Everett child attacked by pit bull

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SEATTLE — Police said a 2-year-old child was recovering Thursday after being attacked by a pit bull in Everett.

Officers said the girl was walking with her mother and another woman on Evergreen Way when the dog ran up from behind and jumped on the child. The dog then bit the girl on her face and arms. Her mother and the other woman punched the dog and tried choking it in hopes of freeing the child. It then ran away.

Police said the girl received several stitches to her cheek, lip and arm.

Officers tried searching for the dog but could not find it. The animal is described as dark gray with several black spots. Anyone who has seen the dog or knows where it lives is asked to call 911.


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  • Joan

    Since Evergreen Way is several miles long, it would be great to know where on Evergreen the girl was bitten. I live near Evergreen, am aware of a Pit that matches the description, but would never call – just not enough information to feel confident that the dog I know would be the dog involved in this attack.

  • mickeygirl

    I am so sad to hear about this poor little girl but it probably would not have been reported if it was a chiwawa or any other breed. Makes me sick that the only time a bit attack is reported is when its a pit bull.

    • RKS

      As they say in the "news" industry "If it bleeds, it leads." Now if they knew anything about dog bites, they would know that Pits are not the number one people biters, but we wouldn't want to clutter the story with facts.

      • Elizabeth

        Pit bull type dogs are responsible for 95% of deaths by dog attack this year so far. It's that kind of fact the pit nutters don't want cluttering any stories. That's why they always bring up chihuahua bites.

        95% of people KILLED by dogs in 2013 were KILLED by pit bull type dogs. This little girl is lucky to be alive.

        • Snoopy

          95% is far, far fetched. I can only guess where you are pulling this out off and the other stuff up there is what your brain consists of. Another issue with you percentage, is you fail to realize that pit bull is not A BREED, but a generic term for many different breeds, but mainly mutts. Even with that description, 95% isn't even close. People like you just want to smear pit bulls, but while you attempt that, you continue spot lighting them to the public, only making them more popular. FYI – Every breed or type of dog that has been vilified, ALWAYS becomes a very popular, well respected dog after about a decade or so. We can see this with pit bulls, as in the past year, their popularty and population has increased 2000%. We can also see that you average dog owners are getting them within recent years, and thugs are dumping them for a new breed, as most people nowadays realize that pit bulls are nothing but loyal dogs that are easy to train, and that bad owners are responsible for bad dogs. Good try though!!! Without people like you, the pit bull would be little known, and anti-BSL laws wouldn't exist. So, thank you for helping making pit bulls one of the most popular dogs in the US!!

    • Ben

      I can just imagine the headline: "Chihuahua viciously attacks child, nearly breaks the skin"

      Or how about "Rabid Yorkie aggressively charges woman; she accidentally steps on and kills it before noticing that it's there."

  • MerrittClifton

    Of the 4,368 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 2,760 (63%) were pit bulls; 536 were Rottweilers; 3,532 were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes. Of the 513 human fatalities, 260 were killed by pit bulls; 84 were killed by Rottweilers; 383 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds. Of the 2,481 people who were disfigured, 1,646 (66%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 314 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,057 (83%) were disfigured by molosser breeds. Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict about 10 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class. Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 6% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • ThomasMcCart


    Sadly, here are the real statistics on what happens to pit bulls, provided by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, who has compiled statistics from all over the country since 1982. He states, “Pit bull attacks are way up:”.

    –We had 184 fatal & disfiguring pit bull attacks in 2012.

    –To date in 2013, we have had 342 fatal & disfiguring pit bull attacks.

    “An average of just over 900,000 pit bulls per year over the past 10 years have been killed in shelters after flunking behavioral screening, with a peak of 967,000, a low of 835,000, and 910,000 killed last year. This is about 60% of all the dogs killed in U.S. shelters today, up from about 50% in 2003.

    “The average age of pit bulls killed in animal shelters is about 18 months. So what we have at any given time is a third of the pit bull population having not yet reached maturity, a third (at most) in homes they will still occupy at the end of the year, and a third flunking out of homes and being killed — which translates into a 50% failure rate among adult dogs in homes each & every year.

