Pitbull Attacks Have Residents Concerned

August 21, 2013
By

EB1Three pitbull attacks this summer in East Boston, two of which occurred this month, has officials wondering what can be done to prevent more attacks in the future.

The most recent attack occurred last week when Eastie resident Jessica Lee Jones walking her two dogs. Jones stopped to talk to two neighbors when two pitbulls came from out of nowhere and attacked her dogs. The attack left Jones’s hands and legs bloodied as she tried to prevent the attacking dogs from mauling her two corgis.

The other attacks occurred on August 5 and July 27.

During the August 5 attack, a pitbull killed a cocker spaniel and was later euthanized by the owner.

On July 27 a pitbull bit an Eastie resident after the owner invited the victim to pet the dog.

“Dog owners need to be responsible and there is a leash law and dogs need to be on a leash no longest than 10 feet when out in public,” said District 7 interim Capatain Tim Connolly. “From a police perspective and from a public safety perspective all dogs should be muzzled because that is the only way to reduce bites.”

However, Boston’s 2004 muzzle law for pitbulls and other dog breeds was overturned last year at the state level.

These latest terrifying incidents have raised questions over the state law that prohibits legislation or city ordnances that target a specific dog breed.

Last October two pitbulls went on a rampage and terrorized residents in Jeffries Point and Maverick Square. Police had to shoot one of the two pitbulls after the dogs broke through a screen door, killed a cat, attacked a teenager and chased people around Sumner Street.

At the time Mayor Thomas Menino complained that the state went forward with overturning the muzzle law without consulting cities and towns that would be affected.

“In Boston we view this as a public safety issue and will work aggressively to find a solution,” said Menino.

Both Menino and City Councilor Sal LaMattina have advocated for laws requiring owners of pitbulls to register their dogs with the city and require owners to muzzle the animals when in public.

“What happen in East Boston underscores the need to have vigilance,” said Menino. “While we don’t believe this entire breed is evil there has been problems with pitbulls in the past both in Boston and nationally. People have gotten hurt, other animals have gotten killed so there is a pattern.”

For his part, LaMattina worked with Councilor Rob Consalvo to pass a home rule petition to force pitbull owners to muzzle their pet.

“I’m very concerned because this is a very scary situation for everyone involved,” said LaMattina.

A 9-year review of fatal dog attacks in the United States determined that, of the 101 attacks in which breed was recorded, pit bulls were implicated in 42% of those attacks.

Another study found that 94% of attacks on children by pit bulls were unprovoked, compared to 43% for other breeds

The authors wrote: “Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs. Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the US mortality rates related to dog bites”.

  • Lori K.

    My Legislation Proposal to be enacted by all states,
    cities and counties in the US & Canada.

    All dogs must be:
    Or all dangerous dogs must be:
    Or all dangerous molosser breeds, including pit bulls (American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Bulldog, Bull mastiffs, dogo argentinos, fila brasieros, presa canarios, Japanese Tosa, cane corsos and their mixes and any dog generally recognized as a pit bull or pit bull terrier and includes a dog of mixed breed with predominant pit bull or pit bull terrier characteristics), rottweilers, chow chows, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, must be:

    * Licensed
    * All Pit bull type dogs Micro-chipped with any bite history in database for reference.
    * Insured: All dogs must be covered by mandatory liability insurance of $100,000 min. generic and $500,000 after a skin breaking bite with insurance companies based on actuarial statistic’s determining said rate.
    * Spayed/neutered (except for limited approved show dog breeders)
    * All breeds involved in any bite incident must be kenneled in a locked five-sided enclosure with concrete bottom.

    For all other dog owners language can be written that enclosure such as fences must be capable of containing your dog period, such generic language puts the onus on the owner, have the fines be so onerous that said owner will ensure this they make this so.

    1,000 the first time, double the second time and permanent confiscation the third time with a ban on said person from owning any dog within city limits, this will create an effective outcome directly or indirectly.
    * All dogs must be on leashes outside of home enclosure
    * All molosser breeds must also be muzzled outside of home enclosure

    * No transport of declared dangerous dogs for the purpose of re-homing. (Dangerous dogs must be dealt with where their history is known.)
    * All of the rules listed above also apply to rescues: rescued dogs must be licensed and subject to inspection.

    $1,000 fine for noncompliance
    Elimination of the one-bite rule in all of the 50 U.S. states
    Manslaughter charges for owner of dog that kills a human
    Felony charge for owner of dog that mauls human, dog, or other domestic animal.

  • Lori K.

    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%.
    *******************************************************************
    From the CDC (1998 report, page 4):

    “Despite these limitations and concerns
    (about identifying the exact ‘breed’ of pit bull type dog responsible for a
    killing), the data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted
    for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998.

    It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the
    United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a
    breed-specific problem with fatalities.”
    ****************************************************************
    In June 2013, after a Bay Area child was killed by a family pit bull, San Francisco Animal Care and Control cited the decrease in pit bull bites and euthanasia since the adoption of a 2005 pit bull law.

    After 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish was fatally mauled by his family’s pit bulls, the city adopted a mandatory spay-neuter law for the breed. The reasoning was that fixed dogs tend to be calmer and better socialized.

    Since then, San Francisco has impounded 14 percent fewer pit bulls and euthanized 29 percent fewer – which is a “significant decrease,” said Rebecca Katz, director of the city’s Animal Care and Control department.

    Another significant indicator, she said, is that there have been 28 pit bull bites reported in the past three years – and 1,229 bites by other breeds during the same period. In the three-year period before that, there were 45 pit bull bites and 907 incidents involving other breeds.

    Results of mandatory breed-specific S/N in SF: success in San Francisco, where in just eight years there was a 49% decline in the number of pit-bulls impounded, a 23% decline in the number of pit-bulls euthanized, and an 81% decline in the number of pit-bulls involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks.

    When the City of Auburn debated enacting a pit bull law in January 2010, Sgt. Bill Herndon of the San Francisco Police Department weighed in about the success of San Francisco’s 2005 pit bull law:

    “Since requiring all pit bulls to be neutered, they say they are finding fewer pit bulls involved in biting incidents.

    Sgt. Bill Herndon, of the San Francisco Police Department’s vicious dog unit, said the numbers and severity of pit bull attacks are down since San Francisco enacted an ordinance in 2005 after the mauling death of 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish.
    “The number of complaints of mean pit bulls has dropped dramatically,” Herndon said.

    San Francisco’s animal control department reports more than 30 percent fewer pit bulls at the shelter or being euthanized.”
    ****************************************************************
    Ed Boks, Executive director, Yavapai Humane Society (responsible Jan 2004 as director City Center for Animal Care & Control in NYC for trying to rename pit bulls New Yorkies; is pb owner)

    Pit bull type dogs represent 3000% the actuarial risk compared to other types of dogs.
    Insurance companies will have calculated the risks the other listed breeds represent based on what they’ve had to pay out through the years.

    This isn’t ‘prejudice’, this is cold statistical reality. Actuarial realities don’t yield to sentiment or a feeling of entitlement — they just are what they are

  • Lori K.

    Over 700 Cities, Towns & 40 Counties in the US currently have BSL against pit bull type dogs as do over 40 other countries.

    Country’s,
    Cities, county’s, Provinces, Military Services & Towns where Pit
    Bulls type Dogs are Banned or severely restricted:

    Animal Planet
    Pit Bulls Already Banned in a Dozen Countries
    By Terrence McCoy Wed., Feb. 27 2013

    Pit bulls have been banned the world over as well as 0ver 600 cities, towns and counties in the US alone.

    The prohibition on the pit bull type dog wouldn’t be anything unusual.
    In 1989, Miami may have been one of the first communities to ban pit bulls — but it sure hasn’t been the last, raising questions as to whether it’s only a matter of time before every municipality imposes some sort of regulation on the animal.

    Already, more than a dozen countries have banned pit bulls, making it, quite possibly, the most regulated and feared dog in the canine world.

    Composed from various online resources, here’s a breakdown of the bans and regulations:

    Countries that have enacted regulation on pit bulls (or some deviation):

    **In 1991, Singapore prohibited the entry of pit bulls into the country.

    **In 1993, the Netherlands banned pit bulls.

    **In 1997, Poland enacted legislation enforcing pit bull owners to display “clear warning signs” and keep the animal behind reinforced fencing.

    **In 2000, France banned pit bulls. The goal was to let the breed “die out.”

    **In 2001, Germany banned pit bulls.
    **In 2001, Puerto Rico banned pit bulls.
    **In 2003, New Zealand banned the importation of pit bulls.
    **In 2004, Italy banned pit bulls.
    **In 2009, Australia prohibited the imports of pit bulls.
    **In 2009, Ecuador banned pit bulls as pets.
    **In 2010, Denmark banned pit bulls and pit bull breeding.
    **In 2014, Venezuela will ban pit bulls.

    Nationwide, a ban on pit bulls is also far from exceptional.

    Cities that have laid down some sort of legislation:

    Sioux City, Iowa
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Independence, Missouri
    Royal City, Washington
    Denver, Colorado
    Springfield, Missouri
    Youngstown, Ohio;
    Melvindale, Michigan
    Livingston County, Michigan.

  • Lori K.

    Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to May.25, 2013.

    By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2013, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.

    Study highlights

    Pit bull type dogs make up only 6% of all dogs in the USA.

    The combination of Pit Bulls, rottweilers, their close mixes and wolf hybrids and other Pit Bull Type Dogs:

    84% of attacks that induce bodily harm.

    75% of attacks to children.

    87% of attack to adults.

    72% of attacks that result in fatalities.

    80% that result in maiming

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