Utah Officials See Great Increase in Dog Bites
Vernal, Utah - In 2007, animal control officers responded to 2,528 calls for a variety of animal-related complaints, which is a 61 percent increase in service over the previous year. More than half of the calls concern nuisance dogs threatening people, livestock and other family pets.
The trend marks a disturbing increase in bite calls according to the officers. Within this trend is an increase in the severity of attacks as well.
"The bite injuries are more serious, the dogs more vicious and the attacks more freaky," said the officer. "We had a bite call where two pit bulls attacked a full-grown horse," said Tina Williams, shelter director, underscoring the extreme nature of the assault.
Most of the bites involve pit bulls with 75 percent of the calls referring to this breed. Officers attribute some of the increased aggression in the attacks to these dogs. The breed has an acknowledged stigma associated with it as being aggressive by nature.