Solving the Problem of Dog Bites

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1 Solving the Problem of Dog Bites

2 Breed Bans A program to prevent dog bites must be legal, fair and effective. Breed bans are unfair Penalize thousands of good dog owners to penalize a handful of irresponsible dog owners Kill thousands of good dogs in attempt to eliminate a few bad ones.

3 Breed Bans Breed bans are ineffective. Shelters fill up with unadoptable dogs. No room for dangerous dogs of other breeds. Criminals ignore breed bans along with other laws. Other dangerous dogs continue to threaten community. Numerous Michigan jurisdictions have repealed BSLs in favor of dangerous dog laws.

4 Breed Bans Breed bans are expensive. Inability to identify banned breed leads to expensive litigation. Toledo Tellings case Ontario Australia

5 What is a pit bull? Pit bull is a term applied to various breeds of dogs created by crossing terriers and bulldogs, which breeds were used at some point in their history in the cruel sport of dog fighting. Pit bull breeds include:

6 American Staffordshire Terrier

7 American Pit Bull Terrier

8 Staffordshire Bull Terrier

9 Bull Terrier

10 Miniature Bull Terrier

11 Boston Terrier

12 Boxer

13 One breed American Staffordshire Terrier American Pit Bull Terrier

14 Lies about pit bulls Pit bulls are a rare breed, so the number of bite incidents attributed to them is disproportionate to their number.

15 The truth about pit bulls In 2001, American Pit Bull Terrier/ American Staffordshire Terrier was the 32ND most popular registered purebred dog in America. That means that there are more purebred pit bulls than Collies, St. Bernards, Akitas,, and Dalmatians.

16 Lies about pit bulls Pit bulls are selectively bred for the purpose of dog fighting.

17 The truth about pit bulls Pit bull breeds developed in the late 19th century. Dog fighting outlawed in 1930s. So majority of pit bulls have been selectively bred as family pets for longer than they were bred as fighting dogs. Any trait not selected for in a breeding program is lost.

18 Lies about pit bulls Pit bulls are more likely to attack people than other breeds.

19 The truth about pit bulls Original fighting pit bulls were shot if they attacked a person. Modern pit bull breeds are selectively bred to be companions. American Temperament Testing Society results show Am Staffs/APBTs with same passing rate as Golden Retrievers. A five-year year study published in the Cincinnati Law Review in 1982, vol. 53, pg. 1077, which specifically considered pit bulls, concluded in part that: statistics did not support the assertion that any one breed was dangerous In England, Staffordshire Bull Terrier is most popular terrier breed nickname the Nanny dog.

20 Do pit bulls bite more than other breeds? Public Health Agency of Canada Statistics [dog bite] study shows [o]f the 385 records in the study, 278 (72.2%) specified the breed of the dog. There were 50 types of purebreds and 33 types of cross-breeds identified. The most common breeds were German Shepherds (40), Cocker Spaniels (16), Rottweilers (16) and Golden Retrievers (15).

21 Terrible synergy Criminals Politicians Media Pit Bull Breeders/ Owners Lawyers

22 Criminals Rise of urban drug culture related to increase in gun-involved involved crimes and dog-fighting. Dog fighters exaggerate the ferocity of their dogs. Fellow criminals (e.g., drug dealers) buy poorly- bred, untrained dogs to protect stashes of drugs & money. Dogs are neglected and abused, and allowed to threaten neighbors and police.

23 Media Repeats exaggerated tales of dogs ferocity. Promotes pit bull myths, e.g. locking jaws that can exert 2000 lbs. of pressure per square inch. Reports bite incidents without context. Fails to contact dog experts for background information.

24 Shark! Summer 2001 was the summer of shark attacks in the US media. However, the number of fatal attacks in 2001 was less than half the number of attacks the previous year.

25 Lawyers dogbite lawyers encourage litigation over every dog bite. Every dog bite is reported, many are exaggerated for purposes of increasing judgments. Encourage culture where every activity must be 100% safe or face litigation.

26 Irresponsible Owners Irresponsible and criminal owners represent the tiniest percentage of the pit- bull-owning population, but they are responsible for all of the attacks by dogs on people. They are also responsible for all the harm done to these dogs.

27 Responsible Owners Responsible owners want to keep their beloved family pets.

28 Politician or political leader? Politicians want a quick fix that fits in 30-second sound bite. Political leaders want a solution that is legal, enforceable, fair, and EFFECTIVE.

29 Who should advise you? Dog owners Dog breeders Dog trainers Veterinarians Animal behaviorists Animal Control officers Tom Skeldon

30 Who opposes breed bans? Canadian Kennel Club American Kennel Club United Kennel Club National Association of Animal Control Officers Ontario Veterinary Medical Association American Veterinary Medical Association Centers for Disease Control National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Canadian Federation of Humane Societies American Humane Society American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals Canadian Kennel Club Canada Safety Council Royal SPCA (UK) The UK Kennel Club

31 Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention American Veterinary Medical Association Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions designed a community-based plan to prevent dog bites.* Dog bites in Nevada reduced 15% after implementing this plan. *

32 NAIA Guide To Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances Currently, only about 30% of pets actually licensed. Successful ordinance would: Eliminate unenforceable provisions Breed bans Pet limits Breeder licenses Unrealistic reclaim fees

33 NAIA Guide To Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances Provide incentives to owners who demonstrate responsible pet ownership: Permanent identification of pets Secure fencing Proof of training Spay/neuter

34 NAIA Guide To Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances Special treatment for pets with permanent identification and license One free trip home Longer hold times Specific contact effors

35 NAIA Guide To Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances Write and enforce meaningful penalties for violations of leash, nuisance and dangerous dog laws.

36 NAIA Guide To Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances Create Animal Control Advisory Board Pet-related businesses Dog and cat club members Veterinarians Animal welfare organization Non-pet owner

37 NAIA Guide To Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances Involve the community Public officials and community leaders Professionals Veterinarians and vet techs Animal behaviorists Dog trainers Physicians and nurses Animal Control personnel Humane/shelter/rescue group personnel Public Adults, children, elderly Animal owners Bite victims Businesses

38 NAIA Guide To Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances Know key members of local media Identify a spokesman to address animal issues Effectively convey information to media Interviews Talk shows Public affairs programs Bulletin boards and community announcements Editorials and public service announcements

39 NAIA Guide To Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances Complete guide available on line at: Model ordinance available on line at:

40 We re all in this together We all have the same goals. We offer a solution that works. Our solution protects community from dangerous dogs. Our solution protects the overwhelming majority of dog owners the responsible dog owners from unreasonable government intrusion.

Mallary Paoli. Oregon State University University Honors College May 2012

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