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Texas Legislators: Repeal Texas State Title 10, 822.047
The legacy of dog-fighting mauls hundreds every year, profoundly changing their lives. For others, it ends them outright. Local governments are prevented from taking action.
This article will contain photos, videos, and links to evidence of dog attacks. The evidence presented will be graphic.
Texas adopted 822.047 to the State Health and Safety Code in 1991. It reads;
A county or municipality may place additional requirements or restrictions on dangerous dogs if the requirements or restrictions:
(1) are not specific to one breed or several breeds of dogs; and
(2) are more stringent than the restrictions provided by this subchapter.
This restriction, in effect, prohibits the placement of breed restrictions by any local governments in the State of Texas. This restriction is wrong, prohibits local safety measures, and has likely caused irreparable damage to many people in the State of Texas.
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The impetus for this piece was the attack that occurred against Jaqueline Durand in December 2021. As the NBC-DFW piece, published in January, reads:
A 22-year-old UT Dallas student working as a dog sitter remains hospitalized after she was attacked by multiple dogs, a lawsuit alleges. According to attorney Chip Brooker of Dallas' Brooker Law, Coppell resident Jaqueline Durand was mauled by two dogs and left "permanently and catastrophically disfigured." […] When she opened the door to the Bishop's home, their mixed-breed German Shepherd and mixed-breed pit bull (A.N.: You will see this phrase quite a bit.) immediately attacked her, the lawsuit alleged. She suffered multiple life-threatening injuries, including the loss of both ears, nose, lips, and most of her face, in addition to severe puncture wounds over her entire body.
Plenty of pit bull advocates like to avoid damage, so I will provide it directly. Again, these images are graphic. If you do not want to see the images, do NOT CLICK marked image links with warnings.
This is an example of the non-fatal outcome of such attacks. This is the surface level of the permanent damage that is inflicted upon victims that survive such attacks; the alternative, as will be illustrated in this article, is much worse: permanent damage, amputation, or even death from pit bull attacks is not uncommon in dog attacks.
Pit bulls are the most dangerous and violent breed of dog in the United States; no, it’s not even close
Another component of these attacks, for those unconvinced, is that over half of the fatal attacks were by a family pit bull, in the home, against a family member that regularly interacted with the dog. These dogs do not attack “only strangers” or only those who “mistreat them.” The myth of “bad owners” is a spurious one at best — instead of attacking the owners, why do the dogs attack small children at random? Why do they attack those who are entirely uninvolved in their abuse?
The rising prevalence of pit bulls and their advocacy groups in the 2000s has only contributed to the rise in deaths attributable to these breeds. If you dispute the dogsbite.org study, then please examine the CDC’s examination of 1979-1998, where they identified that 32% of all dog attacks in the 19 years were by pit bulls or pit bull mixes. The rise in attack percentage can likely be linked to a massive rise in the “no-kill movement,” and its outright sympathy with the fighting dog underground which often centers around pit bulls as their primary breed of advocacy.
The rise in population began in the late 70s, coinciding with the beginning of the CDC’s study, as the perception of the breed was propagandized away from the truth. As Dogsbite.org writes,
In 1974, after a series of high-profile news articles written by Wayne King and published by the New York Times, the image of the ferocious fighting pit bull moved from the shadowy world of dogmen into the mainstream. This period, between 1975 and 1979, is known as the "leakage period" when the breeding of pit bulls drastically increased through gang members and drug dealers, who wanted the "toughest dog" on the block, as well as pet pit bull breeders.
Combine this with the fact that “among the estimated 78 million dogs in the U.S. as of July 2019, about 5.8%, or about 4.5 million, appear to be pit bulls or pit mixes. This is slightly more than one dog in twenty,” and you have quite the crisis of disproportionality on your hands. The population of these dogs is growing, and so is their prevalence in dog attacks, injuries, and fatalities.
