Sunday, 29 March 2015

Defence of Merritt Clifton and Colleen Lynn: "Pit Bull Hysteria" Is Based on Fact

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Barbara Kay
Columnist, Writer

"Pit Bull Hysteria" Is Based on Fact
 Updated: 11/29/2014

Writer Douglas Anthony Cooper and I share common ground as Canadian journalists. Neither of us have any personal experience with pit bull type dogs, yet we both write about them -- both frequently and passionately.

There the resemblance ends. Cooper advocates in these pages for pit bulls as a safe but misunderstood dog, and I advocate, in the National Post and elsewhere, against them as an inherently high-risk public safety threat to animals and humans alike.

I derive my ideas about dog behavior from the work of Alexandra Semyonova, resident in The Hague, who has accurately described the social organization and behavior of the domestic dog, explained how pit bull type aggression is inherited, and documented the reappearance of canine violence, shelter crowding, and an exponential increase in the euthanisation of pit bulls since the Netherlands repealed its pit bull ban in 2008.

In Cooper's Sept. 25 column, following my recent critique in of his forthcoming children's book Galunker, (which encourages pre-school age children to adopt pit bulls from rescue shelters) there are errors of fact about me. More important, the column contains serious accusations against the publisher of, Merritt Clifton. Clifton is North America's primary source for statistical information on maulings, maimings and dogbite-related fatalities according to breed. His disinterested, freely distributed and continually updated reports furnish sine qua non information to my cohort in the pit bull debate.

Therefore, since Clifton's public credibility is linked to my own, I am grateful to the Huffington Post for this opportunity to rebut Cooper's charges.

Cooper implies that my Galunker review was "retaliatory" and "unprofessional." In fact, I have always objected to marketing dangerous products to children. I reviewed another book that promoted dangerous dogs to young people well before I ran across the Galunker promo last April, which was, by the way, the first time Douglas Anthony Cooper's name ever came to my attention. By the time we began the correspondence Cooper alludes to in his column, I had already proposed a Galunker critique for, a review that was 100 per cent "professional" from conception to publication.

Cooper's virulent attack on Clifton is unwarranted and unethical. Cooper characterizes Clifton, variously and repetitively, as an "academic fraud," "a charlatan," "a medical fraud," a "quack," and a "jaw-dropping conspiracy theorist."

These are grave charges.

Cooper's entire case rests on a single, off-the-record, allegedly false response by Clifton to a gadfly's question posed during a conference's down time, and captured on amateur video. At issue was Clifton's "peer reviewed" writing record, which Clifton said was extensive, but which Cooper claims is non-existent. Hence the charge of academic fraud. The somewhat muffled interchange is parsed for actual wording here.

But Cooper's accusation is based on blatant disregard for Clifton's more than 100 contributions over the past 20 years to the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases, a peer-reviewed online forum maintained by the International Society for Infectious Diseases, monitored by more than 60,000 epidemiologists worldwide.

Indeed, in 2010 Clifton received the 15th annual ProMED-mail Award for "Excellence in Outbreak Reporting on the Internet" for contributions to understanding the animal behavioral and cultural aspects of emerging zoonotic disease. How Cooper's reported "search" failed to unearth these facts mystifies me.

Although Cooper's attack on Clifton is incontestably the most brazen by a writer linked to a respectable publication, there have been countless other attempts -- never successful -- to take Clifton down.

One can see how vexing Clifton's objective findings are for pit bull stakeholders, whose settled convictions arise from sympathy -- of a distinctly subjective and kitsch variety (websites crammed with photos of infantilized pit bulls in tutus and ribbons, infants and toddlers draped atop placidly accommodating pit bulls' backs, sad-eyed puppies) -- for a fictitiously constructed "underdog." Clifton's reports shatter the pit bull advocacy movement's preferred image of their innocent "pibble" as the only real victim in the damning litany of pet, livestock and human tragedies overwhelmingly caused by fighting dogs.

Much of Cooper's rancor dwells on Clifton's refusal to share his raw data with him. But why should he? It's his 32-year accumulation of labor, amassed on his own time and his own dime. Doubtless Clifton suspects Cooper would perform subversive legerdemain with the data -- i.e. data-mining and changing the parameters for desired results -- a now common adversarial practice to discredit legitimate research. (In the past, raw data was routinely shared with most seekers, until manipulation in the service of ideology became so rampant that honest researchers began triaging petitioners more selectively.)

But Clifton is completely transparent about his methodology, and the full particulars of every pit bull-linked fatality are available at I invite Huffington Post readers to consult Clifton's latest editorial in Animals24-7, which details his entire investigative chronology and epidemiology-consistent research strategies, in shaping their own conclusions about the motivation behind Cooper's vicious attack.

In our e-mail exchange, I several times asked Cooper how he accounted for pit bull bans in over 35 countries -- Denmark, for example, just made their ban permanent and country-wide -- whose decisions did not depend on Merritt Clifton, but on their own data collection. Their findings parallel Clifton's. Are those researchers also "academic frauds" and "charlatans"? No response.

Clifton is no "conspiracy theorist." Conspiracies do exist. When Ms. Semyonova, a former Dutch SPCA inspector, spoke publicly about pit bulls as inherently dangerous, she was smeared through a systematic intimidation campaign by pit bull advocates so vicious that the Dutch Ministry of Justice acknowledged it as a pattern clearly constituting organized crime.

Meanwhile, as Cooper and I joust in snug security, 17 American children have been killed by pit bulls and their mixes so far this year, 13 of them by "beloved family pets," who'd never before shown signs of aggression.

Please read Clifton's report alongside a Galunker excerpt. Then consider the entirely preventable human and animal suffering that is perpetuated by the false beliefs suffusing this, and indeed all of Douglas Anthony Cooper's pit bull-related writings.

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

The science of how behavior is inherited in aggressive dogs

The science of how behavior is inherited in aggressive dogs   

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July-August 2013:
by Alexandra Semyonova

Probably most people recognize that every dog breed results from human manipulation of inherited physical traits.  Until recently,  most people probably also recognized that much dog behavior is also a result of manipulating inheritance:  if you want to do sheep trials,  you get a border collie.  If you get a beagle,  he will likely become instantly deaf to your calls if he picks up a scent to track. 
But after discussion started about perhaps banning breeds who often attack and kill,  defenders of these breeds began to dispute the heritability of any kind of dog behavior. 

