Fatalities by Breed (1979 to 1989)
DogsBite.org - Pit bull advocates claim that the 2000 CDC report, which recorded fatalities from 1997-1998 to encompass attacks since 1979, is inaccurate because it was based on media accounts. Yet the report was only "in part" reliant on media accounts and otherwise reliant on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) registry of fatal attacks. Five people authored this report: Jeffrey Sacks, Leslie Sinclair, Julie Gilchrist, Gail Golab and Randall Lockwood.
All five authors openly oppose breed-specific laws. The CDC report reflects this bias as well: "From a scientific point of view, we are unaware of any formal evaluation of the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing fatal or nonfatal dog bites." This viewpoint is drawn despite the fact that pit bull laws are designed to stop serious and fatal pit bull maulings, not to prevent all dog bites. This statement is intended to dissuade cities from adopting breed-specific laws.
The panel of authors was also stacked in favor of protecting animals. There were three animal specialists (Sinclair, Golab and Lockwood) and only two human medical doctors (Sacks and Gilchrist). Given the panel's make up, it seems more likely that pit bull fatalities were underreported, not over reported as pit bull advocates claim. Despite the lopsided panel, pit bulls and their mixes accounted for a third of the total deaths (76) followed by rottweilers with 44.
Jeffrey Sacks, MD, MPH
In 1996, upon releasing, Fatal dog attacks, 1989-1994 (co-authored with Lockwood), Sacks makes his position on breed-specific laws clear. The report states, "Breed-specific approaches to the control of dog bites do not address the issue." Following the release of the 2000 CDC report, Sacks uses the same distortion voiced by pro-pit bull groups, "A dog of any breed can become dangerous," in an article published by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
"A dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive," Dr. Jeffrey Sacks, epidemiologist for the CDC, said. "Fatal attacks represent only a very small proportion of dog bite injuries and shouldn't be the primary factor driving public policy regarding dangerous dogs." - Jeffrey Sacks, JAVMA, November 15, 2000
Leslie Sinclair, DVM
In 1997, after an article titled, "Playing with pets can be doggone dangerous," appeared in the AAP News (American Academy of Pediatrics),1 Sinclair felt "compelled" to share her veterinary advice with the pediatrics community. In her argument of the old English sheepdog, Sinclair fails to point out that only one fatal sheepdog attack had been recorded in the HSUS registry of fatal attacks prior to 1997, versus 76 recorded fatal pit bull attacks in just a 20-year time span.
"The article was incorrect in asserting that there are "nonaggressive breeds" such as the old English sheepdog. According to the HSUS Dog Bite-Related Fatality Database, even this lovable breed of dog has been implicated in the death of a 7-year-old child." - Leslie Sinclair, AAP News, August 1997
In 1999, one year before the release of the CDC report, Sinclair is quoted in the article, "The Canine Companion, Breed Bans: Is There Another Way?" Sinclair states: "Pigeonholing a certain breed as dangerous and then banning it doesn't get rid of the problem." She adds the classic, "The Doberman pinscher was the "scary"2 dog of the 1970s, the Pit Bull in the 1980s..." Once again, Sinclair neglects to cite the differences in the number of deaths attributed to each breed.
Julie Gilchrist, MD
In the aforementioned 2000 AVMA article, "Responsible ownership the alternative to breed banning, other restrictions," Gilchrist states: "Dog bite reduction strategies are more likely to be effective if they focus on reducing inappropriate dog and dog owner behaviors, regardless of the dog's breed, instead of on banning specific breeds." The article is a propaganda piece by the AVMA, who strongly opposes pit bull laws, and also had a seat on the CDC author panel (Golab).
Gail C. Golab, PhD, DVM
Gail Golab, co-author of the study and assistant director of the AVMA Education and Research Division, was also quoted in the 2000 AVMA article. In her quote, Golab attempts to equate all dogs as being equally dangerous: "Breeds responsible for human fatalities have varied over time. Since 1975, dogs belonging to more than 30 breeds -- including Dachshunds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and a Yorkshire Terrier -- have been responsible for fatal attacks on people."
