Are Pitbull Attacks Really That Rare?

Pitbulls are one of the most controversial dog breeds in the world, both loved and feared for their muscular stature and history of being bred as fighting dogs. Statistics show that they have the highest number of confirmed attacks on humans with 3,397 cases. Recently, Judy Burch's 5-year-old pitbull, Blue, attacked her 12-year-old pug, Chelsea, leaving her with an eye injury and a gaping wound on her neck. This incident has sparked a debate in Iowa about the safety of pitbulls and whether race-specific laws should be enforced.In July, the town of Keystone tried to enforce a decades-old ordinance banning pitbulls after a 2-year-old girl was bitten.

At a City Council meeting in August, some townspeople opposed Keystone's specific ordinance on races and asked the council to reconsider it. Since then, three landlords who oppose the city's actions will have their cases heard at the October council meeting. At the same meeting in October, the council is expected to review a proposed draft of a new ordinance that would include provisions to restrict dangerous dogs, but would not highlight pit bulls.In August, an 8-year-old boy from Springville was hospitalized after being attacked by two mixed pitbull dogs, and a woman on her way to the Iowa State Fair was hospitalized after being attacked by a pitbull near the fairgrounds. The Postal Service made the rare decision to temporarily suspend mail delivery in a neighborhood on the south side of Des Moines after a pitbull jumped over a backyard fence and attacked a postman on East Kirkwood Avenue.

While all dog breeds can bite, pitbulls are known for their strong bite force of up to 236 PSI.Over a 13-year period, 248 people lost their lives due to the attack and injuries they sustained from a Pitbull. This has led many people to believe that pitbulls are more aggressive by nature and are disproportionately responsible for deadly attacks and serious attacks. However, pitbull supporters have said that poorly trained and uneducated owners are often to blame for dogs' behavior.A measure introduced last session in the Iowa Legislature would have prohibited Iowa cities and counties from having such ordinances. The move came after more than 20 states passed similar laws prohibiting local race-specific ordinances.

Organizations that supported the legislation in Iowa included the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association and the Iowa ARL, but the bill never moved forward.The United States Veterinary Medical Association, as well as the Humane Society and the United States Bar Association, have suggested new laws and ordinances that focus on problem animals rather than prohibiting a particular breed. They suggest cities adopt non-breed-specific dangerous dog laws, with an emphasis on law enforcement on chronically irresponsible owners; laws on leashes; dog fighting prohibitions; castration of dogs not intended for breeding; and education.Judy Burch said she's not sure what led to Blue's attack on her pug, although she speculated it could have been because of food or water. He said he voluntarily gave in to Blue to be euthanized because he no longer trusted the dog to be close to his grandchildren or his new 4-month-old great-grandson.Although Labradors have a 236 PSI bite, similar to that of a pitbull, they were bred to have a remarkably soft mouth to avoid penetrating the birds they capture. When it comes to what a dog bites the most, there can be a lot of reasons why pitbulls or German shepherds are programmed to protect, and that protective gene can be dangerous to others they consider threats.It is clear that while all dog breeds can bite, pitbulls have been bred for centuries as fighting dogs and can be dangerous if not properly trained or handled.

However, with proper training and education about responsible ownership, these dogs can make loyal companions.

Leah Alm
Leah Alm

Total tea advocate. Subtly charming web junkie. Freelance baconaholic. Freelance thinker. Hipster-friendly sushi maven.

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