Town Square

Should we ban pit bulls in Palo Alto? Yes!

Original post made by diana diamond, Palo Alto Online blogger, on Sep 7, 2007

I read with horror the story this week of the Fremont mother who was repeatedly bitten by a pit bull while trying to protect her four-month old son.

The 32-year-old woman, Angela Silva, went into her own garage with her infant in her arms, and there was the neighbor's pit bull who suddenly sank his teeth into her arms, trying to get at her baby. The dog kept lunging at the infant. To protect her son the woman quickly placed her baby in a nearby empty garbage can, to hide it from the dog. The pit bull knocked over the can, trying to get at the child.

The mother stood between the can and the dog, and the pit bull bit her repeatedly on both arms. The women's screams brought two contractors from across the street, who, power tools buzzing, were able to scare the pit bull away. The woman was taken to the hospital where she was treated for bites down to the bone; she was stapled 50 times, stitched and bandaged.

The courage of the mother is amazing.

If this were an isolated case, I would not now suggest a ban on owning pit bulls in Palo Alto. But unprovoked pit bull attacks occur daily throughout the country.

About a year ago I requested Google to send me all news items about pit bulls, and my e-mail mailbox soon had attack reports three , four, sometimes five times a week. After a couple of weeks, I could read no more. Try Googling pit bull news and you will find the same.

Dogs can be dangerous; pit bulls can be extremely dangerous. They are known for unprovoked attacks. Pit bulls lead among the dog breeds that bite the most, the Center for Disease Control reports. A pit bull can be good for years, and then suddenly turn, as has happened time and time again.

Pit bull lovers will say it's not the dogs, it's the owners, who don't train pit bulls properly. At times it may be the owners. But it's the dogs, they are an unpredictable and untrustworthy breed.

A number of communities have imposed pit bull bans in town, to ensure safety of their residents. It is time Palo Alto do the same.


Posted by Keri
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 7, 2007 at 3:30 pm


Get ready for the counterattack from the doggie (especially pitbull) crowd.

I agree with you about pitbulls, but I think you should take it further and demand that ALL dogs be on leash in Palo Alto, period. Our current laws are NOT enforced. About a year ago a young child was seriously bitten by an off leash dog in a school yard. Many dog owners are extremely inconsiderate about the rest of us. Why do we need to put up with this nonsense?

Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 7, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Why should people obey the leash laws when they know that former mayors (Vic Ojakian) and prosecutor Jay Boyarsky (who should know better about obeying the law) disregard the law with impunity. the city should have set an example by arresting and prosecuting those scofflaws, regardless of them being part of the PA "in crowd".
Kudos to Diana for binging this subject up again-- I remember how she was vilified the last time.
As far as PA is concerned the leash law needs to be enforced. there should be no off leash areas in PA. Dogs caught off leash should be confiscated, pending the owner paying a hefty fine and any dog that attacks another person/dog/animal should be put down. Period.

Posted by A.C
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 7, 2007 at 4:20 pm

I completely agree with you about banning pit-bulls. I happened to move recently in EPA and noticed that many of my neighbors have pits who are un-socialized, not fixed and extremely aggressive AND they live with young children. My next door neighbors pit lunged at me while on leash, practically dislocating his owner's shoulder. I have known this dog since he was 3 months old, and the fact that he tried to attack me is terrifying. All of the pits in EPA are grossly oversized and very aggressive. The ban on pits should extend here also, not just in palo alto.

I think the bill that was not passed about having dogs at 4 months neutured is on the right track and the leash laws do need to be enforced. But I don't think that Marvin is right about confiscating dogs because they're off leash; that's horrible and extremely cruel to both owner and dog.

I have a sweet old dog that I love so much, he's a gentle old soul who loves everything and everyone and the fact that there are so many pits running around makes me afraid for his safety. I protect him to the best of my abilities but I'm scared that it wont be enough if a pit decides to jump my fence.

I think that having a pit ban would take a long time to come into play, but once it does the palo alto and east palo alto would be better for it.

Posted by Bow-wow
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 7, 2007 at 4:54 pm

I'm a dog lover...big time.

License dog OWNERS. Create hefty MANDATORY fines for running dogs off leash - something like $500 for a first offense, and $3000 for a second offense. A third offense causes you to lose your dog, a $5000 fine, and the OWNER is responsible for placing the dog with a responsible, caring owner, in addition to paying for all costs to house the dog for othe time it takes to find that new owner.

That should do it.

Posted by no dogs
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Absolute insanity that they are NOT banned. Walking aruond with a pit bull is like walking around with a loaded gun, or a smouldering cherry bomb. Innocent people and children shouldn't have to be subjected to the random chance that a pitbull has a violent rage.

If its 'not the dog, its the owner', then owners should really be prosecuted severely for dog attacks. Dog attacks are willful endangement of the public by either naive, unwary, stupid, negligent, or just plain evil dog owners. Dog attacks (of any breed) should put owners in jail for felony assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder and other such severe charges. A dog attack should be treated like hurting someone while driving drunk.

I'm not kidding, if you're walking around with a dog (which is totally at YOUR pleasure, and YOUR option - people around you have NO CHOICE in the matter), then you should be made to know that you are taking YOUR life into your hands. Its very easy for dog owners to put OTHER people's lives in harms way.

Oh, my poor little doggie is so nice and sweet - he wouldn't hurt a flee.... Blah blah blah. Then put YOUR life and livlihood on the line to prove it.

Leashes? Dogs should not be allowed outside dog owners own (enclosed) property.

Posted by Luke
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 7, 2007 at 6:44 pm

OK: Everyone breathe.

Again Diana, your opinion is woefully short of hard facts. Let's look at the CDC data:

Federal statistics show pit bulls are most likely to cause human fatalities: Web Link

However, as any good statistician will tell you, that's not the whole story. Pit bull breeds, or mixes thereof, are becoming increasingly common.

It's the same as if everyone in America decided to buy cocker spaniels. Human fatalities by cocker spaniels would skyrocket.

The bottom line is that it's easy to hate pit bulls. Why not ban Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Huskies? I don't think you can single one breed out.


Posted by Dawn Capp
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 7, 2007 at 6:53 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Ban pit bulls
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 7, 2007 at 6:57 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Lene
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2007 at 7:55 pm

The dogs behave the way they do because of their owners. The owners are the ones responsible and should be held accountable for this mess.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Luke - couldn't agree more. Ban Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Huskies too. I don't think the public at large needs to be subjected to some individuals preference for keeping animals. Keep your animals to yourself, or better yet, don't keep them at all. Which would be a big favor to the environment as well. Do we really need to feed all these extra mouths? Its so conspicuous consumption.

As for identification of pit bull owners - sorry I'm equal opportunity on this - I think all dog owners should provide name, address, ss#, and be required to post a big huge insurance bond - in case the dog attacks (any dog), the victims can be assured of recovering damages. Maybe that would discourage people from owning dangerous dogs - no need for the 'law' to define what dogs are dangerous - if people had to post bonds - dog owners could decide for themselves which kind of dogs they thought were too dangerous and therefore too financially risky. I bet we'd see a lot fewer pit bulls and a lot more cocker spaniels. (Dumb argument by the way, if we started owning worms as pets, would we see alot more people being killed by worms? Some animals are built for violent powerful attacks, some are not.)

Posted by Anamika
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 7, 2007 at 8:52 pm

I am a dog owner - would my dog hurt a fly .. definitely not; but does this mean that I let my dog wander in public places without a leash --- NO ! I fully support leash laws. A dog, even though a part of the family, is an animal. We think we, as the dog's human-parent's know the dog's mentality and we do to some extent, but there is that 1% chance of the dog doing something totally unpredictable. So, to keep the others safe from your sweet cuddly dog - please leash in public places.

Also, think twice before letting your teenagers walk your big dog. We have had big dogs drag the teen-owner across the street, since the dog wanted to check out our dog .. literally "drag". The teen was helpless .. and these were dogs who just wanted to sniff our dog and then go their own way. I shudder to think what could have happened if it were a haywire pitbull.

Make the dog owners responsible. Increase the registration fees and demand insurance for certain breeds/large dogs/potentially dangerous dogs.

I support "No pitbulls" signs in public places and laws to go along with them

Posted by Pit Owner
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 7, 2007 at 9:53 pm

There are a lot of closed minded people when it comes to pit bulls. Yes the media has blown the reputation of the pit. All dogs have teeth; but are all dog breeds reported as far as attacking people? I'm sure postal delivery workers name off a few breeds that have attacked them. How do we know that this woman didn't antagonize the dog previously, or given off nervous fairmones.
There are a lot of mis-treated and under fed animals by neglectful people; just as there are children in the world who grow up and become abusers, addicts, and criminals. So I don't see how banning the breed solves the problem. Fine the owners, make them visit victims and do community service with animal control. Stop complaining and put something into action. This is America!