More recently, in 2008, Golab offers the Biased Toldeo Blade3 the same "knee-jerk reaction" phrase that is commonly used by pro-pit bull and animal groups. As a seasoned veterinarian and PhD, Golab also voices a striking distortion of the truth regarding how dog bites are recorded for statistical purposes. Dog bites are recorded by animal control officials, these same officials determine the breed of the offending dog, not the media, not the person bitten and not lawyers.
"Dr. Gail Golab, director of animal welfare for the American Veterinarian Medical Association, called Mr. Rodriguez irresponsible for not confining his dog properly. But she said breed-specific laws are a "knee-jerk" reaction by lawmakers who don't address the real issue" ...
"Dr. Golab said dog-bite statistics that suggest pit bulls bite most often are not necessarily accurate. They are hard to properly formulate, she said, because it's hard for some people to identify what breed bit them and the only bites that typically get recorded are ones reported in the media, to lawyers, or police." - Gail Golab, The Toledo Blade, July 13, 2008
Randall Lockwood, PhD
Finally, on the day the CDC's embargoed report was released, Lockwood calls the fatal dog attack problem a "people problem." Ironically, Lockwood's extensive past research about pit bulls was used to uphold the Denver pit bull ban. His research addresses the following genetic traits in pit bulls: Non-display of rising level of aggression and “surprise attacks”, higher tolerance to pain, tenacity in attacks, and leakage of human-aggressive pit bulls into the general population.4
"It's not a Rottweiler problem or a pit bull problem," said Randall Lockwood, the Humane Society's vice president for research and educational outreach. "It's a people problem." - Randall Lockwood, ABC News, September 15, 2000
2According to data gathered by Karen Delise, from 1970 to 1979 a Doberman was responsible for one death. During this same period, pit bulls were responsible for at least 5 deaths. Pro-pit bull advocates, such as Sinclair, frequently distort the truth about the 1970's, calling it the "scary" Doberman decade, when in fact pit bulls outranked the Doberman in deaths during the period. The CDC report, which covers the 2-decade period from 1979 to 1998, shows that pit bulls killed 78 persons versus the Doberman killing 10. The distortion that "killer breeds change every decade" is designed to hide the truth about pit bulls, which have been the top killers for over thirty years.
3In November 2009, the "Biased" Toledo Blade effectively forced the removal of Lucas County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon, the leading expert and enforcer of breed-specific laws in the United States.
4The Ethology and Epidemiology of Canine Aggression, by Randall Lockwood, The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour, and Interactions with People, edited by James Serpell, Cambridge University Press, 1995.; republished in Animal Law and Dog Behavior, Ed. David Favre and Peter L. Borchelt, PhD, 1999
08/29/09: The History of the Denver Pit Bull Ban and the Victims that Prompted New Law
04/22/09: Report: U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities January 2006 to December 2008
09/09/08: Top Dog Experts Fooled and Surprised by Pit Bulls
Yes Doctor Golab it is hard for A/C reps to identify pit bulls since they euthanize them by the truckload!
The dog lobby plants actually pursauded the CDC to stop collecting data after this report….Gotta wonder how many have been killed since?…Gotta be at least 100 piticides.
This is why they hate DBO…no one is suppose to be tracking this. The plan was for Delise to control and release the the data…ie “35 dog breeds have killed”
Meanwhile Pits kill an American every twenty days, while other large breeds go decades between such incidents.
PG 135 of the Lockwood study:
"In the Lockwood & Lindy survey (1987), 42.7% of the Pit Bull attacks involved animals that were chained, fenced or inside prior to the incident. Another 14% involved the dogs jumping or breaking chains. For bites involving other breeds 26.7% were similiarly restrained but only 1% involved breaking restraint."
This is the biggie…these dogs are extremely powerful and escape prone. They defeat noemal containment infrastructures at a rate 14 times greater than other breeds. At cursory look at any Canine weight pulling competition reveals that the Pit bulls dominate in the 40-100lb classes.
They need superior owners with superior containment infrastructures and superior insurance coverage. Of course the normalcy envy of the Pit Community will never embrace it.
James Crosby is like a bizarre sponge, spewing out whatever he recently ingested. First Lockwood, now Golab, who knows how many fell in between? I thought “experts” were called upon to ADD to the issue, not regurgitate.
