DogsBite.org Announces Report: Dog Attacks on Livestock and Horses January - May 2008
Findings: The same dogs that pose the greatest threat to human beings also pose the greatest threat to livestock and horse owners.
Seattle, Washington (June 23, 2008) -- DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims’ group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, has released its first report on dog bite trends. The report details the occurrence of dog attacks on livestock and horses in the United States from January 1st through May 20th of 2008.
The report shows the results of dog attacks on livestock have been devastating. While various breeds of roaming dogs pose a significant threat to livestock owners, our research revealed that only pit bulls have a history of attacking large animals without a partner or group of dogs. Furthermore, without immediate human intervention, pit bulls may not take down just two or three animals, but may continue until they have killed an entire herd.
Pit bull type dogs are the most common "fighting breed" and are comprised of several types of dogs: American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, bull terrier, and any other pure bred or mixed breed that is a combination of these dogs. Selective breeding of pit bulls has created a dog with powerful jaws and unmatched tenacity. Over the past twenty years, at least 10 U.S. State Supreme Courts have ruled that pit bulls pose a greater risk to communities than other dogs and can be regulated accordingly.
The report finds several trends demonstrating the threat posed to livestock animals by dangerous dogs. As urban populations spread into semi-rural areas, owners who allow their dogs to roam free place an entire community at risk of an attack. The report also shows that not all roaming dogs are equally as dangerous. Fighting breeds are proving to be the most harmful due to selective breeding practices that promote high-prey drive and animal aggression. The report adds that many semi-rural areas lack animal control resources needed to rein in loose dogs, which makes attacks by these dogs on livestock and horses even more likely.
In many states, animal control must, by law, return offending dogs to their owner even after a second animal attack. Such laws were written before fighting breeds became popular. The report details a variety of dog laws being implemented to help livestock owners including placing "potentially dangerous" or "dangerous" designations on specific breeds, banning certain breeds and limiting the adoption of these breeds from county animal shelters to help prevent future attacks.
The founder of DogsBite.org, Colleen Lynn, says, "Currently, the State of Ohio and about 250 U.S. cities regulate pit bull type dogs. At least a dozen countries do as well. The considerable injury pit bulls inflict on people, pets and livestock is a worldwide problem, not just a U.S. problem."
The report shows that the same dogs that pose the greatest threat to human beings -- pit bull type dogs -- also pose the greatest threat to livestock and horse owners. The animal aggressive genes rooted in these breeds is undeniable and deadly. Currently, many U.S. states with semi-rural counties do not have laws that effectively protect livestock and horse owners. Changes in animal shelter policies, increased animal control resources, increased legal accountability for owners of dangerous dogs and laws that target specific dog breeds can be effective deterrents to future attacks.
DogsBite.org is a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks. Through our work, we hope to protect both people and pets from future attacks. Our website, www.dogsbite.org, was launched in October 2007 and contains a wide collection of data to help policymakers and citizens learn about dangerous dogs. Our research focuses on pit bull type dogs. Due to selective breeding practices that emphasize aggression and tenacity, this class of dogs negatively impacts communities the most. Our website hosts important dog bite studies, U.S. dog bite fatalities and other key bibliographies. In the Legislating Dogs portion of our site, we offer examples of breed-specific laws (state-by-state) and documentation of the constitutionality of these laws. The Victim Realities section provides a glance into the unforgettable stories victims leave behind and much more. DogsBite.org operates out of Austin, Texas and can be contacted via: 512-650-8510 or . Research contributions and active website participation stems from individuals that span the United States of America and across the world.