Why is it that every time a “pit bull” kills someone it’s such a huge deal that is all over the news and everyone gets in a big uproar about it? I understand it isn’t a small thing and it obviously should be reported, but why is it that you only ever hear about the pit bulls and not other breeds? Oh and let’s not forget about all the humans killing humans every day.
When you look at some statistical facts by the numbers it doesn’t seem like it should be so newsworthy when a pit bull type dog kills someone…
In the United States there are only around 26 people killed on average by dogs each year — That’s ALL dog breeds, not just pit bulls. At the same time there is an average of around 17,000 people murdered by other people every year in the USA. And more than 200 women kill their OWN children in the United States each year!
Taking those numbers into account, you are MUCH safer sitting in a room full of pit bulls than you are sitting on the couch next to your own mom!
Oh and let’s not forget that somewhere around 15,000,000 dogs are killed by humans every year! Yes, that’s 15 MILLION. It’s no wonder they get a little pay back every once in a while.
Fact: According to the American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS) for dogs, the American Pit Bull Terrier receives a passing score of almost 87% — That is better than Beagles, Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Collies, German Shorthaired Pointers, Pomeranians, Shih Tzu’s, St Bernard, Vizsla, Weimaraners, and many other breeds that people typically consider to be “friendly” dogs! The pit bulls score is also BETTER than the average among ALL dog breeds.
Also, according to the CDC there are about 4.5 million people bitten by dogs each year. Almost 1 in 5 of those who are bitten — a total of 885,000 — require medical attention for their dog bite related injuries. In 2006, more than 31,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
So, that means every day about 2,425 people are bitten seriously enough by a dog to go get medical attention for it. How many of those did you hear about today? I’m guessing it was ZERO — maybe one or two at the most. But I bet the next time a pit bull sends someone to the hospital you will hear about it. That’s the only time the news cares enough to report it. Which is exactly why they get an undeserved bad rap perpetrated by the media.
I would be willing to bet that every person who reads this has been around a pit bull at least one time in their lives. How many of those same people were bitten by that “vicious killer” of a dog while they were around it? I’ll guess NONE!
I’ve been around thousands of dogs in my life — many of them Pit Bulls, Rottweiler’s, German Shepherds, Dobermans and all the other breeds people say are killers — and the ONLY one that has ever attacked me was a cute little Beagle! I don’t hear anyone saying how vicious Beagles are, and I certainly don’t think they all are just because that one was.
Please don’t fall into the trap of false fear and myths perpetrated by the media!
Still don’t think the media is at least partially to blame? Then, check this out…
An article from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states:
“Animal control officers across the country have told the ASPCA that when they alert the media to a dog attack, news outlets respond that they have no interest in reporting on the incident unless it involved a pit bull. A quantitative study by the National Canine Resource Council (NCRC) of dog-bite reportage in a four-day period proves that anti-pit bull bias in the media is more than just a theory — it’s a fact.
1. August 18, 2007 — A Labrador mix attacked a 70-year-old man, sending him to the hospital in critical condition. Police officers arrived at the scene and the dog was shot after charging the officers. This incident was reported in one article in the local paper.
2. August 19, 2007 — A 16-month-old child received fatal head and neck injuries after being attacked by a mixed-breed dog. This attack was reported on twice by the local paper.
3. August 20, 2007 — A six-year-old boy was hospitalized after having his ear torn off and receiving a severe bite to the head by a medium-sized, mixed-breed dog. This incident was reported in one article in the local paper.
4. August 21, 2007 — A 59-year-old woman was attacked in her home by two pit bulls and was hospitalized with severe, but not fatal, injuries. This attack was reported in over 230 articles in national and international newspapers, as well as major television news networks including CNN, MSNBC and Fox.
Along with over-reporting, false reporting is a major contributor to the public relations nightmare currently facing pit bulls. There is an emerging tendency for all short-haired, stocky dogs to be called pit bulls—and when a dangerous dog’s breed is unknown, the media is not above assuming that the dog involved must have been a pit bull. The National Canine Resource Council terms this phenomenon “Everything is a pit bull, whether it is or not.” In the rush to publish, the pit bull label is often inaccurately applied—and even if a correction is later made, the damage is done. Not all media bias is necessarily intentional, but it forms an impression on the public and on legislators nonetheless.”Categories: Dog Breeds, Dog Information