If the HSUS actually keeps stats on fatal dog attacks why don’t they publish them? Are they Top Secret or something?!
Golab, Gilchrist, and Lockwood need to be reminded that they are involved in PUBLIC, HUMAN SAFETY ISSUES
They are not representatives of the dog breeding and dog fighting world!
Yet even acknowledging their extremist biases, they STILL had to admit that pit bulls are the biggest killers of humans.
However, these fake “public interest” dog industry representatives with the “sounds good” credentials have no business representing the American public and receiving public funds.
And “The dog lobby plants actually pursauded the CDC to stop collecting data after this report”
The CDC let DOG FIGHTERS and DOG BREEDERS get them to collude with them to hide human death and injury and facts related to those things, and determine policy. Aand for that they should be sued. Class action suit.
Sometimes pit bull owners don’t know what a pit bull is.
Somebody I know wrote an article against pit bulls and received a letter from a pitbull owner saying it wasn’t fair because am.staffs can be dangerous too.(sigh)
The AVMA has some nerve!
Over the years, the AVMA has supported heinous abuse to animals, including dogs
They support puppy mills, they support nearly everything as long as it benefits BREEDERS
The AVMA works for those who make MONEY breeding and selling animals. That has long been a complaint about the AVMA. And in a knee-jerk way they will support the breeders 9 times out of 10.
Golab is just repeating the same old useless propaganda fed to her by the breeder lobby
Maybe someday the AVMA will get real, but it hasn’t yet
It represents the FINANCIAL interests of those who make money from animals- not the animals, not public safety.
And a financial lobby has ZERO business getting involved with public safety issues.
Do we hire tobacco lobbyists to sit on public health “centers?”
People like this determining public policy are DANGEROUS.
And much of the dull-witted media has no clue that the AVMA is a business lobby
I imagine other animal groups, in addition to the HSUS, also track dog bite fatalities. Each of these entities keeps the information private. The only group that shares this knowledge with the public is Animal People News. Clearly, the LAST report (97-98) was the LAST public report. One does not need to read between the lines. The CDC should have given this role to DOCTORS — people dedicated to saving human lives, NOT animal groups who are dedicated to covering up harm some animals inflict.
CDC Fraud Squad
We’ve got paradoxal Lockwood, who has researched pit bulls extensively, particularly regarding the unique danger they pose when they attack, that publicly denounces all forms of pit bull regulations, including mandatory sterilization. This man also likes to tell the story about his being “surprised” that a pit bull tried to attack him. He is the author of the oft-heard “disembowel” pit bull quote as well. The photograph sums up his bizarreness.
Grade F — Lockwood miserably failed in his role on the CDC study, which presumably is about saving future victims from massive injury and death.
We’ve got Doctor Julie Gilchrist, of the CDC, who is a former EIS officer and has a “passion for helping kids be kids.” She too has publicly denounced pit bull laws. This may be due to the fact that she has not personally witnessed a child’s scalp ripped off by a “sudden” pit bull attack or a World War II senior citizen’s leg “eaten” to the bone by a pit bull. Clearly Gilchrist is unaware or chooses to ignore that pit bulls are killing a U.S. citizen every 20 days.
Injuries are the leading cause of death among children, and much of what
causes children to be admitted to a hospital Emergency Department or ICU
are injury-related and preventable. That simple realization brought Julie
Gilchrist, a pediatrician specializing in sports medicine, to CDC a decade
ago. “I wanted my work to have impact on a broader scale than one patient at a
time,” says the former EIS officer, who oversees research and programs in
many of the injury topic areas that affect children, including water
safety/drowning prevention; sports and recreation-related injury prevention;
dog-bite prevention; and choking/suffocation/strangulation prevention.
Gilchrist brings a “passion for helping kids be kids” by helping them be challenged yet safe in their activities.
Gilchrist also lives in Fulton County, Georgia, specifically the town of Stone Mountain, the same town were Sherri Self lives. One has to wonder if Gilchrist is a pit bull owner.
Grade F — Gilchrist miserably failed in her role on the CDC study and her precious job at the CDC, which specializes in child injury.
