Doggie death penalty: Pay thousands or risk your pets’ lives

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Investigators have found what some are calling a blatant shake-down, not by the police, but by animal control officials.

A Colorado woman has spent more than $10,000 fighting an impending death sentence for her two dogs.

Jake and Lucy, a pit bull and a black lab, were seized by animal control in February after being accused of killing a neighbor’s cat.

Even though there was no evidence linking them to the death, Caitlin McAdam was immediately hit with “dangerous dog” charges. 

She was told that Jake and Lucy would be euthanized if they were found guilty, or even sooner if she couldn’t come up with the money to pay for their impoundment while they awaited their day in court.

Their fate was initially set to be decided at trial, where McAdam would plead her case to six jurors.

Autopsies of the cat, which had been kept frozen, were conducted to be used as evidence, and McAdam’s attorney had gathered expert witnesses to call to the stand.

This may seem absurd but because dangerous dog charges are filed against the pet owner, like McAdam, these cases go through the same process as other criminal offenses.

- CNN Money

– CNN Money

To pay for Jake and Lucy’s $250 a week storage, along with the mounting legal costs, McAdam and her family scraped together every cent they could, selling an old car, using a tax refund and fundraising online.

To date, McAdam has racked up around $6,000 in legal bills (despite her attorney doing some work pro bono) and $2,500 in boarding costs.

She has also spent more than $1,000 on the cat autopsy, the behavioral assessment, court-ordered training costs and other expenses.

The district attorney prosecuting the case wouldn’t comment, but the Pike’s Peak Regional Humane Society seemed to have little sympathy.

“There’s always ways for people to come up with the money to do this,” president Jan McHugh-Smith told CNN.

Yet dog owners across the country are finding themselves in similar situations, facing huge bills over small pet-related violations like a pet getting loose in the neighborhood or a dog barking too much.

Some are even facing arrest when they can’t pay up.

CNN Money

CNN Money

A CNNMoney analysis of arrest warrants from a sampling of 15 cities and counties found thousands of outstanding warrants stemming from offenses like this.

Other owners have had their dogs killed when they couldn’t afford the fines and fees to get them back from animal control.

When Gerilynn Turkette, from Stockton, California, couldn’t afford the $180 bill to reclaim her lost dog Chunk, he was euthanized,  a terrible outcome that the shelter now regrets.

Also in California, Indio resident Elizabeth Vasquez was forced to choose which of her two dogs would live after animal control seized them both, but she could only afford to get one of them back.

And Texas resident Karen Augustine’s two dogs were killed after getting loose while she was visiting her sick father.

After months of fearing her dogs would face this same fate, it looks like McAdam will narrowly escape such a heartbreaking outcome.

CNNMoney initially wrote about her saga in April.

In the weeks that followed, the court let McAdam take her dogs home under house arrest.

But they weren’t free yet, forced to wear muzzles when walking outside and banned from walking together.

Last month, after CNN’s Randi Kaye pressed officials about the situation, McAdam was relieved to learn that a plea deal had been offered that could end up clearing her of the dangerous dog charges.

A judge is scheduled to finalize that deal on Friday.

It’s unlikely she’ll ever get the thousands of dollars back but she knows that spending this money was the only way to keep her dogs alive.

“If we had not fought this long, our dogs would have been murdered for no reason other than not having the funds to keep fighting,” McAdam said. “That’s not right.”


  • Samantha

    This is wrong. I find it so disgusting that animal control has nothing better to do than to take people’s pets and kill them for no reason. This is why we need animal lovers in animal control. It’s inhumane that these “officer’s” can do that. They have the mentality “I have a do whatever I want and get away with it badge” screw these disgusting humans. They should be dealing with MURDERS and RAPISTS. Not these poor animals.

    • Sherry

      I agree! So much publicity about how having a pet reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and can prolong someone’s life. Animal control defies those beliefs. Laws need to be changed to protect pets and their owners.

  • Carol Quigley

    I am horrified to hear the disrespect some people have for the most loving creatures on earth, I thought we were becoming a no kill nation I hate the fact that it makes me lose my Faith in humanity but it heartbreaking to hear such cruelty, some people have no conscious sad sad

  • Michael

    I think the person who accused these dogs should be sued. I’m not one for lawsuits, but this is a case where it would be appropriate.