Only when behavioral inheritance is understood,  beginning with basic biological concepts,  can we have a clear and honest discussion about aggression in domestic dogs.  First we must understand the relationship between “physical conformation” and “behavioral conformation,” which may be seen as opposite sides of the same coin. 
“Physical conformation” describes how a dog has been bred to become physically shaped specifically for the task we want him to perform. The purpose-bred dog’s body––brain,  skeleton,  muscles,  and metabolism––will be different from those of other dogs. The dog will feel physically comfortable doing the job,  whatever it is.  

The border collie is physically designed for the stalking stance and for switching easily and often from standing to lying down to standing again.  A greyhound enjoys sprinting,   with a deep chest that easily provides enough oxygen to the dog’s muscles to fuel a burst of high speed. The same deep chest means the greyhound cannot run marathons because the deep chest prevents a greyhound from losing heat efficiently.  

The greyhound’s brain has been shaped by selective breeding to steer the legs in a gait that provides maximum speed in a sprint.  The unique composition of a husky’s skeleton,  muscles and brain enables a husky to pull a sled with a different gait,  and to sustain a brisk pace for long distances.  
The greyhound runs by leaping,  the husky by pushing,  always with one foot on the ground.  Each dog is genetically wired to use the specific body the dog has.

Dog breeders have for centuries selected for particular traits by simply watching how a dog performs.  They have bred dogs for specific tasks by removing the dogs who perform less well from their breeding stock.  Sometimes they will cross in a dog breed they think will add traits to perform the task better.  Breeders select for performance without always knowing exactly which traits they are breeding for.  For example, until recently no one realized the husky was being bred for a particular heat economy;  they just chose the dogs who kept running the longest. Eventually,  successful breeders produce dogs who are physically shaped to do the dog’s task better than any other dog,  no matter how well the other dog is trained. 

“Physical conformation” leads to “behavioral conformation.”  First of all,  each dog’s brain is genetically predisposed to grow to efficiently direct the body it is born in.  Then the dog’s brain adapts itself further to the body it is in as it grows in the developing puppy.  There is no gene for running or stalking,  but there are genes that give a dog four legs and make those legs longer,  shorter,  more or less flexible, and so forth.  It is because of the action of the genes that confer differently shaped bodies and brains that the pointer enjoys pointing,  the border collie stalks and stares,  the Newfoundland floats in cold water,  and so on. 

Selecting for aggression
 Just as we cannot make a dog into something the dog has no genetic capacity to be,  we cannot prevent a dog from being what the dog is genetically predisposed to be.  Because inherited postures and behaviors are suitable for the body and brain the dog was born with,  they are internally motivated and internally rewarded:  they feel good.  This means that inherited behaviorial traits are practically impossible to extinguish by manipulating external environmental stimuli.  

In breeding dogs to perform certain tasks or have a certain look,  humans often select (sometimes inadvertently) for abnormalities in body and behavior.  We do this by looking for mutations and then breeding for them,  or by crossing breeds to get combinations of traits.   to speed the process up. A clear case of this is the old English bull dog,  who can hardly walk,  hardly breathe,  and cannot be born except by Caesarean section. The bull dog has also  been crossed into other breeds by people who wanted to increase aggression in a breed without waiting for mutations to appear. 

There is such a thing as normal aggression in dogs,  as in all animals.  Maternal defensiveness,  territorial defense,  and predatory behavior all depend on different neuronal and hormonal mechanisms,  and are all normal coping responses.  These dog behaviors have been accepted by humans in the process of domestication,  as long as the behaviors can be foreseen. 

But abnormal disinhibited behavior is not functional,  and it is unpredictable.  Although high arousal and sudden attack can be functional in certain environments,  this behavior is pathological in a safer environment,  where a high level of arousal and aggressivity are not necessary and only lead to unnecessary attacks and injuries.   
Research implicates the frontal cortex,  subcortical structures,  and lowered activity of the serotonergic system in impulsive aggression in both dogs and humans. Impulsive aggressive behavior in dogs seems to have a different biological basis than appropriate aggressive behavior.

Kathelijne Peremans,  DVM discovered this by studying two different populations of impulsively aggressive dogs.  Each dog had executed one or more attacks without the classical preceding warnings,  and the severity of the attacks was out of all proportion to environmental stimuli.  Peremans found a significant difference in the frontal and temporal cortices of these dogs,  but not in the subcortical areas,  compared to normal dogs.  Peremans also found significant dysfunctions of the serotonergic systems among these dogs. Serotonergic dysfunction has been widely shown in many different species to be connected to abnormal,  impulsive aggression.

Peremans studied dogs of various breeds,  selected purely on the basis of their behavior.  Peremans was not interested in implicating any particular breed,  but rather in finding the mechanism behind the behavior in any dog it occurred in.   She found that all of the dogs with a history of abnormal impulsive aggression shared the same physical abnormalities in the brain.  The gender of the dog made no difference. Neither did whether the dog was castrated or spayed. 

Peremans left open the possibility that we will later find other physical factors that contribute to abnormal impulsive aggression.  For example,  the adrenergic system may also play an important role.
Heritability of behavior

Another researcher,  Linda Van Den Berg,  investigated specifically the heritability of impulsive aggression among golden retriever,  a breed rarely involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks.  The goal was find out whether impulsive aggressive behavior was inherited in those few golden retrievers who exhibit it,  and if so,  to isolate the gene responsible for the behavior.   Van Den Berg found high heritability of impulsive aggression,  but did not succeed in isolating the responsible gene(s). 

The heritability of abnormal aggression in certain breeds of dogs can no longer be denied.  The bodies of these dogs have been selected to execute a killing bite more efficiently than other breeds.  These dogs share physical conformation to the task of killing,  including exaggerated jaw muscles,  heavy necks and shoulders,  and body mass that makes defense against an attack much more difficult.  Among people who want dogs who can kill,  these are the breeds of choice because they are physically more fit for it than other breeds.

But breeders also selected for behavioral conformation.  To perform well,  a fighting dog had to attack without provocation or warning, and to continue attacking regardless of the response of the other animal.   Bull and bear-baiting dogs had to be willing to attack in the absence of the species-specific signs that normally provoke aggression,  responding to the mere presence of another animals,  and not stopping in response to external stimuli.  The Dogues du Bordeaux used to guard extended farmlands in France,  the Boerbulls used similarly in South Africa,   and the fugitive  slave-chasing dogs of Latin America,  such as the Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasiliero,  all were selected to specifically for a propensity to kill.

As they selected for performance,  breeders could not know exactly which physical changes they were selecting for.  But research now shows that selection for aggressive performance includes consistently selecting for very specific abnormalities in the brain. These abnormalities appear in many breeds of dog as an accident or anomaly, which breeders then attempt to breed out of the dogs.  In the case of the aggressive breeds,  the opposite occurred.  Rather than excluding abnormally aggressive dogs from their breeding stock,  breeders focused on creating lineages in which all the dogs would carry the genes causing them to reliably exhibit the desired impulsive aggressive behavior.

