S.F. Pit Bulls: Protecting Yourself and the Controversial Breed

When angered, pit bulls are powerful and relentless. And even when not angered, they boast impressively strong jaws that you probably don't want clamped down on you. But we humans boast the gift of guile. And, over the years, our species has passed down punishing but innovative methods for handling pit bull attacks. Some say that the best way to get a pit bull to release its bite is to jam a thumb into the dog's ass. Others recommend flaming the dog's testicles with a Bic. Urgent situations, after all, call for extreme solutions.

But those methods are urban myths, says John Denny of the SFPD's Vicious and Dangerous Dog unit. Instead, Denny says the more effective strategy is to whip out a wallet or an iPhone or a nearby tree branch and stick it into the dog's mouth. This appeases its aggression and occupies its jaws. Another possibility: Avoid the confrontation by jumping onto a car.

The many well-publicized pit bull attacks in the Bay Area over the past couple of months have once again thrown the breed group into a negative spotlight. A Concord toddler and a Castro Valley toddler were each mauled in early May. In April a pit bull killed a pregnant Pacifica woman. And in March a pit bull attacked a Fairfax police officer.

In 2006, after 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish was killed by a pit bull, San Francisco became the first city to single out the breed for mandatory sterilization. Since then, nearly 40 other California cities have followed suit. Other places have gone even further. Denver and Miami implemented pit bull bans. A few weeks ago, a Maryland court classified pit bulls as "inherently dangerous," ruling that both pit bull owners and landlords who rent to them are legally liable for any damage that the dogs cause.

But the pit bull faithful in San Francisco shouldn't worry about this recent string of attacks spurring a push for stricter regulation. Because if there are two things the city loves more than bans, it's dogs and defending outcasts.

"It'll never happen here," says Kat Brown, deputy director at the city's Animal Care and Control. "When it comes to pit bulls, they're kind of like the underdog. They're more discriminated against. They're considered a cause célèbre."

Though the pit bull population has dipped since the ordinance, pit bulls still account for 20 to 30 percent of reported dog bites in the city, Denny estimates (actual 2011 numbers: 92 out of 397, according to ACC). He notes, however, that people are more likely to report a pit bull attack than, say, a Pomeranian attack.

Warding off the latter would likely take a pinky rather than an iPhone.

 
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10 comments
jennifersd86
jennifersd86

Well this is a little upsetting. I have to disagree with a lot of this topic. For example chows, sharpaii and long coat akitas are also very agresive breed. A neighbor has 2 chihuahua and they have tryed to bite children. Another neighboor has a cocker spaniel and its bit a child in the face causing him to have a scar 1 inch acoss his cheeck. I dont know if they have reaslized that a lot of this has to do with traning. Why not give a sytation to the Owner of the pet. Why doesnt the cocker spaniel make it on the morning news. Why does the previous mention breeds (chow, sharpii and akitas) not get mentioned. Probably beause you must pay over 1 K to acctually buy this breed. So now your to broke to afford training. maybe they should do a back ground check at the animal shelters before releasing a dog.

____
____

max - andie is referring to his dong as the sweetest in the world and his balls are pit bulls, blue, from not getting any and apparently he needs to let the world know that he's coming out of the closet by saying he's a sissy.

Emmanuel Z. Karabetis
Emmanuel Z. Karabetis like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is so poorly written that I honestly thought, for the first two paragraphs, that it was satire. Please write about something else rather than demonizing this breed. Also, check the facts. Who owns the dogs responsible for the attacks? What are these people training their dogs to do? If people would simply follow leash laws and spay/neuter their dogs, we would see such a drop in attacks. This goes for any breed. Manny www.nobsl.net

Maxgold20
Maxgold20

This is the same thing the owners of two pitbulls said to me while i was bleeding to death after having my Achilles tendon severed, and left arm ripped to shreds, the owner then refused to ring an ambulance and I was forced to wait ten minutes before somebody was able to drive me to hospital as I was unable to walk, covered in blood from head to toe and in deep shock after just surviving an unprovoked attack by his two pitbulls - they then continued to blame me for the attack and have never taken responsibility, leaving me $200000 in debt, permanently maimed, suffered a DVT, and ongoing skin infection 3 years later, still waiting to see a judge. Maybe I am wrong, maybe his Pitbull was a big sissy and I did in fact deserved to be attacked!

jennifersd86
jennifersd86

i think you incounted an idiot! for one. and i think this is sad. Im sorry you had to go through this.

Maxgold20
Maxgold20 like.author.displayName 1 Like

As a victim to two pitbulls ripping me apart, I can tell you your advice is useless. The fact is, a pitbull cannot be stopped by a man with no weapons, the general practice for stopping a pitbull is a SHOTGUN, Assault rifle or something like an AXE! I am 6'2, 250 pounds, weight trained my whole life, and was powerless when attacked by two Pitbulls. For all those who disagree with me, the are more than welcome to take on a Pitbull and try and stick their wallet in it's mouth - it is all these absurd suggestions that show the average citizen has no idea the power of a pitbull attack, human beings still like to think they could survive when attacked in a frenzy of raw power, determination and sheer killing force - to think you could even get close to the Pitbull while he is darting in and out ripping flesh from your bones is typical of some idiot making a comment, pretending to be an expert, but never actually having the guts to prove it - I can tell you first hand - if Pitbulls decide to attack you - you will be lucky to survive, you will be permanently injured, but if you are lucky you will Survive!

