DogsBite.org - The title of this post is suitable for the dog bite prevention tips distributed this week by the U.S. Postal Service, health organizations, animal groups and news agencies. Such tips, like presented on the CDC's Dog Bite Prevention page, "If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., "be still like a log")," fall a little flat though, and might even result in human death if the attacking dog is a pit bull. Unlike most dog breeds, pit bulls maul.
There is no National Dog Mauling Prevention Week in the U.S.
Dog bites are a serious public health issue. Dog maulings are an even weightier public health issue. The problem with National Dog Bite Prevention Week is that it fails to address horrific dog maulings, mainly inflicted by pit bulls, which will attack indiscriminately and continue attacking until shot to death, stabbed to death or nonlethal human intervention succeeds in stopping the assault. So how does an average person prevent an unprovoked dog mauling?
Prevention may be impossible. However, we have several golden rules:
- Children should not approach, pet or play near a chained dog, especially if the dog is a pit bull or rottweiler. This includes a child's own household and all households a child visits. The latter situation escalates the risk factor five-fold as the child is new to the dog and the dog is on its owner's property.
- The CDC recommends that someone bitten by a dog not scream.1 This is highly advisable when it comes to pit bulls, but may be difficult to maintain if the attack is serious or prolonged. It is best to avoid all sharp sudden sounds when in the presence of a pit bull, as one may trigger an attack.2 If you are attacked and start screaming, this may amplify the attack, but also may bring others to assist you.
- Another "abnormal" human behavior tip offered by the CDC, "Avoid direct eye contact with a dog"3 is also very important when it comes to pit bulls. This tip may greatly reduce the risk that the dog perceives you as being confrontational because you are looking directly at it.4 (Practice this one daily!)
We have more prevention tips on our Staying Safe page.
Though most of the CDC's dog bite prevention tips are useful and helpful,5 they do not address sudden, explosive pit bull maulings that commonly capture headlines across the country and have been since the 1980s. The tips also imply that only human beings, usually the person bitten, could have prevented the incident (by not provoking the dog). The theme of the tips is that a dog will only attack when it is provoked. We know this is untrue about pit bulls.
We encourage readers to leave their favorite dog mauling prevention tips in comments.
2The AVMA, who currently sponsors National Dog Bite Prevention Week and opposes pit bull laws, has known for many years that sudden sharp sounds, such as the brisk clapping of hands, can trigger a pit bull to attack (See pages 15 and 18: Dos and Don'ts Concerning Vicious Dogs, AVMA Professional Liability Trust)
3It is instinctual human behavior to look directly at the person, animal or thing that is presenting an immediate threat. While adults may be able to train themselves to do otherwise, expecting a child to do so is nonsensical.
4A pit bull may also "force" confrontation by taking actions that demand it be directly looked at. Please see the second video on Craven Desires blog: The language of dogs, normal and psychopathic.
5Especially this one: "Consult with a professional (e.g., veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder) to learn what breeds of dogs are the best fit for your household."
05/17/10: Dominic Solesky Featured in National Dog Bite Prevention Week Video
02/06/10: Pet Pit Bull Unleashes Explosive Attack on Owner and Two Others in Hoboken
01/18/10: 2010 Fatality: 56-Year Old Man Killed by Daughter's Six Pit Bulls
05/11/09: Animal Agency, PSPCA, Distorts History of 25-Year Old Pit Bull Problem
04/10/09: Animal Control: "This is Not Just a Bite. This is a Mauling."
03/17/09: 10 Shots Stop Pit Bull Attack on Pregnant Woman and Officer
Education of children and adolescents for the prevention of dog bite injuries.
By Duperrex O, Blackhall K, Burri M, Jeannot E.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is no direct evidence that educational programmes can reduce dog bite rates in children and adolescents. Educating children who are less than 10 years old in school settings could improve their knowledge, attitude and behaviour towards dogs. Educating children and adolescents in settings other than schools should also be evaluated. There is a need for high quality studies that measure dog bite rates as an outcome. To date, evidence does not suggest that educating children and adolescents is effective as a unique public health strategy to reduce dog bite injuries and their consequences.
Thank you for including that all this information presupposes that all attacks are provoked – and pit bull attacks often are not!
I don't like the information being given to children about what to do if there's an aggressive dog coming toward them.
As far as pit bulls are concerned, I see the "be still like a tree or a log" as the equivalent of being taught to duck and cover under your desk in the event of a nuclear bomb being dropped on your town.
It is impossible to make children responsible for dealing with attacking aggressive dogs. Just ridiculous. If they get in a position where an aggressive dog decides to attack and there's no adult there, they are screwed. Plain and simple.
