How many other animals did pit bulls kill last year?


How many other animals did pit bulls kill last year?


Pit bulls killed 99%

Pit bulls appear to have inflicted not less than 95% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000).  Altogether,  pit bulls inflicted 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520);  95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700);  95% of the fatal attacks on small mammals  and poultry (16,150);  and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280).

About 30,000 pit bulls were involved in attacks on other animals.  There are about 3.2 million pit bulls in the U.S. at any given time,  according to the my annual surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption via online classified ads.  Thus in 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal,  compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds.

USDA Wildlife Services estimated in 2006 that domestic dogs had killed about 21,900 livestock and poultry in 2004,  a number rounded off to 22,000 and recycled in several subsequent reports.  USDA Wildlife Services also estimated that domestic dogs killed about 2,700 sheep in 2009.  USDA Wildlife Services has not tried to quantify dog attacks on other animals,  however,  and has not published estimates of the numbers of dogs involved by breed.

One pit bull fan liked the idea

Responded Ed Boks,  executive director of Humane Society of Yavapai County,  Arizona,  when I posted this idea to Facebook:  “I would agree with that formula Merritt!  There is no excuse for allowing,  much less encouraging, risky adoptions just to maintain numbers.”  An avowed pit bull advocate,  Boks while heading the animal control agencies serving Phoenix,  New York City,  and Los Angeles presided over more pit bull intakes,  killing,  and adoptions than any other shelter director in the U.S.,  with no known instances of a pit bull that his agencies rehomed going on to kill or disfigure a human.

Nationally,  fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 since 2010,  including 58 by pit bulls,  along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs,  mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

Altogether,  33 U.S. shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010,  including 24 pit bulls,  seven bull mastiffs,  and two Rottweilers.

The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone before 2000 were two wolf hybrids,  rehomed in 1988 and 1989,  respectively.

(See also “The science of how behavior is inherited in dangerous dogs,”  by Alexandra Semyonova,…ggressive-dogs/.)

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American Pit Bull Terrier

It is recommended that American Pit Bull Terrier owners have and carry a break stick17. A break stick is a device designed to open a Pit Bull type dog’s mouth while it is engaged in fighting. Pit Bull type breeds have a very distinctive fighting style and often will latch on their opponent and not let go. They usually will shake the other animal violently when they are latched on. This can cause horrific damage quickly. The break stick was designed by dog fighters to be inserted into the Pit Bull’s mouth and release his grip. The original purpose was to safely end a dog fight. The break stick often is the ONLY thing that will release the dog’s grip. People have been known to hit Pit Bulls with objects such as a bat or even shoot them and the dog still will not let go. Bully Breed owners should always have one handy in cause of an emergency. The break stick is not safe to use on other breeds of dogs and is only recommended for dogs in the Pit Bull family that were once used for dog fighting purposes.

Click here for the full breed description of the American Pit Bull Terrier