11242017Headline:

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

HomeOklahomaOklahoma City

Email Guest Author
Guest Author
Guest Author
Contributor •

Dangerous Dogs – Does Breed Matter

20 comments

Deadly Dogs and the Dirty Truth: In 2007 Michael Vick was identified as a key player in an unlawful dog fighting ring. In turn, this has generated much debate over dangerous dog breeds and the injuries they inflict. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of these 4.5 million bites, 885,000 are serious enough to require medical attention. Most victims requiring medical attention were children. In more than two-thirds of the cases reported, the attack was the dog’s first known dangerous behavior.

Dangerous Breeds: In 2008 there were 23 fatal dog attacks in the United States. Pit-Bull type dogs were responsible for 65% of these attacks, Husky 13% and 22% other breeds. The accounts for each of these fatalities can be found at Dog Bite.org. According to a study of attacks occurring between 1982 and 2006, the most dangerous types of breeds include: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canrios and their mixes. Most dangerous breeds tend to attack children more than adults. However, Pit Bulls do not discriminate; they attack adults just as often as they attack children. In the United States, Pit Bulls make up 1 to 3% of the overall dog population and they cause more than 50% of serious attacks. Other dangerous breeds include German-Shepherd, Chow, and Akita. States vary on their laws regarding dog bites. Some states allow for one-bite before the owner is held liable, others have strict liability laws and hold the owner accountable even if it’s the first bite. Yet, some states have mixed statutes regarding dog bites. Oklahoma’s legal system favors victims of dog-related injuries. The law is a strict liability law that holds the owner liable so long as the victim was not trespassing and didn’t provoke the dog. Just recently, an 8-year old girl in Oklahoma City was attacked by a neighbor’s Pit Bull. The neighbors, as well as the girl’s parents, believe that the dog was only playing or that it became defensive since the young girl was on the neighbor’s property and the neighbors were not home. The dog had to be put in a headlock in order to be taken off the girl. She suffered bites to her knees and backs of her legs. In other news headlines, a two-year old child in Ardmore Oklahoma was attacked by the family’s Pit Bull and had to be taken to the hospital for facial injuries.

The headlines of dog attacks are endless. Reader’s Digest recently reported on an incident involving a four-year old boy from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The boy was mauled by a neighbor’s Pit Bull and Shar-Pei. The thirty-seven pound boy had played with these dogs many times before without any problems. The Shar-Pei had the boy’s thigh in his mouth while the Pit Bull had its jaws clamped around the boy’s head. Luckily, other nearby neighbors heard the boy’s screams and were able to rescue him. Had they not heard the boy, this incident would most likely have ended in tragedy.

Dog bite attacks and injuries too often result in death and permanent injury. Even though a neighbor’s dog or your family dog has never shown signs of violence or bad behavior, the impact of one bad encounter can last a lifetime. There are ways to reduce the liklihood of these occurences. Take measure to ensure your safety as well the safety of your loved ones. Should you experience an attack, report it to local authorities and seek legal advice promptly.

Oklahoma is a strict liability state for dog bite injuries. That means that in most instances the homeowner cannot even allege you were somehow negligent. Typically, any injuries you or a loved one suffers from a dog bite are covered under the owner of the dog’s homeowner’s insurance policy. The attorneys at McIntyre Law have experience litigation these matters and are prepared to aggressively represent you against insurance companies who would readily settle these cases below value.

20 Comments

Have an opinion about this post? Please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

  1. Carolyn Schneider says:
    up arrow

    What your stats do not show are the people behind the dogs. Who’s been owning these dogs that created the aggression? Many thugs and irresponsible owners have chosen certain breeds to have because of their strength and potential. Then they’re either not trained/socialized and/or trained to be viscious. It’s a known fact that pit bulls can be the most loving dog out there. I’ve, in fact, got one. She just earned her CGC. Dogs removed from Michael Vick’s estate have been rehabilitated by responsible, caring people. One even, in 5 weeks, was made an official therapy dog. Many have been rehabbed and rehomed.

