A controversial McDonald’s ad campaign has pit bull advocates arguing that the breed has been unfairly characterized as dangerous.
McDonald’s has issued a public apology after a new advertisement for its Chicken McBites incited anger among pit bull owners and advocates. The ad claimed that eating a Chicken McBite was less risky than petting a stray pit bull, shaving your head, naming your son Sue or giving your friends your Facebook password. The ad ran only for a few days in the Kansas City area but the exposure was enough to launch a social media campaign skewering the company for its marketing tactics.
The company issued a statement acknowledging the ad’s insensitivity in mentioning pit bulls but those who have spoken out against the campaign feels the portrayal of pit bulls as dangerous was unfair and unjustified. Some advocates have accused McDonald’s of using media hysteria about the breed to try and sell products. While the ad has been pulled, the question remains: Are pit bulls really more dangerous?
Dog Bite Fatalities 2011
Dogsbite.org, a national dog bite advocacy group, compiles statistics concerning the number of fatal dog attacks occurring each year. According to the organization’s report for 2011, there were 31 dog bite fatalities in the U.S. Dogsbite reports that pit bulls and pit bull mixes accounted for 22 of the attacks, of 71% of the deaths, despite the fact that they account for less than 5% of the U.S. dog population. Rottweilers accounted for four of the deaths, with multiple breeds involved in the remaining deaths.
Of the 22 pit bull-related deaths, 15 involved individuals aged 15 to 76 while the remaining seven involved children aged 5 or younger. Texas and California held the record for the most fatal dog attacks, with four each. All four of the California deaths involved pit bulls or pit bull mixes and three of the victims were killed by their own pets.
From 2005 to 2011, pit bulls were reportedly involved in 127 deaths nationwide, the most of any breed. Rottweilers came in second with 29 deaths reported over that same period.
Based on these statistics alone, it seems that pit bulls and their owners may be more likely to be involved in a fatal dog attack. It’s important to note, however, that these statistics do not take into account the number of non-fatal dog bites occurring each year.
Without comprehensive data, it’s impossible to determine whether one breed is inherently more likely to attack. The key to preventing a dog attack is to learn what signs may indicate an aggressive dog and how to protect yourself or a loved one if a dog tries to bite you. If you are injured as a result of a dog bite, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation if your wounds were caused by the owner’s negligence. Speaking with an experienced Sacramento dog bite attorney can ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP represents dog bite victims and their families throughout California. We have offices in 15 locations, including Sacramento, Bakersfield and San Bernardino. For more information on filing a dog bite injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658.