Pit bull pup saves 11-year-old from rabid raccoon

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NORWICH, Conn. --  Tank, a 21-month-old pit bull, has been locked up at a Connecticut animal shelter after saving an 11-year-old girl from a rabid raccoon.

According to WTIC, the pup came to Savannah Vanese's aid while she was tending to chickens and found an intruder in the coop.

“All of a sudden my dog comes barking and sprinting under here and I look under and there’s this huge raccoon and I just didn’t know what to do. I just stood right here,” Savannah told WTIC.

Unfortunately, the raccoon Tank killed was diagnosed with rabies, and he has been quarantined at the Norwich Animal Shelter in case he caught the disease.

"Basically we’re waiting to see if he gets any symptoms because the only way to test him is to euthanize him, so we’re trying to avoid that step and give him his fair chance. It’s the least I could do for saving my daughter," Chris Vanase, Savannah’s dad, told WTIC.

Vanase said he's more than willing to pay for Tank's six-month quarantine, and his family is receiving precautionary rabies shots.   Savannah can't visit her dog at the pound because she is a minor, so she's eagerly waiting for July.

“I was really just proud of him because it could have been fatal for me,” she said.

Tank hasn't had any symptoms of rabies yet, and an animal control officer tells WTIC that she's  never had a dog in rabies quarantine end up infected.

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19 comments

  • Tom McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    From 1930 to 1960

    when less than 1% of the dogs in the U.S. were sterilized & most
    still were allowed to run free, but far fewer than 1% were pit bulls, the U.S.
    had a grand total of 15 dog attack fatalities:

    9 by pit bulls, 2 by Dobermans, four by unidentified mutts.
    The U.S. in 1960 had 611,000 total reported dog bites.

    The numbers of bites dropped to 585,000 by 1966, then
    began a steady rise to 4.7 million plus.

    The numbers of fatalities climbed to an average of about 10 per year by
    1990, when pit bulls were about 2% of the dog population, rose steadily for the next 15 years or so, consistently reached 20-plus by the end of the 20th century, as pit bulls reached 3% of the dog population, then soared into the mid-30’s post-2010.

    Pits & their close mixes are now between 5% and 6% of the dog population.

    Among survivors, pit bulls are responsible for the most serious mauling’s, and any
    insurance company will tell you that they cause the highest insurance claims as
    a pit bull attack is a sustained action that is repeated until someone or something stops the pit bull.

    A bite is a one time action that doesn’t need a police officer’s intervention.
    Pet ownership is another issue.

    Pit bulls inflicted 99% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000); 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520); 95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700) and on small mammals and poultry (16,150); and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280).

    In 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured
    another animal, compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds.

    Discrimination against pit bulls is not the problem.
    It is normal dogs that are discriminated against.

    Denial of the rights of (non pit bull ) pet owners to safely enjoy, and love a pet is the issue.

    Pit bull attacks on pets leave the pet owners (including children) feeling powerless, depressed, and anxious.

    Some victims experience ongoing post traumatic stress disorder from witnessing pit bull attacks on pets.

    Everyone has to make concessions and share the public space.

    When the actions of pitbulls continue to cause harm and inhibit the safe use and enjoyment of pets, and public and private property, the pit bull dog and its owners are selfishly taking away the liberties of other human beings.

    • doglover

      you have the story all wrong the pitbull did not attack a person who stepped in front of a rabid raccoon and saved an 11 year old girl from being attacked by the raccoon he is a hero get your facts straight

  • Tom McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    In North America, from 1982-2013, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 2,990 humans that resulted in 1,777 maimings and 275 deaths.

    The bullmastiff is a Pit bull type dog with the same genetic makeup and danger of a pit bull.

    The Bullmastiff was a cross of 40% Old English Bulldog or pit bull type dog and 60% English Mastiff

    In North America, from 1982-2013, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 105 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 61 maimings and 15 deaths.
    In North America from 1982-2013, Rottweilers were responsible for 514 attacks on humans, resulting in 81 deaths.

