UPDATE 11/02/10: The 85-year old victim did not survive through the night. A Russian speaking friend told DogsBite.org that her name is Maria Sineva and that she was a WWII veteran. It is no surprise that Sineva succumbed to the injuries, which included the amputation of both hands and massive blood loss. Due to her death, authorities have launched a criminal investigation. If the owner of the pit bulls is found guilty, he faces up to three years in jail.
11/01/10: The Global Cliché Debate
Krasnodar, RU - An international news agency reported Monday that an 85-year old woman was nearly killed by her neighbor's pit bulls while in her own yard. The incident occurred in Krasnodar, a city in Southern Russia. One police officer was badly bitten trying to stop the attack. Officers shot both animals dead. Yury Shport, deputy chief doctor of Krasnodar city hospital, told reporters they had to operate immediately, amputating both of the victim's arms.1
Violent pit bull maulings are a global occurrence. This is why entire countries choose to regulate this dog breed.2
The news anchor in the video quickly alights upon the cliché question: "Is it the owner or the breed?" Showing that the same argument used by U.S. pro-pit bull groups is the same one used by groups in Russia, and other countries struggling with a pit bull problem. The argument does nothing to solve the 30-year old debate nor does it reduce the number of attacks. Pit bull maulings have only increased since the adoption of this cliché argument in the 1980s.
Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee, refers to a "gap in legislation" that allows for the continuation of these maulings. Courts are designed for human-on-human crimes, not animal-on-human crimes. Thus the latter are difficult to prosecute and leave victims without adequate civil recourse. A violent attack may also be the first incident by the dog, whereby perpetuating the excuse, "How could the dog owner have known?"
Vladimir Markin: "Unfortunately, it is not the first time when dangerous animals [e.g., domesticated family pets] are causing severe and sometimes deadly injuries. I think that one of the reasons is that there is a gap in legislation when it comes to dog ownership, and punishment for those whose animals attack people. Large dogs should be considered dangerous, just like handguns."
Breed-specific laws are designed to prevent an attack by regulating the ownership of dangerous dog breeds, namely pit bulls. Such laws recognize that prosecution and civil recourse for victims after an attack is virtually impossible. As a "front end" strategy, such laws regulate the ownership of these breeds to prevent an attack prior to its occurrence, instead of relying upon insufficient "back end" strategies that might punish a dog owner after an attack.
The Animal Trainer
Just like in the U.S., the reporter interviewed a common pit bull advocate -- a 20-plus-year old female perceived expert -- and so-called "animal trainer." (Note that the pit bull quickly tries to bite the microphone of the reporter.) This woman is likely little more than a dog owner who belongs to a dog club. Her voice, and every pit bull advocate like hers, deserves no place in this debate.3 As the reporter states, when referring to the $600 cost of adequately training a pit bull:
"Seems a bargain considering the price paid by the elderly woman who remains in a coma with doctors fighting for her life."
2Please see the Ecuador post to learn more.
3In the most comical pit bull interview to date -- and potentially the most litigious if that pit bull had snapped on camera -- Texas "dog" attorney Zandra Anderson represents the ridiculousness of the pro-pit bull voice and why lawmakers should give it as much credibility as Alien Abduction groups attempting to steer and control public policy. (DogsBite.org has NO idea where Fox came up with the number "38." There were easily thousands of pit bull biting incidents in the State of Texas in 2009.)
06/25/10: Pit Bulls Kill Man in Belize; Authorities Initially Suppress Information
11/13/09: Family Pit Bull Berserks, Kills 85-Year Old Owner in Peru
08/29/09: Pit Bull Kills Owner, 35, in Bloody Buenos Aires Attack
02/06/09: Ecuador Joins International Trend: Bans Pit Bulls and Rottweilers...