I mean yes, there are more Pit bull type dogs in the US (the most popular dog in 2011) so obviously there will be more involvements w/ the breed then any other breed. There are more of them then any other type of dog, this equals more attacks...simple. But even w/ that in mind, do you know what your actual chances of getting attacked by one of these dogs are? Slim to none.
sometimes the pit bull apologists blame pit bull violence on the owners, sometimes they question the breed, sometimes they play the race card and blame the media and sometimes they point to the supposed massive popularity of america's dog to justify their over representation in these statistics of violence. whatever the flavor of defense the nutters serve up, it is typically followed up by a condescending minimization of risk by pointing to guns, cars, bath tubs, ATVs, bees, cows and coconuts as greater threats to life and limb. KAREN DELISE has honed the condescending minimization to an art.
it is often said that pit bulls make up approximately 5% of the dog population. i am skeptical about an accurate estimation of the pit bull population given their use in underground dog fighting and their attraction to the criminal element & the scofflaw types in society. add to that the high number of irresponsible people who fail to spay and neuter pit bulls which leads to more pit mixes, i could easily see their population doubling 5%.
popularity is somewhat dependent on region. for example, there are probably many more huskies in alaska than there are in arizona and many more pit bulls in arizona than there are in alaska but the easy peasy lab appears to be fairly universal in its appeal. the most popular dog in my area is by far the lab and lab mixes and i would estimate that the pit firmly occupies second place. whether pit bulls make up 5%, 10% or even 20% of the dog population, they most certainly do not make up 70% of all dogs in the united states, which is roughly their percentage of fatalities last year.
i took a quick look at petfinder.com last night and here are the most common breeds available for adoption.
23,670 labs 13.7%
18,380 pits 10.6%
15,338 chihs 8.9%
8,305 beagles 4.8%
7,167 boxers 4.2%
6,949 GSDs 4.0%
5,802 dachs 3.4%
5,464 amstaffs 3.2%
as i look around me, i'd say that the top four breeds looks about right. but i'd probably swap the boxer out for goldens and swap the amstaffs for huskies.
if there is any truth to what pit bull advocates say about breed popularity resulting in an increase in attacks then the top four killers, scalpers and amputators would be represented according to their popularity: labs, pits, chihuahuas and beagles.
i leave the nutters with a few questions to ponder. why was there not a single lab fatality in 2011? why hasn't a single lab been credited for scalping a child or amputating an arm or a leg of a senior citizen in 2011? and why wasn't the popular chihuahua or a beagle involved in inflicting this sort of trauma in 2011?
pit bull owners also like emphasize the risk of being killed by a pit bull, or any dog, as ridiculously low. at least one CDC doctor recognized the growing threat that dogs pose and in particular the threat that pit bulls pose in 1989.
"We're trying to focus public attention on this greatly underestimated public hazard," said one of the researchers, Dr Richard Sattin, chief of unintentional-injuries section of the Centers of Disease Control.
In 1979, pit bulls accounted for 20 percent of fatal attacks by dogs. That figure had risen to 62 percent by 1988.
Nobody knows the dog population of the United States or the exact breakdown by breed, Sattin said.
However, he added: "We do not believe that pit bulls represent anywhere near 42% percent of dogs in the United States. Therefore, we believe that the pit bull excess in deaths is real and growing.
Dr Sattin's warning was not only NOT heeded in 1989, the CDC completely reversed their position and officially claimed that breed doesn't matter. as a result, the pit bull menace continued to expand and now in 2011, pit bulls account for 71% of fatalities.
Eugene Register-Guard, September 15, 1989 (thank you vintage!)
Dr Richard Sattin is the president of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research.