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Any dog, no matter the breed, age, and even if raised with kindness and care, is capable of an unprecedented and unprovoked attack.

So if a pit bull that has no history of aggressive behavior one day attacks and bites someone without provocation, then we conclude that it must have happened because of how the owner had treated it ? And if the dog never did the attack, we conclude the owner is a good owner ? Not necessarily. Statistically, Pit Bulls are one of the most likely breeds of dogs to attack a human being, and they have a natural propensity to attack and bite hard. They were bred as a fighting dog, when society accepted that as a sport. One neighbor and long time Pit Bull owner told me that they were bred to fight lions and other animals in the Roman Colosseum !

However, the type or breed of a dog is not sufficient in Virginia to cause a jury to find for the injured dog attack victim. In a dog bite case, the injured plaintiff must still prove negligence. To prove this from an evidentiary standpoint, the injured victim will usually need an expert unless pre-trial investigation or discovery revealed that the dog had prior attacks on humans. There is no question that there are good dog owners that can train a Pit Bull to be well behaved and others who can cause an otherwise docile breed of canine to be vicious and dangerous. In tomorrow’s post I write about a friend’s use of a trainer to prove negligence in a pit bull dog attack case where there were no "prior bites" or other attacks.

If you or someone you know has been injured, bitten or mauled by a dog or other animal caused by someone else’s negligence or fault, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

10 Comments

  1. Gravatar for J.M.

    For factual information about dog bites visit NCRC.

    http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/dog-bites/types-of-dog-bites/dog-bites-injuries/

    "Do pit bulls inflict injuries unlike other dogs?

    No breed or type of dog has a particular method of attack or inflicts an exclusive type of injury.

    ***Claims that one breed of dog inflicts injuries unlike other breeds have no merit."

    The statement below is blatantly false

    "Statistically, Pit Bulls are one of the most likely breeds of dogs to attack a human being, and they have a natural propensity to attack and bite hard."

    From the CDC

    http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Dog-Bites/dogbite-factsheet.html

    "...There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill."

  2. Gravatar for Brenda

    The "National Canine Research Council" is the voice of Karen Delise. Do you think a vet tech (not a vet, not a researcher with a PhD) who owns pit bulls is a reasonable and unbiased"expert"?

    The CDC quote is taken slightly out of context. What they were trying to say is that the true scope of the problem was impossible to grasp without hard numbers. However, other statistics from within the same paper showed that pit bulls were responsible for nearly 70% of all fatal attacks on humans at a time when their population was estimated to be well under 3% of the dog population. With 3% of the dogs doing 70% of the killings - doesn't take a mathematician to see that pit bulls are especially dangerous.

  3. Gravatar for mutt

    The NCRC is also a pro pit bull CORPORATION.

    There is the basic math for 2010 pertaining to human aggressive attacks. Most of them were family pets.

    If a person wants a dog, get a breed that will not kill you.

    2010 USA DOG-RELATED FATALITIES

    26. September 4, 2010-AGE: 85-PIT BULL.

    Mattie Daugherty, McMinn County, TN.

    25. August 25, 2010--Age: 7- PIT BULLS (3), mixed breed (1).

    Jason Walter, Varna Ill.

    24. AUG. 25, 2010--AGE: 4-Boxer

    Taylor Becker, Hustisford, Wis.

    23. AUG. 22, 2010--AGE: 69-PIT BULLS (2).

    Jerry Yates, Mountain Ranch, CA.

    22. AUG 19, 2010--AGE: 46-PIT BULLS (pack).

    Tracey Payne, Macon, GA.

    21. August 02, 2010--AGE: 2-German shepherd mix

    Aaron Carlson, San Diego, Ca.

    20. July 22, 2010--AGE: 2-PIT BULLS (3).

    Jacob Brisbee, Concord, Contra Costa County, CA.

    19. July 20, 2010--AGE: 71-PIT BULLS (2).

    William Parker, Memphis, TN.

    18. July 12, 2010----AGE: 5- shepherd/wolf hybrid or Lab. mix (?).

    Kyle Holland, Lincoln Park, Michigan.

    17. June 16, 2010--AGE: 30-PIT BULL/Boxer Mix (3) Rott.Mix (1), Bullmastiff Mix (5).

    Michael Winters, Henrietta Township, OH.

    16. June 3, 2010--AGE: 33-Rottweiler.

    Eddie Lin, Oceanside, CA.