    So, in answer to your question…. NO, breed does not matter. Responsible ownership DOES.

  2. MzTx says:
    up arrow

    You are Absolutely Correct !!!!!!!!!!!!

    ” Pit Bull Type Dogs ” are Resonsible for 65% of the Attacks.

    Do you even understand what that means ??? Looks like you have done your research on 1 side of the story – Now let’s teach you the Other ……..

    ” Pit Bull Type Dogs ” Consist of more than 24 different breeds ! …. Twenty Four
    and All of those 24 breeds Mixes and Mutts …..

    Shelters don’t even know the difference between a Boxer mix and an APBT . They just call it a
    ” Pit bull ” .

    That 1% – 3% only counts dogs who are Registered/Licensed or been to a Vet…..
    So in No way is that Accurate …
    because the Majority of people who own an APBT are Thugs and Lowlifes – their dogs have never seen a Vet – let alone Registered or Trained.

    We need to make it harder to Own an APBT ..
    Intense Training and Classes ….
    Education !!!!!!!!

    Noone with a Criminal Background should own an APBT….
    Noone w/out the Experience and Time for this Breed

    Let’s put a stop to backyard breeding … Only Licensed and Taxed people should breed …. Professionals !!!

    Not morons who just want to make money
    ( that goes for all breeds )

    Educate the Children ….

    Have you ever seen a Child react after seeing a Dog ….. They Run and Scream !!!!!!!

    that is why Children get bite more not only that but because they are on the Dogs level or Under…

    To an Untrained / Unsocialized dog – that is Prey
    and APBT are High Prey Dogs … just like Labs/ Border collies/Golden Ret., Terriers , Period.

    If you want to talk about numbers why don’t we talk about the 440,000 people who die a Year from Smoking ….

    or the 2,000 Parents who Kill thier Children …
    and walk away with Insanity ….

    God Bless

    and please Open your eyes and ask yourself
    ” Why ?? ”
    – Why did the Dog escape the backyard
    and
    – Why would it want to ??

    Dogs who escape , Obviously aren’t Supervised or in the right Surroundings …

    a 5ft link chain fence doesn’t stop any dog over 25 lbs ( if that even ). We should be required to have 7+ ft fences – and let’s stop the Chaining of Dogs….

    Ok I’m done …..LoL

  3. up arrow

    I completely agree with Ms Carolyn. None of this analysis talks about the environmental factors of the dogs, whether they are fed properly, whether they had any toys and how much love and training they have.
    I was abandoned at the pound and, when my new Mama and Dada first had me, I was a very nervous dog. Now I am happy and calm but I still sometimes get scared if I see something that reminds me how I was hurt before.
    And I am one of the gentlest breeds.
    And I meet great pitbulls at the dog park! They are fun and sweet and sometimes they have little hairless apes with them and they play with them nicely!
    I think it might be good to do some research on articles written by vets/pet behaviourists and at least link to them in your article.

  4. up arrow

    I agree with a number of those folks who have posted here.

    The bare stats do show that Pit Bulls are indeed a dangerous breed of dog. Your statistics show that they make up 1 to 3 per cent of the overall dog population. Of that, it is a mere fraction that are responsible for the vicious attacks.

    It is also important to note that most do not know what a ‘pit bull’ type dog is. An American Pit Bull Terrier is an AKC recognized breed that was designed to be a farmer’s aid. There are several breeds lumped into the ‘pit bull’ category incorrectly, included Staffordshire Terriers. Some of the sweetest dogs I have ever known are ‘pit bull’ type dogs.

    In Ontario’s breed-ban of 2005, every single agency which works with dogs in Canada presented cases showing that these dogs, as a breed, are not dangerous. One of your commentators suggested to, ‘look behind the dog’ to the owner. This is a very true and telling statement.

