Monday, 9 February 2015

Appellate court decisions on BSL and Pit bull type dog danger

For additional accurate information on the public safety Danger of Pit Bull Type Dogs visit:
Appellate court decisions :

Giaculli v. Bright (1991)
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fifth District

However, it is not necessary that pit bulls be declared vicious per se under the law in order for the landlord and owners to be placed on notice that a tenant has a vicious dog.

Pit bulls as a breed are known to be extremely aggressive and have been bred as attack animals. See State v. Peters, 534 So.2d 760 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988), rev. denied, 542 So.2d 1334 (Fla. 1989), upholding an ordinance of the City of North Miami which required pit bull owners to carry insurance, register their pit bulls and confine the dog indoors or in a locked pen.

The City of North Miami's ordinance notes that pit bulls have a greater propensity to bite humans than all other breeds, that they are extremely aggressive towards other animals and have a natural tendency to refuse to terminate an attack once it has begun.
Singer v. Cincinnati (1990)
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Hamilton County

At the hearing regarding the ordinance's constitutionality, the trial court was presented with evidence which established that the specific breeds targeted by the ordinance possess inherent characteristics of aggression, strength, viciousness and unpredictability not found in other dog breeds.

The evidence indicated that, unlike other breeds that retreats if they are injured in a fight or an attack, a pit bull will often bite, clamp down with its powerful jaw, and maintain its hold until separated from its victim.

The evidence also indicated that the pit bull is an exceptionally strong and athletic dog which requires extraordinary measures for confinement (e.g., six-foot-high enclosed fences). Pit bulls have exceptionally strong bites and have been known to destroy sheet metal panels by ripping them apart with their teeth.

Moreover, the evidence submitted by the city illustrated numerous cases of severe maulings and deaths that have occurred in Cincinnati as a result of pit bull attacks, and attributed the majority of fatal dog attacks nationwide to pit bulls.
Hearn v. City of Overland (1989)
Supreme Court of Kansas

In the present case, the district court found that pit bull dogs represented a unique hazard to the public safety, and the city ordinance regulating the ownership and possession of these dogs was therefore reasonably related to a legitimate governmental objective. The evidence introduced at trial supports this conclusion.

Defendant city introduced expert testimony that pit bull dogs are both more aggressive and destructive than other dogs. Pit bull dogs possess a strongly developed "kill instinct" not shared by other breeds of dogs.

This testimony indicated that pit bull dogs are unique in their "savageness and unpredictability." Research indicates that pit bull dogs are twice as likely to cause multiple injuries as other breeds of dogs.

Moreover, the injuries inflicted by pit bull dogs are far worse that those inflicted by other breeds. One witness, testifying as an expert on trauma injuries, testified that pit bull dog attacks inflicted injuries much more horrific than those in other dog attacks and were comparable, in his experience, only to those injuries inflicted in attacks by lions.

The district court was also presented with a survey of 278 dog attacks indicating that a majority (54.1%) represented attacks by pit bull dogs. Of the 32 known human deaths in the United States due to dog attacks since July 1983, 23 were caused by attacks by pit bull dogs.
Vanater v. Village of South Point (1989)
United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, W.D.

Pit Bulls also possess the quality of gameness, which is not a totally clear concept, but which can be described as the propensity to catch and maul an attacked victim unrelentingly until death occurs, or as the continuing tenacity and tendency to attack repeatedly for the purpose of killing.
It is clear that the unquantifiable, unpredictable agressiveness and gameness of Pit Bulls make them uniquely dangerous.

Pit Bulls have the following distinctive behavioral characteristics:
a) grasping strength,
b) climbing and hanging ability,
c) weight pulling ability,
d) a history of frenzy, which is the trait of unusual relentless ferocity or the extreme concentration on fighting and attacking,
e) a history of catching, fighting, and killing instinct,
f) the ability to be extremely destructive and aggressive, g) highly tolerant of pain, h) great biting strength, i) undying tenacity and courage and they are highly unpredictable.

While these traits, tendencies or abilities are not unique to Pit Bulls exclusively, Pit Bulls will have these instincts and phenotypical characteristics; most siginficantly, such characteristics can be latent and may appear without warning or provocation.
American Dog Owners Ass'n v. Dade County (1989)
United States District Court, S.D. Florida

Legislative fact findings included facts indicating that the selective breeding of certain characteristics in pit bull dogs made these dogs a danger to health and welfare different from the dangers presented by other breeds.

The Preamble to the Ordinance contains the several factual findings made by the Board of County Commissioners of Dade County that pit bull dogs require special regulation because of their dangerous propensities.

These findings were not challenged by the plaintiffs, and are accepted as true for the purposes of this preenforcement challenge. The Ordinance is reproduced in full in Appendix A...

WHEREAS, in recent months Dade County has experienced a tragic series of incidents in which citizens have been attacked and seriously injured by pit bull dogs; and
WHEREAS, concurrent with these attacks upon human beings, the community has also experienced an increasing number of animal killings resulting from pit bull attacks; and
WHEREAS, pit bull breeds were developed for the purpose of fighting dogs and other animals; and

WHEREAS, to increase its effectiveness as a fighter, certain pit bull traits have been selected and maximized by controlled breeding, including
1) a set of powerful jaws with an exceptional ability to grip, lock and tear when the dog bites;
2) a unique insensitivity to pain that causes pit bulls to be exceedingly tenacious in the attack;
3) an unusually aggressive temperament towards human beings and animals; and
4) an extraordinary directness in their method of attack that does not include the common warning signs such as barking or growling displayed by other breeds;

WHEREAS, for the above reasons, pit bull dogs present a danger to the health and welfare of the citizens of Dade County, different in degree and kind, from the dangers presented by other breeds of dog...