Why we dont allow pit bulls or other dogs labeled aggressive by our insurance company in Twin Oaks RV park

We recently expanded our dog park and made it a great place to let your fur babies run and play! We also plan to add a dog wash area so that you can give your dog a bath during your stay at Twin Oaks. This dog park is here for the enjoyment of all of our guests, however, we must lay down some rules so that everyone has a good time. For example, we dont allow pit bulls or other dogs labeled aggressive by our insurance company in Twin Oaks RV park – ever.

First, never assume that a dog already running around the dog park is ready for a new friend to join him. Always ask the current user’s owner if it’s safe to join in or should you wait until they finish. Second – pick up after your dog! Do not leave dog poop for others to step in. There is a can and shovel in the dog park to make it very easy to pick up and dispose of your dog’s droppings – no matter how small. And lastly, know that certain breeds are simply never allowed in the park. For insurance reasons, we send the following disclaimer with every reservation email confirmation.

“Animals must be kept on a leash at all times and may not be left unattended at campsite. Animals may not be tethered to utility fixtures, picnic tables, trees or fences; this is illegal in Georgia. Dogs can run free in the fenced in dog run with your supervision. Animal waste must be picked up by the pet owner. Certain breeds of dogs are not allowed to stay at our park due to our insurance restrictions. These include; breeds collectively known as Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Presa Canarios, Chow Chows, Wolf-hybrids, Cane Corsos, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Doberman Pinschers and Akitas.”

Of these, we get the most pushback from pit bull owners, so we want to clarify. First, there is no actual breed called a ‘pit bull’. Pit bull is more or less a catchall term for a collection of breeds and/or dogs that ‘look’ like these breeds. (Truthfully, you know who you are.) 

There are four breeds that fall under the “pit bull” umbrella:

  • The American Pit Bull Terrier
  • The American Staffordshire Terrier
  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • The American Bully

The most common breed is the American Pit Bull Terrier. A cross between terriers and bulldogs, American Pit Bull Terriers were first brought to the United States in the late 1800s from Staffordshire, England. They later became the symbol of American strength and courage during World War I. After that, there is much argument about what happened. Many say the dogs were mistreated, bred to fight, and starved in order to encourage them to tear up small animals for food. But by and large, pit bull owners are very defensive of their dogs and often insist that their pit is a ‘British nanny’ pit. For every pit bull injury, there are several pit bull owners defending the gentleness of their personal pit. They are very defensive when they find that we dont allow pit bulls in the park.

Chart shows the rate of fatal dog bites from pit bulls

Unfortunately, we have to operate with cold, hard data and the chart above tells the story. Pit bulls were responsible for over 70% of fatal dog bites in 2018. Period. No debate. The other breeds – mixed breeds, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dogos and the rest – are a far cry from the pit bull stats. And yes, insurance companies use statistics to evaluate risk. For example, Fords are involved in far more fatal crashes than any other brand – 22% of all fatal crashes in fact, and Texas has far more auto fatalities than any other state, so if you drive a Ford and live in Texas, you will fork over bags of money for car insurance. It’s the same with dogs – risk is defined by statistics – not on a case by case basis. (Although auto insurers are now using great little devices to evaluate your driving style for which you get some credit! Maybe someone will one day invent a gizmo to measure a pit bull’s aggressive brain activity – but until then, all we have is data.) My advice? Drive a Subaru, live in Utah and own a golden retriever, but I digress…

Of course, there are anomalous stories of other breeds that inflict serious, sometimes fatal damage. According to dogsbite.org, ‘The most controversial cases in 2019 did not involve pit bulls. Last year proved to be a year when certain dog breeds, which infrequently inflict fatal attacks, did so, including Doberman pinschers, two coonhounds and a pair of rescue great danes. All of these dogs fatally attacked their owner.’

“Pit bull bites were implicated in half of all surgeries performed and over 2.5 times as likely to bite in multiple anatomic locations as compared to other breeds.”

Characteristics of 1616 Consecutive Dog Bite Injuries, July 2016

In 2009, a 5-year retrospective review of 551 pediatric dog bite victims at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. When breed was known (269 cases), pit bulls were responsible for 51%.1 In 2011, a 15-year retrospective review of 228 dog bite victims at University Hospital, a level 1 trauma center in south Texas, was published in the Annals of Surgery. This study went further, examining pit bull injuries versus injuries by all other breeds. The study concluded “Attacks by pit bulls are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs. Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the US mortality rates related to dog bites.”

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a pediatric level I trauma center in Georgia adds, “Our data were consistent with others, in that an operative intervention was more than 3 times as likely to be associated with a pit bull injury than with any other breed. Half of the operations performed on children in this study as well as the only mortality resulted from a pit bull injury. Our data revealed that pit bull breeds were more than 2.5 times as likely as other breeds to bite in multiple anatomical locations.”

In the 14-year period of 2005 through 2018, canines killed 471 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 66% (311) of these deaths. Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers contributed to 76% of the total recorded deaths.

dogsbite.org

Of course, there are many websites and organizations defending pit bulls and owners insist that these dogs are gentle spirits unless they are ‘trained’ to be aggressive. Breaking the Pit Bull Stigma: A History of the “Nanny Dog” is one that reinforces the magical thinking that ‘your’ pit is a good pit – in fact, a ‘nanny’ for your children – and all is well.

César Felipe Millán Favela, a Mexican-American dog trainer with over 25 years of canine experience who is widely known for his Emmy-nominated television series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, says pit bulls will continue to have fighting explosions because they have no limit in their brain – essentially no stop signal. Pain will actually increase their adrenaline.

Cesar Millan comments about pit bulls

And then there’s Judge Judy, who chastises pit bull owning defendants who end up in her courtroom, “Did you understand what I said to you? You chose this breed of dog knowing that if it turned on you, it could cause you or someone else serious physical injury. And you bought the dog knowing that and probably for that purpose.” Judge Judy will lay out the steepest fine allowed against you as will many other judges in courtrooms across America, so if you own a pit bull, you better carry some high-dollar liability insurance.

Bottom line though – Twin Oaks is a privately owned business. And although we are a pet-friendly park, it is our primary duty to provide a safe haven for our guests. Our insurance company has given us a list of dogs they deem as being dangerous to host in the park as statistically, they cause far more harm than other breeds. This list is shared with every reservation confirmation email that goes out to our guests. So, do not try to roll in here under the radar with a banned breed of dog.

We’re serious about this issue – our guests deserve to feel safe. The rules apply to everyone. Please, just follow our very simple guidelines regarding dogs. Do not bring a banned dog to the park. Keep all other dogs on a leash. Supervise them in the dog park. And clean up after them when they do their business. Do these things and all will be well with you and your dog at Twin Oaks RV Park!

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