  • Shanie Vincent

    That’s why i call them the dog nazis…it’s exactly what they do. Find a way to take your pets, hold them for ransom and then when you can’t pay up….death in the gas chamber

  • amber

    sadly this happened to me 7 years ago in Texas. my dog killed a skunk in our yard. she had just birthed a litter of 12 pups. I called animal control to simply remove the skunk. they said that because the skunk was out during the day it likely had rabies and they had to immediately take my dog and her pups in. I was told that I could pay to quarantine my animals at a whopping rate of 400 a week for up to 12 weeks while they ran tests on the skunk. my only other alternative was in 3 days they would put all of them to sleep :( my dog was licensed and had her rabies shot but they said that didn’t matter because its just a precautionary shot. sadly I couldn’t afford it and they put them all down. 9 weeks later I got a call letting me know the skunk tested negative for rabies. my dogs died for nothing. next time I find a dead varment in my yard I’m throwing it in the trash. ill never call animal services again. id rather take a fine for illegal disposal than see my animals die. this has to end.

  • Thomas McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    Lillian Rant, president of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, led the fight to have Staffie’s join the ranks of the American Kennel Club. She began spreading the myth that Staffies love children, and were once referred to as a “nursemaid dog.” This is categorically false, and Ms. Rant completely made it up, but it has become one of the more enduring, and devastating, myths.

    Through no small effort, the Staffordshire Terrier, and all his “pit bull type” cousins, began to increase in popularity in the 80s and 90s, and almost immediately, a new disturbing trend emerged. According to David Billmire, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, “Starting about 25 years ago, my colleagues and I started to see disturbingly different types of injuries.

    Instead of a warning bite, we saw wounds where the flesh was torn from the victim. There were multiple bite wounds covering many different anatomical sites. The attacks were generally unprovoked, persistent and often involved more than one dog. In every instance the dog involved was a pit bull or a pit bull mix…”

    Indeed, in a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control in 2000, examining dog bite data between 1980 and 1998, the leader in fatal and disfiguring maulings was the pit bull, and the amount of damage they caused was disproportionate to their population. Based on pressure from vocal “pit bull advocacy” groups, the CDC stopped counting after that, and has refused to track data going forward.

    Since 2000, the pit bull population has skyrocketed. While 30 years ago pit bulls were rare outside of professional dog trainers and professional dogfighters, pit bulls today are among the most popular breeds kept as pets.

    And predictably, the numbers of fatal and disfiguring dog attacks has also skyrocketed. Since 2005, over 300 people have been killed by dogs in the U.S. Pit bulls, which make up 5-6% of the dog population, are implicated in over 60% of these fatal attacks.

    Last year, there were over 400 serious, debilitating maulings on humans by dogs – and you guessed it, pit bulls were implicated in more than 60% of these horrific attacks.

    Not to mention the fatal or disfiguring attacks on other animals – over 50,000 per year. Want to guess which type of dog causes most of the these attacks? Pit bulls are involved in more than 90% of fatal and serious attacks on other animals.

    All dogs bite. Most will “bite and retreat”, just a warning to their victim. Most dog bites are treated with band aids, maybe a few stitches. But pit bulls maul. They launch into full attack, usually without provocation, and often totally unpredictable.

    A large percentage of the attacks are initiated by pit bulls kept as family pets, who have “never shown any sign of aggression.” Biting is something a dog does, but mauling is something pit bulls were specifically bred for.

    I don’t blame the dogs, I blame their breeding. They are only doing what they were created for. But unfortunately, like it or not, it makes them dangerous family pets. Already this year (2015) over 200 people have been sent to the hospital for serious wounds inflicted by pit bulls (more than one person every single day), and 10 people have been killed (about one person every 17 days).

    Despite these numbers (which can be independently verified with a little research, or you can check out my book, Misunderstood Nanny Dogs? A Critical and Objective Analysis of the Facts and Myths Concerning Pit Bulls in which I do a lot of the basic research for you), there are dozens and dozens of groups, organizations, media outlets, and crazed extremists that exist solely to advocate for the “poor, misunderstood pit bulls.”

    Huffington Post, ASPCA, Animal Planet, all advertise how great and loyal and loving pit bulls are, and what great pets they make. Shelters (increasingly “no-kill”) are smothered in abandoned pit bulls, while backyard breeders, and, yes, dogfighters, still pump out more dangerous fighting dogs by the truckload. 800,000 pit bulls are euthanized each year in shelters, yet we still insist upon making more of them.

