Posts tagged ‘avoiding the question’

“The most ‘maligned’ breed”

This term appears to have taken root in the early 1990’s, just after pit bulls spent the 1980’s on a killing spree, (which has only increased since). During the 1980’s, the pit bull breed amassed 45 deaths versus the next top killing breed, the German Shepherd, which amassed 13 in the same period. The Rottweiler community adopted the same verbiage in 1996, just after the breed catapulted to the top killer from 1993 to 1996. “The most ‘maligned’ breed” terminology, however, is primarily used by pit bull advocates in an effort to gain sympathy for the dog.

The stranger may see only a “pit bull” on a leash held by an obvious fool. Your behavior and the behavior of your dog may be the only opportunity this stranger will ever have to see the positive side of what has become the most maligned breed in the history of dogdom. – American Pit Bull Terrier Handbook

“Are you a biologist?”

As demonstrated by the question, “Are you a geneticist?” the similar question, “Are you a biologist?” comes up at the first mention of the pit bull breed’s genetic heritage. In a lovely YouTube video that depicts a pit bull owner egging his dog to “get it boy” (to continue clamping down on a rope), user “bizzo518” responds to a comment:

where did you pull your info????? are you a vet, dog behaviorist, biologist….or what…..the avg domestic dog bites at around 320psi, a german shepard,pitt, and rotty were tested….guess what the pitt generated the LEAST amount of psi….DONT TALK SHIT AND POST STUFF IF YOU ARE AN UNEDUCATED ASS………. – bizzo518

“Are you a geneticist?”

The term is often used by pit bull advocates to derail or condemn a person who mentions the genetic heritage of the pit bull breed, which was selectively bred for explosive aggression to “rule” the fighting pit. Dogfighters even took selective breeding further for the breed by selecting for the “gamest” dog, a dog that will fight to its death. A recent article published by the Commercial Appeal and authored by Tom Graves (My Thoughts: Pit bull epidemic requires passage of breed-specific ordinance) exemplifies this.

1) Are you a geneticist? Are you a biologist? No, you are a professor of literature. You have no scientific backing for any of your claims about “fighting DNA” or that one breed of dog is genetically unlike any other dog. In fact, you should know all about writing statements with no support. I’m sure you do not let your students get away with such claims. – PitBullOwner

“Dachshunds are more aggressive”

After a study was published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science in 2008, which showed that “sausage” dogs were the most aggressive breed, Maul Talkers took to the streets clamouring victory. The ridiculous study — which in no way measured the severity of the bite — is often used by Maul Talkers to show that dachshunds are more dangerous than pit bulls. It must be noted that the majority of pit bull owners are strongly anti-small dogs and particularly dislike Dachshunds.

I’ve found little dogs are more snappy… My Shih Tzu would bite you a lot quicker than any of the other dogs, and my bully will lick you to death, or knock you over leaning on you for a scratch…. my sister had 2 little ankle biters, and one of them would bite you if you even tried to pet it…. Of course, that means I’m PRO big dog, anti little dogMollie’s Nana

Every dachshund I’ve ever met has been mean. I’m sure there are nice ones out there…but I’ve yet to meet one in my personal experience, and I work with dogs everyday as a kennel assistant! It’s always the little breed dogs that are the meanest IMO. – Anonymous

In the 27-years that Merritt Clifton of Animal People has been tracking serious and fatal dog attacks, pit bulls caused serious bodily harm to 1,451 persons, maimed 777 and killed 153. Dachshunds on the other hand, caused serious bodily harm to 5 persons, maimed 5 and killed 1. The victim killed was an 81-year old invalid woman and the attack involved a pack of six dogs, of which at least two were dachshunds. (See: Attacks by Packs of Dogs Involving Predation on Human Beings).

