ANIMAL WATCH - Pit Bull attack victims throughout the U.S. and other countries are forming social-media connections to share the tragedies they—and others—have endured in silence and to support or oppose official actions being proposed in regard to Pit Bulls and bring the crisis of attacks to the attention of the media and political representatives.
At the same time, it appears major animal groups, including Best Friends Animal Society, ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the AKC (American Kennel Club) and the Humane Society (HSUS) have banded together even more tightly to lobby legislators for no legal restraints on ownership of any breed, and mainly Pit Bulls—which maul, mentally and physically cripple and kill thousands of people, pets and other animals every year.
They not only share their tragic disabilities and trauma but find understanding and solace to heal from the loss of children, parents, friends and pets in unwarranted and totally unexpected attacks by a Pit Bull that was a trusted pet or a known danger in their community or just owned by someone who believed, “It is all in how you raise them.
These connections are also encouraging large numbers of people to write letters to newspapers and politicians demanding that they stand up against a plague that is creeping insidiously into all communities, but especially in those where there is no physical protection nor funding for victims of dog attacks after long-standing restrictions against Pit Bulls and other dangerous-breeds have been removed by “tenants rights”/animal advocates and leave them in fear for their children and their own safety.
One of the main differences is that the victims have no money like that solicited from the public to “save animals” but which now appear to be funding political and legal strategies to interfere with local or state governance of safety.
Those are pretty tough odds to beat, but the coalition of various groups representing all ethnicities and economic levels forming on Facebook and presumably on other internet platforms have resulted in some brilliant strategists. They don’t need constant donations of $19 or more per month because they just tell the truth. And, they are making powerful gains that deserve recognition because they are talking about people who are just going about living their lives and suddenly a vicious dog ends their way of making a living, feeding their children, or having dreams for the future.
ncreasing acknowledgment of their voices and their sincere caring about those who have been attacked—as most of them have—and those they want to remain safe in their daily life are becoming a powerful and growing force for all victims.
There are individuals who deserve very special credit and thanks for being on top of every effort to break down dog-breed safety laws, but this is not the place to potentially place them in jeopardy.
Following are just a few efforts of which the general public may not be aware.
ARKANSAS EFFORT TO PROHIBIT BREED-SPECIFIC LAWS DEFEATED (March 14, 2023)
Synopsis by Dogsbite.Org:
“Little Rock, AR - On March 14, there was an impressive House Floor debate concerning HB 1519, a bill prohibiting cities and counties in Arkansas from enacting or enforcing breed-specific laws. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. RJ Hawk (R-District 81), was defeated in a 34-45 vote. (Read more here.)
AND see the Legislative Hearing here.
PIT BULL OWNERSHIP NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT, FEDERAL COURT RULES
“In November 28, 2022, a challenge to force the City of Council Bluff, Iowa, to revoke its 2005 ban on Pit Bulls, and any dog having the appearance of being a Pit Bull or closely related, was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit on March 3, 2022.
This was the outcome:
The “dog owners” had contended “(1) Pit Bull type dogs are no more or less dangerous than other breeds of dogs; (2) neither breed nor physical characteristics are predictive of a dog’s aggressiveness or propensity to bite; and (3) the city’s method of identifying dogs as Pit Bulls is inherently unreliable.”
As for dangerousness, the dog owners argued that experts in canine genetics and behavior currently acknowledge that Pit Bulls are no more or less dangerous than similarly sized dogs of other breeds.
However, the City countered with findings from the Council Bluff Animal Patrol showing Pit Bulls accounted for a disproportionate number of dog bites in Council Bluffs during 2003 and 2004. After the Ordinance was enacted, from 2007 through 2020, the number of reported dog bites in Council Bluffs generally declined and remained 25 percent lower than in the years before.
The court concluded on November 10 that “the City did have rational reasons for the ban, since the dog owners could not negate every conceivable basis for the Ordinance.”
The Court decision continued, “As for the relationship between a dog’s breed or physical characteristics and its behavior, the dog owners’ evidence not only fails to negate every conceivable basis, but actually supports some connection.”
(Read more here.)
SOUTH CAROLINA REPRESENTATIVE TAKES ACTION
On March 17, 2021, “Jayce’s Law” (H-4094) was introduced in the South Carolina legislature “…so as to require a person to register a fertile pit bull dog they keep, own, or harbor, to establish a breed-determination procedure, to provide exceptions from registration, and to provide penalties.”
2021-2022 Bill 4094 Text of Previous Version (Mar. 17, 2021)
On Thursday, “Jayce’s Law,” H. 4094, sponsored by Rep. Huggins, had a hearing in the Special Laws Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. It was a fantastic hearing with powerful testimony,” says Dogsbite.org, which provides the following information:
The hearing and this bill, the “fertile pit bull” bill, are both highly unusual events. Today, we saw a passionate Elmore, speaking on behalf of state animal sheltering organizations that support a breed-specific law. The bill would not affect any person whose pit bull is sterilized and microchipped—the bill is not mandatory.
Jayce's Law would charge a $25 fee to maintain a fertile pit bull that is not microchipped. For identification purposes, the microchip component is critical.
Elmore testified about multiple fatal Pit Bull attacks, including the death of Jayce in January:
“‘This affects men, women, children, black, white, elderly. It affects all of us South Carolinians. It affects our families,’ he said. ‘The most pressing issue for animal shelters, in costing millions of dollars each year, taxpayer dollars and donor dollars, is the disproportionately large number of pit bull-type dogs’ that are not altered.”
“Elmore brought compelling state animal-shelter data to the table” and emphasized “how much support the bill has among South Carolina shelters, ‘those of us working on the front lines’ in this state.”