    15. June 3, 2010--AGE: 9-PIT BULL.

    Savannah Gragg, Kokomo, Ind.

    14. May 28, 10--AGE: 2-PIT BULL.

    Nathan Aguirre, San Bernardino, CA.

    13. May 20, 2010--AGE: 3- Sled Dog.

    Krystal Brink, Napaskiak, AK.

    12. April 14, 2010--AGE: 7 Days-PIT BULL.

    Thomas Carter Jr., New Port Richey, Florida.

    11. March 08, 2010--AGE: 9 Months-Rottweiler (2).

    Justin Lopez, Perkins, Oklahoma.

    10. March 04, 2010--AGE: 65-PIT BULL.

    Ethel Horton, Lee County, SC.

    9. February 28, 2010--AGE: 4-Rottweiler.

    Ashlynn Anderson, Astoria, Oregon.

    8. February 18, 2010--AGE: 10 Days-PIT BULL (attacked at 5 days old).

    Javari Garret (sp?), Conyers, GA.

    7. February 20, 2010--AGE: 3-American Bulldog.

    Violet Haaker, Ocala, FL.

    6. February 19, 2010--AGE: 37-PIT BULLS (6).

    Christine Staab, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    5. February 18, 2010--AGE: 11 Days-Siberian husky.

    Robert Hocker, Independence, MN.

    4. February 12, 2010--AGE: 6-PIT BULL.

    Anastasia Bingham, Terry, MS.

    3. February 07, 2010--AGE: 63-Rottweiler mix.

    Carolyn Baker, Cleveland Heights, OH.

    2. January 17, 2010--AGE: 56-PIT BULLS (4-6).

    Johnny Wilson, Chicago, IL.

    1. January 09, 2010--AGE: 3-PIT BULL.

    Omar Martinez, Apple Valley, CA.

    March 8, 2010--AGE-- 32- Wolves (2-4)

    Candice Berner, Chignik Lake, Alaska

  4. Gravatar for Rachele

    If you want the real picture on dog bites, check out

    www.facebook.com/dogbitetruth

    and

    www.chako.org/forum

  5. Gravatar for mutt

    As devastating as a bite is, the person is still alive. Other breeds have also killed humans, but if all of those breeds were combined they still don't equal the number of fatalities caused by pit bulls. All of the fatalities caused by pits were strictly human aggressive attacks not involving any other animals. A bite and a fatality are totally different things.

  6. Gravatar for Doug Landau

    I would agree that the reporting of Pit Bull attacks can impact the statistics. However, the more severe the dog bite or canine attack, the more likely it is to be brought to the attention of the authorities, law enforcement and the press. If a small dog bites and there is no puncture wound, PTSD or permanent dog attack scars, then it is likely not to be reported or even become the subject of an animal injury lawsuit. How often non- Pit Bull dog attack cases are reported would make for an interesting statistical study in the context of dog bite laws.

  7. Gravatar for Nicole

    One of the main reasons that pit bull related attacks happen more often then other breed attacks is because pit bulls are the #1 most overpopulated breed in the country. That is a fact. Visit any animal shelter in the US (that doesn't immediately put down pit bulls) and it is almost guaranteed that the majority of dogs there will be pits or pit mixes. People are negligent, selfish, and greedy and overbreed to make money. Additionally, the main reason that pit bull attacks are reported more often than others is not because the outcome of the attack is necessarily worse, it is because of what they are...period. People get bitten by a lab (which does happen) and they think "well it's ok, it was an accident, they are good dogs overall." Get bit by a pit and one thinks "this dog is a killer and dangerous." Lastly, look up the statistics on how often non-pit and non-pit mix dogs are actually identified as such by a person reporting an attack. It is astounding how many people say that a pit attacked them when in fact, the dog isn't even close.

  8. Gravatar for Doug Landau

    Good point Nicole. We have represented injured victims of attacks from German Shepherds, King Corsos, Black Labradors and other canines. Pit Bulls are not the only dogs who will bite, attack or knock people down. Your point about mixed pit bull dogs maiming children or adults is also a good one, and yes, there is probably some psychological and social factors going on ("these are good dogs..." with the reporting as well. Thanks, doug

  9. Gravatar for eve freedlander

    pit bulls are amenace, every day on television, there is a case of pit bull fights and bites,

    usuually ending in the pit bull being put down, and the owner of the pit bull paying doctor or veteranarian expenses. tdhis is in california.

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