Posted by apartied
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2007 at 9:55 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by OhBoyNotAgain
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:03 pm

"But it's the dogs, they are an unpredictable and untrustworthy breed. A number of communities have imposed pit bull bans in town, to ensure safety of their residents. It is time Palo Alto do the same."

Substitute the word "homeless" for dogs/pit bulls in the above.

Just another case of DD's flawed thinking patterns.

Posted by Yes again
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Dogs=People? talk about flawed thinking patterns!

Posted by jjostinato
a resident of University South
on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:17 pm

PA doesn't enforce lots of's illegal to park in front of a fire hydrant or on the wrong side of the's illegal to have your car radio playing so loud that others can hear it 50 feet away...dogs are required to be on a leash. No one gets ticketed for these offenses.

It is not the breed that is the problem. The problem is that some dogs are capable of causing severe damage. If you are allowed to walk your deadly dog on the same sidewalk where I'm pushing my infant, I should be allowed to carry a loaded gun to level the playing field in case your dog attacks.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:30 pm

There is no doubt that there is a breed specific pit bull crisis in virtually every community in this country. And the crisis not only hurts human (and canine, since most pit bulls are dog aggressive) victims of pit bulls, it hurts pit bulls themselves. Pit bulls die in shelters in horrific numbers because there is so much irresponsible pit bull breeding. And virtually all of the pit bulls who die in shelters suffered horribly at the hands of irresponsible owners before they died.

The solution is not to ban pit bulls, because that would take pit bulls away from responsible owners. It is to impose strict BREED SPECIFIC breeding regulations on pit bulls and pit bull mixes. All pit bulls and pit bull mixes should be required to be microchipped and all pit bulls and pit bull mixes except AKC or UKC-PR registered show dogs should be required to be spayed/ neutered. This is similar to what San Francisco did in response to a pit bull fatality and the San Francisco breed specific breeding regulation is working wonderfully to reduce the number of pit bulls in irresponsible hands and to reduce pit bull carnage in shelters.

Posted by OhBoyNotAgain
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:33 pm

Yes Again:

Sorry, but my post went over your head:
Much like one can say "substitute "white" for "black" (or visa versa) to reveal an inconsistant / illogical / flawed line of reasoning, I suggested substituting "homeless" for "dogs" in what DD wrote. I of course am not advocating PA ban the homeless - although I dare say there are some out there who might well be in favor of that as well.

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2007 at 10:54 pm

Sorry, OhBoyNotAgain, but equating dogs with human beings doesn't cut it when it comes to revealing "inconsistant/illogical/flawed reasoning." Dogs are not human beings and we do LOTS of things to dogs (such as involuntary surgical sterilization) that would be unacceptable if done to people.

Nice try, though.

Posted by Amanda
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2007 at 4:17 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Pit Bulls are not "mean or vicioius" unless people make them that way....and yes, you can do it unknowingly.

Pit Bulls were bred for dog-fighting, yes. But dog-aggression is not the same as people aggression. In fact, Pit Bulls were one of the only breeds bred specifically not to bite people. When there would be a dog fight, the owner of the other dog that your dog would be fighting would wash down your dog...just to make sure that you didn't douse your dog in poisin or tranquelizer. In addition, the owners of the dogs stand in the pit with the dogs while they are fighting. This is to break up the fight quickly if the need should arise. Dogs that couldn't be separated, or would turn on their owners in the pit were a major liability to thier owners if they needed to scram out of there if cops showed up. Thus, ANY Pit Bull that showed aggression towards humans was killed. Then why do pit bulls kill people?

Any dog can kill someone. I've even heard about a Pomerianian that killed a baby. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Someone has to fire that gun. Likewise, Pit Bulls don't kill people, irresponsible owners kill people. The dog-fighting-bred Pit Bulls that are bred specifically not to bite are far different than the crack-dogs picked up by gangs and drug-dealers. These dogs are bred specificially to attack people. Pit Bulls may also be tought to attack unknowingly. By not correcting bad behavior when it starts, your rewarding it. Chaining your dog up is a leading cause that leads to aggression, as is not socailzing your pet. Let me ask you this...on 9/11 some people flew planes into our WTC and killed many people, but does that make all Middle Easterners terrorists? No. Some Middle Easterners are bad, some are good; just like in our socieity and just like with pit bulls. Why should the innocent suffer for the actions of a few? Because of the way they look? Since when did America's philosphy become "guilty until proven innocent"?

Also note, that many owners who have Pit Bulls that attack and then say "its the first time they've ever done anything like this"...are lying. Nine times out of ten there are warning signs in the dog that either went undiscovered or ignored by the owner. Think about the shooting at Virginia Tech, that was the first time that man had ever done anything like that....yet there were warning signs. The warnings went ignored. Yet his parents had much the same reaction as the Pit Bull owner..."we never thought he would do such a thing." That's what parents/dog owners do, they defend those they love. You think someone with a truly vicious dog is really going to admit it?

Why do Pit Bulls bite people then. Irresponsible bacyard breeding, little to no training, purposeful training for the dog to attack, little to no socialization, poor dog maintance, and/or unknowling rewarding bad behaviors. Good owners equal good dogs, bad owners equal bad ones. Any dog can bite, any dog can kill, not just Pit Bulls.

Breed Banning? That's the stupidest thing ever. Think again. We ban Pit Bulls and they go extinct eventually. Dog-fighters and gangs and other unsavory characters now don't have "big tough mean dogs" anymore, so they start buying Rottweiler's instead. We ban Rottwilers and the same thing happens. Pretty soon were're banning Dobermans, then German Shepherds...then Huskies, Labradors....dogs most people view as "innocent". Any dog can be trained to attack, any dog can be trianed to fight, and any dog can be trained to kill. Furthermore, if a breed ban was put into place, do you think it would really work. All of the responsible Pit Bull owners and breeders, being the law-abiding citizens that they are, would obey the law and get rid of thier dogs. But what about the drug-dealers, gangs, and dog-fighters that own Pit Bulls. What they're doing is hardly legal in the first place, do you really think that they're going to obey the law and get rid of or stop breeding Pit Bulls?
Breed Specific Legislation only harms two parties....the dog, and the responsible dog owner. Irresponsible dog-owners could care less.

And before you say that only bad, selfish, and aggressive people own Pit Bulls, open your eyes. President Theodore Roosevelt owned a Pit Bull, as did Micheal J. Fox. TV chef Rachel Ray also has a Pit Bull, as did the famous Helen Keller.

BSL (aka breed bans) may be instated, but remember what I said above. Its the Pit Bull today, but tomorrow it may be your dog. If the Pit Bull disapears, society will just look for another breed to vilianize. Your breed may be next.

My suggestions instead of instating breed bans? Inforce leash-laws, crack down on dog-fighting, euthanize dogs truely deemed as dangerous according to the personality of the dog not its breed, fine owners (which is where the problem really lies)for having a dog that bites (again, related to personality, not breed), and if need be ban OWNERS with a record of having "vicious" dogs from owning certain breeds. DON'T ban the dog.

FYI, I volunteer in a vets office and I have been bitten by many dogs....none of them has ever been a Pit Bull.

Posted by RA
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2007 at 6:27 am

"About a year ago I requested Google to send me all news items about pit bulls, and my e-mail mailbox soon had attack reports three , four, sometimes five times a week."

I got one for you. Ask Google to send you all the news items about the GOOD Pit Bulls and other targeted breeds have performed. You won't get the same results. There aren't many. IT DOESN'T SELL NEWSPAPERS! Get it! Reporters can't be bothered to write positive articles. It's the NEGATIVE and SENSATIONALIZED stories that sell newspapers!

Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 8, 2007 at 8:31 am

Yes, I get scared when around a pit bull. But, I think a ban is not the answer. It is the owner who should be find and/or do jail time for the actions of their pet.

Posted by Todd
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 8, 2007 at 8:34 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Maria
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 8, 2007 at 8:57 am

I'm a RESPONSIBLE owner of a APBT. I have my girl, fixed, up to date on shots, trained -NOT TO ATTACK OR FIGHT MIND YOU- and I ALWAYS have my APBT and BEAGLE leashed. Unlike some people with more "normal dogs." Neither of them are "vicious," quite frankly my APBT is used in Nursing homes.
I had a friend last year that was mauled by a lab/dalmation mix that they had owned for years and the news called it a PIT BULL...WHY?! You people are just out to get Pit bulls and Pit bull mixes. Just like a few years ago it was all about the Rotties, dobermans and German Shepards. This is getting out of hand!

