    Betty Clark, 75 years old, San Antonio TX **
    Katie Morrison, 20-years old, Smiths Station, AL **
    Rita Pepe, 93 years old, Branford, Conn by a rescued pit bull
    Craig Sytsma, 46 years old, Metamora, Mich.2 cane corsos and Italian Pit bull type dog.
    Cindy Whisman, 59 years old, Madison Township, Ohio **

    That’s 90% killed by attacking pit bull type dogs.
    Pit Bull type dogs are only about 6% of the entire dog population.

    Summer Sears, 4 years old, Tallassee, AL by Husky/German Shepard Cross
    Nyhiem Wilfong, 1 year old, Caldwell County, N.C. by Rottweiler. **

    89-year-old Annabell Martin, Corona, CA. by her grandson’s three Rottweilers.**

    Non-bite fatalities:
    Carlos Eligio Trevina – 54 y.o. – Idaho Falls ID ** – [Jan 9] – Died of a heart attack immediately after breaking up a fight between his seven pit bulls / pit mixes
    33 People dead by dog attack in 2013.
    Pit bull type dogs killed thirty of them. sixteen of the twenty-nine dead are children.
    Stars indicate people killed by a ‘family’ pit bull – ones that had been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, ‘never showed aggression before’, and knew the victim.

    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (16):
    Christian Gormanous – 4 yrs old Montgomery County, TX
    Isaiah Aguilar – 2 yrs old Sabinal, TX
    Ryan Maxwell – 7 yrs old ** Galesburg, IL.
    Dax Borchardt – 14 mos old ** Walworth, WI.
    Monica Laminack – 21 mos old ** Ellabelle, GA.
    Tyler Jett – 7 yrs old Callaway, FL.
    Jordyn Arndt – 4 yrs old ** Prairie City, IA.
    Beau Rutledge – 2 yrs old ** Fulton County, GA.
    Ayden Evans- 5 yrs old ** Jessieville, AR.
    Nephi Selu – 6 yrs old ** Union City, CA.
    Arianna Jolee Merrbach – 5 yrs old Effingham, SC.
    Daniel (surname as yet not revealed) – 2 yrs old (Gilbert, Arizona) **
    Samuel Eli Zamudio – 2 yrs old** Colton, CA
    Jordan Ryan– 5 yrs old Baker city, Oregon
    Levi Watson-Bradford-4 years old** White County, Arkansas
    Jah’niyah White – 2 years old ** Chicago, Ill

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type (13):
    Betty Todd – 65 yrs old ** Hodges, SC
    Elsie Grace – 91 yrs old ** Hemet, CA
    Claudia Gallardo – 38 yrs old Stockton, CA.
    Pamela Devitt – 63 yrs old Littlerock, CA.
    Carlton Freeman – 80 yrs old Harleyville, SC.
    Linda Oliver – 63 yrs old Dayton, TX.
    James Harding – 62 yrs old -Baltimore, MD
    chased into traffic by two attacking pit bulls
    Juan Campos – 96 yrs old Katy, Texas.
    Terry Douglass 56 years old. **Baltimore, MD
    Katherine Atkins-25 years old ** Kernersville, NC
    Nga Woodhead-65 years old Spanaway, WA.
    Joan Kappen, 75 years old Hot Springs Ark
    Michal Nelson, 41 years old Valencia County, New Mexico **

    (1 non-pit type killing) [Rachel Honabarger – 35 yrs old – mauled to death by her own GSD mix] Coshocton, OH.

    (1 husky-mix killing, unknown if the other half of the dog was pit bull) [Jordan Lee Reed – 5 yrs old] Kotzebue, AK

    (1 Shiba Inu killing) Mia Gibson – age 3 months, of Gibson, OH – mauled to death by family Shiba Inu.

    Three of the pit bull type dogs were BULL mastiffs, ie 40% pit-fighting bulldog.

    If 27 of 33 dead were killed by pit bull attack, that’s 82% dead by pit attack, 9% dead by ‘molosser’, 3% by some kind of GSD mix, 3% by a husky + possibly pit mix, 3% by Shiba Inu.

    If you count the pit-mix mastiffs as pit bull types, that’s 91% killed by attacking pit bull types. Pit types are only about 6% of the entire dog population.

    The man who ran into traffic kept pit bulls himself. He knew perfectly well what the two stranger pit bulls that were chasing him would do if they caught him, so he preferred to risk a swift death by oncoming car.

    534 maimed by pit type dogs 2013 (as of November.28).