Part of the problem with pit bulls, and the mechanism through which their owners often misrepresent or lie about them, is by saying that they are “friendly breeds” or “big babies” or some other childish, humanizing term that should not be applied to a fighting dog breed. Let’s examine what a quick change pit bulls can do from “friendly” to “fighting”:
As Randall Lockwood, former Vice President of Outreach for Humane Society of the United States was quoted as saying:
"Fighting dogs lie all the time. I experienced it first hand when I was investigating three pit bulls that killed a little boy in Georgia. When I went up to do an initial evaluation of the dog's behavior, the dog came up to the front of the fence, gave me a nice little tail wag and a ‘play bow’ -- a little solicitation, a little greeting. As I got closer, he lunged for my face. It was one of those ‘Ah ha’ experiences. Yeah, that would work. That would work in a dog pit. Because 99% of dogs are going to read that as ‘Oh boy I am your friend, let's play’ -- and there's my opening. I said, ‘How evil is that? That we have been able to create a dog that can do something like that?’”
If you doubt my conclusions about the breed drawn from experts, of which Dogsbite cites many, see the judicial decisions that have been made based on the conclusion that such dogs have aggressive traits. Selected excerpts include:
Because of its aggressive and vicious nature and its capability to inflict serious and sometimes fatal injuries, pit bulls and cross-bred pit bulls are inherently dangerous.
Tracey v. Solesky (2012), Court of Appeals of Maryland
“The temperament of pit bulls, particularly their volatile capacity for hostility and violent behavior, is sufficiently well-known that these dogs are "proper subject[s] of regulatory measures adopted in the exercise of a state's `police power....'“
McNeely v. U.S. (2005), District of Columbia Court of Appeals
“The trial court found that pit bull attacks, unlike attacks by other dogs, occur more often, are more severe, and are more likely to result in fatalities. The trial court also found that pit bulls tend to be stronger than other dogs, often give no warning signals before attacking, and are less willing than other dogs to retreat from an attack, even when they are in considerable pain.”
Colorado Dog Fanciers v. Denver (1991), Colorado Supreme Court
Breed-bans are not unconstitutional, as affirmed by SCOTUS in 2008. The judicial process, assigning responsibility for such attacks and mediating disputes, places the responsibility squarely on the owner — and overwhelming concludes that the breed, not how it is raised, is what causes danger.
Texans have had their lives drastically changed, or outright lost, to pit bulls because they are an aggressive breed that has no place in the home
61 Texans have been killed, 6 in 2022 so far, by pit bulls or similar ban-prone breeds since the legislature banned BSL in 1991 via the Health and Safety Code. Of them, 34 were children under the age of 12. Families often adopt these breeds due to incessant propaganda from organizations, including the ASPCA, who do nothing to educate about the dangers of such breeds. The danger these dogs pose to children is impossible to understate: these dogs do not differentiate between children and other dogs, which they have been bred to bite, thrash and kill.
(GRAPHIC — READ WARNING) Medical textbooks, and surgeon training, do not mince words — these breeds cause catastrophic damage in children. THESE PICTURES INCLUDE GRAPHIC, POST-MORTEM PICTURES OF THE AFTERMATH OF PIT BULL ATTACKS ON CHILDREN. DO NOT CLICK ON THESE IMAGES IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED.
The aggressiveness of pit bulls is often disputed by their advocacy organizations by saying that dogs “cannot be bred to fight” — which is not true. Heritable traits exist in every breed of animal, from the chicken to the cow to the dog. The rules do not bend for one species: dog fighters selectively bred aggressive animals, fought, and survived dog fights over dozens of generations. Eventually, this provides a selective evolutionary pressure for more killing ability, resistance to pain, and aggression to win in such fights. The history of pit bulls is plain: they were bred to kill dogs. The support for pit bulls, whether intentional or not, supports dog fighting, and the non-fighting population of the breed introduces fighting dogs into family homes.
Pit bulls grab and do not let go
Pit bulls, as mentioned previously, have a fighting legacy: that legacy includes breeding for them to fight while being maimed, having broken legs, and being shot several times.
As seen across the internet:
Another video, showing a close-up angle, from the Netherlands is available here but had embedding disabled. The dogs maintain a bite lock on each other despite being sprayed in their open eyes by police-grade pepper spray.
