Saturday, June 21, 2014

TIME MAGAZINE ARTICLE RESPONDS TO THE PIT BULL MAULING OF VICTORIA WILCHER AND THE KFC DRAMA WITH - "THE PROBLEM WITH PIT BULLS"

It's horrible that KFC kicked out that 3-year-old girl, but let's focus on the real problem: pit bulls were bred to be violent 


The social media universe became furious at KFC this week after an employee asked a three-year old victim of a dog attack to leave one of their restaurants because “her face is disrupting our customers.”
But it wasn’t KFC employees who broke down the door to Victoria Wilcher’s grandfather’s house and mauled the toddler until half her face was paralyzed and she lost the use of one of her eyes. Three pit bulls did that.
Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982, according to research compiled by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, an animal-news organization that focuses on humane work and animal cruelty prevention.
Clifton himself has been twice attacked by dogs (one pit bull,) and part of his work involves logging fatal and disfiguring attacks. Clifton says that for the 32 years he’s been recording, there has never been a year when pit bulls have accounted for less than half of all attacks. A CDC report on dog-bite fatalities from 1978 to 1998 confirms that pit bulls are responsible for more deaths than any other breed, but the CDC no longer collects breed-specific information.
Another report published in the April 2011 issue of Annals of Surgery found that one person is killed by a pit bull every 14 days, two people are injured by a pit bull every day, and young children are especially at risk. The report concludes that “these breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.” That report was shared with TIME by PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organization.
The little girl’s grandfather shot and killed the three dogs that attacked her, and both he and his girlfriend are facing child-endangerment charges. KFC has donated $30,000 to the girl’s family to help with her medical bills, and more money keeps flooding in. But so far the outrage has been directed at the rude KFC employee, not at growing problem of pit bull maulings.
As pit bull attacks become more and more common, they’re getting increasing attention on social media, but not always in support of the wounded children. In March, a Facebook petition to save Mickey, a dangerous pit bull in Phoenix, got over 70,000 likes. Mickey was facing euthanization for mauling 4-year old Kevin Vincente so badly that he cracked his jaw, eye socket, and cheekbone. Vincente is facing months of reconstructive surgery, but more people were concerned with saving the dog than helping the boy. Mickey’s Facebook page has now become a social media landing page to save other dogs that are considered dangerous.
Clifton says he’s seen an unprecedented rise in dog maulings in recent years, as more pit bulls enter the shelter system. Between 1858 and 2000, there are only two recorded instances of shelter dogs killing humans. From 2000 to 2009, there were three fatal attacks involving shelter dogs (one pit bull, one breed similar to a pit bull, and one Doberman.) But from 2010 to 2014, there have been 35 shelter dogs who fatally attacked humans. All but 11 were pit bulls.
Supporters say pit bulls are getting a bad rap. Sara Enos, founder and president of the American Pit Bull Foundation, said that it’s wrong to blame dog attacks on pit bulls, because it’s the owners who are to blame. “It really boils down to being responsible owners,” she said. “Any dog from any breed can be aggressive, it matters how it’s treated.” And, as TIME reported in 2013, pit bull owners all over the country are trying to rebrand the breed, insisting pit bulls can have a softer side when treated humanely.
Many pit bull advocacy organizations, including BAD RAP, did not want to comment for this story. But there is a growing backlash against the idea that pit bulls are more violent than other dogs. “There is not any breed of dog that is inherently more dangerous,” said Marcy Setter of the Pit Bull Rescue Center. “That’s simply not true.”
But critics say that pit bulls are inherently dangerous no matter how they’re treated, because violence is in their DNA. “Why do herding dogs herd? Why do pointing dogs point? They don’t learn that behavior, that’s selective behavior,” says Colleen Lynn, President and Founder of DogsBite.org, a national dog bit victims group dedicated to reducing dog attacks. “Pit bulls were specifically bred to go into that pit with incredible aggression and fight.”
“Every kind of dog is neglected and abused,” Clifton agrees. “And not every kind of dog responds to the neglect and abuse by killing and injuring people.”
But there’s another root cause of the rise in pit-bull attacks, one you might not think of: Hurricane Katrina.
Pit bulls are especially popular in Louisiana and Mississippi, and many of the volunteers responding to Hurricane Katrina found themselves saving stranded dogs. Most of the pit bulls they saved had been kept inside and behaved well around the rescuers, Clifton said, because they knew their survival depended on it. The dogs who were rescued were good pit bulls, he says, and “the real badasses, the ones chained outside, were drowned.”
Clifton said that many of the volunteers, who had very little experience with dog rescue, became attached to the breed and involved in pit bull advocacy. And that helped galvanize the pro-pit bull movement in the wake of Michael Vick’s 2007 dog-fighting scandal. That movement helped encourage more people to adopt pit bulls as lack of sterilization caused the population to grow.
“If you need a marker in your head for when pit bulls got out of control, it’s 2007 with Michael Vick,” Lynn says. Vick’s high-profile trial for dogfighting and cruelty to animals roused a growing sympathy for pit-bulls, which led more people to adopt them and bring them into their homes.
Dogbites.org