We don't spend time teaching young children navigation and survival skills in case they get lost in the woods. We do our best to make sure they don't get lost in the woods.
All energy should go into keeping children safe from aggressive dogs by excluding aggressive dogs!
I like the way you said that some of suggestions prescribe behavior that is unnatural. It is so unnatural that it is absurd. It is designed to make a child responsible – and their parents feel the child's actions were responsible. And, as you said, with pit bulls especially, the advice to be still is just as likely to kill the child as not.
It also "normalizes" the idea that there will be aggressive dogs running around your neighborhood and that its ok if aggressive dogs are running around your neighborhood as long as you've taught your children what to do.
There is no action that will reliably keep someone safe if a pit bull decides to attack. That is the horror of it. Whenever I read about the "be still like a log" I think about Jerry Yates' body being mauled after he was dead.
Truthbird, I looked at that summary of the study you mentioned.
It's a very interesting question in light of the controversy surrounding the DARE program.
And of course, they are too cowed by the pit bull lobby and politically correct to teach kids how to judge a dog partially by breed so as to preempt a dangerous encounter. I grew up in WV, mostly in the 80s, among the middle-class; and people actually had common sense. It was no big controversy. All kids knew that you were wary of any large dog but particularly avoided: 1. chows, 2. GSDs, 3. rotts, 4. dobermans, and 5. pit bulls (but I'd only heard of pit bulls back then, had never seen one). Why were we taught this? People over time noticed these dogs hurt people more often. Duh.
"There is no National Dog Mauling Prevention Week in the U.S."
Our local SPCA PR rep made a typical "it's not the breed" comment after a girl was mauled by a rottweiler in a public park. Naturally she placed the onus on the child, saying that we need to better educate our children on how to avoid dog bites. The most ridiculous thing she said was that we should turn our backs on an ominous dog, lest we upset the poor thing. What is that supposed to do? Stop the dog dead in it's tracks? How ridiculous. Can you imagine turning your back on a charging pit bull? Argh!
I hate Dog Bite Prevention Week. The advice given in these articles places all responsibility on the victim. People have the right to go about their peaceful business, in their own community, without fear of attacks and maulings.
We love dogs too much as a nation to do them the service of being honest about them. Blaming humans for things gives us a false sense of control, similar to people thinking if they just throw enough virgins in that volcano that the drought will end.
This "dog bite prevention tip" scam perpetuated upon the public by the CDC and AVMA is much more sinister.
Since both the CDC and AVMA cater to the FINANCIAL interests of the dog breeder and dog fighter BUSINESS INDUSTRIES (and against public safety or health interests, and even against humane interests) these tips that are presented come directly from the DOG BREEDING INDUSTRY and have utterly no credibility or usefulness other than endangering the public even more with DANGEROUS ideas, false hopes, and a bloodthirsty goal of blaming VICTIMS for the dangers of canine breeds intentionally bred to kill.
These "dog bite prevention" tips are as helpful as getting health advice from the tobacco industry. The interest here is protecting profits for an industry that intentionally breeds and sells danger and public safety risks, and profits from it.
Neither the CDC nor the AVMA wrote these tips. The "tips" were prepared by dog breeder industry lobbying groups such as the AKC, trying to make excuses for their profitable deadly breeds, which is in part why these "tips" sound so ridiculous and foolish, even dangerous.
The intention of this campaign is to BLAME THE VICTIM and try to assert that the victim's behavior caused the attack, and obtain the CDC's collusion in putting a seal of approval on the "blame the victim" technique to help the breeding industry sleaze out of liability.
These "tips" are the equivalent of a rapist's advocacy group getting the CDC to announce "tips" that women who wear short skirts, giggle, look at their rapists, or don't submit to rapists are TO BLAME for their rapes.
Just as a few examples, without screams by the victim, the pit bull simply finishes killing more easily. It is only the fact that victims SCREAMED loudly that assistance was alerted before veins are ripped open or limbs removed or eyes chewed out. SCREAMING SAVES LIVES for the dog attack victim!
The CDC and AVMA apparently would like victims to submit to their deaths silently, perhaps so that the attacking dog is not killed or injured and stopped from its goal- the kill.
As far as chained dogs go, chaining in itself creates much aggression problems, and when used with pit bulls is useless because pit bulls break free of chains and restraints. Most children killed by chained dogs are dead not because they approached a chained dog, but because the chained dog broke free and preyed upon the child in their own yards, waiting for a school bus, riding their bikes, or engaging in normal activity.
