Los Angeles, CA - In 1987, CBS Evening News shocked the nation with what still remains the most violent depiction of a pit bull attack to date: The image of 33-year old LA Animal Control Officer Florence Crowell under assault by Edlyn Joy Hauser's pit bull. The injuries left Crowell hospitalized for five days. In reaction to this video and violent local attacks, several large U.S. cities enacted pit bull bans, including Denver and Miami.
Yet the bulk of U.S. policy makers have failed to address the pit bull problem, which is now nearly 30 years old. In this time, the pit bull population has exploded; pit bull euthanization rates have soared (See: 2009 U.S. Shelter Data); dog fighting has escalated; animal shelter insurance costs have increased and victim medical costs have flown out the window. Typical pit bull injury cost starts at $25,000 and quickly goes beyond.
Today, there are more pit bull attack victims than ever. In 1987 there were 22 dog bite fatalities, pit bulls were responsible for 50%. In 2007, there were 35 fatalities and pit bulls accounted for 60%. Until more U.S. policy makers specifically target this breed through legislative measures, pit bulls will continue to inflict severe and disfiguring injury -- and in some cases death -- on innocent children, adults, senior citizens and beloved pets.
08/24/09: 2009 U.S. Shelter Data: Pit Bulls Account for 58% of Dogs Euthanized
05/11/09: Animal Agency, PSPCA, Distorts History of 25-Year Old Pit Bull Problem
07/08/08: Flashback: Series of Pit Bull Attacks Stirs a Clamor for Laws
10/23/87: Trial Ordered for Pit Bull Owner That Attacked Crowell