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Hearing in dog attack case postponed

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

This Friday’s hearing on whether a Spotsylvania County woman’s dog should be declared dangerous has been postponed by one week.

The hearing had been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in Spotsylvania General District Court. The county attorney handling the case said it has been delayed until March 7 at noon.

Latoya Johnson, 33, of Hastings Count in the Lancaster Gate subdivision, was charged with letting her dog run at large and not having a county license for the dog after her dog reportedly killed another dog in the  subdivision on Jan. 12. Both charges are misdemeanors.

The dangerous dog classification is not a criminal charge but a legal classification. An earlier story provides details on the classification and the requirements associated with it.

Deputies were called to Hastings Court at 11:45 a.m. on Jan. 12 for reports of a pit bull attacking another dog, Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pearce said.

A woman was walking her Maltese when the pit bull got out of its owner’s house or yard, according to witnesses.

The woman attempted to keep the pit bull away by picking up the Maltese and calling for help, but the pit pull jumped up, grabbed the little dog from her arms and killed it, Pearce said.

This report provided information on safety when dealing with any dog. report.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/petdish/2014/02/25/hearing-in-dog-attack-case-postponed/

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  • ThatsWhatHeSays

    I would never let my dog near a pit bull. You can love them all you want, but they are a very dangerous breed.

    • anon

      “pit bull” not an actual breed. I had a friend with a golden lab when I was younger, it ate their cat literally ate it. No one put that dog down, why? It was a “family dog” dangerous is a relative term and should be limited to define the owners not the animals.

      • ThatsWhatHeSays

        Pitbulls are inherently more aggressive than other types of dogs. These stories are becoming all too common with pitbulls. If people can’t handle a pitbull or train them properly, they should not own them. I agree with you on that.

    • ustateach09

      She didn’t let the pitbull near her dog, the pitbull came after them.

      • ThatsWhatHeSays

        Even worse! LOL

  • separationcs

    Terrible beasts, those Molosser/pit breeds.

  • adv1sor

    Was Johnson ever convicted of the misdemeanor charges? Given what happened, why wouldn’t the dog be considered dangerous?

  • LisaAnne

    ALL DOGS- big or small, dangerous or not NEED TO BE ON A LEASH! Any thing can make them snap and attack, even your small, sweet, and innocent Fluffy!

  • JackRudolph

    Sooooo sick and tired of pit bulls as some sort of status symbol.

  • Tom

    If you want to own a pit bull you have to stand responsible for that dogs action. Is the dog dangerous? of course it is. Why was it off a leash is the owners problem and they should pay some retribution for letting this dangerous dog out. Another person mentioned these dogs are a sort of status symbol and I agree a lot of owners buy them for just that reason.

  • AL811

    No matter what type of dog it is the owner is responsible for its action. When anything attacks without provocation to kill it is dangerous. I would submit even people in that same category. Thats why we have jail terms for murder.

  • ustateach09

    ” reportedly killed another dog in the subdivision on Jan. 12?” the dod was killed, there isn’t anything reportedly about it. I’m glad the woman wasn’t out with a young child.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Merritt Clifton Editor OF Animal People:

    Of the 4,558 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 2,923 (64%) were pit bulls; 541 were Rottweilers; 3,696 were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 523 human fatalities, 269 were killed by pit bulls; 84 were killed by Rottweilers; 392 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds.

    Of the 2,593 people who were disfigured, 1,753 (67%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 319 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,169 (83%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

    Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict about 10 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class.

    Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 6% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Council Bluffs, Iowa.
    Pit bulls are not only problematic in large cities; they threaten mid-sized cities and small towns as well. Located in the heartland, Council Bluffs, Iowa has about 60,000 citizens.

    After a series of devastating attacks, beginning in 2003, Council Bluffs joined over 600 U.S. cities and began regulating pit bulls.

    The results of the Council Bluffs pit bull ban, which began January 1, 2005, show the positive effects such legislation can have on public safety in just a few years time:1.

    Council Bluffs: Pit Bull Bite Statistics.

    Year Pit Bull Bites % of All Bites.
    2004 29 23%.
    2005 12 10% (year ban enacted).
    2006 6 4%.
    2007 2 2%.
    2008 0 0%.
    2009 0 0%.
    2010 1 1%.
    2011 0 0%

  • Thomas McCartney

    Miss Universe Canada has joined the fight for a pit bull ban in B.C., and plans to make the effort a major part of her reign.