“He also included the [following] South Carolina data that “Pit bull-type dogs are the most prevalent dogs entering South Carolina shelters ...,” notes Dogsbite.org.
“Right now at our shelter in Charleston County, we have 98 dogs in our care, 38 of those are pit bull-types of dogs, 42%.”
“(P)it bull-type dogs are disproportionately euthanized due to the overwhelming numbers of them ... [local shelter data] indicated that nearly half of the types of dogs put down were pit bull-types of dogs.”
“Pit bull-type dogs are the exclusive dog of choice for dogfighting.”
“Pit bull-types of dogs cause more severe injuries to South Carolinians than any other dog. … In 2019, 34% – 2,533 of the 7,455 identified breeds of dogs committing bites, were from pit bull-types of dogs.”
See: Pit Bull Attacks are Not 'Accidents' - CityWatch Los Angeles
REP. ELMORE DESCRIBED OPPONENTS
“As Elmore states in his testimony, the only groups that oppose the bill are out-of-state—the same groups we deal with every year when fighting state preemption bills that would prohibit local pit bull ordinances: the Big Three: American Kennel Club (AKC) and Animal Farm Foundation, both New York-based, and Best Friends Animal Society, Utah-based.”
Elmore also stated, “The Animal Farm Foundation is suspended in South Carolina. Today, it is suspended by our Secretary of Commerce.”
“I see no standing for these three organizations,” he said.
“The AKC does not even recognize pit bulls as a breed of dog, doesn’t run animal shelters, neither does the Animal Farm Foundation.”
He added about Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS), “I couldn't even tell you what states surround Utah.” (See more at Dogsbite.org.)
SO WE WONDER…
Why would humane/purebred-dog groups be in another state oppose “life-saving” spay/neuter and microchipping for Pit Bulls?
A closer look needs to be taken at why these “humane” organizations oppose requirements for breeding, sales and care of Pit Bulls—for the dogs’ and the public’s safety. (This also raises the question “Is donor money being spent to sponsor this?”)
VICTIMS AND THOSE WHO CARE NEED TO ACT
Any attack by a Pit Bull is tragically life changing, but merely “hating the breed” is a waste of valuable energy that can be used to write letters, make phone calls and help motivate lawmakers all over the country and all over the world to pass laws that allow states, counties, cities, communities and rental-property owners the right to say “NO” when pressed by major, multi-billion dollar animal-related organizations to NOT allow breed-specific laws for the safety of families, neighbors and the public in general.
The statistics of attacks by Pit Bulls—and related “bully” breeds—is a tragedy and an embarrassment. The taxpayers are footing the bill in terms of higher insurance premiums for mothers, babies, innocent children and the elderly to be cared for after attacks which maim and disfigure them for life—if they survive.
If you have been present at—or the target of—a Pit Bull attack, you quickly realize this animal intends that only one of you will survive.
Other breeds bark, snarl, growl, nip or otherwise warn that they want you to leave. A Pit Bull does none of these because it does not want you to be able to leave. Its goal is that you can’t leave.
“HATING” THE BREED IS A WASTE OF EMOTION/ENERGY
With current technology and energy, victims are not just spending time lamenting and/or blaming the breed for existing. There are up-to-date statistics provided by such sources as Dogsbite.org, National Pit Bull Victims Awareness and others, which can be included in a brief comment on-line or a letter to the editor that informs of the magnitude of these tragedies. (If you are afraid to use your name, just indicate that. Your sincerity can speak for you.)
It is important to accept that a Pit attack is often not “personal.” This differs from dogs that bite just to defend themselves or protect territory.
A Pit Bull will travel completely out of its area and attack someone who is no threat—such as, a young child waiting for a school bus or an elderly person working in a garden. (Remember the woman who lost both arms and bodily organs.)
Pit Bulls have no remorse after they have attacked. It is. a genetic instinct. They do not have a conscience nor regret. They kill toddlers that had been taught by parents to trust them as “family pets” or friends of caring owners who profess “you are safe.”
They kill people who raised them from puppies and appear to adore them.
Sadly, they will attack and kill small, harmless animals of their own species or any other for no apparent reason—often a pet that has been living with them.
This breed cannot help being what it is genetically. It does no good to rant and rave against or blame an instinct that is basic to its nature and has—in many past generations and even today—insured its survival (professional and local staged dog-fighting are both thriving activities).
What needs to change is the major animal groups that are promoting this breed, and the question is “why?”
Also, demands MUST be made on legislators and other government officials to stop allowing the funding of governmental animal control agencies by wealthy non-profit organizations—that then get to set the rules.
February 14, 2022 – Pit Bull Attacks: Cancer Survivor Mauled, Baby Dies, as Wealthy Animal Groups Fight Breed Specific Laws
Breast cancer survivor Alicia Barton will struggle for the rest of her life with the pain, crippling injuries, and panic attacks she suffers after a vicious attack by four Pit Bulls last month.
The mauling, which occurred near her home as she started to get out of her car, was first described on January 31, 2022, by an EWN News reporter who interviewed her sitting in a wheelchair in Nassau, Bahamas, with her head and other parts of her body wrapped in heavy bandages.
Alicia recalled seeing the pack of dogs charging toward her, and she tried to get back in her car but stumbled under the impact of the dogs jumping on her and tearing at her body. They ripped off her ponytail and scalp before latching onto the back of her head, according to the report.
BABY GIRL DIES FROM SEVERE PIT BULL ATTACK INJURIES
That same day a family in Columbia Mississippi, publicly mourned the death of a precious child, Lola Jayde Farr, fatally mauled by her aunt’s Pit Bull, named “Ace”.
READ MORE HERE.
(Phyllis M. Daugherty is a former Los Angeles City employee, an animal activist and a regular contributor to CityWatch.)