Is the Media a Reliable Source of Information on Dog Attacks? Can we believe breed identifications found in the media?

In November 2006, a young boy was killed by two stray dogs in Harris
County, Texas. All the media sources that covered this tragic story
identified the dogs as “pit bulls” or “pit bull mixes”


1st pic off media blog.PNG

James Nielsen Chronicle
The King Parkway mobile home community is the location where a 4-year-old
boy was mauled to death by two pit bulls on Tuesday.


2nd pic off media not good for id'ing pit bulls.PNG
As his toddler brother scrambled to safety, a 4-year-old boy was mauled to
death by two pit bulls Tuesday afternoon in his east Harris County

The boy’s mother heard her son’s screams and ran outside to find him being
attacked by the pit bulls at the King Parkway mobile home community. She
suffered minor injuries as she tried to fight them off, but the dogs refused to let
go of her son’s body.

About 70 percent of dog-bite cases are blamed on dogs that are running loose,
said Colleen Hodges, a spokeswoman for the county’s Veterinary Public Health
division. Loose dogs involved in bite cases typically have not been vaccinated
and are not registered, highlighting what officials call a pet ownership problem.
“The problem is dogs running loose. We have an irresponsible-owner problem,”
said Hodges. “It always comes back to the owner.”
Many municipalities have tried to ban breeds such as pit bulls.

Dogs spotted earlier

George Cochran, 72, said he saw the two pit bulls a few hours before the boys
were attacked, but that the dogs didn’t look mean. “But you never know what
some dog’s going to do,” he said.


And now that the media has told us these dogs are Pit bulls, there becomes a need for a “task force” on pit bulls:


Harris County establishes Pit Bull dog task force
2:37 PM Tue, Dec 05, 2006
The Harris County Commissioner’s Court formed a Pit Bull task force today to study whether the controversial breed of dog should be banned.
County officials have been under pressure to do something ever since 4 year old Pedro Rios was mauled to death by pit bulls last month.
Banning the breed in Harris county would require permission of state legislators who have, in the past, been reluctant to single out specific breeds.


Only one problem: The dog “doesn’t have much pit bull in it, if any,” according to a veterinarian who observed the dog:

“Dawn Blackmar, a veterinarian and director of Harris County Veterinary Public Health
Department said she saw the surviving dog at the county animal shelter before it was
euthanized and concluded that it didn’t have much pit bull in it, if any.” *


Dog involved in the fatal attack in Harris County Identified by the media as a “pit bull”


3rd the pit bull allegedly.PNG


Note: Two dogs were shot on the scene by police.
Dog#1 died at the scene. There is no record that any authority documented this dog’s “breed” prior to its disposal.

The only breed “identification on Dog# 1 is from the media.
Dog #2 was wounded, but survived, and is the dog pictured above.


Uploaded by….. nikko6
Special thanks to the National Canine Research Council for use of dog photo


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