    If you take a look at majority of the cases of a fatal dog attack, the owner is of questionable moral status. Michael Vick, as well, has shown to be a rather sinister individual. The only reason ‘pit bulls’ are used in fighting is that they are powerful animals. If you eliminated them entirely, however, another dog breed would be used, such as rottweiller, doberman or king corso.

    Also keep in mind that fatal dog attacks are not the same as overall dog attacks. Overall dog attacks in the United States show that the most vicious dogs are Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas and other small terriers.

    Please, when writing an article such as this for an audience, be educated about it. Do not use the ignorant term ‘pit bull-type dogs’. Fighting dogs is a more appropriate term. A dog bred to fight is a dog bred to fight, regardless of its breed.

    We would be happy to provide many research papers which show not only that dogs can have aggression bred into them, but out of them; that ‘pit bull’ type dogs are responsible for a fraction of a fraction of overall dog attacks in the United States; that most legislation on dog attacks, is outdated and ignorant.

    Please sir, when writing an article be responsible, just as all dog owners should be as well.

    Project Mutt is a non-profit organization dedicated to revolutionizing the way the world views mutts and canine-related issues. To learn more and join the revolution, visit http://www.ProjectMutt.com.

    Howard L. McGile
    Founder, Project Mutt
    howard@projectmutt.com

  5. Fayclis says:
    up arrow

    Anyone that uses dogsbite.org as a reference for dog bites does not have clue ONE and should not be taken seriously. Dogsbite is nothing more than a BSL lobby group and it’s stats are a joke to the truly informed. It reports are based on MEDIA reports not on facts.

    This “organization” voted Tom Skelton as “Dog Warden of the Year” in 2008.
    http://www.toledoonthemove.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=236669
    READ THE COMMENTS under the article!

    There have been numorous petitions by the people Tom Skelton’s county to have Skelton removed from office. Due to his families many political connections, instead of firing him, the county elected to put a “11 person Advisory board” together to “watch” over him.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWVBxj7gg0k

    Denver’s dog bites have GONE UP since their ban.

    The Netherlands removed their ban after documenting NO difference in dog attacks or bites over 25 years. Italy was up to 92 banned and/or restricted dogs and THEY also have just removed their ban. It seems that no matter how many “dogs” they added, there was NO difference either. Both counties NOW look to OWNER accountibility, strong leash laws and education.

    If public safety IS truly important, look to the only place where actual bites and attacks are DOWN. Calgary, Alberta. The most successful AND “humane” place in North America.
    http://www.21stcenturycares.org/orcalgary.htm

    I can’t believe the myths and misinformation that still occurs in mainstream media.

  6. up arrow

    I can’t believe the source cited is dogbites.org…an organization that just gets its information from the media which is extremely sensationalized and inaccurate.

    I suggest attorneys read the new book by the American Bar Association -A Lawyer’s Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues. The National Canine Research Council is much more accurate in their bite information and now that DNA testing is available all breed identification done without it are suspect unless the dog is registered with the AKC or UKS

  7. SDF says:
    up arrow

    Pit bulls, pit bull types, and other large, powerful dogs can, indeed, be very dangerous. If you blew up a chihuahua to the size and power of a pit bull, it could be just as dangerous. I ride horses, and the same principle applies. Miniature horses are about the size of larger dogs, and, in the right circumstances, they could kill you. However, a standard size horse is far more LIKELY to kill you, even though the larger breeds often are actually kinder animals. It is simple logic. Larger = more power = a greater capacity for damage. However, I would rather spend time with a well-trained and loved draft breed (very large) than an ill-tempered miniature, just as I would rather trust a well-trained pit bull than a toy breed that never got any training because people thought it was too little to do any damage or its aggressiveness was “cute”. Just because it does not kill anyone, that does not make it any less aggressive.

    If you were to fall from a 5 foot drop it is likely going to harm you less than if you fall from a 50 foot drop.

    I would never own a pit bull, but not because of any inherent danger. Rather I avoid them because I would be afraid that a loved and spoiled pet of mine would be taken away simply because of a breed prejudice. Properly bred and raised pit bulls are no more likely to kill people than any other large, powerful breed.

