pit bull attack and maul siberian husky

Posted on 28. Jul, 2015 by in Dog Attacks

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Disguise breed name

As identified in the Tufts study, pit bull owners frequently pass their dogs off as other breeds to diminish a perceived stigma. They also lie about their dog’s breed to confuse the public about the pit bull breed and to evade breed-specific laws. For instance, a pit bull owner might mislabel his dog as a bulldog, boxer-mix or lab-mix after a pit bull law goes into effect. Animal groups, however, are the guiltiest in creating confusion about the breed. This began in earnest in the mid 1930s. In 1936, the American Kennel Club (AKC) formally recognized the pit bull breed, but only under the name Staffordshire terrier. This was done to distance the breed from its continued use in dogfighting. Thus, the dog breed that descended from bull baiting and dogfighting, the pit bull terrier, began being registered under two names.2 By 1936, the United Kennel Club (UKC) had already recognized the American pit bull terrier for nearly 40-years. Hence, the original AKC registered Staffordshire terriers all came from UKC stock including champion fighting bloodlines.3 Cross-registering pit bulls at both registries under different names continues today.4 Prior to the UKC’s formal recognition of the breed in 1898,5 and in some regions until decades after, the pit bull breed was called a variety names including: pit dog, bull terrier, bull pit terrier, pit terrier, pit bull terrier, simply “bulldog,” and according to the AKC’s American Staffordshire page, American bull terrier and Yankee terrier. In 1972, the AKC renamed the breed to American Staffordshire terrier to distinguish it from the Staffordshire bull terrier — a dog breed also included in the pit bull class of dogs. Today, shelters often use the American Staffordshire name when adopting out pit bulls to the public to mask the breed’s less palatable name, pit bull terrier.6 In 1996, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals renamed pit bulls to St. Francis terriers. Again, the hope was to make the pit bull breed more adoptable to the public. After much screening, about 60 pit bulls were placed. The program was suspended after several of the re-dubbed pit bulls killed cats.7 In 2004, while serving as the director of New York City Animal Care and Control, Ed Boks attempted to rename pit bulls to New Yorkies, also in hopes of making the breed more adoptable to members of the public. Boks’ renaming attempt was unsuccessful, as was his tenure in New York, which only lasted from 2003-2005.8 Meanwhile, dogfighters and pit bull “experts” historically and presently refer to pit bulls simply as “bulldogs.” The American bulldog, derived from the same gene pool as the pit bull, is still unrecognized by the AKC and was only recognized by the UKC in 1999.9 The breed was also called the American pit bulldog up until the 1970s.10

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The many names of the pit bull over the course of history is why breed-specific legislation defines the pit bull as a “class of dogs” that includes the following breeds and their mixes: American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and American bulldog.11 Despite attempts by pit bull owners, animal welfare groups and dogfighters to obscure the name of the pit bull breed, well-written breed-specific laws always encapsulate the many names of the breed.

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