    “About two-thirds of the fatal and disfiguring dog attacks occurring in the U.S. during the past 30 years have been by pit bulls. The low rate of sterilization among pit bulls contributes mightily to the repeated finding that the majority of fatal and disfiguring dog attacks are by non-castrated male dogs.

    “But about two-thirds of the fatal and disfiguring attacks by castrated male dogs are also by pit bulls, including at least nine fatalities since 2010 inflicted by pit bulls who were adopted from animal shelters after both castration and passing standard pre-adoption behavioral screening.” (www.animalpeoplenews.org).

  • ThomasMcCart

    A pit bull type dog is what it is and does what it is.You can no more alter it genetic makeup then you can a collies to herd, a hounds to track, a retriever's to retrieve, a labs to swim, a pointers to point, a sled dog to run and pull.

    They do what they are and a pit bull type dog is a mauling violent killer that has been bred to be a land shark, nothing you do can change that, even if you have them from birth.

    No matter if you love them, or how you nurture, train, rehabilitate, raise them optimally as normal dogs from birth, you can not change their Genetic reality to Kill, Maul, Maim, Disfigure, Dismember, cause Life Flights or trips to the Intensive Care Unit.

    For over 600 years the current pit bull type dog was brought into being through careful selective genetic breeding to create the most violent murderous fighting dog possible.

    Alexandra Semyonova canine Behavioral and Dog training Expert:

    The history of the ‘bull’ dog began in England, somewhere in the middle ages. It took hundreds of years of selective breeding to create dogs aggressive enough that they were fit for bull- and bear-baiting. The sport had its heyday during the reigns of Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I, but as the law slowly abolished the torture of humans, public opinion began to turn also against the torture of animals for sport. In 1835, Britain passed a law that abolished bull- and bear-baiting.

    The people – in particular the breeders supplying the dogs and those who ran the gambling rackets – had to turn to some other avenue of livelihood. Pitting ‘bull’ dogs against each other became the thing. No need to have, sustain and hide a bull or a bear. No need for an elaborate fighting pit that was big enough to protect the audience from a bear fighting for its life against a bunch of bulldogs.

    The bulldogs were cheaper to keep, required only an improvised fighting pit, and could be quickly hidden if police were on the way. Some lines were modified by adding terrier. This didn’t lead to losing the bulldog’s love of a fight to the death but made the dogs smaller. These smaller bulldogs were easy to transport on Naval ships, and so the British fighting dogs spread around the world.

    It had taken a thousand years of careful breeding to create these specialized fighters / baiters that are so unlike any normal domestic dog. The British breeding program was so successful that these fighting dogs were used all over the world to increase the fighting tenacity of indigenous fighting and/or mastiff breeds. Never before or since was an experiment in changing the domestic dog so successful as the British thousand-years bulldog one. Even today, mixing in this type of dog is the only way to create new aggressive ‘breeds’. It doesn't matter what you mix the bulldog type with, the trait will prevail — it's genetic and strongly heritable.

    Every single living ‘bull’ type dog is a direct descendent of these vicious Elizabethan baiting / fighting bulldogs.

  • ThomasMcCart

    American Temperament Test:
    The ATTS test, was NOT created to evaluate dogs for “pet” suitability.

    In 1977, Alfons Ertel designed the American Temperament Test in hopes of creating a uniform temperament test for dogs. Of the 75 million dogs that populate the U.S. today, 20 about 933 are tested per year (0.001% of all dogs).

    And he was a printer, NOT an animal behaviorist. He owned German shepherds and was involved in the sport called shutzhund, which involves training dogs in the same manner in which police dogs are trained.

    The ATTS was intended to test working dogs for jobs such as police work and it favors bold animals, i.e., dogs that face danger head-on without hesitation or fear.

    Courage was a desirable trait, timidity an undesirable trait. Thus, German shepherds did much better on the ATTS than did collies and other timid breeds.

    In fact, 95% of the dogs that fail the ATTS do so because they “lack confidence,” e.g., when approaching a weirdly-dressed stranger.

    Of course, pit bulls are going to score well on a test geared toward aggressive behavior because these monsters were bred for the purpose of fighting and killing other pit bulls and nothing deters them, certainly not weirdly-dressed strangers!

