FOX Files – Blaming Pit Bulls Breeds Bad Laws

FOX Files
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Even the experts can’t tell by looking. You probably don`t know what a pit bull is.  You might think you do, but we’re about to prove you wrong.  Investigative reporter Chris Hayes shows you first hand, with a test you can take yourself and how it`s leading to changes in laws across the country.

When dogs attack, people often say “it’s a Pit Bull!”

Fear sometimes leads to politicians banning the breed.  Now there`s a wave to reverse those bans, because people are finding out they`re wrong.  

Former veteran police officer Jim Crosby now exclusively investigates dog bites. He said, “I’ve evaluated 34 dogs that have killed human beings after the attacks.”

We Skyped with Crosby, who operates out of Jacksonville, FL.

People have, make assumptions based on what a dog looks like and they have an idea in their head that pit bulls have this huge bite strength and these locking jaws and for instance. (He shows us a skull and adds) This is actually the skull of a pit bull type dog that killed a human being.  People talk about pit bulls having locking jaws.  I`m sorry, I’ve got the evidence right here.  This jaw… does not lock.  There`s no locking mechanism.”

Crosby’s investigations compare a dog`s bite to a victim`s wounds.  He`s proven many people wrong.

There are dozens of breeds people picture in their minds when someone says ‘pit bull.’  We found a list of them, along with a pure bred pit bull, compiled by Missouri Pit Bull Rescue. Here`s what happened when we took the test to the street.

I asked Tom Schmidt, “Do think you know what a Pit Bull is?”
Schmidt responded, “Yes, it`s this guy right there. Oh, wrong”
His fiancé picked a Leopard Dog and then told us, “I thought they looked distinctive, that you could tell.”

But it doesn’t matter who you ask.  Even people work in dog shelters every day — they don`t know.

So we went to the top, “It looks like the make up of my shelter.”

If anybody would know, you might think it would be Randy Grim of Stray Rescue.   He said, “That`s why we call all the dogs terrier mixes and not Pit Bulls.”

He took the tests.  “I`m going to go with #22. Wow, I`ve never heard of it.”  Then he said, “I`ll tell you another one that looks like a pit to me would be #25.  OK, I`m wrong.”  Then Grim added, “This is why we shouldn’t have breed bans and we shouldn’t be so judgmental of the dogs and judge each one individually like we do each other.”

The tide’s turning against `Breed Specific Legislation,’ also known as BSL.  When we reported on a `Pit Bull roundup` in Sikeston, MO this past December, thousands of people responded from around the world.  Cities like Chesterfield and Wentzville have overturned Pit Bull bans.  And it`s not just animal rights groups speaking out.  The American Bar Association urges against breed specific laws.

Click here for our online poll and your results.

While our Fox2 test contained 10 dogs to chose from, the test we gave Grim and others in our report included more than 30.  We used this test for our TV report –  Missouri Pit Bull Rescue

Only a DNA test can tell you for sure. Randy Grim said they`ve taken DNA from several dogs they thought to be pit bulls.  He says they`ve rarely guessed correctly.  So imagine an animal control officer trying to enforce a breed ban.  Many governments are now changing laws to look at dangerous dogs in general, irrespective of breed.

Contact Investigative Reporter Chris Hayes:

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News