Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs

The the usual suspects have come out in force to criticize the San Antonio Dog Bite Study recently released by the University Hospital and defame the authors because the image painted of their beloved pit bull is not quite in sync with their idealized version.
Study authors
John K. Bini, MD
Shirley M. Acosta, RN, BSN,
Marilyn J. McFarland, RN, MS
The TRISAT Clinical Trials Group, include trauma faculty members:
D. Dent, M. Corneille, S. Wolf. D. Mueller, B. Eastridge, G. Goodwiler, J. Gourlas, J. Oh; M. Bohnenblust, K. McBride and biostatistician C. Lounden.

click their names to view their impressive resum├ęs

Excerpt from Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs:

Go to Dogsbite.org for a full review of this important study.


You find out a lot of information when you deal with the circumstances. That leads you down a different road on what causes the bites and attacks and it's not the breed of dog. It's usually the people who are involved and the surrounding situation that's involved.” Brent Toellner

BRENT TOELLNER, the man who makes his living convincing people to purchase things they don't need, can't afford and are sometimes harmful, told nbc action news, 'it's not the dog, it's the owner'. There's one way to test that theory. Take any serious pit bull mauling and substitute other breeds. Take 85 yr old Rosie Humphreys for example. Rosie and her small poodle were killed by BRIAN PENNINGTON'S loose purebred american pit bull terrier during a routine daily walk. Now try substituting golden retriever in that sentence. How about dachshund? collie? Absurd, isn't it? If breed is truly irrelevant and the problem is truly irresponsible owners, then ANY breed of dog owned by BRIAN PENNINGTON would have yielded the same deadly result.

TOELLNER'S criticisms go into more detail on his blog. One of the criticisms is valid but that does not invalidate the study. My issue with the study is the citing of AKC registered dogs. The APBT, the breed that makes up the bulk of "pit bulls" is not recognized in the AKC registry and not all pit bulls involved in fatal attacks are purebred. The inclusion of AKC numbers only opens the door for criticism. Though their method is accepted in academic circles, I would have preferred the authors left that data out.

TOELLNER has a long list of complaints; lack of peer review, small sample, the use of animal people and dogsbite.org data (congratulations guys!), and the fact that the authors failed to consult with animal behaviorists and with ms dog bite herself, KAREN DELISE. These are major flaws in his mind that invalidate the study, in HIS mind. TOELLNER praised the authors for stating the obvious, pit bulls do not have locking jaws or an exceptionally powerful bite, but then admits that he is puzzled that the authors still came to the conclusion that pit bulls posed a greater danger than other dogs. At the end of this blog post, pit bull experts DIANE JESSUP and CARL SEMEMCIC will explain why pits are more dangerous.

I find it rather amusing that TOELLNER vigorously condemns the San Antonio University Hospital study, yet he finds no fault with the self report questionnaire study that found dachshunds to be the "biggest biters".

KAREN DELISE (a former vet tech), the great neo cortex's official condemnation of the study begins with the fact that SURGEONS have dared to express an opinion about dangerous dogs. Those opinions are reserved for herself and handful of highly trained gifted supreme beings endowed with mystical powers. DELISE thinks surgeons should stick with surgery. I can certainly relate to that sentiment, I always find myself thinking along those lines whenever the nutter lawyers like LEDY VANKAVAGE, DEBRA BRESCH, LAURA ALLEN, NATHAN WINOGRAD, KEVIN THOMASON open their mouths about animals. They should stay out of the animal AND medical business.

The vet tech writes "Those, whose professional lives are spent with pets and their owners, have been consistent in their recommendations: education of adults and children concerning dogs and dog behavior; and humane care custody and control of all dogs." This cited quote from DELISE is attributed to Texas vet BONNIE BEAVER who under oath testified in 1991, "By its origin, a pit bull is a fighting dog that takes very little stimulous to initiate aggression, and it will continue to fight regardless of what happens" and "Pit bulldogs have been responsible for about 70 percent of the deaths of humans killed by dogs since 1979."

