I am a dog person. I am the proud daddy of a 10 pound shih-tzu who has a Napoleon complex but is basically a sweet dog. I have had dogs in my life since childhood. I have never seen a breed as tenacious and strong as the pit bull. A friend of mine had a pit bull several years ago, honestly, one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known but what I noticed about Nisa was that when she played tug of war, she would let let go of the rope…at all. I also noticed that commanding her to “stop playing” was difficult at best. She was tenacious, the strength in her jaws noticeable, even in play. I understood how these dogs could become so dangerous.
There is a troubling story this evening out of Victoria, Texas, 120 miles southwest of Houston. A 4-year-old boy who disappeared Sunday night has been found dead in Victoria, mauled to death by his neighbors pit bulls. A neighbor found the body of Kylar Johnson in his backyard around 10:30 Monday morning. Evidence shows the child was mauled to death by a pit bull kept chained in the neighbor’s yard. The Victoria County sheriff said Kylar apparently wondered into the fenced-in yard about half a mile from his home. “It’s real important due to the nature with what has happened with a toddler,” Sheriff T. Michael O’Connor said in a news conference. “There a lot of emotions, even with officers. We want to make sure we do it right.”
Cole Johnson, the child’s father, said Kylar was playing in the yard Sunday night while he washed his car nearby. Johnson said he looked up around 8 p.m. and the boy was gone. Neighbors and other volunteers fanned out across the area Sunday night and searched until dawn. Search dogs were also used Sunday night and Monday morning. The neighbor legally owns as many as 10 pit bulls. A study, “Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs,” examined the medical records of patients admitted to the level I trauma center of San Antonio University Hospital with dog bite injuries over a 15-year period. The results bore the grim reality of pit bull injuries.
The study, issued last year, shows the following:
Objective: Maiming and death due to dog bites are uncommon but preventable tragedies. We postulated that patients admitted to a level I trauma center with dog bites would have severe injuries and that the gravest injuries would be those caused by pit bulls.
Design: We reviewed the medical records of patients admitted to our level I trauma center with dog bites during a 15-year period. We determined the demographic characteristics of the patients, their outcomes, and the breed and characteristics of the dogs that caused the injuries.
Results: Our Trauma and Emergency Surgery Services treated 228 patients with dog bite injuries; for 82 of those patients, the breed of dog involved was recorded (29 were injured by pit bulls). Compared with attacks by other breeds of dogs, attacks by pit bulls were associated with a higher median Injury Severity Scale score, a higher risk of an admission Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8 or lower, higher median hospital charges, and a higher risk of death.
Conclusions: Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs. Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the US mortality rates related to dog bites.
- “The main findings of this study are that, in comparison to victims attacked by other breeds of dogs, victims attacked by pit bulls have a higher ISS score, a higher risk of an admission GCS score of 8 or lower, fewer hospital-free ad ICU-free days, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death.”
- “These fighting dogs were bred and trained not to display behavioral signals of their intentions so that they would have an advantage in the ring. For this reason, pit bulls are frequently known to attack ‘without warning.’”
- “The attack pattern of pit bulls is different from that of other dogs. With other dogs, children are usually at the highest risk of being bitten. In contrast, pit bulls seem to attack adults almost as frequently as they attack children.”
- “Pit bulls not only are notorious for their indiscriminate attack pattern but also as well known for the tenacity with which they continue to attack.
- “The inbred tenacity of pit bulls, the unrelenting manner in which they initiate and continue their attacks, and the damage they cause are the result of both genetics and environment. Therefore, this breed of dog is inherently dangerous.”
- “As stated by one author, ‘Temperament is not the issue, nor is it even relevant. What is relevant is actuarial risk. If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a Pit Bull Terrier or a Rottweiler has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed, and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs and their victims are paying the price.’”
- “If the risk of a fatal attack is normalized to Labrador Retrievers and Labrador-mix breeds (the most common registered dog in the United States), the relative risk of death related to pit bull attacks is more than 2500 times higher.”