When I was creating my personal list of honorees for National Pit Bull Awareness Month, Karen Delise was one of the very first people that came to mind, and I’m excited to put the spotlight on her today.
When I asked Karen what inspired her to start the National Canine Research Council, she responded:
I originally founded the NCRC in response to the incredible amount of inaccurate information being reported on dog bites, dog attacks and breeds of dogs. During my 20 years of researching dog bite-related fatalities, I noticed the media rarely reported all the facts correctly, and more often than not, also left out important circumstances surrounding these incidents. This lack of information and misinformation has led to serious prejudice and discrimination against certain types of dogs. My mission for NCRC was to publish accurate, documented information about dog bites that would lead reasonable people to come to the same conclusion that I have come to: that ALL types and breeds of dogs are incredibly tolerant and safe and only on the rarest occasion are dogs involved in human fatalities.
Few people have done more to correct the misinformation and provide accurate facts and statistics about dog attacks than Karen. She painstakingly researches to make sure the information she provides is true and reliable, and she is always more than willing to provide her research and assistance to all those who need it. Before writing this, I went through five years of messages between Karen and myself. Whenever I had a question, she answered. Whenever I needed information, she provided it. And this is not something exclusive between the two of us. Karen makes herself available to anyone who seeks her help, and because the information she provides is so reliable, many people look to her for the real story behind the news headline.
As she noted above, Karen is the founder of the National Canine Research Council, and she is also the author of the books Fatal Dog Attacks: The Stories Behind the Statistics and The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression. Karen’s 20+ years of research and investigation have led to her being considered the nation’s leading expert on dog bite-related fatalities. During this time, she has been instrumental in shifting public attitudes toward canine aggression by focusing on reduction of risk through humane care, custody and control of companion dogs, as well as keeping the comparative risk of living with dogs in proper perspective.
There are many people, myself included, who have immense respect and admiration for Karen for the fact-intensive work that she does to give a voice to the truth behind the media spin about dog attacks. The results of her dedication and hard work are extremely valuable to all those fighting breed specific legislation and preserving the human-canine bond, and she is appreciated more than she could ever possibly know.
On behalf of Bless the Bullys and the National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign, thank you, Karen, for your tireless efforts to set the record straight. To put it in simple terms…YOU ROCK!!!