Posted by Rinalia
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2007 at 10:17 am

California prohibits breed banning, but does permit mandatory spay and neuter for specific (or all) breeds.

In Calgary, Canada, the city reduced dog bites by 70% and increased licensing rates to 90% by enforcing (get this crazy concept) LEASH laws and LICENSING laws. They created an education program that taught children and adults proper ways to interact with dogs. And it worked.

No one wants to be bitten by a dog, and no one wants to deal with an aggressive dog. But banning a group of dogs based on look, not on individual behavior, will not solve the problem of dog bites. You can do research on the UK and its 1991 Dangerous Dog Act to find out just how ineffective breed banning truly is: hospitalization rates due to dog bites have doubled since implementation, and bites from a banned breed (pit bulls) have not decreased at all...they have increased. Which is moot - before the ban went into place pit bulls accounted for 3% of all dog bites, while German Shepherds accounted for 24% of all dog bites. German Shepherds weren't banned.

In Edmonton, Canada, another area with pit bull restrictions- pit bull bites haven't decreased and bites by other breeds have increased. In Perth County, Ontario (pit bulls are banned province-wide since '05), pit bulls are not even in the top five list for breeds who bite. They account for 1% of total bites. In Ottawa, pit bulls made up 5 of the 900 reported bite incidents. Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers were the top biters.

One could claim pit bulls cause more bite damage, but that still leaves the problem of overall dog bites NOT decreasing with breed restrictions. In Redding (California), a loose pit bull who was shot, run over, tasered and eventually killed inspired a weird discussion of pit bull banning. The dog didn't cause any serious harm to people. The number one biter in Redding is the Lab, followed by the Blue Heeler. As to severity, Jack Russell terriers caused as many severe bites as pit bulls did. Labs and Heelers caused MORE significant/severe bites than pit bulls. Somehow, logically, a pit bull ban would probably not reduce the number of overall bites OR the number of significant bites. Crazy.

If the goal is to reduce dog bites overall, then it makes sense to create a general dog-bite reduction plan. Enforce current laws (leash & licensing, especially), require dog bite education for children and offer free classes to adults, create more low cost spay/neuter programs for low-income families (less dogs = fewer bites) and stop focusing on the red herring, breed.

Posted by Marrissa
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 8, 2007 at 10:47 am

Whay are so many posts being removed or edited by your staff? This seems highly biased to me.

Posted by leonard
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 8, 2007 at 11:24 am

good stuff amanda and rinalia-
appreciate the information-
thanks for sharing your thoughts
and ideas-

Posted by Carol
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2007 at 11:35 am

WRONG! First - only attacks are reported, not dogs protecting, serving, or being pets.
Second - technically, there really is no Pit Bull breed - it's an American Pit Bull Terrier.
And - THIRD: biggest problem is that the local AC or others canNOT ID a dog's breed if their' life depended on it! So many of the so-called pits are actually mixes of rotties, labs, dals, Am staffs, or whatever. The hysterica that the media has produced is lableing everything big as a Pit!

There ARE laws about letting your dog run loose. Why not enforce the law? Why ban a breed - one that even AC can't truely ID - because of a few bad apples? Why not ban teen agers as SOME of them are gang-bangers! Same adolescent mentality and logic!

Posted by Cherie Graves
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2007 at 11:51 am


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The following list contains dog breeds, in alphabetical order, that are either banned from ownership, or restricted so as to make ownership more difficult than owning other breeds, in legislation either passed, proposed, or tabled in venues throughout the United States of America. The breeds are listed by name exactly as they appear in legislation. Redundancy, or misnaming is due to the wording of codes, and/or ordinances. Some breeds are named specifically, some breeds are included by physical description. All dogs are subject to being named. Ohio was the only state to enact breed specific legislation at the state level. Ohio's breed specific dog law was found to be unconstitutional, and was overturned in the Ohio Courts. Case law follows the list of breeds.

Dog ownership is under a barrage of legislation that threatens its very existence. The chilling fact is that our dog laws in the United States of America are riddled with misinformation, urban myth, and blatant lies. Based upon the egregious falacies of breed specific legislation, it does not give us much hope for the rest of American juris prudence beyond of the realm of dog legislation. We must ask ourselves, and our legislators if the rest of our laws are so horrifically flawed.

Breed specific legislation (BSL) sets a legal precedent that empowers the enacting body to add any or all other breeds of dogs, or domestic species, with no further public notice. Some breeds are included in so-called "pit bull" bans or restrictions. There is no breed of dog that is recognized by any registry as "pit bull" It is an umbrella term that covers twenty-five to thirty actual breeds. The term originated as a means to describe any dog whose owner fought it in the pit. It has expanded into a very broad, and erroneous usage.

Some breeds are named under "wolf-hybrid" bans or restrictions. Common theory was that all domestic dog breeds were developed from a proto-wolf ancestor. Now with the advent of the Canine Genome Project it is a fact proven by DNA that all domestic dog breeds were developed from canis familaris lupis, a sub-species of the gray wolf. Wolf-hybrid bans do, in fact, encompass all domestic breeds of dogs based upon DNA evidence.

Not one of these bans, or restrictions has made our cities, counties or municipalities safer. All dog owners should be treated equally under the law, and the public should be protected equally under the law. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States opposes breed specific legislation. RDOWS encourages the passage of Responsible Dog Owner Legislation that addresses the real problems. For a copy of RDOWS Model Dog Owner Regulations please contact any RDOWS state Director, or RDOWS.

NOTE: This list, and the accompanying PDF file are not current. It is impossible to keep current with all of the legislation. Always check with the cities/counties on your route before traveling. You may be subject to having your dog(s) confiscated, and killed, and you may be fined, and/or incarcerated. Before moving research all dog laws in the city/county and surrounding areas.































































63. PUG













In August 2004 a case American Canine Foundation assisted in was heard by the Ohio Supreme Court. State v. Cowan 103 Ohio St. 3d 144 , 2004 - Ohio - 4777 The court found ORC955:22 violative of the right to be heard as applied to ORC955:11 which declared a specific breed of dog vicious in Ohio. The decision struck down Ohio's breed specific legislation at the state level. Ohio was the onlystate to have this type of legislation at the state level.

Zuniga v. San Mateo Dept. of Health Services (1990) 218 Cal. App. 3d 1521, 267 Cal. Rptr. 2d 755. The court found there was not sufficient evidence to prove "Pit Bulls" have an inherent nature of being dangerous.

Carter v. Metro North Assocs. (1998) 255 A.D. 2d 251; 680 N.Y.S.2d 299 A New York appellate court determined that the alleged propensities of "Pit Bull Terriers" to behave more viciously than other breeds had not been authoritatively established.

American Canine Foundation litigated the city of Huntsville Alabama in 2002 in a case that was heard by the Alabama Supreme Court. Huntsville v. Four Pit Bull Puppies
(Ala. 08-30-02), No.1010459, unreported. The court affirmed a trial court decision that American Pit Bull Terriers were not dangerous.

On July 16th 2003 ACF brought forth a constitutional challenge against Ohio's state law O.R.C. 955:11 that declares the Pit Bull vicious. The case was heard in the Toledo Municipal Court and the court found the American Pit Bull Terrier was not dangerous and granted Pit Bull owners due process. Tellings v State of Ohio CRB02-15267

Posted by pork chop
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 8, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Is Diana really Bestsy or vice versa..

Posted by Colleen
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2007 at 12:30 pm

"But unprovoked pit bull attacks occur daily throughout the country." You've got this right! I as well have Google sending me daily reports of pit bull attacks country-wide. There are 3-7 attacks daily in the US. One thing to understand, the following argument is ought not be proliferated or repeated: "Is it the owner or the breed?" Cleary it is both. Effective legislation should address both as well. End of story. Anyone but a pit bull owner (who is a tiny group in comparison to other dogs owners and non-dog owners) will agree. I am a pit bull attackee survivor. You bet I am working on legislation here in Seattle Washington.


