Unfairly or not, pit bulls have developed a reputation for being extremely aggressive canines, as one cat in New York found out to its chagrin. This video might be upsetting to some viewers, but it also shows just what these dogs are capable of.
While the pit bull is attacking the feline, a crowd gathers to try prying its jaws free. One even suggests trying to pull open the dog's lips and swapping a hard object in place of the cat. (A less diplomatic method of extraction is applying 'intolerable pressure' to the attacking dog's eye sockets.)
What is remarkable about the video, beyond the crowd's panic at not knowing how to get the dog off the poor cat, is that the pit bull's owner casually walks away as if nothing wrong happened after the incident. Never mind the vet bills, right?
Luckily, it appears from the video that the cat will survive the attack.
Statistics published at DogsBite.org estimate that in 2014, pit bulls were responsible for 64% of all dog bite fatalities against humans, although pit bulls make up just 6% of the U.S.' canine population. The second most deadly breed, rottweilers, were estimated to be responsible for 10% of all fatalities; just four deaths, compared to pit bulls' twenty-seven in that year.
Some communities have responded to pit bulls' aggressive reputations by outright banning them from the area.
So, are pit bulls deserving of their aggressive reputation, or are such attacks unrepresentative of an overwhelmingly calm and much-maligned breed?