    The temperament data published by the group is not based upon scientific random sampling of any dog breed. It seems it would be virtually impossible to develop such a reliable study, as the base population source group is unidentifiable.

    Due to the temperament data being objectively statistically unreliable, it is also highly misleading. Pit bull advocates frequently use this misleading data to point to the breed's good temperament and to advocate against breed-specific laws ("Pit bulls pass the ATTS test more often than beagles!").

    Yet anyone one who has a minimal understanding of critical statistical analysis should be able to see that the ATTS "breed statistics" temperament data21 is essentially valueless.

    The 12-minute test stimulates a casual walk through a park with a range of encounters. The test focuses on stability, shyness, aggressiveness and a few other factors. According to the group, the overall pass rate (the combination of all breeds) is 81.6%.22.

    Unlike the AKC's Canine Good Citizen test, no part of the ATTS test is performed without the dog owner present. It also fails to evaluate the most basic scenario that leads to aggression: How a dog reacts when it sees another dog.

  • ThomasMcCart

    This speaks volumes and in a nutshell reflects the reality of what animal shelters are doing throughout North America where vicious pit bull type dogs are misrepresented as family lassie or rin tin tin type dogs.

  • ThomasMcCart

    Barbara Kay: Dog bites man — again and again.
    Barbara Kay | 13/08/22.

    Thanks to (literally) thick skin, a Calgary-resident beagle named Arlo will recover from a recent unprovoked attack by two neighbouring pit bulls. The vet bill for stitching up Arlo’s neck and shoulder — $3600 — tells us that what will be officially recorded as “bites” were in fact the mauling typically associated with pit-bull-type dogs.

    If Arlo had been the family’s thin-skinned child, one shudders to think of the likely outcome. Here is yet another reminder that the vaunted “Calgary model” for containing dangerous-dog harm isn’t working.

    Because of the disproportionate damage they cause to other animals and humans, especially children, some 600 communities across North America have chosen breed selective legislation to ban pit-bull-type dogs. But Calgary opted for “responsible pet ownership”: strict licencing, public education and owner accountability.

    So the (unlicenced) pit bulls’ owner is paying the vet bill. Which is no solace to Arlo and his owners, or other neighbours, now understandably fearful in their instantly-devalued homes.

    Arlo’s assailants should be euthanized. Instead they will be “assessed,” after which they may get a second chance, as juvenile first (human) offenders usually do. Trouble is, dogs are not humans.

    The purpose-bred fighting breed cluster pit bulls represent, genetically programmed for impulsive aggression, cannot be trained into reliable sociability, any more than greyhounds can be trained to adopt the running gait of a sled dog.

    If this strikes you as mere common sense, reader, you are out of the canine-correctness loop. Most dog-industry spokespeople — veterinarians, humane shelters, animal charities — have bought into the sentimental, but anti-scientific tropes promoted by pit bull advocates. Ignoring hard evidence, they piously invoke common mantras like “all dogs bite” and “it’s bad owners, not bad dogs.”.

    Both statements are misleading. Unlike pit-bull-type dogs, non-fighting dogs usually only bite defensively. When they do, they grab and release; they don’t maul in the grip-and-rend style of fighting dogs. Explosive, unpredictable aggression can emerge in pit bulls as young as four months. Bad owners may exacerbate pit bulls’ inherited traits, but even ideal owners cannot eliminate or reliably control them.

    In his continually updated “Clifton Report,” available online, Animal People editor Merritt Clifton publishes tallied of serious human damage — maulings, maimings and fatalities by dogs — tallied by breed. (He has been tracking such data since the early 1980s.)

    According to these numbers, derived from Centers for Disease Control and police reports, amongst other sources, pit-bull-type dogs represent 3000% of the actuarial risk of more typical breeds. Rottweilers represent 2000%, and — to show the disproportion — German Shepherds, the third highest-risk breed, represent only 300% average risk.

    Since 1982, pit bulls have killed 259 of the 511 North American victims of fatal dog attacks.
    In fact, Farmers Group Insurance in California recently stopped liability coverage for pit bulls and Rottweilers (and wolf hybrids). Tellingly, the number of attacks and the amount of payout has doubled in those jurisdictions that — like Calgary — refuse to enact breed selective legislation.