No critique of this study would be complete without the classic pit bull sleight of hand trick, Find The Pit Bull. "There is robust evidence that guesses even by animal professionals of the breed or breeds that make up dogs whose ancestry is not known to them correlate extremely poorly with DNA analyses of the same dogs." Rule number #2 in the pit bull advocacy handbook, ALWAYS cast doubt on breed identification!

The vet tech continues "The authors seem to have begun their research with a belief regarding “pit bull” dogs, and then exploited the tools of epidemiology to legitimize that belief." ALL science starts with a belief. The belief that scientists go into research without any preconceived notions is absurdly naive. The former vet tech/"research director" fails to recognize that ALL SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY BEGINS WITH A HYPOTHESIS which states a belief or expectation. Without a belief, expectation or hypothesis, it is impossible to conduct scientific inquiry!!! Karen, objectivity in science is an illusion and only unethical researchers lie to their audiences and themselves with fantastic claims of absolute detachment and neutrality.

"The illusion of objectivity is most powerful when its victims believe themselves to be free of it." Rupert Sheldrake

The evil genius makes a big deal about the percentage of children in emergency rooms. She claims only 2% of all child visits to the E.R are for dog bites, not 20% as the San Antonio University Hospital surgeons suggest. But the vet tech's only accomplishment is exposing herself as JANE BERKEY'S hired gun and the vet tech only succeeds at fooling her gullible drones with the attack on the authors' one in five visits. A 1998 AMA study, (which you can find at dogsbite.org along with lots of other studies and great information), found that 23% of the children who visit the emergency room, are there for dog bites, in other words - roughly one in five.

*I was extremely disappointed that KAREN DELISE didn't take this opportunity to expand on her theory of the meteorologic effects on dog aggression. Oh well, maybe next time.

JIM CROSBY also had plenty to say about the study. The most surprising criticism came in the form of doubting the number of pit bulls shot and killed. The authors of the San Antonio University Hospital study claim that 1.5 pit bulls are shot and killed each day. I tracked shootings/stabbings from 10.07.09-10.19.10 and came up with 631 shooting/stabbing incidences. (Dogsbite.org tracked pit bull shootings from 2008-2009 and has come up with similar numbers.) The overwhelming majority of incidences that I documented were shootings opposed to stabbings and the overwhelming majority of dogs were "pit bulls". Of course not all were killed but I don't have a hard time believing that 546 pit bulls are shot to death each year, especially when you consider that only a fraction of the shootings receive media coverage. Pit bull advocate PAT MILLER states the media reports 250-300 dogs are shot by police each year and estimates another 1000 shootings that are not picked up by the media. That is 3.56 per day, shot by JUST the police! MILLER credits her data to ASPCA's RANDALL LOCKWOOD.

Uncharacteristically, WHITEWASH JIMMY expressed empathy for the human victims when he criticized the authors for including the "flashy but irrelevant" statistic; 94% of the attacks were unprovoked, adding "Small children do not have the capacity to knowingly provoke a dog. Older kids should be given the benefit of the doubt unless observed tormenting a dog."Traditionally, pit nutters search desperately outside of DNA to explain and excuse pit bull aggression. Their first line of defense is always - the dog was provoked. Congratulations JIMMY, I believe this is a pit nutter first! And i will be sure to credit you in the future.

WHITEWASH JIMMY'S analysis of the surgeons' study goes above and beyond the picayune by pointing to an age error of a victim. The authors claim a victim was 11 months old while the "well covered" attack by the media reported the victim to be 7 months. "A small error-but a factual error that knocks one more pebble from a crumbling edifice. You would think that an attending physician might just know how old his patient was." Funny how the pit bull advocates always caution us against believing the media when it comes to dog attacks and pit bulls, yet CROSBY is steadfast in his belief that the media reported the victim's age correctly and the surgeons reported incorrectly. laughable.