    Sahar Biniaz, 26, was crowned Miss Universe Canada on May 19, and thinks the provincial government should adopt either a pit bull ban or at least require that pit bulls must be leashed and muzzled at all times.

    The Richmond resident was a victim of a pit bull attack herself at the age of 14, a year after her family adopted a five-month-old pit bull from a breeder.

    The pit bull “came from a really nice environment,” she said, but “then I ended up getting 16 stitches.” Biniaz still bears the scars on her chest to this day.

    “I was just sitting down and it just kept staring at me, and I don’t know what aggravated it,” she said. “It just all of sudden… went off.”

    Biniaz said her parents ended up getting rid of the pit bull as opposed to putting it down, but every time she hears of a pit bull attack she remembers that day.

    “This is something you hear all the time, over and over again,” she said, noting that with her Miss Universe Canada title she now has “a voice… to bring more awareness to this [issue].”

    Biniaz said recent pit bull attacks — like the one on Emma-Leigh Cranford, 4, on Aug. 23 in White Rock — spurred her to act.

    Cranford survived with 40 stitches across her jaw, but not before a two-hour surgery at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

    Biniaz said she has already spoken with White Rock Coun. Alan Campbell, who said he would bring up the possibility of a ban when council reconvenes Sept. 17.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Toronto dog bites fell after pit bull ban
    Patrick Cain, Global News : Monday, November 14, 2011 02:12 PM

    The number of dog bites reported in Toronto has fallen since a ban on pit bulls took effect in 2005, public health statistics show.

    A total of 486 bites were recorded in 2005. That number fell generally in the six years following, to 379 in 2010.

    Provincial laws that banned ‘pit bulls,’ defined as pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and dogs resembling them took effect in August 2005. Existing dogs were required to be sterilized, and leashed and muzzled in public.

    Bites in Toronto blamed on the four affected breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010. This accounts for most of the reduction in total bites.

    The fall in bites blamed on the four breeds tracks a reduction in the dogs themselves, data obtained separately byglobalnews.ca under access-to-information laws shows. Some 1,411 Toronto dogs were in the four breeds in 2008, as opposed to 798 in mid-2011.

    “It is encouraging to hear that fewer people are victimized by dangerous dogs,” Ontario Attorney-General John Gerretson said in a statement.

    About 1,000 Ontario pit bulls have been put down since the ban took effect.

    With totals of Toronto dogs by breed and ten years of bite data, it is possible to see which dogs are most likely to bite in Toronto based on a ratio between dogs of a given breed in 2011 and reported bites over the decade between 2000 and 2010. Below are the 20 most bite-prone dogs. The four prohibited breeds all appear in the top eight slots.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Research showing severe dog bites are fewer in Manitoba areas with pit bull bans.

    The study, conducted by University of Manitoba scientists, shows the number of dog bites requiring hospitalization have decreased since pit bull bans went into effect in 2005.

    It states the number of hospitalization attacks fell from 3.5 per 100,000 population to 2.8 after the legislation took effect.

    Many people feel the breed is inherently aggressive.

    The study doesn’t purport to be the last word on the issue but does contain some compelling data, particularly when comparing Brandon, which has never prohibited pit bulls and Winnipeg, which has, said study co-author, Dr. Malathi Raghavan

    “I would not claim this is the ultimate study … all dogs bite,” she said.

    But she said the data collected from 16 larger Manitoba jurisdictions, along with recent Spanish and Texas studies suggesting similar results, is compelling.

    “We should pay attention to the fact there is something going on here,” said Raghavan.

    The Spanish data showed similar hospitalization reductions in the absence of pit bulls while the Texas research indicated higher rates of death, severe injury and treatment costs are linked to the breed.

    Raghavan said she was careful to isolate the pit bull factor from others, such as changes in dog populations.

    “The legislation was a variable coming out significantly,” she said.

  • Thomas McCartney

    Wichita, Kansas
    In January 2009, the Wichita Department of Environmental Services released a number of pit bull statistics. The figures are based upon the Wichita Animal Control department’s investigation of 733 dog bites in 2008.

    Included in the data are pit bulls encountered by the Wichita Police Department. In the 1-year period, 95% of police encounters with aggressive dogs were pit bulls.

