Opinion: When Pit Bulls Attack

| June 21, 2011 | 28 Comments

<–please share this opinion with your facebook friends and twitter followers by using the icons to the left.

It can’t be denied that we have seen a rise in “incidents” involving Pit Bull dogs. There was not one, but two recent incidents in Anne Arundel County where a Pit Bull was shot by a person who felt threatened. Earlier this year, a woman was mauled in Gambrills by several Pit Bulls owned by her granddaughter.  And in Baltimore there was another recent Pit Bull attack on an elderly woman. Earlier this year, a 7-year old was mauled by two dogs sending her to the hospital in critical condition. Here’s a July 2009 story about a Pit Bull attack on an animal rescue ranch (sorry, The Capital has a stupid policy of not  allowing people to read their articles indefinitely, you need an archive account to read entire article). The stories are plentiful.

Pit Bull Incidents Lead Other Breeds

The Severna Park Patch ran an article that cited Anne Arundel County officials’ claims that Pit Bull incidents outnumber other incidents by a two to one margin. Based on the recent news, it is hard to dispute that finding. We do not hear of too many attacks by Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, Labradors, etc. Although many left comments defending the Pit Bull, a simple google search tends to uphold the 2 to 1 ratio.

Pit Bull attack:

Pit Bull attacks

German Shepherd attack:

German Shepherd Attacks

Golden Retriever attack:

Golden Retriever Attack

Pit Bull Legislation

The problem has become enough of an issue that many municipalities, and even countries have banned the animal. Locally, Pit Bulls are illegal in Prince George’s County unless they are born before February 1997.

Pit Bulls born after February 3, 1997, are illegal and must be removed from the County.

For Pit Bulls owned prior to February 3, 1997, owners must provide written proof of ownership which could include rabies certificate, veterinarian bill, or other similar documentation. Pit Bulls owned prior to February 3, 1997, must be maintained within a building or kennel at all times. When outside, Pit Bulls must be kept under control of an adult and secured by an unbreakable or unseverable leash. Violations of the Pit Bull Law will result in fines up to $1,000 or a sentence of not more than six months imprisonment.

Is it time for Anne Arundel County to take a look at legislating the breed? How many more incidents is acceptable?

Personal Experience

While I have not been attacked by a Pit Bull, I have been approached and felt threatened by several in my immediate neighborhood. In one instance, two of them were running free and when they saw me walking my dog, made an immediate beeline across a road toward us growling. They paid no attention to traffic and caused a car to brake hard to not hit the dogs. I picked up my dog and shooed them away with my foot.

Another instance involved another Pit Bull who is normally kept in a wooden fence. Each time I wodl pass by the fence with my dog, the Pit Bull would be growling and gnawing at the boards in an attempt to get out. One day, he was able to get most of the board off and stuck his head through the hole he had chewed and tried to squeeze through. He was unsuccessful and the owner came out and restrained the dog and ultimately repaired the fence–which is again being gnawed upon.

The Pit Bull proponents will argue that they are loving dogs and blame the owners for the dog’s behavior. To a degree there is some truth in that. However, the facts seem to indicate that Pit Bull attacks are much more prevalent than any other breed and anecdotal evidence suggests that the percentage of “bad” Pit Bulls versus “good” ones is higher than that of other breeds.

Have you had a run in with a Pit Bull? What are your thoughts? Is it time to make them illegal here in Anne Arundel County?

This is a video of an attack in Washington, DC. While the voice-over is a bit dramatic, the images speak for themselves.

 

 

Tags: ,

Category: OPINION

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.