Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#4 Fact of Fiction: Only Criminals, Drug Dealers, and Thugs Own Pit Bulls

It’s Pit Bull Awareness Month!

Fact or Fiction: Only criminals, drug dealers and thugs own pit bulls. (Yes, a client actually said that to me!)
We’ll let you decide this one for yourself.  Here is a list of some nefarious characters, both past and present who own or have owned pit bulls:

Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, General George Patton, The Little Rascals Gang (Petey was a pit bull), Rachel Ray, Jon Stewart, James Gandolfini, James Caan, Brad Pitt, Alicia Silverstone, Pink, Fiona Apple, Linda Blair, Dr. Phil, Teddy Roosevelt, Jamie Foxx, Cesar Milan, Mary Tyler Moore, Woodrow Wilson, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, John Steinbeck, Mel Brooks, Madonna, Michael J. Fox, Bernadette Peters, Usher, Eliza Dushku, Anthony Robbins, Ashley Olsen, Orlando Bloom, Serena Williams, Giselle Bunschen, Barbara Eden, Vin Deisel, jack Dempsey, Frankie Muniz, Judd Nelson, Josh Hutcherson, Rosie Perez, Sinbad, Sir Walter Scott, David Spade, Edward Norton, Rick Springfield, Wil Wheaton, Kelly Cuoco, Steve Irwin, Jimmy Carter, Shaquille O’Neil, Tom Brady, Jennifer Aniston….

Have you found any criminals or thugs yet? Neither did we.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#3 Fact or Fiction: Whenever There's a News Story About a Dog Attack, It's Almost Always a Pit Bull

It’s Pit Bull Awareness Month!

Fact or Fiction: Whenever there’s a news story about a dog attack, it’s almost ALWAYS a pit bull.
Fact. Dog bites and attacks involving pit bulls are reported 85% more often than attacks by any other breed of dog.  A 2008 study by the National Canine Research Council studied a series  media reports of dog attacks that occurred during a four day period in 2007.  On day two, a mixed-breed dog attacked and killed a small child.  The local newspaper ran two stories.  On day four, two tethered pit bulls broke free from their chains and attacked a woman who was trying to protect her small dog.  The woman was hospitalized.  Her dog was uninjured.  The attack was reported in 230 articles in national and international newspapers, as well as all of the cable news networks.

Last year, our clinic ran its own experiment.  We scanned the names of children that had been killed by dogs, looking for names that would be easy for Google to find.  On July 25th, 2008, 14-month-old Addison Sonney was killed by an English Sheepdog mix.  A Google search of her name produced 28,900 results.  Seven weeks prior, 7-year-old Tanner Monk was killed by two off-leash pit bulls.  A Google search of his name produced an astounding 1,960,000 results.  The American media consumer has an insatiable appetite for stories involving pit bull attacks.  And our media providers are more than happy to feed us.

It is also important to note that in a study that included veterinarians and animal professionals, pit bulls were incorrectly identified 89% of the time! So the next time you hear a news report a “pit bull attack”, remember there is only an 11% chance that the dog has been correctly identified as such.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#2 Fact or Fiction: Pit Bulls Are Naturally Aggressive

It’s Pit Bull Awareness Month!

Fact or Fiction: Pit Bulls are naturally aggressive and inherently dangerous.
Fiction.  As of February 14, 2013, the American Temperament Test Society found that pit bulls averaged a score of 86.8%.  This is the same score logged by Standard Poodles!  Pit bulls were the sixth most tested breed with 839 subjects being tested.  This is a VERY challenging test that takes place in unfamiliar places, and gauges the dog’s level of fear, anxiety, and aggression when placed in stressful situations.  Pit bulls scored higher than Golden Retrievers, Collies, Schnauzers, and Malteses.

Many factors lead to aggression in dogs including, but not limited to, being sexually intact, having recently bred, being in the presence of puppies, being chained or tethered outdoors, living isolated from humans, inferior breeding, poor nutrition, lack of veterinary care, being born in puppy mills, lack of training and socialization, and being subject to abuse by humans.  It is interesting to note that of the 51 dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting operation. only one was euthanized for aggressive behavior.  The rest were placed into loving homes, and several even work as service dogs.  This is truly astonishing considering that all were subjected to the factors above, in addition to unfathomable cruelty.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

#1 Fact or Fiction: Pit bulls have locking jaws

It’s Pit Bull Awareness Month!
Fact or Fiction : Pit bulls have locking jaws.  Once they bite down, they cannot let go.

Fiction. Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia has stated under oath “There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of ‘locking mechanism’ unique to the structure of the jaws and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier.” A study out of Presbyterian College by Jesse M. Bridgers III  titled “The Mechanical Advantage of the Pit Bull Jaw” examined 49 skulls of various breeds of domestic dogs, including those of pit bulls.  Conclusion: “After graphing and analyzing the derived ratios, I have found no evidence of mechanical advantage in the pit bull compared to other breeds of domestic dogs.”  A 2003 study by T.E. Huston titled “Bite Force and Bite Pressure Comparisons of Humans and Dogs” found “There is nothing out of the ordinary in the jaw structure or anatomy of the bull breeds.” That same study also disproved the myth that pit bulls bite with 1600 pounds of pressure per square inch.  Both Rottweilers and German Shepherds were shown to bite with substantially more force than pit bulls.

Nearly all breeds of dogs are capable of biting and holding on with amazing tenacity.  For a free demonstration, stop by the clinic and attempt to extract a Greenie from Grendel’s mouth. You will tire long before our geriatric dachshund does!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Pet of the Month

October is Pit Bull Awareness Month!

If you guessed that Reese Pieces is a pit bull, you’re WRONG!  Reese Pieces is a Rhodesian Ridgeback/American Bulldog mix.  If you guessed incorrectly, don’t feel bad.  In a recent study by the National Canine Research Council, pit bulls were only correctly identified on the first try 2% of the time.  As if that isn’t bad enough, the study group included veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and animal control officers.  Yikes!  So the next time you see an attention-grabbing headline about a “vicious pit bull attack”, remember there’s a 98% chance the dog has been misidentified.  

Congratulations Reese Pieces, and share with your friends - you may not be a pit bull, but you are a sweetheart.  You’re also our October Pet of the Month!