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.
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.
Investigative Reporter and Editor