Finally, we’ve got veterinarian Gail Golab, that represents the almighty AVMA lobby (She is head of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Animal Welfare Division). Tubber Golab recently flew to Australia to become America’s first veterinarian “certified” in animal welfare. Since the certification was granted in Australia, not the US, one would think the “honor” is BUNK.
Among her most egregious statements, she spews the untruthful line regarding how dog bites are recorded for statistical reasons.
Grade F — Golab is a sickening example of how the AVMA lobby directly and powerfully affects public safety policy in thousands of US cities.
Can the CDC be sued for placing dog breeder industry operatives on its “study?”
They probably have no idea that they did!
In my own research, it seems Julie
Gilchrist was most often quoted or interviewed by pit bull loving groups. The message she gave, the same one echoed by the bogus National Canine Research Council, is that more things kill kids than dogs. But Julie Gilchrist has no expertise in dogs, she’s a pediatrician, and she is most concerned with and familar with things that hurt children most often, the things they spend the most time around – strollers, toys, playground equipment, etc.
I find it amusing how a pit bull owner will say you have no idea about pits unless you’ve owned one or spent time with one, yet will take law making advice on dogs from a pediatrician. They hear what they want to hear regardless of what the facts or the real knowledgable people say.
I find it interesting that Julie Gilchrist lives in the same little town of Stone Mountain, Georgia, that Sherri Self lives in. You remember Miss Self, president of the Georgia American Pit Bull Terrier Association, good friend of Jere Alexander, former employee of Fulton County Animal Shelter and wife of Tony Self, arrested for transporting fighting dogs?
Time to update this post as 180 Americans have been killed by Pit Bulls and thousands terribly mauled since the CDC travesty.
Ironically, in this article, Lockwood comes out for heavily regulating wolf-hybrids, yet is opposed to regulations on Pit Bulls. Since 1980, there have been260 Pit Bull fatalities in the US.
Perhaps Lockwood is against wolf-hybrids since he was defeated by one:
"The animal slept in my sleeping bag and appeared friendly but was eventually shot for hunting down and killing a sheep"
We let these people control the public safety debate?!?
Gail Golab chimes in on responsible dog breeding in this article….
Dogs' breeding and training determine their aggressiveness, said Gail Golab, director of the American Veterinary Medical Association's animal welfare division. For example, Doberman pinschers were once "a big macho kind of dog" but have become more gentle and docile with breeding in recent years, she said.
The same could be done with pit bulls, which include American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers and mixes of those breeds.
Well…What the hell is the Pit Community waiting for…somebody to be killed?!?
Nicholas Dodman, a Tufts University animal behavioral specialist and author of “Dogs Behaving Badly,” agrees that pit bulls come with some baggage.
“Genetics does play a role and people who think it doesn’t are kidding themselves,” says Dodman. “The pit bull is notorious for a very hard bite. They are always No. 1 in the lethal dog bite parade. The dog was bred for pit fighting. It was bred to never give up, to bite and hang on.”
Yet…the Vet profession pimps pit bulls..They probably love it when distraught Aunt Milley comes in to have her poodle sewn back together after a Pit attack.
Another revealing Lockwood snippett…
Testimony of Dr. Peter L. Borchelt, Denver v. Colorado, No. 04CV3756 (Denver Dist. Ct., April 7, 2005). Lockwood also notes, “Dog fighters and advocates of fighting breeds note that, historically, fighting animals that showed aggression to people were generally removed from the gene pool, either by being destroyed or being deemed unsuitable for breeding…. However, there is no indication that the same selective pressures are in operation since there is currently a market for even the most intractable animals in the guard dog trade.” Lockwood, supra note 17 at 133.
Another Vet at the HSUS chimes in before the crazies like Lockwood took over:
Dr Michael Fox, Director of the Institute for the study of Animal Problems, Scientific Branch, Humane Society of the United States:
"I spent 20 years studying the behavior of dogs and it's not in their nature. Man, has created a monster, If you wish…These dogs were selectively bred to fight, they have greater propensity to fight than other animals."
"They can attack people, and because the attitudes of Pit Bulls it is more likely they will attack people. The worry is the power of the dogs jaw…to bite and not let go. It's quite sufficient to crush right through a child's arm or leg."