    Rottweiler mixes were responsible for 30 attacks on humans, resulting in 4 deaths
    ********************************************************************************
    The following is a list of the top 10 dog breeds involved in dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada involving humans from September 1982 to December 31, 2013, based on a larger table compiled by Merritt Clifton, former editor of Animal People, an animal rights charity/news group. Clifton now is the editor of Animals 24-7.

    A Bullmastiff is considered a pit bull type dog and a pit bull mix between a pit bull and a mastiff and is 40% pit bull.

    Breed ****** Attacks doing bodily harm ****** Maimed ****** Deaths
    1. Pit bull **********2792 ***********************677 **********263
    2. Rottweiler *******514 ************************294 **********81
    3. Bull Mastiff ******105 ************************61 ***********15
    4. German Shepherd 102 **********************63 ***********15
    5. Wolf Hybrid ******85 *************************49 ***********19
    6. Akita **************68 ************************50 ************8
    7. Boxer *************62 ************************29 ************7
    8. Chow *************58 ************************39 ************7
    9. Pit bull/Rottweiler mix 50 ********************15 ************15
    10.Labrador ********50 *************************39 ************3

    The report states that the numbers are compiled from press accounts dating to 1982. It only includes attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, which have been kept as pets.

    All accounts are cross-checked by date, location and identity of the victim, according to the report.
    Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs and dogs trained specifically to fight are not included in the report.
    ********************************************************************************
    About 31,400 dogs attacked about 61,500 other animals in the U.S. in 2013, killing 43,500 and seriously injuring 18,100.

    The animals killed included about 12,000 dogs, 8,000 cats, 6,000 hooved animals, and 17,000 other small domestic animals, primarily poultry.
    The seriously injured included about 12,400 dogs, 4,000 cats, and 1,700 hooved animals. Few small mammals and poultry survived reported dog attacks.

    Pit bulls inflicted 99% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000); 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520); 95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700) and on small mammals and poultry (16,150); and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280).

    About 30,000 pit bulls were involved in attacks on other animals, many of them killing multiple other animals.
    There are about 3.2 million pit bulls in the U.S. at any given time, according to the annual Animal24-7 surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption via online classified ads.

    Thus in 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal, compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds.
    Nationally, fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 since 2010, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    Altogether, 33 U.S. shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.
    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone before 2000 were two wolf hybrids, rehomed in 1988 and 1989, respectively.
    ********************************************************************************
    Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to May.25, 2013.
    By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2013, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.

    Study highlights
    Pit bull type dogs make up only 6% of all dogs in the USA.
    The combination of Pit Bulls, rottweilers, their close mixes and wolf hybrids and other Pit Bull Type Dogs:

    84% of attacks that induce bodily harm.

    75% of attacks to children.

    87% of attack to adults.

    72% of attacks that result in fatalities.

    80% that result in maiming
    ********************************************************************************

    Merritt Clifton Editor Of Animals24-7:

    I have logged fatal & disfiguring dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada since September 1982.

    Of the 5,206 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 3,588 (68%) were pit bulls; 567 were Rottweilers; 4,439 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 577 human fatalities, 305 were killed by pit bulls; 89 were killed by Rottweilers; 438 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds.

    Of the 3,141 people who were disfigured, 2,232 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 354 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,716 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

    Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class.

    Fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 in the past four years, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone, ever, before 2000 were two wolf hybrids in 1988 and 1989. 33 U.S. shelter dogs & one U.K. shelter dog have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.

    Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are together less than 7% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • Tom McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    Springfield, MO

    In April 2008, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department released data to a local TV station – following the City of Springfield’s adoption of a 2006 pit bull ban:

    “The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports that dog bites and vicious dog complaints are declining since the implementation of the Pit Bull Ordinance in the City of Springfield two years ago. In 2005 the health department fielded 18 vicious dog complaints, but only eight in 2007. Bites were down from 102 in 2005 to 87 in 2007.”