September 8, 2007

oogle News Alert for: pit bull, attack

Should we ban pit bulls in Palo Alto? Yes!
Palo Alto Online - Palo Alto,CA,USA
If this were an isolated case, I would not now suggest a ban on owning pit bulls in Palo Alto. But unprovoked pit bull attacks occur daily throughout the ...
See all stories on this topic

Pit bull death grandmother may have been 'sacrificed
Guardian Unlimited - UK
The grandmother of a five-year-old girl who was mauled to death by a pit bull may have been "sacrificed" by her family, a court was told today. ...
See all stories on this topic

Pit bull attacks child
The Saratogian - Saratoga,NY,USA
By JAMES V. FRANCO, For The Saratogian TROY - Six-year-old Angelo Grady was just hanging out in the kitchen when his babysitter's 80-pound pit bull attacked ...
See all stories on this topic

Owner jailed for pit bull attacks
BBC News - UK
A man whose pit bull-cross injured pets and their owners in a spate of attacks was jailed for 14 weeks. Cameron Mains' dog, Budweiser, ripped the skin from ...
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Boy remains fearful after pit bull attack
KRIS-TV - Corpus Christi,TX,USA
As for Richard, he wants the city to pass an ordinance similar to the one in Austin that bans pit bulls because he worries an attack could happen again, ...
See all stories on this topic

Fremont mother stashes baby in trash can during pit bull attack
San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
A woman who was being mauled by a pit bull terrier stashed her 4-month-old son in a garbage can to protect him from the animal, which remained on the loose ...
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Pit Bull attack
KOAA - Pueblo,CO,USA
there is new information tonight on the Colorado Springs police officer who shot, and wounded, a pit bull that was attacking him yesterday. ...
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Maltese Dead After Pit Bull Attack
WJZ - Baltimore,MD,USA
Molly was on her front lawn and the owner of Kane, the pit bull, walked by with her two children. Molly started barking at the pit, which gave chase and ...
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Posted by pork chop
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 8, 2007 at 12:31 pm

Dogs aren't humans.. gee then why do I see them dressed up in clothes, talking about flea prevention on TV and eating food that is better than most human children get in Africa. Dogs need to be treated as DOGS.. contained by leash or fence or another appropriate method unless in an off leash area. if hte owners do NOT comply.. then they should be fined.. (regardless of breed or political status)
this is an OWNER problem not a breed problem. banning or forcing a non breed of dog to be sterilized will not solve anything.. a sturdy leash with the onwer on the other end.. a dog in a fenced yard. Few dogs can bite and none can be bred when in these situations. Control YOUR dog
Hysteria is not the answer.. Dog (and cat for that matter) containment is

Posted by Cherie Graves
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2007 at 12:49 pm


Responsible Dog Owners of the western States has noticed that with increasing regularity there is a titillating headline in print media, or a sound bite on radio, or television, or a reality Court show that portrays certain breeds of dogs in a manner that bears little or no resemblance to reality. A common, catch-all term "pit bull" may be written in several different forms such as "pittbull", "pit bulldog" none of these terms are specific to any breed, but may apply to upward of twenty-five actual breeds is used to incite fear in their audience. Fear sells. This is bigotry. Not bigotry aimed at the animals, but it is bigotry focused through these dogs, and directed at their owners.

Media targeting of dogs has a prismatic affect, its reflection reflects badly upon all owners of these targeted dog breeds. Strictly as an allegory, interchange the term "pit bull" for "people of color". This is not to in any way anthropomorphize animals, but to bring to light that neither term is specific to breed, or to race, but is an all encompassing in application that has far reaching implications. The usage of the term "pit bull" sells newspapers, and airtime. It is convenient to attract the immediate attention, and to titillate, and evoke fear in the intended audience. One could reasonably state that the "pit bull" is a monster created, and promulgated by the media.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stopped using breed profiling in its bite statistics. The CDC formerly used media reports to compile their data. When the CDC was subpoenaed into Court to give testimony as to the accuracy of their bite statistic reports it came to light that the CDC could not offer tangible proof of the accuracy of their bite statistics as compiled from media reports. The CDC did not alter the bite statistics when there were corrections made in the media reports. Any bite statistic data that relies solely upon media reports is grossly inaccurate. Would any newspaper, radio, or television station go into Court and swear that their reports on any given dog bite incident portrayed the dog's breed with 100% accuracy? Of course not. Yet this very same media uses tainted statistics to evoke fear in their readers, listeners, and viewers.

Dogs are as individual within their respective breed, as we human beings are within our ethnicity. It is journalistic irresponsibility to portray an entire breed of dog, or dogs of a similar physical appearance as being of the exact same temperament, and of exactly the same behavioral psychology. Not only is it irresponsible, it is erroneous. No media outlet would apply this same treatment directly to an ethnicity of human beings, yet this is exactly what the media is doing through dogs to their owners. The media long ago stopped profiling people by ethnicity, yet it is blatantly profiling dogs, which reflects badly, and undeservedly upon all of the owners of all of the breeds and mixed breeds that are lumped together as "pit bull".

Behind every dog is its owner. No dog has the capacity to function outside the parameters of its owner’s own exercise of responsibility. Yet the media would tar all owners of these breeds with the unearned onus of being not quite trustworthy. On the one hand these media reports would make dogs of the targeted breeds out to be so cunning, so blood-thirsty, so unstoppable, so relentless that they are cut from supernatural cloth of a type that no mere mortal could possibly train, control, or have a normal pet relationship with. On the other hand the media would have breeders so versed in genetics that they are capable of creating a perfect monster of mythical proportions each, and every time. Quite the dichotomy. Like all myths each of these scenarios is fable.

Human error, carelessness, or negligence is the underlying factor behind every dog attack, followed closely by the failure of animal control to respond to repeated calls. In more than 80% of severe injuries/fatalities there were records of numerous reports from neighbors to animal control that went unheeded. Given the actual figures of severe dog attacks, or fatalities related to dog attacks per capita in the United States of America, dogs are not the threat to human life that the sensationalistic media, and urban myth would portray.

It is unreasonable for the media to assume, and portray that every dog of a given breed, or physical appearance will behave in exactly the same manner. It is unreasonable for the media to assume, or portray that every owner of every dog of a given breed, or physical appearance is irresponsible, negligent, or careless with their animal(s). Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States calls for truth in the media to include the truth about dogs, to portray each incident as an individual situation, and to stop the blatant fear mongering that sells air time, and print space, and that lumps all dogs of a given breed, or physical appearance into the story. It is past time for all dog owners to call for accountability, and accuracy in the media.

Posted by Responsible Dog Owner
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2007 at 1:20 pm

To the 'parent' who posted this:

" I don't think the public at large needs to be subjected to some individuals preference for keeping animals. Keep your animals to yourself, or better yet, don't keep them at all. Which would be a big favor to the environment as well. Do we really need to feed all these extra mouths? Its so conspicuous consumption."

I do not think the public at large needs to be subject to children either or individuals' preferences for inflicting them on the rest of us as well. It is part of our society, however, and all of us have to put up with things we dislike.

Make sure that your children are orderly and respectful around dogs and that will keep them all safe. This includes teaching your children not to bark at, stare at, poke at, pull, hug, scream, yell or tease dogs. Children must be taught never to approach a dog without consent of the owner and never approach any dog off-leash or tethered.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 8, 2007 at 1:27 pm

Before you go banning large dog breeds, please consider my personal experiences. As a child I was bitten by two small breeds, one a Boston Terrier, you know the cute ones in tuxedos, and a toy pooodle! But it was the large breeds that SAVED ME TWICE from rape and maybe worse! First case, was when I was 17 off to college on my own apartment and a distant family member came over to visit and tried to rape me but my dogs, one mine and two rescues, who were snoozing in the back room ran to my defense with such a roar that he fled through the front door and they and he crashed through glass and all! They never befoe , nor ever after were aggressive. Years later on, a student that was in a class followed me about 30 miles to my new home I had so my family's German Shepherd could live with me since my parents had divorced. This young man tried to break in through my kitchen window and my German Shepherd went through the glass window the man had already broken and she took a hold of him until he got back over the fence! I had not yet had my phone installed so I could not immediately call the police but I did report him to the college! Now, if it weren't for the dogs in my life, I would have surely been raped or worse. Later in life, I had no dogs when I had my own babies but after someone tried to "car-jack" us, we got an Akita and he sleeps with my boys and never leaves their side and has never harmed our guests or the boys friends, yet if a stanger approaches the boys, especially at night, he will stand on his rear legs and let go a deep ruff as a warning! Nowadays, with so many predators looking for girls and children to molest, I think more families and single ladies should have large dogs that are well trained. Think about the children that have disappeared from their backyards and even their own bedrooms while their parents slept. IF they had a good guard dog, I am sure that predator would have not so easily gotten their victim. PLEASE realize that not all of us may live in ivory towers well protected behind gated walled communities and security guards. Dogs have always guarded mankind and protected their homes and property. Little dogs will not do that as efficiently. Yes, they can bark a warning but one swift kick, and they are history. I did have a American Pit Bull Terrier from her puppyhood until the very tragic day she died when she got her collar stuck on our fence that I kept on her with her dog license and she NEVER BIT ANYONE! in fact, she was probably the most fun of any dog we ever had, and I did have two children at the time and they loved her dearly, and she, I am sure, felt the same way. Please let's NOT punish the dogs, but rather penalize irresponsble owners. The logic in your panic being applied could lead one to reason that since men rape and murder, they should all be neutered or be killed. We used to do that for rape and murder decades ago but now we let them back out on the street to harm our women and children over and over! I think there are many more instances of this type of crime than unprovoked dog bites/attacks. I think this problem a huge one and I don't want to give up my large dog breeds that PROTECT MY FAMILY! And my dogs are licensed, one of the few I hear that comply with the law so PLEASE let the voice of a law abiding citizen that has made it this far in life BECAUSE of GOOD DOGS be heard!

