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Re “Dog Days” (11/23):
Adrianne Lefkowitz of the American Dog Owners Association unwittingly damages her larger cause in complaining about Prince George’s County’s statistics that apparently show that the county’s pit-bull ban is effective. She claims that P.G.’s reduction in pit-bull bites from 1996 (95 bites) to 2000 (59 bites) is a total arrived at with flawed datathat is, that “[n]ot all types of pit bulls outlawed under the statute were included in the dog-bite figures.” If those types of pit bulls are included in the data, she maintains, then the bites in 2000 number 81, or a solid (to her) 85 percent of the 1996 total.
Leaving aside her weak contention that a 15 percent reduction in bites is relatively insignificant, I would observe that what Lefkowitz appears to be saying is that the excluded dogs, whose acquisition has been banned in P.G. for five years, would have been responsible for rocketing up the official 2000 pit-bull bites by more than one-third, from 59 to 81. That seems to indicate that the county is acting pretty sensibly in banning those breeds, a point I’m sure Lefkowitz didn’t mean to convey.