Report sheds light on pit bull attacks

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Report sheds light on pit bull attacks

Updated Jun 4, 2009

DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims’ group, released their 2008 report on pit bulls shot for public safety reasons. The 20-page report documents 373 incidences in which U.S. law enforcement officers and citizens were forced to shoot a dangerous pit bull to prevent an attack or to stop an ongoing attack.

The report tracked 12 data aspects per incident. Of the 373 incidences, 626 bullets were fired and 319 pit bulls were killed: 148 people suffered bite injury in these incidences as well. In at least three instances, the bite injury resulted in amputation. In six instances, the bite injury resulted in death. The findings also show that firearm intervention might have prevented at least eight deaths by a pit bull mauling in this period.

According to the report, 43 U.S. states had at least one shooting. States with the highest number of shootings include: California (37), Texas (32), Florida (24), Illinois (23) Ohio (23), Pennsylvania (20), Washington (15) and Indiana (13). Of the U.S. cities documented, Omaha had the most shootings (9), all of which occurred within a 6-month period, followed by Chicago (7) and a group of U.S. cities each reporting four.

Dogsbite.org supports breed ban legislation.  I don’t support breed bans, but do understand why someone attacked by a particular breed would want such legislation. You can read the entire report by clicking here.

Keep in mind this report only reflects pit bull stats and not other breeds that might be aggressive, like the cocker spaniel who, surprisingly, may be one of the world’s most aggressive dogs, according to a Discovery News article on a new study that found English cocker spaniels tend to be more hostile than other breeds. They just aren’t able to inflict as much damage (thankfully).

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Cathy Rosenthal, CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 25 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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