Thursday, November 22, 2007

The reason for this website

In the year or so that I've been posting on Lassie, Get Help, I've noticed [courtesy of StatCounter] that many visitors found LGH while googling for information on dog bites. Hence, this site.

Dog Bites: Information and Statistics provides authoritative, factual information on dog bites. Studies and stats on this site are held to a peer-reviewed, PubMed standard. If I make an editorial comment, the facts -- and the sources-- will back it up.

The child above was injured in an attack by a medium-sized, mixed-breed dog last summer in New Zealand. [Photo by Stacey Squires for The Press.] The dog had escaped from its yard. The child's parents were not present -- no adults were present when the dog attacked. Randall Lockwood, a senior vice-president of the A.S.P.C.A. and one of the leading dogbite experts in the U.S., might have been speaking of this or any serious attack when he told author Malcolm Gladwell:
"A fatal dog attack is not just a dog bite by a big or aggressive dog. It is usually a perfect storm of bad human-canine interactions -- the wrong dog, the wrong background, the wrong history in the hands of the wrong person in the wrong environmental situation." [Source.]

Although I own two rescued pit bulls [in addition to my working border collies], I have no dog in this fight. I'm not interested in cherry-picking studies to make specific breeds look good or bad: in fact, I believe the "safe breed"/"dangerous breed" dichotomy is one of the reasons dog bites are as common as they are. The aim of Dog Bites: Information and Statistics is to counter the ignorance and urban legend surrounding the topic by providing the most factual and up-to-date statistics on dog bites and dog attacks. For my thoughts on breed-specific legislation, you'll have to visit the other blog.

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NewKiwi said...

I remember this attack- I live in NZ. It was reported to be a pit-bull mix. The newspaper here is awful. My blood boiled when they quoted someone saying that gangs feed pitbulls P (amphetamine) to make them aggressive. There was no evidence to back this up, and this is common. Already pitbulls and American Bulldogs and some other breeds are banned from import. Yet, I have seen them for sale on TradeMe (NZ's Ebay).

Anonymous said...

I think a dog is as smart as it's owner!
Where were the parents???