Posts tagged ‘special pleading’

“Magical rehabilitation”

Magical rehabilitation describes pit bull owners, rescuers and trainers who claim to quickly “cure” a pit bull — eliminating the dog’s aggressive traits — after a serious mauling. A perfect example of magical rehabilitation occurred after James Harrison’s pit bull, who mauled three people in a single attack (a triple mauler), and within 20 days, was “cured” and ready for adoption by the public.

Somehow between May 30 and June 20 (about 20 days), the triple mauling dog now named Duke has been magically “rehabilitated” by Mary Kay Kain. The animal has gone from being a pit bull to an “American Bandogge Mastiff” and from being a triple mauler to a dog that “loves to sit back in your lap and get belly rubs and kisses on his head.”  –

“Freak accident”

Owners of pit bulls often say after a serious or fatal pit bull attack that it was a “freak accident”. Google News Archives shows clear results of this when typing in the terms: freak accident pit bull. The term has been in continuous use by pit bull owners since 1985, after Wally Robert’s pit bull, named Napoleon, killed Deborah Pernell while she slept. The phrase is a complete denial of responsibility. Such occurrences are neither freak nor accidental when involving pit bulls. The fact that parents of victimized children and police authorities 25-years later still call such attacks “freak accidents” is regrettable and untrue.

“Dexter had no history of biting and we feel this was a freak accident.” – Annie Hornish, the Connecticut Senior State Director of the Humane Society of the United States, after her own pit bull killed a woman.
“We are all traumatized with this freak accident and are praying for Adrieanna and her family” – The Herald Family
It was a freak accident,” she said. The woman, who asked not to be named, said her children have played with the same dog at the Duck Hill Springs home many times before, adding that the dog owner “didn’t raise the dog to be mean or vicious.” – Unnamed neighbor
Rodriguez told the responding officer she had warned Edward Cahill to euthanize the dog, because the dog was violent and unpredictable. But today she says that is not true. –snip — “I don’t want people to think bad of pit bulls,” Rodriguez said. “It was a freak accident. He loved those dogs.” – Blanca Rodriguez
“I think what happened is that she had a ponytail and she reached down to get something and one of the dogs said…” — snip — Klemetti maintains that the dogs had never hurt people before and that the attack was a “freak incident.” – Steve Klemetti
A day after the family’s pit bull fatally attacked his pregnant wife, Greg Napora said Friday he doesn’t blame the dog. He even plans to bury his spouse, Darla, with their pet’s cremated remains in her casket.” –snip– “Whatever happened right now was not the breed’s fault” –snip– “It was just a freak accident.” – Greg Napora
Cook was bitten on his arms, neck, stomach, and leg. Nicholas Michael [Cook] can’t make sense of the attack. “I didn’t train him to fight or nothing, this was a freak accident,” he said. – Nicholas Michael [Cook]
It was a freak accident. It could have happen to anybody she’s [the neighbor] got three kids of her own. It could have happened to one of hers.” – April Sumrall
Hours before being mauled to death by the family pit bull, 12-year- old Nicholas Faibish had been told to stay in the basement … Maureen Faibish, who called The Chronicle on Saturday, trying to make sense of what she called a “freak accident.” – Maureen Faibish
It was just a freak accident that it got loose and went over there and attacked her dog,” says Vincent. “It’s not like Bella did it on purpose. – Jessica Vincent
“She could have bled to death,” he said. “The whole thing was just a freak accident, but what we couldn’t believe was how long it took for the medics to get here.” – John Ogden
Kenneth Smith, the child’s father, called it a “freak accident.” The animal had been chained to a tree but broke loose and lunged through a hole in the yard fence, he said. – Kenneth Smith
Agerson said her dog was friendly, and she was shocked by his action. She said he’s been destroyed … “It was a tragedy — a freak accident,” Agerson said – Tina Agerson

The following is a “real” freak accident:

Woman killed in freak New York lift crush
A woman died in a New York City office building after lift doors dragged her upwards and crushed her.
Officials say the woman, identified as advertising agency employee Suzanne Hart, was attempting to enter the lift when her foot or leg became caught.
The car then quickly rose, dragging her body into the shaft and killing her … The accident happened at 10:00 local time (15:00 GMT), officials said, but medics were unable to reach her body immediately because she became stuck between the first and second floors. BBC News, December 2011

“It was a bait dog!”

Pit bull rescuers and animal shelter workers often call rescued pit bulls “bait dogs” in order to drive up sympathy and donations. They also use the term to as a way to adopt out dogs formerly used for fighting. The logic of a dogfighter using a pit bull as a bait dog makes little sense. Dogfighters typically kill cur pit bulls (pit bulls that refuse to fight). Any dog that can fight is an investment and worth protecting. Bait dogs, realistically, are more likely to be strays and dogs of other breeds.

Last week, Best Friends announced that one of Vick’s dogs, Bonita, died during a routine anesthesia procedure. The dog apparently had worn or filed down teeth and had required dental work. Best Friends chalks the bad teeth up to Bonita likely being a “bait dog,” when the condition might just be the result of longtime chain chewing on Vick’s property. The press release is masterful copy for soliciting donations. –

“Pit bulls have a bad rap!”