    Before the late 20th century proliferation of pit bulls into the dog population, no other breed had ever killed or maimed humans in numbers that come even remotely close to those killed by pit bull type dogs. (Dobermans, widely maligned in their fashionable day as dangerous, have killed four people in the U.S. since 1982.)

    The exponential growth of pit bull love — they currently represent the second most popular breed after retrievers in sales — is a worrying cultural phenomenon. Now 6% of the dog population, since 1982, pit bulls have killed 259 of the 511 North American victims of fatal dog attacks, according to Clifton.

    Bans work. They eliminate the loathsome crime of dog fighting and ancillary criminal activity, notably drug dealing, that dog fighting attracts. They stop the co-optation of public spaces by intimidating youths parading canine weaponry. Overcrowded humane shelters empty out, as dumped pit bulls represent much of their intake.

    Most important: Bans spare animals and people horrible suffering. San Francisco saw an 81% decline in fatal or disfiguring pit bull attacks in the eight years following its ban; Toronto dog bites have decreased by 32% — from 486 to 329 — since the 2006 Ontario ban on pit bulls.

    The Calgary model is failing. Despite its record licencing rate of 90% — four times higher than the average in other cities — Calgary area pit bull attacks have more than tripled: from 58 in 2009 to 201 in 2012.

    Facts are facts. What part of “public safety hazard” does Calgary not understand?

    National Post

  • ThomasMcCart

    In Calgary, by Bill Bruce's own admission and documentation, pit bulls lead the serious bite count with 13% of the city's serious bites attributable to pit bulls, yet pit bulls account for less than 1% of the city's dogs.

    In fact, pit bulls are responsible for nearly as many serious bites (13%) as the ENTIRE sporting breeding category (15%), which includes all of the most popular breeds (Labs, Goldens, Poodles, Spaniels, etc) and houses 70% of Calgary's dogs.

    Why aren't these breeds attacking in the face of irresponsible ownership?

  • ThomasMcCart

    "The LA Times (and other advocates) are fond of mentioning that many pit bulls live without incident as gentle pets. These advocates ignore more compelling facts.

    321 humans have been killed or disfigured by dogs during calendar year 2013; 316 of those attacks were by pit bulls.

    16 of the attacks have caused human fatalities, 15 of those deaths were caused by pit bulls.***.

    California leads the nation in fatal pit bull attacks with 25% of the nation's total.

    To omit this essential information in an editorial opinion on pit bulls is tantamount to a lie of omission."

  • ThomasMcCart

    The Front Burner: Banning pit bulls saves lives and protects the innocent.
    By Colleen Lynn Guest columnist.
    May 24, 2013.

    Whether to ban pit bulls is a human health and safety issue that should be steered by health and safety officials. Public safety is not the profession of animal advocates. Thus, public policy coming from animal advocates concerning protecting humans from pit bulls is fundamentally flawed.

    So far this year, 13 of the 14 Americans who have been killed by dogs — 93 percent — were killed by pit bulls and pit mixes. This is well above the average of 60 percent from 2005 to 2012.

    As the pit bull population rises, more human fatalities ensue. During the last eight-year period that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied fatal attacks by breed (1991 to 1998), pit bulls were estimated at 1 percent of the U.S. dog population. Pit bulls killed an average of three people per year.

    The pit bull population has since grown to 4 percent. During the most recent eight-year period (2005-12), pit bulls killed an average of 19 people per year.

    Miami-Dade County, which banned pit bulls in 1989, has avoided this loss of life. Other Florida counties — prohibited by state law from regulating dogs by breed — continue to experience deaths and disfigurements due to pit bulls. Since 1989, 18 Florida citizens have been killed by pit bulls — none within Miami-Dade.

    The threat from pit bulls results from the combination of the animals' inclination to attack without warning — an essential trait of fighting dogs — and the type of injuries that pit bulls typically inflict.

    Most dogs bite and retreat, but pit bulls have a hold-and-shake bite style, and tenaciously refuse to stop an attack once begun.

    Often a pit bull releases its grip only when dead — the trait dog fighters describe as being "dead game."

    Ban opponents often blame dismembering and fatal attacks on environmental factors, such as neglect. That, unfortunately, is the plight of too many dogs of all breeds, not just those who kill and maim.

