Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education and Awareness was formed in honor of Daxton Borchardt, who passed away on March 6, 2013 due to severe injuries sustained in a dog attack. Daxton’s Friends would like to educate the public about the importance of understanding dog breeds and how, with proper education and pet care, the number of dog-related incidents can be reduced.
Ruth’s mother, Betty Todd, was the first fatal dog attack victim in 2013, a year when 32 people in the U.S. died from dog maulings. (Source DogsBite.org) The pit bull was a family member and Betty, 65, was babysitting her grandkids when the dog killed her. Her tragic story is repeated year after year in an annually increasing number of severe and fatal attacks.
The billboards and bus shelter signs are the first of their kind anywhere in the world, and their purpose is to provoke thought and debate. Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education and Awareness sponsored the billboards through donations, in the hope that people will contact the organization for information about dog breeds and safety. Daxton’s Friends, a non-profit educational organization, was formed in 2013 after founder Jeff Borchardt’s 14-month-old son, Daxton, was killed by two pet pit bulls in the home of a friend.
Jeff Borchardt says “We tell the truth about pit bulls and other fighting breeds and provide honest information about all dog breeds so that families can make a better decision than we did.” He also supports restrictions on pit bulls, such as mandatory spaying and neutering, specialized confinement measures and liability insurance.
Borchardt once believed what he’d heard repeated as a sort of common knowledge: that no breed of dog is born any more dangerous than another. He now says the general public is being told “a very dangerous set of myths” by animal shelters and “rescue” organizations whose goal is to place millions of cast-off pit bulls and other dangerous dog breeds into the homes of average families. “Pit bulls were developed to be professional fighters: to grip, to shake, to do as much damage as possible in a short period of time,” Borchardt says. “Though many will never attack, there is no way to predict which ones will. And when they do, the results are devastating.”
Pit bulls are responsible for more than two-thirds of all mauling deaths year after year; more than all other breeds combined, although they comprise only six percent of the U.S. dog population. (Source: Animals24/7.org) A significant number of the dogs that killed passed “temperament tests” and had never shown signs of aggression before they mauled someone.