WHITEWASH JIMMY attempted to bring his small band of zealous devotees to their knees in awe. Thumping his superior on scene fatal attack investigator chest, he points out that the dog responsible for the December 2008 death of 62 yr old Chester Jordan in Muncie, Indiana was in fact a Dogo Argentino gripping dog. But hey, in his generous spirit, he would give the authors the benefit of the doubt and call the dogo a pit bull. I don't track fatal attacks and I don't follow them closely, so I consulted with people who do and who I value the opinions of, Merritt Clifton and Colleen Lynn. The attack was in fact in November, NOT December. A small error-but a factual error that knocks one more pebble from a crumbling edifice. You would think that an on site investigator might just know what month he traveled to Indiana. Colleen's memory of that attack was just as clear as if it happened yesterday. She remembered seeing the news footage of an unbloodied white dog running around in the background while the authorities removed the two bloodied brindle pit dogs from the home. Colleen also remembered BRENT TOELLNER first positing that the "killer" white dog may have been a dogo or an ambull. And sure enough, there it is. And here are the two bloody brindle bulldogs.
Thank you Colleen!

My absolute favorite part of mr canine aggression expert's critique of the San Antonio University Hospital dog bite study, was the final sentence: "Shame on them, shame on the authors, and especially shame on the peer review committee that should have done basic fact checking before publication." This statement comes from the man who looks to KAREN DELISE as his mentor! Click HERE and HERE to see how well DELISE performs basic fact checking.

note: ALL of the links to WHITEWASH JIMMY'S references are conveniently dead and were directed to this page.

LEDY VANKAVAGE'S attack on the San Antonio study was addressed in detail HERE, but I have a few thoughts of my own to add. LEDY is very good, maybe the best at rallying the pit nutter troops over at change.org and stretching or misinterpreting the truth, I can't tell which. Perhaps a poll is needed to help me determine whether she is morally corrupt or intellectually bankrupt. to quote LEDY, "One glaring example of the report's shoddy work that they cite is that the authors state that one in every five children visits an emergency room because of a dog bite."That is quite different from what the authors ACTUALLY wrote, "One of every 5 emergency room visits by children is related to dog bites." If you do not understand the difference between these two statements then you must immediately leave this blog and go back to school. I also have to wonder if we just witnessed the birth of a lie or if researchers should take this as a sign for the need to dumb down the language of future studies for easier consumption by pit bull advocates.

VANKAVAGE, DELISE et al feel that doctors are not qualified to make statements about dog dangerousness. I think emergency room medical staff, plastic surgeons and first responders are the MOST qualified to make these statements. We are talking about HUMAN injury and death after all.

Who are these people and WHY should anyone take them seriously?

Meet no-kill/pit bull activist and marketing/advertising whiz BRENT TOELLNER who has not an ounce of medical school behind him yet feels qualified to lead the debate on public policy regarding dangerous dogs!

Meet the great prestidigitator KAREN DELISE, former vet tech, founder and director of "research" for the National Canine Research Council, a subsidiary of JANE BERKEY'S blatant pit bull advocacy organization, the ANIMAL FARM FOUNDATION.

Meet JIM CROSBY, the "lone wolf" whitewasher who feels that he ALONE has more expertise combined (as a dog trainer and former police officer and FAILED -- FIRED -- AC officer) than the impressive group of 17 listed at the top of this page. Hardly a "lone wolf" gig like a typical Crosby undertaking. This professional whitewasher claims that chihuahuas are as dangerous as pit bulls. GOOD JOB JIMMY! You've never looked more stupid or more petty than you do today!

Meet LEDY VANKAVAGE, the senior legislative analyst (a paid lobbyist) for the Kanab, Utah animal rights group known as Best Friends. This attorney and life long pit bull owner feels qualified to lead the argument on public policy regarding dangerous dogs!


The results of the San Antonio University Hospital dog bite study validates previous Texas dog bite data. The state of Texas has a decent history of documenting dog bites. In 2000, Dr David Blocker presented a paper on dog bites from Bexar County (San Antonio - the exact same region that involved the University Hospital study) found the Odds ratios for each of the five most commonly biting dog breeds versus all others presented similar findings (Table 30). The odds of a Pit Bull in Bexar County causing a bite were 5 times greater than the odds for all other breeds combined, at 4.9 to 1. Chow Chows and Rottweilers also had odds ratios significantly greater than the average, at 2.9 to 1 and 1.8 to 1, respectively. The odds ratios for German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers were significantly lower than the average, at 0.67 to 1 and 0.26 to 1.

