Pit bull owners ::

Studies show that pit bull owners employ strategies to disguise the true nature of the breed by engaging in distortions, denial and overcompensation and by projecting blame after attacks.

Owners of pit bulls, "outlaw" breeds are different

To understand the experience of owning a negatively perceived dog, Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy did a case study on pit bull owners that was published in 2000. Researchers found that with "outlaw" breeds, such as pit bulls, the human-dog relationship is sociologically more complex than previously known. Owners of pit bulls, they discovered, directly feel the stigma targeted at their breed and resort to various tactics to mitigate it. These strategies included:

"passing their dogs as breeds other than pit bulls, denying that their behavior is biologically determined, debunking adverse media coverage, using humor, emphasizing counter-stereotypical behavior, avoiding stereotypical equipment or accessories, taking preventive measures, or becoming breed ambassadors."1

The study is sympathetic to pit bull owners and makes unsourced claims, but does show the basis of pro-pit bull propaganda. Strategies identified by the researchers are the same strategies employed by pit bull advocates to stop a municipality from enacting a pit bull ordinance. For instance, owners will claim that a pit bull cannot be identified, that there is a media conspiracy against pit bulls and that pit bulls are "just big babies" that only want to "lick you to death."

Owners, animal groups disguise breed name

As identified in the Tufts study, pit bull owners frequently pass their dogs off as other breeds to diminish a perceived stigma. They also lie about their dog's breed to confuse the public about the pit bull breed and to evade breed-specific laws. For instance, a pit bull owner might claim his dog as a "boxer-mix" or "labrador-mix" after a pit bull law goes into effect. Animal groups, however, are the guiltiest in creating confusion about the breed. This began in earnest in the mid 1930s.

  • In 1936, the American Kennel Club (AKC) formally recognized the pit bull breed, but only under the name Staffordshire terrier. This was done to distance the breed from its continued use in dogfighting. Thus, the dog breed that descended from bull-baiting and dogfighting, the pit bull terrier, began being registered under two names.2
  • By 1936, the United Kennel Club (UKC) had already recognized the American pit bull terrier for nearly 40-years. Hence, the original AKC registered Staffordshire terriers all came from UKC stock including champion fighting bloodlines.3 Cross-registering pit bulls at both registries under different names continues today.4
  • Prior to the UKC's formal recognition of the breed in 1898,5 and in some regions until decades after, the pit bull breed was called a variety names including: bull terriers, bull and terriers, pit dogs, pit terriers, simply "bulldogs," and according to historical dogfighting documentation, American bull terriers and Yankee terriers as well.6,7
  • In 1972, the AKC renamed the breed to American Staffordshire terrier to distinguish it from the Staffordshire bull terrier -- a dog breed also included in the pit bull class of dogs. Today, shelters often use the American Staffordshire name when adopting out pit bulls to the public to mask the breed's less palatable name, pit bull terrier.8
  • In 1996, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals renamed pit bulls to St. Francis terriers. Again, the hope was to make the pit bull breed more palatable to the public. After much screening, about 60 pit bulls were placed. The program was suspended after several of the re-dubbed pit bulls killed cats.9
  • In 2004, while serving as the director of New York City Animal Care and Control, Ed Boks attempted to rename pit bulls to New Yorkies, also in hopes of making the breed more adoptable to members of the public. Boks' renaming attempt was unsuccessful, as was his tenure in New York, which only lasted from 2003-2005.10
  • The latest camouflage attempt is the American bully, which is a pit bull "designer" breed that includes pocket pit bulls, extreme and XXL pit bulls. In 2013, the UKC recognized the American bully, yet "UKC registered American pit bull terriers are eligible to transfer to the American bully breed," states their breed transfer form.
  • Meanwhile, dogfighters and pit bull "experts" historically and presently refer to pit bulls simply as "bulldogs." The American bulldog, derived from the same gene pool as the pit bull, is still unrecognized by the AKC and was only recognized by the UKC in 1999.11 The breed was also called the American pit bulldog up until the 1970s.12

The many names of the pit bull over the course of history is why breed-specific legislation defines the pit bull as a "class of dogs" that includes the following breeds and their mixes: American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and American bulldog.13 Despite attempts by kennel clubs, animal welfare groups and dogfighters to obscure the name of the pit bull breed, well-written breed-specific laws always encapsulate the multiple names of the breed.

