With an increasing number of stories being reported on Pit Bull attacks, some are speculating on the root cause. These reports have sparked a more thought-provoking discussion on the matter. Does the breed-mix affect aggression potential in Pit Bulls?
Without Awareness, There Can be No Understanding
Without a doubt, these attacks are becoming more frequent and definitely more violent. We all know that these are the stories that will receive the most media coverage.
The supporters of BSL are having a field day at the expense of others misery. No one who supports Pit Bulls is rejoicing in any way that innocent people are being injured or killed.
The rejoicing I am referring to is the ever-present “I told you so” mentality. These attacks are prime examples of what BSL is designed to prevent. With each one of these attacks being reported, their support grows exponentially.
Face to Face With the Truth or Inconclusive Proof?
There are studies that are being conducted each year. Some of these same studies span decades and yet there is no clear-cut answer to those burning questions.
The study of animal aggression, more specifically Pit-Bull aggression, is an on-going pursuit. The public wants answers and people, in general, need to feel safe.
This quest for awareness and understanding should be conducted without prejudice if we are to ever come to an agreement.
What Proof Would One Need to Change Their Allegiance?
First of all, I would like to give a summary of two recent stories of attacks. These are attacks upon actual Pit Bull owners by their own Pit Bulls.
This first story is an attack of a woman from Florida named Yasmin Adam. She was so viciously attacked by her 9-year-old pit bull that she later lost her arm. Yasmin had raised her Pit Bull “Sir Hinkles” from a pup. Sir Hinkles was a gentle and loving pet until that one incident according to Yasmin.
Yasmin stated that the attack occurred after she broke up “a play fight” between the Pit Bull and her two other dogs. Sir Hinkles started barking at her and then launched at her, biting her ear and mauling her arms. The attack lasted nine minutes.
From Advocate to Protester, Would You React the Same?
“I guess there was tension after the other dogs were fighting. Next thing I know, he jumps up and bites my ear. I knew what was going on, but I didn’t feel any pain. I guess I was in shock,” Adam said.
Doctors at Broward General Hospital tried for three weeks to save her left arm but ultimately had to amputate it. Her right arm was also damaged and is heavily scarred. She called her recuperation “the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.”
After spending six months in the hospital, Yasmin’s position on Pit Bulls as a breed has changed.
Should the Warnings be Heeded?
This is Yasmin’s warning to fellow Pit Bull owners and the public:
“People always say, ‘It’s how you raise a dog that matters.’ And I was one of those people. And I do believe to a certain extent that’s true. But animals have an instinct they can’t overpower and that’s what happened with my dog.”
My question is do you agree with the 180-degree change in her opinion? Do you believe that her reaction given the circumstances is valid? Lastly, would you react the same?
You Can Never Have Too Much Proof
The second story I would like to bring to your attention is more gruesome than the first.
However, it is a necessary evil to help establish the level of danger one may or may not be in. Yasmin Adam is not the only one advocating against a breed she once advocated for.
The life or death question here is, “What led two Pit Bulls to turn on their owner in Virginia?”
The Horror of What Could Happen to Any Pit Bull Owner.
The body of 22-year-old Bethany Lynn Stephens was discovered a mile from her home in rural Virginia, where she had taken her two Pit Bulls for a walk in the woods last December 2017.
Goochland County, Virginia sheriff’s deputies who encountered her body were responding to a call. They arrived around 8:20 p.m. after her father had grown concerned when she did not return home.
Sheriff James Agnew gave graphic details after the discovery during a news conference.
Another Eye-opening Attack that Warrants Your Attention
Bethany had raised her two Pit Bulls from pups as well. She had not exposed them to any abuse or aggressive influences. They were well cared for and lived in the home with her.
However, they still turned on her and mauled her to death. As bad as that act was, it gets worse. The deputies stated that the two Pit Bulls were eating their victim’s ribs when they arrived.
I personally cannot imagine the horror of such a site, but Sheriff Agnew’s quote sums it up for me.
“It was an absolutely grisly mauling,” Sheriff Agnew said. “In my 40 years of law enforcement I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I hope I never see anything like it again.”
The Science Behind a Pit Bull Attack, Sort of
The aforementioned story was so gruesome that they consulted dog-bite experts to examine the case. They wanted answers and whether or not this is something that could happen again.
Even the experts did not have any conclusive reasoning that could be proven and that is the same for other experts as well.
So, does breed-mix affect aggression potential in Pit Bulls? The answer is inconclusive at best. In Yasmin’s case, her dog was a “standard version” of the Pit Bull type and Bethany’s was a Brindle. However, the basis behind all BSL is that the phenotype known as Pit Bull is aggressive by nature.
Definitive Proof is as Allusive as an Agreement Between Both Sides
One certainty among all of these reported attacks is a common thread. The Pit Bull attacked without warning. According to my research, it was not without warning per say, but rather the Pit Bulls ability to conceal their intentions.
The following is the opinion of several in the field of animal aggression. That have a come theory that possibly answers the question of why no warnings prior to an attack.
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.”
So, where do you stand on these attacks? What would make you change your allegiances? Is there anything that could change your view of Pit Bulls?