People often perceive pit bull rescuers, shelters, and animal control officers to be experts on pit bull behavior and safety. Potential adopters often believe they can rely on these perceived experts' knowledge, judgment and temperament testing procedures to give them sound advice about pit bull safety and to match them with safe pit bulls.
Sadly, these perceived experts often are not required to have much expertise at all. More importantly many have sworn no oath and have no mandate to protect public safety and they are often extremely misguided. They refuse to acknowledge the inherent dangers of pit bulls and believe if they foist off an "iffy" pit bull on someone, well, it gives the pit bull another chance for a home, and it might turn out alright. Sometimes, the shelter does tell the adoptive owner that the pit bull has "dog aggression" and minimizes the significance of the danger to neighborhood pets and protective owners. Other times, shelter workers have reportedly failed to provide known information about aggression, and in some cases, when pit bulls attacked right after being adopted, they blamed the adopter.
It may surprise people to know that while these perceived experts often have little knowledge or expertise in safely adopting pets, dangerous dog advocates have been educating shelters in how to avoid liability when adopting out potentially or known dangerous dogs.
The following list shows the results of these misguided priorities and lack of mandated responsibility or accountability by these animal care "experts." Most of these articles are about recently adopted pit bulls that launched a serious attack, sometimes killing a person. Many of these pit bulls came with assurances that the pit bull was non-aggressive and/or had been temperament tested. A few articles concern other dangerous dogs, and some articles concern attacks that occurred while the dog was still in the care of the animal control, shelter, rescue or foster. The list is not complete or comprehensive, but merely highlights the growing and seriously dangerous problem.
2019 CA - No Kill LA Animal Shelter allowed a German shepherd dog that had been dropped off for biting and aggression to be put up for adoption. While a father and two young children were meeting the dog, it bit one of the children in the face very seriously with no provocation. The child had to be transferred to a second hospital equipped to do the extensive kind of reconstructive surgery required to repair the damage and ay lose an eye. No Kill must be abandoned or outlawed because of the great harm it does to children and pets.
2019 VA - A pit bull mix that has put two people IN THE HOSPITAL is up for adoption again. One victim was the foster handler for BANDIT'S ADOPTION & RESCUE OF K-9's. She couldn't walk or live independently for 2 months. The second victim was the AC officer who took the dog after the first attack. She was hospitalized and couldn't work for a while. BARK took back the dangerous pit mix and put the thing up for adoption three years later without revealing the SERIOUS bite history of this dog. The operators at BARK have no care or concern that their actions put two people in the hospital already, and they have zero concern that they will put more people in the hospital if they adopt the pit out again. The investigative report revealed the dangerous pit's adoption page, which seems to have subsequently taken down.
2019 FL - A pit bull that was up for adoption killed a volunteer at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County.
2019 OH - A pit bull mix that was being fostered by the Pit Bull Advocates of Armstrong County (PA) allowed their pit bull with a known bite history to severely maul a dog groomer. The pit bull had to be tased and then stabbed to get the attack to stop and the victim has severe facial wounds and compound fractures in both bones of one of her forearms as well as other injuries. This pit bull, Lucian, is believed to be the same pit bull that severely mauled a 5 year old girl the day after it was adopted five months previously in April.
2019 OH - An American bulldog mix was adopted out by the Trumbull County Trumbull County Dog Warden with the assurance that it was good with everyone. The next day it severely mauled a 5 year-old girl. It later was revealed that the huge pit bull mix had shown protective and aggressive behavior and one person had said the dog should not go to a home with children.
2018 PA - New investigative report on yet another county animal control service that is adopting out dangerous dogs with bite histories, mostly pit bulls, in order to maintain a No Kill status. This time it is Lebanon County PA Humane Society. Look below for 4 previous investigations into the same kinds of reports into the unethical No Kill practices in Contra Cost CA (2016), Fairfax County VA (2016), Austin City TX (2016), Albuquerque City NM (2015).
2018 FL - A pit bull mix that had been adopted out, and temperament tested by, Pinellas County Animal Control 7 months previously killed a 7 month old girl. (This baby was born just about the time this pit mix was adopted out). The foster father and his father, the pit bull owner, both were Clearwater Police Detectives. This is a second killing in a week by a temperament tested, adopted pit bull. Know this - temperament tests DO NOT and cannot predict unprovoked attacks from pit bulls.