    Opponents also fail to distinguish dog-bite-injury severity. They argue that bans "do not reduce all dog bites." Of the 4.7 million Americans bitten by dogs each year, 9,500 require hospitalization for severe dog-bite injuries. The most extreme injury level, mauling injury, requires life-saving procedures at trauma centers.

    The purpose of a pit bull ban is to eradicate mauling injuries and deaths inflicted by pit bulls, the breed involved in more than half of all severe and mauling attacks.

    Since 1986, 18 appellate decisions have upheld lower-court findings that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dog breeds.

    Since 1988, four peer-reviewed studies published in leading medical journals have reviewed the severity of pit bull injury. "Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs," published in the Annals of Surgery in 2011, concluded the following:

    "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 U.S. mortality rates related to dog bites."

    In April 2012, the highest court in Maryland declared pit bulls "inherently dangerous," altering common law pertaining to pit bull attacks. Pit bulls are prima facia dangerous in Maryland and held to a strict liability standard. In instances of a tenant's pit bull attacking, this liability extends to the landlord. The court cited the entire abstract of the 2011 Annals of Surgery study in its opinion.

    Influential pit bull advocates have supported regulation in the past and are doing so now. On its Facebook page, the Villalobos Rescue Center, founded by Tia Torres of Animal Planet's Pit Bulls & Parolees — expressed support for a proposal in Louisiana on the heels of a mutilating attack on a woman by her own pit bulls.

    It is time for Florida pit bull advocacy groups to follow suit.

    Colleen Lynn is the founder of DogsBite.org, a national dog-bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks.

  • ThomasMcCart

    17 Barks
    Musings on Canidae and alternative views of life.

    Saturday, August 3, 2013.

    Breedism: what is a breed?
    What is a breed, anyway? It may seem like an inane question, but it's a good idea to be clear about what we mean.

    It can be rather frustrating to take part in a discussion where each party is using the same terms and assumes they mean the same thing to everyone, but where each party attaches radically different meaning to those terms.

    A quick consultation with Google provides this basic definition of the noun "breed": A stock of animals or plants within a species having a distinctive appearance and typically having been developed by deliberate selection.

    It was popularly believed that our domestic dogs descended from wild wolves tamed by humans, but more recent research indicates that domestic dogs evolved gradually from canine ancestors in response to conditions in their environment, adapting themselves to a niche on the fringes of human civilization.

    These canids differed from wolves in that they were less fearful of humans. They scavenged food from human garbage dumps, living in close proximity to man.

    These early "village dogs" would have been killed off had they presented a threat, but because they were able to coexist peacefully with humans, their destiny connected with ours, and Canis Familiaris became man's best friend.

    Since the appearance of the early dogs, the remarkable flexibility of Canine DNA has given rise to a diverse collection of domestic dog types, with an incredible range of size, appearance, temperaments and behaviors, which we've grouped into over 400 breeds.

    If humans displayed same range of diversity as canids, we could have adults ranging from 1 foot tall to 17 feet tall, and we'd have drastically different body types, temperaments, and mental capacities.

    Of course, there is no such range diversity in human biology. What diversity of human appearance does exist is extremely minor compared to that found among the population of the domestic dog.

    We're all humans, and respond in similar ways to given environmental conditions. In other words, there is only one human race, and the concept of different breeds as in the domestic dog simply has no parallel in humanity.

    But I digress. The point I want to make here is that Canid DNA is incredibly adaptable, and that the various breeds of domestic dog have taken on distinct, breed specific characteristics, in response to deliberate efforts by humans to select for those very characteristics.

    For instance, pointers were bred to point to waterfowl, while retrievers were bred to retrieve downed waterfowl, with a soft mouth. Sheep herding breeds arose from selection for the ability and inclination to herd sheep. Livestock guardians were bred to protect weaker creatures under their care. Each of these working breeds was equipped, over time, with the skills to do it's specific job, from birth.

    Beginning in the Elizabethan era, bull dogs were bred by selecting for temperament and physical characteristics useful in dogs which would torture animals – for instance de-horned bulls or de-clawed bears – for "sport".

