It may vary state to state but overall, they are non-discriminatory.
BAD RAP Blog
The law is based on facts, that pit bulls disproportionately bite at higher rates compared to other dogs. Discriminatory? maybe. Necessary? Definitely.
In July 2005, about 6 months prior to San Francisco enacting a pit bull sterilization law, the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed hundreds of dog bites logged by the city. According to Animal Care and Control department records, pit bulls and their mixes accounted for 27% of reported dog bites since 2003, even though they accounted for only 6% of licensed dogs. Of the 900 bite incidents recorded in this period, 626 traced to a specific dog. Of those, 169 bites were attributed to pit bulls. As the Chronicle writer points out, "that's more than the number of bites by German shepherds (69), Labradors (58) and rottweilers (34) combined."
BAD RAP Blog
I live in a low-income building at 618 S. Wabash. When signing HUD re-certification papers I had to sign a document stating that I was aware that as a HUD rent subsidy client with a disability I had a right to a service animal with a doctor's note. My landlord did not want any animals in the building. There had never been one before in the 11 years or so of it's existence. I had to get a lawyer but next week I will adopt my dog.
BAD RAP Blog
When most of us go walking along the beach with our dog, we might come across some cool sea shells or beach glass. One man came across a stranded baby dolphin!
According to NTD.tv, the unnamed man was fishing and taking photos of his dog, Leia, along a beach in North Whales on the day in question. He was near the mouth of the River Dwyfor when, as he wrote on YouTube, “I heard my dog barking at me from further down the beach….clearly she had found something!”
When the man got closer he saw that she had found a stranded baby dolphin. The shore there was rocky and the waves were crashing hard. Normally if one finds a stranded dolphin on a beach, it’s recommended to call the local emergency services for help. “Unfortunately,” the man wrote, he “didn’t have a mobile signal” that day at the beach and “there was nobody around for miles” to help.
For the new Canine Ambassador at a hotel dubbed “The Castle on the Hill,” life is a Cinderella story. Edie’s Tale Once upon a time, a puppy was found wandering the streets. First…
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‘There is something about the human condition. I don’t think dogs are like “If only I was a poodle instead of a golden retriever, I’d be totally happy.” Dogs are happy with who they are.’
~ Michael Ian Black
Derek…. The media has never been great about interpreting stats, which need to be followed for several years before they serve any value. Would love for the Chron to explain the big post-2005 jump in bite stats.
This breakdown came directly to us from SFACC employee Kat Brown.
Total dog intake — 2545 (22 biters)
Total dog euth — 778 (unknown why total outcome of dogs does not add up to total intake — 2541)
Euth rate: 30.6% of intake
Last quarter of this period:
Total bites reported — 62 (of that, 9 were pit bulls, 12 were pit bull mixes)
Total dog intake — 2428 (34 biters)
Total dog euth — 616 (again, total outcome of dogs does not add up to total intake — 2446)
Euth rate: 25.4% of intake
Total bites reported — 336 (of that, 26 were pit bulls, 34 were pit bull mixes)
Last quarter of this period:
Total bites reported — 114 (9 were pit bulls, 9 were pit bull mixes)
More recently (2014) the SF dog judge hears "investigates about 450 cases a year, and presides over about 120 hearings."
If SF has solved its "bite problem" by targeting blocky headed dogs, then why do city dogs keep biting? We would suggest looking to contemporary, peer reviewed research for those answers. To start, science has confirmed that a dog's genetic make-up does not and cannot predict future behaviors.
Trying to suss out biters based on nothing but physical appearance is an old school belief that keeps cities like SF living in the dark ages and chasing down bite cases. Just imagine if those resources were used on bite prevention programs instead. For more info on dog bites than anyone can eat in one helping, please review the research archived on by National Canine Research Council.
BAD RAP Blog
We lump. We split. We recombine. We split again.
Taxonomic disputes. Cladistics. Phylogenetic trees. We quibble. We quarrel.
I particularly love these disputes. They are what happens in this era of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis and the rise of cladistic classification models.
Ever since it was known to modern science, the tufted-eared wildcat of mountains of Qinghai and Sichuan were thought be a unique species, an endemic mountain cat of China.
It was called Felis bieti after the missionary naturalist Felix Biet who was stationed in Tibet. Pronounced the proper French way, Felis bieti sounds a lot like Felix Biet, though he was not the person who named it. Alphonse Milne-Edwards, the scholarly French mammalogist, named the beast.
And all was fine taxonomy-wise.
Then, as the Chinese population grew, they began to put lots and lots of pressure on the mountains. They poisoned the pikas and rodents, and the cat’s numbers have started to drop.
It might be easy to get people interested in preserving the cat.
Even more so, because its classical taxonomy has been called into question. A 2007 genetic study that sought to find the origins of the domestic cat found that the Felis bieti was actually so close to the wildcat that it ought to be regarded as a subspecies. This was a limited mtDNA study, which has its potential problems.
It could be that there is indeed a unique Felis bieti but that it has hybridized so much with wildcats or their domestic kin that they have a wildcat-like mtDNA sequence. So we’re going to need some nuclear DNA studies to confirm whether this is a subspecies or not.
If it turns out to be wildcat subspecies, then it might actually be easier to rally support for conserving it. People love cats so much that it often gets very hard to have discussions about them as invasive species, so when we have a potential close cousin of Fluffy or Morris that might go extinct, it might be easier to get people interested in preserving them.
These cats are found not far from the where the last wild giant pandas roam. The Chinese mountain cat, as it is known in English, isn’t quite as rare as the panda.
Taxonomic quibbles and quarrels do have political consequences. Some of them are good. Some are them are negative.
We use the information the best information we have, but we always manipulate symbols in order to rally support for our causes.
The tufted wildcat of China might be one of those species we might easily manipulate. The Scottish wildcat has been called “the Highland tiger, ” and even though it’s unlikely that any pure Scottish wildcats still exist, it has captured the imagination of the British conservation-minded community.
Perhaps something could be done here as well. People love that which is nearest to their own understanding, and domestic cats losing their closest wild kin is something that would bother many.
This is what has helped wolves in their public relations and led to their ultimate success as a conservation story.
A little wildcat could have a lot of appeal, and maybe it can be saved, bieti or silvestris or whatever it is.