Dog breeders, however, (particularly fighting breed breeders) use chaining as a cheap kennelling technique, and so the CDC and AVMA put the onus on the victim rather than dealing with the reality and of the problem.
As far as giving advice such as "rolling into a ball and lying still," that simply enables the pit bull to attack the favored target, the BACK OF THE NECK which would be completely exposed. This "tip" is DEADLY. It teaches the victim how to let themselves be killed more easily, and also encourages the victim to fail to summon assistance, their only hope.
FIGHTING BREEDS DO NOT GIVE UP AND WALK AWAY!
Fighting breeds are bred to kill. That is the goal of the attack. There are no warning bites with pit bulls and similar fighting breeds. The people who breed these dogs know that and acknowledge it!
This farcical "dog bite prevention" scam is not a surprise from the AVMA. They are a business lobbying organization. They have no connection to ethical information about health (human or canine,) public safety, animal control, animal behavior, or anything other than PROTECTING INDUSTRY PROFITS, including the profits of even puppy millers and dog fighters. The AVMA is an ENEMY to public health. Canines are simply profit centers to the AVMA, and their interest begins and ends there.
But the CDC is funded by taxpayers and is not supposed to represent the interests of for-profit industries.
The time has come to examine the CDC's ethics lapse and determine why they are endangering public health by catering to dog breeder interests, and who is responsible for this crime.
Of course, as is usually the case, the BREEDING INDUSTRY that wrote these dangerous "tips" has put their signature on them, and given the CDC much to explain ethics-wise.
The signature advertisement falsely given as a "tip" reads thusly
"Consult with a professional (e.g., veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder) to learn what breeds of dogs are the best fit for your household."
Problem is these three groups all profit from animals and are not helpful nor unbiased sources of information. (There are even veterinarians who get kickbacks from breeders, work for puppy mills or pet stores, lobby with the breeding industry, or are breeders themselves. Veterinarians have ZERO education in "dog selection." Their business is canine health, period. And many have problems even dealing with that adequately!)
But the kicker is the AKC "responsible breeder" trademark.
The falsely labelled "responsible breeder" is the worst and most biased and least honest of the three! Breeders SELL DOGS. THEY PROFIT FROM SELLING DOGS. MONEY IS THE GOAL. No matter what nice pr stories they tell about "love of the breed" or other fairy tales.
Breeders are not even honest about the horrific genetic behavior and physical problems their breeds have! Even "champion show dogs" are riddled with defects that bring troubles to both the dog and buyer.
The AKC also makes its primary income from registering puppy mill dogs, the most defective, behavior troubled, abused, and unhealthy source of canines.
A little insight into the REAL world of the "responsible breeder" scam perpetuated by AKC
Nevertheless the breeders who wrote these "tips" that the AVMA and CDC have put their names to have placed an advertisement for their fraudulent industry among the "tips" and tried to pose as experts and direct more money to themselves.
The breeding industry consists of profiteers and opponents of public safety and health.
WHY IS THE CDC ISSUING ADS FOR THE DOG BREEDING INDUSTRY AS HEALTH ADVICE?
Taxpayer money has been used to lobby for a for-profit industry that hides its propaganda under the guise of "health tips" issued by the CDC.
The AKC has long tried to flog these dangerous "dog bite prevention tips" mixed with dog breeder propaganda and advertising and lobbying to school children by tricking teachers into believing that the AKC is "expert" in anything but money making.
Again, the equivalent of letting the tobacco industry write "health tips" and education for school kids!
There is a reason that the AKC and tobacco industry both use the same lobbyist, Rick Berman.
Hiding profits interests and even danger and liability behind false "consumer information" is a Berman tactic.
Has the CDC let Berman infiltrate for his clients, the breeders?
The AKC puppy mill industry, the same AKC that blames children for their attacks by troubled AKC breeds and works to weaken dangerous dogs laws, has no business peddling their wares in school systems and using children and parents to sell more and make more money, and endanger humans AND animals.
(As for teachers, they should be aware that the AKC's primary lobbyist, Rick Berman, is a teaching union buster. His lobbying organization also issues "tips" that smear teachers and work to undermine their unions.)
If you look at the makeup of the CDC, you will find "the usual suspects." University faculty, researchers, and staff.
One of the biggest myths that the general public carries is that those with advanced degrees, connected with colleges and universities, have special expertise and are ethical.
Some certainly are, but the taint of money from business lobbies and the ability to use universities as springboards for personal business interests has literally turned much university faculty and researchers into nothing more than shills or propagandists for big business.
Yes, you can call them prostitutes of big business.
