Pit bull owners feeling pit-bullied

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - A study by DogsBite.org found from January 2006, to December 2008, 19 dog breeds contributed to the deaths of 88 Americans.  Nearly 60 percent of those deaths were caused by pit bulls.

Brenda Boyd owns 10 of them.

"They're warm, compassionate, social, friendly...everything that people say they're not," she said.

Kristen Mumphrey has 15 pit-bulls. Her American Bullies live with her and her children. They've competed in numerous dog shows. Mumphrey said she's never had a problem with her dogs.

"For every bad breeder out there, there's 50 more, just like us, that will stand and fight and will tell you that our dogs are different," said Boyd.

"If there were stricter fines and penalties on these owners who are negligent, then we wouldn't have these problems," said Mumphrey.

Last year, a pit bull attacked and mauled Hunter Thorp, a 5-year-old Jacksonville boy.

Summer Adams, a Van 2-year-old, was attacked this past Halloween. Her grandfather, Douglas Wolfe, is now urging the Van council to ban the breed from the city.

Back in September, a Rusk County jury awarded Justin Clinton's family $7 million. The 10-year-old was mauled to death by two pit-bulls, last year.

"It's bred in them, they were bred to fight, they attack and they attack viciously," said Cynthia Stevens Kent.

Kent is the Clinton's attorney and is now working to draft legislation which would also ban the breed.

At the very least, the state would require owners of pit bulls to carry sufficient liability insurance for their animals, she said.  The dogs would also have to be kept in secure enclosures.

Kent said the measures would put restrictions on people who choose to own the "dangerous animals."

The breed has already been banned from Marine Corp bases and other military housing facilities.

"Until you've owned them, don't judge them," said Mumphrey.

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