Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs
DogsBite.org - In April 2011, the Annals of Surgery published a study about severe and fatal injuries inflicted by pit bulls, Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs, produced by Texas doctors. The study concluded: "Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs. Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the US mortality rates related to dog bites."
The study enraged pro-pit bull advocacy groups.
On April 26, 2012 the Maryland Court of Appeals issued its landmark ruling Tracey v. Solesky that declared pit bulls inherently dangerous and attached strict liability when a pit bull attacks a person. This liability is extended to the landlord when a tenant's pit bull attacks, as was the case in Solesky. The Court cited the entire abstract of the Texas medical study in its opinion. This further enraged pit bull advocates and animal welfare groups that opposed the Court's decision.
In May 2012, Karen Delise of the National Canine Research Council, an entity that produces pro-pit bull propaganda ad nauseum, sent an e-letter of complaint to the Annals of Surgery about the study, berating the doctors. Delise's letter was recently posted to a forum board (scroll to read E-kul's comments). In July 2012, a board member of DogsBite.org wrote a rebuttal to Delise's e-letter. Due to submission technology difficulties, the journal did not receive this response.
DogsBite.org is publishing it now for the record.
RE: Imprudent use of Unreliable Dog Bite Tabulations and Unpublished Sources by Karen Delise
by Carol Miller | July 17, 2012
Carol Miller RN Disclosure: Board Member of DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims’ group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks.Regarding the recent e-letter to the editor of the Annals of Surgery written by Karen Delise, Licensed Vet Tech (LVT) with her thoughts on the April 2011 publication of, Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs by Doctors Bini, Cohen et al.Full disclosure by Ms. Delise would have shown that the National Canine Research Council, LLC is owned by the same individual that owns Animal Farm Foundation whose mission statement is: “Securing equal treatment and opportunity for ‘Pit Bull’ dogs.” I believe that this breed-specific advocacy viewpoint may color Ms. Delise’s remarks.I find significant errors in Ms. Delise’s arguments. First, she takes issue with a case presentation. She states that there is “no documented evidence from any authority that either dog involved in the incident were pit bulls.” The mauling death of an 11 month old baby is hardly an occurrence I would classify as an “incident.” Ms. Delise fails to recognize that the dogs involved were owned by the baby’s grandmother, who was present during the attack that occurred in her own home. The grandmother would presumably know what kind of dogs she owned. Furthermore, the grandmother was later charged with a first-degree felony because it was not the first or second time her two “pit bulls” had shown aggressive behavior.Ms. Delise discusses the death of James Chapple Jr. She states that “Mr. Chapple received severe injuries but fully recovered and was discharged from the hospital.” Mr. Chapple’s left arm was amputated, his right arm was badly mauled. A full recovery is impossible in this circumstance. Mr. Chapple’s injuries were so severe that a bill changing Tennessee law regarding vicious dogs was introduced. Video equipment was set up in Mr. Chapple’s hospital room so he could testify to legislators. Mr. Chapple lived long enough to see the bill signed into law. As a hospital nurse, I recognize that there are several reasons for discharge from the hospital, one is recovery, and another is that there is no further treatment that can be offered to the patient, they are discharged home with family care and Home Health nursing care. The listing of cardiovascular complications on the death certificate would not be unexpected. As a Cardiac Rehab nurse, I would expect cardiovascular deterioration in a newly disabled person with underlying coronary artery disease.Another area of discrepancy is Ms. Delise’s “Unresolvable disagreement as to breed descriptor.” That case involved a two month old infant residing in Waianae, Hawaii, killed in the family home by a dog that Ms. Delise claims was a “Sharpei mix” and “not a pit bull.” A review of police records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, shows the Honolulu Police Department Scientific Investigation Section report of a buccal swab sample “recovered from the mouth of a “pit-bull/shar-pei mixed dog.” The location named in the report was the Honolulu City and County Morgue. Page 5 of 6 of the Police Incident report names the dog as a “Sharpei/pitbull mix” as does a Follow Up report dated 10-5-08, and the CID Closing report dated 1/05/09, page 3 of 4. In the complete police report the dog is never identified as simply a “Sharpei mix.”Ms. Delise ends her letter with her advice. “Dr. Bini and his colleagues would have been well advised to consult animal professionals on a subject matter that was clearly outside their area of expertise.” I would suggest that a scientific medical injury study pertaining to the public health and safety of human beings is only suited for human medical professionals.
Carol Miller RN
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Delise's e-letter was never published in the physical journal. It was strictly an e-letter of complaint. Only medical professionals who are subscribers to the Annals of Surgery were able to read it. The number of medical professionals with an interest in her letter would be minimal. At last count, the e-letter had less than 30 views, according to the journal publication software system. Frankly, the only sunshine Delise's e-letter ever received was through promotion by Delise herself.
08/21/12: Maryland Court of Appeals Narrows Decision to Pit Bulls; Removes Cross-Bred Pit Bulls
04/30/12: Maryland Court of Appeals Holds Pit Bull Owners and Landlords Accountable...
05/21/11: Texas Doctors Produce Study: Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs
Photo: Commercial Appeal