I just finished reading The Pit Bull Placebo, Karen Delise's new book, and I was not the least bit disappointed. Chock full of the serious research and amazing insight I've come to expect from Delise (also the author of Fatal Dog Attacks: The Stories Behind the Statistics), this new book was impossible for me to put down.
I strongly, strongly urge you - if you are truly interested in the hows and whys of the pit bull stereotype - to go out and get this book. There is currently no other book like it out there. Delise talks about the history of the "dangerous breed" mythology, examining newspaper reports about dog attacks starting in the mid-19th century. Back then, Bloodhounds were the popular "bad breed." From there, Delise traces the rise and fall of several villified breeds, ending with a fascinating refutation of all the ridiculous myths that now belong to the pit bull. Never in my life have I seen such a thorough scientific analysis of the "pit-bull-bites-are-like-shark-bites" myth - and I could not contain my glee over her conclusion, which oh-so-subtly suggests that anyone who makes such a claim is most likely out of touch with that thing we call reality.
Along the way, Delise delivers an unparallelled smack down to the "bad boys of BSL" (by which I mean Kory Nelson, Paul Wesselhoff, and all those other myth-spreading, pit bull hating, downright lying fear-mongerers) that sent me into an unstoppable euphoria. You tell 'em, Karen! Their hateful, unsubstantiated stereotypes may get five minutes of fame in the papers, but your book grants their words eternal recognition - as the moronic rantings that they are.
Of course there's much, much more to this book. I can't possibly cover all the things she discusses and do it very well; I keep coming up with more and more topics that this book tackles quite successfully and I'd rather not just rewrite Delise's book.
This is a fabulous book for pit bull owners, politicians, journalists, and... well, and just about anyone else who has any sort of interest in pit bulls. I'm afraid I simply cannot give it the rave review it so justly deserves, as the sheer joy and amazement and wonder which I felt as I finished the book left me virtually speechless. In fact, I was so overwhelmed that I could only say "Wow" for half an hour afterwards. A few days later, I am still trying, and failing, to communicate my endless respect and admiration for Delise and the insane amount of research she has done (so that we don't have to, honestly).
Go out and buy the book and read it for yourself, that's all I can say. I promise you will not be disappointed. You can buy it online: