Sunday, June 1, 2014
The lives of children, adults, senior citizens, beloved pets, horses, and livestock.
Pit Bull Laws Save LivesDogsBite.org - Cities and counties in at least 12 states report successful results after enacting a breed-specific law. These states include: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington. The province of Ontario also reports successful results after it's 2005 adoption of a pit bull ban. Pro-pit bull groups frequently say, "BSL doesn't work." The below city and law enforcement officials disagree.
Population 2,615,060 | View Ordinance
In October 2014, The Star reported on the glowing success of the 2005 Ontario pit bull ban. Pit bull bites per capital are down by more than a factor of six since 2004.
From 2001 to 2004, pit bulls were more likely to bite people and domestic animals than any other breed, the statistics show.
In 2004, the last full year before the ban, there were 984 pit bulls licensed in Toronto and 168 reported pit bull bites. That’s more than double the rate of German shepherds, the next most aggressive breed.
The figures, compiled by the city’s Animal Services division at the Star’s request, come from comparing a breed’s licensed population with the number of times it was reported to have bitten a person or pet.
Nearly a decade after the ban was put in place, its purpose appears to have been achieved: pit bull bites in the city have virtually disappeared.
In 2013, the pit bull population was down to 501, and there were only 13 reported pit bull bites. (See: related data charts)
--- related editorial ---
Indeed, reported incidents of such attacks have almost disappeared.
Reporter Eric Andrew-Gee and data analyst Joel Eastwood crunched municipal numbers and found that, from 2001 to 2004, pit bulls were more likely than any other breed to bite people and pets in Toronto.
In 2004, the last full year before the ban, there were 984 licensed pit bulls in the city and 168 reported bites. Last year there were 501 pit bulls registered in Toronto, and just 13 bites. That’s right — the number of reported bites went from 168 to 13.
"Ontario’s pit bull ban is working and mustn’t be repealed: Editorial," TheStar.com, October 6, 2014 (www.thestar.com)
Sioux City, Iowa
Population 82,459 | View Ordinance
In August 2014, six years after the city enacted a pit bull ban, bites and vicious dog declarations have drop considerably.
Police records show Sioux City police officers responded to 37 percent fewer dog bites in 2013 than they did in 2007, the year before the breed ban was passed. During that time, the number of reported bites declined each year but one.
More than 550 pit bulls were registered before the deadline in April 2009. Currently, 163 are registered with the city.
--- snip ---
Groetken served as the vicious dog hearing officer before his retirement from the Sioux City Police Department.
"All in all, I think a reasonably prudent person would think, well, something must have happened because the number of pit bulls has reduced in the city, the number of bites has reduced and the number of high risk (designations) has been reduced," said Groetken.
--- snip ---
Vicious dog designations made by Animal Control officers dropped from 33 in fiscal year 2008-09, the year of the ban and first rule changes, to just five last fiscal year. Like the city, Animal Control is on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year.
Population 8,044 | View Ordinance
In July 2014, after Wausau citizen Cindy Ryder was attacked by a pit bull, discussions of a pit bull ban arose. The nearby cities of Antigo and Greenwood reported successful preventative bans.
The city of Antigo has been pit-bull-free for almost 20 years.
In 1995, the city hired an attorney who suggested that the city adopt an ordinance prohibiting the oft-maligned dogs from the city, said Kaye Matucheski, city clerk-treasurer for Antigo. The ordinance largely was a preventative measure; Antigo hadn't had any vicious dog attacks, but pit bulls were being blamed for maulings all over the United States, so the city acted before an attack happened rather than waiting to react afterward.
The ordinance the city adopted prohibits pit bulls and mixes of the breed, as well as any other vicious or dangerous animals, from being in the city. In the almost 20 years since it was adopted, Antigo has had no attacks, no maulings, and no dogs killed by pit bulls or other dogs.
--- snip ---
The village of Stratford and the city of Greenwood both have similar bans on pit bulls and dangerous animals. Lonna Klinke, Greenwood's clerk-treasurer, said her city's experience is much like Antigo's: no specific incidents inspired the ban, and since it was adopted, the city has had no attacks and issued no citations.
Greenwood, she said, has no pit bull problem.
Population 162,191 | View Ordinance
In March 2014, after a state senator sponsored a bill that would "destroy communities' right of self-determination," statistical data was released about Springfield's pit bull ban.
According to statistics taken from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, as reported in the News-Leader March 12, for the three-year period beginning in 2004, there were 42 "vicious" animal attacks recorded in the jurisdiction covered. After passing the local ordinance banning or strictly controlling the ownership of pit bull or pit bull types, the number of attacks has dropped dramatically. For the five-year period from 2007-2011, there was a total of 14.
--- March 12 statistical data ---
According to data from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, vicious dog attacks are down since the city's pit bull ban went into effect in 2006 … In 2004, there were 13 vicious dog attacks, 18 in 2005 and 11 in 2006. The city's ban went into effect in the fall of 2006. In 2007, eight vicious attacks took place. There was zero attacks in 2008, and one attack each in 2009 and 2010 and four attacks in 2011, the last year of data given in the study.
Jonathan Shorman, "Bill puts city pit bull ban at risk," Springfield News-Leader, March 12, 2014 (www.news-leader.com) URL:http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2014/03/11/bill-puts-city-pit-bull-ban-at-risk/6313007/. Accessed: 2014-03-26. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6OMyPeo7x)
Population 339,030 | View Ordinance
Also in March, Aurora released statistical data showing a significant reduction in the volume of pit bull attacks and pit bulls euthanized after adopting a pit bull ban in 2005.
"Since the ban has been in place, bites are down 73 percent from pit bulls," said Cheryl Conway, a spokeswoman for the city’s animal care division.
She described various problems the city encountered before enacting the ban in 2005 that included irresponsible owners letting the dogs run at large, and owners using pit bulls to taunt pedestrians.
She added that the dogs placed a tremendous burden on city staff. According to city documents, before the ordinance was enacted in 2005, up to 70 percent of kennels in the Aurora Animal Shelter were occupied by pit bulls with pending court disposition dates or with no known owner. That number is now only 10 to 20 percent of kennels.
"There hasn’t been a human mauling in many years. Complaints and requests related to pit bulls are down 50 percent. Euthanasia of pit bull dogs is down 93 percent. Of those few that are put down, they are primarily those that come in as strays and their owners don’t come to claim them," she said.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Population 71,148 | View Ordinance
In September 2013, Pawtucket released statistical data showing the dramatic decline in the number of pit bull attacks since adopting a pit bull ban in 2004.
For the four years leading up to the ban, from 2000 to 2003, officers responded to 71 incidents of biting or scratching involving pit bulls in Pawtucket, a majority of those, 51, involving attacks on people.
In the 10 years since the ban was put in place, police responded to 23 total attacks involving pit bulls, with only 13 of those involving attacks on people.
--- snip ---
The following are the 23 pit bull attacks in the city for the 10 years since Pawtucket's pit bull ban was unanimously approved by the Rhode Island General Assembly:
- 2000 - 20 incidents, 18 involving attacks on people, two involving other animals.
- 2001 - 14 incidents, nine involving attacks on people, five on animals.
- 2002 - 17 incidents, 14 involving attacks on people, three on animals.
- 2003 - 20 incidents, 11 involving attacks on people, nine on animals.
- 2004 - Eight incidents, five involving attacks on people, three involving attacks on other animals.
- 2005 - One incident involving a person being attacked.
- 2006 - Three incidents, one involving an attack on a person, two on animals.
- 2007 - Four incidents, one involving an attack on a person, three on animals.
- 2008 - No incidents.
- 2009 - Two incidents, both involving attacks on people.
- 2010 - No incidents.
- 2011 - Two incidents, both involving attacks on people.
- 2012 - No incidents.
- 2013 - Three incidents, one involving an attack on a person, two on animals.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Population 71,148 | View Ordinance
In July 2013, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and City Council President David Moran sent a joint letter to Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee asking that he reject a statewide anti-BSL measure before him (See: Letter in full).
While they agree that some pit bulls can make good pets, said Moran and Grebien, "the number and severity of pit bull attacks against people and other animals in the early 2000s required us to take the action we did."
Prior to the 2004 city ordinance, Pawtucket Animal Control officers responded to many calls about serious pit bull attacks against people and animals, according to the letter. Two of the worst cases involved a nine-month pregnant woman and a child.
--- snip ---
While proponents of the bill argue that breed-specific bans don't work, said Grebien and Moran, "the results in Pawtucket dramatically prove that they do work."
In 2003, the year before the local ban on pit bulls went into effect, 135 pit bulls, all from Pawtucket, were taken in at the Pawtucket Animal Control Shelter for a variety of health and safety reasons, with 48 of those dogs needing to be put down.
In 2012, 72 pit bulls were taken in, only 41 from Pawtucket, with only six needing to be euthanized, according to the two officials.
"That's a tremendous improvement," they state in their letter.
San Francisco, California
Population 825,863 | View Ordinance
In June 2013, after a Bay Area child was killed by a family pit bull, San Francisco Animal Care and Control cited the decrease in pit bull bites and euthanasia since the adoption of a 2005 pit bull law.
After 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish was fatally mauled by his family's pit bulls, the city adopted a mandatory spay-neuter law for the breed. The reasoning was that fixed dogs tend to be calmer and better socialized.
Since then, San Francisco has impounded 14 percent fewer pit bulls and euthanized 29 percent fewer - which is a "significant decrease," said Rebecca Katz, director of the city's Animal Care and Control department.
Another significant indicator, she said, is that there have been 28 pit bull bites reported in the past three years - and 1,229 bites by other breeds during the same period. In the three-year period before that, there were 45 pit bull bites and 907 incidents involving other breeds.
Population 415,068 | View Ordinance
In January 2013, the Nebraska Humane Society reported that pit bull bites dropped to 31 in 2012, down from 121 in 2008 (a 74% reduction), the year that Omaha enacted a progressive pit bull ordinance.
- 2008 Pit Bull Bites Total: 121 (pre-breed specific ordinance)
Level 2: 52; Level 3: 58, Level 4: 8; Level 5: 3 (69 were Level 3-5 attacks)
- 2009 Pit Bull Bites Total: 73
Level 2: 49; Level 3: 17; Level 4: 4; Level 5: 3 (24 were Level 3-5 attacks)
- 2010 (through August) Pit Bull Bites Total: 28
Level 2: 19; Level 3: 6; Level 4: 2; Level 5: 1 (9 were Level 3-5 attacks)
- 2012 Pit Bull Bites Total: 31
No bite level break down provided1
Robert Nelson, "Nelson: Pit bulls' bad rep earned," Omaha World-Herald, July 15, 2011 (www.omaha.com) URL:http://www.omaha.com/article/20110715/NEWS01/707159913/1199. Accessed: 2013-03-23. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6FLDNlneW)
Report from NHS: Comparison of pit bull bites from 2008-2009, and 2010 through August, September 23, 2010.
1DogsBite.org included a 2011 article by Robert Nelson that highlights how the Nebraska Humane Society -- strongly opposed to the pit bull ordinance -- often misleads the media about pit bull bite statistics. Notably the headline in the 2013 article, "pit bulls not among top five breeds" and the failure to provide bite level data.
Population 51,230 | View Ordinance
In November 2012, Saginaw reported a reduction in dog attacks eighteen months after enacting a "Light" BSL ordinance1 requiring owners of the top 5 dangerous dog breeds2 to comply with new regulations.
Eighteen months after Saginaw created its dangerous dog ordinance, put into effect in June 2011, Saginaw City Chief Inspector John Stemple said it has helped to lower the amount of dog attacks in the city.
"It was the government reacting to a problem," Stemple said. "And if you look at the numbers, it's been very effective."
--- snip ---
The ordinance requires residents to register dogs whose breeds are deemed "dangerous" at the City Clerk's office, post a "Dog on premises" sign in the front of their homes and when outdoors, keep their animals either on a leash or within a 4-foot-high fenced area or kennel.
The breeds included in the ordinance are pit bulls, presa canario, bull mastiffs, rottweilers and German shepherds.
Stemple said he has heard from employees at Consumers Energy and the U.S. Postal Service that the signs and tethering rules have made their work safer. The number of reported dog bites fell in 2011 to nine, from 24 in 2009.
1Even a "Light" BSL ordinance yields results!
2The ordinance does not specify dog breeds, instead it states: "Any dog of a breed that appears consistently in the top five (5) of the breeds on credible, analytical listings of "Most Dangerous Dogs" as verified and supplemented by local data and records for Saginaw County." (See: 2011)
Population 2,503,281 | View Ordinance
In a November 2011, public health statistics published by Global Toronto showed that pit bull bites dropped dramatically after Ontario adopted the Dog Owners Liability Act in 2005, an act that banned pit bulls:
The number of dog bites reported in Toronto has fallen since a ban on pit bulls took effect in 2005, public health statistics show.
A total of 486 bites were recorded in 2005. That number fell generally in the six years following, to 379 in 2010.
Provincial laws that banned 'pit bulls,' defined as pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and dogs resembling them took effect in August 2005. Existing dogs were required to be sterilized, and leashed and muzzled in public.
Bites in Toronto blamed on the four affected breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010. This accounts for most of the reduction in total bites. (See: Data chart)
(Archived by DogsBite.org)
San Bernardino County, California
Population 2,035,210 | View Ordinance
In August 2011, San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control, which oversees unincorporated areas and Highland and Yucaipa, reported a 9.6 decrease in dog bites after enacting a pit bull sterilization law in 2010.
The law, approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors last week, expands upon an ordinance approved last year that requires pit bull owners to spay or neuter their pets.
Supervisor Neil Derry introduced the original proposal in response to an increasing number of attacks by pit bulls in recent years that resulted in four deaths -- two of them young children -- in the last five years.
The county saw a 9.6 percent decrease in dog bites in the year since the spay/neuter program was instituted, said Brian Cronin, the county's animal care and control division chief.
Population 408,958 | View Ordinance
In September 2010, the Nebraska Humane Society provided bite statistical data to city council members and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the pit bull ordinance adopted by the City of Omaha in late 2008.
"It is the position of the Nebraska Human Society that this ordinance has been effective in reducing bites involving dogs defined as "Pit Bulls" in the ordinance."
Judy Varner, President and CEO, Nebraska Human Society
-- analysis --
Varner's attached statistical data shows that bites by pit bulls dropped 40% after one year of the adoption of the ordinance, 121 bites in 2008 down to 73 bites in 2009. The bite rate dropped even further in 2010.
2008 Pit Bull Bites: 121 Total
2009 Pit Bull Bites: 73 Total
2010 Pit Bull Bites (through August): 28 Total
Population 24,998 | View Ordinance
In July 2010, Police Chief Jim Clark said there had been no recorded pit bull attacks since the city's 2003 pit bull ban. Between 1989 and 2003, the city had a pit bull ordinance, but still allowed pit bulls as "guard" dogs.
Police Chief Jim Clark says since the ban, there have been no recorded attacks by the animals.
"We haven't had any attacks since then for one thing because it is illegal," said Clark. "Most people are keeping their dogs inside their house or inside their basement and not letting them out loose so therefore they're not around other people to attack them."
--- related article ---
In the two-and-a-half years before the 2003 ban, Ottumwa police recorded 18 pit bull attacks, including the death of 21-month-old Charlee Shepherd in August 2002. There were at least three other attacks on children during this time.1
"Factfinder: Pitbull attacks and citations," KTVO3, July 12, 2010 (www.heartlandconnection.com) URL:http://www.heartlandconnection.com/news/story.aspx?id=481570. Accessed: 2010-08-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5sPLHxxRE)
1Ottumwa city officials correctly determined in 2003 that the 1989 pit bull ordinance, which still allowed pit bulls as "guard" dogs, did not sufficiently protect children or the public.
Population 47,707 | View Ordinance
In March 2010, a subsequent article was written about the effectiveness of Salina's pit bull ordinance. Rose Base, director of the Salina Animal Shelter who lobbied for the ordinance, told the Salina Journal:
The ordinance has made a difference, she said. Records at the Salina Animal Shelter indicate there were 24 reported pit bull bites in 2003 and 2004, and only five since -- none from 2009 to present.
Salina has 62 registered pit bulls, Base said. Before the ordinance she guessed there were "close to 300." Since the first of this year three of the registered pit bulls have died of old age.
"We definitely haven't had the severity of bites that we had in the past," Base said. "Our community has been somewhat safer because of the law that was passed."2
1Osh Gosh, the heroic golden retriever that gained fame for intervening in the 2004 pit bull mauling that prompted Salina's pit bull ban died in March 2011.
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Population 58,268 | View Ordinance
After two serious and separate pit bull maulings occurred on March 4, 2010 in the City of Indianapolis, the assistant city attorney of Council Bluffs spoke to a local radio host about Council Bluff's 2004 pit bull ban:
"We passed a ban and started enforcing it in January of 05, at the end of 05 our numbers had dropped down to 19 people injured by pit bulls. In 06, the numbers dropped to 7 people injured by pit bulls. In 07, 2007 we only had two people injured by pit bulls and we haven't had a person injured by pit bulls since. So in 2008 and 2009 we had zero attacks. As of March 5th, 2010 we have yet to have a pit bull injury here in Council Bluffs."
San Francisco, California
Population 808,977 | View Ordinance
When the City of Auburn debated enacting a pit bull law in January 2010, Sgt. Bill Herndon of the San Francisco Police Department weighed in about the success of San Francisco's 2005 pit bull law:
Since requiring all pit bulls to be neutered, they say they are finding fewer pit bulls involved in biting incidents.
Sgt. Bill Herndon, of the San Francisco Police Department's vicious dog unit, said the numbers and severity of pit bull attacks are down since San Francisco enacted an ordinance in 2005 after the mauling death of 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish.
"The number of complaints of mean pit bulls has dropped dramatically," Herndon said.
San Francisco's animal control department reports more than 30 percent fewer pit bulls at the shelter or being euthanized."
Population 145,074 | View Ordinance
After Lancaster adopted a mandatory spay and neuter law for pit bulls and rottweilers in early 2009, it was reported just one year later, in January 2010, that the results of the ordinance were very positive:
City officials said that 1,138 pit bulls and Rottweilers were impounded last year by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. Of those, 362 were voluntarily surrendered by their owners in response to Lancaster’s ordinance.
"A year ago, this city was overrun with individuals -- namely, gang members -- who routinely used pit bulls and other potentially vicious dogs as tools of intimidation and violence," Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement.
--- snip ---
Parris believes there is a correlation between the results of the dog ordinance and a drop in the city’s gang crime rate. Lancaster’s violent gang crime, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, fell by 45% last year, and there was a drop in overall gang crime by 41%, Parris said, citing statistics from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department."
Population 438,646 | View Ordinance
After the City of Omaha adopted a pit bull law in 2008, Mark Langan of the Nebraska Humane Society, who opposed the law, said in September 2009 that pit bull biting incidents were down 35% since its adoption:
Despite the attack of Haynes, The Humane Society's Mark Langan says pitbull bites are down since new laws went into effect last year. Langan says so far this year 54 bites have been reported compared to 83 last year.
Prince George's County, Maryland
Population 834,560 | View Ordinance
Prince George's County passed a pit bull ban in 1996. In August 2009, Rodney Taylor, associate director of the county's Animal Management Group, said that the number of pit bull biting incidents has fallen:
Taylor said that during the first five to seven years of the ban, animal control officials would encounter an average of 1,200 pit bulls a year but that in recent years that figure has dropped by about half. According to county statistics, 36 pit bull bites, out of 619 total dog bites, were recorded in 2008, down from 95 pit bull bites, out of a total of 853, in 1996.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Population 71,148 | View Ordinance
When the City of Woonsocket was debating a pit bull ordinance in June 2009, the animal control supervisor in Pawtucket, John Holmes, spoke about the enormous success of Pawtucket's 2003 pit bull ban:1
Holmes says he predicted that it would take two years for Pawtucket to experience the full benefit of the law after it was passed, but the results were actually apparent in half the time.
"It's working absolutely fantastic," said Holmes. "We have not had a pit bull maiming in the city since December of 2004."
Holmes says the law also capped the number of legal pit bulls in Pawtucket to about 70 animals.
1The proposed Woonsocket pit bull ban, brought by Capt. Kenneth Paulhus of the Woonsocket Police Department and Animal Control Officer Doris Kay, sadly did not prevail. Nine months later, Kay was attacked and seriously injured by a pit bull.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Population 189,515 | View Ordinance
When the City of Indianapolis was discussing a pit bull sterilization law in April 2009, Little Rock Animal Services Director Tracy Roark spoke about Little Rock's successful 2008 pit bull ordinance:
"There was a day when you could walk down any street in center city Little Rock, you could see several pit bulls chained up. You don't see that anymore," said Tracy Roark with Little Rock Animal Services.
Roark told Eyewitness News over the phone that pit bull attacks have been cut in half and credits their new law with getting them there.
"This is the most abused dog in the city," said Roark.
The Little Rock law passed last year and requires pit bulls to be sterilized, registered and microchipped. Also dogs - regardless of the breed - are also not allowed to be chained up outside.
