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.