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« Pit Bull Perceptions | Main | Manipulation and justification in Saginaw, MI »

November 18, 2012

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Randy

Interesting information from you has always. Keep up the good work. You are right the numbers of fatalities per capita is low but I guess they are such a media event that they may get a bit over blown. I have not done any analysis but I also wonder if it is not so much a "breed" specific issue as it is a size issue. Most of the fatalities seem to be from dogs that are physically able (regardless of breed) to inflict enough damage to cause death. That also seems to vary by size of the victim too. Maybe the issue is matching size appropriate dogs to the individual. Some advice I used to give to families with small childred is as a "general guideline" you don't want anything in your house big enough to kill your children. Seems like common sense.

Brent

Yeah, I'd say it's overblown quite a bit -- but the reason it is newsworthy (it seems) is because it's such a rare occurrance.

Size is obviously a factor in these incidents, as is, typically, the number of dogs. But even then, the incidents are so rare that even creating fear about larger dogs is not really all that helpful...

Jenn

I'm watching the Fallbrook case with interest to see if charges are filed. There was a pit bull related fatality that prosecutors did file charges in the area (not super close but San Diego County) so I'm hoping to see consistency here. I'm also curious as to whether there was a litter, if the dogs were even registered, and if the couple had a breeder's license (willing to bet not). I know in the case of the pit bulls mauling the neighbor who later died, the owner was in the country illegally and one of the dogs wasn't registered nor did they have a breeder's license. I bring this up for all the BSL people out there because her dogs were off the radar despite a call to Animal Control the previous year. BSL would not have saved that woman's life. My heart goes out to the family of the housekeeper (as to all the victims). That poor housekeeper - I can't imagine the horror of 8 dogs attacking.

As for the mastiff case, I don't agree with calling it an adoption when the pet was acquired from a family member who no longer wanted it. I've noticed that the use of the word 'adopted' has brought the breeders out en masse to warn everyone that this is the perfect example of why you should never get a dog from a shelter or rescue. This dog did not come from either. When my grandpa could no longer care for himself or his dogs, we did not adopt them. We took them from him. There's a difference. We knew the background of those dogs. It's the same with this case here. Again, my heart goes out to her.

And I don't think it's common sense to not have a lab because it might kill your kids. I think that's just telling someone that you have no faith in their ability to train and own a dog. It's ridiculous. There are over 70 million dogs in homes and the most popular breeds are all large breeds yet we have 30 or so fatalities a year. Size of dog does not have anything to do with their temperament, the training, the socialization, and the family pet. I think it's sad that families might have missed out on wonderful dogs because they listened to bad advice.

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