    “The ordinance, which requires pit bull owners to register their dogs annually, has also resulted in fewer pit bull dogs being impounded at the Springfield Animal Shelter.

    In 2005 there were 502 pit bull and pit bull mixes impounded, compared to only 252 in 2007.

    According to statistics taken from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, as reported in the News-Leader March 12, for the three-year period beginning in 2004, there were 42 “vicious” animal attacks recorded in the jurisdiction covered.

    After passing the local ordinance banning or strictly controlling the ownership of pit bull or pit bull types, the number of attacks has dropped dramatically.

    For the five-year period from 2007-2011, there was a total of 14.

    “Because we are impounding fewer pit bulls, we’ve also seen overcrowding in our shelter subside,” says assistant director Clay Goddard. “It is the natural tendency of pit bulls to fight, so our animal control staff are forced to segregate them in individual pens.

    When we have several pit bulls in the shelter simultaneously, this severely limits space for other dogs.”
    ***************************************************
    Washington

    In 2008, the City of Wapato passed an ordinance that bans new pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiffs. Nine months after its adoption, in March 2009, Wapato Police Chief Richard Sanchez reported successful results:

    “Nine months into the ban and police calls about vicious dogs have been cut in half. The Wapato Police tell Action News they’ve gone from 18 reports in January, February and March of last year to seven so far in ’09. “Seven calls in three months… that’s nothing,” says Chief Richard Sanchez, Wapato Police Department.

    Chief Sanchez credits local cooperation for the decline of dangerous dogs.”
    ***************************************************
    Rhode Island

    When the City of Woonsocket was debating a pit bull ordinance in June 2009, the animal control supervisor in Pawtucket, John Holmes, spoke about the enormous success of Pawtucket’s 2003 pit bull ban:

    “Holmes says he predicted that it would take two years for Pawtucket to experience the full benefit of the law after it was passed, but the results were actually apparent in half the time.

    “It’s working absolutely fantastic,” said Holmes. “We have not had a pit bull maiming in the city since December of 2004.”

    Holmes says the law also capped the number of legal pit bulls in Pawtucket to about 70 animals.”

    In July 2013, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and City Council President David Moran sent a joint letter to Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee asking that he reject a statewide anti-BSL measure before him.

    While they agree that some pit bulls can make good pets, said Moran and Grebien, “the number and severity of pit bull attacks against people and other animals in the early 2000s required us to take the action we did.”

    Prior to the 2004 city ordinance, Pawtucket Animal Control officers responded to many calls about serious pit bull attacks against people and animals, according to the letter. Two of the worst cases involved a nine-month pregnant woman and a child.

    While proponents of the bill argue that breed-specific bans don’t work, said Grebien and Moran, “the results in Pawtucket dramatically prove that they do work.”

    In 2003, the year before the local ban on pit bulls went into effect, 135 pit bulls, all from Pawtucket, were taken in at the Pawtucket Animal Control Shelter for a variety of health and safety reasons, with 48 of those dogs needing to be put down.

    In 2012, 72 pit bulls were taken in, only 41 from Pawtucket, with only six needing to be euthanized, according to the two officials.
    “That’s a tremendous improvement,” they state in their letter.
    ***************************************************
    Per section 8-55 of Denvers pit bull ban:

    A pit bull, is defined as any dog that is an APBT, Am Staf Terrier, Staff Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of anyone (1) or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards set by the AKC or UKC for any of the above breed.

    Over the course of 22 years, the Denver ban has withstood numerous battles in state and federal courts. It has been used as a model for over 600 USA cities that legislate pit bulls, as well as US Navy, Air Force, Marine and Army bases ( so much for Sgt Stubby).

    without it, we’d see just what we see in Miss E’s lame replies. Every pit owner would claim their land shark was anything but a pit bull.