Medical doctors Stephen F. Viegas, Jason H. Calhoun and Jon Mader published an article on the savage pit bull attack of an 83 yr old man that resulted in extensive injuries requiring an amputation and later died in the Volume 84 November 1988 issue of Texas Medicine, Pit bull attack: case report and literature review.
"During the one-year period between June 1986 and June 1987, 14 people were killed by dogs in the United States. Ten of those 14 deaths are attributed to pit bulls. Thus, 71% of the deaths during that period were attributed to a type of dog that accounts for 1% of the US dog population (8,10,22)."
"Most breeds do not repeatedly bite their victims; however, a pit bull attack has been compared to a shark attack and often results in multiple bites and extensive soft tissue loss (3,10). Although the teeth of dogs are not very sharp, they can exert a force of 200 to 450 psi. Pit bulls inflict more serious bite wounds than do other breeds because they tend to attack the deep muscles, hold on, and shake (3,10)."
and in conclusion
"With this trend and the increasing population of dogs in general, and in pit bulls in particular, the occurrence of cases similar to the one reported in this article may increase."
Hmmm, 71% of the people killed by dogs from june 86 - june 87, were killed by pit bulls is consistent with DR BEAVER'S 1991 sworn testimony. Weren't the 1980's supposed to be the decade of the doberman?

The Texas Department of Health used to track animal attacks and submit yearly summaries.

The number and percentage of each breed of dog involved was noted...

As well as the number and percentage of each breed for attacks so serious, hospitalization was required.

Did you notice how the pit bull was number 4 for dog bites but jumped to the # 1 spot for hospitalizations?

I don't have the summaries for 2000 and 2001 but at some point the Department of Health stopped parsing out the percentage of breeds that required hospitalizations. Pit nutter tantrums, I suspect. Those tantrums most likely put an end to this tracking of animal attacks/bites altogether, as 2002 seems to be the last year for these bite summaries.

You can read the 1999 and 2002 Severe Animal Attack and Bite Surveillance Summaries HERE and HERE.


Pit bulls differ from other dogs in not only HOW they bite, but WHERE they bite. This difference results in catastrophic damage to the unlucky person who happens to be on the receiving end of their gaping maws of doom.

But i don't expect you to take the word of a hater.

Read the professional opinion of former animal control officer, pit bull advocate, owner, breeder, trainer, historian, author, expert DIANE JESSUP as she pontificates on pit bulls and bite work in protection sports:
There are aspects of ring sport which put the bulldog at a disadvantage when competing against sheepdogs like shepherds and malinois. The sport requires the dog, at times, to bite and then quickly release and retreat - something no true bulldog is willing to do. Also, biting the leg, which is considered preferable, takes more training for a bulldog who will naturally shun the extremities in favor of the more "courageous" bites to the body. A bulldog is bred to grip the head of its prey - whereas a sheepdog nips the legs. Therefore sheepdog breeds have a natural advantage in this regard.
Another very real detriment to the sport are those few decoys, (so far I have found them only in Western Canada) who are so terrified of pit bulls that they treat them with prejudice.
Gee, I can't imagine why bite work decoys would be prejudiced against gripping dogs, I mean aside from the tendency to courageously lunge for the FACE!

Perhaps fighting dog officiando CARL SEMENCIC can shine some light on this.
(Gladiator Dogs, page 19)

click image to view larger


DubV said...

Toellner is arguing in effect that grenades are not dangerous because usually when they go off a human has pulled the pin or handled them incorrectly. However, he does not stop to think that a box of apples can be thrown down and have all their stems pulled out and they do not explode.

Small Survivors said...

Love your analogy, DubV. It makes perfect sense.

Joan said...

Pit bull haters. You might want to check the facts with the National Canine Council and quit spreading lies about these dogs. Also, it would help that the pit bull haters in the media stop spreading lies about these dogs too. Pretty creepy people who have nothing better to do than spread lies about dogs that can't speak up for themselves.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.
Bertrand Russell

joan, this is the place are quashed. the pretty creepy place where the lies are manufactured are in upstate new york, oakland and utah. i have spent a lot of time the pit bull lobbyist ncrc and i have read both of delise's self published propaganda pamphlets.

i encourage you to bring objective evidence from not pro-pit bull sites that refutes what is said here.