University shills at CDC in particular has a lengthy history of unethical financial relationships in areas where they promote public policy. Some CDC committee members are directly involved financially in the industries that they formulate asserted public policy in.
One example is pharmaceutical companies. Just look at the ethical filth that CDC has been involved in on their CDC Vaccine Advisory Committee.
"Meeting transcripts over the past decade showed that at some meetings, half of the members present had potential conflicts with vaccine manufacturers."
"At the June 2002 committee meeting — the last meeting for which minutes are available — four of the 11 members present acknowledged conflicts with Wyeth, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Bayer and Aventis Pasteur. Two of the four did research or vaccine trials for manufacturers. One of the four was a co-holder of a vaccine patent as well as a consultant to Merck"
This article examines the unethical treatment of a vaccine for Rotavirus and others, vaccines that CDC committee members had personal vested interests in, links to the companies producing them, owned stock, even personal patent activity involving the vaccines they were recommending!
"The committee ignored a plea from a consumer advocate to delay a recommendation on LYMERIX because it might not be safe, according to a February 1999 transcript.
"We are just saying there is a wealth of information out there that is different than the information you have been provided. I think the honorable thing to do would be to wait," said Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner, founder of the Lyme Disease Foundation, a patient's advocacy group that eventually opposed the vaccine.
UPI found that the CDC and SmithKline Beecham worked together on a Lyme vaccine. A 1992 CDC activity report obtained by UPI says the agency had an agreement "with SmithKline Beecham that currently funds three positions at (the CDC) for the purpose of providing information of use in developing advanced test methods and vaccine candidates."
In June 2001, the General Accounting Office delivered a report to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., on this issue. It says that CDC employees "are listed on two Lyme-disease related patents" including "a 1993 joint patent between CDC and SmithKline Beecham Corporation." The report also said that six of 12 consultants working for the CDC on Lyme vaccines "reported at least one interest related to a vaccine firm"
CORRUPTION doesn't even begin to describe the dirty dealings of the CDC, which seems to be a get rich quick scheme for some on the lookout for business lobbying dollars and personal financial enrichment while abusing the American public's trust.
Another man who dug below the surface finds a frightening history of corruption and money laundering involving the CDC and private business lobbies.
Mr. Caplan's quote is very apropos in light of this "dog bite prevention" breeder lobbying scam as there truly is "a dog in the fight!"
"In an unusual scenario that raises questions of conflict of interest, a company that conducts research on behalf of the pesticide industry has paid a U.S. government agency to help prove some controversial chemicals are safe.
The company, Exponent Inc., based in Menlo Park, Calif., is known for its scientific research on behalf of corporate clients facing product liability concerns. In this case, Exponent is trying to refute research showing that even a small amount of combined exposure to two agricultural chemicals, maneb, a fungicide, and paraquat, an herbicide, can raise the risk of Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the central nervous system.
Exponent is listed as a member of CropLife America, the trade group that represents pesticide manufacturers, and also has worked regularly for Syngenta, which makes paraquat.
The federal agency involved in this instance is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Federal ethics rules generally prohibit government employees from accepting money from businesses related to their jobs, which helps ensure that government staffers remain unbiased and free of corporate entanglements. Although NIOSH has statutory authority to accept ‘gifts,’ it does not “utilize” that authority to accept corporate donations for research, according to an agency spokeswoman.
Exponent was able to circumvent these restrictions, however, by donating $60,000 to the CDC Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) public charity. The foundation in turn passed the money along to NIOSH.
Exponent managing scientist Laura McIntosh said in an interview the company donated the money and sought participation by researchers at NIOSH to enhance the credibility of its study of maneb and paraquat. McIntosh said they wanted to make their research “bulletproof.”
“We have a professional money-laundering facility at the Centers for Disease Control Foundation” said James O’Callaghan, the NIOSH researcher running the government’s part of the project. “They accept projects from anyone on the outside.”
Arthur Caplan, who runs the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics, finds the arrangement disturbing. “If you have a private sector entity that has no interest and is just giving general money for support, that’s not a conflict,” Caplan said. But when a company or industry has “a stake in the outcome,” or offers “support which is difficult to track, when it’s not very transparent, it makes for trouble…I don’t think every private dollar is tainted, but at the same time, when you’re in areas where somebody has a dog in the fight, that’s going to raise appropriate questions about conflicts.”
"“This is a highly questionable and worrisome business relationship between private interests and the government,” Holman said. “The CDC Foundation is a pass through for money from private enterprise that wants something out of the government. And so it is in effect really blurring the line between the monitor and those who are being monitored.”
I have some questions to ask of the CDC.