2018 IL - An adopted Pit bull from, and temperament tested by, South Suburban Animal Rescue in Chicago Heights 9 months previously sent two people to the hospital in separate attacks. One person was an insurance adjuster who entered the rental unit when the pit bull’s owners were not present. The second person was a police officer who was later dispatched to search for the loose pit bull.
|Snowball the killer pit bull with his rescue and his rescuer victim|
2018 NV - Recently Adopted Mastiff Killed Owner three days after a couple adopted it. The dog was adopted from the Animal Foundation. The husband had posted on facebook asking if anyone had info about the breed saying he planned to take the dog on hikes in the mountains, to lakes, and parks.
2018 TX - The Humane Society of North Texas allowed a chihuahua mix in an unsupervised pen with two pit bulls for unsupervised play. One of the pit bulls played the game pit bulls were bred to love - "kill the dog". The humane society says that all dogs must be supervised during play. They don't say they will stop the horrific practice of putting small dogs in pens with pit bulls. Pit bulls kill regularly when they are being supervised.
2018 ME - A young man was interested in adopting a pit bull from the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society shelter and was allowed to take it for a walk to get to know it. He took it to his friend's house where the pit bull immediately grabbed and killed the friend's family's dearly beloved 5-year-old yorkie named Rocco Armani in front of the family.
2018 OH - Veterinarian blows whistle on the Muskingum County Dog Warden and Adoption Center revealing that it has been adopting out dogs with aggression and bite histories. The vet revealed that one dog was brought into his clinic that hat been adopted out three times and returned twice for aggression. The third adopter paid to put the dog down so the highly irresponsible county animal control could not adopt it out a fourth time.
2018 IL - A delivery person was seriously attacked by a pit bull at the no-kill Cache Creek Animal Rescue in Frankfort IL. She is suing for more than $50,000. She alleges that the attack was unprovoked and vicious.
2017 TX - A toddler was mauled unprovoked by a pit bull mix that was up for adoption at an adoption event in a park in Dallas. The toddler was with his mom and had just pet the pit bull without incident and walked away. When the mom and toddler turned back toward where the pit bull was, it launched an unprovoked attack. Amazingly, the rescuers and animal control are so incompetent that they cannot determine from the severity of this unprovoked attack that the pit bull needs to be put down. They are calling in "experts" to evaluate the pit bull that failed the real world temperament test by launching a vicious, unprovoked attack on a toddler.
2017 LA - A rescue lied to a family telling them that a pit bull mix was a mastiff mix. The family was used to small dogs. After spending 3 hours with the pit before adopting him, and having him home 2 hours, the pit bull attacked a five-year-old boy.
2017 NY - A child and an adult were attacked by a rescue pit bull during a Mermorial Day celebration at the Pound Ridge Fire Department.
2017 WI - A pit bull mix being fostered for Shelter From the Storm rescue escaped it's foster's fence and attacked two dogs being walked by a woman. The pit killed one dog and injured the other and severely injured the dogs' owner. The rescue is lying about the breed saying the pit mix is a shepherd greyhound mix which is ridiculous when you look at both the photo that was shared AND the nature of the the attack.
|Killer Pit Bull Passed Off As|
2017 PA - A volunteer for Angel Ridge Animal Rescue brought her 4 and 7-year-old daughters with her to the rescue. While she was walking a pit bull, it attacked her younger daughter. She got the pit off her daughter, and was being severely mauled when a man came, got the pit off her, and tied a belt and a leash around each arm as tourniquets. She is in the hospital in serious condition after surgery. Her daughter was also hospitalized. The man said he'd never seen a dog persist in an attack like that. That's what pit bulls do.
2017 NC - A rescue group volunteer and her son were attacked by two rottweilers at a private shelter, For the Love of Dogs. The child sustained severe injuries including large lacerations over all of his body.
2017 NM - The Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department has been found once again to be adopting out dangerous dogs. After designing a process that had 3 experts designate dogs that needed to be euthanized for aggression, the new director has once again been found to be unilaterally removing dogs from the euthanasia list and putting them up for adoption.
2017 NV - The founder of Happy Acres Animal Sanctuary was seriously mauled by a newly acquired dangerous pit bull and was in fair condition at the hospital. Sanctuaries take unadoptable animals, including animals that are dangerously aggressive, instead of humanely euthanizing them. The new dangerous pit bull that attacked Steve Benson was attacked by another pit bull which is believed to have saved Benson's life.