Now that we know exactly which brain abnormalities the breeders of fighting dogs have been selecting,  the assertion that this aggression is not heritable is no longer tenable. It is also not tenable to assert that not all the dogs of these breeds will carry the genes that make them dangerous.  These genes may occasionally drop out through random accident,  just as golden retriever may acquire the genes to be impulsively aggressive.  But the failure to have these gene,  in the aggressive breeds,  is just that––a failure.  It is therefore misleading to assert that the aggressive breeds will only have the selected genes as a matter of accident,  or that most of them will be fit to interact safely with other animals and humans.  

As in the pointer,  the husky,  the greyhound,  and the border collie,  the genes of aggressive breeds have been selected so that certain postures and behaviors just simply feel good.  These dogs will seek opportunities to execute the behaviors they have been bred for.  Because these behaviors are internally motivated and rewarded,  they are not subject to extinction.  Learning and socialization do not prevent these dogs’ innate behaviors from appearing.  

Environments such as the fighting pit,  confrontations with tethered bulls and bears,  and the pursuit of escaping slaves,  for which these behaviors were selected as an adaptive response,  are so extreme that there is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life. Functional in the pit or facing the bull or bear,  these behaviors must,  in all other contexts, be called pathological.  Because the behavior selected for was impulsive aggression,  by definition this behavior will always emerge suddenly and unpredictably.  

Speculating in favor of the aggressive breeds,  suppose that human artificial selection will fail as infrequently in the aggressive breeds as it does in the golden retriever.  Van Den Berg found impulsive aggression in approximately one out of a hundred golden retrievers.   If behavioral selection fails comparably often in fighting breeds,  there is only a 1% chance that their keepers will not endanger others in their surroundings.
Can aggression be bred out?

Can impulsive aggressive behavior be bred out of fighting breeds?
The fiction that, for example, the American Staffordshire terrier is a different dog from the pit bull,  just because the breeding has (also fictionally, by the way) been going on separately for several decades is just that:  a fiction.  
The Russian researcher Dmitry Kontanovich Beljaev reported that he had bred fear out of foxes in only eighteen generations,  but impulsive aggression is a more complex response and much more dangerous to live with while you try to breed it out.  Further,  Belyaev’s foxes were bred under laboratory conditions,  where there was absolute control over not having the wrong genes creep back in again. 

As Belyaev bred his foxes into the pettable creatures he wanted,  they began to have an increasingly floppy-eared mutt exterior. Belyaev’s discoveries suggest that the interface of physical and behavioral conformation mean it is not possible to breed out the impulsive aggressive behavior of fighting dogs while retaining their shape and appearance.  
Form follows function:  one cannot have a dog whose entire body and brain are adapted to executing the killing bite,  without having a dog who will execute the killing bite.

[Alexandra Semyonova,  a dog behaviorist and former Dutch SPCA inspector,   is author of The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs (Hastings Press,  2009.)]

Friday, 20 March 2015

Dog bites of the head and neck: an evaluation of a common pediatric trauma and associated treatment.

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Dog bites of the head and neck: an evaluation of a common pediatric trauma and associated treatment.
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
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Am J Otolaryngol. 2015 Jan-Feb
;36(1):32-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Dog bites of the head and neck: an evaluation of a common pediatric trauma and associated treatment.
O'Brien DC1, Andre TB2, Robinson AD3, Squires LD4, Tollefson TT5.


To identify which patients and canines are involved in dog bites of the head and neck, and how they impact health systems.

This is a single center, retrospective cohort study conducted from January 2012 to June 2013 in an academic, tertiary care center situated between multiple suburban and urban communities. Patients were identified by queried search for all bite-related diagnoses codes.

334 unique dog bites were identified, of which 101 involved the head and neck. The mean patient age was 15.1±18.1years. Of the more than 8 different breeds identified, one-third were caused by pit bull terriers and resulted in the highest rate of consultation (94%) and had 5 times the relative rate of surgical intervention.

Unlike all other breeds, pit bull terriers were relatively more likely to attack an unknown individual (+31%), and without provocation (+48%). Injuries of the head and neck had an average follow-up of 1.26±2.4 visits, and average specialty follow-up of 3.1±3.5 visits.

The patients most likely to suffer dog bite injuries of the head and neck are children. Although a number of dog breeds were identified, the largest group were pit bull terriers, whose resultant injuries were more severe and resulted from unprovoked, unknown dogs.

More severe injuries required a greater number of interventions, a greater number of inpatient physicians, and more outpatient follow-up encounters. Healthcare utilization and costs associated with dog bites warrant further investigation.

Parents Lie About Attacks On Children To Save Family Pit Bulls

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Parents Lie About Attacks On Children To Save Family Pit Bulls
By Phyllis M Daugherty, Tue, March 17, 2015

A father and other family members in Ohio lied to police, saying a neighbor’s dog bit his 2-year-old daughter on February 28, 2015, in order to protect the family’s pit bull, the Journal News reports.

On November 30, 2014, a mother and her live-in boyfriend in Des Moines, Iowa, told police that “a stray dog was responsible” when Gabrielle Looney, 2, was bitten by the boyfriend’s pit bull, Bowser, according to WHO-TV. 

Are these similar scenarios just a coincidence, or do they signal the next phase in a growing trend to deny that pit bulls can be dangerous?


On February 28, 2015, Tyler Smith of Dayton, Ohio, told police his 2-year-old daughter, Monroe, was building a snowman in the backyard of her grandparent’s home, when she was suddenly attacked and severely bitten in the face by a loose dog. The story was reportedly confirmed by other family members, according to the Journal News.

The incident occurred in the 1300 block of Woodlawn Avenue in Middletown. The dog “came charging, barking and growling” at Smith and his daughter, he said.

Smith described how the dog came closer and he grabbed his daughter but the dog jumped at them and “grabbed her face.” The father claimed he choked the dog to make it release the little girl.

He drove Monroe to Atrium Medical Center, he said, and she was then transported to Dayton Children’s Hospital by ambulance.

The child received over 80 stitches to her face, Smith said.

Afterward, neighbor Pamela S. Willard, of Fairmount Avenue, owner of a Blue Heeler,was reportedly cited by Middletown police in regard to the attack but has maintained that her dog was not involved and was tied up at that time.

On March 2, the Journal News reported that “the family may have devised their story in order to spare the family pet.”

