Doctors at the University Health System in San Antonio researched patients treated over the last 15 years for injuries caused by dog attacks and dog bites. Their conclusion was that the vast majority of serious dog attacks treated in San Antonio Hospitals were caused by pit bulls.
The term pit bull is often misused and is really a generic term for various bull terrier breeds and mixes. All terriers are generally known as aggressive, territorial, and protective of their owners and therefore are often used as home security or family protection. Owners of terriers and, in particular, pit bulls often complain that the negative press is not warranted because it is the owners that cause the dog to be aggressive. However, the breed’s aggressive nature can cause serious attacks and in some cases death even without provocation.
In the study the following statistics were mentioned: Pit Bulls were responsible for 65% of all fatal attacks; someone is killed by a pit bull every 14 days in the U.S.; one body part is severed by a pit bull attack every 5.4 days; and, the risk of being killed by a pit bull is 2500 times higher than by a lab.
Many people have cast doubt on the Doctors’ article about Dog Bites. Part of the article advocates that aggressive breeds should be regulated just like the regulations that control the possession of wild animals such as tigers. Also some complain that the study is flawed because many people describing the dog that attacked use the term pit bull generically so that many attacks are wrongfully attributed to pit bulls.
Our experience in representing people injured by dog bites is that many serious injuries are caused by even the smallest breeds because the owners allow young inexperienced children to handle the “family pet”. However, the most serious dog bits and attacks have been caused by the larger breeds and primarily terriers, including pit bulls and Staffordshire terriers.
Regardless of the type of dog, when a homeowner fails to control his pet or lets the dog out of the house unleashed they must be held accountable for the injuries sustained by others.