Posted by Memory
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2007 at 1:33 pm

One thing that is not discussed here is the use of choke/slip chains and collars. I remember about 25 years ago, that there was a move to get away from leather collars and back to chains that will choke a dog who pulls. These collars were in different sizes and with the right owner gave the well behaved dog a comfortable walk but at any time when something happened, he was restrained extremely easily. These chains could be controlled by a very small individual even with quite a large dog. Nowadays, all I seem to see is color co-ordinated collars and leashes, often too long, and the dog not trained to walk to heel.

Bring back the slip collars and the shorter leashes. This will make dogs more easily controlled and get rid of many of the difficulties that are being discussed here.

Posted by Keri
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 8, 2007 at 1:47 pm

"Please let's NOT punish the dogs, but rather penalize irresponsble owners."


Yours is a fairly common refrain. Getting back to the original post by Diana Diamond, what would you do about the pit bull in your neighbor's yard? The neighbor, perhaps a woman, would say that "Spike is a wonderful and loving pet, who loves me and my kids, even my husband, but he has been unfairly abused by public opinion. My neighbors have even insisted that I put up higher fences. If only they knew him! He is wonderful. It is their problem, not mine!".

Posted by Diane
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 8, 2007 at 2:10 pm

I believe that communication between neighbors is critical to a secure life in our communites whether the issue is dogs or crime or traffic, etc. I think she or others that have a dog that may make neighbors uneasy, should go speak with their neighbrs about their feelings or fears. I think taking the dog to pass the test called Good Canine Citizen award is a good step toward proving to concerned neighbors that you are indeed a responsible neighbor. I know you cannot make everyone happy, it's a part of human nature, but making these efforts to show HOW RESPONSIBLE you are I believe will help those that are fearful or do not understand. It's a small investment to go to a local certiied dog traner for a profesional evaluation and any help needed to achieve this GCC award. If I still had a American Pit Bull Terrier, I would do this. If anyone in my neighborhood were to say something about my Akita, I would also pursue this avenue. Then I would take the certificate to the neighbr and show that I CARE about their concern. THEN I would invite my neighbor to see how my dog behaves in public. So to put the shoe on the other foot, I would say to my neighbor, "Hello! I have heard abut the incidents with some dogs similar to yours and I was wondering if you could listen to my concerns and what I have been told are possible solutions accordng to dog training experts?" I think I would come with articles PRO and CON to show I was open-minded but still fearful. Often when a solution is presented like a GCC training course, and info where this can be found, one can take stock of the situation at hand and hopefully, say, I understand your fear, and it is unfounded but I will be happy to prove to you my dog is a GOOD DOG. These classes cost something like $10 a class and I think that is a very reasonable cost and effort to address your neighbor's concerns. I hope my suggestion is a good one. Perhaps someone has more solutions? As a community effort, I think we can educate and find solutions together without dividing all of us into PRO and CON. Let's find solutions and let's do it together! By the way, I think outdoor cats kee the rats and mice population away though mine are strictly indoors, but I am actually glad some neighbors cats take care of the vermin which I really detest! Apologies to the pet rat loving owners, I don't mean your pets nor do I mean to offend.

Posted by Keri
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 8, 2007 at 2:46 pm


If my kids were still young, I would not trust ANY assurance you gave me from a dog trainer. My brother-in-law lives in Alaska, and he used to have some wolf/domestic hybirds (it happens!). He was completely incensed that his neighbours could not understand why their kids and dogs were not at risk. After all, he had raised them from pups. He finally shot them, after they killed a couple of his neighbor's huskies. He's lucky that the neighbors didn't shoot him!

Dogs are derivative wolves. Can't blame them for that, but it is what it is. They are unpredictable, even if they have a PhD degree in good behavior. If, as sometimes happens in Alaska, I had a pet wolverine, raised by me since it was a pup, would you feel comfortable if I was your neighbor, and you were raising your babies?

Posted by Max
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2007 at 2:51 pm

This type of incident could and would be prevented if the existing laws were striclly enforced. If the fines and penalties were stiffer and if the owner of an at large dog were forced to pay medical bills for anyone or any other animal that is injured.

I don't think banning one specific breed of dog will solve the problem.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 8, 2007 at 3:11 pm

I heard that the wolverine is the only animal kown to man to not be tameable. It is truly a wild animal. As for wolves, I actually did have one! Well, we baby-sat it. He was full grown intact male wolf. Not a hybrid I assure you. We ad a farm at the time and a gentleman moved in our rental unit and he bought this wolf and I assure you when he brought it I was aprehensive! I had two very small children at the time, really just toddlers. The wolf kept getting in when I would open the door and he seemed to love to have my toddlers crawling all over him and hugging him and after a while, he won us over completely that wolves maybe really DID rear those infants of Greek lore, Romulus and Remus! We even tried to buy him from the renter but he wanted such a high amount for him it was not possible.
I think from your response that you hve a fear of dogs (and wolves and wolverines which are not dogs but part of the weasel family if I recall). The Canine Good Citizen award is not given by a trainer, it is earned in a test at a dog show event. Te traner helps you prepare for the exam. The judge does not know the dog at all and the test is a good one. Here is what it entails: Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge. We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog's health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others.

After signing the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, owners and their dogs are ready to take the CGC Test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Test 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

Test 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").


All tests must be performed on leash. Dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, etc. are not permitted in the CGC test. We recognize that special training collars may be very useful tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they are transitioned to regular collars.

The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The owner/handler should bring the dog's brush or comb to the test.


Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.

Failures - Dismissals

Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is held outdoors.

Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.

What do you think of the stringency of this exam? Could I invite you and anyone else interested to the next dog show as my guest to see this test in action? I can find out when the next one will be in our area. We can have a picnic/lunch and watch the dogs go by! It's alot of fun to take your camera too! A great family outing!

Posted by Keri
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 8, 2007 at 3:27 pm


Yes, nice little stringent test. Are you suggesting all dogs that cannot pass this test be banned from PA? If your answer is "yes", then I would agree with you that this is a starting point.

I am not afraid of dogs, in general. When I was raised in the country, I was among them all the time. However, in the city, I am concerned. They are kept isolated for much of the day, and they have a desire to associate in a pack.

Romulus and Remus is a nice story, but you can't be serious. You let a wolf in with your kids? All I can say is that you are living in a dream world. You got lucky.

Posted by Todd
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 8, 2007 at 4:25 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by pork chop
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 8, 2007 at 5:47 pm

according to the American Canine Temperament Testing Association, 95%of the American Pit Bull Terriers that took its temperament test passed, compared to a 77% passing rate for all breeds on average. Furthermore, APBTs had a passing rate that was the fourth highest of all 122 breeds tested.
What you read about it not what is the truth for most of these dogs and find out the TRUTH

Posted by jjostinato
a resident of University South
on Sep 8, 2007 at 7:13 pm

Two points:

1. If you make the argument that any dog can be deadly if not supervised properly, i.e., it's not the dog, it's the owner, then you must be in favor of PA citizens being able to carry loaded weapons wherever they go. Most of us could carry a loaded gun day in and day out without having a problem and, if one of us goes nuts and shoots you, well, then...we should be fined and have to pay the medical bills.

2. I was recently out for a walk with my infant daughter and a young man was walking his pit bull. He was on the cell phone and the dog was straining at the leash. There was no safe place for us to retreat. Should I have to hope that this young man took his dog to obedience school with only the consolation that, if the dog gets away and mauls or kills my baby, he will be fined and have to pay the medical bills?? I love dogs, but know the difference between human life and any other form.

Posted by jjostinato
a resident of University South
on Sep 8, 2007 at 7:18 pm

"according to the American Canine Temperament Testing Association, 95%of the American Pit Bull Terriers that took its temperament test passed, ...What you read about it not what is the truth for most of these dogs"

You can say the same thing about assault rifles. Actually, many fewer than 5% of assault rifles are used in the commission of a crime. However, they are known to be excessively violent, powerfully lethal weapons so we have the sense to not allow them in our community.

