Video: Pit Bull Advocates Explain Why BSL Is Needed

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

If you are an advocate for pit bulls, the title of this article should immediately bring visions of dog fighting to mind. “Release your dogs” is also the first line in the 2014 Documentary by the BBC (below) which “reveals the link between the seedy world of dog fighting and dangerous dogs in the streets.”

The victims of unprovoked pit bull attacks are not only humans but also innocent stray and farm animals and beloved pets. The reported numbers are horrifying; the true number is not known.  .

It is time for the pain and suffering of victims of these attacks to be recognized and not excused.  It is also time to provide better protection for pit bulls, who are also victims of those who neglect, abuse and exploit them and those who refuse to allow legislation to protect them. 

In view of actual statistics of deaths and the horrible scars and injuries to innocent human and animal victims, isn’t it time to agree on Breed-specific legislation (BSL) that protects both?  


This week, from November 9 – 15, 2014, is the first Canine Victims Awareness Week organized by a coalition called AVOCA.  Under the heading “Victim Blaming Hurts us All,” these links provide information on how to understand what happens to victims and survivors and how to get involved in Awareness for Victims of Canine Attacks, with Hashtag #WontBackDown. 

On the Voice of the Victim page, they invite posts by victims of canine attacks everywhere.


AVOCA issued a media release on November 13, 2014, which included, “an urgent plea” to Arianna Huffington in response to her publication’s recent promotional feature entitled “Pit Bull Week” (July 28-August 4, 2014). 

The end of the letter read, "We urge you, Ms Huffington, as a professional journalist, as well as a mother and an animal lover, to re-consider your editorial decision to promote and encourage pit bulls as desirable companion animals. At the very least, we urge you to withdraw your overt support for the pit bull advocacy movement, and adopt a position of neutrality. From those to whom much influence has been given, greater responsibility is expected."

Tragically, in the period following the Huffington Post’s “Pit Bull Week,” nine more Americans have lost their lives to canine attack, many by family pets, according to the release.

“Pit bulls currently make up approximately 6% of the dog population in the U.S. Yet, in 2013, pit bulls and their mixes caused 78% of all dog bite-related fatalities.” And canine attack fatalities continue to rise each year, as documented by Merritt Clifton, Editor of Animals 24-7.

AVOCA urgently seeks to educate the public about the risks of dangerous dogs, specifically fighting breeds and their derivatives. At the rate reported by Clifton, currently in the U.S. a citizen is killed by canine attack approximately every 9 days.


On November 7, 2014, Merrit Clifton, editor of ANIMALS 24/7, posted:

What did pit bull advocates do after losing their attempt to repeal the pit bull ban in Aurora, Colorado, by a 30% margin?”

He explained that pit bull advocates had bullied Blue Buffalo, a pet food maker, and the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, California, into withdrawing an ad for the Home 4 the Holidays Program, which had appeared in ANIMALS 24-7.  

He pointed out that, “Among the 1.1 million shelter animals rehomed by Home 4 the Holidays in 2013 were an estimated 170,000 pit bulls.”

According to Clifton, the Helen Woodward Animal Center asked ANIMALS 24-7 to replace the ad that was currently running and replace it with an ad which, in the unanimous opinion of his staff, featured a pit bull.

ANIMALS 24-7 editor Merritt Clifton, responded that his publication  “… will not accept an ad with a visual image that promotes adoptions of pit bulls, or any other dog breed that accounts for more than 10 times more dog attack fatalities, disfigurements, and deaths of other pets than would be proportionate to the numbers of that breed among the dog population. Promoting such breeds is why more shelter dogs have killed and disfigured people in 2014 alone than killed and disfigured people in the entire time from 1858 through 2009. We can publish an ad that shows any other type of dog, or a cat.” 


Jeff Borchardt, founder of Daxton’s Friends, ran an ad in the Aurora Sentinel and the Denver Post before the public voted to retain the city’s pit bull ban. The ad stated, “Fact: Pit Bulls Kill More Humans & Animals than All Breeds Combined.”

Hate mail from Pit Bull advocates flooded in to both papers and to the father of a 14-month-old toddler, Daxton Borchardt, who was savagely mauled to death on March 6, 2013, by two Pit Bulls at the home of the babysitter who was caring for him.

Jeff Borchardt shared many e-mails focused on his deceased son, including one where the commenter posted a picture of his son’s head and wrote under it, “my dart board lmfao.”

Another wrote, “Let play kickball with jeff’s son head. he dead so not like he will need it.”


See the posts and photos of victims blamed for being attacked at here.

Sources: Huffington Post, PR Web, Animals 24-7, Blog Post, Canine Victims Awareness Week / Photo Credit: WikiCommons, Robert McNicholas/Flickr Creative Commons