Serious dog attacks: 34 full years of data — 17 Barks

In September of 1982, animal advocate Merritt Clifton first began logging and tracking disfiguring and fatal dog attacks on humans, collecting information on the type of attacking dog in each case, and the circumstances surrounding each attack.Now, after 34 years, we are more well informed as a result of his undertaking, especially in the light…

via Serious dog attacks: 34 full years of data — 17 Barks

Follow the money: ASPCA on pit bulls

Years ago it was discovered that the Animal Farm Foundation was giving shelters that adopted out pit bulls cash rewards. An “Adopt-A-Bull” contest in 2008 asked the question: “What better way to get the word out that pit bulls can indeed make loving and loyal, delightful and devoted companions?” The contest lacked key elements, however, the most important being safety.

The ASPCA has no obligation to share safety issues about pit bulls with the public. On their “Pit Bull Information” web page, they write: “Sadly, pit bulls have acquired a reputation as unpredictable, dangerous, and vicious.” Yet, spelled out in the ASPCA Shelter Guidelines — designed to protect shelter workers — are the unique risks attributed to pit bulls. One of them is that they “attack without warning,” which is equivalent to unpredictable behavior.


42 dogs rehomed by U.S. shelters and rescues have participated in killing 39 people since 2010 according to Animals 24-7. These dog breeds include: 30 pit bulls, 7 bullmastiffs, 3 rottweilers, a lab and a husky. Only 5 shelter dogs killed a person from 1988 through 2009. The numbers since 2010 are staggering and reflect the “reality” of modern sheltering — adopt out at all costs to keep euthanasia rates low.

No temperament assessment test, not even a “state-of-the-art” one, can measure unpredictable aggression. This is the risk every person accepts, knowingly or not, when adopting a pit bull, rottweiler or other dangerous breed.

There are many guidelines presented in the 19-page document (which appears to be a PowerPoint slide show), as well as a brief history of the pit bull and the results of selective breeding to achieve the “ultimate canine warrior” designation. Some of these results directly correlate to the safety guidelines, such as the pit bull’s genetic “unpredictability” (specifically when attacking), dog-aggression and high prey drive. We’ve listed a few of the guidelines below:

– There are “cases of experienced handlers who had developed good relationships with the dogs over a period of months still being attacked without warning or obvious provocation.”
– Pit bulls “ignore signs of submission from other dogs” and “give no warning prior to attack.” They add that this is “different than normal dog behavior.”
– “Today’s pit bulls” have multiple names including: “Staffordshire Terrier (AKC 1936), American Staffordshire Terrier (AKC 1972, Am Staff), American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier.”
– “These dogs can be aggressive towards humans and more likely to cause fatal attacks to people than other fighting type dogs.”
– “Pit bulls will climb fences, chew up stainless steel food and water bowls, destroy copper tubing of automatic water systems and conventional cages, and attack other animals through chain link fences.”
– “Pit bulls can break through conventional cage doors and destroy typical epoxy paint on the floors and walls.”
“Pit bulls require special housing considerations” and “isolation from other animals if dog aggressive or have a high prey drive.”
– “Install a panic button in rooms housing pit bulls along with other restraint equipment in any room housing pit bulls.”

It seems unlikely that the ASPCA or shelters participating in the “Adopt-A-Bull Contest” will tell potential adopters to install a panic button in their home or that pit bulls attack without warning.

Courtesy of

For the complete presentation of ASPCA shelter guidelines:

For more information of shelter dog mayhem visit Animals 24-7:

To read up on the Animal Farm Foundation whose tagline is: “Securing equal treatment and opportunity for ‘pit bull type’ dogs” visit Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education & Awareness:


Letter to the editor: DOG ATTACKS ARE NOT NORMAL

Child victims of pit bull attacks

Innocent victims disfigured for life

Young people tend to imagine that dog attack violence is normal, because they never knew a time when it was not.

From 1930 to 1960, the U.S. averaged fewer than one fatal dog attack per year, yet almost all dogs ran free, less than 1 percent were fixed, and males far outnumbered females because of the common practice of drowning female pups to prevent surplus litters. Pit bulls during that entire 30-year span killed nine people. Dobermans killed two, one in 1955, one in 1960, and that created the lasting image of the Doberman as a dangerous breed.

Since 2010, we have averaged more than 30 fatalities per year from pit bulls alone.

What changed?

In 1960 pit bulls were under 1 percent of the U.S. dog population. By 2000, they were about 3.5 percent, and now they are 7 percent of dog births, though still only about 3.5 percent of the dog population due to excessively high mortality, mostly through shelter surrenders and impoundments.

PETA is right: It is time to stop breeding pit pulls and time to mandate sterilizing them, since only about 20 percent are sterilized now, compared to 70 percent-plus for all other dogs.