Posted by Dawn Capp
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 8, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Posts were removed though they contained no profanity, cited facts, and referenced proposed laws throughout the United States. These posts must have hit the nail on the head. It's easy to state an opinion when you can remove opposing viewpoints that hit a little too close to home.

Posted by Amanda Cope
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 8, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Are you aware that Pit Bulls are abandoned and abused more often than any other breed of dog? Do you know why? At this particular point in time, Pit Bulls are the dog of choice for dog fighters all across America. They're chosen because of their strength and their high level of obedience. They are willing to do anything to make their owners happy... including fight another dog to the death. These "dog fighters" keep their dogs chained up, and specifically train them to be aggressive. That is why there are so many mean, aggressive pit bulls out there who attack without reason. Do you honestly believe that if Pit Bulls are banned all across America that the dog attacks will cease? Let's just pretend for a moment that a ban would actually work to begin with, and that over time there would be no more Pit Bulls in the US. Do you think that these "dog fighters" would simply give up their business? Unfortunately, they would turn to another breed. No matter what breed they turned to (be it Rottweilers or Golden Retrievers) that breed would be the next to be feared and hated by people. The logical thing to do is to start at the source of the problem. Dog fighting is already illegal, but is it really enforced? Dog fighters need to be hunted down and prosecuted. People like Michael Vick are to blame for all of the unnesessary and unprovoked Pit Bull attacks in our country. Something need to be done!

Posted by MINA
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 9, 2007 at 12:18 am


Posted by Barbara
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2007 at 12:28 am

When someone has no knowledge of what they are talking about they only make complete fools of themself. If you google the same thing with german shepherd, labrador, great dane, etc., you would find the same result. Two it is NOT the dog that is the criminal but the party on the other end of the leash. If you had investigated correctly you would know this and saved yourself the embarassment of looking so ignorant.

Posted by Amanda
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 3:56 am

1. As for the loaded gun comment...yes I would support it, IF the persons carrying the guns had thorough background checks run on them and were free of mental problems and any criminal history. Unstable people and those with any criminal history what-so-ever (including petty things like shoplifting) should not be allowed to own guns. This is why I said in my post that pit bulls should not be banned, but that owners with a history of having an aggressive dog in the past (note a dog that was truely aggressive, not one that was provoked), should not be allowed to own certain breeds. Blame the owner, not the dog.

2. I agree that human life is of more value than an animals. However, just because the pit bull was straining at the leash towards you doesn't mean it was going to attack you. Was it lunging? Barking? Growling? Snarling? I'd say no, since all you said was "straining at the leash". Did you ever stop to think that maybe it was a nice pit bull and that it merely wanted to come over and say hello to you? Probably not, you sound like one of those people that has media-driven pit bull phobia. If, indeed the dog was mean and did attack, maim or kill your daughter, then the dog should be euthanized, assuming it was an unprovoked attack, and then the OWNER should be banned from ever owning a "dangerous" dog again. Which, again, was what I stated in my original post.

Posted by member
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 6:07 am

A study by the National Canine Research Council reveals biased reporting by the media, its devastating consequences for dogs and the toll it takes on public safety.

Consider how the media reported four incidents that happened between August 18th and August 21st:

August 18, 2007 - A Labrador mix attacked a 70-year-old man sending him to the hospital in critical condition. Police officers arrived at the scene and the dog was shot after charging the officers. This incident was reported in one article and only in the local paper.

August 19, 2007 - A 16-month old child received fatal head and neck injuries after being attacked by a mixed breed dog. This attack was reported two times by the local paper only.

August 20, 2007 - A 6-year-old boy was hospitalized after having his ear torn off and receiving severe bites to the head by a medium-sized mixed breed dog. This attack was reported in one article and only in the local paper.

August 21, 2007 - A 59-year-old woman was attacked in her home by two Pit bulls and was hospitalized with severe injuries.

This attack was reported in over two hundred and thirty articles in national and international newspapers, as well as major television news networks, including CNN, MSNBC and FOX.

"Clearly a fatal dog attack by an unremarkable breed is not as newsworthy as a non-fatal attack by a pit bull" says Karen Delise, researcher for the National Canine Research Council.

People routinely cite media coverage as “proof” that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. Costly and ineffective public policy decisions are being made on the basis of such "proof". While this biased reporting is not only lethal to an entire population of dogs; sensationalized media coverage endangers the public by misleading them about the real factors in canine aggression.
Media Bias in Reporting Dog Attacks
Sensationalism has replaced common sense. Attacks by non-pit bull dogs are rarely taken up by national or international media sources.

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 6:48 am

Cherie Graves(chair of "Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States") Good to see you!

Remember how (elsewhere) you were telling us that you believed that the glut of pit bulls in shelters came from animal rights groups who are secretly breeding them to fill shelters? Do you still believe that? Anything to absolve people who make money breeding pit bulls (such as yourself--you DO breed American Staffordshire terriers, don't you?) from responsibility for the mess that pit bulls are in, right?

As to your list of breeds that are supposedly banned or subject to some kind of onerous restrictions in the US, where EXACTLY are pugs or boston terriers banned or restricted in any way? Please be specific. What, EXACTLY are the onerous restrictions that labrador retrievers or keeshonden are supposedly subject to?

If you can't answer those questions, why are you spreading misinformation? Are you just trying to spread hysteria?

Posted by Elizabeth Hess
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 9, 2007 at 6:54 am

Who is the owner of the so-called biting dog? Are you sure it was a pit bull? Why was it in the street? Why is it that when columnists jump on the bandwagon against these dogs--they never do their homework. We never get both sides of the story. I'd like to know why that dog was free? Who is his or her owner? And I'd like to see the dog's photo. Most people can not distinguish a pit bull from a bull dog from an american staffordshire terrier from a mastiff. Can you?
Elizabeth Hess

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 7:28 am

The "study" by the "National Canine Research Council" that purports to prove that media coverage is unfair to pit bulls is ridiculous. There are a lot of factors that determine whether a particular dog attack (most of which don't generate any media coverage whatsoever, regardless of breed) gets a lot of media coverage.

Please give details of the supposed August 19 fatal mauling by a "mixed breed dog" of the 16 month old child. Where, exactly, did it happen? What were the circumstances? While it is theoretically possible that a fatal dog attack could generate little media attention, that is rarely the case. Usually it gets reported.

In fact, the least reported fatal mauling in recent times that I can verify is one that involved the death of 3 year old Dandre Fisher, who was killed by a pit bull and a pit bull mix at Hunter Army Airfield on May 26, 2007. Finding contemporaneous accounts of THAT tragedy in the media was almost impossible and the death of Dandre generated almost no media coverage whatsoever.

The reason that the account of the 56 year old woman attacked on August 21st in her home by pit bulls received so much media attention isn't because the animals involved were pit bulls, it was because of the horrifying circumstances of that attack. That woman was attacked IN HER BED by two loose pit bulls who came through her dog door and attacked her, causing severe injuries. It was a canine home invasion and the facts were quite unique and quite horrifying. To imply that that case is an example of "typical" media reaction to any pit bull bite that occurs is just dishonest, frankly.

Posted by Neighbor talk
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 9, 2007 at 7:37 am

Make more human friends. You won't need a dog.

Friendless people actually need dogs to satisfy their lack of social life.,

Before you attack what I said - look into your own life.

American society is such that they dont even talk to their neighbors on a regular basis - do you?????

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 8:14 am


Sorry, but you are just making things up, or believing things that other people make up. You write:

"Pit bulls have the highest score when it comes to obedience (84.6%)" Huh????? Where does THAT come from? It is inaccurate.

Moreover, it is completely untrue that there is any American Staffordshire terrier who won "all possible awards by the AKC." Please give the name of the dog you think won "all possible awards by the AKC" and I will prove to you (by a quick link to the AKC's records pages) that you are simply wrong.

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 8:33 am

Sigh. More lies. Pork Chop writes:

"according to the American Canine Temperament Testing Association, 95%of the American Pit Bull Terriers that took its temperament test passed, compared to a 77% passing rate for all breeds on average. Furthermore, APBTs had a passing rate that was the fourth highest of all 122 breeds tested."

First of all, as far as I can determine, there is no entity called the "American Canine Temperament Testing Association." I THINK Pork Chop means the American Temperament Test Society which offers a test dog owners can take which was developed to test a dog for aptitude for thinks like bitework sports, such as Schutzhund. The test mostly focuses on how bold a dog is, responding to things like gun fire. It is virtually meaningless as a test for dangerousness of a family pet.

