Posts tagged ‘red herring’

“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).

“The story doesn’t 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 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

“Pomeranians kill too!”

Maul Talkers like to point out the single instance since the Big Bang when a pomeranian dog killed a 6-week old baby. The pomeranian phrase is used to minimize the massive number of victims pit bulls have disfigured, maimed and killed since the late 1970s.

Pomeranian Kills 6-Week-Old
GirlSeptember 21, 2001
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A small Pomeranian dog killed a 6-week-old baby while the infant’s caretaker briefly left the child unattended to warm a bottle of milk, authorities said.
The relative, who was caring for the infant girl, found her head buried in the dog’s mouth Saturday night, sheriff’s Deputy Cruz Solis said. The girl died of head trauma at an area hospital, he said.
The baby’s name was withheld because her parents were out of the country and had not been notified, Solis said.
The relative has not been charged. Animal control officers took the dog.
Pomeranians are a breed of miniature canines that have a foxlike face, pointy ears and long, fluffy hair. The deputy said Pomeranian attacks are rare.
“Obviously it doesn’t take much to kill a 6-week old baby but it’s not something that happens with that breed,” Solis said. –

“Dogs don’t attack for no reason”

Another blame the victim phrase is, “Dogs don’t attack for no reason.” The goal of the phrase is to deny the victim’s and other witnesses’ version of the attack and to essentially blame the attack on anything but the dog. A commenter in an article published by the Evening News, “Boy savaged by ‘gentle’ pet,” states:

This comment won’t be popular but…Dogs don’t attack for “no reason”. Something will have triggered it, the report mentions that the dog went rigid and started growling, so what did the child do immediately before that? What provoked the attack? – Dan

“All dogs are individuals”

It’s not known precisely when this term began, but it was mostly likely penned by guru Maul Talker Ledy VanKavage, a hired gun for Best Friends Animal Society. It is repeated by Animal Farm Foundation and many other pro-pit bull groups. The term is strategically designed to flatten the dangerous dog issue by extracting a specific breed. More hideously, it anthropomorphizes the issue by specifically stating that “dogs are individuals” and share the same constitutional and civil rights as human beings.

“All dogs bite”

“All dogs bite” is a phrase used by Maul Talkers to minimize the serious and fatal injury pit bulls inflict on human beings and animals. The phrase is used to flatten the dangerous dog breed issue by placing all breeds on the same dangerousness scale. Maul Talkers commonly say that chihuahuas bite, too, denying that the tiny dog’s bite is any different than what is inflicted by the jaws of a pit bull. Part of the term is also used in a book titled, Dogs Bite: But Balloons and Slippers Are More Dangerous, indicating that balloons and slippers are more dangerous than pit bulls.

Renowned Maul Talker, Bill Bruce, head of Calgary’s animal bylaw services, recently took matters a step further by claiming that a chihuahua inflicted a bite “as big as a tennis ball.” He carefully leaves out what breed the chihuahua was mixed with as well.

The bottom line, says Bruce, is all dogs can bite.
“The worst bite I saw was by a 15-lb chihuahua cross which took a (chunk) almost as big as a tennis ball out of a person’s leg,” he says. – Pit nutter Bill Bruce