    Unsuspecting families are misled into adopting pit bulls from shelters, only to have that pit bull attack and maul and/or kill a member of the family, a neighbor, or someone’s pet. There have been a few high-profile incidents recently concerning shelters purposely withholding the history of pit bulls just to get them adopted out, and there will be more to come.

    Where does society get negative images of pit bulls? By living in society. They see the same show you saw. They watch the news. The hear about an incident.

    Or, all too often, they are directly involved in a life-altering encounter with a dangerous pit bull. When most dogs bite, you wash it out and slap on a bandage – when pit bulls bite, you are often rushed to the hospital, forced to undergo life-saving treatment and multiple reconstructive surgeries.

    When pit bulls bite, you often make the news.

  • Thomas McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    Jesse Beasley, Attorney-at-Law

    Where does society get negative images of pit bulls?
    So, there are several places which have laws against pit bulls. . .
    They have these laws for good reason in a lot of cases. Just watched a video of a town where a majority of their dog attacks involved pit bulls.

    Then there have been stories where they’ve attacked children. My question is: What is at the root of people’s fear of the breed?

    Like it or not, pit bulls have earned their “negative image,” fair and square.

    In the U.S., ‘pit bulls’ generally describes a “class” of dogs that include the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog, and any close mixes. Basically, these dogs are very similar in appearance, the most obvious difference being the size.

    But they are all bred from the same stock. These particular “bull terriers” were first bred in England a few hundred years ago, crosses between the Olde English Bulldogge and the White Terrier, for one singular purpose – Pit Fighting.

    Pit fighting also became popular across the pond here in the U.S. around the 19th century, and so we have likewise been breeding fighting dogs for a couple hundred years.

    The pit bull type dogs were selectively bred to be tenacious and relentless (a trait known as “gameness”) and to fight to the death (“Dead Game”). They were bred to launch into a full “game” attack without any provocation, and to do as much damage in the least amount of time.

    Thus, they were bred with a distinctive biting style, which includes biting, shaking, and tearing flesh from bone. They were bred to fight and kill other animals, specifically other dogs, in the “Pit”. It is this morbid and unfortunate history, more than anything else, that gives pit bulls their “negative images.”

    When pit fighting was outlawed in the early 20th century, these dogs should have been bred out of existence. But so-called fanciers wanted to maintain the breed’s identity, while attempting to re-purpose the dogs (or at least attempt to re-write their history).

    The problem with this approach, was that in order to maintain the physical appearance of a dog, you must also maintain its breed-specific behavioral traits.

    According to animal behaviorist, Alexandra Semyonova, dogs are bred to be “physically shaped specifically for the task we want him to perform.” She goes on to say that the purpose-bred dog will feel “physically comfortable doing the job” that it was selectively bred for, the way a Greyhound is comfortable sprinting.

    In this way, Semoyonova also states that physical conformation leads to, or predicts, “behavioral conformation.”

    The dog’s brain is “genetically predisposed to grow to efficiently direct the body it is born in.” Thus, by selectively breeding pit bulls that looked exactly like the old pit bulls, breeders, intentionally or not, continued to breed fighting dogs.

    The other problem with the fanciers’ quest to repurpose these dogs was that dogfighting,even though it was outlawed, never went away – it just went underground. And breeders across the country continued intentionally selecting for aggression and gameness.

    And because we are Americans, we weren’t satisfied with the small size of the original “Staffies” so we started breeding these same dogs, with the same physical appearance and behavioral traits, larger and larger. The original Staffies were 30 pounds – now we have dogs like “Hulk”, the YouTube sensation, a 185 pound pit bull. Yikes.

    For many decades, pit bulls were not very popular, possibly due to the continuing stigma attached to dog fighting, or possibly because it was well-known that they didn’t make great pets. I don’t claim to know. But what I do know is that in the 1970s, there was the beginning of a disastrous campaign to rebrand these dogs as “America’s Dog.”

  • Thomas McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    In North America, from 1982-2014, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 3,595 humans that resulted in 2,233 maimings and 307 deaths

    The Bullmastiff is a Pit bull type dog with the same genetic makeup and danger of a pit bull.
    The Bullmastiff was a cross of 40% Old English Bulldog or pit bull type dog and 60% English Mastiff
    In North America, from 1982-2014, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 111 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 63 maimings and 18 deaths.