Fort Lupton, Colorado
Population 6,787 | View Ordinance
When the City of Fort Collins was mulling a pit bull law in March 2009, Fort Lupton's Police Chief spoke about Fort Lupton's successful 2003 pit bull ban, including zero pit bull biting incidents since the law's adoption:
Fort Lupton Police Chief Ron Grannis said the city hasn’t had a pit bull bite since the ban was enacted, but it still has the occasional pit bull that is picked up and taken away. Although he said the ban has not been well-received by every resident, he thinks it was the right decision for the city.
"I believe it makes the community safer,” he said. “That’s my personal opinion. Pit bulls are not the kind of dogs most people should have. They are too unpredictable. ... These dogs have been bred for thousands of years to be fighters.
You can’t take it out of them. A lion cub may be friendly for a while, but one day it can take your head off."
Population 4,582 | City Website
In 2008, the City of Wapato passed an ordinance that bans new pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiffs. Nine months after its adoption, in March 2009, Wapato Police Chief Richard Sanchez reported successful results:
Nine months into the ban and police calls about vicious dogs have been cut in half. The Wapato Police tell Action News they've gone from 18 reports in January, February and March of last year to seven so far in '09. "Seven calls in three months... that's nothing," says Chief Richard Sanchez, Wapato Police Department.
Chief Sanchez credits local cooperation for the decline of dangerous dogs.
Population 156,206 | View Ordinance
In April 2008, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department released data to a local TV station showing that pit bull biting incidents declined following the City of Springfield's adoption of a 2006 pit bull ban:
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports that dog bites and vicious dog complaints are declining since the implementation of the Pit Bull Ordinance in the City of Springfield two years ago. In 2005 the health department fielded 18 vicious dog complaints, but only eight in 2007. Bites were down from 102 in 2005 to 87 in 2007.
--- snip ---
The ordinance, which requires pit bull owners to register their dogs annually, has also resulted in fewer pit bull dogs being impounded at the Springfield Animal Shelter. In 2005 there were 502 pit bull and pit bull mixes impounded, compared to only 252 in 2007.
"Because we are impounding fewer pit bulls, we've also seen overcrowding in our shelter subside," says assistant director Clay Goddard. "It is the natural tendency of pit bulls to fight, so our animal control staff are forced to segregate them in individual pens. When we have several pit bulls in the shelter simultaneously, this severely limits space for other dogs."
Population 2,503,281 | View Ordinance
In a March 2008 Toronto Sun article, Toronto animal services reported that pit bull biting incidents had dropped significantly since the adoption of the Dog Owners Liability Act 2005, an act that banned pit bulls:
And reports of bites by pit bull type dogs have dropped dramatically.
In 2004, the animal services department received reports about 130 of the powerful animals biting humans and animals.
The numbers dropped by substantial increments in subsequent years: 71 in 2005; 53 in 2006; and 44 in 2007.
Population 80,560 | City Website
After an 8-year legal battle, pit bull advocates dismantled a pit bull law adopted by Reading in 1998. It was reported in the same news article, in February 2008, that the law had significantly reduced biting incidents:
Reading's 1998 law required that aggressive or dangerous dogs, when outside the home, be muzzled and kept on a leash shorter than three feet long with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds.
The law also punished violators with fines of up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail.
The law is credited with helping to reduce dog bites from 130 in 1999 to 33 in 2006. As a result, the law - or at least elements of it - were not being actively enforced, the Reading Eagle reported last year.
URL:http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=5975527. Accessed: 2012-11-28. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6CWeqwH50)
Population 46,140 | View Ordinance
In the monthly city newsletter, In Touch, published in September 2006, the City of Salina reported that the pit bull ban adopted in 2005 significantly reduced pit bull biting incidents in just a 12 month period.
The number of pit bull bites depicted in the "Salina Pit Bull Bites Reported" graph shows 2002 with 13 pit bull bites, 2003 with 11 pit bull bites, 2004 with 15 pit bull bites and 2005 with only one bite. The newsletter notes that "animal bites reported have remained constant, but the severity of bites have decreased dramatically" since the enactment of the pit bull ban.
07/09/12: New Canadian Study Shows Pit Bull Bans Result in Fewer Hospitalizations
04/30/12: Maryland Court of Appeals Holds Pit Bull Owners and Landlords Accountable...
