Dangerous dogs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1996:

Dogbite data published by
Jeffrey J. Sacks, M.D., of the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention,
shows 109 Americans were killed by
dogs 1989-1994, including 11 infants
under four weeks old who were killed in
their beds. Of all the victims, 57% were
under age 10; of these, 45% were killed
by an unrestrained dog on the owner’s
property, while 29% were killed after
wandering too close to a chained dog.
Of 41 fatal attacks in which the sex of
the dog was known, 25 were by male
dogs, and 20 of those dogs had not been
neutered. Pit bulls killed 57 people;
Rottweilers killed 19.

Reviewing dog ownership
and bite records at Fort Sam Houston,
which stringently enforces licensing and
records breeds, University of Texas at
Houston School of Public Health veterinarian
John Herbold found that pit bulls
accounted for 5% of the serious bites but
made up just 1% of the dog population;
chows, 5% of the dogs, accounted for
12% of the serious bites; and Labrador
retrievers, 6% of the dogs, accounted
for only 4% of the serious bites.
Of the 836,000 licensed dogs
in Pennsylvania, about 240 have been
classified as dangerous by local courts
and entered into the state’s six-year-old
Dangerous Dog Registry. Among them
are 48 Rottweilers, 30 pit bulls, and 30
German shepherds.
of dog attack deaths and maimings
reported by newspapers since 1992
shows pit bulls, Rottweilers, and wolf
hybrids accounting for 81% of the cases
in which a specific breed is identified;
77% of the attacks on children; 81% of
the attacks on adults; 79% of the deaths;
and 84% of the maimings.
North Hempstead, New
York, passed breed-specific legislation
governing pit bulls and other fighting
dogs in September 1995, after 24 dogs
were found injured or killed in fights
during 1994. Owners of such dogs must
be at least 21, insured for $100,000 liability.
During the next year, only five
dogs injured or killed in fights turned up,
says North Hempstead Animal Shelter
director Susan Hassett.

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