Happy New Year and a big thank you to all of our followers and supporters! We began our mission in June and now six months later, we have over 12K followers on Facebook and our website has quickly become a key website for facts and information about our “pitbull-type” companions and family members. We cannot thank everyone enough for liking our Facebook page, sharing our posts, and sharing our website because something as simple as sharing information is critical for combating stereotypes, saving lives, and changing perceptions which will eventually lead to positive changes in society for all pitbull-type dogs. We firmly believe that the responsible ownership of all dogs, regardless of breed, is the key to fostering happiness and safety for all dogs and their human counterparts.
A last message for 2017:
We love, they hate. We include, they exclude. We educate, they discriminate. The science is on our side, the majority is on our side, and the momentum is on our side. If history has taught us anything, it’s that hate, bias, and stereotypes are always defeated in the long run - it just takes time, effort, and persistence. In 2018, we will continue to combat the myths and stereotypes about pitbull-type dogs with facts and information that educate and shine a light on how wonderful these dogs, and all dogs, truly are. From our family to your family, Happy New Year!
Great news in Canada: Today, Montreal's ineffective policy of breed-specific legislation (BSL) officially comes to an end as city leaders recognize that stronger breed-neutral regulations are the more effective tool for reducing dog bite incidents. Thanks to strong public opposition against BSL and new common-sense leadership, Montreal is the latest city to successfully repeal discriminatory, inhumane, and ineffective breed-specific regulations that target dogs based only on their appearance or breed. Regardless of personal opinions about specific breeds (or types) of dogs, multiple peer-reviewed studies have concluded that "pitbull-type" dogs are not "more dangerous" than other strong breeds and that BSL is ineffective for reducing serious dog bite incidents and therefore, does not enhance public safety.
The bylaw (BSL) was shown again and again to be based on bad science
While there has been a lot of news coverage framing BSL as a political issue (including recently in Montreal), we believe that repealing BSL is actually one of the very few issues that can unite liberals and conservatives because:
Repealing BSL is truly one of the few issues that can enjoy strong support from all sides of the political spectrum for a variety of reasons. We are happy to see that the citizens of Montreal came together to demand better policies for public safety, and for their canine family members, that are fair and balanced instead of biased and ineffective. Congratulations, Montreal!
It's pretty clear that the majority of the population was not satisfied (with BSL)
In Canada, dogs classified as "sled dogs" were responsible for the most dog bite-related fatalities over an 18 year period between 1990-2007. Just like the term "pit bull" is not a breed but instead a term used to describe a "type" of dog that includes multiple unique breeds, a "sled dog" is also not a breed but a term used to describe a "type" of dog that includes multiple unique breeds such as huskies, malamutes, chinooks, and other "sled-type" breeds. So based on these statistics that count the number of incidents, are sled-type dogs such as huskies more dangerous than other breeds just because they are responsible for the most dog bite-related fatalities in Canada? Of course not, sled-type dogs are responsible for the most fatalities simply because they are the most popular "strong breed" dogs in Canada - just like pitbull-type dogs are the most popular "strong breed" dogs in the U.S. (by a wide margin).
Sled-type dogs in Canada are similar to pitbull-type dogs in the U.S. because:
In order to be mathematically accurate and scientifically valid, any breed-specific risk must be calculated using a risk rate that takes into account breed population sizes - simply counting incidents by breed (or by "type") to determine risk without factoring in population sizes is scientifically insignificant and results in inaccurate statistics and misleading conclusions. Sled-type dogs are not more dangerous than other breeds in Canada - they are simply the most popular "strong breed" dogs in Canada just like pitbull-type dogs are the most popular "strong breed" dogs in the U.S. Any breed-specific legislation (BSL) targeting "sled-type" dogs in Canada would be just as misguided as BSL that targets "pitbull-type" dogs in the U.S. since the BSL is not based on scientific evidence or actual breed risk rates. Learn more about dog bite-related scientific studies and breed risk rates on our Scientific Studies and Statistics pages.
The fact that BSL ignores breed risk rates (and therefore doesn't account for breed population sizes) is yet another reason why BSL is ineffective for reducing serious dog bite-related incidents and fatalities. In addition, this serves as more evidence that breed stereotypes based on statistics that simply count incidents are entirely false and not representative of any inherent breed-specific risk. The bottom line is that the most popular "strong breed" dogs in a geographic area will also most likely be responsible for the most incidents - not because any specific strong breed or strong dog "type" is more dangerous than other strong breeds - but simply because it is more popular.
Every year in the U.S., there are an average of:
• 42,000 fatalities due to unintentional poisonings (source)
• 34,000 fatalities due to motor vehicles (source)
• 79 fatalities due to hornets, wasps, and bees (source)
• 51 fatalities due to lightning-strikes (source)
• 28 fatalities due to dog bites (total by all breeds) (source)
Fatalities due to lightning strikes and flying insects are commonly described as "incredibly rare" and with a population of just under 330 million in the U.S., the risk of a fatality due to a lightning strike is almost 2x higher (1 in 6 million) and due to venomous flying insects is 3x higher (1 in 4 million) than the risk of a fatality by a dog (1 in 12 million). Furthermore, motor vehicles cause more fatalities in 8 hours of one day (~31) than dogs cause all year (~28).
The reality is, that while dog bite-related fatalities are a serious and important issue, they are extremely rare and isolated events. Unfortunate events and injuries happen every day in society, but very rare and isolated events should not drive public policy. Many of the websites and organizations that misrepresent or exaggerate the risk of dog bite-related fatalities are promoting a special-interest agenda that usually includes discriminatory Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) which multiple peer-reviewed studies have concluded is ineffective since dog bite-related incidents and fatalities are not a breed-specific issue. Even though the risk of a fatality due to a dog bite is extremely rare, the available facts and science have clearly concluded that strong breed-neutral regulations are the most effective solution for reducing this risk by addressing potentially dangerous dogs of all breeds. Learn more about why BSL is ineffective on our Breed Legislation page and about breed risk rates on our Statistics page.
To improve public safety and to reduce the risk of serious dog bite-related incidents, the most effective solution is by implementing strong breed-neutral regulations - we plan to provide more information about effective breed-neutral regulations that improve public safety in a future post.
Perhaps the most harmful unintended consequence of breed-specific laws is their tendency to compromise rather than enhance public safety
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Insight, news, and analysis on issues and topics relevant to pitbull-type dogs.