Owners frequently claim: "It's not the breed's fault"

Pit bull owners frequently blame the "environment" after a pit bull mauls or kills a person. A participant in the Tufts study illustrates this clearly, "If you get some kid that has been beaten all his life, he's going to go out and be aggressive towards people."14 The intention is to assert that an aggressive pit bull must have been beaten or taught to attack by their owners instead of admitting to the genetic traits that define the breed (See: Why do people say that pit bulls "don't let go?")

Pit bull defenders frequently blame a victim's actions after an attack too. Examples include blaming a "sudden cough" or "being in a bouncy chair" as a trigger for a fatal mauling. Ledy VanKavage, a top lobbyist for pit bulls, even blamed a baby crying as a pretext.15 Pit bull fans say such actions sufficiently explain why the pit bull killed the person. These excuses, however, always fail to explain the disproportionate response by the dog to an otherwise harmless activity.

Host: "So I asked her about the tragic death of 14-month old Daxton Borchardt. The little boy who was ripped from the arms of his babysitter by her two supposedly family friendly dogs. Was that 'fake news' too?"

"It is very very tragic," VanKavage replied, "but most of the dog-related fatalities involve unsupervised children. I don't know what happened that day."

Host: "She was holding the child at the time."

"I don't know if the child was crying?" VanKavage said. "I don't know the history of the dogs."

Host: "But if the child was crying?" - The Fifth Estate, September 22, 2017

In 2014, after a 20-year old woman was scalped by three pit bull-mixes in front of one of the dogs' owners -- who was helpless to stop her own dogs -- the owner blamed the violent attack on the dogs mistaking her ponytail for a rope toy.16 Her "death sentence" actions included bending down to pick up a ball the dogs were playing with. The "ponytail" excuse was popularized by SeaWorld after a killer whale with a history of fatal human attacks killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.17

Klemetti said the day of the attack, his wife, Victoria, was with Morrison, who had looked after the dogs before. When Morrison knelt down to pick up a tennis ball they were playing with, the first thing the dogs went after was Morrison's ponytail.

"I think what happened is that she had a ponytail and she reached down to get something and one of the dogs said 'Hey, this looks like my rope toy' and jumped up," Klemetti said. - Opelika-Auburn News, May 29, 2014

In multiple instances of fatal pit bull maulings, family members have blamed the attack on the victim suffering a seizure beforehand as well. The majority of these attacks are owner-directed, where the pit bull kills its owner. There is an immediate assumption by family members that because the victim suffered from seizures in the past, he or she must have had one, including during the middle of the night, and the pit bull(s) "naturally reacted to it" by killing the person.18

When a pit bull advocate is killed by their own dogs, defenders of pit bulls unravel even further by fabricating stories. After 22-year old Bethany Stephens was fatally attacked and eaten by her two pit bulls in 2017, the Goochland County Sheriff's Office had to give a second press conference due to the misinformation being disseminated by pit bull advocates on social media. Their many conspiracy theories ranged from Stephens being "murdered" to being "attacked by a bear."19

After 32-year old Darla Napora was killed by her male pit bull named "Gunner" in 2011, a blogger for the now defunct Examiner.com, Cindy Marabito, spread the false rumor that Darla "fell off a ladder and hit her head."20 Napora was six months pregnant at the time and an avid supporter of BadRap, which supports the "Pit Bull Cause." After her horrific death, her husband said he did not blame the dog, and he planned to bury Napora with "Gunner's" cremated remains in her casket.21

A day after the family's pit bull fatally attacked his pregnant wife, Greg Napora said Friday he doesn't blame the dog. He even plans to bury his spouse, Darla, with their pet's cremated remains in her casket.

"They are the most loving animals I have ever had in my life. Whatever happened right now was not the breed's fault," said Napora." - Mercury News, August 12, 2011

Both Steve Klemetti and Greg Napora also publically characterized these savage attacks as a "freak accident" afterward. The term "freak accident" has been used by the owners of vicious dogs -- primarily pit bulls -- to deny responsibility after monolithic maulings and fatal attacks since 1985.22 Statistically, over the 16-year period of 2005 to 2020, pit bulls killed an American every 15 days on average. Thus, these fatal attacks are routine, not a freak accident, as illustrated here.

Breed ambassadors, stunt pit bulls & fake service dogs

According to the Tufts study, the most public way in which pit bull owners managed breed stigma was to become a fierce advocate for the breed. These owners seek to "educate" the public -- often through their own well-behaved pets -- by discounting stereotypes and promoting the finer qualities of the breed. For instance, to help deflect the fear that pit bulls incite about children, one respondent kept a photo handy that showed three children rubbing her pit bull's tummy.23

Examples of breed ambassador imagery are easily found on the Internet, like the YouTube video, "Pit Bull Viciously Attacks Baby," which depicts happy babies lying near pit bulls. Some breed ambassadors, however, take activism of the "Pit Bull Cause" to reckless levels. Despite warnings from pit bull experts to "avoid dog parks" at all costs,24 such persons purposely visit dog parks to show other dog owners that pit bulls are safe, reliable dogs that are merely "misunderstood."

Since the publication of the Tufts study in 2000, traditional "breed ambassador programs" have been fading, including BadRap's Pit Bull Hall project and Ambassadog Project.25 However, "therapy" pit bulls are still used to indoctrinate children though "reading" programs at elementary schools and libraries.26 Breed advocates also attempt to insert pit bulls into pet therapy programs at children's hospitals and hospices. When success is not achieved, outrage can follow.27

Police K9 Stunt Pit Bulls

Beginning in 2015,28 a new type of breed ambassador program was started by Animal Farm Foundation, the leading financers of the Pit Bull Lobby. The group began paying Bradley Croft of Universal K9 to train "rescued and sheltered" pit bulls as K-9 detection dogs, which the group then gave away freely to police departments.29 The PR emphasis was on officers that sweep schools with K-9s to detect drugs in order to place these K-9 stunt pit bulls in front of children.30

"Our goal in that was to get good PR for shelter dogs," Coleman said. Her organization would sponsor the care for the dogs and pay for two weeks of training for handlers and their expenses while staying in San Antonio. Animal Farm Foundation contributed $111,750 to Universal K9 in 2016.31

In 2017, they contributed $130,500, according to tax returns.32

The group did not renew their grant with Universal K9 in 2018, citing that Universal K9 wanted to expand the program beyond what they were willing to fund.33 In August 2018, the FBI and IRS raided the Universal K9 facility in San Antonio and seized 26 dogs. Croft was later indicted on eight counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of money laundering in a scheme that defrauded the government to obtain GI Bill benefit payments.34

The public's response to the K-9s met with some skepticism. When the Clay County Sheriff's Office announced their K-9 pits bulls in 2017, they stated that both pit bulls "are only single purpose dogs, meaning they are only trained in narcotics detection. They are not and never will be trained in criminal apprehension or bite work. No Pitbull/Pitbull mixes granted by Animal Farm Foundation and Universal K9 will ever be trained in bite work or criminal apprehension."35

Service and Support Dogs

Today, "ambassador" status for pit bulls is often achieved through fake service dogs, due to the loopholes in the American for Disabilities Act (ADA). After multiple attacks by emotional support animals (ESAs) on aircrafts, airlines began to more tightly scrutinize them, including Delta Air Lines banning pit bulls as service and support dogs in July of 2018. "Untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk," Delta said at that time.

Untrained ESA pit bulls have been involved in a number of high profile attacks, including a $1.1 million dollar lawsuit against the Port of Portland and Alaska Airlines after an unconfined support pit bull mauled a child in the face in 2017. In June of 2018, a support pit bull attacked a Delta flight attendant in the face then bit a customer service agent who came to help.36 Also in 2018, a fake service pit bull attacked a passenger on a New York subway causing its owner to be arrested.

The Lion Tamer Complex & "extreme rescuers"

A behavioral trait not addressed in the Tufts study has been dubbed the "Lion Tamer Complex." Many pit bull owners believe they are superior dog owners and through this superiority can control their "game bred" pit bull by teaching discipline and love. While not all pit bulls are inherently vicious, their genetic history cannot be "loved" out of them either. As demonstrated by numerous press reports of pit bulls attacking their owners, this complex has serious and deadly ramifications.

A classic example of the Lion Tamer Complex involves a pit bull named "Bosco" that was declared "dangerous" in Fulton County, Ohio in 2016 after biting its owner.37 The dog was quickly trafficked out-of-state into the care of Jacqueline Johnson in Arizona, who then worked for Best Friends Animal Society. Johnson began her "taming" career after receiving one of Michael Vick's dogs in 2008.38 At the time Johnson took Bosco into her home, she also had two former fighting pit bulls.39

In April 2017, Johnson wrote on her now defunct Ray the Victory Dog blog, "I have postponed writing this post, because it's hard to admit that sometimes the things you have always done are not working." Bosco had started "triggering" at every turn, acting aggressively. Her theory was that a "pheromone collar" and "B complex vitamins" could do the trick, along with "limiting his exposure to triggers." Johnson wrote she had to "hit a reset button on almost all of Bosco's activities."40

In early December 2017, Bosco viciously attacked Johnson. A December 5 post on her Facebook stated in part, "I currently do not have use of either hand. However, they were able to re-attach the finger on my left hand, which was severed. I will go in a week from today for major surgery on my right arm as most of the bones are totally shattered."41 A GoFundMe campaign started by her daughter stated, "Both her arms were broken, wrist shattered and nearly lost a finger."42

After the violent attack, Johnson's earlier blog posts about Bosco came under scrutiny by safety and victims' advocates, so she took down her entire Ray the Victory Dog blog. The posts, however, still live on in the Internet Archives.

As was true in the case of Bosco, pit bull rescuers often covet "saving" pit bulls legally declared "dangerous." For instance, the "Save Gus" campaign succeeded in getting a serial attacker off death row and sent to Cesar Millan's Dog Psychology Center.43 Upon leaving the center, the dog attacked two more people and landed on death row again.44 Attempts to "save" vicious pit bulls also results in animal control staff being attacked while the owners fight destruction orders.45

Finally, some "extreme rescuers" pay with their lives. In 2019, Christine Liquori, 52, who was passionate about saving pit bulls, started her volunteer shift at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County. She took a pit bull out to a playpen and never returned alive. The dog "mutilated" her, reports said. In 2018, Robin Conway, 64, was elated to "save" a death row pit bull, formerly named "Bullet," in a nearby state. The male pit bull brutally attacked and killed her two weeks later.

Criminals choose high-risk, "vicious" dog breeds

In 2006, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence published a study that focused on Ohio dog owners.46 The results showed that criminals are more likely to own vicious dogs. For the purposes of the study, researchers used agreed definitions of "vicious dogs" found within local ordinances. All ordinances included pit bulls because during this period Ohio state law automatically declared all pit bulls "vicious." The report is best summarized by one of its authors, Jaclyn Barnes:

"Owners of vicious dogs who have been cited for failing to register a dog (or) failing to keep a dog confined on the premises ... are more than nine times more likely to have been convicted for a crime involving children, three times more likely to have been convicted of domestic violence ... and nearly eight times more likely to be charged with drug (crimes) than owners of low-risk licensed dogs."

There is no denying that dangerous people are attracted to dangerous dogs. These same people also have a higher likelihood of being irresponsible owners. Pit bulls are the dog of choice for criminals and are often used in drug and gang-related activities.47 Police officers are frequently forced to shoot dangerous pit bulls when serving search warrants as well.48 The combination of criminals and pit bulls exponentially increases the danger these dogs pose to communities.

  1. Managing the Stigma of Outlaw Breeds: A Case Study of Pit Bull Owners, by Twining H, Arluke A, Patronek G, Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy, Society & Animals Journal of Human-Animal Studies, Vol. 8 Number 1, 2000.
  2. The registration process began in 1935 and completed in 1936. Thus, both dates appear in reference to this. For example, the Tufts study vs. the AKC's American Staffordshire terrier history page.
  3. The Great Book of Bulldogs, Bull Terrier and Molosser: Part I Bulldogs and Bull Terrier, by Marlene Zwettler, Google eBook, February 7, 2013.
  4. Today, AKC registered American Staffordshire Terriers can be registered as an American pit bull terrier at the UKC, but not vice versa. See the UKC application for American Pit Bull Terrier Single Registration (Accessed: March 5, 2017). Also note pit bull expert Dianne Jessup, "The UKC allows American Staffordshires to be registered as "pit bulls" which, in recent years, has had a tremendous impact of the breed as registered by the UKC. For the most part, UKC and AKC registered dogs cannot be differentiated, as they carry primarily the same blood." (Accessed: March 5, 2017)
  5. American Pit Bull Terrier Handbook, by Joe Stahlkuppe, Barron's Educational Series, Inc., Page 55, 2000.
  6. The Final Round - A Law Enforcement Primer for the Investigation of Cockfighting and Dogfighting, The Humane Society of the United States, Revised 2004 and AKC Celebrates All-American Breeds, AKC Communications, June 18, 2003 (akc.org)
  7. Pit Bulls for Dummies, by D. Caroline Coile, Phd, Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2001.
  8. In the Tufts study, two of the 28 respondents returned their pit bulls to the shelter. Of the two, one left the shelter without realizing she had adopted a pit bull because she did not know that an American Staffordshire terrier was a pit bull -- the shelter intentionally disguised the breed name.
  9. Bring breeders of high-risk dogs to heel, by Merritt Clifton, Animal People, January-February 2004 (animalpeoplenews.org) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  10. Apple Renames Pit Bull 'Yorkies, by Heidi Singer, New York Post, January 5, 2004 (nypost.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  11. American Bulldog, United Kennel Club, ukcdogs.org (Accessed: January 31, 2010)
  12. American Bulldog, molosserdogs.com (Accessed: January 31, 2010). As recently as 2005, the two primary "preservationists" of the American bulldog, John Johnson and Alan Scott, sounded off about the history of the breed's name. (Accessed: April 30, 2013)
  13. Progressive pit bull legislation includes the American bulldog in the definition of a "pit bull" dog.
  14. Managing the Stigma of Outlaw Breeds: A Case Study of Pit Bull Owners, by Twining H, Arluke A, Patronek G, Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy, Society & Animals Journal of Human-Animal Studies, Vol. 8 Number 1, 2000.
  15. Pit Bulls Unleashed: Should They Be Banned?, The Fifth Estate, September 22, 2017 (youtube.com)
  16. Owner of dogs involved in fatal Phenix City attack speaks out, by Drew Taylor, Opelika-Auburn News, May 29, 2014 (oanow.com) (Accessed: September 4, 2019) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  17. Ex-SeaWorld Official: Trainer Made Mistake, CBS News, February 20, 2010 (cbsnews.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine). In April 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a federal occupational safety agency's finding against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. after the death of Dawn Brancheau. (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  18. Owners and family members killed by a family pit bull during an alleged seizure include: Javon Stokes, 25-years old (Toledo, OH, 2021), Emily Kahl, 31-years old (Toledo, OH, 2021), Miguel Ángel Aguilar, 18-years old (Saltillo, Mexico, 2020) Dustin Bryan, 21-years old (Modesto, CA, 2019) Melissa Astacio, 44-years old (Somerset, MA, 2019), Homer Utterback, 52-years old (Uniontown, PA, 2019); Teena Mawhorter, 74-years old (Mount Shasta, CA, 2018); Della Riley, 42-years old (Cleveland, OH, 2018); Jamie Owsley, 21-years old (Quincy, IL, 2017); Daisie Bradshaw, 68-years old (New York City, NY, 2016); Susan Shawl, 60-years old (Conifer, CO, 2016); Charles Hagerman, 44-years old (Chicago, IL, 2012); Tonia Parks, 39-years old (Rockford, IL, 2011); Kelli Chapman, 24-years old (Longville, LA, 2008); Brandon Coleman, 25-years old (Morgantown, WV, 2006); Lorinze Reddings, 42-years old (St. Louis, MO, 2005) and likely others.
  19. Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew's Second Press Conference, December 18, 2017 (facebook.com)
  20. Pacifica dog mauling ... what really happened?, by Cindy Marabito, Examiner, August 12, 2011 (examiner.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  21. Pit bull mauling of pregnant Pacifica woman remains a mystery, by Joshua Melvin and Lisa Fernandez, Mercury News, August 12, 2011 (mercurynews.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  22. Pit Bulls: Part Terrier, Part Terror, by Leon Daniel, United Press International, May 15, 1985 (chicagotribune.com) Wally Roberts, who first used the excuse "freak accident," also stated, "I thought at first she had blown her head off with my pistol." Wally Roberts later became Wally Ghia and was profiled in a 2017 Bicycling article, "One Last Shot." (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  23. Managing the Stigma of Outlaw Breeds: A Case Study of Pit Bull Owners, by Twining H, Arluke A, Patronek G, Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy, Society & Animals Journal of Human-Animal Studies, Vol. 8 Number 1, 2000.
  24. 10 Easy to Remember Tips for Responsible Pit Bull Owners, pitbulllovers.com (Accessed: September 7, 2019)
  25. According to co-founder Donna Reynolds' bio, BadRap's Pit Bull Hall closed at the end of 2008 after several years of operation. The Ambassadog Project, a partnership with Oakland Animal Services, closed in 2010. (Accessed: September 1, 2019)
  26. Baltimore children practice reading with dogs, learn compassion," by Talia Richman, The Baltimore Sun, December 26, 2018 (baltimoresun.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  27. In 2015, Bill Melugin of Fox 46 Charlotte led a crusade against Novant Health for proposing prohibiting the breed from its therapy dog program because of their "negative public image." Due to the backlash Melugin whipped up on social media, Novant dropped the proposal. Five months later, 86-year old Bessie Flowers is killed by her daughter's two pit bulls in Charlotte after she "tripped" on the dogs' bed. In 2014, outrage on social media erupted after Virtua Hospital rejected a pit bull therapy dog's application because it was incomplete and the dog had not been through their "lengthy" application and screening process. (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  28. Looking Back On 2015: Service, Play, And Innovation, by Regina Lizik, Animal Farm Foundation Blog, December 7, 2015 (animalfarmfoundation.org) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  29. Single Purpose Pit Bull Grant Program, Universal K9 (universalk9.com) (Accessed: September 7, 2019) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  30. New Breed of Police Dogs: Pit Bulls, by Tawnell Hobbs, The Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2017 (wsj.com)
  31. Northwest Side school that trains veterans on dog-handling raided, by Guillermo Contreras and Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, August 9, 2018 (mysanantonio.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  32. 2017 Universal K Nine tax returns (guidestar.org)
  33. Northwest Side school that trains veterans on dog-handling raided, by Guillermo Contreras and Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, August 9, 2018 (mysanantonio.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  34. Universal K-9 owner could face up to 42 years on 14 charges in vet fraud case, KENS, August 23, 2019 (kens5.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  35. From New York and Texas to Clay County, 2 new Deputies hit the streets, by the Clay County NC Sheriff's Office, March 15, 2017 (facebook.com)
  36. Comments of Delta Air Lines, Submitted July 10, 2018 (DOT-OST-2018-0068-4141), Dated May 23, 2018 | Docket No. DOT-OST-2018-0068.
  37. Judge rules ‘pit bull' Bosco dangerous, by Alexandra Mester, Toledo Blade, March 1, 2016 (toledoblade.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  38. What pit bull advocates don't learn from their own maulings, by Merritt Clifton, Animals 24-7, December 10, 2017 (animals24-7.org) (Accessed: September 7, 2019)
  39. After A Harrowing Journey, Bosco The Pit Bull Has Finally Gone Home," by Jacqueline Johnson, Bark Post, April 2016 (barkpost.com) (Archived by Archive.is at https://archive.is/2iEJa)
  40. Over-Coming Anxiety for Bosco, by Jacqueline Johnson, Ray The Victory Dog, April 4, 2017 (raythevicktorydog.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine).
  41. Screenshot of various statements of Bosco's attack from December 5, 2017. On December 2, 2019 -- essentially the two year anniversary of the vicious attack -- Jacqueline Johnson wrote about the attack for the first time since, "We Cannot Save Them All-Nor Should We Try." Johnson reveals in the post that Bosco had previously attacked her too, but she was "directed to try nutritional supplements" instead of humanely euthanizing the dog. "Bosco should have been humanely euthanized the first time he bit me," Johnson states. (Archived by the Wayback Machine).
  42. Jacqueline Johnson's medical fund, GoFundMe, December 4, 2017 (gofundme.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  43. 'Dog Whisperer' Blamed for Pit Bull Attack, by Matt Reynolds, Courthouse News Service, February 5, 2015 (courthousenews.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine)
  44. "Montgomery County dog saved by Cesar Millan trainers is on death row again," by Heather Alexander, My San Antonio, October 28, 2014 (mysanantonio.com) (Archived by WebCite at https://www.webcitation.org/6ojI8DpI4)
  45. Dog attack prompts major policy changes at Oakland County Animal Shelter, by Mark Cavitt, The Oakland Press, January 2, 2020 (theoaklandpress.com) and Another Pit Bull Attack at LA Animal Services 'No Kill" Shelter ... Increase in Dangerous Dogs, by Phyllis Daugherty, City Watch, July 30, 2018 (citywatchla.com) (Archived by the Wayback Machine) and Pit bull in Bayonne mauling of senior citizen attacks shelter worker: official, by Charles Hack, The Jersey Journal, December 21, 2009 (nj.com) (Archived by WebCite at https://www.webcitation.org/6bdj6N7wR) and Pit bull put down after second attack in a month, by John DeSantis, Houma Today, November 13, 2009 (houmatoday.com) (Archived by WebCite at https://www.webcitation.org/6ojKVXp95)
  46. Ownership of High Risk ("Vicious") Dogs as a Marker for Deviant Behaviors: Implications for Risk Assessment, by Jaclyn E. Barnes, Barbara W. Boat, Frank W. Putnam, Harold F. Dates and Andrew R. Mahlman, Journal for Interpersonal Violence, 2006; 21; 1616.
  47. Over $35,000 in marijuana, four guns and $21,000 cash seized, along with two pitbulls, by Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York, November 22, 2013 (snpnyc.org) and DEA: Gulf Cartel member used roosters and pit bulls to smuggle drugs, by Ildefonso Ortiz, The Brownsville Herald, August 10, 2010 (brownsvilleherald.com)
  48. Report: U.S. Police and Citizen Shootings of Pit Bulls 2008, by DogsBite.org, June 3, 2009.