Criminals Own Vicious Dogs
Ohio - People who own vicious dogs such as pit bulls have significantly more criminal convictions than owners of licensed, gentler dogs such as beagles, a study reports. The study of 355 dog owners showed that every owner of a high-risk breed known for aggression had at least one brush with the law, from traffic citations to serious criminal convictions. 30% of people who owned an aggressive breed of dog, and who also had been cited at least once for failure to register it, had at least five criminal convictions or traffic citations.
This compared to 1% percent of owners of low-risk, licensed dogs such as poodles, beagles or collies. The study was published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. In the study, author Jaclyn Barnes states:
"Owners of vicious dogs who have been cited for failing to register a dog (or) failing to keep a dog confined on the premises ... are more than nine times more likely to have been convicted for a crime involving children, three times more likely to have been convicted of domestic violence ... and nearly eight times more likely to be charged with drug (crimes) than owners of low-risk licensed dogs."
Barnes and colleagues used public records to check the criminal pasts of dog owners. They used agreed definitions of vicious dogs used in writing local ordinances. "A 'vicious dog' means a dog that, without provocation, has killed or caused serious injury to any person, has killed another dog, or belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog," they wrote in their report (the State of Ohio deems all pit bulls as "vicious"). The most frequent low-risk breeds seen in the study included terriers, beagles, collies and poodles.