Middletown Police Major Mark Hoffman told the Journal that new information had been received and the department now believes it was the family dog—a brown pit bull, belonging to the grandmother—that was responsible for the attack on the baby girl.

Kimberly Brumett-Smith, mother of Tyler Smith, reportedly confessed that her son, “sent her a text message telling her not to tell the truth to the police."

Major Hoffman said that Smith could be charged with filing a false report and child endangerment, the Journal News reports.


On November 30, 2014, Gabrielle Looney, 2, was bitten on the face by her mother’s boyfriend’s pit bull. Her mother and her mother’s boyfriend lied to doctors and police about what happened to protect the dog, WHO-TV reported.

“She tried to say that this injury to her child occurred from a stray,” said Des Moines Police Sergeant Jim Butler.

The boyfriend's pit bull, named Bowser, was seized by the City and appears to be unlicensed and not vaccinated, Sgt. Butler said.

Bowser’s owner, John Houston, said he just moved in with his girlfriend and her daughters a couple of weeks ago, and Bowser and Gabrielle seemed to get along just fine. “They were always like best friends,” he said. 

But on Sunday, Houston admitted that Gabrielle tried to kiss Bowser on the nose and he snapped at her.

“Truthfully, I really don’t know what he was thinking. I know that he understood that he was wrong,” Houston told WHO-TV. “He ran into the corner and laid down, like with his ears down. He knew he was in trouble.”

Houston later admitted he and his girlfriend lied to police and hospital staff about what happened to protect Bowser. He said they decided to tell the truth so Gabrielle would not have to go through the pain of a series of rabies shots.

Houston said he was going to turn Bowser into a shelter anyway that night.

Although he claims he doesn’t want Bowser, he also said he doesn’t want the pit bull to be put down. 

“That’s my best friend,” he said. “I’ve been through everything with him.”

“I will more than likely deem the dog dangerous vs. vicious or high risk because the dog according to the code did bite once at or above the shoulders of a human being,” Sgt. Butler said.

Because the mother lied to police, she could reportedly face charges for filing a false report and interference with official acts. 

Sources: WHO-TV, Journal News / Photo: Provided, WikiCommons

Genetic correlation of serious dog attacks

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Genetic correlation of serious dog attacks:

Elements of Temperament – Drives, Thresholds and Nerves – By Joy Tiz MS, JD

“Most dog owners absolutely refuse to believe this. If I only had a dollar for every time someone has told me “It’s all in how they’re raised!” … No, it’s not. It’s all in how their DNA came together. 

A dog with foul temperament will always be a dog with foul temperament, no matter how wonderful the environment. A dog with sound, stable temperament will always be a sound stable dog, even in a lousy environment.”

“There is no perfect test, some are more horrendous than others. Experienced trainers of working dogs eventually come up with their own system for evaluating pups and young adult prospects. 

The best predictor of temperament is history. What are the pup’s parents like? Their parents? Grandparents? Keeping in mind that temperament is inherited, look to the ancestors as your best source of information.”
Lindsay R. Mehrkam – Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

Clive D.L. Wynne – Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

In both popular media and scientific literature, it is commonly stated that breeds of dogs differ behaviorally in substantial, consistent and predictable ways. Since the mid-twentieth century, scientists have asked whether meaningful behavioral differences exist between breeds of dogs. 

Today, there are over 1000 identified dog breeds in the world, but to date, fewer than one-quarter of these are represented in studies investigating breed-specific behavioral differences. 

We review here scientific findings of breed differences in behavior from a wide range of methodologies with respect to both temperament traits and cognitive abilities to determine whether meaningful differences in behavior between breeds have been established. 

Although there is convincing scientific evidence for reliable differences between breeds and breed groups with respect to some behaviors (e.g., aggression, reactivity), the majority of studies that have measured breed differences in behavior have reported meaningful within-breed differences has well. 

These trends appear to be related to two main factors: the traits being assessed and the methodology used to assess those traits. In addition, where evidence for breed differences in behavior has been found, there is mixed consistency between empirical findings and the recognized breed standard. 

We discuss both the strengths and limitations of behavioral research in illuminating differences between dog breeds, highlight directions for future research, and suggest the integration of input from other disciplines to further contribute to our understanding of breed differences in behavior.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Shark vs Pit Bull Public danger comparison

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There was 5 fatal shark attacks around the world in all of 2013.
There was 1 fatal bear attack in the U.S in all of 2013.
There was 0 fatal alligator attacks in the U.S in all of 2013.
There was 2 fatal lion attacks in the U.S. in all of 2013.
There was 0 fatal snake bites in the U.S. in all of 2013.
That is a total of 8 fatalities by these feared killers listed above in the whole year of 2013.
And the trusted pit bull that many trust the lives of their loves ones with has killed 34 people in 2013 in the U.S. and 6 in 2015 and we are only in the month of March. after 30 people were killed by pit bull type dogs in 2012.
35 people were killed by Pit Bull Type Dogs in 2014.
Sharks, Bears, Alligators, Lions, and Snakes are not the wild animals
that are most likely to kill it is your beloved PIT BULL !!..........

Sunday, 1 March 2015

In Ohio the Supreme Court wrote a decision in the state of Ohio vs Anderson a dog owner of intelligence can identify a pit bull

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In Ohio the Supreme Court wrote a decision in the state of Ohio v. Anderson that used the words over and over "a dog owner of ordinary intelligence can identify a pit bull."

Here is a quote " In sum, we reject the appellee's contention that the phrase "commonly known as a pit bull dog" is so devoid of meaning that R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) is unconstitutionally void for vagueness.

Pit bull dogs possess unique and readily identifiable physical and behavioral traits which are capable of recognition both by dog owners of ordinary intelligence and by enforcement personnel.

Consistent and detailed descriptions of the pit bull dog may be found in canine guidebooks, general reference books, state statutes and local ordinances, and state and federal case law dealing with pit bull legislation.

By reference to these sources, a dog owner of ordinary intelligence can determine if he does in fact own a dog commonly known as a pit bull dog within the meaning of R.C. 955.11 (A)(4)(a)(iii).

Similarly, by reference to these sources, dog wardens, police officers, judges, and juries can enforce the statute fairly and evenhandedly. Consequently, we find that R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) is not unconstitutionally void for vagueness. "

Toledo v. Tellings covers the ID issue as well as constitutionality, this is also a state Supreme Court ruling.