How much blood money was obtained from the AKC/Rick Berman for this fake "public safety, breeder propaganda" scam campaign??
What "foundation" or "charitable front group" was the "contributions" or "grants" laundered through?
Who on the CDC is connected to the corrupt dog breeder industry? Who made the decision to partner with the dog breeding industry to produce this propaganda?
Until these issues are resolved, there is blood on the hands of every CDC member that allows this crime to continue.
In particular, minority groups and low income citizen groups should be asking some very intense questions of the CDC and their support of a rich, white, corrupt dog breeding industry (an industry with ties to unsavory racist and criminal groups breeding fighting breeds to sustain their activities) that has especially victimized the poor and minorities, to the point that people are prisoners in their own homes for fear of attacks by fighting breeds.
Money and corruption have trumped civil rights and public health and safety, and the CDC is deep in the middle of this activity.
A name familiar to many for her parrotting of pit bull breeder propaganda and interests, is Jane Saul Berkey of Animal Farm Inc.
Saul Berkey has been "working with" AVMA to pursue her obsessions and lobbying for her business interests and opposition to public safety laws addressing pit bulls and pit bull maulings.
The propaganda and deception in the garbage presented to AVMA by a New York City literary salesperson and public relations producer is mind blowing in its falseness, as well as ethical failure to reveal her personal financial support of Karen Delise, whom she quotes incorrexctly as an "expert."
It is also interesting to note that associates that Saul Berkey (Rotrosen) has given financial support to or who are involved in Animal Farm Foundation with her on the board have advocated everything from insurance fraud to intentional deception and lying about the fighting history and breeding of pit bulls.
Why would AVMA get involved with this person, someone who never even obtained a college degree, as I have found in quotes from her? Certainly the ethical questions abound.
Much of her presentation opposing dangerous dog laws doesn't even make the simplest of logical sense. It just rambles on from one unrelated buzz topic to another, much completely fabricated. Isn't the AVMA concerned with SCIENTIFIC LOGIC and professionalism?
It is also interesting to note that the Saul Foundation is given as the contact for her Animal Farm Foundation. Her brother is a primary stakeholder in that foundation.
Her brother who also happens to work for the US Federal government, despite an embarrassing ethics breach that forced a sudden departure from a NY political race.
A brother who was involved with the convicted and emprisoned lobbyist Abramoff.
https://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2011/04/two-faces-of-petsmart.html see the comments.
One must also remember that CDC members did not always tout dog lobbying nonsense. In 1989, prior to the AVMA and HSUS gaining roles as authors of fatal dog attack reports, the CDC questioned the numbers presented by the HSUS:
CDC: Humane Society Doesn't Tell Full Story Of Nation's Deaths, Injuries From Dog Bites
September 15, 1989 – A study by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta found that dogs bite and kill people three times as often as reported in Humane Society statistics, with pit bulldogs the most frequent aggressors. The typical victim is a child younger than 10. The study found that 157 people died of dog bites between 1979 and 1988. Dogs bite and kill people three times as often as reported in Humane Society statistics, with pit bulldogs the most frequent aggressors, a government study released Thursday shows.
Guess what happens after this year? Randall Lockwood of the HSUS and AVMA goons became authors on subsequent fatal dog attack studies. By 1998-2000 the CDC was hosed after 10 years of pressure by these groups.
There's a bit of a mirror with advice regarding bear attacks. Bear experts will say to play is a grizzly attacks but fight a black bear. That's because black bears attack less often but when they do they usually expressly want to kill you. Sure, black bears and grizzlies are different species, so the analogy is not perfect. But still, it shows that relatively subtle thought is possible and that not all members of a general category are identical.
Dog Bite Severity scale…Notice Levels 5 and 6 are the Hallhark of the Pit Bull and the Rottweiler.
Level 1- Dog growls, lunges, snarls-no teeth touch skin. Mostly intimidation behavior.
Level 2- Teeth touch skin but no puncture. May have red mark/minor bruise from dog’s head or snout, may have minor scratches from paws/nails. Minor surface abrasions acceptable.
Level 3- Punctures ½ the length of a canine tooth, one to four holes, single bite. No tearing or slashes. Victim not shaken side to side. Bruising.
Level 4- One to four holes from a single bite, one hole deeper than ½ the length of a canine tooth, typically contact/punctures from more than canines only. Black bruising, tears and/or slashing wounds. Dog clamped down and shook or slashed victim.
Level 5- Multiple bites at Level 4 or above. A concerted, repeated attack.
Level 6- Any bite resulting in death of a human
Learn it…Live it!