Merritt Clifton
Investigative Reporter and Editor

Re: open letter to Tia Torres – no response


Dear Tia Torres,

Through tears of agony I wrote you a letter six months ago to which you never acknowledged. I’m sure you got it, and I’m sure you’re aware of the 192 children that have been killed by pit bulls in the US, and the 279 adults who have been killed by them… and the thousands who have been disfigured and severely injured from vicious attacks – half the time from trusted pets who had shown no signs of aggression before that. Yet rather than warning the public about the truth that pit bulls were bred for hundreds of years to fight to the death and therefore not suitable to be household pets, you are still telling lies that “it’s all how you raise them.” And now you’ve got a new program with Villalobos Rescue Center pairing “well trained” service dogs (including pit bulls!) with physically impaired children?!! Unbelievable!

Please re-read my letter. For someone who professes to caring so much I can’t believe you didn’t have the dignity to even send an “I’m sorry for your loss” message or anything. My beloved daughter and all the other victims deserve at least that much from you.

Roxanne Hartrich

A message to Tia Torres – by Roxanne Hartrich

Dear Tia Torres,

On January 17th 2014 my daughter Kara was attacked and brutally mauled to death on her 4th birthday by the very dog we purchased for her at x-mas the year before.

She thought that dog hung the moon, she had tea parties with him, he would sleep at the foot of the couch when she napped, laid his head on her lap for endless petting, she would sing songs to him, demanded he be bought special toys to play with, special pooper scooper so she could clean up after him, cushions for him to lay, she helped walk him with her daddy at night, cried when he wasn’t feeling well as her little heart felt so badly for him, her face lit up from ear to ear when she’d talk about him.

We watched your show (Pit Bulls & Parolees) faithfully, had it DVR’d as a matter of fact, we hung to your every word, admired you for fighting for the respect of the breed, and educating new owners and potential adopters, we clung to your words and followed them like a bible.

You are the biggest reason why I allowed that dog into my home. I bought into your theory of poor misunderstood dog, gentle giant, loving family pet, great with children, loyal, snuggly. Our dogs were every one of those things—until the day something snapped in him and he wasn’t.

He attacked my daughter with no warning, no growl, no sneer, no previous anger, no signs whatsoever. You are wrong in what you say, you are wrong in what you preach, you are preaching untruths and many many more children will die because of you.

These dogs are unpredictable at best, ticking time bombs that do not care that you have loved them as family and had done all the right things, exercised, fed well, the right fences, vetted, loved beyond measure.


Darla Napora’s father speaks out – a word to the wise that bears repeating

The month of August 2011 was a bad one for proud pit bull fans. In that month, 3 different people were attacked and mauled to death by “family pit bulls” that either belonged to them or another family member, and were well known to them. The victims were Michael Cook of Tucson Az, Carmen Ramos of Philadelphia, Pa, and Darla Napora of Pacific, Ca.

image of Darla Napora

Darla Napora

Darla, a member of Bad Rap, a bay area pit bull advocacy group, was an outspoken advocate for the breed, and featured numerous pictures with their pit bulls on social media.

On August 11, 2011, the male pit bull launched a sustained, relentless attack so brutal that she couldn’t even reach a phone to dial 911. Her husband came home for lunch to find her dead body, with horrific injuries on her upper body, and defensive wounds on her arms, the pit bull still standing over its prey.

In the aftermath of the attack, her facebook page was immediately scrubbed, and the propaganda and victim blaming began in earnest.

A statement by Darla’s father was published on the 2nd anniversary of her death in, to address the misinformation and misconceptions spread by the pit bull advocacy, His comments are shown below. Sadly, the misinformation and victim blaming persists to this day.


2015 pit bull victim #37328

Poor pug mauled by pit bull

On Sunday afternoon (7/26/15), Tyson, an 11-year old pug from Los Angeles went out for a 30-minute walk with his dog walker and few other dogs. The group of dogs included a pit bull named Thor. After the walk, Tyson’s dog walker tied up the dogs outside of a 7-Eleven and stopped in for 10 minutes to pick up a Gatorade, which is when the pit bull attacked Tyson.
During the 7-Eleven stop, Tyson sustained multiple wounds to his neck, chest, torso, and legs. He needed a blood transfusion, a couple of surgeries, a cast, and plenty of stitches. Poor guy was being attacked and couldn’t get away due to their leashes keeping them in distance of each other.

Read the full story here: Reddit discussion

“If a Pit Bull Could Speak” – By Elton Camp

If a pit bull only had the power of speech
Perhaps even the nutters he could reach
Let’s put imagination at play
Think what he well might say

“You knew what I was when you took me in.
Over my genetics, no training can truly win.”

“Call me a ‘nanny dog’ if you will.
Little children I’ll continue to kill.”

“You just think that I love you.
Soon, I’ll be snarling above you.”

“Aggression tests are a joke.
I easily pass after killing folk.”

“Old pit bulls are seldom found.
We are killed in fights or put down.”

“As a therapy dog, choose me.
Of your problem, you’ll be free.”

“Don’t expect me to give just one bite.
I’ll maul and hold with all my might.”

“You’re an idiot if having me thrills you.
“I’m the breed most likely to kill you.”