2017 IA - A pit bull was transported from Louisiana to the Clinton IA Humane Society where it was adopted out to a family. Less than two hours later the pit bull had attacked a 15-month old child doing horrifying, permanent damage to his face.
2017 LA - Pit bull attacked the deputy director of the St. Lanry Parish Animal Control Shelter and her dog. The pit bull was put down and the shelter has been closed.
2017 GA - Two women have filed a lawsuit against Macon’s All About Animals Rescue Inc., alleging they were mauled by a pit bull while volunteering at the no-kill shelter in 2015. During a walk, and without provocation from the volunteers, Hooch “viciously attacked and mauled” Archibald, according to the lawsuit, filed in Bibb County State Court on March 3.
2017 FL - After at least two recent instances of pit bull mixes adopted by the shelter biting people, Lake County Animal Control has changed its rules so that those adopting the animals know up front whether the creatures have been aggressive at the shelter and whether they’ve been returned by an owner for biting. Excellent opinion piece about this craziness.
2017 MI - A woman went to the Center for Animal Health and Welfare in Williams Township to adopt a sweet beagle named Penny. They were just about to take Penny home when a pit mix broke free from its handler and mauled Penny horribly for no reason. Penny's throat was ripped open and her jaw was left hanging. At last report she had had surgery. The pit bull was put down, thankfully.
2017 CA - A 10-year-veteran Animal Care Tech was viciously mauled by a pit bull at LAAS North Central Shelter. She required a 5-hour-long surgery, both arms are bandaged from her fingers to her shoulders and from photos, one person believed her entire biceps were gone on one arm.
2016 CA - Jack was a 5 lb yorkshire terrier who was beloved. His owner took him everywhere had an Instagram page for him. Her room mates brought home a friggin pit bull that killed Jack hours later. The room mates had brought Jack to meet the pit bull without his owner's knowledge and since the pit bull didn't kill Jack right away, the San Diego Shelter was more than happy to put Jack's life in danger by adopting the pit bull to the idiot room mates. When confronted by the owner the San Diego Shelter essentially said, and I'm paraphrasing, "Not our fault and no big deal and FU, we're giving the pit bull back to your room mates."
2016 FL - A man was bitten by a shepherd mix that he had adopted two days previously from the Gulf Coast Humane Society. When he returned the dog, he was told that it had happened before and the man wants to know why he wasn't told. Other workers at the Humane Society said the dog had been returned, but not for aggression or violence.
2016 PA - A pit bull attacked and severely mauled his owner putting him in the hospital and will need to be in a nursing home for a few weeks to recover. The owner said he'd rescued the pit bull a year earlier when it was six months old. He called his pit bull a "gentle giant" who was not aggressive and said he'd nursed it back up to a healthy weight and cared for it with love to be part of the family. Then one night, the pit bull, believed to be scared by a storm, mauled.
2016 CA - An update to the investigative report about the dangerous dogs Contra Costa Animal Services is adopting out describes how a pit bull killed a cute little maltese the very day it was adopted out to a woman. The ugly pit bull had been at CCAS for a month, but had not been temperament tested. They just won't stop even after they've been exposed.
|Pit Bull Gets to Kill a Sweet Maltese|
Before It Gets Put Down because shelter
workers wanted to give it another chance (to kill)
|An adorable and beloved little dog was killed because shelter workers callously|
adopt out known aggressive pit bulls like the one that killed Kaiser.
|Virginia Pit Bull Vern was photographed in a cute bow tie the day before he|
mauled a shelter worker as she took him out to show a potential adopter
"The dog was a mutt and a member of the Board of Directors emphasized that "this was not a vicious pit bull attack." The member also said the dog has never shown reason for concern and the volunteers were in shock after the attack."
Both those statements were later deleted. In an update posted 2 days after the attack, the dog was identified as a pit bull mix:
"UPDATE: Representatives from the city of Las Vegas say the dog was a pit bull mix and is being evaluated at the Animal Foundation."
Diana England, the rescue's founder, who lied to protect pit bulls, was still in the hospital 4 days after the attack.
2016 AL - A 12-year-old boy was brutally attacked by his mother's rescue pit bulls. The news report suggests there was a breeding pair with puppies, but the mother says on her facebook page that all the pit bulls but one were rescues.