Consequently pit bulls (which ARE typically very bold dogs) do well on the test. They don't pass at a rate of 95% however. That is another of Pork Chop's lies. Nor are they the "fourth highest" of all breeds tested. Go to the American Temperament Test Society webpage to see actual breed statistics. Note that timid breeds like shelties do VERY poorly on the ATTS test. However (as far as I can determine, there has NEVER been a case of a sheltie killing a person in this country. Pit bulls? They kill children on a regular basis.

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 8:47 am

Cherie Graves.

You wrote:

"On July 16th 2003 ACF brought forth a constitutional challenge against Ohio's state law O.R.C. 955:11 that declares the Pit Bull vicious. The case was heard in the Toledo Municipal Court and the court found the American Pit Bull Terrier was not dangerous and granted Pit Bull owners due process. Tellings v State of Ohio CRB02-15267"


Why didn't you mention that that decision was appealed and that, on August 1st of this year a unanimous Ohio Supreme Court overturned the lower court and held that pit bull breed specific legislation regulating pit bulls was completely constitutional? Didn't you want to give the full story? Why not? Why do you want to mislead people reading this?

Posted by Joanna
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 9, 2007 at 9:45 am

1) Pitbulls should be banned

2) It is the owner's fault for having a dangerous dog... not the dog's.

3) Unfortunately, all pitbulls of good and bad owners must be grouped together. It is for our safety. Fairness is secondary.

4) Rules should be upheld with real consequences.

Posted by Dave
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 10:36 am

Betsy, what experience do you have with the breed? Are you a veterinarian, do you work in a shelter, are you a dog trainer, what are you? Is all your information from the press and the web? What exactly makes you an authority on this breed? What personal experience do you have with the breed? Any?

Here are some facts, I was personally attacked by a golden retriever when I was 6 years old and required stitches on both my arms and fingers. I was doing nothing more than walking down the street. I am convinced that had the owners not come running out I would be dead.

My 2 ½ year old son was attacked by my mothers tea cup Maltese. The dog, unprovoked, lashed out and bit my sons in the face about a ½ inch from his eye. Even after we pulled the dog away he continued to thrash wildly. I am convinced that has we not grabbed him my son would be in the hospital.

Growing up my neighbor’s 8-year-old daughter was hospitalized in critical condition after being severely mauled by another neighbors Doberman pinscher. She is scared and disfigured to this day.

These are accounts that I witnessed with my own eyes, and they are absolute fact. My point is that ANY dog has the propensity to attack. Period. You’re a fool if you believe otherwise no matter what the press says. And you take the press as fact, on anything, you’re even a bigger fool.

Posted by Betsy
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 10:55 am


[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
There are plenty of dogs who present such a low risk of danger to human beings that, under normal circumstances, the risk can be safely disregarded. This doesn't mean people shouldn't be extremely cautious with, for example, a two and a half year old child and a tiny dog. But, as I sit at my computer typing this, my two dogs have NO "propensity to attack" me as they lie at my feet. I need not take any precautions whatsoever to protect myself against their supposed "propensity to attack."

And whatever your personal experience, the reality is that some breeds kill people on a regular basis and other breeds (including golden retrievers, maltese and even dobermans) rarely do. Pit bulls lead the pack of dogs who kill people. Moreover, they are (by far) the purebred dog who is most likely to die in shelters around the country. The time for breed specific regulation of the horrific breed specfic pit bull problem in this country has long since past.

Posted by Hepcat
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 1:34 pm

I just read this horrific story, and I had to comment. Most pit bulls currently owned as "pets" are being bred by criminals, dogfighters, or folks who lack the education and/or ability to make an honest living, and who breed pit bulls to make a few extra bucks. There are relatively few responsible pit bull breeders in the United States right now; meaning, breeders who carefully select dogs for nonaggressive temperaments, who do genetic health screenings for things like hip dysplaysia, who breed only dogs who are titled, who have puppy contracts that demand spay and neuter of dogs sold as pets, and offer to take the dog back at any time during the dogs life if the owner can't keep it.

This has resulted in the complete breakdown and degradation of the breed.....we now have a dog that is muscular and powerful,"game"(which means the dog won't stop once it begins an attack, despite being injured or in pain) with a strong prey drive and desire to kill other animals, and, more often than not, and unstable, dominant, human aggressive temperament that is impossible for the typical dog owner to manage.

The general public is tired of pit bull advocates whining about how their great aunt Sophie's poodle attacked them when they were five, so let's ban poodles; the reality is that many pit bulls, due to their genetic predispositions and horrible breeding, are dangerous animals....especially in urban and suburban settings. The breed would be far better served if those who claimed to love pit bulls focused on regulating the breeding of these dogs.

Posted by JFP
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Before we ban Pit Bulls in Palo Alto, we should start by just enforcing the existing leash law. Once the existing laws are enforced, we can discuss creating new ones. As it stands now, if Pit Bulls were banned in Palo Alto, they'd probably still be as common as gas-powered leaf blowers.

Posted by Tom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 9, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Dog fighting, and profiting by breeding and selling fighting dogs, is big business. Here, as in many other places.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Until we crack down on the breeders, this madness will never end.

But the breeders fight rules, regulations, licensing because they want to keep their hands on these big profits.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Todd
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 9, 2007 at 2:40 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Tom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2007 at 2:50 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Cherie Graves
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 4:06 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

We put our names, and contact information out there for anyone to see. We don't attack spuriously, we present locical arguments, backed up with case law. Not a one of us in Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States draws a salary for our work. It is all volunteer. We spend our time and our own money out of love for our dogs. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States has been working to protect animal ownership rights, and animal husbandry practices since October 15, 1989. There is not one blight on our organization.

Cherie Graves, chairwoman
Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link

Posted by Hepcat
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 4:08 pm

I just wanted to say that it's really amusing that the same old urban legends about dogs are still being circulated around the internet, in particular, the "American Temperament Testing Association" statistics, which are incorrectly reported and meaningless for evaluating family companion dogs. Also, the fact that pit bulls were bred to have incredibily human friendly temperaments by old time dog fighters, which is also a myth....even if it were true, the majority of APBT bred today are not breeding for human friendly temperaments.

As Tom points out, it's hard to imagine ANY reputable person breeding APBTs; there is such a tragic over-population problem with these dogs, they are a dime a dozen at the local shelter, and are being euthanized by the thousands every could anyone justify adding to that misery by producing more pet-quality dogs? Also, the types of responsible owners capable of handling the breed, who are willing to deal with the legal liability and issues like extreme dog-aggression, are few and far between; it's virtually impossible to find quality homes for all the puppies a breeder will produce.By quality home, I mean with an owner that is not a renter, signs a spay/neuter contract, commits to obedience training, has a securely fenced yard, understands that they cannot take the dog to dog parks because of the potential for dog aggression, has the time to excersize the dog properly, etc.

The dog fighters/puppy millers/backyard breeders appeal to the emotions of dog owners who don't really understand that much about dogs, and use them to help lobby against efforts that would end the suffering of dogs and protect the public also. Breed specific laws which regulate pit bull breeders would accomplish this.

Posted by Cherie Graves
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 4:16 pm

General information about the
American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS)
The American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS) is a national not-for-profit organization (registered in the state of Missouri) for the promotion of uniform temperament evaluation of purebred and spayed/neutered mixed-breed dogs.

ATTS was established to:

Provide for a uniform national program of temperament testing of purebred and spayed/neutered mixed-breed dogs.
Conduct seminars to disseminate information to dog owners, dog breeders and evaluators (testers) concerning dog psychology, motivation, reaction and other aspects of temperament testing.
Recognize and award certificates to dogs that pass the requirements of the temperament evaluation.
Work for the betterment of all breeds of dogs.
Select, train, prepare and register temperament evaluators.
Our motto says all:


ATTS is the only non-profit organization that gives the TT (Temperament Tested) title for a dog. The TT, our logo and test procedures are copyrighted. The test is for all breeds and it is uniform throughout the country.

ATTS was founded by Alfons Ertel in 1977. The first test was held in September 1977; ATTS has held more than 960 tests as of December 31, 2003. The number of dogs tested as of December 2006 is 27,162 with 22,138 dogs earning a TT title. The average overall pass rate is 81.5 percent; the pass rate may vary for different breeds. The breed's temperament, training, health and age of the dog is taken into account. Minimum age for dogs to take the test is 18 months.

The test takes about 12 minutes to complete. The dog is on a loose six-foot (6') lead and three ATTS trained evaluators score the dog. Majority rules. Failure on any part of the test is recognized when a dog shows panic, strong avoidance without recovery or unprovoked aggression.