    The report also showed that the percentage of pit bull encounters had increased from 66% in 2004 to 95% in 2008. Subsequently, four months after the release of this data, the City of Wichita enacted a mandatory pit bull sterilization law.

    55% of all dogs deemed dangerous were pit bulls (41 pit bull dogs deemed dangerous).

    34% of attacks and bites involved pit bull dogs (246 pit bull attacks/bites).

    28% of dogs found running at large were pit bulls (1,279 pit bulls found running loose).

    25% of dogs impounded were pit bulls dogs (1,575 pit bulls impounded).

    37% of all dogs euthanized were pit bull dogs (1,255 pit bulls euthanized).

    23% of dog complaints involved pit bull dogs (2,523 complaints involved pit bull dogs).
    In a discussion of the Denver ban, Assistant City Attorney Kory Nelson recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that:

    “Since 1989, when that city instituted a pit bull ban, ‘we haven’t had one serious pit bull attack,’ said Kory Nelson, a Denver assistant city attorney. His city’s assertion that ‘pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds of dog’ has withstood legal challenges, he said.

    ‘We were able to prove there’s a difference between pit bulls and other breeds of dogs that make pit bulls more dangerous,’ he said.”

    Sources: Denver Post
    ***************************************************
    Toronto:

    In a November 2011, public health statistics published by Global Toronto showed that pit bull bites dropped dramatically after Ontario adopted the Dog Owners Liability Act in 2005, an act that banned pit bulls:

    The number of dog bites reported in Toronto has fallen since a ban on pit bulls took effect in 2005, public health statistics show.

    A total of 486 bites were recorded in 2005. That number fell generally in the six years following, to 379 in 2010.

    Provincial laws that banned ‘pit bulls,’ defined as pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and dogs resembling them took effect in August 2005. Existing dogs were required to be sterilized, and leashed and muzzled in public.

    Bites in Toronto blamed on the four affected breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010. This accounts for most of the reduction in total bites.
    ***************************************************

    Salina, KS

    Rose Base, director of the Salina Animal Shelter who lobbied for the ordinance, told the Salina Journal:

    The ordinance has made a difference, she said. Records at the Salina Animal Shelter indicate there were 24 reported pit bull bites in 2003 and 2004, and only five since — none from 2009 to present.

    Salina has 62 registered pit bulls, Base said. Before the ordinance she guessed there were “close to 300.” Since the first of this year three of the registered pit bulls have died of old age.

    “We definitely haven’t had the severity of bites that we had in the past,” Base said. “Our community has been somewhat safer because of the law that was passed
    ***************************************************
    Prince George’s County, MD
    Prince George’s County passed a pit bull ban in 1996. In August 2009, Rodney Taylor, associate director of the county’s Animal Management Group, said that the number of pit bull biting incidents has fallen:

    “Taylor said that during the first five to seven years of the ban, animal control officials would encounter an average of 1,200 pit bulls a year but that in recent years that figure has dropped by about half. According to county statistics, 36 pit bull bites, out of 619 total dog bites, were recorded in 2008, down from 95 pit bull bites, out of a total of 853, in 1996.”
    ***************************************************
    Salina KS (a second article)

    Note that they admit that the pit bull ban did not reduce the number of bites, but it did reduce the severity of bites reported by all breeds. Proof that when pit bull deniers find a jurisdiction that banned pit bulls, but reported no decrease in overall bites, is a moot point. Its death and dismemberment we are focusing on, not bite counts.

    In the monthly city newsletter, In Touch, published in September 2006, the City of Salina reported that the pit bull ban adopted in 2005 significantly reduced pit bull biting incidents in just a 12 month period.

    The number of pit bull bites depicted in the “Salina Pit Bull Bites Reported” graph shows 2002 with 13 pit bull bites, 2003 with 11 pit bull bites, 2004 with 15 pit bull bites and 2005 with only one bite. The newsletter notes that “animal bites reported have remained constant, but the severity of bites have decreased dramatically” since the enactment of the pit bull ban.
    ***************************************************
    Springfield, MO

    In April 2008, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department released data to a local TV station – following the City of Springfield’s adoption of a 2006 pit bull ban:

    “The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports that dog bites and vicious dog complaints are declining since the implementation of the Pit Bull Ordinance in the City of Springfield two years ago. In 2005 the health department fielded 18 vicious dog complaints, but only eight in 2007. Bites were down from 102 in 2005 to 87 in 2007.”
    ***************************************************
    Washington

    In 2008, the City of Wapato passed an ordinance that bans new pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiffs. Nine months after its adoption, in March 2009, Wapato Police Chief Richard Sanchez reported successful results:

    “Nine months into the ban and police calls about vicious dogs have been cut in half. The Wapato Police tell Action News they’ve gone from 18 reports in January, February and March of last year to seven so far in ’09. “Seven calls in three months… that’s nothing,” says Chief Richard Sanchez, Wapato Police Department.