The question presented in this appeal is whether R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) is constitutional under the Due Process Clauses of the state and federal Constitutions.
R.C. 955.11(A)(4)(a)(iii) provides in pertinent part:

Pit bulls' reputation takes new hit Doctors, nurses say injuries prove danger 2011

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Pit bulls' reputation takes new hit
Doctors, nurses say injuries prove danger, but others disagree.
By Don Finley
May 7, 2011 : Updated: May 9, 2011

    Advocates say pit bulls such as Pluto are misunderstood. But a study finding pit bull attacks are disproportionately lethal could give new ammo to those who want the breed regulated like wild animals.

    Pluto is owned by Sherise Davila of the Heaven Sent Pit Bull Rescue group
Weary of mending the mauled victims of dog attacks, doctors and nurses looked back at 15 years of serious bite injuries treated at University Hospital and produced a study likely to offer new ammunition for those looking to ban or regulate pit bulls.

They found that attacks by pit bulls were more likely to kill people than those by other breeds. In fact, all three deaths seen at the hospital during the period — two children and a 90-year-old man — were from pit bull attacks, records showed. A fourth fatality wasn't seen at the hospital, a 64-year-old Von Ormy man also killed by a pit bull, death records show.

In addition, they found that pit bulls caused more serious injuries — injuries more likely to put their victims in the hospital. Once admitted, those victims rang up higher medical costs.

“Fortunately, fatal dog attacks are rare, but there seems to be a distinct relationship between the severity and lethality of an attack and the breed responsible,” they wrote in an article published in the April issue of the medical journal Annals of Surgery. “These breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.”

Advocates, dog owners and some experts disagree. They argue passionately against singling out pit bulls, saying the problem is one of irresponsible owners, not an irredeemable breed. People often confuse pit bulls — a generic term for various bull terrier breeds and mixes — with other kinds of dogs, making statistics suspect, they say.

The study began two years ago when a series of attacks in the area led to renewed calls for regulating pit bulls. Lawmakers in Austin considered bills permitting local bans on specific breeds, which now are forbidden under state law. None passed.

The study's authors argue that pit bulls deserve the special attention they get. Pit bulls, originally bred as fighting dogs, have different attack patterns than other breeds, they say — attacking indiscriminately, without warning and, often, with little interest in stopping.

“There are going to be outspoken opponents of breed legislation, who say: ‘My pit bulls lie with my baby and play with my rabbit.' And that's fine,” said Dr. John Bini, now chief of surgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center, who led the study while serving a fellowship at University Hospital. “I just think we're seeing something here, and I think it does warrant a discussion as to whether this is a risk that a community wants to take.”

Among the grisly statistics the study cites: Pit bulls were responsible for 65 percent of all fatal dog attacks nationally in 2008. In Texas in 2007, seven fatal attacks occurred, six involving pit bulls. Someone in the United States is killed by a pit bull every 14 days. One body part is severed and lost in pit bull attacks every 5.4 days.

Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University and an expert in dog behavior, described the study as flawed. Beaver, a former president of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, who led a national task force on preventing dog bites, has testified against breed-specific bans before state lawmakers.

“These are serious injuries to humans, and I do not mean to belittle the seriousness of the problem seen at the hospital,” Beaver said. “However, the dog-related data is seriously flawed, and are used at will to try to prove a specific point of view.”

A public health hazard
Seven-month-old Izaiah Cox was sobbing in the bedroom. His great-grandmother, Irma Garcia, was in the kitchen preparing a bottle to sooth him. So were her two dogs, Cain and Wrinkles — even though the boy's parents had asked her not to allow them inside while she was babysitting.

Izaiah's father had gotten both dogs as puppies from the same litter a decade earlier, but Garcia soon assumed responsibility for them. She described them as her babies, and said they were protective of her — especially when she was sick.

Garcia, 59, had a doctor's appointment that morning in early 2009, and was waiting for her daughter to come and drive her. What happened next isn't clear. A detective's report said one of the dogs apparently pulled the boy from the bed. Garcia, unable to get him loose, grabbed two kitchen knives and began stabbing the dogs.

Somehow she pried the dog's jaws apart, receiving bites on her hands; put the child in the playpen; and herded the dogs out the front door.

Her daughter, who lived nearby, received a telephone call and heard her mother screaming “Stop!” repeatedly, she told police. She drove there and saw the bloody dogs in the yard, ran past them into the house and found her mother crying hysterically. When she asked what happened, her mother said, “They got Izaiah,” and pointed toward his playpen.

The daughter called 911 and advised the dispatcher that police would have to shoot the dogs to get inside, which they did. Her mother protested. According to the detective, the daughter angrily replied that she didn't care if police shot the dogs because her nephew was dead. Police later learned that Garcia's dogs had bitten a niece on the face two years earlier, and had bitten others. Garcia was indicted for serious bodily injury to a child. She died before the case could go to trial.

The morning after pronouncing Izaiah dead, veteran trauma surgeon Dr. Stephen Cohn sat in his office and shook his head at the dozens and dozens of bites the boy had sustained.

“I think this is a public health hazard, this particular dog,” said Cohn, professor of surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center. “We just have to have them contained in a way that protects the general public. I don't want to see another kid come in dead.”

Incomplete data
Cohn first had the idea for the study a couple of weeks earlier, after treating a man whose leg was mauled by four pit bulls. He assigned Bini the job of pulling patient records — 228 over 15 years — to analyze. Only those serious enough to be admitted to University Hospital, the city's main trauma center, were included. And although Izaiah's death gave the study some urgency, Bini's orders were to approach the job dispassionately.

He found breed information on 82 of them, either recorded in the patient records or from bite investigation reports at Animal Control Services. Of those, 29 — or 35 percent — were listed as pit bulls or pit bull mixes. While no other breed is broken out in the study, Bini said pit bulls made up the largest category.

Bini acknowledged the small percentage of identified breeds was a weakness in the study, one that other experts pointed out.

“Data on breed only came from 36 percent of cases, so how can you say any breed is more dangerous when you have incomplete data?” Beaver said.

Beaver headed a national veterinary task force on canine aggression. Its 2001 report on preventing dog bite injuries warns against lending credence to dog bite statistics.

“Invariably the numbers will show that dogs from popular large breeds are a problem,” the report stated. “This should be expected, because big dogs can physically do more damage if they do bite, and any popular breed has more individuals that could bite.”

But how popular are they? To truly measure a breed's aggression, Bini believed, it would help to know what percentage of dogs are pit bulls, and compare that to the number of fatal attacks. That estimate wasn't available locally.

Failing that, he got national numbers for registered breeds from the American Kennel Club and compared it to a list of fatal dog attacks by breed across the country, collected by an independent group based on media accounts.

