“I think they should be as illegal as owning a lion and they belong in zoos,” a Colorado judge said as he sentenced a pit bull owner on a criminal offense.
It stemmed from an unprovoked attack upon a woman who knocked at the defendant’s door and was mauled by her pit bull.
The judge said that “[i]f I had a big red button right here that would kill all the pit bulls, I wouldn’t hesitate to press it.”
This was in Colorado, a state whose dog bite laws are among the worst in the USA. The civil remedies for dog bite victims in that state are woefully inadequate. The law divides victims into five different groups and treats all of them differently. (See Dog Bite Law – Colorado.)
Unless this state and all others adopt a multi-focal approach to the dog bite epidemic, dogs will continue to evolve from “man’s best friend” to something far less desireable. Dogs bite 4.7 million Americans every year, at an estimated cost of $1-2 billion. Our current strategies are, well, just not working. (For a comprehensive plan to reduce dog bites, see Preventing Dog Bites.)