    Chief Sanchez credits local cooperation for the decline of dangerous dogs.”
    ***************************************************
    Rhode Island

    When the City of Woonsocket was debating a pit bull ordinance in June 2009, the animal control supervisor in Pawtucket, John Holmes, spoke about the enormous success of Pawtucket’s 2003 pit bull ban:

    “Holmes says he predicted that it would take two years for Pawtucket to experience the full benefit of the law after it was passed, but the results were actually apparent in half the time.

    “It’s working absolutely fantastic,” said Holmes. “We have not had a pit bull maiming in the city since December of 2004.”
    ***************************************************
    Per section 8-55 of Denvers pit bull ban:

    A pit bull, is defined as any dog that is an APBT, Am Staf Terrier, Staff Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of anyone (1) or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards set by the AKC or UKC for any of the above breed.

    Over the course of 22 years, the Denver ban has withstood numerous battles in state and federal courts. It has been used as a model for over 600 USA cities that legislate pit bulls, as well as US Navy, Air Force, Marine and Army bases ( so much for Sgt Stubby).

    without it, we’d see just what we see in Miss E’s lame replies. Every pit owner would claim their land shark was anything but a pit bull.

    Miami Dade county voted 66% to keep their pit bull ban, just as it is worded, last year

  • Thomas McCartney

    A pit bull BSL works EVERYWHERE it is useful in almost eliminating all serious dog attacks that maim, disfigure, dismember, maul, cripple.
    or kill, this is a simply proven fact in all cases.The number of pit bulls is dramatically reduced as are the numbers of them put to death.

    The need to have BSL is to have a preemptive capability to avoid a pit bull attack from happening due to it’s extremely savage consequences.

    It is enacted against all pit bulls as they all have the genetic DNA propensity to carry out these horrific attacks that are non existent in 99% of all other breeds, ban the breed and you ban the deed, simple as that.

    Dealing with an attack after the fact is simply not acceptable due to the horrific nature of said attacks.

    With any other breed other then Rottweiler’s, wolf hybrids and Akita’s and a few others in very small numbers it is not a naturally genetic reality for them to carry out such horrifying attacks.

    Hence they need to be dealt with in an aggressive reactive modality where all of the breed are not looked on as one but rather based on the actions of the individual misbehaving dog.

    This can be done in a very aggressive proactive manner so that as soon as a dog like a lab lets say starts behaving inappropriately severe consequences can be brought to bare on the owner and their dog in an escalating manner as needed to deal with a situation that has developed.

    This duel track approach can deal with the pits issue as other normal dog breeds can be dealt with as well so vicious dogs of other mainstream breeds are also held accountable for their actions.

    There should be mandatory Spay/Neuter programs for all breeds but clearly the one that needs it the most and where the most change would be effected would be with the Pit Bull type dog

  • Thomas McCartney

    “The LA Times (and other advocates) are fond of mentioning that many pit bulls live without incident as gentle pets. These advocates ignore more compelling facts.

    321 humans have been killed or disfigured by dogs during calendar year 2013; 316 of those attacks were by pit bulls.

    16 of the attacks have caused human fatalities, 15 of those deaths were caused by pit bulls.***.

    California leads the nation in fatal pit bull attacks with 25% of the nation’s total.

    To omit this essential information in an editorial opinion on pit bulls is tantamount to a lie of omission.”

    Pit Bulls Lead ‘Bite’ Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties.
    Dog Biting Incidents: 2008 to 2012

    Animal control departments in at least 25 U.S. states report that pit bulls are biting more than all other dog breeds. These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

    The oft-quoted myth by pro-pit bull groups that pit bulls “do not bite more than other breeds” is categorically false. In addition to leading bite counts, the pit bull bite is also the most damaging, inflicting permanent and disfiguring injury

  • Thomas McCartney

    Wapato, WA residents safer because of ban:

    In 2008, the City of Wapato passed an ordinance that bans new pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiffs. Nine months after its adoption, in March 2009, Wapato Police Chief Richard Sanchez reported successful results:

    “Nine months into the ban and police calls about vicious dogs have been cut in half. The Wapato Police tell Action News they’ve gone from 18 reports in January, February and March of last year to seven so far in ’09. “Seven calls in three months… that’s nothing,” says Chief Richard Sanchez, Wapato Police Department.

