THOMAS J. MOYER, Chief Justice, Ohio Supreme Court 1987-2010
"The trial court cited the substantial evidence supporting its conclusion that pit bulls, compared to other breeds, cause a disproportionate amount of danger to people. The chief dog warden of Lucas County testified that: (1) when pit bulls attack, they are more likely to inflict severe damage to their victim than other breeds of dogs; (2) pit bulls have killed more Ohioans than any other breed of dog; (3) Toledo police officers fire their weapons in the line of duty at pit bulls more often than they fire weapons at people and all other breeds of dogs combined; (4) pit bulls are frequently shot during drug raids because pit bulls are encountered more frequently in drug raids than any other dog breed.... The evidence presented in the trial court supports the conclusion that pit bulls pose a serious danger to the safety of citizens. The state and the city have a legitimate interest in protecting citizens from the danger posed by this breed of domestic dogs."
WILLIAM M HOEVELER, US DISTRICT JUDGE, ADOA v Dade County, Florida
Despite plaintiffs' contention that there is no such animal as a pit bull, plaintiffs' own experts have written articles about their pedigreed dogs referring to them by the common nickname of pit bull. At trial, these experts identified photographs of dogs as pit bulls, rather than delineating the dogs into any one of the three breeds recognized by the kennel clubs. Moreover, veterinarians commonly identify dogs as pit bulls -- rather than one of the three recognized breeds -- by their physical characteristics.
Two veterinarians, testifying for the defendants, stated that they are often called upon to identify a dog's breed because it is an integral part of the animal's health record. This they do by reference to standard physical characteristics. Generally, these veterinarians testified, owners themselves know what breed their dog is.
There was ample testimony that most people know what breed their dogs are. Although the plaintiffs and their experts claim that the ordinance does not give them enough guidance to enable owners to determine whether their dogs fall within its scope, the evidence established that the plaintiffs themselves often use the term "pit bull" as a shorthand method of referring to their dogs. Numerous magazine and newspaper articles, including articles in dog fancier magazines, refer to pit bull dogs. Veterinarians typically refer to the three recognized breeds and mixed breeds with conforming characteristics as pit bulls. In addition, the veterinarians who testified stated that most of their clients know the breeds of their dogs.
DON BAUERMEISTER, Council Bluffs, IA prosecutor
All dogs can "get into it". The reality, though, for way too many dog owners is the sudden, unprovoked, violent and very serious attack from a pit bull. These folks have to pay the immediate vet bill. Yes, sometimes, the Court is able to intervene and order restitution, but what about the dead dog. What about the psychological damage to those who had to witness the attack. I have seen pit bulls attack and injure other dogs. It is something that you will never forget. A very purposeful bite, indeed. Pit bulls are pros and the rest of the dog world are amateurs. Man made them this way.
KORY NELSON, Denver, CO City Attorney
The most significant point about the justification for bans or restrictions of pit bulls is that these are not dependent upon a claim that every pit bull has a higher than average propensity for attacking humans. The justification is based on the clear evidence that, as a group, pit bulls, compared to other breeds, generally have a higher propensity to exhibit unique behavioral traits during an attack.
These behaviors havea higher likelihood of causing more severe injuries or death. The Colorado Dog Fanciers trial court made this clear, stating that, while it could not be proven that pit bulls bite more than other dogs, there was “credible evidence that Pit Bull dog attacks are more severe and more likely to result in fatalities.” The court, in great detail, noted fourteen separate areas of differences, including: strength, manageability and temperament, unpredictability of aggression, tenacity, pain tolerance and manner of attack.
A municipality that is experiencing a problem with pit bull attacks needs to consider for itself the best course of action to protect its citizens, especially those most likely to be unable to defend themselves from the tenacious and sustained attack of a pit bull, who will likely bite, hold, and tear at its victim despite efforts to stop it. However, given the clear rational evidence, breed-specific legislation is still a legally viable option.There is no new evidence that undermines the holdings of Colorado Dog Fanciers, only new relevant evidence that adds additional support for BSL, as the differential treatment of pit bulls is based upon logical, rational evidence from the scientific field of ethology.
BOB JOHNSTONE, Cincinnati, OH city attorney
We have amassed what I consider an overwhelming amount of information that demonstrates to me that pit bulls are, by far, responsible for more fatal or serious attacks than any other breed.
JUDGE VICTOR E. BIANCHINI, San Diego, CA
A pit bull is the closest thing to a wild animal there is in a domesticated dog.
U.S. SUPREME COURT, April 26, 1897, SENTELL v. NEW ORLEANS & C. R. CO.
Laws for the protection of domestic animals are regarded as having but a limited application to dogs and cats; and, regardless of statute, a ferocious dog is looked upon as hostis humani generis, and as having no right to his life which man is bound to respect.