Of all the data that documented the impact of COVID in 2021, one was an uptick in the number of dog attacks. By that year’s end, fatal dog attacks totaled 81, the most significant number of fatalities since the CDC began documenting data. The stat represented a 69 percent increase from two years previously and a 131 percent increase from 2018.
Additional data reveals the following:
- From 2010 to June of 2021, sixty percent of all fatal dog attacks nationwide were committed by pit bulls or pit bull mixes. In second place was Rottweilers at seven percent.
- Pit bulls comprised two-thirds of the 568 Americans losing their lives to attacks
- Even though they represent six percent of the overall canine population, pit bulls, and Rottweilers accounted for 77 percent of fatal dog attacks
- Pit bull terriers are close to 50 percent more likely to attack without provocation than other breeds
- Pit bulls were responsible for almost half of the 64 infants killed by canines
- Within families, more than half of fatal attacks were their own dogs; 64 percent were pit bulls from 2005 to 2019
Owners giving up
A tragic element exists in the pit bull population. Over 50 percent of all pit bulls are up for sale or adoption in the United States. Most of those involved former owners giving up on them, with up to 32 percent of dogs dropped off at shelters being pit bulls.
With national adoption rates in the single digits – four percent – pit bulls stay in shelters about three times as long as other dog breeds. In total, anywhere from 40 to 80 percent are euthanized annually. Even the U.S. Army has given up on pit bulls, following the breed’s ban when it comes to military housing.
The nature versus nurture argument regarding pit bulls continue. Save for those passionate about pit bulls, what many can agree on is that this breed of dog remains a clear and present danger to anyone who encounters these controversial canines.