Pit bulls were responsible for 74% of dog bite fatalities in 2017 despite only making up about 6.5% of the US dog population.
In 2017, pit bulls killed:
20,000+ farm animals
Between the years 2005 and 2017, canines killed 433 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 66% (284) of these deaths.
While pit bull advocates repeat “it's the owner, not the breed” as a mantra, the fact remains that genetics play a vital role in not only the aggression of dogs, but in the lethal nature of their attacks as well. Pit bull owners will often cite contradictory studies in which the author claims that breed is a non-issue, while still tacitly admitting that pit bulls are exceptionally dangerous by way of their genetic lineage.
Hundreds of generations of pit bulls originally bred for bull-baiting (holding a bull down by the neck as it's being castrated) and dog-fighting is difficult to ignore, especially when breeders and humane societies do little—if anything at all—to select for dogs with a people-friendly temperament. Ironically, dog-fighters (such as in the notable case of Michael Vick) accomplished more in the way of weeding out people-aggressive dogs by culling those who snapped on their handlers. The unrelenting tenacity of pit bulls and their renowned “gameness” in fighting other animals has long been inbred, along with their lowered sensitivity to pain. All dogs bite, but pit bulls are genetically predisposed to not let go. As the breed has grown in popularity, so too has the number of lethal dog attacks.
Pit bull advocates couch their arguments in the idea that pit bulls are somehow unfairly stigmatized by the media. While yes, there are a disproportionate amount of pit bull attacks reported in the news, the very same media they claim is biased will post fluff pieces about pit bulls being unfairly stereotyped. If breed is of no significance, it's highly conspicuous that pit bulls require a multi-million dollar lobbyist group with celebrities, marketing agencies, lawyers, and politicians at the helm. It's also conspicuous that the American Kennel Club only agreed to register pit bulls if they were registered as Staffordshire Terriers; and that humane societies/shelters deliberately misidentify pit bulls in order to mislead people into adopting them, even resorting to calling them “St. Francis Terriers.” It's simply unfathomable to these advocates that the disproportionate representation of pit bull attacks could possibly be a result of pit bulls disproportionately killing and maiming people.
The American Temperament Society is often cited to support the claim that pit bulls are less aggressive than other dogs, even though (according to their own official website) the results of the test are not a measure of the dog's aggression, nor is the test a scientific study with any statistical significance. Regardless, the overall aggression of pit bulls is not the issue at stake. The true problem lies in the fact that when pit bulls do display aggression and attack people, they don't stop until the person is either brutally maimed or dead. The difference between being bitten by a chihuahua and a pit bull is the difference between a band-aid and a skin graft. Along with the loss of life and limb, the cost of insurance claims and medical bills have skyrocketed as well. The economic strain of a dog breed that attacks families, neighbors, children, and police officers on a daily basis cannot be ignored. It's also worth noting that much of Canada has banned or severely restricted pit bulls and the reduction in dog bite fatalities has dropped significantly. The only dog bite fatality in Canada last year was a result of stray dogs.
Why are Americans allowing these delusional pit bull advocates to run roughshod over our personal safety with virtually no opposition? They've managed to outright ban breed-specific legislation in 21 states because a tiny percentage of the total dog population is a lethal menace that people are afraid of. This has got to stop.