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Breed bans are intended to prevent serious animal bites

On any given day, the news media may feature a story concerning a serious attack caused by a family pet. In spite of the number of states that have responded by enacting breed specific laws (BSL), the risks of becoming a victim of animal bites have not dropped appreciably. Unfortunately, as many Connecticut residents know all too well, any pet with teeth can bite.

For the past several years, the pit bull has been the object of many breed bans. However, this is not a specific breed but is a general term that describes a particular body shape or stance. While many admit that these dogs are strong and were bred to fight, others say that this breed is a reliable family pet. While studies conducted by the American Temperament Test Society have reported that these dogs are more likely to pass stringent temperament tests, it also reports that many breeds not considered to be aggressive are capable of inflicting harm.

Some studies have shown that there is no physiological reason for these animals to lock their jaws, nor do they have a stronger bite mechanism than any other breed their size. However, in the majority of cases that involve a serious attack, the breed involved is often a pit bull or pit mix. In spite of the bans that have been enacted, the numbers of bite incidents remain fairly consistent, as do the severity of the attacks. 

Regardless of the efforts of lawmakers to protect citizens, there will always be a danger posed by pretty much any family pet, including those that are seemingly docile. Studies seem to imply that the training and treatment an animal receives from its owners has a strong influence on whether a pet will attack without provocation, though some breeds may have an inbred tendency toward aggression. Those in Connecticut who have suffered physical and emotional trauma from serious animal bites may also incur significant monetary damages in the form of medical bills, lost wages and associated costs. In a strict liability state like Connecticut, dog owners are responsible financially for any injuries their dogs cause, regardless of the breed and without regard to how friendly they believe their dogs to be. 

Source: dogtime.com, "BSL and the facts about breed bans", Jerry Tuccille, Accessed on Sept. 27, 2017

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