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#PitbullDropOff is a heartbreaking trending hashtag - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

#PitbullDropOff is a heartbreaking trending hashtag

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Source: Pixabay Source: Pixabay

It's cold and cruel.

People Trolls on Twitter are using a hashtag called #PitBullDropOff. They say they are adopting pit bull breeds and taking them to shelters that euthanize animals to eradicate the dogs.

They say pit bulls are inherently dangerous and destroying the pets actively protects children.

There are many problems with these claims. The first is the term "pit bull," which is broadly used to describe several breeds, like the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Bully and the American Bulldog.

Another problem is statistics and reporting. There is no database of every dog bite that has happened. A dog bite from a Chihuahua may not need medical attention, and likely wouldn't appear in a media report.

DogsBite.org is often cited as a source showing that pit bulls are responsible for 66 percent of deadly dog attacks, but their data appears to use media reports and criminal filings. They openly advocate for a pit bull ban.

There are no comprehensive numbers about how many people have been bitten by certain breeds of dogs.

The American Temperament Test Society measures the aggression, protectiveness, stability and other characteristics of breeds. The test simulates a walk through a neighborhood with various stimuli, and failing means unprovoked aggression, panic or strong avoidance. Staffordshire Bull Terriers pass over 90 percent of the time. American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and American Bulldogs pass the test upwards of 85 percent of the time. Basenjis and Chihuahuas passed less than 70 percent of the time.

A study called "Breed Differences in Canine Aggression" from 2008 indicated pit bull breeds scored higherin aggression toward other dogs. They scored the same as Chihuahuas, but below Akitas.

It is not clear if people claiming to participate in the #PitBullDropOff are actually following through. Some sites are claiming that it is a hoax that originated on the controversial site 4chan.

In reaction to the misguided movement, #PitBullPickup is trending, with people sharing cute photos of their house pets. Let's take a look at those:

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