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« Weekly Roundup, Week Ending 8/30/09 | Main | The Details Matter »

August 31, 2009



I really, really, really dislike that man. At the very least, us folks in the ar movement tend to find his publication laughable at best. He's an embarrassment.


Did Clifton invent any new breeds in this "study"? The batch of invented breeds he had in his last one gave me hours of entertainment.


and of course it is based on the whole assumption that a dog identified as a "pit bull" is actually an APBT/AST/SBT. Which as we know is complete b.s.

PAMM - People Against Moronic Merritt

What a f'in idiot...Merrit - can you and Kory Nelson, Tom Skelton and that dick from Canada just die already?

Karen Delise

Clifton not only doesn't know how to collect data, or analyze it - he is very deliberate in what data he collects (or ignores).
Many years ago, while writing my first book, Fatal Dog Attacks, I came across the old Clifton fatal dog attack report. I noticed he had two cases of fatal dog attacks that I did not have, but I had about 70 cases he did not have. I was very naive about all this at the time and called him up to ask him about the cases I couldn't find.
Clifton could not give me the information, (I can't remember the reason why). But, naive as I was, I asked him if he wanted the 70 cases I knew about that he was missing.
His answer- NO - NOT INTERESTED !!
That totally baffled me at the time -
But now I have a much better understanding of what consitutes a "raving nut case."
I can only speculate at the total disregard for accuracy and errors that can be found in his other "statistical" reports.
Karen Delise


Nelson, Skelton, Merritt, whatshername from, PBurns, all share a common trait. They get off on dog bites in a perverse, almost sexual way. Just read the way they write about this subject with that heightened excited hysteria: it's like some kind of pornography for them.


PAMM - That dick from Canada didn't die but he DID kill someone!?!??!!?

EmilyS - why did you have to put that imagine in my head!? ;-)

selwyn marock

PAMM's posting is undoubtably the best.

[email protected]

selwyn marock

Sorry EmilyS your posting is also excellant,just add Pizzano and Gallagher from Dade county,they get it on by cutting off the poor family pet's head.Sicko's

[email protected]


Gee, Brent, that stuff's difficult...

Seriously, Clifton wouldn't know real data (or how to use it) if it came up and bit him in the ass.

There's a good smackdown over at Lassie, Get Help in a few stellar posts. Put Clifton in the search box on the right sidebar near the top.

Surely even the lowest of the low-info types out there don't bother with him anymore.


oh Selma, I refer you to the personages I mention in my comment above, at least one of whom touts himself as honest and expert


My experience with Clifton was similar to Karen Delise's. Many years ago when I was first getting started with this sort of study, I was trying to understand his data collection method and innocently asked Clifton if he could provide me with his actual data. You know, some sort of list or chart or something that I could use to research and confirm the "bites" he'd summed up in that neat little chart.

First he told me that he couldn't find the information. But in that same email, he bragged about how he shared his data with so many authorities in the animal control/welfare/rights field. Hearing this, I suggested I could get the data from one of the people he'd already given it to, if he could suggest the name of someone.

Then he backtracked and said that he had the data, but that it was hard copy in a big file cabinet, and so it would be hard to dig out. I was confused, and asked how he could have so much trouble giving me the data, yet he had apparently shared it with others on previous occasions.

At this point, he informed me that as I was an insignificant nobody (not the words he used--he was much more rude), quite possibly with a hidden agenda to destroy his data, I could take a flying leap. I was floored by his hostile reaction to my inquiry, especially since he had adamantly insisted that his data had been collected scientifically and analyzed honestly.

My experience with real researchers, even as an insignificant nobody, is quite the opposite--assuming the matter is not confidential, they're happy to share their data (which is readily available) and their insights, and get feedback in order to refine their conclusions.

Needless to say, I consider Clifton's "reports" half fantasy, much like his self-aggrandizing attitude.

KerryAnn May

Below I've cut and pasted two email exchanges with Merritt. I basically asked him to clarify the claim that Terre Haute had killed 78 animals. This is what ensued. The part after >>>>> is what I wrote, and then he responds. Until then, I had never interacted with the man and was quite surprised to be treated with so rudely!

-----Original Message-----
From: Merritt Clifton [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 3:12 AM
To: Animal Outreach
Cc: Kim Bartlett
Subject: Re: Fwd: 2007 U.S. Animal Shelter Killing Report Card

>>>>>You have Terre Haute (Indiana, I assume) as having a population of 169,000. Its more like 60,000. The Metropolitan area of Terre Haute has about 150,000.

The U.S. Bureau of the Census & the state of Indiana are agreed that the Terre Haute metropolitan area in 2005 contained 168,000 to 169,000 people, with the rounding on the upward side.

>>>>> But the metro area most assuredly killed more than 78 animals. I can almost guarantee you the town of Terre haute killed more than 78. Either way, your data is way off.

First of all, you really should verify what we published before jumping to the conclusion that someone else's reconstruction of the data on another web site is in fact what we published.

The figure we published was 780.

Second, if you had multiplied the rate of shelter killing per 1,000 human residents, 4.6, by the numbers of thousands of human population, 169, you'd have gotten 777.4, which would have told you very quickly what our input figure actually was.

-----Original Message-----
From: Merritt Clifton [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 11:49 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: Fwd: 2007 U.S. Animal Shelter Killing Report Card

>>>>>Ed Boks was simply regurgitating your own data.

Our table was divided by region. Boks completely reconstructed it, in an altogether different manner.

>>>>>page 19, says Terre Haute (not "Terre Haute Metropolitan Area" I suggest that in the future you label your data field accurately) killed 78. Your magazine published 78

If you look closely, what you will see is that the "0" simply didn't print, and that the placement of the "7" and "8" are in the correct columns for 780.

Looks to me as if you just want something to gripe about. Trying howling at the moon.

Merritt Clifton
P.O. Box 960
Clinton, WA 98236

Kim Bartlett

Merritt Clifton left Animal People departed Animal People at the beginning of 2014 to produce his Animals-24/7 blog and website. The board of directors of Animal People, Inc. does not stand by Merritt Clifton's statements and statistics on pit bulls and has never supported breed bans as policy or in editorial statements. Animal People NEVER had a position in favor of breed bans, though Merritt Clifton may have given that impression in what he said or what he wrote in personal emails. At the most, Animal People would favor breedING bans for the reasons that pit bulls and related dog breeds are the most abused dogs, the most likely to be used by dogfighting rings, and the most likely to end up homeless. With a breedING ban, the worst that could happen to a dog would be spaying or castration; none would lose their homes. As an animal rights organization, Animal People does not favor the breeding of any animals for human purposes and does not support the pet industry.

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