    Miami Dade county voted 66% to keep their pit bull ban, just as it is worded, last year.

  • Tom McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    Ottumwa, Iowa

    Population 24,998

    In July 2010, Police Chief Jim Clark said there had been no recorded pit bull attacks since the city’s 2003 pit bull ban. Between 1989 and 2003, the city had a pit bull ordinance, but still allowed pit bulls as “guard” dogs.
    “Police Chief Jim Clark says since the ban, there have been no recorded attacks by the animals.

    “We haven’t had any attacks since then for one thing because it is illegal,” said Clark. “Most people are keeping their dogs inside their house or inside their basement and not letting them out loose so therefore they’re not around other people to attack them.”

    “In the two-and-a-half years before the 2003 ban, Ottumwa police recorded 18 pit bull attacks, including the death of 21-month-old Charlee Shepherd in August 2002. There were at least three other attacks on children during this time.”
    ************************************************************
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Population 189,515

    When the City of Indianapolis was discussing a pit bull sterilization law in April 2009, Little Rock Animal Services Director Tracy Roark spoke about Little Rock’s successful 2008 pit bull ordinance:

    “There was a day when you could walk down any street in center city Little Rock, you could see several pit bulls chained up. You don’t see that anymore,” said Tracy Roark with Little Rock Animal Services.

    Roark told Eyewitness News over the phone that pit bull attacks have been cut in half and credits their new law with getting them there.
    “This is the most abused dog in the city,” said Roark.

    The Little Rock law passed last year and requires pit bulls to be sterilized, registered and microchipped. Also dogs – regardless of the breed – are also not allowed to be chained up outside.”
    ************************************************************
    Fort Lupton, Colorado
    Population 6,787
    When the City of Fort Collins was mulling a pit bull law in March 2009, Fort Lupton’s Police Chief spoke about Fort Lupton’s successful 2003 pit bull ban, including zero pit bull biting incidents since the law’s adoption:

    “Fort Lupton Police Chief Ron Grannis said the city hasn’t had a pit bull bite since the ban was enacted, but it still has the occasional pit bull that is picked up and taken away.

    Although he said the ban has not been well-received by every resident, he thinks it was the right decision for the city.

    “I believe it makes the community safer,” he said. “That’s my personal opinion. Pit bulls are not the kind of dogs most people should have. They are too unpredictable. … These dogs have been bred for thousands of years to be fighters.

    You can’t take it out of them. A lion cub may be friendly for a while, but one day it can take your head off.”
    ************************************************************
    Reading, Pennsylvania
    Population 80,560

    After an 8-year legal battle, pit bull advocates dismantled a pit bull law adopted by Reading in 1998. It was reported in the same news article, in February 2008, that the law had significantly reduced biting incidents:

    “Reading’s 1998 law required that aggressive or dangerous dogs, when outside the home, be muzzled and kept on a leash shorter than three feet long with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds.

    The law also punished violators with fines of up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail.
    The law is credited with helping to reduce dog bites from 130 in 1999 to 33 in 2006. As a result, the law – or at least elements of it – were not being actively enforced, the Reading Eagle reported last year.

  • Tom McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    KEVIN COUTTS, Head Dog Ranger, Rotorua, New Zealand

    There was concern among dog authorities about American pitbulls being allowed into New Zealand as they were dangerous, unpredictable animals, Mr Coutts said.

    “A lot of people in this town get them because they are a staunch dog and they will fight. They are perceived as vicious … It’s frustrating they were ever allowed in the country … we can’t go back now though,” Mr Coutts said.

    COUTTS’ comment on a pit car mauling

    This sort of thing happens when people own this breed of dog and then don’t look after them.

    VICTORIA STILWELL, celebrity dog trainer

    Presas are not to be fooled with, they’re dangerous. You’ve got a fighting breed here. You’ve got a dog that was bred for fighting. You’ve got one of the most difficult breeds to handle.