05/21/11: Texas Doctors Produce Study: Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs
07/01/10: Pit Bulls Lead "Bite" Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties
04/22/09: U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities January 2006 to December 2008 - DogsBite.org
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| 6/18/2010 1:58 PM |
This all goes back to the argument of what BSL does. Many pit nutters howl that dog bites go up after BSL is enacted. However, BSL doesn't target all dog bites. It targets pit bulls, and invariably, PIT BULL attacks go down after BSL is enacted and enforced. Serious injury rates from dog bites drop. It's also entirely possible that dog bites only seem to go up because there are awareness campaigns usually involved with the enactment of BSL so more people actually report dog bites. Excellent data!
| 6/18/2010 11:51 PM |
This is a fantastic post and a boatload of good info. I am going to print it out and send it to my mayor's office and alderman(because they no longer have email addresses available).
I have read but never looked into the alleged bite increases after BSL is enacted. I always assumed it was lies, I can't think of one logical reason there would be an increase. The theory postulated by Dark is plausible, but has anyone looked into whether the allegations are true? So many of nutters' claims are just BS.
I'm going to send links, if I can to local communities that have BSL, too.
Thank you so much!
In the last couple days, I also just read stories of pit owners who have had epiphanies. There is so much good news in the last few days, its exciting.
The good news almost balances the fact that the neighbors, after getting their first pit bull in March of this year, just got a new one today. And the fence still has to wait until next spring.
| 6/19/2010 3:14 PM |
Art, can you let their insurance company know about the pit bull escalation?
THESE people should be paying for the fence.
Is there any way for animal control to force them to install a fence?
One pit bull is a danger. TWO has just increased the danger by a wide margin.
Also, as you may have seen on the craven desires site, the video of the pit bull climbing 12 feet. These dogs climb and can dig under, very easily. They can also break through even the slightest weakness in a fence.
A fence must be solid, with no place they can put a foot to easily climb, and rock or concrete at the bottom so they can't dig under. It really should have barbed or razor wire at the top, electrified wire if possible, to prevent climbing.
It's got to be bomb proof, especially now that there are two. Two pit bulls together heads into the pack mentality that makes the situation worse.
Some people even put a fence inside a fence.
And if they are menacing you at the fence, install a video camera and document.
Still, I would never, ever leave a pet or child outside in even a fenced yard with pit bulls nearby, especially next door.
Are these people breeding by any chance?
| 6/19/2010 3:22 PM |
The "dogs bite go up after pit bull regulation" is an absolute fallacy. There are NO accurate or true statistics to even come close to backing up this FABRICATION by the pit bull breeders and advocates. It is just a lie.
The pit bull community just started LYING about it to try to stop regulations.
And it is one of the stupidest lies that anyone could create, which shows the desperation and bloodthirstiness of the pit bull community.
Dog bites overall are being reported more, especially because more towns and cities are documenting them officially, particularly in areas that have had horrific pit bull maulings or a large population of pit bulls. Most towns and cities never documented bites before! Now there is LITIGATION, and more dangerous dog laws that go along with the pit bull regulation that REQUIRE documenting.
But Pit bull regulation (or breed specific laws) are not to protect against dog bites. Most dog bites by most pet breeds are just tooth marks, bruises, a few stitches maybe. Fighting breeds, Pit bulls, MAUL. They remove flesh and limbs. They KILL. A pit bull doesn't "bite," they MAUL. The damage is vast.
And that is what pit bull regulation is preventing.
Pit bulls also kill more pets and livestock than all other breeds put together and then some. Pit bull regulation is also PREVENTING that.
| 6/19/2010 3:26 PM |
Boston Massachusetts has had very successful pit bull regulation for many years.
For a few years, dog fighters and pit bull breeders in the state (along with some hypocritical "shelter" organizations such as MSPCA and Animal Rescue League that have become pit bull lobbyists,) and some corrupt animal control, STOPPED enforcing the laws.
Then pit bull attacks went up and the public demanded that the mayor have pit bull laws enforced.
They are being enforced now, and the pit bull maulings stopped.
| 6/21/2010 2:03 AM |
Tragedy, Thank you for all the helpful advice and info and support.
I know that the addition of a second dog is dangerous - this is a catastrophe in the making - with the owners saying they don't know anything about pits, no obedience training, leaving the door open to allow free access without supervision, a 4 ft fence, getting a second young dog 3 months after the first, both 1/2 grown puppies...it goes on. the only positive thing they do is walk the dogs twice a day.
I've got no kids but 2 dogs, 30 lbs, 8 and 9 years old, that I don't let out in the yard anymore at all unless i'm there and I know the neighbor's dogs are in. I've told the neighbors how I feel, and that I would like "to be allowed" a couple hours a day to work in my yard and let my dogs out. Yes, I ask permission to be in my own fenced in yard, and still, they prop the door open to allow their dogs out with no supervision.