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    The Great American Pit Bull Experiment
    By Heather Wilhelm – July 17, 2014

    I’ll admit it: I’m not a huge pit bull fan. I don’t hate them with a fiery passion, as many people do. I’m not sure banning them is the greatest idea. But I’d certainly rather not hang out with them in my spare time, and I’d be alarmed to see one off a leash. In my brain, fair or not, they look about as cuddly as a king-sized, long-clawed, chain-smoking crocodile.

    This is rather bad news for me, considering that in many parts of the country, legions of pit bulls—and enthusiastic pit bull supporters—seem to be falling from the sky. After the sad story of Michael Vick’s multiple dog abuses broke in 2007, pit bull adoptions skyrocketed. Pit bull rescue organizations are popping up everywhere; here in Austin, Texas, I’m greeted by panting pit bulls sporting cheery “Adopt Me!” jackets almost every time I go out for a run. I saw one just this morning, in fact, towed by a young, optimistic-looking volunteer—and wearing a suspiciously hefty choke chain.

    This week, Esquire magazine published “The State of the American Dog,” a personal, almost mystical paean to pit bulls. Written by Tom Junod, who has won two National Magazine Awards and has owned at least two pit bulls, the article outlines the sad state of the breed in America. Pit bulls are overbred, abused, neglected, abandoned, and euthanized in stunning numbers: as many as 3,000, Esquire reports, are put down every day. Pit bulls are also, at least in the eyes of Junod and thousands of pit bull lovers across the country, horribly misunderstood. There is no such thing as a bad dog, in this view. There is only a bad owner.

    Pit bull enthusiasts will tell you their dogs are sweet, loving, and funny—and that their dogs wouldn’t hurt a flea. Unfortunately, my experience has been different. One woman I know was randomly attacked by an unleashed pit bull while she was lying on the grass in an Austin park. A former co-worker of mine, meanwhile, was attacked by her pet pit bull when she was 9 years old. “Oh, but really, he didn’t mean it—he was the sweetest dog ever,” she insisted, showing me the massive scar on her leg.

    Denial, as always, ain’t just a river in Egypt: It’s a common trait among pit bull people. Statistical reports from a wide range of sources—including the CDC, PETA, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Annals of Surgery, and a multi-decade, comprehensive report from the editor of Animal People magazine—show one common theme: Pit bulls, like it or not, are far and away the most dangerous dog in America. In terms of fatal attacks, maulings, and bites, no other dog, not even the Rottweiler, comes close. Pit bulls are also known for attacking suddenly, without warning, and after years of apparent “sweetness.”

    This shouldn’t be surprising. Pit bulls were originally bred to fight other dogs to the death, not to sit on your lap. Here in the U.S., with the resurrection of dogfighting, many breeders have worked to amplify pit bull aggressiveness. Dogs of a certain breed may not be identical drones, but they do tend to share common traits. This, of course, is Dog Breeding 101.

    But these days, it seems, no one wants to be a dog racist—and this is where things start to get really weird. “The opposition to pit bulls might not be racist,” Junod writes in his Esquire piece. “It does, however, employ racial thinking.” Jeez, Louise. I suppose, then, it is time that I confess: I am a pug supremacist. Go ahead and judge me, America. Say what you will, but the worst thing a pug can do is fart you to death.

    Wade into the Great American Pit Bull Debate—and believe me, it’s raging, online and elsewhere—and you’ll find a fascinating microcosm that closely mirrors American political polarization. When it comes to people and their dogs, nuance is nobody’s friend. On one side, pit bulls are demons, fit for extermination; on the other, they’re angelic godsends fit to babysit infants.

    Lest you think I’m exaggerating on that last point, check out a pit bull advocacy page or two. You’ll see photos of “pitties” with their snouts right next to a baby’s face (something dog experts will tell you to never, ever do, no matter the breed) and various claims that pit bulls used to be viewed as “nanny dogs,” fit for the care of children. The “nanny dog” myth has become so widespread, in fact, that even pit bull advocacy group BADRAP recently felt compelled to call off the proverbial dogs, warning parents “there was never such a thing” and that the term was a misleading “recipe for dog bites.”

    Pit bull fans can get so intense, in fact, that they sometimes favor dogs over people. Back in March, when an Arizona pit bull named Mickey mauled a 4-year-old boy, protesters hit the streets—in favor of Mickey. A “Save Mickey” Facebook page earned 70,000 likes; the page for Kevin Vicente, the boy torn to shreds, gained less than 500. Thanks to his fans, who largely blamed the boy for “provoking” the dog, Mickey will live out his days at a no-kill shelter.