    If you actually count ALL of the “pit bull types” (APBT, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, lab crosses, boxer crosses, and other breeds that are mistakenly labeled as pit bull terrier types), the number involved in attacks would probably be much, much smaller in comparison to the number out there. There are no good estimates of all of the “pit bull types” like there are of breeds such as labs. Purebreds that are recognized in a parent club have the benefit of being able to be registered and compared to the registrations of other breeds, which gives a decent idea on how many there are in comparison to other breeds. Even the ones that are not registeredthat go through shelters–if they purebred–can usually be readily identified as their breed. Since “pit bulls” are quite often other breeds or mixed breeds, there is simply no accurate measure of which ones actually ARE pit bulls.

    To the commenter that suggested pit bulls only be bred by professionals, that is a bad idea. ‘Professionals’ which are taxed and licensed are the very puppy mills that responsible breeders and animal welfare enthusiasts alike try hard to keep out of business. As soon as it becomes ‘professional,’ it BECOMES about the profit. People do need to think long and hard before breeding ANY animal, and they need to make sure they are well-educated on the proper care and standards of the species and breed. As soon as I hear a breeder is a professional breeder, is USDA licensed, or anything such as that, I know to run the other way…fast.

    Rather than new laws, we need to work on enforcing the ones we have. We need to make sure the minimum care is provided, at the VERY least. Many mill breeders, even those who are licensed, do not do this. The inspections are lax or non-existent. Plus, anyone who is breeding outside of the range of the current law (unlicensed mill breeders, dog fighting breeders, etc.) is just going to continue to breed outside of the range of any new law. If they know they will get caught and punished severely instead of getting a slap on the wrist, it would be more effective than all the new laws you can think of.

  8. Carolyn Schneider says:
    up arrow

    I have something else I’d like to add…. People – dog owners, non-dog-owners, dog-lovers, dog-haters, anyone – should take the time to gain some knowledge of dog behavior. Yes, it is the responsibility of the dog-owner to have a happy, healthy, and well-balanced dog. But it is also the responsibility, IMHO, of any person to be knowledgable in how to or how not to confront/approach/”be” around a dog. Just like we have schools and training for every other aspect of life – it would behoove people to be educated about dog behaviors – how to spot “issues” and how to “be” around them. How to not exacerbate an upset dog, etc.

    If you can’t swim, do you stay away from the water? Maybe, but you’ll likely find yourself near water somewhere, sometime. And it would be in your own best interest to learn water safety and maybe even how to swim.

    It’s true that the larger the breed the more powerful it is and potential damage it can do if provoked. BUT, is the answer to just exterminate all dogs over 30 pounds?! That’s insane! Dogs are man’s best friend! Dogs have no doubt saved many more lives than the those that have unfortunately been lost (due to irresponsible or bad ownership). The emotional connections humans have with their dogs alone can be life saving. I know it has been for me.

  9. Susan Snyder says:
    up arrow

    Unfortunately for the pit bull, they are subject to stereotype. All of the “attack” articles do not indicate that very often these dogs are not owned and treated as a family pet, but rather are dogs that were trained for aggression/fighting.
    Because of their reputation, responsible dog owners are afraid to have them for a pet. I would like to know the percentage of pit bulls that are owned by loving families and the percent that are owned by thugs. Sadly for this beautiful breed of dog, the majoritiy of people that own and breed these dogs are in it for the wrong reasons and the dogs suffer for it. Ignorance and the media have unjustly judged this breed.

  10. Meaghan Edwards says:
    up arrow

    The CDC stats are way out of date and it HAS been proven that there is NO such a thing as an inherently dangerous breed of dog. Get with the times people!

    Cold hard FACTS are all right here:

    http://www.defendingdog.com

  11. Tomas says:
    up arrow

    A you can see by the comments here, there is BIG MONEY to be made from pit bulls. These dog breeders and dog fighters will say anything they can think of to cover up the very real problems that pit bulls have!