Labrador retrievers are the most popular registered breed. Using that as a rough measure of the popularity of all Labradors — purebred and mixed-breed, registered and not —the breed had the lowest risk of killing someone. Pit bulls — a category that combined American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, ranked 11th in popularity among 16 AKC-registered breeds and had by far the highest risk of killing — more than 2,500 times higher than Labs.

Beaver was particularly critical of that estimate, saying few pit bulls are registered or purebred. Bini agreed, but noted that neither are most Labs.

Dr. John Herbold, a veterinarian and retired professor of epidemiology at the UT School of Public Health, also felt that the study suffered from small numbers and other problems. But he sympathized with the authors' intent.

“I believe their hypothesis, that there are certain breeds that are more likely to be involved in these deadly events,” Herbold said. “I believe that. And the troubling thing that they revealed in here was that in many cases, these animals were members of the household or a family member's. It wasn't a mad dog, roaming the street.”

‘Changing pits image'
So far, owners have successfully lobbied against breed-specific legislation in Texas, organizing letter-writing campaigns and beating back attempts that arise anytime there's a high-profile attack. Still, within the bounds of their authority, local officials have prosecuted owners of dogs that attack under existing laws. And ACS requires a home visit by its investigators before allowing pit bull-type dogs to be adopted, unlike with most other breeds, spokeswoman Lisa Norwood said.

Sherise Davila heads a nonprofit group here called Heaven Sent Pit Bull Rescue that last year took in 82 unwanted dogs, rehabilitated them and found them new owners — six of them as service animals.

But her group's real purpose lies in its motto: “Changing pits' image one pit at a time.” Pit bulls have gotten a bad reputation not because they're inherently bad, she said, but because they're often the first choice of bad owners.

“Some people tend to get this dog because they're missing something inside themselves,” she said. “They'll never know the true friendship or love of that animal, because the way they treat that animal they're never quite sure what it's going to do.”

The first step is lots of love and praise, she said. Then comes a battery of tests to determine the animal's level of aggression and personality. An individual schedule of training is designed, one that always includes plenty of contact with other dogs. A few are selected for additional training as military dogs or search-and-rescue or special companion animals. That includes Pluto, Davila's own dog. Davila suffers from a seizure disorder, and not only is the dog trained to sense when she's about to have a seizure and signal her, but he can fetch her medication bottle from the bathroom.

“When Pluto got here, he was not the most well-behaved dog at all,” she said. “Temperaments can be changed. You have to be able to put the time and work in to change it.”

Bini isn't so sure. “That will be the argument that a lot of people have, that it's not the dog. It's the owner. But I think you really have to throw the emotion out. Yeah, it's emotional. But throw it away and let's look at our data.”

Video: Pit Bull Advocates Explain Why BSL Is Needed

For additional accurate information on the public safety Danger of Pit Bull Type Dogs visit:
Video: Pit Bull Advocates Explain Why BSL Is Needed

By Phyllis M Daugherty, Fri, November 14, 2014

If you are an advocate for pit bulls, the title of this article should immediately bring visions of dog fighting to mind. “Release your dogs” is also the first line in the 2014 Documentary by the BBC (below) which “reveals the link between the seedy world of dog fighting and dangerous dogs in the streets.”

The victims of unprovoked pit bull attacks are not only humans but also innocent stray and farm animals and beloved pets. The reported numbers are horrifying; the true number is not known.  .
It is time for the pain and suffering of victims of these attacks to be recognized and not excused.  It is also time to provide better protection for pit bulls, who are also victims of those who neglect, abuse and exploit them and those who refuse to allow legislation to protect them.

In view of actual statistics of deaths and the horrible scars and injuries to innocent human and animal victims, isn’t it time to agree on Breed-specific legislation (BSL) that protects both?

This week, from November 9 – 15, 2014, is the first Canine Victims Awareness Week organized by a coalition called AVOCA.  Under the heading “Victim Blaming Hurts us All,” these links provide information on how to understand what happens to victims and survivors and how to get involved in Awareness for Victims of Canine Attacks, with Hashtag #WontBackDown.

On the Voice of the Victim page, they invite posts by victims of canine attacks everywhere.

AVOCA issued a media release on November 13, 2014, which included, “an urgent plea” to Arianna Huffington in response to her publication’s recent promotional feature entitled “Pit Bull Week” (July 28-August 4, 2014).
The end of the letter read, "We urge you, Ms Huffington, as a professional journalist, as well as a mother and an animal lover, to re-consider your editorial decision to promote and encourage pit bulls as desirable companion animals. At the very least, we urge you to withdraw your overt support for the pit bull advocacy movement, and adopt a position of neutrality. From those to whom much influence has been given, greater responsibility is expected."

Tragically, in the period following the Huffington Post’s “Pit Bull Week,” nine more Americans have lost their lives to canine attack, many by family pets, according to the release.

“Pit bulls currently make up approximately 6% of the dog population in the U.S. Yet, in 2013, pit bulls and their mixes caused 78% of all dog bite-related fatalities.” And canine attack fatalities continue to rise each year, as documented by Merritt Clifton, Editor of Animals 24-7.

AVOCA urgently seeks to educate the public about the risks of dangerous dogs, specifically fighting breeds and their derivatives. At the rate reported by Clifton, currently in the U.S. a citizen is killed by canine attack approximately every 9 days.

On November 7, 2014, Merrit Clifton, editor of ANIMALS 24/7, posted:
What did pit bull advocates do after losing their attempt to repeal the pit bull ban in Aurora, Colorado, by a 30% margin?”
He explained that pit bull advocates had bullied Blue Buffalo, a pet food maker, and the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, California, into withdrawing an ad for the Home 4 the Holidays Program, which had appeared in ANIMALS 24-7.

He pointed out that, “Among the 1.1 million shelter animals rehomed by Home 4 the Holidays in 2013 were an estimated 170,000 pit bulls.”

According to Clifton, the Helen Woodward Animal Center asked ANIMALS 24-7 to replace the ad that was currently running and replace it with an ad which, in the unanimous opinion of his staff, featured a pit bull.
ANIMALS 24-7 editor Merritt Clifton, responded that his publication  “… will not accept an ad with a visual image that promotes adoptions of pit bulls, or any other dog breed that accounts for more than 10 times more dog attack fatalities, disfigurements, and deaths of other pets than would be proportionate to the numbers of that breed among the dog population. Promoting such breeds is why more shelter dogs have killed and disfigured people in 2014 alone than killed and disfigured people in the entire time from 1858 through 2009. We can publish an ad that shows any other type of dog, or a cat.” 

