There is a misconception that has led to the banning of Pit Bulls in many cities in the United States. This misconception is based on a fact that has been misconstrued by legislators on an ever-increasing basis.
The Centers for Disease Control studied canine attacks from 1979 to 1998 and published the findings in 2000. Pit Bull type dogs caused one third of the fatal canine attacks in the Untied States. Pit Bull attacks resulted in 118 fatalities between 1979 and 1998.
The report came with a very long caveat attached. First off, it pointed out that Pit Bulls are not a specific breed of dogs. There are multiple types of dogs that are grouped together as Pit Bulls.
It also explained that any dog that has a slight amount of Pit Bull in it will be labeled as a Pit Bull. Unlike most breeds of dogs, a crossing of breeds was not able to be taken into account with this study.
The CDC also pointed out in the study of Pit Bulls that most of the attacks happened by Pit Bulls that were trained to attack for one reason or another. Many of the deaths associated with Pit Bulls were linked to dog fighting, attempted robbery from the location that the dog considered it’s home, or attempted assault on the Pit Bull’s owner.
The CDC was very quick in the report to point out that there was not any way in which it’s report could be considered to be completely accurate. This caveat has been ignored by many legislators that have been more concerned with following the direction of a small amount of constituents.
This narrow-mindedness is furthered by many of the misconstrued psychological tendencies of a Pit Bull. Pit Bulls do not have any type of genetic disposition to attack people. Pit Bulls are more protective of their owners, and this leads to the belief that they are naturally aggressive.
There has been a thought for years that Pit Bulls do not feel pain in the same way as other dogs. The fact in this case that has been misconstrued is that Pit Bulls are naturally more dedicated then other dogs. If they have a task to do, they will continue that task despite any pain that they might feel at the time.
There are many insurance companies that have made it next to impossible to have a house insured that contains a Pit Bull. There are others that will not insure a house unless the Pit Bull has gone through high levels of obedience training.
I contacted All State about how they will not insure houses in many areas if a Pit Bull is owned. The woman that I spoke to cited the 2000 study by the CDC.
When I asked her if she had a copy of the report, she stated that she did. I asked her if she could read the caveat that came along with the report. She explained that she was sorry, but she only had one page that had been printed from the report to show people if they had any kind of issue with the policy.
A landmark move came on March 3rd, 2006 when the Supreme Court in Ohio declared that the breed specific legislation that had been passed in the state was Unconstitutional. The Court realized that grouping a large number off dogs into a classification that does not have scientific proof of danger is wrong. It also realized that the owners of the Pit Bulls did not have the right of due process in questioning the law.
The States of Virginia and Florida both have laws that prohibit any type of breed specific legislation. The governments in both states realize that there has never been any scientific proof that would lead to a ban on Pit Bulls.
Even though there is more progress towards realizing that Pit Bulls are not inherently dangerous, there are still cities in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada that are instituting breed specific legislation against Pit Bulls and their owners. As recently as June, there was a city in Tennessee that banned Pit Bull ownership.
The Tennessee city of South Pittsburg recently passed a law that would require any Pit Bull to be registered. Any incident, no matter how minor, would result in termination of the dog. No one would be able to own a Pit Bull except for the people that currently had one. Once their Pit Bull had passed, they would not be allowed another.
I saw a posting that City Manager, Tom Landers had made about the reason why he pushed for a ban on Pit Bulls in the city. He stated that the dogs had a genetic disposition for aggression.
I have attempted to contact Mr. Landers about what scientific proof that he had that would back this statement up, but he has not gotten back with me. If you would be interested in following this further, all you have to do is look his name up on Google with “South Pittsburg, TN” in the search line. This will take you to the City Hall website where his email and phone number are listed.
There will continue to be breed specific legislation in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada until legislators wake up to the fact that their misconceptions are based on misconstrued facts about Pit Bulls. All a legislator would have to do is read an article like this to learn that they are wrong in trying to force Pit Bull owners to put their beloved animals to sleep.