Pit bulls grab, shake, and thrash, as it was bred as their attack style: doing so often resulted in the most success in dog fighting rings, resulting in the opposing dogs dying quicker. This much is sometimes admitted by pit advocates, but they attempt to make the distinction that they will not attack humans. They are wrong.
The attacks against humans may attack despite attacks, as seen above, from blunt objects, knives, mace/bear/OC spray, and other tools. As reported after a pit bull attack in Anchorage, Alaska:
[A] pit bull bolted out of a home and immediately attacked a 9-year-old girl on a playground in Glencaren Court. The dog raced about 30-yards to the playground and latched onto the girl's head. While one man held onto the pit bull's collar, another man struck it hard with a crowbar several times. The pit bull eventually let go, but not before ripping off part of the child’s scalp. The dog then attacked both men until another man shot it in the head with a gun. The only unusual aspect about this severe mauling is that three responding adults were men -- one a former firefighter -- and on hand quickly was a crowbar, pepper spray, and firearms. Had this not been the case, the little girl might have died.
Surgeons and doctors have long since understood the problems these dogs pose: they are unique. They do not snap and bite as a warning: they latch and kill. As Dr. David Billmire writes,
When I started my career, the most common dog-bite injuries were from German shepherds and occasionally retrievers. These injuries were almost always provoked, such as food-related or stepping on the dog, and in almost every instance, the dog reacted with a single snap and release – essentially a warning shot. There were no pack attacks.
Starting about 25 years ago, my colleagues and I started to see disturbingly different types of injuries. Instead of a warning bite, we saw wounds where the flesh was torn from the victim. There were multiple bite wounds covering many different anatomical sites. The attacks were generally unprovoked, persistent, and often involved more than one dog. In every instance, the dog involved was a pit bull or a pit bull mix.
These are not chihuahua bites; these are not retriever bites; these are pit bull attacks.
If you’re too cowardly to take action, then at least allow localities to do your job
In an ideal world, the State would impose a state-wide ban. Be warned: ANY ACTION will spur the pit lobby into action, trying to convince the legislature that these statistics are false, skewed, inaccurate, racist, discriminatory, or any of the above. The numbers do not lie, and neither do the hundreds of attacks that take place in the United States every single year. These dogs do not serve the purpose that they are adopted for: they are not family pets, they are not “nanny dogs.” They maul children, destroy families, and are the legacy of an underground industry that we are still trying to stamp out.
Repeal Title 10, 822.047. Enact tougher penalties for dog breeding, fighting, and trafficking. Enable euthanasia to be used on violent dogs, and prevent the sheltering of pit bulls in the State of Texas before another life is ended needlessly.
Faces of pit bull violence in Texas, 2022
The subreddit /r/BanPitBulls maintains an ongoing list, month-to-month, of all internationally-identified pit bull attacks. Here’s the list from July. I also recommend the subreddit as it provides personal, anecdotal/non-attack stories.
Dogsbite.org comprises much of the reason I was convinced on this issue.
National Pit Bull Victim Awareness operates a database of attacks and provides victim resources.
Safety Before Pit Bull Dogs provides a secondary list of data, as well as historical sources about the breed and legislation related to it.
https://www.fatalpitbullattacks.com/ serves as a day-by-day catalog of pit bull attacks that have resulted in fatalities.
https://blog.dogsbite.org/tag/texas serves as a tag catalog of both attacks and fatalities caused by aggressive dog breeds in Texas.
A documentary discussing the modern “pit lobby”:
On the nature of pit bull owners:
In case you’re interested, pit bull owners are overwhelmingly shitty people (click) and often:
"Owners of vicious dogs who have been cited for failing to register a dog (or) failing to keep a dog confined on the premises ... are more than nine times more likely to have been convicted for a crime involving children, three times more likely to have been convicted of domestic violence ... and nearly eight times more likely to be charged with drug (crimes) than owners of low-risk licensed dogs."
Members reorganized the church into Best Friends Animal Society, a nonprofit based in Kanab, Utah.
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