    When bull-baiting was outlawed in 1835, the "sportsmen" turned to dog fighting, and bred specifically for those characteristics best suited to a life in the fighting pit, tearing apart dogs (A bit of terrier was added to the bull dog for more energy, creating the "bull & terrier").

    Such characteristics, copiously documented in diverse places, include, but are not limited to, a hair trigger attack reflex, a determination to continue attacking the victim, ignoring signals of submission, as well as injury to itself, and a freakish insensitivity to pain.

    This collection of traits characterizes the "pit bull", or the "pit fighting bull dog", which, though called by various names over time, has always displayed the distinctive traits which speak of its original purpose.

    There's an old saying which is somewhat apropos here: "You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can't take the fight out of the dog". Just as frustrated border collies without sheep to herd will take to herding children, frustrated pit bulls, without opponents in the pit to attack, will escape confinement and go looking for neighborhood pets to kill.

    The propensity for a pit bull to jump out of a moving car or a second story window to attack and kill a little dog is well documented, as is the rather breed specific pit bull behavior of finding ways into other people's houses to torture and kill the animals inside.

    There have been several such cases just within the past few weeks, and such nightmares are truly heartbreaking for anyone who has the least bit of compassion for animals.

  • ThomasMcCart

    The foregoing background was a preparation for the question: If we have deliberately bred lines of dogs for centuries to produce breed-specific characteristics, why is it somehow "racist" to note the existence of these very breed specific characteristics which we've deliberately produced?

    Another question comes to mind: If we can accept that for instance border collies must have a job to do, and their job is herding, because it's in their DNA, why do we deny all genetic influence when it comes to pit bulls?

    These bully breeds are working dogs too, and their work is killing. I'm at a loss as to how the pit bull propaganda machine continues to condemn "breedism", as though there are no genetic factors in a dog's behavior. They speak as though a pit bull were no different from a lab.

    Why does the pit propaganda machine shout "racism" and speak nonsensically of "condemning a breed for the actions of a few" when that's not at all the issue?

    The issue is instead recognizing that specific breeds were created with specific purposes, and we deny reality at our peril. A quick glance at the statistics for serious and fatal injuries from dog attack over the past 30 years makes it clear that it is all about the breed, regardless of owner or upbringing.

    Bottom line: It's absurd to pretend that breed specific characteristics which were deliberately created by humans don't exist. And to call those who recognize these breed specific characteristics "racist" reveals a profound ignorance on the part of the accuser.

    A final thought: When someone speaks of the unfairness of "killing off a breed" what they are actually talking about is eliminating a specific set of characteristics which have proven to be a problem. The fact that sadistic humans created a "breed" to torture animals is no mandate to continue the existence of said breed. Nobody has suggested killing off the domestic dog – only those man-made expressions of temperament and behaviors which have proven to be harmful and cruel.

  • ThomasMcCart

    BARBARA KAY: The Dog (Bite) Days of Summer.
    1 August 2013.

    Behaviourists (and I) call the cluster of breeds imbued with a genetically-endowed propensity for impulsive aggression – such as the mastiff, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentina and others – “pit bull type dogs.”.

    Earlier this month my esteemed colleague at the National Post, George Jonas, wrote a reminiscent column about irascible dogs.

    Dogs are a suitable topic for the dog days of summer, and – considering the additional time spent out of doors by children with exposed limbs – dog bites an even more timely theme. But, little did Jonas know, not being immersed as I am in the bizarre world of canine politics, that he committed an enormous faux (ahem) paw in his ruminations.

    The two dogs Jonas singled out as particularly ill-tempered were Soossee, a bitch “of uncertain breed,” but definitely containing some mastiff blood, and Muki, a Rottweiler hybrid, who bit him when he was a child, in the course of a dog fight Jonas attempted to break up.

    Later in his column, Jonas remarks: “Startle a Spaniel and it may cost you an upper lip; startle a Rottweiler and it’s likely to be an arm and a leg.” He is not wrong, but nowadays it is considered caninely incorrect to “stereotype” any breed, even though stereotyping is just another word for genetic line breeding.

    A mastiff is a larger version of a pit bull, and Rottweilers are first cousins to pit bulls. The genetic history of both the mastiff and the Rottweiler is rife with “impulsive aggression,” a consistent, often deadly trait, for which the pit bull (sometimes known by its image-laundering alias of American Staffordshire) is the poster canine.

