Bad, bad Ann. I’m very disappointed and surprised. In a post this morning, the usually reliable if eccentric law professor bloggress highlighted the anti-“pit bull” propaganda of DogsBite.org, an Ethics Alarms Unethical Website of the Month, and a vile purveyor of bad information that shares responsibility for the destructive “dangerous breed” laws around the country, discriminatory home-owners insurance rates, and the deaths of thousands and upon thousands of innocent, loving dogs.
Like the execrable website and the incompetent Times article it highlights, Althouse never clarifies the critical fact that there is no such breed as “a pit bull.” American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and any mixture thereof, plus a number of breeds like American Bullys, Corso Canes, Doggo de Argentino, and especially American Bull Dogs are all lumped together as “pit bulls” by ignorant reporters and police, and even veterinarians, making the website’s assertion that a disproportionate number of dog attacks come from that “breed” a statistical whopper. Yet Althouse, whose husband once had a blog dedicated to dog photos and who is a dog-lover herself, just goes along with the deception, and worse for a lawyer, never points out the “evidence” is absurdly flawed. If you combine many breeds into a single “breed,” of course that “breed” will have a disproportionate share of whatever dog incident one is counting.
Disappointingly, virtually all of Althouse’s commenters follow in her missteps in their comments, referring to “this breed” and relying on anecdotes. One cites an example of a neighborhood “pitbull” killing a cat. In the Dogs Bite.Org post, I noted as an example Denver’s “dangerous breed” law language defines a “pit bull” as “an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one of those breeds.” Similarly, Colleen Lynn inspires her deadly band of anti-dog owner fanatics on her website by informing them, “If it looks like a pitbull, then it is one.”
Yet the Times hypes her statistical distortion, and Althouse passes it along.
It’s lazy and irresponsible blogging. I’m writing this as Spuds snores away with his heavy head on my lap. He was victimized by the ignorance Ann Althouse is enabling: his first owner had to surrender him to a shelter because of Prince George’s County’s “dangerous breed” law, then he was adopted by a moron who assumed that a dog that she thought looked like a “pit bull” would protect her from an abusive boy friend. Then she gave the dog to that abusive boy friend, who named him “Macho” and kept him locked in a bathroom or on a short chain in the back yard.
I know I’ve written a lot on this issue; it upsets me. I certainly didn’t expect Ann Althouse to compound the problem.