The phrase, “Pit bulls have a bad rap,” is so cliched that Bad Rap (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls) based their anachronistic name on it. Pit bull owners and advocates use the phrase to cast pit bulls as victims by saying, “Pit bulls are NOT EVIL, they just have a bad rap!” On the contrary, pit bulls have a very deserved reputation and one that is unmatched in the maiming and killing of innocent human beings and animals.

“Pit bulls have a bad rap,” says Shorty in an Animal Planet press release, “though they don’t deserve it at all. It’s what people have done to these pits or how they have trained them that caused this horrible misperception. Pit bulls are beautiful and energetic dogs that make wonderful companions and have the ability to bring out the best in just about any one – the elderly, children, the handicapped, and yes… even the little people of this world!” – Pit Boss, Animal Planet TV

“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.


One of the most overused anthropomorphic terms in the pit bull issue is “misunderstood”. As readers understand, a misunderstanding can only occur between human beings, as it requires human comprehension. The term misunderstood pit bull yields over 91 thousand Google Search results. Maul Talkers use the term to gain sympathy for the breed and to lure members of the public into being “educated” by a pit bull owner.

“A lot of people who are not raised with little people or have never been around them, think they’re nothing but circus acts and so forth. So you get that misunderstanding and you’re not taken serious. It’s the same with pit bulls. – Shorty Rossi, Pit Bull Boss, Animal Planet

“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.

“He was just playing”

This phrase is often used by pit bull owners and advocates after a pit bull unpredictably and unpleasantly attacks. The  intention is to minimize the attack by saying that the dog was “just playing”. For instance, after a pit bull attacked UFC fighter Kyacey Uscola in May — one bite puncturing through his penis — a pit nutter said the following:

“[Pit bulls] aren’t anymore aggressive than other breeds of dogs, but simply have a stronger bite which leads people to think that they’re attacking when to them they’re simply playing around. – doomrider7

Chet 99 on, who often posts pit bull mauling stories so that forum members can respond, posted a story about a pit bull that attacked its owners, sending one to the hospital. It was reported the next day that the dog was euthanized because of the severity of the injuries.

The couple was lucky their pit bull was just playing.
“He says there appears to be no reason the dog attacked them.”
NOT an attack. The pit bull was just playing. Sheesh, what’s the big deal? – ARepublicanForAllReasons

“Tragic accident”

Owners of pit bulls frequently say after a serious or fatal pit bull attack that it was a “tragic accident”. Google News Archives shows clear results of this when typing in the terms: tragic accident pit bull. The term has been in continuous use by pit bull owners since the mid-1980’s. Given today (2010), this term is a complete denial of responsibility. Pit bulls have been maiming and killing individuals on a regular basis for nearly 30 years. While these continuous occurrences are tragic, they are certainly not accidental.

The victim’s brother-in-law said, “This dog has never shown any aggression before. It slept in the bed with them. They’ve had the dog four years, and it never ever showed anything like this. This is a tragic accident. – David Todd
In yet another instance of an infant killed by a family pit bull, law enforcement officials are wrongly calling this preventable death a “tragic accident.” Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said, “These cases are very difficult, and obviously, it’s a very emotional topic. But sometimes … it’s just a tragic, tragic accident.” –
San Bernardino police called the incident a “tragic accident,” just as San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials did after a family pit bull killed 3-year old Omar Martinez in January. –
Mother shut boy in basement to protect him from pit bull / 12-year-old was killed by family dog; owner sees death as tragic accident but defends the breed as loving pets –
Wesley Barrentine is Wyno’s Stepfather-In-Law, he tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that her death was just a freak accident. “I don’t know why it happened it’s just a tragic accident,” Barrentine said. – Wesley Barrentine
A woman has died as the result of an a pit bull attack, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff … The sheriff is calling the incident, ” a very tragic accident and vicious attack.” – Lowndes County Sheriff
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office says it won’t pursue charges against a man whose pit bull mauled his 5-year-old nephew to death. Investigators say they found no signs of negligence. Sheriff Lupe Trevino told The Monitor in McAllen that the death appears to have been a tragic accident. – Sheriff Lupe Trevino

“Just being ‘playful’”

After a serious pit bull mauling, such as the incident involving Jeanette Cunningham, Maul Talkers will say that the dog was just being “playful”. The term is used to deny the pit bull’s responsibility in the attack. The pit bull, named Kiko, which the owners called “playful” and “harmless”, left Cunningham with permanent, disfiguring injuries.

To make matters worse, the dog’s owner objected to her animal being banned. She pleaded to keep it in her Burien home saying her dog was “playful” and “harmless.” – Ken Schram
A playful, pit bill turned violent in an instant…
“It was crazy because the dog’s so playful, even with the littler ones, it’s so playful… I guess it just didn’t want to be bothered today” – Willie Morgan
hey bill why dont you get facts before you open your d-c-suc=-r. pits are breed to be loyal family dogs. do u own a pit bill? didnt think so and if the dog was attack the lady she would have more then teeth marks. the PUPPY was most likely playingPit nutter Dan