Pit bulls generate plenty of barking between supporters, detractors

Posted February 2, 2016

— Dog attacks such as one that killed a Lumberton boy a week ago account for a small fraction of the dog bites that occur nationwide every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Talen West, 7, and his 8-year-old brother were playing in the woods near their home on Jan. 24 when they encountered a neighbor’s pit bull. The dog attacked both boys, and Talen died of his injuries at a nearby hospital., a nonprofit group that advocates banning ownership of pit bulls, claims that the breed was responsible for 62 percent of the deaths from dog attacks in the U.S. between 2005 and 2014. Rottweilers accounted for another 12 percent, according to the group.

"If I had kids, I would not have a pit bull," said Alberto Palomares, who keeps an eye out for the dogs whenever he takes his dog to the Ashley Wilder Dog Park in Knightdale. "My personal belief is that a pit bull can't be trusted. It can be a two-faced kind of dog. One day, it can act a certain way; the other day, it can turn on you."

Camrin Park, who visited the Knightdale dog park with her little girl and her little dog, said she has seen a pit bull attack.

"The pit bull picked (a small dog) up and bit down," Park said. "They are so strong, and (the dog) just died."

Dr. Jennifer Federico, the director of the Wake County Animal Shelter and the owner of three pit bulls, said the breed is misunderstood.

"They are a wonderful breed. They're funny, and they always want to please their owner," Federico said.

Other veterinarians said pit bulls are no more aggressive that other dogs, but they are stronger and have the physical ability to not release when they bite, which can cause more serious injuries.

"They can do damage. They're big dogs," Federico said. "Any big dog can – a German shepherd, a Doberman – any of those large-breed dogs can attack and kill somebody."

Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg, filed a bill in 2013 that would have required permits and training to own a pit bull, Rottweiler or three other breeds considered "aggressive." The proposal was buried in a House committee and never came up for a hearing.

Edenton is the only municipality in North Carolina with a dangerous dog ordinance, according to

"I think that, at the end of the day, with all of these stories that come out, it's responsible pet ownership," Federico said.


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  • James Coats Feb 3, 2016
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    NBHA National Bird Hunters Association 1990 national handler of the year. Dog Coats's Winning Man, National Champion.
    Won the first ever Joy Dog Food Puppy Futurity. Just under 100 total placements. it's safe to say I have been around Dogs.

  • Janene DiPierro Feb 3, 2016
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    I have heard all of the horror stories and I pray for all involved. However, I have 2 dogs who are funny, goofy and extremely loving. It truly doesn't matter if it's a pitbull of a poodle, it is all in how they are raised. If you raise the dog like your child with love and respect they will grow up to make you proud. If you raise your child or dog with neglect and poor manors.... well, it will grow up poorly and these things happen. My 2 babies i trust completely, EVEN with with 18 month old & 5 year old grand babies. Hate the deed, NOT the breed. Dobermans, German Shepherds, poodles, little dogs, st. Bernards.... now pitbulls. Come on folks, we have evolved so much, put blame where it belongs.... ON THE ONE HO RAISES THE DOG and what kind of product of society they are raising it to become.

  • Blake Burgher Feb 3, 2016
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    "[T]he data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF [dog bite related fatalities] in the United States between 1997 and 1998. It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities." - CDC

    Can we please shut up about this now? Pit-bulls are very dangerous dogs. If a person cannot recognize or acknowledge the raw power and aggressiveness of these animals then why should they be allowed to keep them? Breed specific laws are necessary because pit-bull owners either intentionally train them to fight or irresponsibly ignore the danger associated with these animals with nonsense like "oh he'll lick you to death." Here's the bottom line: If your pit-bull attacks or threatens to attack me or mine it's going to get shot. End of story.

  • Allen Jones Feb 3, 2016
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    View quoted thread

  • Amanda Alston Feb 3, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    thank you!

  • John Snow Feb 3, 2016
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    Ok, here is a report from the CDC which reprints a study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) which studied dog bite fatalities from 1979 to 1998. Pit bulls topped the list by far. I'll stick with goldens and black labs.

  • Mia Robinson Feb 3, 2016
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    As usual, your "information" is totally incorrect. Real statistics show bites and attacks by pitt bulls are the LOWEST breeds when it comes to dog bites. Pitt bull are one of the sweetest most loving breeds. They arw actually big babies and cuddle bugs. ANY BREED of dog can be vicious if trained to be. It's not JUST pitt bulls. This this the most MISUNDERSTOOD breed of dog. Have you ever spent tome with a pitt bull? From reading your "article" (if you want to call it that!) you probably haven't! If you're going to print an article stating nothing but lies, you might want to have some REAL facts before you print this! In other words, BEFORE YOU SHOOT YOUR MOUTH OFF, BE SURE YOUR BRAIN IS LOADED! Fools writing NOTHING BUT LIES. Nithing to read here folks-move along!!

  • Lori Coble Feb 3, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I LOVE the last category on this site "Any dog that someone thinks is a pit bull = Media pit bull"; that's the whole problem, any dog with a big head or broad body gets categorized as a pit bull by the media when they probably have absolutely no APBT or Am Staff in them!

  • Tosha Aldridge Feb 3, 2016
    user avatar

    First, any dog bite, should require DNA (not an expensive test) to determine breed. You would find that many bites involve a variety of mix breed dogs. Second, people need to learn breed specs. 1st, there isn't an actual "pit bull" breed. There are Am. Staff., APBT and Staffordshire. 2nd, the Am. Staff and the largest of the 3, is actually a medium sized dog topping abt with height and weight being proportion. APBT and Staffordshire generally max out at 25-50lbs depending breed. These big, bulky, wide breeds are the result of backyard breeders crossing bloodlines to create a look (not comparing this dog but comparing for looks purposes, its like crossing a lab and poodle). No matter what breed you have, children and dogs do not need to be left unsupervised! Visit www.happy pit Lastly, the site referenced is a 3rd party site. For more accurate information AVMA and the CDC pages need to be referenced

  • Lori Coble Feb 3, 2016
    user avatar

    James, you are a "national recognized" yet I have never heard of you; what are your credentials? ALL dogs have some sort of prey drive, hunting dogs are trained to pursue that drive; THAT'S what makes them a hunting dog.
    Pit bulls were originally used as bait; not fighters so what was the point of your comment exactly? Thomas, your comment made me crack up :-) My pit is scared to death of our female cat and we all are too; she's an unpredictable little biotch!