Last updateFri, 04 Jul 2014 5pm

Pro BSL Experts

Alan Beck

Denver BSL Expert Alan Beck
How Does He Justify Breed Specfic Legislation? 

Deposition of Alan Beck
Part I

There are only a few credentialed experts who are in favor of BSL. By far the most well known is Alan Beck. He appears for the City of Denver in the Dias litigation. I previously published a snippet of his deposition testimony in the case. I can now provide you, for your reading pleasure, his entire 157 page deposition. Click on the link above.

You probably won’t be interested in wading through it, and if so, you can read his report (much shorter) here.

I will publish just a few excerpts to give you the flavor of his testimony. The excerpts have been edited. The letter T followed by a number indicates that page upon which the testimony can be found.

The first part of the deposition is, of course, a recitation of his qualifications. There are then some general questions intended to establish the importance of the human animal bond, then a discussion of risk factors in fatal dog attacks: Breed, socialization, size, gender, sexual status, environment, victim age and behavior. There is an admission that the early studies did not come up with breed as a factor. Beck says that around the 90’s pit bull registrations went up and breed fatalities began increasing. Countries and cities started enacting BSL. Why the increase in attacks?

(T)he more I think about it, it must just be an increase in the dog’s popularity. T40

Q: Is chaining a causal factor for serious and/or fatal attacks? T42
A: (I)t’s not a major factor from what I remember.

Q: Abuse of a dog, is that a factor? T42
A: I don’t know if they had that kind of data.

Q: Do you know whether intact animals was factor that correlated more highly than did breed? T44
A: I’m not sure if they even studied it that way. I don’t remember seeing data that way. I don’t remember.

Q: (B)reed was determined in the CDC study via newspaper accounts. There was no independent verification by the researchers about breed; is that true? T48
A: As far as I know. I’m not understanding how you could even verify that.

Q: Are you familiar with Karen Delise’s work? T48
A: Yes I am…
Q: And are you aware that she’s attempted to do exactly that?
A: I’m aware of it, and I don’t agree with it….When you have an unskilled interviewer you really get lousy data.

Q: You feel like (The CDC study) was solid science? T49
A: It’s as solid as anything that gets published in a journal of the American Medical Association.

A: (W)ith the data they had, the CDC came out with a judgment that…….60 percent of fatalities from one breed is not – It is important. T53

Q: It actually was not 60 percent of the fatalities for one breed though was it? T54
A: (C)an I look?... pit bull was 43 percent.

OK, enough heavy lifting for one night. Tomorrow we'll tackle the next 50 pages, and I assure you it will be entertaining.


Colleen Lynn Changes the Story of Her Dog Bite, Again

Lynn Continues the "Mythology" of Her Dogbite Story
by Asserting the Dog Broke Free and Attacked

We previously did an in-depth analysis of the mythology of Colleen Lynn's dog bite, which can be read in its entirety here. If you haven't read it yet, do so. It will open your eyes to what we called the evolution of a preventable accident to the myth of a vicious pit bull attack. It will also give you a context in which to understand this article.

After our story was reported, (DBO) described the attack as follows:


(screen shot from DBO, Nov. 16, 2013; as of the date of this article's publication, this is is still the official account). Note that in this version, the pit bull is leashed. And yet, despite this well thought out description of the "attack"  on the DBO website, Ms. Lynn cannot fight the temptation to retreat back to the myth that she created before our report. In an article published November 15, 2013, Ms. Lynn states to a reporter:


I have stopped counting the versions of the attack Ms. Lynn has told since the original incident, and the inconsistencies from one account to another. We should point out that the startled dog in her case did immediately let go. But really, all of these matters are covered in our previous report.

You would think that Ms. Lynn could at least, at this point, keep her story consistent with that reported with calm calculation on her own website. Apparently not. Here, in two screenshots, one can see the stark difference in the story that was carefully crafted for her website, and the emotional discussion with a reporter where she could not resist reverting back to the original "story" she told to create the mythology of the incident.

Such a cavalier attitude towards the truth infects not only Lynn's  own dogbite story, but DBO's statistics, legal analysis and reports of the sucess of breed-discriminatory legislation.



Colleen Lynn Quietly Admits Breed Bans Don't Serve Public Safety But Wants Them Anyway Quietly Admits Reality of Breed Bans

Colleen Lynn, in an interview you can read in full here, quietly admits what we have known all along: that breed bans don't serve to decrease all dogbites. The relevant part of the article states:

Lynn agrees with arguments that breed-specific laws do not reduce the number of dog bites. But she stresses the need for pit bull bans anyway. "It's not meant to lower all dogbites in a city," Lynn said.

She goes on to say that she wants them anyway. This is the first time I have seen this admission from Lynn. She and her supporters have previously taken the position that breed discriminatory legislation does work to increase public safety, and not just decrease pit bull bites.  In an interview with Debra Bresch and again a few weeks ago in a Huffington Post roundtable discussion, Lynn has cited the San Francisco experience to make her point. And she has continued to make the argument despite the fact that there is no real conclusive evidence that breed bans reduce all dog bites. In fact, the data reveals just the opposite. Brent Toellner, who runs KC Dog Blog, has looked at the numbers from almost every place from which he could obtain data. In nearly every case where breed discriminatory legislation has been enacted overall dog bites have not decreased. This includes the UK, Denmark, Omaha, Sioux City, Ohio, and Aurora. We all know about Spain and the Prince George County Task Force. There are other failures too numerous to mention here, but suffice it to say that there is overwhelming authority to support the premise that breed bans do nothing for overall safety with respect to all dog bites.

Lynn's admission then, serves to underscore the fact that she is not out for overall public safety with her breed ban agenda, which is a major part of the mission statement. In fact, if you listened to her Huffingtonpost interview, you wouldn't even know breed bans were the main thrust of her work. In that interview she stressed mandatory spay neuter of pit bulls as her goal. 

It seems that the core breed ban position of and Lynn's public statements are at odds. But like any politician, it appears Lynn calibrates her message depending on the audience. It may be that this change in position is intended to give her credibility when she preaches outside of the choir. We shall see.