    CESAR MILAN, celebrity dog trainer

    “Yeah, but this is a different breed…the power that comes behind bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed – They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don’t feel the pain anymore. He is using the bulldog in him, which is way too powerful, so we have to ‘make him dog’ (I guess as in a “regular” dog) so we can actually create the limits.

    So if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it’s not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender.”. If you add pain, it only infuriates them..to them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it…

    That’s why they are such great fighters.” Cesar goes on to say…”Especially with fighting breeds, you’re going to have these explosions over and over because there’s no limits in their brain.”

    GARRETT RUSSO, dog trainer

    I estimate Medical & Veterinary bills related to injuries caused by pit bulls in the Tompkins Square dog run in 2011, $140,000.00. Estimated Medical (human) & Veterinary (canine) bills from all other breeds and mixed breeds combined during the same period, $5,000.00. (Estimate gathered from reports to by owners to the dog park association.)

    STEVE DUNO, dog trainer, pit bull owner

    “The dogs that participated in these attacks weren’t Pekingese. You don’t have herds of Pekingese roaming the city attacking people. When someone says all breeds are created equal, well then they’re denying the definition of what a breed is. Breed serves a particular purpose.”

    “I like them. They’re eager. They’re athletic. They’re aesthetically pleasing. But even if they’re bred perfectly, they can be problematic, particularly with other dogs.”

    “When you combine the breed specific behaviors … with owners who either don’t give a rip, or with owners who (have) too much dog, you have a problem.”

    JEAN DONALDSON, dog trainer

    Most commonly, she sees dogs with aggression problems. While she’s a fierce opponent of “breed bans” like the proposed outlawing of pit bulls that San Francisco debated two years ago, she believes it’s undeniable that some breeds are predisposed to violence.

    Many breeds that were bred as guardians or fighting dogs were carefully designed to not like strangers, she says. She thinks it’s disingenuous of breeders to further enhance this trait, and then expect owners to compensate with training.

    ARLENE STERLING, Newaygo County, MI Chief Animal Control Officer

    “It is genetically inbred in them to be aggressive. They can be very nice dogs, but they are very prey driven and they are extremely strong. It makes them high risk dogs and it makes them extremely dangerous.”

    BOB KERRIDGE, New Zealand SPCA executive director

    “That is the only real way to solve this problem – is to license owners and to give them the responsibility that goes with owning a dog. It would be extremely useful when you have a neighbour who is concerned about that dog next door. You can look at it and see they don’t have a license and take it away. That’s owner responsibility.”

    “We led the charge to stop the importation of the pitbull because of the concerns they would be crossbred with other dogs… But there’s not a lot we can do about that because it’s happened. We wish someone had listened all those years ago.”

    JIM CROSBY, pit bull hired gun

    “Line breeding tends to concentrate recessive traits. The propensity for violent attacks by a dog would be a recessive trait.”

    MELANIE PFEIFFER, veterinary assistant

    Working in a veterinary hospital, you are exposed to all kinds of animal trauma. One of the more common ones is dog fights. I can honestly say that in three out of four cases, an American pit bull terrier is involved. Many times, we are able to save the life of the afflicted, but yesterday, we were not.

    I propose that all owned American pit bull terriers be registered and all breeding be halted indefinitely. How many mutilated faces, mangled limbs, butchered pets and even human deaths does it take to convince us that this breed needs to be phased out?

    DIANE JESSUP, Washington pit bull owner and expert

    “It’s not sensible to get an animal bred for bringing a 2,000-pound bull to its knees and say I’m going to treat this like a soft-mouth Labrador,” says Jessup, the former animal-control officer. She blames novice owners, as much as actual criminals, for bringing the breed into disrepute. “It’s a capable animal, and it’s got to be treated as such.”

    JOHN ROCKHOLT, South Carolina dogman

    “It’s inhumane not to allow them to fight. If you have to encourage them to fight they are not worth the powder it would take to blow them away. To never allow them any kind of combat…That’s inhumane.”

