Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Super, Super True Quote from - pass it on!

I got an email from yesterday and at the top was such a simple truism that it just blew me away:

"Because of the ignorance promulgated by Michael Bryant, more innocent people are being harmed by dog haters than were ever harmed by dogs."

I had a post a couple days ago just about that - about how people are getting their dogs kicked and people are starting to turn their dogs into shelters because they can't handle it. And shelters are NOT allowed to re-adopt those animals out anymore in Ontario. Any bully type dogs MUST be destroyed now. So to surrender your canine life companion is a death sentence. The blood is beginning to flow from Michael Bruant's hands very freely, and I'm sure he's quite happy about it. I've never seen a picture of him, but I wonder if his hair hides the horns very well.

That quote was at the top of an open letter to Michael Bryant where Marjorie Darby asks why Mr Bryant hates pit bulls so much. I too wonder why it is that society has allowed people to have absolutely demonized a whole species of sentient being that probably a lot of them have never even seen - and if they have they don't even know that they had - because if they did, they definitely would'nt be so terrified of it.

Is it the word pit bull? When I think of bull - I think of the cartoon of the bull in that field who would smell flowers and wouldn't fight, and then I think of bull fighting and how the bulls get killed by the guy in the stupid hat, and then I think of the bulls in Pamplona running down the streets absolutely terrifed goring whatever they run into so that they can get the h-e-double hockey sticks away from them. And when I think of pit I think of dark and empty. So none of that is good, I guess. But when I see a pit bull dog I usually see a long tail that's ready to whack my knees it's wagging so hard, the body's ready to be cut in half it's wiggling so much, the head is bobbing, the eyes are wide and playful, the huge tongue is hanging out - and the bark is huge. And that's about it. They're pretty good dogs - I'm not a fan of that kind of dog hair because it sticks straight in the upholstery and is impossible to get out. But the kind of love they give is absolutely fantastic - their one on one humman love bond is unbelievable and that's why people love them so much. And that's why they're so easy for bad people to manipulate.

Maybe that's why Michael Bryant wants to wipe them off the face of the earth - he can't stand to see that kind of pure love exist between 2 sentient beings. Between a human and a dog - free from any kind of sexual or physical connotations - just pure love when you look in their eyes and know that it's just for a short time because a dog's life is so damn short - he's jealous because he a sociopath (or is it a psycopath?) so he can't experience it, so he doesn't want anyone else to have it either....

Anwyay - here's's open letter to Michael Bryant.... - it's super!

An Open Letter to Michael Bryant

Friday, November 5, 2004
Dear Mr. Bryant,

There is a saying that has been taken from the words of Chief Dan George. It goes like this: What we don't know, we fear. What we fear, we hate. What we hate, we destroy.

I can't think of anyone who embodies that sentiment more than you, Mr. Bryant, in relation to your view of 'pit bulls'.

I haven't heard you say that you've owned a 'pit bull'. So, you don't really know them, do you? Is this why you fear them? Is this why you hate them? Is this why you're trying to destroy them?

You say they're "inherently vicious beasts" yet, using of the city of Toronto's own records so far this year, 97% of licensed 'pit bulls' and significantly more than 99% of the estimated overall 'pit bull' population has harmed neither man nor beast. Can any group be considered "inherently vicious" when fewer than 1% of its members are dangerous?

You've said that, for every person who tells you his/her 'pit bull' is a "pussycat" (to use your words), there's someone who's emailed you about being attacked by a 'pit bull'. In fact, the statistics above show the ratio is at least 99 - 1. For every person who tells you they were attacked by a 'pit bull' there are more than 99 completely innocent 'pit bulls' who never have and never will attack anyone or anything.

You've told the public that thousands of "'pit bull' attacks" have gone unreported. But why do you think a 'serious dog attack', especially those attributed to already much maligned 'pit bulls', would go unreported by victims? Could it be those incidents were not as serious as these people are now leading you to believe? Could they even by lying to you? How serious could a bite be, if even the victim doesn't deem it necessary to contact authorities?

I find your references to these alleged "thousands of unreported 'pit bull' attacks" to be as dubious as the rest of your "facts".

You have said that 'pit bulls' are a threat to the safety of people and their pets. Yet when I contacted insurance companies to ask about dog bite claims, I was told "they don't happen often", and the only ones the employees could remember involved Labrador Retrievers and small dog breeds.

You suggest that 'pit bulls' bite more often than other breeds. Yet in a study that ranked dog breeds from one to one hundred, in order of how likely they were to bite, the 'pit bull' ranked fourth...from the bottom.

Kitchener-Waterloo banned 'pit bulls' after 18 bites reported the previous year. During that same period, there were 85 bites attributed to German Shepherds.

You hail Winnipeg as the success story that proves how beneficial banning 'pit bulls' can be. Well, let's look at Winnipeg, then.

The city of Winnipeg banned 'pit bulls' in 1990. But, according to a report provided by the Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC), in 1991, the number of bites by the following breeds in Winnipeg INCREASED immediately after 'pit bulls' were banned:

Alaskan Malamute, Beagle, Blue Heeler, Border Collie, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bull Terrier, Chihuahua, Collie, Dachshund, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, German Shorthaired Pointer, Great Dane, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Labradors, Rottweilers, Shetland Sheepdog, and Springer Spaniel; with large spikes in bites by Shepherd mixes, and Lab mixes.

That same report shows the information you are dispensing about the "success" of the Winnipeg ban is completely fabricated. Total reported bites went from 214 in 1990 (the year of the 'pit bull' ban), to 275 in 1991, 264 in 1992, 256 in 1993, 301 in 1994, and only came down below the 1990 numbers in 1995 at 188. After that, the bite numbers jumped back up to 283 in 1996, 328 in 1997, 213 in 1998, 200 in 1999, 239 in 2000, 225 in 2001, 161 in 2002, and 166 in 2003.

In short, in the past 13 years since Winnipeg's ban on 'pit bulls', reported dog bite numbers have only gone below the 1990 numbers 5 times.

It is obvious that a ban on 'pit bulls' couldn't possibly result in a reduction in bites by other breeds. That implication would be ridiculous. What would a Labrador or German Shepherd care about what the government is doing to 'pit bulls'?

The measures that are likely to positively affect dog bite numbers are things like public education about responsible dog ownership and dog bite prevention (something we specialize in here at, as well as licensing, and enforcement against habitually negligent dog owners.

In 2003, 13 years after the ban on 'pit bulls' was implemented, Winnipeg reported 166 dog bites caused by the following dog breeds:

Shepherd cross (38), Terrier cross (11), Rottweiler (11), Lab cross (10), German Shepherd (8), Husky cross (7), Border Collie cross (7), Bearded Collie cross (6), Rottweiler cross (5), Chow cross (5), Lab (5), Great Dane cross (3), Golden Retriever (3), Dalmation (3), Poodle cross (2), Golden Retriever cross (2), Cocker Spaniel cross (2), Boxer cross (2), Australian Shepherd cross (2), Terrier (2), Pomeranian (2), Chow Chow (2), Boxer (2), Border Collie (2), Samoyed cross (1), Mastiff cross (1), Heeler cross (1), Great Pyrennes cross (1), Doberman cross (1), Dachshund cross (1), Dalmation cross (1), Corgi cross (1), Akita cross (1), Springer Spaniel (1), Siberian Husky (1), Shih Tzu (1), 'Pit bull' type (1), Miniature Schnauzer (1), Irish Setter (1), Great Dane (1), Doberman Pinscher (1), Dachshund (1), Cocker Spaniel (1), Bull Mastiff (1), Brittany Spaniel (1), Bloodhound (1), Bichon Frise (1), Akita (1).

Does this list make a damning statement about any one breed? Even the breeds and crosses with the most numbers are still mere fractions of the number of those dogs in Winnipeg. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and original breed purposes continue to bite in Winnipeg, despite the ban on 'pit bulls'. More importantly, nearly all dogs of all breeds in Winnipeg, rarely bite.

All the 'pit bull' ban did was cause the deaths of countless innocent dogs who never had and never would have harmed anyone; not to mention the emotional and financial suffering that 'pit bull' owners must have endured. Since banning 'pit bulls' does nothing to directly reduce the number of bites by Labradors and German Shepherds, it is clear that any reduction in bites by other breeds is the result of other measures...i.e. We can reduce dog bite numbers without banning any one dog breed.

According to the Centers for Disease control, for the two years spanning 1995 and 1996, 'pit bulls' accounted for 3 American fatalities, while 87% of dog-related fatalities were attributed to other dog breeds.

Boulder, Colorado, considered banning 'pit bulls' until their own statistics showed the number one biting breed was the Labrador Retriever, with twice as many bites as the next highest breed, the German Shepherd. A ban, such as the one you are proposing, would now be illegal in Colorado, along with several other U.S. states who've proven your theories to be false.

In its 2002 ruling, the Supreme Court of Alabama ruled there was no genetic evidence that one breed of dog was more dangerous than another, simply because of its breed.

In Perth County, Ontario, dog bite statistics compiled since January 2002 show just 1% of bites attributed to 'pit bulls'. One third of reported bites were caused by mixed breed dogs, and the top five biting breeds were, in order: Chow Chow, Jack Russell Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Dachshund, and Rottweiler. (The 'pit bull' is number 22 on that list, by the way, after - in order of percentage of biting incidents - Scottish Terrier 3.8%, Springer Spaniel 3.5%, Beagle 3.2%, Doberman 2.6%, Lhasa Apso 1.6%, Collie 1.6%, German Shepherd, St. Bernard, Cairn Terrier, and Bernese Mountain Dog all with 1.3%.)

You say large dogs are a danger. Yet 'pit bulls' are typically only 30-60 lbs.

You say large dogs are capable of greater damage. But the facts clearly show that the very largest dog breeds are rarely involved in serious biting incidents, and the very smallest dog breeds have actually killed people.

You've suggested that the size of the dog predicts the potential severity of injury, even though it is clearly the size of the victim that predicts how severe an attack is likely to be. Even such tiny dogs as the Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian, Lhasa Apso, and West Highland White Terrier have killed people in the U.S. Dachshunds, alone, have been attributed with four human fatalities.

You claim dangerous dogs are a serious threat to public safety, yet dog bites rank 12 out of 12 in the United States for causes of non-fatal injuries. Dog-related fatalities are absurdly negligible when compared to just about every other human activity, sport, or crime.

You say children need to be protected from dangerous dogs, yet when compared to the average number of Canadian children killed by dogs, more than 1,200 times as many children were killed by their own parents in one year, in the United States.

You say dogs are dangerous. Yet one in three women will be sexually assaulted at some point in their men. You're a man, aren't you, Mr. Bryant?

You say dogs are a serious threat to public safety, yet every recent fatality case and most serious biting incidents involve dogs and victims residing within the same home. They haven't involved "the public" at all.

You say 'pit bulls' are inherently lethal, but we have yet to confirm even one unprovoked dog-related human fatality officially attributed to a 'pit bull' in Canada. Other dog breeds have actually killed people, most of them the dog owner's own children. Why haven't you suggested banning the breeds of those killer dogs?

You say 'pit bulls' must be muzzled in public to protect people from their attacks. However, unmuzzled dogs being walked in public already account for the least number of bites, making this actually the safest way to encounter dogs. Most bites take place inside the owner's home or on, or directly adjacent to, the owner's property, where there is no expectation of leashing or muzzling. For those measures to have any impact on the number of dog bites, they'd have to be enforced at all times inside the home and on the owner's property, where nearly all dog bites occur.

Really, Mr. Bryant... ...Is there anything about your proposed 'pit bull' ban that is accurate?


Marjorie Darby, Director,

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