“We need to get used to mauling injuries, because we’re going to be seeing a lot more of them.” warns Lynn. “Each of us will know a mauled, disfigured child by a known dangerous breed of dog. There will be one in every school.”
But what can be done about the growing number of pit bulls? Some say that the best solution would be breed-specific sterilization, which would curb the pit bull population and reduce euthanizations in shelters. Most dogs of all breeds are spayed and neutered– about 80%, by Clifton’s estimation. But only 20% of pit bulls are sterilized, partly because the population that owns pit bulls tends to resist the spay-neuter message. He notes that there are a number of free sterilization programs for pit bulls, including one run by the ASPCA, but that even the largest programs aren’t sterilizing enough pit bulls to reduce the number of shelter intakes.
Lynn agrees that breed-specific sterilization laws are the most humane and efficient way to deal with the situation and avoid having more dogs euthanized. “If you want to hit that ‘no-kill’ status, you better do something about the pit bull problem.” Pit bulls currently account for 63% of the dogs put down in shelters, but only 38% of the admissions. Lynn says that all pit bulls should be sterilized, except those that come from licensed breeders.
Even PETA, the largest animal rights organization in the world, supports breed-specific sterilization for pit bulls. “Pit bulls are a breed-specific problem, so it seems reasonable to target them,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA’s Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations. “The public is misled to believe that pit bulls are like any other dog. And they just aren’t.” Even the ASPCA acknowledges on their website that pit bulls are genetically different than other dogs. “Pit bulls have been bred to behave differently during a fight,” they say. “They may not give warning before becoming aggressive, and they’re less likely to back down when clashing with an opponent.”
Opponents of sterilization argue that it can be difficult to determine which dogs are pit bulls, and that breed-specific efforts are unfair to certain dogs. “When you discriminate against a breed, you’re also discriminating against good dogs as well,” Enos said. Setter of Pit Bull Rescue Central opposes breed-specific sterilization because she says it’s ineffective, because the laws don’t target irresponsible owners.
But Nachminovitch said that PETA stands by breed-specific sterilization as a common-sense solution to what has become a human safety issue. “These dogs were bred to bait bulls. They were bred to fight each other to the death,” she said. “Just because we’re an animal rights organization doesn’t mean we’re not concerned about public safety.”


26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good article.

Nutters are freaking out.

Anonymous said...

Yes, great article. And while no fan of PETA, I'm impressed by their contribution here. Common sense, people... common sense.

Anonymous said...

Phenomenal! Does anyone else feel the tide shifting?

Cardinal said...

It's about time a major publication admitted some truths about this breed.

Dayna Hamilton said...

I'm not a fan of Time Mag, or PETA, but this time I think they got it right! I'm hoping the tide is turning, it's overdue.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be hard for the nutters to grasp that Merritt Clifton and Colleen Lynn are getting the deserved attention for their hard work. It's easy for the nutters to dismiss the reality that those two publish about pit bulls, because it doesn't fit their delusions.

It's time the record was set straight. No more myths. No more lies. No more injustice.

Breed specific legislation is not discrimination. Dogs are not people. Dogs do not rank higher than humans. Let's stop this now before the entire dog population gets tainted with pit bull DNA.

WE ARE SMARTER THAN NUTTERS!

Anonymous said...

The dogs are so ugly that it is amazing to me that they are as popular as they are... except for a few, they are very ugly looking dogs. And a lot of them have that weird, cold look in their eyes.

I would be snatching up my female dog and running far away from any randy pit bulls before one of them lured her to his rape stand! (I don't have a dog, but still.)

Cardinal said...

Funny thing, around this time last year TIME published an article about how misunderstood pit bulls are. It was in bad taste to me, as this was soon after the death of Pamela Devitt. Even though they weren't completely biased against pits in this article, it's still amazing how things have changed.

Maybe my pessimism is for nothing. Maybe things really are changing for the better.

And while I think most pits aren't ugly, they're not the best-looking breed, so I think it's the "pit delusion" instilled in us over the last 30 years that gave them popularity. And the pits that are ugly...are almost unbearable to look at.

