Extreme Attacks: List of Pit Bulls Up for Adoption or Recently Adopted From Shelters That Seriously Attack
People often perceive pit bull rescuers, shelters, and animal control officers to be experts on pit bull behavior and safety. Potential adopters often believe they can rely on these perceived experts' knowledge, judgment and temperament testing procedures to give them sound advice about pit bull safety and to match them with safe pit bulls.
Sadly, these perceived experts are not required to have much expertise at all.
More importantly they have sworn no oath and have no mandate to protect public safety. And they often are extremely misguided.
They refuse to acknowledge the inherent dangers of pit bulls and believe if they foist off an "iffy" pit bull on someone, well, it gives the pit bull another chance for a home, and it might turn out alright. Other times, shelter workers have reportedly failed to provide known information about aggression, and in some cases, when pit bulls attacked right after being adopted, they blamed the adopter.
This recent and rapidly escalating problem illustrated by Merritt Clifton:
The following list shows the results of these misguided priorities and lack of mandated responsibility by these animal care "experts." Most of these articles are about recently adopted pit bulls that launched a serious attack, sometimes killing a person. Many of these pit bulls came with assurances that the pit bull was non-aggressive and/or had been temperament tested.
A few articles concern other dangerous dogs, and some articles concern attacks that occurred while the dog was still in the care of the animal control, shelter, rescue or foster. The list is not complete or comprehensive, but merely highlights the growing problem.
2015 MD - 8 months after an un-named rescue adopted an 84 lb pit bull to "Smitty", an 87 year old man who is described as remarkable, wonderful, kind-hearted, and animal-loving, the pit bull killed him while he was lying on the floor to take down a Christmas tree. Smitty was healthy and still worked driving a semi.
2014 OH - Pit bull rescue told a foster family the pit bull was a great dog. Two days later it put a grown man in the hospital for 3 days - turning from sweet to aggressive in a split second. And the c3 rescue let its insurance lapse.
2014 OR - Face tattooed ex-con set up his own self-styled, unregulated, dangerous pit bull "rehabilitation" rescue in a residential neighborhood. He failed to make his dangerous pit bulls inaccessible to anyone who wanted to open the fence and one of his pit bulls "somehow" got loose and immediately took down a 16 year old girl, seriously injuring her. There had been previous calls for a bite to person and a fatal dogfight. The offending pit bull had gotten loose before and neighbors had called about dangerous dogs several times, telling Animal Control that someone was going to get hurt.
2014 UT - A 5 year old boy was attacked while playing with the pit bull the family had adopted 2 weeks before. The pit bull broke the child's ribs, ripped open his body cavity to expose his bowels, and nearly ripped off the child's ear.
2014 PA - Woman fostering at least three pit bulls for a shelter was severely attacked by one of the pit bulls when she tried to break up a fight between pit bulls. She was hospitalized. A police officer said that it is an extremely rare event in that area for anyone, especially an owner, to be attacked severely enough to require hospitalization.
2014 IL - A new No Kill director was at the helm when Oak Park Animal Care League adopted dog to family and 3 hours later, the dog killed the family cat. After the dog was returned, long-time employees felt like they were forced to lie to the second family who adopted the dog without being told that the dog had killed a family pet cat.
2014 MA - Unnamed Rescue Network adopted a pit bull to a couple that seriously attacked a man, a woman and their dog in an unprovoked, off property attack on a sidewalk. Instead of having the pit bull put down, the owners gave the pit bull back to the rescue network. The victims found out later "that the dog was not euthanized. Instead, the volunteer network tried to find a new home for the dog by posting a listing on its website that indicated the animal had no history of violence."
2014 NC - Rowan County AC adopted an aggressive, stray German Shepherd that had bitten a Sheriff's Canine Deputy who was assessing it to a "certified trainer." While "socializing" the dangerous dog in a public park two weeks later, the GSD attacked the two women with the dog, and a deputy had to shoot the GSD.
2014 - The number of people attacked by dogs in or recently adopted from shelters is skyrocketing according to this report by Merritt Clifton.
2014 NY - A pit bull owner wanted to keep and not put down their pit bull after it had bitten two people, so the shelter agreed to keep it for the 10 day rabies quarantine. They observed the pit bull for 10 days and saw no signs of aggression. Hours before the pit bull was to be given back to the owner and allowed to bite the public, the pit bull attacked four people in the shelter, two severely. The shelter workers reveal they are unaware that pit bulls are unpredictable and that friendly pit bulls can suddenly and severely maul for no reason and with no warning.
2014 IL - Dog rescuer allowed her pit bulls to escape twice and on each occasion, they killed a small, neighborhood dog.