National breed clubs can request the list of their breed which earned the TT for the previous year by sending a request accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope. A request for a complete list of all dogs of any one breed which have earned a TT is available, but breeds which have more than five pages of dogs will need to cover the cost of copying and postage.

Posted by J
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 9, 2007 at 4:16 pm


"it's virtually impossible to find quality homes for all the puppies a breeder will produce.By quality home, I mean with an owner that is not a renter, signs a spay/neuter contract, commits to obedience training, has a securely fenced yard, understands that they cannot take the dog to dog parks because of the potential for dog aggression, has the time to excersize the dog properly, etc."

Hmm... great points, but ALL dog owners should abide by them. If you own an animal- this should be the norm...DUH! This is the minimal amount of care you should put into owning your dog!

-- owner of two pit mixes + income well into six figures (not from drugs!)

Posted by Cherie Graves
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2007 at 4:17 pm


P.O. Box 1406 Newport, WA 99156

Web Site Web Link e-mail us [email protected]

Blog e-mail list Web Link

Cherie Graves, Chairwoman, WA (509) 447-2821

Hermine Stover, Secretary, Press Liaison, CA [email protected]

Arkansas Director, Roger Schnyer [email protected]

California Director, Jan Dykema [email protected]

Nevada Director, Ken Sondej [email protected]

Ohio Director, Tiffany Skotnicky [email protected]

Oklahoma Director, Jade Harris [email protected]

Director at Large, Judy Schreiber-Dwornick [email protected]

Sandra Coy, chairwoman Responsible Dog Owners of the Eastern States [email protected]


Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States was founded October 15, 1989. The group's name may be abbreviated R.D.O.W.S. It is a not for profit group.


Provide speakers for dog clubs, service clubs, and community centers throughout the western states.
Have information booths at dog shows
Formulate alternative legislation to that which infringes upon the rights of people to own or utilize their dogs.
Attend council, commissioner, and committee meetings.
Conduct aggressive letter writing campaigns to city councils, county commissioners state legislatures, newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio stations.
Keep the dog owning public informed of any legislation directly concerning ownership and use of dogs.
Actively work to cause reasonable dog legislation to be enacted.
Oppose legislation that infringes upon any citizen’s right to responsibly own animals.
We actively fight legislation that undermines the right to own, show, hunt, or breed dogs, including breeding bans, mandatory spay/neuter, and breed specific codes or ordinances.
RDOWS promotes the responsible ownership, care, nurture, husbandry, and treatment of dogs.

Posted by Jill V.
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 9, 2007 at 4:38 pm

An enforced leash law would prevent this from happening.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 9, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Sorry I had to go get the kids and other family demands, so I did not see your response, Keri, until now.

You did not answer my request as did none of the other neighbors on this forum as to whether they felt a trip to a dog show to see the CGC test in action. If we are to really go at this in a responsible manner with respect to all that live here and will visit here, we need to educate ourselves and seek solutions. If all of you are unwilling to attend a session to see this test, then there is no sincerity here but only chitchat of those with lives unfulfilled by truly living and respecting your fellow neighbors.

I had answered the question as to what would I do if I had such a dog and my neighbor was fearful and I also answered the question what if I was the fearful neighbor. I did not say all dogs should be banned just because they cannot pass the test! That is very unfair and believe me, not all people have the ability to train their dog for that matter whithout professional help. What I suggested was my answer to a precarious situation in which neighbors could show each other that they care. Most of what I am hearing here is alot of uncaring people using one of the greatest creatures on the face of the earth to malign each other! Man would have never made it this fsar without these wonderful dogs. Now that you are cozy in your home and feel you have no need of a dog whatsoever, you see fit to deny others the right to have one? That is un-American.

Can we please be more respectfl of each other and realize we are maligning members of their families? I assure you if something happened to my dogs or cats, I would be unconsolable. And I do not have an unbalanced life. I have kids, a business and work like a workaholic. Often it is my dog that accompanies me late at night while I finish up bookkeeping and I feel less vulnerable because she is with me. I feel less likely to become a victim of crime as has proven true again and again. How many times has it played ot for others and they never even knew their children were not victims because of their pet dog or even their neighbor's dog that could bark a warning. Everytime I hear a neighbor's dog bark, which is rare, I listen. I wonder, is there someone up to no good? And as the dog calms down in the distance, I think, oh, it was just a stranger probably walking by. This is one of the best jobs a dog can do and any breed can do it, even the smallest. Why are we attacking the right to have this valuable part of our lives? Why is this neighborhood not discussing the good that dogs do for us instead of only the few bad incidents? When was the last time one of us here suffered from an unprovoked dog attack? I am sure there were many rapes and assaults and robberies that far outweigh the "if any" dog incident. Things are being blown out of perspective and we should make an effort to weigh the pros and cons, not just attach each other's beliefs. Our decisions should be made on scientific data and study rather than emotional outbursts that are baseless. Here are some stats for our city: As you can see, assault and burglaries are high and I think the fact that I my dogs help protect my family and our home. If one of my dogs were to come under scrutiny by a neighbor, I would do everyhting I could to show I am responsible and that dog (s) are under control. I hope the chart does not jumble too much. If so, here are some links: Web Link

Part I Crimes 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Assault 329 336 307 273 306
Burglary 254 225 276 290 371
Homicide 2 1 1 2 0
Rape 7 9 8 12 6
Robbery 36 45 42 38 47
Larceny - Theft 1472 1370 1624 1564 1553
Vehicle Theft 82 101 92 138 129
Total 2182 2087 2350 2317 2412

Posted by Andrew - Native of Palo Alto
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2007 at 5:21 pm

First off, I commend all of the people posting accurate facts and that are shedding light on the truth about these issues. It saddens me that even in these modern times where anyone with internet access and a thirst for knowledge can gather accurate, unbiased information on virtually ANY subject, that there are still ignorant, close-minded individuals out there that throw out blanket statements with fabricated facts in their feeble attempt to be credible.

To DD, Betsy, and any other breed basher out there happily residing in La La Land, get your facts straight and speak from experience. Get out from behind your laptop with your precious sweater clad toy breed on your lap, surrounded by your 9 cats and go out and actually learn something for a the REAL world.

Yes, some pit bulls have been in the news for biting people. Do you honestly think that they would report on the hundreds of Maltese, Poodle, and Labrador bites per year? What fun would that be for the media? ...then what would you have to 'blog' about?

I was born in Palo Alto and have lived here all of my life, and I am a dog lover....ALL BREEDS OF DOGS. I have walked, cared for and helped train many different breeds of dogs over the years, but the only breed I have ever owned have been American Staffordshire Terriers and/or Pit Bull mixed breeds. Why? you ask.... I volunteered at the age of 13 at the PA Animal Shelter and fell in love with the breed. The vast majority of the pit bulls I interacted with daily were loving, playful, obedient and very intelligent animals. And I'm happy to say that most were adopted out to good homes and thrived with their loving families. Thank you Palo Alto Animal Shelter for being an equal opportunity animal rescue!

When I was 19 and able to get my own dog I adopted an 8 week old American Staffordshire (aka Pit Bull). He was my constant companion for nearly 16 years and was a model dog citizen, loved and trained as they all should be.....BUT, he DID have several incidents over the years that I will share with you.

Incidents of playing with school kids at the park in a gentle and clown-like manner.

Incidents of interacting with local senior citizens who just wanted to pet him and feel his big head resting lovingly on their laps.

An incident of being attacked by a poodle (yes, I said poodle) and walking away from the situation w/o any response. This happened on several occasions, all involving "family friendly breeds" that instigated the aggression every time.

And my favorite incident(s) of all - being a regular visitor to the PA Art & Wine festival in August, where he would lick children's faces and allow them to hug him and even sit on his back as he cooled himself on the sidewalk with an ear to ear grin and his tongue and tail wagging.

Needless to say, I disagree with DD and people like Betsy who I believe, really need to get out an actually meet and interact with this dogs they so ignorantly and easily condemn. Seek out a local rescue organization, attend an event and MEET THESE DOGS. I GUARANTEE that if you approach it with an open mind, that it will forever change your opinion of these misunderstood and sensationalized animals, and hopefully you will stop being part of the problem and become part of the solution.

I now have my second and third generation of Pit Bull mixed breed dogs that we rescued from local organizations and we couldn't be happier. And contrary to one of your misguided or fabricated statements, we vote, we volunteer, we don't break the law (yes, we use leashes...always), our household income is well into six digits and we love these dogs....almost as much as our 21 month old son does!

Look for me sometime....I'm the guy jogging with a 90 lb. brown and white Pit Bull. His name is Otis and he would LOVE to meet you, and your toy breed too.

Don't let your fear fuel your is too short for that.