    In North America from 1982-2014, Rottweilers were responsible for 535 attacks on humans, resulting in 85 deaths.
    Rottweiler mixes were responsible for 30 attacks on humans, resulting in 4 deaths.
    The following is a list of the top 10 dog breeds involved in dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada involving humans from September 1982 to December 31, 2013, based on a larger table compiled by Merritt Clifton, former editor of Animal People, an animal rights charity/news group. Clifton now is the editor of Animals 24-7.

    A Bullmastiff is considered a pit bull type dog and a pit bull mix between a pit bull and a mastiff and is 40% pit bull.

    Breed ****** Attacks doing bodily harm ****** Maimed ****** Deaths
    1. Pit bull **********2792 ***********************677 **********263
    2. Rottweiler *******514 ************************294 **********81
    3. Bull Mastiff ******105 ************************61 ***********15
    4. German Shepherd 102 **********************63 ***********15
    5. Wolf Hybrid ******85 *************************49 ***********19
    6. Akita **************68 ************************50 ************8
    7. Boxer *************62 ************************29 ************7
    8. Chow *************58 ************************39 ************7
    9. Pit bull/Rottweiler mix 50 ********************15 ************15
    10.Labrador ********50 *************************39 ************3

    The report states that the numbers are compiled from press accounts dating to 1982. It only includes attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, which have been kept as pets.

    All accounts are cross-checked by date, location and identity of the victim, according to the report.
    Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs and dogs trained specifically to fight are not included in the report.
    About 31,400 dogs attacked about 61,500 other animals in the U.S. in 2013, killing 43,500 and seriously injuring 18,100.

    The animals killed included about 12,000 dogs, 8,000 cats, 6,000 hooved animals, and 17,000 other small domestic animals, primarily poultry.
    The seriously injured included about 12,400 dogs, 4,000 cats, and 1,700 hooved animals. Few small mammals and poultry survived reported dog attacks.

    Pit bulls inflicted 99% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000); 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520); 95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700) and on small mammals and poultry (16,150); and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280).

    About 30,000 pit bulls were involved in attacks on other animals, many of them killing multiple other animals.
    There are about 3.2 million pit bulls in the U.S. at any given time, according to the annual Animal24-7 surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption via online classified ads.

    Thus in 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal, compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds.
    Nationally, fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 since 2010, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    Altogether, 33 U.S. shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.
    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone before 2000 were two wolf hybrids, rehomed in 1988 and 1989, respectively.
    Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to May.25, 2013.
    By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2013, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.

    Study highlights
    Pit bull type dogs make up only 6% of all dogs in the USA.
    The combination of Pit Bulls, rottweilers, their close mixes and wolf hybrids and other Pit Bull Type Dogs:

    84% of attacks that induce bodily harm.

    75% of attacks to children.

    87% of attack to adults.

    72% of attacks that result in fatalities.

    80% that result in maiming

    Merritt Clifton Editor Of Animals24-7:

    I have logged fatal & disfiguring dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada since September 1982.

    Of the 5,206 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 3,595 (68%) were pit bulls; 567 were Rottweilers; 4,713 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 577 human fatalities, 307 were killed by pit bulls; 89 were killed by Rottweilers; 440 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds.

    Of the 3,141 people who were disfigured, 2,232 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 354 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,716 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

    Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class.

    Fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 in the past four years, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone, ever, before 2000 were two wolf hybrids in 1988 and 1989. 33 U.S. shelter dogs & one U.K. shelter dog have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.

    Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are together less than 7% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • Thomas McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    Lakritz: Pit bull ban is logical next step
    Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald
    Published on: May 20, 2015

    Steve Constantine of Detroit, lost his leg, arm and part of his ear when he was attacked by a friend’s pit bulls and pit bull mixes last winter. A judge Tuesday awarded Constantine a $100 million civil judgment.

    Steve Constantine of Detroit, lost his leg, arm and part of his ear when he was attacked by a friend’s pit bulls and pit bull mixes last winter. A judge Tuesday awarded Constantine a $100 million civil judgment.

    What would Calgarians do for comic relief without city council?

    Last week, Coun. Joe Magliocca came up with a system for controlling pit bull attacks in this city. It works like this: Put muzzles on all puppies when they’re out for walks, to prevent attacks on passersby.

