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« Is the tide shifting? | Main | Everyone love parades »

March 10, 2007

Comments

Marjorie Darby

Yeah...I saw the video of the theft on Yikers, a few days ago. It was just awful. I can't imagine the kinds of "people" who would do something like that. The puppies (and people!) were terrified. And the way the thugs just tossed those dogs into the bag? It makes my stomach turn whenever I think about it. Heartless monsters.

Good breeders don't advertise because they don't need to. Their scrupulously bred little ones are so desirable in the knowledgeable dog community, they have waiting lists.

Backyard breeders and puppy mills are the ones filling up newspaper and Internet classified ads. Caveat emptor.

Yorkshire Terriers, by the way, are on the list of breeds that have bitten, attacked, maimed, and killed people. At least one insurance company won't cover homeowners with these dogs because they consider them an unacceptable risk of a dog bite claim.

Brent

Yes, I'm certain that at least one fatality has been caused by a Yorkie. What people fail to understand about "dangerous dogs" is that size doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with it. With 30+% of casualties being infants under the age of 2, size of dog has little to do with the damage it can cause to a youngster.

Marjorie Darby

Which brings me to a point I often make about the Fairfield, IA restrictions on dogs over 100lbs. Only a small fraction of bites, attacks, maimings, and fatalities are caused by dogs over 100lbs; leaving nearly all the dogs who bite, attack, maim, and kill unaffected by such restrictions.

Sound like a good plan?

Of course, that law was invented and passed by adults who concoct all sorts of implausible scenarios in their heads. They imagine that a vicious dog attack will come when they're walking down the street with one of their precious, precious, precious children; and the monster will be 175lbs of snarling, slobbering, almost satanic, brute force; dragging its misguided owner down the street as he/she pleads, "He's friendly!"

These people imagine that if the attacking dog was a Pomeranian, they could "fight it off". (I've heard that "fight it off" comment so many times, it makes me want to laugh in their faces, it's so ludicrous.)

In reality, most people are bitten, attacked, maimed, and killed by their own dogs, or that of a relative or neighbour...not strange dogs out in public.

Less than 1% of bites involve a supervised dog in a public place.

In reality, most people are b/a/m/k by small to medium sized dogs.

And, as you point out, it is the size (or frailty) of the victim, rather than the dog, that best predicts severity of injury, should an attack occur. Most dog bite victims are children, or the elderly. (One senior was minding her own business, in her own home, when a neighbour's at-large Labrador Retriever and Dachshund somehow found their way inside and mauled her so badly she was in a coma by the time they took her to hospital.)

Healthy adults are rarely seriously injured by dogs. And when they are, invariably the culprit is a dog they know (and know is dangerous). Most often, it is their own dog.

In Canada, at least, the risk of being killed by a dog that isn't your own is practically zero. (With few exceptions, nearly all the dog "stranger" dog fatalities have involved stray or sled dogs on native reserves in remote areas.)

Brent

Which is exactly why I think all of the desires to do muzzling laws are so ridiculous. It's almost never the person who's out taking their dog for a walk that is the problem. All muzzling does is make sure that the dog doesn't get as many good walks, that it's not well exercised, and actually creates a potential problem when there really wasn't one. It's not like the escape-artist dog is going to slip on its muzzle on its way out the door...

Meanwhile, as for fraility being a key factor, the woman that was attacked by a dog and died in KCK last year that was the cruxt of all of our issues here locally actually died of a heart attack...none of the dog bites were considered lethal. So yeah, frality plays a huge role. Although, that doesn't take away the responsibility that the deadbeat dog owner (that had abandoned the property and let the dogs fend for themselves) and the KCK AC (who took repeated phone calls from the woman about the dogs on property that had already had 2 previous citations for cruelty and starving a dog to death but never came because she never said the words "pit bull") for their role in her death.

Caveat

Wow, I didn't know that much about the old woman who died in KC (I did know about the heart attack). It really comes back to enforcement, doesn't it?

As for small dogs being 'safe', I spotted that as nonsense when I was a kid.

If they open an artery, you are in serious trouble. If they have rabies you are too. A bite of any size can become very infected, which is the greatest risk with animal and human bites.

A lunging snapping dog of any size is scary. If a Chihuahua was bombing towards me with intent to attack, I would just wait for him to get me - I'd be up on a chair or out the door lickety split.

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