    Chief Sanchez credits local cooperation for the decline of dangerous dogs”

  • Thomas McCartney

    About 31,400 dogs attacked about 61,500 other animals in the U.S. in 2013, killing 43,500 and seriously injuring 18,100.

    The animals killed included about 12,000 dogs, 8,000 cats, 6,000 hooved animals, and 17,000 other small domestic animals, primarily poultry.

    The seriously injured included about 12,400 dogs, 4,000 cats, and 1,700 hooved animals. Few small mammals and poultry survived reported dog attacks.

    Pit bulls inflicted 99% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000); 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520); 95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700) and on small mammals and poultry (16,150); and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280).

    About 30,000 pit bulls were involved in attacks on other animals, many of them killing multiple other animals.

    There are about 3.2 million pit bulls in the U.S. at any given time, according to the annual ANIMAL PEOPLE surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption via online classified ads.

    Thus in 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal, compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds.

    Complete details of the year-long epidemiological survey that produced these estimates will appear in the January/February edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE.

  • Brandi Newton Shelton

    I have 3 pits and a rott. My dogs are all wonderful pets!! They adore my 3 children and are raised with 4 indoor cats!!! Trust them with my life. They sleep with my kids…so sick of the stereotyping of “bully breeds”..

  • Darrin Stephens

    Only a stupid Owner of dogs would own a pit bull in the first place.But even if the owner is not an idiot the pit bull is still a time bomb waiting to go off at any time for no reason, a land shark that no matter the training will express It’s DNA and rip some unsuspecting kids face off, that is just what they are and what they do.

    I am sick of hearing this blame the owner not the dog mantra, a.

    ll that does is get the dog off the hook so it can do no wrong and is never held accountable or stopped from doing again what it has criminally already done

    Nothing is ever done to the owner and in with this mantra the dog is untouchable so both get off scott free when it has attacked someone.

    Pit Bull’s are naturally breed killers and have no place in a city or where they can interact with humans period.

    The best solution to this is what happened in Powell River where a tan pit bull was drowned, most likely after it attacked someone.

    The only good Pit bull is a dead one.

  • Darrin Stephens

    Ottumwa, Iowa
    Population 24,998

    In July 2010, Police Chief Jim Clark said there had been no recorded pit bull attacks since the city’s 2003 pit bull ban. Between 1989 and 2003, the city had a pit bull ordinance, but still allowed pit bulls as “guard” dogs.
    “Police Chief Jim Clark says since the ban, there have been no recorded attacks by the animals.

    “We haven’t had any attacks since then for one thing because it is illegal,” said Clark. “Most people are keeping their dogs inside their house or inside their basement and not letting them out loose so therefore they’re not around other people to attack them.”

    “In the two-and-a-half years before the 2003 ban, Ottumwa police recorded 18 pit bull attacks, including the death of 21-month-old Charlee Shepherd in August 2002. There were at least three other attacks on children during this time.”
    ************************************************************
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Population 189,515

    When the City of Indianapolis was discussing a pit bull sterilization law in April 2009, Little Rock Animal Services Director Tracy Roark spoke about Little Rock’s successful 2008 pit bull ordinance:

    “There was a day when you could walk down any street in center city Little Rock, you could see several pit bulls chained up. You don’t see that anymore,” said Tracy Roark with Little Rock Animal Services.

    Roark told Eyewitness News over the phone that pit bull attacks have been cut in half and credits their new law with getting them there.
    “This is the most abused dog in the city,” said Roark.

    The Little Rock law passed last year and requires pit bulls to be sterilized, registered and microchipped. Also dogs – regardless of the breed – are also not allowed to be chained up outside.”
    ************************************************************
    Fort Lupton, Colorado
    Population 6,787
    When the City of Fort Collins was mulling a pit bull law in March 2009, Fort Lupton’s Police Chief spoke about Fort Lupton’s successful 2003 pit bull ban, including zero pit bull biting incidents since the law’s adoption:

    “Fort Lupton Police Chief Ron Grannis said the city hasn’t had a pit bull bite since the ban was enacted, but it still has the occasional pit bull that is picked up and taken away.

