Garland County, Arkansas Passes Breed-Specific Ordinance Using Dubious Breed Determinations and Specious Statistics

As we noted in a June post, Garland County, Arkansas, was considering a breed-specific ordinance after a Bull Mastiff mauled a child in a misguided attempt to protect its owner.   Garland then decided to tack on “pit bulls” to their breed-specific ordinance after suddenly realizing the Bull Mastiff also just so happened to be 50% “pit bull.”   Uh uh, no eyebrow raises there.   Then, July 8, 2013, the ordinance passed.

Animal Services Director Dan Bugg claimed that the,

Largest number of breed specific bites were pit bulls at 21 percent in 2008 and 2009. In 2012, I did the same type of study again. Pit bull or pit bull mixes made up 58 percent of our bites, said Animal Services Director Dan Bugg.

As an Animal Services Director, shouldnt he have known better than to claim that pit bull is a breed?

As we so often say here, pit bull is NOT a breed. The slang term pit bull can incorporate any number of actual breeds, their mixes, and lookalikes to the point where all Mr. Buggs stats would prove is that Animal Control is lousy at making breed determinations.   We already know they’re bad at breed determinations.   They’re confusing a Bull Mastiff for a “pit bull.”   If “pit bull” means, as it has been defined by so many ordinances, an American Pit Bull Terrier, then does Garland mean to imply a Bull Mastiff is the same as an American Pit Bull Terrier?   The most striking difference between those breeds is the 50-60 pounds the Bull Mastiff has on the APBT!   As such, how much stock should Garland, or anyone else for that matter, really put in Bugg’s “stats” or his “study”?

And I’ll ask it again: Which came first, the breed-specific ordinance proposal, or the dog mauling?

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