Jeff Borchardt, founder of Daxton’s Friends, ran an ad in the Aurora Sentinel and the Denver Post before the public voted to retain the city’s pit bull ban. The ad stated, “Fact: Pit Bulls Kill More Humans & Animals than All Breeds Combined.”

Hate mail from Pit Bull advocates flooded in to both papers and to the father of a 14-month-old toddler, Daxton Borchardt, who was savagely mauled to death on March 6, 2013, by two Pit Bulls at the home of the babysitter who was caring for him.

Jeff Borchardt shared many e-mails focused on his deceased son, including one where the commenter posted a picture of his son’s head and wrote under it, “my dart board lmfao.”
Another wrote, “Let play kickball with jeff’s son head. he dead so not like he will need it.”

See the posts and photos of victims blamed for being attacked at here.

The Pit Bull Lobby, Animal Farm Foundation, National Canine Research Council

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

On August 16th, 2014, Daxton’s father, Jeff Borchardt, completed a lengthy blog post explaining how the pit bull lobby operates and is funded. He wrote it with the help of other victims advocates from the Victims Of Dangerous Dogs Advocacy Network. This blog post will simply highlight some of the key points of his research.

If you are an elected official and are about to vote on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), I wrote this blog for you. You especially need to read this blog in its entirety
The pit bull lobby is held together by one person’s inheritance. Her name is Jane Berkey. And Jane bought the pit bull lobby months after her father died.

I hope by putting this all in one place, it will shed some light on the pit bull advocacy and ITS bias.
Jane Berkey loves pit bulls so much, in 2013 she contributed $2,850,000 of her family’s money to Animal Farm.
If you also go through the 990’s for 2012 and 2011, Jane Berkey gave $1.5 million in 2012 and $1.5 million in 2011.  Her brother (Andrew Saul) gave $155,323 in 2011 as well.  What an odd amount.  This is on page 15 for all three years if you would like to see for yourself.

The pit bullery connections are incestuous
That last mascot may or may not seem strange to you. But I guess it would if you knew more about the pit bull advocacy. The sculpture of Jane Berkey’s deceased pit bull was made by Tim Racer. Tim Racer and Donna Reynolds are completely out to lunch when it comes to pit bulls. They are a childless couple who founded BADRAP (Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit Bulls) They have recently posted on their Facebook page debunking the “Nanny Dog” myth.”

The National Canine Research Council
The NCRC was founded by Karen Delise, a former vet tech, who wrote a book purporting to show that pit bulls get “a bad rap” and “it is all how you raise them.” The NCRC was subsequently acquired by Animal Farm Foundation which is a pit bull rescue and advocacy group whose mission statement is: “securing equal treatment and opportunity for pit bull dogs”
The National Canine Research Council is an LLC. However, they can set up a 501(c)(4) “Action Fund” for lobbying and to influence legislators.

Now that Jane Berkey has acquired the NCRC as an LLC, their donations are not tax-deductible, however, they do not have to disclose who their donors are. Now that the NCRC has an action fund, Jane Berkey is free to use her money to influence lawmakers and protect the pit bulls from breed-specific legislation. (BSL)

The action fund claims to have influenced Ohio to drop BSL for two different years. I wonder if Ohio legislators knew who and what they were dealing with when they stripped hundreds of jurisdictions in their state of their right to keep their citizens safe from a known and well documented dangerous breed? One thing is for sure: The more we let pit bull apologists and special interest groups that only have the interests of animal welfare in mind, public safety will continue to fall by the wayside.  

The more we allow special interest groups to influence legislators, the more maimings, maulings and deaths of humans and animals we will endure. Many jurisdictions in Ohio that already had BSL were grandfathered in and allowed to keep the bans. Other cities, like Reynoldsburg, recently upheld their pit bull bans despite more than a year of pleas from pit bull advocates.

Ledy VanKavage
When VanKavage worked for the ASPCA she drafted “Anna’s law.” The law was in honor of Anna Cieslewicz, who was killed by pit bulls while jogging in the Dan Ryan woods in Chicago.  Anna’s Law had nothing to do with BSL. It is mostly concerned with feral cats and medical care for pets of low income residents. For the law to be named after a victim of a brutal pit bull attack that was jogging in a park, is insulting to say the least. The law flew under the guise of public safety but was the exact opposite.

Since the passage of HB 14 in 2012 Ohio has had nine fatal dog attacks.  Historical note – in the previous 25 years Ohio had six fatal dog attacks.  

HB14, sold to foolish legislators as “finally giving dog wardens the tools to deal with dangerous dogs” is an epic fail.  Here is another historical note, HB 14 was written by Ledy VanKavage’s staff at Best Friends Animal Society headquartered in Kanab Utah, the deal was brokered by private citizen and pit bull advocate Jean Keating, and pushed through the Ohio Legislature by Keating’s personal friend, Representative Barbara Sears assisted with a media blitz by the Toledo Blade. 
All these facts come from documents obtained via public records requests.

Karen Delise (National Canine Research Council)

NCRC is a business lobbying group just like a tobacco lobbying group, producing propaganda to protect financial interests and obscure dangers and negatives.

Karen Delise looks at newspaper photos and shockingly, she can’t identify the dog as a pit bull.  She sends the photos to Amy Marder DVM (a breeder of showdogs so I’m told) and shockingly, Marder can’t ID the breed either.  If you shop around the AFF site and the NCRC site Marder’s name turns up, she is one of the happy AFF gang.

Delise’s analysis of fatalities is driven by Jane’s agenda.  Nothing is a pit bull despite the police reports, media reports, neighbors and even the family itself.  Karen has never been able to show any documentation that is unavailable to anyone else.

She has Jane’s money, files a freedom of information request for police records and public records. I have seen some of the records she works from and she skews facts.  There is no doubt about this. Carol Miller put some examples in her letter to the Annals of Surgery, published on In my next segment I will highlight how Karen Delise contacts dog owners and asks for registration information.

It will be interesting to see what she does with the Derouen case. The dog’s pedigree was easily available online, it was a pit bull. Pit bull advocates were claiming that the papers were falsified even though the dog looks just like the sire and dam. If the owners can’t produce breed registration papers for the attacking dog (which only about 40% of owners of dogs have) then they say the breed is “indeterminate” no matter how obvious it is to everyone what breed the dog is.