    Train them, certify them, and after they turn a year old, take off the muzzles and put coloured bandanas on them so they’re dressed like traffic lights. Hostile dogs would wear red bandanas, ones that are iffy would wear yellow, and green bandanas mean the dog is friendly.

    Just imagine how silly it would be to have teacup Yorkie puppies walking around wearing muzzles as a public safety measure. I don’t even know if they make muzzles that tiny. Regardless, putting a muzzle on any puppy is counterproductive to socializing it to other animals and people during its crucial first year. You’d really be sowing the seeds for a city full of neurotic and unpredictably nasty dogs if you muzzled all puppies whenever they were out.

    Research done by Animals 24-7, using data from press reports that were cross-checked to ensure animal control officers, and not just reporters, verified the breed of dog, showed that from September 1982 through December 2014, pit bulls were responsible for 3,397 “attacks doing bodily harm” in Canada and the U.S.”

    One of those statistics was Steve Constantine of Detroit, who lost two limbs and part of his ear, during an attack last October by a friend’s 12 pit bulls and pit bull mixes.

    Pit bulls killed 295 people during the studied period. Basset hounds, on the other hand, killed no one between 1982 and 2014, and only two people were attacked — by the same hound — thus giving the lie to pit bull owners who say their breed is not to blame. Rottweilers were responsible for the next highest number of attacks after pit bulls — killing 85 people and attacking a total of 535.

    We keep hearing it’s the fault of irresponsible pit bull owners. That may be, but there are irresponsible owners of Shih Tzus as well, and their dogs don’t make the news.

    Opponents to breed-specific legislation point to Calgary’s model bylaw regarding vicious dogs. Calgary’s bylaw is so highly regarded that it was cited in the Ontario legislature during debates about a pit-bull ban. It is indeed strict. It states that a dog deemed vicious by a provincial judge can only be owned by an individual over 18, and is never allowed in off-leash areas. When the dog is out, “it must wear a muzzle … with a leash no longer than one metre … ”

    The dog must be confined indoors, or if outdoors, must be kept in “a locked pen or other structure” which other people can’t enter. The pen must be a minimum 1.5 metres in height and have a “secure top, and if it has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded in the ground to a minimum depth of 30 centimetres.”

    The owner must post special signs at every entrance to the yard, alerting people that a vicious dog lives there.

    OK, so we have this excellent bylaw. Too bad the threat of its penalties doesn’t appear to have deterred the owners of the pit bulls responsible for the recent spate of attacks in Calgary. The annual vicious animal licensing fee is $260. There is a fine of up to $1,500 for a first offence attacking someone, and up to $2,000 if a dog already declared vicious attacks again. Not to mention $1,500 per, for failing to follow each directive for a vicious dog, such as proper confinement, signage, muzzling, etc.

    No, the bylaw, with its justifiably draconian provisions, hasn’t scared irresponsible pit bull owners into becoming more responsible. The only sensible next step is to ban these dogs, which were bred to be aggressive. Who needs them? Had Steve Constantine been swarmed instead by basset hounds, he would be healthy and whole today.

    Naomi Lakritz is a Herald columnist.

  • Thomas McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    Aurora, Colorado

    Population 339,030

    Also in March, Aurora released statistical data showing a significant reduction in the volume of pit bull attacks and pit bulls euthanized after adopting a pit bull ban in 2005.

    “Since the ban has been in place, bites are down 73 percent from pit bulls,” said Cheryl Conway, a spokeswoman for the city’s animal care division.
    She described various problems the city encountered before enacting the ban in 2005 that included irresponsible owners letting the dogs run at large, and owners using pit bulls to taunt pedestrians.

    She added that the dogs placed a tremendous burden on city staff. According to city documents, before the ordinance was enacted in 2005, up to 70 percent of kennels in the Aurora Animal Shelter were occupied by pit bulls with pending court disposition dates or with no known owner. That number is now only 10 to 20 percent of kennels.

    “There hasn’t been a human mauling in many years. Complaints and requests related to pit bulls are down 50 percent. Euthanasia of pit bull dogs is down 93 percent. Of those few that are put down, they are primarily those that come in as strays and their owners don’t come to claim them,” she said.
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Population 415,068

    After the City of Omaha adopted a pit bull law in 2008, Mark Langan of the Nebraska Humane Society, who opposed the law, said in September 2009 that pit bull biting incidents were down 35% since its adoption:

    “Despite the attack of Haynes, The Humane Society’s Mark Langan says pitbull bites are down since new laws went into effect last year. Langan says so far this year 54 bites have been reported compared to 83 last year.”

