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56 DePaul L. Rev. 1285 (2006-2007)
Pit Bull Bans and the Human Factors Affecting Canine Behavior

handle is hein.journals/deplr56 and id is 1295 raw text is: PIT BULL BANS AND THE HUMAN FACTORS
AFFECTING CANINE BEHAVIOR
INTRODUCTION
In September 1983, a horrific story dominated news headlines in
Cincinnati: a local child had been mauled to death by his family dog,
a pit bull.1 The attack enraged the community and drove the local
government to ban pit bulls from the city.2 Several days after the
boy's death, details about the events leading up to the attack quietly
emerged on the back pages of local newspapers.3 The family dog
actually belonged to someone else; a neighborhood teenager had sto-
len the male pit bull a month earlier from its owner's backyard.4
There was speculation that the teen may have abused the pit bull in
hopes of turn[ing] him into a fighting dog.'5 The teenager feared
being caught, so he offered the dog for sale on the street.6 The vic-
tim's father bought the dog and took him home to mate with his fe-
male pit bull,7 keeping both dogs chained in the family's yard.8 One
day, the boy wandered near the chained dogs while the female was in
heat; the male dog attacked and killed him.9 The dog had been with
the family for less than two weeks.10 When the rightful owner was
reunited with his dog, he noted that the pit bull looked much thinner
and was in very poor health.
The debate over pit bulls12 in America is a heated one. Most of the
media coverage suggests that pit bull attacks, such as the one in Cin-
1. KAREN DELISE, FATAL DoG ATTACKS: THE STORIES BEHIND THE STATISTICS 29 (2002).
2. Id.; Ozzie Foreman, Dogowner's Guide: Banned in Cincinnati, http://www.canismajor.com/
dog/bancvg.html (last visited June 17, 2007).
3. Foreman, supra note 2.
4. DELISE, supra note 1, at 29.
5. See Foreman, supra note 2.
6. See DELISE, supra note 1, at 29.
7. Id.
8. Id.
9. Id. at 29-30.
10. Id. at 30.
11. Id.
12. The pit bull is not a breed of dog. Rather, pit bull is a term used to describe several dog
breeds, most commonly the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Stafford-
shire bull terrier, and mixed breeds of these dogs. See Randall Lockwood & Kate Rindy, Are
Pit Bulls Different? An Analysis of the Pit Bull Terrier Controversy, ANTHROZOOS, Jan. 1987,
at 2.

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