    RAY BROWN, former pit bull owner, breeder, dog fighter

    Pit bulls didn’t become dangerous because we fight them; we fight them because the English specifically bred them to be dangerous.

    MARK PAULHUS, HSUS southeast regional coordinator

    If it chooses to attack, it’s the most ferocious of all dogs. I’ve never known of a pit bull that could be called off (during a fight). They lose themselves in the fight.

    F.L. DANTZLER, HSUS director of field services

    “They’re borderline dogs. They’re right on the edge all of the time. Even if the dogs are not trained or used for fighting, and even though they are generally good with people, their bloodline makes them prone to violence.”

  • Tom McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    ALEXANDRA SEMYONOVA, animal behaviorist

    You will also not prevent the dog from being what he is genetically predisposed to be. Because the inbred postures and behaviors feel good, fitting the body and brain the dog has been bred with, they are internally motivated and internally rewarded.

    This means that the behavior is practically impossible to extinguish by manipulating external environmental stimuli.

    The reward is not in the environment, but in the dog itself! As Coppinger and Coppinger (2001, p. 202) put it, “The dog gets such pleasure out of performing its motor pattern that it keeps looking for places to display it.” Some dogs get stuck in their particular inbred motor pattern.

    As pointed out above, this kind of aggression has appeared in some other breeds as an unexpected and undesired anomaly – the golden retriever, the Berner Senne hund, the cocker spaniel have all had this problem.

    The lovers of aggressive breeds try to use these breeding accidents to prove that their aggressive breeds are just like any other dog, “see, they’re no different from the cuddly breeds.” But a cuddly breed sometimes ending up stuck with a genetic disaster does not prove that the behavior is normal canine behavior. All it proves is that the behavior is genetically determined.

    “These dogs aren’t killers because they have the wrong owners, rather they attract the wrong owners because they are killers.” The 100 Silliest Things People say about dogs.

    JOHN FAUL, animal behaviorist

    Faul said they were dangerous and a threat to life. He said the pitbull was bred to be absolutely fearless and had a “hair-trigger” attack response.

    “The cardinal rule is that these dogs are not pets,” he said.

    “The only way to keep them is in a working environment.”

    He said the only relationship one could have with the pitbull was one of “dominance, sub-dominance”, in which the dog was reminded daily of its position.

    ANDREW ROWAN, PhD, Tufts Center for Animals

    “A pit bull is trained to inflict the maximum amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. Other dogs bite and hold. A Doberman or a German shepherd won’t tear if you stand still.

    A pit bull is more likely to remove a piece of tissue. Dogs fight as a last resort under most circumstances. But a pit bull will attack without warning. If a dog shows a submissive characteristic, such as rolling over most dogs wills top their attack. A pit bull will disembowel its victim.”

    “A study by Dr Randall Lockwood of the US Humane Society found that pit bulls are more likely to break restraints to attack someone and that pit bulls are more likely to attack their owners, possibly as a result of owners trying to separate their dogs from victims.”

    Jørn Våge, Tina B Bønsdorff, Ellen Arnet, Aage Tverdal and Frode Lingaas, Differential gene expression in brain tissues of aggressive and non-aggressive dogs

    The domestic dog (Canis familiaris), with its more than 400 recognised breeds [1], displays great variation in behaviour phenotypes.

    Favourable behaviour is important for well-being and negative traits such as aggression may ruin the owner-dog relationship and lead to relinquishment to shelters or even euthanasia of otherwise healthy dogs [2,3].

    Behavioural traits result from an interaction of both genetic and environmental factors. Breed specific behavioural traits such as hunting, herding and calmness/aggression are, however, evidence of a large genetic component and specific behaviours show high heritabilities [4-8].

    ALAN BECK, Sc.D

    However, Alan Beck, director of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine Center of the Human-Animal Bond, favors letting the breed go into extinction.