    In September 2010, the Nebraska Humane Society provided bite statistical data to city council members and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the pit bull ordinance adopted by the City of Omaha in late 2008.

    “It is the position of the Nebraska Human Society that this ordinance has been effective in reducing bites involving dogs defined as “Pit Bulls” in the ordinance.”

    Judy Varner, President and CEO, Nebraska Human Society
    Varner’s attached statistical data shows that bites by pit bulls dropped 40% after one year of the adoption of the ordinance, 121 bites in 2008 down to 73 bites in 2009. The bite rate dropped even further in 2010.

    2008 Pit Bull Bites: 121 Total
    2009 Pit Bull Bites: 73 Total
    2010 Pit Bull Bites (through August): 28 Total

    In January 2013, the Nebraska Humane Society reported that pit bull bites dropped to 31 in 2012, down from 121 in 2008 (a 74% reduction), the year that Omaha enacted a progressive pit bull ordinance.

    2008 Pit Bull Bites Total: 121 (pre-breed specific ordinance)
    Level 2: 52; Level 3: 58, Level 4: 8; Level 5: 3 (69 were Level 3-5 attacks)

    2009 Pit Bull Bites Total: 73
    Level 2: 49; Level 3: 17; Level 4: 4; Level 5: 3 (24 were Level 3-5 attacks)

    2010 (through August) Pit Bull Bites Total: 28
    Level 2: 19; Level 3: 6; Level 4: 2; Level 5: 1 (9 were Level 3-5 attacks)

    2012 Pit Bull Bites Total: 31
    No bite level break down provided
    Saginaw, Michigan
    Population 51,230

    In November 2012, Saginaw reported a reduction in dog attacks eighteen months after enacting a “Light” BSL ordinance1 requiring owners of the top 5 dangerous dog breeds2 to comply with new regulations.

    Eighteen months after Saginaw created its dangerous dog ordinance, put into effect in June 2011, Saginaw City Chief Inspector John Stemple said it has helped to lower the amount of dog attacks in the city.

    “It was the government reacting to a problem,” Stemple said. “And if you look at the numbers, it’s been very effective.”

    The ordinance requires residents to register dogs whose breeds are deemed “dangerous” at the City Clerk’s office, post a “Dog on premises” sign in the front of their homes and when outdoors, keep their animals either on a leash or within a 4-foot-high fenced area or kennel.

    The breeds included in the ordinance are pit bulls, presa canario, bull mastiffs, rottweilers and German shepherds.

    Stemple said he has heard from employees at Consumers Energy and the U.S. Postal Service that the signs and tethering rules have made their work safer. The number of reported dog bites fell in 2011 to nine, from 24 in 2009.

  • Thomas McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    KEVIN COUTTS, Head Dog Ranger, Rotorua, New Zealand

    There was concern among dog authorities about American pitbulls being allowed into New Zealand as they were dangerous, unpredictable animals, Mr Coutts said.

    “A lot of people in this town get them because they are a staunch dog and they will fight. They are perceived as vicious … It’s frustrating they were ever allowed in the country … we can’t go back now though,” Mr Coutts said.

    COUTTS’ comment on a pit car mauling

    This sort of thing happens when people own this breed of dog and then don’t look after them.

    VICTORIA STILWELL, celebrity dog trainer

    Presas are not to be fooled with, they’re dangerous. You’ve got a fighting breed here. You’ve got a dog that was bred for fighting. You’ve got one of the most difficult breeds to handle.

    CESAR MILAN, celebrity dog trainer

    “Yeah, but this is a different breed…the power that comes behind bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed – They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don’t feel the pain anymore. He is using the bulldog in him, which is way too powerful, so we have to ‘make him dog’ (I guess as in a “regular” dog) so we can actually create the limits.

    So if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it’s not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender.”. If you add pain, it only infuriates them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it…

    That’s why they are such great fighters.” Cesar goes on to say…”Especially with fighting breeds, you’re going to have these explosions over and over because there’s no limits in their brain.”

    GARRETT RUSSO, dog trainer

    I estimate Medical & Veterinary bills related to injuries caused by pit bulls in the Tompkins Square dog run in 2011, $140,000.00. Estimated Medical (human) & Veterinary (canine) bills from all other breeds and mixed breeds combined during the same period, $5,000.00. (Estimate gathered from reports to by owners to the dog park association.)