2016 OH - Two pit bulls bust out of a gate for the express purpose of killing a little dog being walked on a leash knocking down the 60 year old owner. The owners say the pit bulls are "rescue" dogs.
2016 TX - Austin City Animal Control has sent over 500 aggressive dogs to Austin Pets Alive! No Kill animal shelter. Really obscene lack of responsibility here.
"Max is one of more than 500 dogs quarantined for biting, which the city then transferred to APA in the last five years, according to city records. More than 200 of those dogs appear to meet the city's own definition of a dangerous dog: attacking unprovoked and causing injuries. In at least 40 of those attacks, city staff said the person received moderate to severe injuries. Hundreds more dogs are noted in city records as "aggressive" but were still given to APA." And they are defending their actions. Wow!
2016 CA - Brenda Barnett of LA Animal Services allowed someone who claimed to represent a rescue in Arkansas to take an extremely dangerous pit bull that had bitten a AC worker. That pit bull, after released, but still in LA, attacked a potential adopter. The vicious pit bull had to be stabbed 19 times to stop the attack and was later euthanized. (This attack is also listed in Pit Bulls That Must Be Stabbed to Stop an Attack)
2016 MI - A family adopted a pit bull from the Taylor Animal Shelter. The family said that as soon as they brought it in the home, it attacked their daughter. The shelter took the dog back and gave them their money back. The rescue won't put the dog down. They want a rescue to take it.
2016 WI - A recently adopted pit bull mix jumped over a 4 ft fence to get into a yard so it could kill a lab dachshund mix. After several people, including the pit bull's owner, tried to get the pit bull off the victim dog, a neighbor got a gun and shot the pit bull dead. The report didn't bother to mention how the victim dog was doing. The mauling pit bull was adopted from a shelter in Rice Lake, WI. (This attack is also listed in Invasion Attacks.)
2016 NY - In July 2015 a boy and his mother went to the city animal services shelter in Rochester to find a dog to adopt. A "boxer mix" was brought out for them to look at. The mother got confirmation that the dog was "suitable for children". After a brief introduction, the "boxer mix" was taken off the leash at which time it immediately mauled the child, biting him in the abdomen resulting in severe and permanent scarring and disfigurement." The mother has filed a lawsuit. This story was not reported when it happened. "Boxer mix" often means pit bull and this shelter is full to the brim with pit bulls.
2016 CA - The pit bull mix that killed a 3-day-old baby had been adopted from the San diego Humane Society 6 months previously. The pit mix had been judged as an individual by experts to be "a happy, social dog who enjoyed going on walks and playing with other dogs" that had shown no signs of aggression. The head of the San Diego Humane Society, who just wrote a book about how to understand animal communication seems unaware that happy, well adjusted pit bulls are known for mauling and killing unprovoked with no previous signs of aggression. It has been less than a year since the Asheville Humane Society adopted out a pit bull that killed a boy a few days later. That pit bull had also been deemed non-aggressive by "experts."
2016 TX - Two volunteers, one a teenage girl, at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter allowed two pit bulls to attack a little dog. An off-duty sheriff who was about to adopt a dog saw the teenager trying to get the pit bulls off the little dog. He decided not to shoot, but to hit one of the pit bulls with a board. This worked to stop the attack and get the little dog away from the pit bulls which began attacking each other. The sheriff was accused of beating dogs by people on social media as thanks for saving the teenager.
2016 MD - A child was bitten by a dog at the humane Society of Hartford County. The child was flown to the hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries. The breed of dog has not been released. The vast majority of dogs at the shelter are pit bulls.
2016 ON - An illegal pit bull that had been recently adopted escaped its owner's condo and pushed through the front door of a neighbors condo and killed the neighbor's dog in a bloody, vicious, horrific invasion attack. The owner said he could tell his April was already dead in seconds because the pit bull had literally ripped April completely open. One of the neighbors was scratched trying to keep the invading pit from attacking their other dog. (This attack is also posted in invasion attacks).
2016 NJ - A pit bull escaped from a home, rushed to a woman walking a baby stroller and attacked the 11 month old girl in the stroller. The pit bull was recently adopted from a shelter. The baby girl was hospitalized for three days, received 70 stitches and plastic surgery. (This attack is also listed in attacks with no provocation or warning.)
