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« Breed ID is easy, and causes of dog attacks -- more myth-busting | