We help many families who are struggling with the different layers of the dangerous breed problem. Whether they are the victim of a severe attack, are attempting to pass laws to make their community safer or whose lives have been disrupted after a dangerous breed moves in next door. The most direct ways that we see our nonprofit helping to prevent tragedy comes from advising parents who reach out to us after unknowingly adopting a pit bull and bringing it into their home.
One mother began her letter to us:
"Thankfully, I am not writing to tell you of a horror story of how my child or family member was injured or killed by a vicious dog, but I could have been and I wanted to share my story with you and see if you have any information."
Other cases do involve a horror story that begins with the same lie this family was told. In one case, a mother and her 3-year old child had very little dog experience. After the loss of their family cat, they decided to adopt a dog. After researching shelters and breeds, they chose an "Australian cattle dog-mix" from a rescue. Before returning home, they stopped at PetSmart, where three people told them their new young dog was a pit bull -- the rescue had deceived them.
"How could they have looked my son in the face and sent him home with a pit bull?" She asked us. After reading the materials on DogsBite.org, the family returned the dog to the rescue. Furthermore, the mother wanted to introduce legislation that would save other parents from this same dangerous lie. We also help many families navigate the legal system after a serious mauling. Read heartfelt letters from parents and family members thanking us for our help.
On March 6, 2013, a 14-month old boy was brutally killed in a prolonged attacked by his babysitter's two pit bulls. Three months later, the young boy's father, Jeff Borchardt, contacted DogsBite.org asking for help. He wanted us to share his son's tragedy with as many people as possible. We developed an 8,500 word essay: Beyond the Interview - Essay of a Fatal Pit Bull Mauling, detailing the events of March 6 and how Jeff and the babysitter, Susan, were surviving.
Prior to his son's death, Jeff had believed the pervasive myth, "It's all how they are raised." A myth widely circulated by veterinarian and animal welfare groups that hides the truth about known dangerous dog breeds. Despite a careful and loving upbringing, on March 6, Susan's two biddable pit bulls acted out their genetic heritage. The dogs inflicted an unpredictable destructive attack that ended in the violent death of Jeff's son and forever devastated the lives of both families.
In 2017, Jeff and Susan became the subject of a Canadian news documentary, Pit Bulls Unleashed: Should They Be Banned? Our essay, along with months of sharing our expertise with the producers in 2017, helped make this possible.
DogsBite.org helps parents like Jeff by conducting research on the growing, but underreported, public safety issue of severe and fatal dog attacks inflicted by a handful of dangerous dog breeds. Our research base of over 1,200 web pages educates the public, law enforcement, journalists and policymakers about the epidemic of damaging dog maulings in our country. Our research also helps law enforcement "get up to speed fast" when they are facing a deadly pit bull attack.