    STEVE DUNO, dog trainer, pit bull owner

    “The dogs that participated in these attacks weren’t Pekingese. You don’t have herds of Pekingese roaming the city attacking people. When someone says all breeds are created equal, well then they’re denying the definition of what a breed is. Breed serves a particular purpose.”

    “I like them. They’re eager. They’re athletic. They’re aesthetically pleasing. But even if they’re bred perfectly, they can be problematic, particularly with other dogs.”

    “When you combine the breed specific behaviors … with owners who either don’t give a rip, or with owners who (have) too much dog, you have a problem.”

    JEAN DONALDSON, dog trainer

    Most commonly, she sees dogs with aggression problems. While she’s a fierce opponent of “breed bans” like the proposed outlawing of pit bulls that San Francisco debated two years ago, she believes it’s undeniable that some breeds are predisposed to violence.

    Many breeds that were bred as guardians or fighting dogs were carefully designed to not like strangers, she says. She thinks it’s disingenuous of breeders to further enhance this trait, and then expect owners to compensate with training.

    ARLENE STERLING, Newaygo County, MI Chief Animal Control Officer

    “It is genetically inbred in them to be aggressive. They can be very nice dogs, but they are very prey driven and they are extremely strong. It makes them high risk dogs and it makes them extremely dangerous.”

    BOB KERRIDGE, New Zealand SPCA executive director

    “That is the only real way to solve this problem – is to license owners and to give them the responsibility that goes with owning a dog. It would be extremely useful when you have a neighbour who is concerned about that dog next door. You can look at it and see they don’t have a license and take it away. That’s owner responsibility.”

    “We led the charge to stop the importation of the pitbull because of the concerns they would be crossbred with other dogs… But there’s not a lot we can do about that because it’s happened. We wish someone had listened all those years ago.”

    JIM CROSBY, pit bull hired gun

    “Line breeding tends to concentrate recessive traits. The propensity for violent attacks by a dog would be a recessive trait.”

    MELANIE PFEIFFER, veterinary assistant

    Working in a veterinary hospital, you are exposed to all kinds of animal trauma. One of the more common ones is dog fights. I can honestly say that in three out of four cases, an American pit bull terrier is involved. Many times, we are able to save the life of the afflicted, but yesterday, we were not.

    I propose that all owned American pit bull terriers be registered and all breeding be halted indefinitely. How many mutilated faces, mangled limbs, butchered pets and even human deaths does it take to convince us that this breed needs to be phased out?

    DIANE JESSUP, Washington pit bull owner and expert

    “It’s not sensible to get an animal bred for bringing a 2,000-pound bull to its knees and say I’m going to treat this like a soft-mouth Labrador,” says Jessup, the former animal-control officer. She blames novice owners, as much as actual criminals, for bringing the breed into disrepute. “It’s a capable animal, and it’s got to be treated as such.”

    JOHN ROCKHOLT, South Carolina dogman

    “It’s inhumane not to allow them to fight. If you have to encourage them to fight they are not worth the powder it would take to blow them away. To never allow them any kind of combat…That’s inhumane.”

    RAY BROWN, former pit bull owner, breeder, dog fighter

    Pit bulls didn’t become dangerous because we fight them; we fight them because the English specifically bred them to be dangerous.

    MARK PAULHUS, HSUS southeast regional coordinator

    If it chooses to attack, it’s the most ferocious of all dogs. I’ve never known of a pit bull that could be called off (during a fight). They lose themselves in the fight.

    F.L. DANTZLER, HSUS director of field services

    “They’re borderline dogs. They’re right on the edge all of the time. Even if the dogs are not trained or used for fighting, and even though they are generally good with people, their bloodline makes them prone to violence.”

  • Thomas McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    15 dead by dog attack in the US so far in 2015.
    11 killed by known pit bull type dogs / pit bull mixes, which include
    so-called ‘breeds’ like bullmastiffs and American Bulldogs.

    Stars (**) indicate that the killer was someone’s beloved family pit bull that was never abused or neglected.
    The double dagger (‡) indicates that the ‘pet’ pit bull belonged to the deceased person, their family or a relative.