“An ‘attack’ with no bite”

The distorted logic, if there was no bite, there was no attack, is employed by Maul Talkers to minimize injuries suffered by victims even when the injuries result in death. For instance, after Plainfield AC officer Theresa Foss was knocked to the ground by a pit bull causing fatal head injury, the National Canine Research Council wrote on their website:

However, it was eventually disclosed that the dog did NOT inflict any bites. Without a bite, it is not accurate to classify this as an “attack.” It is certainly not unheard of for excited dogs to knock people over; therefore, it is entirely possible that this was an over-exuberant (non-aggressive) dog and not a dog intent on inflicting injury. – NCRC

A separate incident that resulted in death due to serious head injury after being knocked to the ground by an “exuberant” dog involved letter carrier Hao Yun “Eddie” Lin.

“The story doesn’t add up”

bethany-stephens-does-not-add-up
A well-trodden response after a serious or fatal pit bull attack by Maul Talkers is, “The story doesn’t add up.” The intention is to minimize the attack by suggesting that something other than the pit bull is responsible for the gruesome crime. Likely parties to blame are the victim or the parent for leaving the child unsupervised. A derivative of this phrase is, “The facts don’t add up.” In December 2017, after pit bull advocate Bethany Stephens was killed by her two pit bulls in a “grisly mauling” in Goochland County, Virginia, variations of this phrase were used thousands of times by pit bull advocates in social media threads.

Barbara Norris, who says she was best friends with the victim, says the dogs she knew would never turn on her friend. She says the account of what happened doesn’t add up. “Those dogs would not attack her,” said Norris. “They’d kill you with kisses.” – Barbara Norris
“We will not take responsibility for something that we believe our dog did not do.” The owners of the pit bull chose to keep their identity disclosed. They say Dziadul’s story doesn’t add up. – Pit bull owners
Why would anyone leave their child unattended, strapped in a highchair, while they are off in another room? Why couldn’t the child go with them? Something just doesn’t add up in this story. What was going on that was sooooo important that the child was left unattended… – Marsha
Why didnt the mother hear the boy crying when it first happened in the bathroom.then the baby got drugged outside,and you mean to tell me the mother didnt hear the baby screaming and crying..and why didnt the mother call 911 instead of calling a neighbor?..something not adding up here. – Dimitri Thierry [Learn more about this story and the “Save Bear” campaign]

“Media sensationalism”

Maul Talkers use the term “media sensationalism” to minimize serious and fatal pit bull maulings. Their intention is to allege that the attack is “no big deal” and is merely a matter of media sensationalism. According to Google News Archives, the term was adopted in the mid 1980’s when the first round of U.S. cities began adopting pit bull laws. The term is also closely related to: media hysteria.

Media should stop the sensationalizing about pit bulls
$2.95 – Chicago Sun-Times – NewsBank – Aug 10, 1987
But since it was a pit bull, the media milked it for all they could. … media start providing more of the truth about these dogs, and less
The Controversy Over Pit Bulls
Pay-Per-View – Los Angeles Times – ProQuest Archiver – Jul 11, 1987
Your editorial “Muzzling the Pit Bull” (July 1) was pure sensationalism. … The time has come for the media to stop …
Council to get Pit Bull Measure Without Staff …
$2.95 – Sacramento Bee – NewsBank – Aug 28, 1987
Other speakers said the ordinance and others like it were becoming popular because of unfair, sensational media coverage
Pit Bull Politics Raises Howl in S. Florida
$2.95 – Miami Herald – NewsBank – Jul 4, 1985
Sensational media attention, they contend, unfairly makes every pit bull seem like a land shark, a four-legged biting machine. …

“Lightning kills more people”

Pit nutter Adam Goldfarb, who heads up the Pets at Risk program at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), likes to point out to media members as often as possible that one is more likely to be killed by a “bolt of lightning than by a dog“. A Google Search of “lightening kills adam goldfarb” yields numerous results.

