First an update. The owners of the dog that attacked my sister had installed an electronic fence. However, the dog’s collar was broken. The owners knew this and continued to let the dog out. Not very smart people.
Researching dog attacks, I learned some interesting statistics. The following are from the ASPCA’s website.
- More than 70 percent of all dog bite cases involve unneutered male dogs.
- An unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than is a neutered dog.
- A chained or tethered dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than a dog who is not chained or tethered.
- 97 percent of dogs involved in fatal dog attacks in 2006 were not spayed/neutered:
- 78 percent were maintained not as pets, but rather for guarding, image enhancement, fighting or breeding.
- 84 percent were maintained by reckless owners—these dogs were abused or neglected, not humanely controlled or contained, or allowed to interact with children unsupervised.
Now, what about breeds? That unleashes (sorry) a storm of controversy, not surprisingly, with owners of the more dangerous breeds (pit bulls and Rottweilers being the top offenders) upset to have their dogs singled out with breed-specific laws. Full disclosure, of my three sisters two own dogs. One has a pit bull terrier, the other a Rottweiler. Both animals are very sweet and gentle, although the pit bull does not play well with other dogs. Once my sister realized this, she kept her well away from other dogs.
Instead of going after specific breeds (with the dangers being that the troublesome dogs go into hiding while responsible owners of good dogs are unfairly punished ), I agree with the ASPCA’s position, which is to hold owners accountable to the actions of their dogs, whatever the breed. I say amen to that.