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The problem is not that the dogs are violent, she said. “It’s the people who incite the violence in the dogs.”
Kondracsek, who owns a pit bull mix named Casey Jones, said pit bulls aren’t dangerous, and national groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Veterinary Medical Association have advocated against breed-specific legislation to rein in dangerous dogs.
The groups said it’s often difficult to determine a dog’s breed, so such legislation could be tough to enforce; the groups also say more focus should be on the dog owners, who often create dangerous animals by isolating, chaining and abusing the animals.
That hasn’t stopped Dogsbite.org, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas, from opposing pit bull ownership. The group’s website lists recent pit bull attacks; it says pit bulls killed 176 people in the United States between 2005 and 2013, accounting for about 62 percent of all fatal dog attacks. The group characterizes itself as a whistleblower against dog breeders, veterinarians and animal welfare groups that have lobbied in support of pit bull ownership.
The last dog fatality in Minnesota was the 2010 death of 11-day-old Robert Hocker, of Independence. He was killed by the family’s Siberian husky after being bitten on the head. The last dog death in Minneapolis was the 2007 death of Zachary King Jr., 7; he died when he went to the basement of his father’s house to play with a pit bull his father kept chained there. The father was later found not guilty of manslaughter by a Hennepin County judge.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747