    Although he said the ban has not been well-received by every resident, he thinks it was the right decision for the city.

    “I believe it makes the community safer,” he said. “That’s my personal opinion. Pit bulls are not the kind of dogs most people should have. They are too unpredictable. … These dogs have been bred for thousands of years to be fighters.

    You can’t take it out of them. A lion cub may be friendly for a while, but one day it can take your head off.”
    ************************************************************
    Reading, Pennsylvania
    Population 80,560

    After an 8-year legal battle, pit bull advocates dismantled a pit bull law adopted by Reading in 1998. It was reported in the same news article, in February 2008, that the law had significantly reduced biting incidents:

    “Reading’s 1998 law required that aggressive or dangerous dogs, when outside the home, be muzzled and kept on a leash shorter than three feet long with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds.

    The law also punished violators with fines of up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail.
    The law is credited with helping to reduce dog bites from 130 in 1999 to 33 in 2006. As a result, the law – or at least elements of it – were not being actively enforced, the Reading Eagle reported last year.

  • Darrin Stephens

    Aurora, Colorado
    Population 339,030

    Also in March, Aurora released statistical data showing a significant reduction in the volume of pit bull attacks and pit bulls euthanized after adopting a pit bull ban in 2005.

    “Since the ban has been in place, bites are down 73 percent from pit bulls,” said Cheryl Conway, a spokeswoman for the city’s animal care division.
    She described various problems the city encountered before enacting the ban in 2005 that included irresponsible owners letting the dogs run at large, and owners using pit bulls to taunt pedestrians.

    She added that the dogs placed a tremendous burden on city staff. According to city documents, before the ordinance was enacted in 2005, up to 70 percent of kennels in the Aurora Animal Shelter were occupied by pit bulls with pending court disposition dates or with no known owner. That number is now only 10 to 20 percent of kennels.

    “There hasn’t been a human mauling in many years. Complaints and requests related to pit bulls are down 50 percent. Euthanasia of pit bull dogs is down 93 percent. Of those few that are put down, they are primarily those that come in as strays and their owners don’t come to claim them,” she said.
    ************************************************************
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Population 415,068

    After the City of Omaha adopted a pit bull law in 2008, Mark Langan of the Nebraska Humane Society, who opposed the law, said in September 2009 that pit bull biting incidents were down 35% since its adoption:

    “Despite the attack of Haynes, The Humane Society’s Mark Langan says pitbull bites are down since new laws went into effect last year. Langan says so far this year 54 bites have been reported compared to 83 last year.”

    In September 2010, the Nebraska Humane Society provided bite statistical data to city council members and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the pit bull ordinance adopted by the City of Omaha in late 2008.

    “It is the position of the Nebraska Human Society that this ordinance has been effective in reducing bites involving dogs defined as “Pit Bulls” in the ordinance.”

    Judy Varner, President and CEO, Nebraska Human Society
    Varner’s attached statistical data shows that bites by pit bulls dropped 40% after one year of the adoption of the ordinance, 121 bites in 2008 down to 73 bites in 2009. The bite rate dropped even further in 2010.

    2008 Pit Bull Bites: 121 Total
    2009 Pit Bull Bites: 73 Total
    2010 Pit Bull Bites (through August): 28 Total

    In January 2013, the Nebraska Humane Society reported that pit bull bites dropped to 31 in 2012, down from 121 in 2008 (a 74% reduction), the year that Omaha enacted a progressive pit bull ordinance.

    2008 Pit Bull Bites Total: 121 (pre-breed specific ordinance)
    Level 2: 52; Level 3: 58, Level 4: 8; Level 5: 3 (69 were Level 3-5 attacks)

    2009 Pit Bull Bites Total: 73
    Level 2: 49; Level 3: 17; Level 4: 4; Level 5: 3 (24 were Level 3-5 attacks)

    2010 (through August) Pit Bull Bites Total: 28
    Level 2: 19; Level 3: 6; Level 4: 2; Level 5: 1 (9 were Level 3-5 attacks)

    2012 Pit Bull Bites Total: 31
    No bite level break down provided
    ***********************************************************
    Saginaw, Michigan
    Population 51,230

    In November 2012, Saginaw reported a reduction in dog attacks eighteen months after enacting a “Light” BSL ordinance1 requiring owners of the top 5 dangerous dog breeds2 to comply with new regulations.