I've read here on dogsbite.org about how to try to go after pit owners who own their homes by notifying an insurance fraud hotline. The specific advice was for dogs that had a bite history. If I don't know the insurer, I don't know if the fraud hotline will help with a dog with no bite history.
In any case, I think any insurer would be lenient about notification for an owner that only had the dogs 3-4 months . I'm not sure, but it seems like I have to bide my time before I can do anything on that front.
I am allowed a 7 foot privacy fence. There is a 4 ft chain link fence now. I can't pay for a fence now. I could do it on credit, but I figured, when there was the one dog, that its still a puppy, and I wait til I can pay for the fence outright in the spring. I've looked, btw, I can't have barbed or electrified wire in city limits.
Thanks again for your suggestions, I'd appreciate any help, maybe i'm missing things, please tell me.
| 6/21/2010 7:15 PM |
Art, in all cases, the insurance company requires that the policy holder (they or landlord, the property owner) notify the insurance company a) if they have any dogs at all and b) ESPECIALLY if they own pit bulls because of the vastly higher claim risk.
Most of these people never inform their insurance companies, for clear reasons.
There does NOT need to be a biting incident. The insurance companies want to know what is going on at their clients' homes, if there is fraud (which is what failure to disclose is), and if these dogs have not been reported, they are defrauding the insurance company and breaking the rules.
Most insurance companies are VERY willing and happy to take the reports/questions because they will end up being in court because of a dishonest policy holder.
Even if the dog is just "staying" there, the insurance company is supposed to be officially notified.
Do you have a list of insurance companies that sell insurance in your state (also there may be a state pool for the difficult to insure)
Many people go through the list asking if such and such at such and such is their client and if they are aware there are two pit bulls there.
You may wish to send this in. It may be anonymous.
(Also check to see if the dogs are licensed. If unlicensed, that could get traction with the town or city)
There are no "privacy" laws or anything like it, no matter what pit nutters may try to claim. The insurance companies may not tell you whether or not they are a client, but they will take the info, and if these people are cheating their insurance company, that is fraud, very serious.
I am so sorry that you are in this predicament.
Many people have hired lawyers to crawl all over situations like this, but I realize that lawyers are expensive. However, rates vary, and some may do it contingency if you get a hungry one. You may wish to consider it.
You are losing the "peace and quiet enjoyment of your property." That is legalese. You might want to do a little internet digging.
| 6/21/2010 7:29 PM |
I wanted to give you a chance to respond ItsATragedy, but comments now need to stay on topic with successful breed-specific pit bull laws and comments related to this blog post.
Art please write to us to join our private user forum where you can freely have conversations like the above. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
| 7/19/2011 1:45 AM |
I went to a city council meeting today in Wyoming Michigan. It was discouraging as the officials bought the LIE that breed specific laws don't work! The police officer presenting the information also said it would be nearly impossible to enforce to an ordinance and that it would be nearly impossible to determine which dog is a pitbull. EXCUSES EXCUSES
In addition, A god darn vet from the humane society said that RABIES outbreaks might occur (OMG Bull crap ) if Breed specific laws were enacted because people would go undergound and not get the dogs vacinnated. It is my belief that many people don't vacinate pitbulls now and they don't get them a computer chip either so they can't be identified as the owner if it attacks. It was so discouraging for me as I live across from 6 pitbulls that are not well cared for animals that are not safely contained. How do we keep from discouraged and keep
on fighting for sane laws to protect our communities? I do like the idea above of calling insurance companies. In my case the people are renters so I am thinking of sending a certified letter to the landlord letting them know they might be liable if one of the pitbulls on the property bite someone. The only problem is I don't know of a way to this anonymously and I don't want to make enemies of my neighbors.
| 7/19/2011 1:53 AM |
Another question.. a lady at the city council meeting tried to give the impression that a pitbull ordinace would make current owners give up their dogs immediately and have them euthanized. I have never seen legislation like this as it always grandfathers in the existing dogs owned and gives a time peroid of a decade in advance or more when the persons with current pitbulls can't own them anymore so the dogs can live out their natural lives. A pit nutter at the meeting got up and said no: The Denver law resulted in hundreds of mass graves for pitbulls rounded up and euthanized without warning. This is another lie I would guess?