Decatur AL livin nt to 4 pits said...

I am getting a lot of comments from nutters really upset about this article in Time. They are informing me, of all people, that pit bulls were originally bred to be nanny dogs for children. It seems to always be "DITZY" FEMALES that make these remarks. How do these people get so ditzy??? No brain at all....Never in all my long life did I ever hear the word Nanny Dog until we began having our pit bull problem in this town and I began reading about what was happening in other towns, and that term "NANNY DOG" was being use by ditzy women without a lick of common sense. Just the thought that anyone would ever use a dog bred in England to bring down bulls and then evolved into dog fighting in pits...to be a Nanny to children....How ridiculous can any person get....Enough already with the Nanny Dog Crap !!!!!! If you don't have anymore brain than that, don't attempt to comment on my blog....you will never be published on this blog! A nanny dog...What silliness !!! These overbred mutants are killing and maiming people you idiots!!!

Cardinal said...

I'm surprised the Nanny dog myth still has its popularity, especially since people have turned to vintage photographs to prove to us haters that the breed was always a safe family pet. By that logic, any dog that was allowed to play with kids was meant to be a family pet.

Not really. Pit bulls were bred starting in 1835, and back then pets weren't a thing. Pet dogs were usually toy breeds or certain spaniels, and people looked down on them with a certain disdain. "Real" dogs, so they viewed it, were kept for particular jobs. Out in the back woods you might be allowed to play with your father's coonhounds, but were they obtained for that purpose? No, they were obtained as hunting hounds because hunting was how your father provided for the family.

Even if pit bulls got along with kids, they certainly were not meant to be pets, or guard dogs, or all-purpose farm dogs (don't get me started on that one). The pit bull's purpose was to kill other dogs in fights, and they were descended from dogs whose purpose was to kill bulls and bears in fights.....well.

Anonymous said...

They are morons. I only ever saw two pit bulls in my life before age 18.... and one of those tried to attack me! Neither of the owners had kids. This nanny dog business is beyond insane. No one let bulldogs in their house until recently!

Anonymous said...

It was possible to use pits as watch dogs once upon a time. But any dog that can bark can be a watch dog. All pits have extra is the bulldog stare which is scary. But, something has gone extra super wrong with pit bulls lately... so, I would say it is not prudent at this time. The thing can't tell a legit threat from their best friend. They might attack anyone for any reason and not even vaguely attend to their watch dog duties.

I found a photo of some kids draped over an orca (Keiko in Norway). So, killer whales are nannies now, too. It will take a lot of tulle to make those tutus.

Decatur AL livin nt to 4 pits said...

Anonymous 5:10am - you gave me my laugh for the day - "It will take a lot of tulle to make those orca tutus."

So I ended yesterday with more comments telling me that, "You are ignorant and you need to educate yourself." That line and the one about pit bulls were once nanny dogs were the top nutter comments. I went to bed laughing my head off! And Hey, I think most of us knew there was something about the KFC employee asking the pit bull mauling victim to leave that didn't pass the smell test....BUT IT'S NOT ABOUT A FRIED CHICKEN RESTAURANT, NOW IS IT??? IT'S ABOUT A VERY SMALL GIRL THAT WAS SEVERELY MAULED BY HER GRANDFATHER'S PIT BULLS AND HE WAS PROBABLY BREEDING THEM. HE DIDN'T HAVE THEM CONTAINED PROPERLY AND HE PROBABLY DOESN'T HAVE INSURANCE TO COVER HER INJURIES. AND, IF ANYONE HAD CAUTIONED HIM PRIOR TO THIS ATTACK, HE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE SAID PIT BULLS WERE ONCE NANNY DOGS AND YOU ARE IGNORANT AND NEED TO EDUCATE YOURSELF!!! THERE ARE PROBABLY NUTTERS WEAVED THROUGHOUT THAT FAMILY AND WOULD TO THIS DAY....BLAME THE VICTIM FOR THE BRUTAL MAULING. THE FIRST CHARACTERISTIC TO USE WHEN DESCRIBING NUTTERS IS THAT THEY LIE....THEY LIE AND LIE AND LIE. THERE'S ALWAYS INCREDIBLE DRAMA GOING ON AROUND NUTTERS AND THEIR CHOICE OF MUTANT DOG.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he was a dog fighter... There is not a lot of info on the dogs confiscated by AC (a.k.a., the ones he did not shoot). So. IDK if they were puppies or adult dogs. Also missing from media reports is how the surviving dogs were contained and how the attacking dogs were contained.