Shortly after Goldfarb’s statement was picked up by media sources, a respected member of the human-animal bond community, Dr. Alan M. Beck, wrote a letter that was published in Animal People Sept 09. Beck’s letter addresses many issues including how Goldfarb’s statement minimizes serious and fatal dog attacks.

Dog attack deaths & risk of lightning

In an article in my local newspaper today, a spokesperson for a major humane organization, in an attempt to minimize the risk to the public from dog attacks, is quoted as saying that more people are killed by lightning than dogs.

The National Weather Service said there were 27 lightning deaths as of this date in 2009, 28 in 2008, and 45 in 2007. This reflects the success of efforts to reduce the numbers of deaths from lightning strikes, which have historically killed an average of 73 Americans per year.

The highest number of people ever killed by dogs in one year in the U.S. was 33, in 2007. The average in this decade is more than 20, about double the average of the preceding two decades. Thus the death tolls from lightning and dog attacks are converging.

The humane society spokesperson failed to point out that even though lightning deaths are rare and becoming fewer, we still do whatever we can to minimize the risk, e.g., clearing public swimming pools during electrical storms, suspending golf games, installing lightning rods, and doing public education.

Attention to any public health risk is influenced by severity, the impacted population, and the economic interests of those affected.

Minimizing rabies has a huge veterinary and pharmaceutical establishment supporting it, so we respond to the disease despite its extremely rare occurrence in the U.S.

Minimizing dog attacks has no such economic support, so we minimize their importance by minimizing perception of the occurrence, even though fatal and disfiguring dog attacks are hundreds of times more common in the U.S. than human cases of rabies.

As they say at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, it is naïve to think disease is simply the presence of a pathogen.

Alan M. Beck, Sc.D. Professor & Director
Center for the Human-Animal Bond
School of Veterinary Medicine
Purdue University

“All dogs are unpredictable”

Much like “All dogs bite,” and “All dogs have teeth,” this phrase is used by Maul Talkers to flatten the dangerous dog breed issue by placing all breeds on the same dangerousness scale. This phrase, however, is especially misleading as unpredictable aggression is a proven genetic trait of the breed, and pit bulls are widely known by members of the public to unpredictably attack.

In Colorado Dog Fanciers v. Denver, which has withstood numerous legal challenges, the court noted fourteen separate areas of differences that pit bulls exhibit than other dog breeds including: strength, manageability of temperament, unpredictability of aggression, tenacity, pain tolerance and manner of attack (e.g. the pit bull bite style).

All dogs are unpredictable! Not just pit bulls! You ask why I would want to own a pit bull (which have been called the ‘nanny dog’ by the way)…Let’s see, they are good with children, they are very loyal, and just want to please. – Anonymous
ALL ANIMALS ARE UNPREDICTABLE. IVE OWNED A PITBULL FOR 7 YRS NOW AND THE ONLY THING HE AS EVER DONE IS LICK MY 4 GIRLS TO DEATH AND KNOCK THEM OVER PLAYING. – Nothing2little

“All dogs have teeth”

Just like the phrase, “All dogs bite,” the phrase, “All dogs have teeth,” is used by Maul Talkers to flatten the dangerous dog breed issue by placing all breeds on the same dangerousness scale. All dogs have teeth; therefore, all dogs have the propensity to KILL goes the theory, despite the fact the pit bulls kill more human beings than all other dog breeds combined. For instance in a 3-year period (2006 to 2008), pit bulls killed 52 people. All other breeds combined killed 41.

ALL dogs have teeth and can bite – Sample anti-BSL letter
Here’s a newsflash—all dogs have teeth. All dogs have the ability to bite and cause damage. – Pit nutter
All dogs have teeth, and ALL DOGS BITE… dont blame the pit bulls. – Pit nutter Diane Huges
“This is simply canine behavior not a breed specific behavior,” said Ron Cole of San Francisco. “All dogs have teeth. All dogs can be potential lethal weapons.” – Pit nutter Ron Cole