On Maniacs and Weapon Dogs

What’s (a lot) scarier than an assault weapon? An assault weapon with a brain.

Without the proclivity of pit bulls for attacking without warning, without respite, and to the death, most dog bites are not disfiguring or fatal. Of the estimated 4.7 million dog bites per year, just a few hundred disfigure someone; just a few dozen kill someone.

Of the 2,146 Americans who have been disfigured by dog attacks over the past 30 years, 1,350 have been disfigured by pit bulls.

Of the 495 humans who have been killed by dog attacks, 244 were killed by pit bulls — who, with all of their close mixes included, are less than 5% of the U.S. dog population.

Adding Rottweilers and other dogs of molosser lineage, who are relatively close kin to pit bulls, 1,745 of the maimings and 364 of the fatalities have resulted from a class of dog constituting less than 9% of the U.S. dog population.

Since animal victims of pit bulls outnumber human victims by more than 10-to-1, and since 30% of the dogs arriving at animal shelters and 60% of the dogs killed at animal shelters after flunking behavioral screening are pit bulls (more than 900,000 per year), one might expect the humane community to lead the hue-and-cry for mandatory sterilization of pit bulls, in recognition that fighting dogs serve no positive purpose in a civilized society.

Unfortunately, much of the humane community, including most of the leading national humane organizations, have allowed themselves to become manipulated into serving pit bull breeders, dogfighters, and other fighting dog enthusiasts much as the National Rifle Association serves gun dealers, manufacturers, and maniacs.


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