DecaturAL, I am glad you found the tulle comment funny. I think orcas make excellent nannies especially that nice one at SeaWorld named Tilikum. Sure, he's killed three people, but he was just playing or protecting his territory or something... I am sure if we put a tutu on him and tossed a couple of kids to him he'd babysit them like nobody's business. Or eat them, but that is their own fault for reminding him of delicious sea mammals.

Cardinal said...

I think the nanny dog nickname stemmed from the idea that pit bulls were supposed to be people-friendly. There couldn't be a risk that they'd turn on a human, so apparently they were specifically bred not to show aggression toward people. That.......didn't exactly work out, but since it was the intention, people have the liberty to twist the information.

When you make a dog just for bloodsport, that's genetically wired to attack without warning or provocation, you can't guarantee it'll be safe around anything.

Anonymous said...

Cardinal, the nanny dog thing came from a specific article in the 70s where a woman who was the head of some pit bull club said it after telling a story (which is not verified) about an injured dog being put in the pram with the baby to be pushed home.

There are plenty of famous pitbulls that attacked humans... Honeybunch, the most prolific bitch in history (I forget if she was a Champion on Grand Champion), and Grand Ch. Zebo, or Chinaman who was a famous Colby Champion and people to this day will say if Chinaman is in their dog's pedigree.

Pit bull advocacy made up the 'not human aggressive' thing recently. The dogmen just knew how to deal with dogs that were 'man biters'. For one thing, they kept them away from the family. There were still some tragic cases such as Colby's nephew who was killed by one of Colby's dogs at age two. Colby did not cull that dog. It was a good fighter.

Anonymous said...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/743373/posts

^^this link shows nanny orca babysitting some children. This is just out on the fjords, he's doing this on his own. So, this means all orcas are excellent babysitters and nannies.

Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like the chicken restaurant thing might not have happened. KFC reviewed CCTV footage and the orders for that day at two restaurants and nada. They also had an independent investigator check... nada. So

Cardinal said...

...........If it didn't happen then I'm very disappointed because that's not something you lie about.

Anonymous said...

You would think not...

It could be that it happened at a different KFC than has been portrayed or... something...

IDK.

They got a ton of donations off of it and they hadn't gotten that many before. However, some sites are hesitating at outright calling it false, so there might still be the possibility that it is true.

It doesn't seem like the type of thing that a person would lie about. But, then ten nannies don't seem like a good idea either.

Anonymous said...

KFC is now saying they can't find evidence it ever happened, but they stand by their $30,000 donation for Victoria's medical bills.

Decatur AL livin nt to 4 pits said...

Cardinal, It appears that KFC is handling this situation in a credible way and I can understand why you would say that this seems like something someone just doesn't lie about...especially a grandmother. It would help me to understand this situation if I knew - Is grandma a pit bull nutter also? Is she making excuses for the vicious dogs and the grandfather that owned them? Is she a maternal grandmother or a paternal grandmother?

Anonymous said...

The grandfather isn't married to this woman any more because he has a girlfriend, but the woman who identifies herself as the grandmother has the same last name as the grandfather who owned the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess the girlfriend means they're no longer married. But, who knows?

This whole story starting with the ten nannies is filled with nigh unbelievable things.

Decatur AL livin nt to 4 pits said...

Yes Anonymous 10:06, I had forgot that the grandma's last name was the same as the grandpa's.I'm going to go back and read every story and everything that the grandmother said. Chances are: "GRANNY IS A NUTTER."

Anonymous said...

Time let a pit bull advocate write an article to appease the howls of the nutters. Some of them wrote some truly, truly awful things. But, somehow we're the 'haters'?

One told a man he deserved to die in a horrible way and she'd be watching the news waiting to hear about it. The same person called many people 'scum'.

Then, this same person told a ridiculous story of a ten pound chihuahua that attacked a teenage boy, sending him to the hospital with serious injuries while police had to come and shoot the rampaging chihuahua. When someone asked for some proof this fantasy ever occurred, she acted offended that anyone (e.g. total strangers) would insinuate that she would lie.

Then the same people, predictably, applauded the article they agreed with... DUH, nutters... everyone likes articles that agreed with opinions that are already held and no one likes articles that don't. But, this doesn't make the one you like objectively right and the one you don't like objectively wrong. Sometimes that is true, but sometimes you have to face the idea that your opinions might be based on wrong information or at least DIFFERENT information. One article was based on dogs that attack. One article was based on dogs that are pets and haven't attacked. Different dogs of the same breed/type.