    “This breed alone is a risk of serious public health factors,” Beck said. “We are keeping them alive against their own best interests.”

    Beck said while he does not advocate taking dogs from current and caring owners, he does feel that it has become more of a social and political issue for people than a health one.

    “If these dogs were carrying an actual disease, people would advocate euthanizing them,” Beck said. “This breed itself is not natural.”

    “It has this sort of mystique that attracts a population of people. Of course, most of these dogs are never going to bite, as champions of the breed will tell you. But most people who smoke don’t get cancer, but we know regulations help reduce a significant risk.”

    “I know you’re going to get beat up for this. But they just aren’t good dogs to own. That’s why so many of them are relinquished to shelters. There are too many other breeds out there to take a chance on these guys.”

    MERRITT CLIFTON, journalist, Animal People editor

    There are very few people, if any, who have written more on behalf of dogs over the past 40-odd years than I have, or spent more time down the back alleys of the developing world observing dogs in the habitats in which normal dogs came to co-evolve with humans.

    But appreciation of the ecological roles of street dogs & coyotes, exposing dog-eating and puppy mills, opposition to indiscriminate lethal animal control, introduction of high-volume low-cost spay/neuter and anti-rabies vaccination, introduction of online adoption promotion, encouraging the formation of thousands of new humane societies worldwide, etc., are not to be confused with pit bull advocacy.

    Pit bull advocacy is not defending dogs; it is defending the serial killers of the dog world, who kill, injure, and give bad reputations to all the rest. Indeed, pit bull advocacy, because it erodes public trust in dogs and people who care about dogs, stands a good chance of superseding rabies as the single greatest threat to the health, well-being, and human appreciation of all dogs worldwide.

    STANLEY COREN, PhD

    “A dog’s breed tells us a lot about that dog’s genetic heritage and makeup. Genetics is a strong determinant of personality. In the absence of any other information, we can make a reasonable prediction about how the dog will behave based upon its breed.” p 84

    “When we crossbreed, we lose some of that predictability, since which genes will be passed on by each parent and how they will combine is a matter of chance. Fortunately, there is some data to suggest that we can still make predispositions without knowing much about its parentage.

    John Paul Scott and John L Fuller carried out a series of selective breeding experiments at the Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine. By happy chance, their results revealed a simple rule that seems to work. Their general conclusion was that a mixed breed dog is most likely to act like the breed that it most looks like.”

  • Tom McCartney (@TomMcCartney71)

    Facts on the Danger of all Pit Bull Type Dogs

    The Truth about the success of Pit Bull type Dog Ban & BSL enforcement, Views of Dog trainers/animal control, Pit Bull breeders, owners,Canine experts, animal behaviorists, Vets, Doctors, Dog attack statistics for the USA, General Dog Bite Statistics across the country.

    And everything you were want to know about the pit bull type dog but were afraid to ask.!

    http://banallpitbulls.blogspot.ca/

    • Paradise And Other Urban Legends

      You are a derringer POS, you are bashing the breed in a story about the dog saving the child’s life. BUT, I am assuming someone like you probably feels the child deserved to be attacked by the raccoon and given rabies because they have a Pit Bull. Why don’t you go crawl back under the rock you slithered out from under and take all the other anti-Pit Bull weirdos with you. No one cares about you one-sided stats. No one wants to read your rambling SPAM drivel

    • Tracey Benzel

      @RED…I agree with you. Raccoon was rabid even if it was after food. People speaking out against the dog’s actions are idiots. Rabies is a painful death for the raccoon not that I think being attacked by dog was less painful. Just a terrible situation for all but at least the little girl was not bitten and for now her dog is also safe. Surprised the chickens aren’t quarantined. I use to think deer and ground hounds couldn’t get rabies until set straight by a vet. Any warm blooded animal but maybe different for birds. which makes no sense since bats can carry rabies too.