Even as it seems pit bulls make national headlines almost every week for a serious or fatal dog attack, a cottage industry of pit bull apologists has taken up the cause of defending the rights and reputations of these dogs. According to pit bull advocates, pit bulls are the same as any other dog, with the same potential for positive traits like love and gentleness, as well as negative traits like aggression and defensiveness.
Regardless of what pit bull advocates say, however, the statistics tell a very different story. Not only are pit bulls more likely to seriously maim and kill than other dog breeds, but the number of serious pit bull attacks is on the rise. The causes of rising rates of pit bull attacks are debatable; perhaps vicious owners are more likely to buy pit bulls because of their reputation, making for much more vicious pit bull dogs; perhaps pit bulls and other bully breeds really are more vicious. Whatever the reason, at the end of the day, if you or someone you love has suffered from a pit bull bite attack through no fault of your own, you deserve compensation.
Data on Pit Bulls Gives Reason for Serious Concern
Pit bull advocates cite studies that suggest that pit bulls are difficult to reliably distinguish from other breeds, that dogs identified as pit bulls do not always have pit bull or bull terrier DNA, or that even dogs that do have pit bull or bull terrier DNA are usually mixed with other breeds.
However, critics point out that these studies are generally small, rely heavily on subjective opinion, and that, whether the DNA evidence proves pit bull ancestry, dogs of a certain appearance – small ears and broad, short heads – that are correlated with pit bulls are more often implicated in serious and fatal injuries than dogs that do not have such features.
Pit bulls were responsible for well over half of fatal dog attacks over a 13-year period despite making up about 6.5 percent of the U.S. dog population. About half of fatal dog attack victims were less than 10 years old; of all age groups, children two years old and younger made up a fourth of dog attack fatalities, 72 percent of which were caused by pit bulls.
Other Contributing Factors to Dog Bite Fatalities
In-depth studies on the subject of dog bite fatalities suggest that there are many causative or correlative variables that contribute to fatal dog bites. These include, but are not limited to:
- The lack of anyone capable of intervening successfully, such as an adult or the dog’s owner
- The victim does not know the dog
- The owner abuses or neglects the dog
- The victim’s inability to manage the dog, often as a result of age
- Dogs who are not spayed or neutered
- Dogs who are kept as “resident dogs” (guard dogs or outdoor dogs) rather than as family pets
When dogs do not have strong attachments to people, they are more likely to attack and seriously injure or kill. However, even pet dogs, including pit bulls, can cause serious damage to victims of their attacks – indeed, half of reported fatal pit bull attacks involved killing a family or household member.
Call an Illinois Pit Bull Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love have been attacked by a dog, it does not matter what breed the dog is – what matters is that you get the medical and legal assistance you need to recover from your injuries and get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling [[title]] today at [[phone]] and making arrangements to meet with one of our Cook County dog attack lawyers.