In New Hanover County, North Carolina, you cannot adopt a Pit Bull or Pit Bull-mix, or a Chow Chow or Chow-mix dog from a shelter. This policy from the New Hanover County Board of Health also states that if a Pit Bull or Chow Chow (or a mix) is found and not claimed by its owner within five days, then the dog “may be immediately put to death,” (BOH Breed Regulation). The intent of this policy, established in 1994, is to prevent severe or fatal injury by dangerous dog attacks on county citizens. A petition is currently available online in an attempt to encourage the county to change this out of date policy on dangerous breeds. Certain breeds of dog are no more likely to attack than any other, the danger lies within the individual animal and its training.
The CDC has stopped reporting bite statistics by breed, as these numbers are driven by eyewitness reports, and are often very inaccurate. Misidentification of breeds is extremely common; making eyewitness reports an unreliable source. Focusing on a specific breed and labeling them as ‘dangerous’ or ‘vicious’ is like racial profiling in humans, saying one specific race is more likely to attack/kill. The position taken by the American Veterinary Medical Association states, “no breed is inherently aggressive towards humans,” and that regulating one breed simply moves the irresponsible owners to start focusing on breeds that have not yet been regulated, moving the problem to other breeds. When a breed’s popularity increases it might become the first choice for owners with no prior experience with dogs. So before we put a label on an entire breed of dog describing them as ‘dangerous,’ let’s first ask, “What proportion of a breed’s owners is knowledgeable about dog training?”
The absolute #1 factor that determines whether a dog will become dangerous is ownership (Fatal Dog Attacks, by Karen Delise). Regardless of the breed, the risk of dangerous attacks can be greatly increased due to improper human interaction such as neglect, fight training, lack of training, careless confinement, and lack of supervision. If 88% of dog attack related fatalities are 2-year old children who were left unsupervised with a dog,diy booth Supplierswhere are the parents? Perhaps they trusted the neighbors pet because the dog was small or because it looked like a faithful Golden Retriever. I bet he seemed nice enough. Maybe they didn’t know that 77% of dog bites are from the pet of family or friends, 50% of which happen on the owner’s property (Statistics about dog bites in the USA and elsewhere).