    Many dog behaviourists (and I) call the cluster of breeds imbued with a genetically-endowed propensity for impulsive aggression – such as the mastiff, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentina and others – “pit bull type dogs.”.

    Most dogs will not attack humans under normal circumstances. Of those that have attacked humans, 70% are mixed-breeds, and 30% are purebreds. There are about 400 breeds of dog. Of them, only 44 are statistically represented in attacks on humans. Of the 44, pit bulls and Rottweilers account for 75% of the total actuarial risk for injury since 1982.

    When you get into the highest-damage categories of maulings, maimings, dismemberments and dog bite-related fatalities, it can truly be said that pit bulls and Rottweilers own the field.

    So Jonas did not distinguish the mastiff and Rottweiler hybrids out of malice. The malice encoded in those dogs’ genes created the high probability that they would exhibit memorably bad behaviour.

    Which brings us to the question of what to do if you are the victim or the witness to an attack by dogs like these. Pit bull type dogs do not just “bite,” as normal dogs do. They grip and tend not to let go. As they grip, they rend their way through flesh to the bone. Pit bulls have not earned the sobriquet of “land sharks” for nothing. Photographs of pit bull maulings bear a sickening likeness to shark attacks.

    It is never a good thing to intervene in any dog-on-dog fight (as George Jonas learned the hard way), but especially dangerous to put your hand anywhere near the mouth of a fighting dog, in case he redirects his murderous ferocity onto you.

    Once engaged, gripping dogs almost never react as normal dogs do to commands or painful blows to the head or body with sticks or baseball bats. Even bullets, unless they hit the brain or heart, can be fruitless in the case of pit bulls, as many policemen can attest. Either they don’t feel the pain as normal dogs do, or they feel it but their drive to fight to the death overrides it.

  • ThomasMcCart

    One thing you can do if you’re desperate to stop the fight or attack is to lift a gripping dog’s hind legs high into the air. He can’t turn on you and he won’t be able to sustain his attack very well, even if he doesn’t let go. At least it allows for his owner to leash him while he is immobilized.

    Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People News, is the world’s leading investigative journalist/historian on the subject of fighting dogs. He strongly advises against hitting a gripping dog on the head with any object, as it won’t deflect the dog, and will likely serve only to drive the teeth further into the flesh. Pepper spray – illegal for citizens to carry in Canada – is not the best choice, as one has to get very near the dog to be effective, and the fumes spread with the breeze. In any case, according to Clifton, it is only successful about 40% of the time.

    Clifton’s rather surprising weapon of choice is a fire extinguisher, which has a success rate of about 70% with pit bulls. Unlike pepper spray, with a fire extinguisher, you can stand farther back and aim with precision.

    The spray suffocates them if they don’t let go. Obviously you won’t have a fire extinguisher handy in the normal course of a day’s outdoors activities, but in the U.S., of 123 fatal or maiming attacks on children in 2013 so far (120 of them by pit bull type dogs), 47 occurred on public streets, but 49 of them occurred at home. In those cases, a child’s life or limbs could have been saved by deployment of a handy fire extinguisher. Clifton always has a fire extinguisher in his car, a prudent idea that can’t do harm, and may prove useful in any number of scenarios.

    Not a cheery-beery topic, but the sobering fact is that because of misleading propaganda put out by the pit bull advocacy movement and Rottweiler fans, pit bulls are growing in popularity as pets; as a result, maimings of humans by pit bulls in North America have gone from 35 in 1992 to 184 in the first six months of 2013 (equal to all of 2012).

    The bottom line: Don’t intervene in a dog fight between normal dogs, as the fight will almost certainly resolve swiftly with relatively minor damage to either dog. Keep your own dogs, and especially kids in your care far, far away from pit bulls and Rottweilers (and in Canada to unleashed Huskies, whose track record for risk is problematic, often for geo-cultural reasons, a topic for another day).

    Most important for your own safety and that of the humans and animals you love: Don’t believe a word of the propagandist (pit) bullshit you hear and read. Fighting dogs really are high-risk dogs you should never “rescue” or buy.