    They will also do anything they can to snake out of liability when their dogs maul someone.

    Attorney Thurman, you are getting blasted by the dog breeder business lobby for daring to utter the truth about pit bulls!

    This breeding industry hires lobbyists to propagandize for them and protect the pit bull image and deny the problems so they can go on making big money from these dogs.

    One is a tobacco industry lobbyist!

    The pit bull and dog breeding lobby cares about nothing more than profits.

    Personal injury lawyers are desperately needed because the damage that pit bulls do is tremendous. Much more than any other breeds, because they are specifically bred to be aggressive and do maximum damage. Which often results in death as well.

    Even well-trained pit bulls are attacking without provocation.

  12. Tomas says:
    up arrow

    It is disturbing that Mr McGile, owner of Project Mutt, has cut and pasted propaganda from pit bull breeder and dog fighter lobbying web sites to try to defend pit bulls.

    These pit bull breeder groups often come up with innocent sounding names to mask their financial interests in promoting and protecting pit bulls.

  13. Tomas says:
    up arrow

    Many pet “bahaviorists” and dog trainers, even some vets, work for the pit bull breeder industry, and similarly propagandize for pit bulls.

    Where there is a financial interest, unfortunately, there are people who will disregard public safety and the truth.

  14. Tomas says:
    up arrow

    It is especially disturbing to see Ledy VanKavage posting here.

    Ledy VanKavage not only owns a houseful of pit bulls, she is a REGISTERED LOBBYIST for pit bull interests, and is involved with PIT BULL BREEDER GROUPS that profit from breeding and selling pit bulls.

    She works through Best Friends, an organization that refuses to take pit bulls from its own state, and abandoned rescued Hurricane Katrina pit bulls with a hoarder where they died, instead of bringing them to their “sanctuary.”

    The National Canine Research Council that she mentions is run by one woman who used to work as a vet tech, and is unlicensed and untrained in any kind of animal behavior. She wrote a book and published it with a vanity publisher, and now issues propaganda based on information from DOG BREEDER LOBBYING GROUPS.

    The book VanKavage mentions, The Lawyer’s Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues, is DIRECT PROPAGANDA from dog breeding lobbying groups, and is a travesty to the legal profession. This book is literally dog breeder business lobbying propaganda that comes directly from pit bull breeders and even dog fighters, as well as the AKC (they breed pit bulls, and call them Staffordshire Terriers.) The American Bar Association should be ashamed for allowing itself to be manipulated by pit bull breeders in their quest to deceive about pit bulls and oppose regulations to protect profits over public safety.

    The Bar Association, by publishing this book, is simply enabling more pit bull breeders to produce more pit bulls to maim and kill children and adults!

    VanKavage routinely misinforms the public about the problems that pit bulls have. She advocates placing known fighting dogs (with histories of aggression) in homes. She falsely claims that pit bulls are like other dogs, and “just need love” even though pit bulls that have never been abused are attacking unprovoked.

    She has even claimed that pit bulls are good with children, when even pit bull breeders admit that since pit bulls have a high prey drive they are NOT good with children.

    It is astonishing that a lawyer would choose to deceive the public about these public safety issues, but Ms. VanKavage is paid to be a pit bull lobbyist, not an attorney.

    It is people like Ms VanKavage that share responsibility for the many children facing years of painful surgeries, disfigurement, lost limbs, terror (or have been lost to their families and killed!) due to the pit bulls that Ms VanKavage promotes.

    These pit bull propagandists just do not care about the terrible injuries and deaths that these dogs are committing. Legislators are too often manipulated by these lobbyists. It is getting to the point that personal injury lawyers are the last remaining hope for the growing numbers of people suffering from pit bull attacks.

    I hope that personal injury lawyers can educate themselves about these lobbying tactics, and stand up to this dog breeding lobby that is as careless and deceptive as the tobacco industry.

    In fact, they even use a lobbyist that has lobbied for the tobacco industry!

