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12 thoughts on “2019 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs

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  1. Thank you for your exhaustive research and detailed study.

    What I find compelling is: “Police and animal control only released images in six cases.” The authorities have a reason to take documentary photographs, but they don’t want to release this graphic information. Why?What could be their motive for refusing to release this information?

  2. That is a good question. Certainly, if there is a criminal investigation, police usually do not allow anything to be released. If there is no criminal investigation beyond a few days, releasing images of the dog would be up to police or animal control/animal services (some animal service departments work under the police department and others are separate, operating autonomously or under the health department). If you consider the social media “fury” after the two rescue great danes killed Mary Matthews, one would think images of those dogs would have been released by the dog warden. However, her husband had just gotten out of jail that day, so police may have said absolutely no release until the investigation closes — death investigations can remain open for years and decades. By the time it does close, the media and public have moved on. It is also true that if the owner surrenders the dog(s), some of these dogs are put down within hours.

    It’s interesting how some departments are so forthcoming and others are not. What is strange to us is that most criminal investigations rely on whether there was a PREVIOUS attack. When images of the attackers are not shown to the public, police miss the opportunity for a member of the public to say, “I know that dog, it attacked and killed my dog last year.” Riverside County has a great policy. This is especially true for nonfatal attacks resulting in severe injury, which will surely result in a civil lawsuit. Quite literally, like Madera police releasing the image of Heather Anglin (“Help us find her”), all dogs involved in severe attacks should be released too. There could be multiple victims from multiple jurisdictions in past years. This is truer today than ever with the many dangerous dogs transported across state and county lines by “rescues” to elude a bite history.

    The other case that was on lockdown this year, where photos should have been released, is the case of Ryan Hazel, 14, who was killed by a professional “dog trainer’s” protection bred and trained dogs — a pack of them. Along with the photos should be the dogs’ names. Apparently, Scott Dunmore was keeping some of these dogs for other people at the time. “Schutzhund” is a tight circle. Releasing the photos and names of these dogs was in the public interest.

  3. Social media is helping greatly with this effort. One of the most useful things is grabbing post about the dog that went up before the attack. The pro pit lobby would say none of those dogs are pit bulls because no one can id a pit visually. When you have post from the family (often times the victim of the attack) going on and on about their pit bull and saying “don’t bully my bread”(sic) it confirms the owners knew they were pits.

    Anytime they say pits cant be visually IDed I ask them how do they know they have a pit bull then. I don’t know of any other breed with a butt crack on their face. Hey, they haven’t tired to rename them in a while. I had been pushing for “Indentation Male Bovine Terriers” but “Butt Faced Terrier” might go over.

    • The whole “no one can visually ID a pit” disinfo relies on two things:

      1. The label-swapping of pit type breeds among the registry organizations, and the lack of universal recognition by these organizations of Exactly What Is a Pit Bull.

      2. The flood of pits mixed with other breeds, publicized with the pit lineage obscured. Hello, lab mix!

      None of this means that physical traits and the distinct physical appearance of pit bulls cannot be seen when, uhh, these things are seeable.

      Block heads, joker “smiles,” small eyes, smaller out-pointing half-tipped (or cropped) ears, overdeveloped shoulders and a super-muscular frame are all physical traits that were selected for over generations of breeding to produce superior fighting dogs.

      So when people see a muscular dog with a big block head, they aren’t wrong to think “fighting bloodline dog” — they are actually probably highly accurate in that assessment.

      If that person lives in the US or any other country where pit bulls are prevalent, it is also quite reasonable for a person who sees a muscular dog with a big block head to think “pit bull,” because the odds are excellent that there is a high percentage of pit bull types in the bloodline.

      The relationship between physical traits and appearance in ALL dogs is common sense. If it looks like a poodle, it probably is a poodle. If it looks like a Beagle, it probably is a Beagle. If it looks like a Great Pyr, it probably is a Great Pyr. Looking like Breed X is a large part of what the breeders if Breed X have strived for over the centuries — dogs that can be visually identified as Breed X. There are instances where closely related but different breeds are physically very similar, but this is because they are … closely related breeds!

      Leave it to pit nutters and the cynical pit lobbyists to turn a common sense item of dogdom on its head. We’re supposed to believe that pit bulls are the ONLY dog that has been selectively bred over hundreds of years with the result that their appearance is so random, you never know when you’re looking at one. Riiiiiight.

  4. It looks like pits are 75% of the killers that have pics. That may be skewed because it seems pit owners have to post pics online. What is the point of having a pit if you can’t be worshiped for choosing to “adopt not shop”?

    • That’s precisely the point, Dr Duke. Seeking adulation is a big part of why people *choose* to own pit bulls.

      Don’t think for one minute that they’re going to a shelter to pick out a “lab mix.” No way. They know *exactly* what they’re looking for.

      Gotta keep feeding that narcissism!

  5. Another year of looking at the beautiful, innocent faces of the victims of dog attacks in this country. Vulnerability is clearly a trigger. Tiny children, elderly, seizure victims, alcoholics, homeless, etc.

    Another commenter had said something along the lines of “if pit bulls only killed their owners, I wouldn’t care as much”. I agree. If dangerous dogs only killed the inbred troglodytes who breed and advocate for their shit dogs, it would eventually work itself out. The problem is that it’s more often an innocent victim who had no choice in whether some aberrant land shark shares their space.

    We shouldn’t have to worry about getting killed by a dog, or packs of dogs, in this country. It’s disgusting and shameful. It’s preventable.
    Animal advocates love to quote the saying by Ghandi “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” How about the way the victims of dog attacks are treated? They’re often victimized again by disgusting, soulless, animal advocates who say the most abhorrent things. Killer dogs are championed and protected. The dead are denied justice because of the pathetic laws regarding vicious dogs. This is not “moral progress”. This is moral decay.

    Seeing those faces of the innocent victims always breaks my heart. I pray that this year will be different, but I’m afraid it will just get worse. My thoughts are with the families left behind to mourn their loved ones.

  6. Colleen, I wanted to pass along a link from a reddit post in which the author, a former pit owner & defender who has now come around to being in favor of BSL, specifically credits the dog ID photos on this site for being a major factor in his or her change of mind:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/BanPitBulls/comments/eow1m6/how_i_evolved_from_a_proud_pit_bull_owner_to_an/

    See Point #2 in the post. But the whole thing is well worth reading.

    People not otherwise persuaded by any of the other evidence in these cases may still be persuaded by seeing photo after photo after photo after photo of big blocky heads of the dogs that have killed humans, and quite often utterly defenseless humans.

    Your work is making an impact. Thank you.

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