WHEC-TV in Rochester, New York, recently covered a local story about sheriff’s deputies shooting and killing a pit bull that charged at them. A number of pit bull owners then accused the TV station of “breed bias” saying that the only “bad dog stories” in the media involve pit bulls. So the station’s investigative team decided to check the facts further and find out what the police reports on dog attacks actually showed.
Based on data collected from the city of Rochester and its suburbs, the study found that pit bulls in fact bite the most. Here are some of the report’s key findings.
Of the 436 police calls for dog bite related incidents in the city, 242 were for pit bulls. In the town of Greece, of 35 dog bites, nine involved pit bulls. In Irondequoit, there were four dog attacks of which two were due to pit bulls. Overall 28 percent of dog bites in the suburbs involved pit bulls, more than any other breed.
Other Pit Bull Statistics
This study is only one of many that have all made more or less the same conclusion. According to Dogsbite.org, a web site for dog attack victims nationwide, of the 88 fatal dog attacks in the United States in a three-year period between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, 59 percent or 52 incidents involved pit bulls or pit bull mixes. This dog bite fatality finding is generally consistent with an earlier report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which stated that pit bulls and Rottweilers together account for 60 percent of fatal dog attacks, followed by German shepherds.
Is it a Dangerous Breed?
Pit bull advocates argue that it is the owner, not the dog that is to blame for such attacks. While an owner’s training definitely influences his or her dog’s temperament, the findings of these studies seem to consistently indicate the breed is more prone to attacking. Pit bulls are involved in a greater number of serious injury or fatal dog attacks, which is why the media covers them more often.
Keeping a pit bull in the house poses a threat that in my opinion is quite similar to having a loaded and unsecured handgun lying around. These are dangerous dogs and as California dog bite attorneys, who have represented numerous victims – from toddlers to seniors, we know it to be true. The injuries suffered are so significant that the mauled victims need to undergo many surgeries. Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners, regardless of breed, are responsible for injuries caused by their pets. Those seeking to own pit bulls should seriously consider the damages and injuries these animals are capable of.