Yes, law enforcement and animal control and dog owners are all on record calling the dog a pit bull and the NCRC says breed can’t be determined? Oh how convenient! Having it be not determined does three things for them:
  1.  It allows them to say not that many pit bulls are killing people.
  2.  It allows them to say this is not a breed centered problem or that breed is a factor at all.
  3.  It adds more fuel to their theory that pit bulls can’t be identified. It’s a circular argument used to prove itself.
The NCRC is a business lobbying group funded by another pit bull business lobbying group. Karen Delise prepares lobbying propaganda for an industry. These are common in the business and commercial industries. Business lobbies produce “information” that relates to profit interests, and that creates a bias that can be exploited with falsehoods and deceit issued in propaganda, which is why people need to know that they are dealing with information from a business lobbyist so they can understand influences that can alter the facts or information. It’s called disclosure. Failing to disclose is deceitful.
Let’s take a closer look at this myth that a pit bull cannot be identified without the use of DNA tests:

And that science will begin with the Mars Wisdom DNA test. Let’s see what that company has to say about their DNA test, shall we?

Let’s look at the results with the information that the testing company provided to us:

1. significant Boxer with some Bulldog
2. distant traces of Smooth Fox Terrier
3. significant Chihuahua with some Cocker Spaniel
4. some Rottweiler and Boston Terrier
5. some German Shepherd Dog and distant traces of Affenpinscher
6. some Chinese Shar-Pei and distant traces of Rottweiler
7. some American Staffordshire Terrier and Australian Cattle Dog
8. distant traces of Basset Hound, Dalmatian and Pug
9. significant American Staffordshire Terrier and distant traces of Boxer
10. some German Shepherd Dog and distant traces of Basset Hound, Norwegian Elkhound and Samoyed
11. distant traces of Basset Hound, Dalmatian, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Wire Fox Terrier

12. some Rottweiler and distant traces of Clumber Spaniel, German Wirehaired Pointer and Newfoundland
13. some Boston Terrier and distant traces of Bulldog
14. distant traces of Borzoi, Brussels Griffon, Dachshund, English Cocker Spaniel and Samoyed
15. some Boxer and distant traces of Bernese Mountain Dog, Briard, Dalmatian and Welsh Springer Spaniel
16.distant traces of Beagle, Boxer, Bulldog, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Dalmatian, Mastiff and Whippe
Breed identification DNA tests are a sure-fire way to make money for those who sell them, including veterinarians who are paid for product endorsement.

But do they work?
No. In fact, the results shown here are common: a pure-breed dog comes back as being a vague pastiche of three or four breeds.

Breed DNA tests are not too different from Gypsy Fortune telling, Fortune Cookies, the I-Ching, Numerology and Tarot Card reading: If you give a vague-enough answer, the believers will rationalize whatever result you give them, pounding the square peg into the round hole.

Read more at:

Please pick out a dog show to attend. Any dog show. They are held in every state, every weekend . They are all judged on a visual identification systemEvery dog show ever held has been judged on a visual identification system.

Judges not only identify breeds but also minute deviations from breed standard. Watch the judges work. Humans are capable of this and do it all the time. You can pick out a Poodle or a Pug, Irish Setter or Wolfhound, Corgi or Chihuahua but you have difficulty identifying a breed that you state is anywhere from 5% to 40% of the dogs in America? The material that I have linked to is very clear that the ASPCA is telling us that their shelter volunteers can correctly identify pit bulls 96% of the time.

Here’s the point: The NCRC uses the DNA when it is convenient to do so. It knows full well that the test does not test for “pit bull” and will often pick it up as other breeds, but it does not tell its readers. It then uses the mix of other breeds to declare the dogs not pit bulls. Then it uses this sham of an experiment as cited research in their fatality reports to prove they can’t identify pit bulls.

Resident dog vs. Family dog

What do YOU think? Is BRUTUS a RESIDENT or a FAMILY dog?
The terms “resident dog” and “family dog” are a creation of Karen Delise with the Jane Berkey controlled NCRC.

But it would seem to me that unless Karen Delise was living with the family, observing the dog 24/7 from the time it was a puppy, she is absolutely full of shit. This all goes back to the pit bull apologists excuse “It’s all how you raise them.” Excuse me, Karen Delise? How in the world can you scientifically PROVE how a “dog was raised?” Science is based on what we can prove, not YOUR assumptions. And believe me when I tell you, pit bull apologists make some pretty broad “assumptions” when apologizing for pit bulls.

Stacey Coleman – Executive Director of the AFF and NCRC
Stacey Coleman identified herself as executive director of both the National Canine Research Council and Animal Farm Foundation in her testimony before the Maryland legislature.  In her testimony, she identifies the AFF as an animal welfare organization, but neglected to mention that AFF specifically advocates for pit

Much of Coleman’s testimony rests on NCRC studies, and much of her testimony can be legitimately called into question with some research.  For instance, Coleman makes a reference to “controlled studies have not identified this breed group [i.e., pit bull] as disproportionately dangerous.” in an AVMA study.  However, there is no citation for this statement referring to these studies in the otherwise heavily cited and sourced AVMA document.  I hope research is done to provide a good frame of reference for the NCRC claims and that readers of this blog recognize that the NCRC was created by a pit bull advocate, (Jane Berkey) is currently owned by a pit bull advocacy organization, (Animal Farm Foundation) and is not an independent research council on “dog matters.”

Organizations like and are the ONLY nonprofits committed to putting the safety of HUMANS before DOGS, as we are the ONLY source of information on this topic that is not OWNED, CONTROLLED, or FUNDED by DOG breeders, OWNERS, VETERINARIAN or ANIMAL WELFARE GROUPS.
The ‘bull and terrier’ type was originally developed in England in the early 19th century. The lineage goes back to the mastiff / molosser types, including what we now call the Olde English Bulldogge, that were used for bear-, bull- and horse-baiting from the 12th through the 18th century. This isn’t the bear-baiting we think of today, when hunters feed bears in order to bring them out in the open to shoot them. Rather, the bear, bull or horse was confined in a public arena where the mastiff ‘bulldogs’ would slowly tear them apart alive for the public’s amusement.

The popularity of this ‘sport’ declined as education became more emphasized in urban society of the Industrial Revolution and literacy among the population grew (from about 30% in the 17th century to 62% by 1800)6.  The ‘sport’ was banned altogether by Act of Parliament in 1835.

The lovers of blood ‘sports’ turned to dogfighting to satisfy their fancy, breeding the large, mastiff-type bulldogs to smaller working terriers to get dogs both smaller and more agile, easier to keep and to hide, but just as willing to attack and fight to the death. With the rise of the kennel clubs and the desire to distinguish dogs by looks and pedigree as well as by performance, this ‘bull and terrier’ type eventually divided into many official breeds.

They all share the same ancestry and function, distinguishing themselves mostly by slight differences in appearance.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting.

In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers