The debate about pit bulls is getting louder in one Southern California community after a vicious dog bite incident in Fontana involving five pit bull mixes almost killed 5-year-old Destiny Colon and injured three of her siblings. Also, recently, a 3-year-old Apple Valley boy was fatally attacked by the family’s pit bull. A Hesperia woman recently suffered a broken arm after her own pit bull attacked her in October. With these and other recently recorded cases, there appears to be no shortage of dog attacks involving pit bulls.
Why is that? Some say that it is not the dogs’ fault. Pit bull advocates say that this breed gets a bad rap because of “neglect by irresponsible owners.” However, according to a recent article in The San Bernardino Sun, many in the local community, who have witnessed vicious behavior by pit bulls and pit bull mixes, say that pit bulls have a natural “mean streak” compared to other breeds of dogs.
Are Pit Bulls Naturally Mean?
The recent pit bull attacks are causing community members to question whether pit bulls as a breed need to be regulated. Breed bans are illegal in California. However, a number of cities in California have imposed strict regulations on pit bull owners including spaying and neutering the animals, requiring a special license, mandating liability insurance and so on.
The debate about whether pit bulls are prone to violence will likely not end in the near future. However, cities and municipalities must do what they can to protect the people in their communities. If that protection comes at the cost of regulating certain breeds of dogs such as pit bulls, so be it.
Dog Bite Statistics
Also, statistics show that pit bulls and Rottweilers together, have caused the majority of dog bite related fatalities in the United States. According to Dogsbite.org, a Web site for dog attack victims nationwide, of the 88 fatal dog attacks in the United States in a three-year period between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, 59 percent or 52 incidents involved pit bulls followed by Rottweilers (14 percent), American bulldog and Husky (5 percent each). This dog bite fatality finding is more or less consistent with an earlier report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which states that pit bulls and Rottweilers together account for 60 percent of fatal dog attacks.
It is important that dog bite victims realize if they are injured by a pit bull or any dog for that matter, they can seek compensation for their injuries, damages and losses. Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their pets. Also remember that dog bites are covered by a dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance as well. An experienced California dog bite lawyer will be able to better explain to victims about their legal rights and options, in such cases.