    Eighteen months after Saginaw created its dangerous dog ordinance, put into effect in June 2011, Saginaw City Chief Inspector John Stemple said it has helped to lower the amount of dog attacks in the city.

    “It was the government reacting to a problem,” Stemple said. “And if you look at the numbers, it’s been very effective.”

    The ordinance requires residents to register dogs whose breeds are deemed “dangerous” at the City Clerk’s office, post a “Dog on premises” sign in the front of their homes and when outdoors, keep their animals either on a leash or within a 4-foot-high fenced area or kennel.

    The breeds included in the ordinance are pit bulls, presa canario, bull mastiffs, rottweilers and German shepherds.

    Stemple said he has heard from employees at Consumers Energy and the U.S. Postal Service that the signs and tethering rules have made their work safer. The number of reported dog bites fell in 2011 to nine, from 24 in 2009.

  • Darrin Stephens

    MARK WULKAN, MD, surgeon at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

    “There is a difference with the pit bulls. In the last two years we’ve seen 56 dog injuries that were so severe the patient had to be admitted to the hospital so this doesn’t count just a little bite and then goes to the emergency room. Of those 56, 21 were pit bulls. And then when we look at our data even further, of the kids that were most severely injured, those that were in the hospital for more than 8 days or had life threatening injuries, 100% of those were pit bulls.

    STEPHEN COHN, MD, professor of surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center

    “I think this is a public health hazard, this particular dog. We just have to have them contained in a way that protects the general public. I don’t want to see another kid come in dead.”

    JOHN BINI, MD, chief of surgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center

    “There are going to be outspoken opponents of breed legislation, who say: ‘My pit bulls lie with my baby and play with my rabbit.’ And that’s fine. I just think we’re seeing something here, and I think it does warrant a discussion as to whether this is a risk that a community wants to take.”

    MORTALITY, MAULING, AND MAIMING BY VICIOUS DOGS, April 2011 Annals of Surgery

    “Fortunately, fatal dog attacks are rare, but there seems to be a distinct relationship between the severity and lethality of an attack and the breed responsible,” they wrote in an article published in the April issue of the medical journal Annals of Surgery. “These breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.”

    DAVID E. BLOCKER, BS, MD, Dog Bite Rates and Biting Dog Breeds in Texas, 1995-1997

    Bite Rates by Breed page 23

    One out of every 40 Pit Bulls (2.5%) and about one out of 75 Chow Chows (1.4%) generated a reported human bite each year (Table 29; Figure 7).

    One out of 100 Rottweilers (1%) caused a reported bite, and less than one out of 250 German Shepherds (0.37%) bit a human each year, not statistically different from the average for all dogs combined (0.53%).

    Huskies, Dobermans, and Australian Shepherds had bite rates slightly lower than German Shepherds but higher than Labrador Retrievers.

    Less than one in every 500 Labrador retrievers (0.15%) was associated with a reported bite each year. All other breeds examined individually, including Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Dachshunds, had bite rates lower than Labrador Retrievers.

    Odds ratios for each of the five most commonly biting dog breeds versus all others presented similar findings (Table 30). The odds of a Pit Bull in Bexar County causing a bite were 5 times greater than the odds for all other breeds combined, at 4.9 to 1.

    Chow Chows and Rottweilers also had odds ratios significantly greater than the average, at 2.9 to 1 and 1.8 to 1, respectively. The odds ratios for German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers were significantly lower than the average, at 0.67 to 1 and

    0.26 to 1.

    PETER ANTEVY, pediatric E.R. physician, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

    Dr Antvey sees at least five dog-bite victims a month in his emergency room. Unfortunately, he said, “the biggest offender is the pit bull.”

    MELISSA ARCA, MD

    The reality is that any dog can bite, and statistically speaking, a child is most likely to be bitten by the family dog or a dog that they know. When you’re talking about bite severity resulting in life-threatening and even fatal injuries, pit bulls and Rottweilers are the main culprits.

    Experience absolutely colors our perception, and in this case I can’t help but be affected by what I’ve seen. I will never forget a young child I treated in the ER during my pediatric residency. She suffered severe facial lacerations and tears to her face after a pit bull attack in her local park.