Pat Dunne
Pat Dunne

Really, this is what passes for journalism? Can we get dumb articles like this to stop being published by "jamming a thumb up" a reporter's ass? Though I think I would much rather have a pit bull attack me than do that.

Andrewberry30
Andrewberry30

Pit bulls are not mean it the owner i have a blue nose pit that is the sweetest dong in the world and the biggest sissy u would ever see

Chef David Edelstein M
Chef David Edelstein M like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

"Denver and Miami implemented pit bull bans. A few weeks ago, a Maryland court classified pit bulls as "inherently dangerous," ruling that both pit bull owners and landlords who rent to them are legally liable for any damage that the dogs cause." What this articles fails to mention is Miami is voting out its 23 year pit bull ban August 2012, the entire state of Ohio repealed its decades-long ban on the breed, the entire Ontario Province in Canada repealed its ban on Pit Bulls, and that more and more major animal welfare orgs are coming out FOR Pit Bulls/ Against Breed Specific bans and restrictions with publicly posted official position statements. Have a look (and please check the sources) http://www.teampitafull.org/ThoseInTheKnow.html As long as we are speaking of Denver, CO and their Pit Bull ban (note- I moved from Los Angeles to Denver specifically to challenge the city over the antiquated ordinance in 2010)... Lets throw some facts on the table: - Denver's ban on Pit Bulls originally started in 1989 as a cover-up of negligence on the city's part (a little boy was mauled to death by a Pit Bull that the city knew belong to a three time offender of harboring vicious animals, yet the city of Denver did nothing.) - According to a 3 year survey conducted by CAACO (Colorado Association of Animal Control Officers) and The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs (501c3/ CO)... dog bite frequency and severity has risen in Denver with the enforcement of the ban... just by other breeds. Recently, a postal carrier was severly mauled by a chow and a malamute and the city is looking at a lawsuit from USPS for not having a dangerous dog ordinance in effect for all breeds. - Denver's ban on pit bulls costs the Denver tax payer approx $803,170 per year (John Dunham & Assoc. NY/ NY) to enforce with no tangible evidence that the ban works. This piece of info is particularly interesting now POST 2008/ the economy crashing and the city of Denver cutting budgets in Police and Fire Protection, Schools and Libraries, city employees are forced to take non-paid furlough days, and most public projects postponed/ canceled. -My favorite: LITIGATION!!! The city and county of Denver, CO currently faces two major class action lawsuits regarding their ban on Pit Bulls. One is quite simple and to the point: To violate an American's 4th and 14th Amendment Rights or not to violate an American's 4th and 14th Amendment Rights... THAT is the question in the Diaz and Company vs the city and County of Denver class-action. The second litigation is regarding the city of Denver extending their Pit Bull ban into the Service Dog realm. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act AND the US Dept of Justice... it is unlawful for any governing body to ban or restrict service dogs of ANY BREED. The city of Denver didnt see it that way and confiscated a Vietnam Veteran's Service Dog that happened to be a Pit Bulls. The city now finds itself looking up the barrel of this class action lawsuit fortified by legal council from the ADA, and the Dept of Veteran Affairs. Between the two lawsuits, the out-come looks quite bleak for the city of Denver. Some fun facts about Pit Bulls: - Over the past decade and a half... the Pit Bull Breeds (ie American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and The Staffordshire Bull Terrier) have tested higher than 80-86% of all other breeds of domestic dogs in multiple temperament testing. www.ATTS.org - The Pit Bull breeds are the breeds of choice in training to become a service dog, therapy dog, or search and rescue dog due to their intelligence, loyalty and drive to please their human. - PIT BULL ATTACK? Or was it? Due to the invention of sensationalism in the media community and the failure to positively ID a breed by Animal Control and Police agencies... 9 out of 10 "PIT BULL ATTACK" stories dont even involve a Pit Bull or even Pit Bull mix at all. Ask FOX NEWS LOS ANGELES: Between Jan 1 and June 15, 2010... Fox News LA reported 3 separate Pit Bull Attack stories. Not one of the stories actually involved one of the Pit Bull breeds at all. There was a Labrador, a Boxer, and an unknown mixed breed. Fox News never verified their facts with local authorities prior to running these stories. WE DID!!! And... we offered to take the discrepancies over to the Los Angeles Times if the false reporting was to continue. FOX NEWS LA no longer runs stories about Pit Bull Attacks. Does this speak for all media sources? Not necessarily, but Im sure it serves as a fair measuring stick for the majority of the American media establishment. Speaking of which... check out this very interesting hour-long documentary about the many failures in journalism. Consequently, the entire failure(s) revolve around the all mighty dollar. http://www.youtube.com/embed/nAFpGCKl3Mg So Mr. Albert Samaha... as a journalist, it is your job to report thorough and factual information. This article not only misses the mark by several time zones... but also its just kind of stupid. www.TeamPitAFull.org

Politicalbob
Politicalbob

The comments of the two city staffer indicate a social isolation from and bias against vulnerable peoples, as is so often the case in this "liberal" city. How many people using walkers, crutches, or wheelchairs can "jump onto a car" or pull off a tree branch? Same question goes for 6 year-old kids. How many people have a cell-phone readily available, especially if they are looking for a tree branch to break off or a car to jump [ ??wheel up ? ] on? Similarly, how many of these same vulnerable people can easily run away from the so-called 'underdog" pit bull? Regrettably, these city staff are universalizing values and advice from their experience, without realizing they are making safety suggestions that can and will harm vulnerable people while also minimizing broader policy formation that is all-inclusive.

 

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