Man Dies From Heart Attack After His Dog Was Attacked

On June 11, 2008, Michael Harrington, 66, of Brookmans Park (north of London), died of a heart attack moments after seeing his dog mauled by another. His leashed and muzzled greyhound was attacked by an unleashed, unmuzzled pit bull. The incident happened on public property near Harrington’s home. (Click here to read more.)

I have often said that pit bulls are dangerous to people because these dogs were created to kill other dogs, and that people are too often the unintended victim. I have had cases such as the young girl from Texas who was bitten all over her body because she tried to save her puppy from a pit bull that wanted to kill it. We refer to such incidents as redirected aggression because the pit bull bites the person secondarily to the assault on another dog.

I have met many gentle pit bulls. Nevertheless, all of them were bred to kill other dogs, and any of these gentle dogs could have bitten me in a redirected attack upon another canine. For that reason, I consider pit bulls to be dangerous to people, and I feel that the evidence is conclusive. The breed is “hard wired” to kill other dogs.

This tragic death of Mr. Harrington raises another aspect of the dog bite problem. We love our dogs, and when our dogs suffer, we suffer. When pit bulls and other dogs attack our pets, we suffer emotionally. This is terrible and it is unnecessary. For Mr. Harrington, it was also fatal.

Something should be done about it. I do not advocate the banning of any breed of dog. Rather, I strongly advise every community to have a comprehensive “dangerous dog law” that, among other things, makes it illegal for any dog to run at large or be without a leash. Your community can adopt theĀ Model Dangerous Dog Law written by me. And if your state follows the outdated English one-bite rule, your legislators should adopt theĀ Dog Bite Statute written by me.