    Pit bull adopters and rescue centers, no doubt, are acting out of an admirable sense of compassion. It remains to be seen whether they’re also acting out of a dangerous level of naivete. Knowingly or not, the growing, feel-good pit bull rescue movement is conducting a massive experiment in American homes. Perhaps it’s true that, when it comes to dogs, breeding isn’t destiny. Perhaps all you need is love. I hope that’s the case. We shall wait and see—but in the meantime, please keep your “pittie” on a very strong leash.

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    Pit-bull bans controversial, but they work
    July 19, 2014

    WAUSAU – The city of Antigo has been pit-bull-free for almost 20 years.

    In 1995, the city hired an attorney who suggested that the city adopt an ordinance prohibiting the oft-maligned dogs from the city, said Kaye Matucheski, city clerk-treasurer for Antigo. The ordinance largely was a preventative measure; Antigo hadn’t had any vicious dog attacks, but pit bulls were being blamed for maulings all over the United States, so the city acted before an attack happened rather than waiting to react afterward.

    The ordinance the city adopted prohibits pit bulls and mixes of the breed, as well as any other vicious or dangerous animals, from being in the city. In the almost 20 years since it was adopted, Antigo has had no attacks, no maulings, and no dogs killed by pit bulls or other dogs.

    Contrast that with Wausau, where in June, a woman was attacked by a pit bull that charged from its home and killed the Chihuahua the woman was walking. That dog remains in quarantine at the Humane Society of Marathon County as a court case seeking to have it euthanized moves forward.

    Meanwhile, the owner of the dog was cited June 19 for allowing a dog to run loose, keeping a vicious dog, failing to license the animal and failure to have it vaccinated for rabies, according to Wausau Police Lt. Mike Juedes. And the woman who was attacked, Cindy Ryder, has called on the city to ban pit bulls as Antigo and other cities have.

    Municipal leaders where such bans have been adopted say the rules are simple and they work. They ensure that pit bulls are kept under control to protect the safety of residents and other animals. Critics of the laws, though, say they punish good owners for the actions of bad owners.

    The village of Stratford and the city of Greenwood both have similar bans on pit bulls and dangerous animals. Lonna Klinke, Greenwood’s clerk-treasurer, said her city’s experience is much like Antigo’s: no specific incidents inspired the ban, and since it was adopted, the city has had no attacks and issued no citations.

    Greenwood, she said, has no pit bull problem.

    How the bans work

    The June attack in Wausau was the latest in a series of maulings that has seen 10 dogs declared vicious by the city over the last six months, and police are called almost every week to a report of a problem animal running loose or threatening people.

    Marathon County spends about $68,000 a year sheltering stray, surrendered and impounded dogs, and last year, about half of the dogs in the Humane Society of Marathon County’s shelter were pit bulls awaiting adoption or euthanasia.

    In contrast, Antigo is pit-bull free, and authorities spend almost no resources chasing the problem dogs, Matucheski, the clerk-treasurer, said.

    “If there is an incident where we’re informed that a resident has a pit bull, they are visited by the police department and asked to remove the pit bull,” Matucheski said.

    Pit bulls that are found in the city are impounded, Matucheski said, and are kept at the humane society, where they can be adopted by people who live outside city limits.

    When Antigo adopted its ban, pit bulls already in the city were allowed to stay, but owners had to register them with the city and follow strict guidelines, including muzzling their animals and keeping them on short leashes when they are outdoors — a procedure similar to those in other municipalities that have adopted bans.

    According to national dog attack statistics from http://www.dogsbite dot org, pit bulls and pit bull mixes represent about 6 percent of all dogs in the United States but are responsible for the overwhelming majority of all maulings.

    Between 1982 and 2013, pit bulls were responsible for 275 deaths and 1,779 maimings, according to the organization, which tracks dog attacks.

    Over the same time period, Rottweilers caused 81 deaths and 294 maimings; German shepherds caused 15 deaths and 63 maimings; and Dobermans caused seven deaths and 10 maimings.

    About the bans:
    Many pit bull bans share stipulations:

    Bans on dogs known as “pit bulldogs,” including the Staffordshire bull terrier, the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier breeds, and any dog that has the appearance or characteristics of any of these breeds

    Pit bulls that were registered with the city before a ban was implemented are allowed to remain, provided the owner uses a muzzle on the pit bull and that it is kept on a leash no more than four feet long

    Owners who have been allowed to keep their pit bulls must have a minimum of $50,000 in single-incident insurance

    Owners must post Beware of Dog signs that can be easily seen by the public

    Any puppies born to a registered pit bull must be removed from the city within six weeks of their birth

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    Opinion: There is no need for pit bulls
    By Dr. David A. Billmire June 29, 2014

    Dr. Billmire is professor and director of the Division of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

    As one who, for the last 30 years, has been on the receiving end of the dog-bite injuries that pass through the Children’s Hospital Emergency Room, as well as on the staff at the Shriners Hospitals for Children where we see the late effects of these injuries from across the nation, I can categorically tell you that the problems associated with dog bites are indeed breed-specific.

