Some pit bull owners claim that the dogs are getting a bad rap. They claim that the problem is overstated and that pit bulls are not the problem -- their owners are the problem.
Recently, Phoenix and other cities are taking different approaches to the problem of dog bites, and specifically dog bites by pit bulls. Nationwide, pit bulls are being put on a shorter leash.
According to news sources, pit bull detractors are citing deaths to adults, children and pets as a valid reason to hold any pit bull owner liable in the event of a personal injury or death.
Recent pit bull attacks within the past few weeks include:
- An 8-month-old San Diego boy was killed by a pit bull that lived in his apartment.
- A 55-year-old Milwaukee man and his dog were attacked by a pit bull that leaped from a second floor balcony.
- Two dog walkers in Galveston, Texas, were attacked by a pack of pit bulls.
- A two-year-old boy in West Virginia was killed by two reported pit bull mixed breeds.
The death of the two-year-old illustrates part of the problem. Many reports of pit bull attacks are by dogs that may look like a pit bull, but are a mix or in some cases aren't a pit bull at all. Pit bull breeds are defined as American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
According to reliable sources, pit bulls are responsible for fewer dog bites than other breeds such as Chihuahuas and cocker spaniels, but a pit bull bite is more often serious because of their jaw strength and relative tenacity.
The state of Ohio has ended its breed ban and has switched over to a dog being defined as vicious if it has hurt or killed, regardless of the breed.
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control offers these tips for any dog owner:
- Any dog with a history of aggression should be kept away from children.
- Spay or neuter all dogs to reduce aggression.
- Obey leash laws at all times.
- Socialize your dog and teach it submissive behaviors.
- Seek professional advice for bad behaviors.
For those who may have been injured by a dog bite, it is a good idea to seek legal counsel to potentially obtain compensation for damages, including pain and suffering.
Source: The Daily Beast, "Spate of Pit Bull Attacks Has Nation on Alert," Jamie Reno, June 22, 2012
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