  15. up arrow

    You might want to read the new book from the American Bar Association

    Be Prepared for the Expanding Field of
    Animal Law with these Two Important Resources!

    Dangerous Dog Issues
    Joan E. Schaffner
    This one-of-a-kind book discusses the handling of “dangerous dogs” by the law and private associations. Today, many dogs are deemed dangerous, not on the traits of the individual animal, but by breed alone. The authors explain why breed discrimination is immoral, unfair, and ineffective, and discuss progressive approaches to better handle reckless owners and their dogs, and share strategies for prosecuting and defending dangerous dog cases.

    Product Details:
    Regular Price: $79.95
    Section Member Price: $64.95 Product Code: 5190448
    ©2009 6 x 9 – Paperback
    108 pages

    Litigating Animal Law Disputes:
    A Complete Guide for Lawyers
    Edited By Julie I. Fershtman and Joan E. Schaffner
    Animal law is an emerging field that encompasses a variety of legal disciplines. Today, more and more lawyers are entering into this field or finding they have cases that deal with animal law. This comprehensive guide is for lawyers who may be unfamiliar with the various laws in the field of animal law and require a basic guide to handling these cases.

    Product Details:
    Regular Price: $129.95 Section Member Price: $99.95
    Product Code: 5190436
    ©2009
    6 x 9 – Paperback
    584 pages

  16. Robin Benit says:
    up arrow

    Well, Tomas – according to you every one involved in these dog issues, from Ledy VanKavage to Karen Delise to Howard McGile all have “phony or biased credentials.”
    Everyone who has stood up and put their name and experience on the line is not to be believed – but, yet YOU are to be believed?
    You – who doesn’t stand up and identify yourself, You – who doesn’t offer of ANY credentials?
    You – who sits cowardly behind a comupter screen and spread lies and malign people.
    We are to believe you?

  17. up arrow

    I do not believe it is about the breed of dog….just the fact that owners are way to careless with the way their dogs are raised. If a dog is capable of causing human harm then their should be some regulations on how that dog is raised and treated.

  18. Carolyn Schneider says:
    up arrow

    I’m sorry, Tomas, but your posts are not only for the most part false, but actually kinda ridiculous. Posters’ motivations? To protect the innocent. And yours? “Mean” dogs are not born, they are made.

    Tomas, perhaps you’d also like to exterminate a certain race, since one may be known to be involved in more crime than another? Hmmm?

  19. Chris says:
    up arrow

    Anybody who has taken a walk in an American city in the last few years will be able to tell you that “pit bull type dogs” make a lot more than 1-3% of the dog population. That statistic is total nonsense.

  20. Jason Collins says:
    up arrow

    Not that you care. You are an ambulance chaser and this “article” was never meant to be accurate. It was meant to be sensational and get people to call your place of business.

    Here is some much needed perspective on your “data”. you say that “pit bull” account for 1% to 3% of the dog population. That is an average of 2%, right? According to the AVMA there are 72,114,000 dogs owned by Americans. That means that 2% of them are “pit bulls” or 1,442,280.

    You said that there were 23 fatal attacks and 65% of those were attributed to pit bulls. That is less that 15 fatalities from a population of over 1.4 million. That means that pit bulls attack at a rate of 1:100,000.

    Statistically there are approximately 124,000 pit bulls in the state of Oklahoma. That is 1.24 killer pit bulls in your entire state.

    15 deaths by pit bulls a years might sound horribly, but let’s look at that compared to the US population. The US population is 306,956,547. Every man, woman and child in America has a 0.000004% chance of being killed by a pit bull this year.

    FACTS:

    People killed each year by:

    Tobacco 435,000
    Poor Diet 400,000
    Alcohol 85,000
    Microbial agents 75,000
    Toxic agents 55,000
    Motor vehicle crashes 43,000
    Incidents involving firearms 29,000
    Sexual behaviors 20,000
    Illicit use of drugs 17,000

    Pit Bulls 15