2016 IN - A woman went to the Marion-Grand County Humane Society. A pit bull that had been deemed safe for adoption was led into a room to meet the potential adopter and immediately jumped up and bit the woman on the face sending her to the hospital. On top of that, the Humane Society gave her the runaround for DAYS about whether the pit bull had been vaccinated for rabies. It had not. And now she is waiting to see if the pit bull will show signs of rabies. That is a very bad idea since she was bitten in the face.
2016 CT - A rescue pit bull escaped containment and attacked a donkey while at large. The owner says the pit bull will be returned to the rescue after the 14-day quarantine period is over.
2016 CO - The Longmont Humane Society, the only HS in the country to have been charged as an irresponsible dangerous pit bull owner with allowing a dangerous dog to attack, has adopted out another dangerous dog with a history of biting animals and people. This time an American Bulldog recently adopted from LHS bit a meter reader and inflicted "significant" injuries to the woman who needed surgery. Longmont HS prides itself on taking problematic pit bulls from all over the country and "rehabilitating" them. Then they dump them on the city of Longmont and environs. The citizens of Longmont then have to deal with the fact that this "rehabilitation" is fantasy.
Craven Desires - Longmont Humane Society
2016 AZ - A 7 year-old girl was rushed to the hospital after being attacked by a pit bull terrier mix that had been adopted 6 months previously. She had non-life threatening injuries to her hand and scalp.
In 2015, 9% of the attacks resulting in death were inflicted by dogs rehomed by c
2015 CA - A family is suing Labrador and Friends Rescue and San Diego County after a lab they adopted from the rescue severely mauled their son. They later found out that the dog had attacked a woman just two weeks previous to the adoption, both SDAC and the rescue knew about the attack, and no one told the family.
2015 NS - The St. Mary’s University student was about to leave for work when a pit bull showed up and chased, Diamond, her pomeranian from their yard into the living room of her home on Fourth Street in Dartmouth. She tried desperately to save her little dog whom she regarded as her child, but the pit bull ran off with her baby's lifeless body. The pit bull owners feel their pit isn't aggressive because it didn't also try to kill the people in their own home and that their killer pit bull shouldn't be put down. The pit bull had been recently bought from Homeward Bound Rescue (yeah, it was homeward bound alright.) (Also listed in the invasion attacks list.)
2015 MD - A 5 year-old boy suffered serious facial injuries after an attack by a "boxer-bulldog mix" (pit bull) that had been adopted earlier the same day. The county animal shelter suspended adoptions to review their adoption protocols, but did not find that adopting out pit bulls and lying about the breed were problems.
2015 VA - A family is suing the Fluvanna SPCA for adopting an aggressive dog to them without informing them of previous attacks by the dog. The dog, Max, attacked a 5 year-old child of the family. Previously, SPCA adopted out a dog that killed a puppy the same day it was adopted. Max is supposedly a German shepherd and husky mix. However neither of those two breeds would have given Max terrier ears.
|The 1-year-old male "boxer mix" up for|
adoption at the Charleston Animal Society
|Securing the Fighting Dog Weapons Drawn|
2014 CT - A pit bull that had been adopted only months before ran out of a house to attack a 93 year old woman leaving devastating wounds. The shelter reports conducting extensive testing, training and socializing. The shelter director also prides herself on "rehabilitating" vicious dogs. Neighbors and the shelter say the owners were good people and extremely responsible about owning their pit bull. The victim died 6 weeks after the attack.
2014 Mar FL - A volunteer at the Second Chance Animal Rescue brought her children, 3 and 5 years old, to the rescue. While there, a pit bull escaped from its kennel and lept through passenger side window of the volunteer's mini-van and attacked her 3-yr-old in the second row. She wrestled it out and into its cage where it broke out and went through the window a second time attacking her daughter. (This attack is also listed in the list of invasion attacks)
First Coast News
"Few (behavior tests) have been tested for reliability and validity. Those that have either fared very poorly or are not feasible within the constraints of normal workplace practices.
This clearly presents a significant problem for those wanting to assess canine behaviour. The use of invalid tests may result in dogs being incorrectly classified as safe or unsafe, with potentially devastating consequences. Mornement K, Toukhsati S, Coleman G, et al. Reliability, validity and feasibility of existing tests of canine behavior."
Food-related aggression in shelter dogs: A comparison of behavior identified by a behavior evaluation in the shelter and owner reports after adoption
Read more about this problem:
What Happens When ‘Save Rates’ Trump Common Sense?
Pet Therapy: Adopters of imported rescue dogs must consider liability