Amenia, NY (PRWEB) January 02, 2013
The National Canine Research Council has released its final investigative report for all dog bite-related fatalities that occurred in 2011. NCRC has researched dog bite-related fatalities for more than 20 years, and maintains the most complete database on these incidents available anywhere.
The report, a summary of in-depth investigations, reveals that nearly a third of the owners of dogs implicated in the 2011 incidents were charged with crimes. Among the charges filed against dog owners were manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and endangering the welfare of a child.
NCRC also found what it felt was persuasive evidence of owner abuse and neglect of the dogs implicated. Though only one owner was formally charged with animal abuse, NCRC’s inquiries revealed instances of owners isolating their dogs for long periods, confining them on chains, failing to provide necessary medical treatment, or allowing them to run loose, in defiance of neighbor complaints.
Based upon its years of detailed investigations into the conditions in which owners kept the dogs involved, NCRC pioneered the distinction between a resident dog and a family dog. Resident dogs are those, whether confined within a dwelling or otherwise, whose owners isolate them from regular, positive human interactions.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of the fatal incidents in 2011 involved resident dogs, not dogs maintained as family pets.
”Resident dogs cannot be expected to exhibit the same degree of social competence as family dogs,” states Karen Delise, NCRC’s Founder and Director of Research, and the person responsible for compiling the data NCRC reports. “Family dogs are integrated into the family unit and afforded the opportunity to learn appropriate behaviors through positive and humane interaction with people on a regular basis.”
NCRC’s policy of in-depth investigations of each incident demand a 12-month delay before a year’s final report can be published. During that period, NCRC interviews police investigators, animal control officers, coroners, veterinarians, health department officials, dog owners, and eye witnesses; and, when available, obtains incident reports, bite reports, human and animal autopsy reports, summaries of judicial proceedings, and crime scene data and photographs.
“Official reports often do not agree with news accounts published immediately following an incident,” said Delise. “Many cases involved extensive investigation by local authorities, and as such, important information relative to the dogs, owners and victims was not available until the completion of those investigations. The more deeply one examines these incidents, the more likely one is to appreciate their complexity.”
Dog bite-related fatalities are exceedingly rare, though they may attract publicity in the moment that creates an impression they are more prevalent than they actually are. In 2011, among a canine population estimated at 70 million and a human population of 310 million, there were 31 dog bite-related fatalities.
The report’s introduction emphasizes the responsibility of dog owners to their dogs and to the human community: "These rare tragedies remind us that all dog owners have an unequivocal responsibility for the humane care (including proper diet, veterinary care, socialization and training), custody (including licensing and micro-chipping), and control of their dogs.”
NCRC’s final 2011 report is available at http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/2011%20Final%20Investigative%20DBRF%20Report.pdf. In addition, NCRC has released a preliminary report on the incidents that occurred in 2012, which is available at http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/2012%20Preliminary%20DBRF%20Report_final.pdf. No final, reliable report on the 2012 incidents will be possible for at least another 12 months.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CANINE RESEARCH COUNCIL: The National Canine Research Council is committed to preserving the human-canine bond. NCRC publishes, underwrites, and reprints accurate, documented, reliable research to promote a better understanding of our relationship with dogs.
NCRC makes grants to universities, independent research organizations and independent scholars. It also conducts its own research on contemporary issues that impact the human-canine bond, including the dynamics of popular attitudes toward dogs and canine aggression; public health reporting on dog bites; public policy concerning companion animals; and media reporting on dogs.
ABOUT KAREN DELISE: Karen Delise is the Founder and Director of Research for the National Canine Research Council. She is considered the nation's leading authority on dog bite-related fatalities, and has been called as an expert witness in numerous legal proceedings regarding dogs and dog-related injuries. She has been instrumental in shifting public attitudes toward canine aggression by focusing on reduction of risk through humane care, custody and control of companion dogs, as well as keeping the comparative risk of living with dogs in proper perspective. She is the author of The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression. Ms. Delise retired from the Suffolk County, New York Sheriff's Office after twenty-nine years of service.