    When I started my career, the most common dog-bite injuries were from German shepherds and occasionally retrievers. These injuries were almost always provoked, such as food-related or stepping on the dog, and in almost every instance, the dog reacted with a single snap and release – essentially a warning shot. There were no pack attacks.

    Starting about 25 years ago, my colleagues and I started to see disturbingly different types of injuries. Instead of a warning bite, we saw wounds where the flesh was torn from the victim. There were multiple bite wounds covering many different anatomical sites. The attacks were generally unprovoked, persistent and often involved more than one dog. In every instance the dog involved was a pit bull or a pit bull mix.

    Now, I am a dog lover and virtually every one of my family members has a dog. But it is a fact that different dogs have always been bred for specific qualities. My sheltie herded, my daughter’s setter flushes birds and my pug sits on my lap – this is what they are bred for. Pit bulls were bred to fight and kill and, unfortunately, many current breeders favor these aggressive traits. There is no need for any dog with the characteristics.

    I recently gave a talk summarizing my 30 years of practice in pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery, and one segment was titled “Why I Hate Pit Bulls.” I watched a child bleed to death one night in our operating room because a pit bull had torn his throat out. I have had to rebuild the skull of a child who had his ears and entire scalp torn off.

    I am currently reconstructing the face of a child, half of whose face has been torn off down to the bone. I have had to rebuild noses, lips, eyelids, jaws and cheeks of numerous children. On older children, I have had to reconstruct legs and hands. The unfortunate young victim whose recent attack has initiated this discussion will bear the scars of this attack for the rest of her life.

    Based on my extensive experience, I believe that the risk posed by pit bulls is equivalent to placing a loaded gun with the safety off on the coffee table. In my opinion, these dogs should be banned. I know this is an unpopular stand in some circles, but how many mauled children do we have to see before we realize the folly of allowing these dogs to exist?

    The arguments made by advocates of these dogs are the same arguments made by people who feel that assault weapons are an essential part of daily living. There are plenty of breeds available that peacefully coexist with human society. There is no need for pit bulls.

  • Tom M. (@TomM1933)

    Don’t take needless chances with dog-baby photos

    By Dr. DARA JOHNS / Daily News columnist
    Published: Monday, September 1, 2014

    In September 2000, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published an article detailing a study of the breeds of dogs involved in human fatal attacks.

    The authors obtained their data by contacting the Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS maintains a data base of dog bite-related fatalities. The study accumulated data from 1979 to 1996.

    Results showed that certain breeds were more likely to cause dog bite related fatalities.

    Highest on the list were pit bulls with 66 fatal incidents recorded. Second highest were Rottweilers with 39 incidents.

    German Shepherds came in at 17 and Husky-type dogs were 15. Doberman Pinchers had nine recorded dog bite fatalities and Chow Chows had eight. Great Danes and Saint Bernards each had seven to their name over the 17-year period.

    The Center for Disease Control says that roughly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of those bitten, about 885,000 require medical attention, and half of those requiring medical attention are children.

    I bring this up because I have been seeing way too many “cute” pictures on the Internet of little babies lying around with really big dogs.

    Even medium-size dogs can do a lot of damage, but when you put a little defenseless child up next to an animal with incredibly strong jaws and sharp teeth, you are taking needless chances.

    Dogs are not human and are not bound by the same code of ethics that humans are. One may never know what might trigger a dog to snap. Even if a dog is not intentionally trying to injure a child, rough play can cause a lot of damage.

    In my profession, we see a lot of dogs that we are cautious around. Many dogs that may snap if provoked get a muzzle so that we do not have to worry about being bitten while we are performing our exam.

    Probably half or more of the dogs we muzzle are less than 20 pounds. They can do a lot of damage with their teeth even if they can’t cause bite-related fatalities.

    Little dogs can severe nerves and tear muscle. Bite wounds are dirty and easily get infected and cause secondary scarring and long term pain.

    Little children playing games might chase a dog, big or little, into a corner. The dog, feeling threatened, could lash out and do permanent damage to the child.

    That is bad enough, but when you lay a baby down with a huge dog, you are putting that baby’s life in the hands of an animal. There is absolutely nothing reasonable about that.

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