After two attacks involving pit bulls in Montlake earlier this year, animal control advocates from Sudden, Random, Unprovoked & Violent (SRUV) have responded to reader comments from the initial story and a follow-up post from one of the dog owners involved. SRUV covers dog attack incidents across the country and argues for Breed Specific Regulations. Here’s their letter:
We’ve read with interest the posts about the recent pit bull attacks in Montlake, and the numerous comments which accompanied the posts. We would like to correct some of the misinformation.
SRUV is an animal welfare blog with an international audience. We have a special interest in pit bulls and advocate for stronger public safety legislation in the form of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). BSL can include microchipping for identification, mandated spay/neutering, or insurance requirements. Over 500 communities in the country currently protect their citizens and more vulnerable animal companions with BSL, and more are adopting some form of BSL each year.
Pit bull attacks like the one in Montlake occur on a daily basis throughout the country. In 2013 there have been twelve fatal dog attacks, and eleven of those have been by pit bulls. Pit bull attacks which result in serious disfigurement or the loss of a limb occur at the rate of nearly one a day. Attacks on our animal companions are estimated to occur at a rate of 10x the attacks on humans. Sadly, the comments of the owners and advocates of pit bulls are as predictable as the attacks themselves. The comments under the Montlaker pit bull articles echo those we’ve read hundreds of times before. We’ve listed a few of those comments below, with our comments.
“The dogs did not intentionally bite this man. He got in between the fighting dogs, which is foolish and dangerous. This is common knowledge.”
- This comment assumes that two dogs are fighting, rather than one dog attacking the other. It also blames the human companion, a victim of the attack, for his injuries,“Poodles are more likely to bit their owners and people than pit bulls are.”
- This same commenter goes on to mention Chihuahuas and labs are known to bite. This is one of the most commen arguments of pit bull advocates. While it may be true that Chihuahuas bite, they have yet to kill a person. The important point to consider is the actuarial value of pit bull bites, which are astronomically higher. Comparing Chihuahua bites to the bites of a pit bull is an outrage to reason. For additional information contact SRUV.“Any animal can attack, any dog can bite”
- This is a horrible way to excuse the attack on the gentleman and his dog. This argument reached its most ridiculous height with the phraseAny dog is capable of any act at any time, which was coined by a pit bull advocacy group from the UK. The implication is that Yorkshire Terriers are as dangerous as pit bulls.“Pit bulls are the most abused and mistreated dog in our country”
- Wrong. Pit bulls enjoy the biggest, most professional advocacy campaign in the country, with staff attorneys, media representatives, and public relations gurus.“and the stats of people being attacked are almost all dogs who have been abused, unsocialized, and raised as attack/ fighting dogs.”
- Wrong again. Over half of the people killed by pit bulls this year have been killed by their own, much loved family pit bulls.
These comments are all from the initial article; the comments under the second article degenerate into name calling (ignorant, hater, etc), all of which come from those who advocate for the pit bulls. The exchanges under these articles demonstrate why pit bulls are this country’s next intractable problem, like gun ownership, gay rights, abortion, and immigration were. The advocates are guided by faith and emotion, and are fervent in their beliefsystems. There are many reasons why we are currently in the position we are, but this forum is not the place to address that question.
The SRUV authors have requested anonymity out of concern for “safety and peace of mind.”