  • ThomasMcCart

    A pit bull BSL works EVERYWHERE it is useful in almost eliminating all serious dog attacks that maim, disfigure, dismember, maul, cripple.
    or kill, this is a simply proven fact in all cases.The number of pit bulls is dramatically reduced as are the numbers of them put to death.

    The need to have BSL is to have a preemptive capability to avoid a pit bull attack from happening due to it's extremely savage consequences.

    It is enacted against all pit bulls as they all have the genetic DNA propensity to carry out these horrific attacks that are non existent in 99% of all other breeds, ban the breed and you ban the deed, simple as that.

    Dealing with an attack after the fact is simply not acceptable due to the horrific nature of said attacks.

    With any other breed other then Rottweiler's, wolf hybrids and Akita's and a few others in very small numbers it is not a naturally genetic reality for them to carry out such horrifying attacks.

    Hence they need to be dealt with in an aggressive reactive modality where all of the breed are not looked on as one but rather based on the actions of the individual misbehaving dog.

    This can be done in a very aggressive proactive manner so that as soon as a dog like a lab lets say starts behaving inappropriately severe consequences can be brought to bare on the owner and their dog in an escalating manner as needed to deal with a situation that has developed.

    This duel track approach can deal with the pits issue as other normal dog breeds can be dealt with as well so vicious dogs of other mainstream breeds are also held accountable for their actions.

    There should be mandatory Spay/Neuter programs for all breeds but clearly the one that needs it the most and where the most change would be effected would be with the Pit Bull type dog.

  • Jane Rawlings

    Fatalities reported in 2005
    News organizations reported at least 29 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2005. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (15 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (6 attacks):

    Fatalities reported in 2006
    News organizations reported at least 30 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2006. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (16 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (9 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2007
    News organizations reported at least 34 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2007. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (18 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2008
    News organizations reported at least 23 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2008. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (14 attacks), followed by Huskies (3 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2009
    News organizations reported at least 30 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2009. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (14 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2010
    News organizations reported at least 34 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2010. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (18 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2011
    News organizations reported at least 31 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2011. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (21 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2012
    News organizations have reported 34 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2012. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (20 attacks).

    Fatalities reported in 2013
    News organizations reported at least 18 fatal dog attacks in the United States so far in 2013. The category of dog most commonly reported involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (16 attacks), followed by German Shepherd (1) "large, longer haired, black "Mixed breed or Mastiff-Rotweiller (1)

    It's truely a sad day when people are so willing to discount all the lives that have been taken by pitbull type dogs. To them they are just isolated events that give their dogs a bad rap. When they hear of another death by pit they don't think about how painfull it must have been to die that way, that a parent will never get to see their child grow up, or of the kids that don't understand why mommy's never coming home. No, all they think about is how bad it's going to make their breed look. But they're not isolated events. They are our children, our parents, our loved ones and our friends. They had a name, life, and soul.

  • Marc Brown

    19 dead by dog attack so far in 2013.
    Pit bull type dogs killed eighteen of them. Eleven of the eighteen 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 (11):
    Christian Gormanous – 4 yrs old
    Isaiah Aguilar – 2 yrs old
    Ryan Maxwell – 7 yrs old **
    Dax Borchardt – 14 mos old **
    Monica Laminack – 21 mos old **
    Tyler Jett – 7 yrs old
    Jordyn Arndt – 4 yrs old **
    Beau Rutledge – 2 yrs old **
    Ayden Evans- 5 yrs old **
    Nephi Selu – 6 yrs old **
    Arianna Jolee Merrbach – 5 yrs old

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type (6):
    Betty Todd – 65 yrs old **
    Elsie Grace – 91 yrs old **
    Claudia Gallardo – 38 yrs old
    Pamela Devitt – 63 yrs old
    Carlton Freeman – 80 yrs old
    Linda Oliver – 63 yrs old

    (1 non-bite related fatality) James Harding – 62 yrs old – chased into traffic by two attacking pit bulls

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

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

    If 16 of 19 dead were killed directly by pit bull bites, that's 84% dead by pit and 11% dead by 'molosser'.

    If you count the pit-mix mastiffs as pit bull types, that's 95% killed directly by pit bull type bites.

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

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