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type dog (6):
    Kenneth Ford, 79 years old, Pahrump, Nev., March.13
    Eugene Smith – 87 y.o. – Frederick MD ** ‡ [January 7; ‘rescue’ pit bull, kept as indoor family pet]
    Fredrick Crutchfield, 63 years old, Coal Hill, Arkansas ** ‡ Feb.4th
    Roy Higgenbotham Jr., 62 years old, Wheeling, West Virginia ** March.9th
    by Friends Pit Bull
    Julia Charging Whirlwind, 49 years old, White River, SD by Pack of Pit Bull dogs, March.14th, Native American on Rosebud Reservation.
    De’trick O. Johnson, 36 years old, Pine Bluff, Ark, March.21, by a pack of pit bull type dogs.

    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (5):
    James W. Nevils III, 5 years old, Southside Chigago, May.26th
    Brayden Lamar Wilson, 2 month old baby, Dallas, TX, ** ‡ April.19, by family pit bull.
    Declan Dean Moss – 18 mos. Old – Brooksville, FL ** ‡ [January 19, mother’s pit bulls]
    Malaki Mildward — 7 years old — College Springs, Iowa ** ‡ (January.22) 2 Pit Bull Mixes, Mother’s & friends Pit bulls.
    Taylynn Devaughnm 2 years old, West Mifflin, PA ** ‡ Feb.22 Aunt’s Pit Bull Mix

    Fatalities by ‘breed unknown’ (1)
    Neta Lee Adams, 81 years old, Washington County, GA Mar 31, 2015
    Unidentified Native American – about 40 y,o. – Gallup, NM [January 2
    [found dead at the roadside after altercation with ‘feral dogs’]

    Fatalities by ‘other breed’s’ (2)
    Gaege Ramirez ,7 years old, Canyon Lake, TX ** ‡
    Betty Wood, 78 years old, Sulphur Springs, TX ** ‡ March.13,2015 by her pet Rottweiler

    Foreign deaths by pit bull type dog that we know of (3):
    Children (2)
    Michel Danny Kasouha, 7 years old, Beirut, Leabanon, April.7,2014
    Maxi Millian Guscott – 2 y.o. – St. Ann, Jamaica ** ‡ [January 2 – bullmastiff, which is a pit bull – mastiff mix]

    Adult (1)
    Emilia Mitroi, 53 years old, Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania ** ‡ Pit Bull Terrier, March.9th.

  • Thomas McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    My Legislation Proposal to be enacted by all states,
    cities and counties in the US & Canada.

    All Pit Bull Type Dogs must be Banned:
    Including pit bulls (American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Bulldog, Bull mastiffs, dogo argentinos, fila brasieros, presa canarios, Japanese Tosa, cane corsos, Bandog, Boerboel, Rhodesian Ridgeback, & Catahoula Bulldog and their mixes and any dog generally recognized as a pit bull or pit bull terrier and includes a dog of mixed breed with predominant pit bull or pit bull terrier characteristics)

    As well the following should be labeled as Dangerous dogs after single bite incident: rottweilers, chow chows, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, they as well as all Grandfathered Pit Bull Type Dogs must be:

    * Licensed

    * Micro-chipped with any bite history in database for reference.

    * Insured: All dogs must be covered by mandatory liability insurance of $100,000 min. generic and $500,000 after a skin breaking bite with insurance companies based on actuarial statistic’s determining said rate.

    * All Dogs Spayed/neutered (except for limited approved show dog breeders)

    * All breeds involved in any bite incident and Grandfathered Pit Bull Type Dogs must be kenneled in a locked five-sided enclosure with concrete bottom.

    For all other dog owners language can be written that enclosure such as fences must be capable of containing your dog period, such generic language puts the onus on the owner, have the fines be so onerous that said owner will ensure this they make this so.

    1,000 the first time, double the second time and permanent confiscation the third time with a ban on said person from owning any dog within city limits, this will create an effective outcome directly or indirectly.

    * All dogs must be on leashes outside of home enclosure

    * All Grandfathered Pit Bull Type Dogs must also be muzzled outside of home enclosure

    * No transport of declared dangerous dogs for the purpose of re-homing. (Dangerous dogs must be dealt with where their history is known.)

    * All of the rules listed above also apply to rescues: rescued dogs must be licensed and subject to inspection.

    $1,000 fine for noncompliance

    Elimination of the one-bite rule in all of the 50 U.S. states
    Manslaughter charges for owner of dog that kills a human
    Felony charge for owner of dog that mauls human, dog, or other domestic animal.

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