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How safe are Pitbull and Pitbull Mixed-Breeds as a family pet?

How safe are Pitbull and Pitbull Mixed-Breeds as a family pet?

The mention of Pitbull-breed dogs stirs up strong feelings. Some people swear to their gentleness, while others are uncomfortable being near them. Most Pittbull owners will tell you that their temperament is much more docile than what the stereotypes would have you believe. This may be the case when the canine in question is in the right environment. In fact, Pitbull breeds may show no signs of aggression around humans, including young children, but humans may not be the ones in immediate danger.

Pitbull Genetics Can Favor Aggression Toward Animals, Including Other Dogs

The Pitbull breed was created for strength and fearlessness in the face of large predator animals like bears, wolves and wild boars. To this day, Pitbulls and related breeds like the Dog O Argentina serve as the boar hunting dogs of choice. It is no wonder then that Pitbull canines have become a symbol associated with groups looking to portray a tough, loyal and powerful image.

There are several variations of the Pitbull breed, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The name Staffordshire comes from the geographic origin of the breed: a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England where the dogs were believed to be originally bred for use in various blood sports.

Animals Might Be Most At-Risk from Pitbull Aggression

The lineage of these breeds points to potential dangers to other animals, even domestic pets. Pitbull breeds constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dogfighting in the United States. In this unlawful and cruel activity, the dogs are bred and selected for animal aggression. They can make the news for attacks such as an incident where a Boykin Spaniel was mauled by a Pitbull running loose in a Virginia Beach neighborhood. In another incident a Pitbull pulled away from its owner and began attacking a neighbor’s dog in Athens, GA, as noted in an Athens-Clark County Police Department report. As a result, the dog bit and injured a child.

An alarming number of Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes find their way into animal shelters. Many can pass safety evaluations, which primarily screen them for aggression toward humans (one typical test involves taking a food bowl away from an animal and seeing if it bites). A dog approved for adoption can indeed be very sweet to its new family, who may be taken by surprise when their new dog attacks a neighbor’s animal without provocation. Training can certainly help in most cases.

pitbull attack victimIn my experience as a dog bite personal injury lawyer, I have seen countless incidents where a dog owner rushes to protect their pet when a dog fight breaks out, only to get attacked by the aggressive dog while trying to intervene. When pit mix charges my dog, I immediately scoop my dog up and loudly yell at the aggressive dog, which often responds obediently to a stern human voice.

Understanding breed behavioral tendencies of Pitbulls and mixes means appreciating that such dogs can be docile and loyal to humans, but can still be provoked to the point of aggression by other animals. Whether it was a Pitbull or another breed, if you have experienced personal injury from a dog bite, call an experienced law firm like Atkinson Law at 757-648-8579 or use the online contact form today to get the help you need.

 

Pitbull Attacks and Dog Bites are something that should be taken very seriously. If you are looking for a partner to help you tackle this unfortunate situation, lean on the Dog Bites Attorneys at Atkinson Law today. We can be reached at 757-648-8579.

$47,500 settlement in pit bull attack personal injury claim

Norfolk personal injury lawyer Ed Atkinson negotiated a  $47,500 settlement for a young man attacked at work by his boss’ pit bull in Chesapeake, Virginia.  The owner had the pit bull on a leash and said it was friendly.  When the young man went to pet the dog, however, it made a vicious lunge toward him and bit him, latching onto his face.  The attack left scars on the young man’s lip and chin.

Negotiating the dog bite injury settlement took time.  The dog owner’s insurance company, based in Florida, was not very familiar with Virginia dog bite law.  Through some patient explaining and tense discussions, the home owner’s insurance company decided to substantially increase their offer.  The company argued that the dog bite victim provoked the dog and assumed the risk by petting it.  They also argued that there was no prior bite, which, as dog bite attorney Ed Atkinson explained, Virginia law doesn’t say will make or break an animal attack case.

This is case features yet another “rehabilitated” pit bull.  That is, the owner under whose care the dog attacked someone adopted the dog without extensive knowledge of its history.  A certain trend has emerged where charities encourage people to adopt pit bulls, with assurances that they are very gentle animals.  In the first place, pit bulls may in fact be gentle toward people, true, but they tend to show aggression to other animals, which can trigger an attack on a person who is only trying to keep two animals from fighting one another.  Second, unlike some other breeds, pit bulls pose a problem for adoption because their original owners in many cases wanted an aggressive dog.  Some may have even mistreated the animals.  All of this can happen without the adopting family knowing about it.

Adopted Pit Bull Mauls and Kills Elderly Owner

On June 1st, just hours after being adopted, a pit bull attacked and killed its 90-year-old owner at her Virginia Beach, Virginia home.  The deceased’s daughter told WAVY that she witnessed the pit bull, “Blue” kill her mother in a vicious and unprovoked attack.

Notably, the daughter said she was playing with the dog outside and heard her mother cry for help because she had fallen down.  The door was locked, so she broke a glass pane with a hammer to let herself in.  When she did so, the dog rushed inside and started biting the victim on her neck and shoulders, shaking her violently.  Emergency medical care included an arm amputation.

Without wading into the discussion about pit bulls as a breed, I think that this dog probably had been trained to be aggressive or at least protective of its home before it was given to Forever Home Rehabilitation Center, where the victim obtained it.  One limitation of this sort of “rehabilitation” is that the facility may not know about prior aggression training with any given dog.  With pit bulls, so many are kept as poorly trained “protection dogs” that I am not surprised that this sort of fatal accident can result.

I have a case presently where one such “rehabilitated” dog attacked a client of mine.  If you or a loved one needs legal representation regarding a dog bite or wrongful death in Virginia, feel free to review my free information on dog bite cases on this site and contact me.

Virginia: Dogs that bit five-year-old child were Belgian malinois

WAVY 10 news reported this Sunday that a dog attack in Chesapeake, Virginia left a five-year-old girl with a bite on her neck that required an airlift to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.  The girl later underwent surgery at CHKD.  According to WAVY, the child and her mother were visiting with friends at the home where the bite happened.  The girl was playing with the dogs prior to the attack.

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