October is Pit Bull Awareness Month!
Let's continue to get to know these dogs by separating fact from fiction!
Fact or fiction? Pit Bull bites and attacks are reported more than those carried out by other breeds of dogs.
Fact. Pit bull attacks receive 85% more coverage than attacks by any other breed of dog. A 2008 report by the National Canine Research Council compared the types of media coverage given for dog attacks that occurred during a four day period in 2007. The results are as follows:
Day 1: A Labrador Retriever attacked an elderly man, sending him to the hospital. One article appeared in the local paper.
Day 2: A mixed breed dog attacked and killed a child. The local newspaper ran two stories.
Day 3: A mixed breed dog attacked a child, sending the child to the hospital. One article ran in the local paper.
Day 4: Two tethered pit bulls broke from their chains and attacked a woman trying to protect her small dog. The woman was hospitalized. Her dog was uninjured. The attack was reported in more than 230 articles in national and international newspapers, as well as on all of the major cable news networks.
For reasons unknown, our media machine feels pit bull attacks are great stories. In a survey of people who described themselves as having negative opinions of pit bulls, 60% of the respondents cited media coverage as their sole source of information about the breed. This type of sensationalist reporting frightens the public, and influences the call for policies and laws that take the lives of thousands of innocent dogs.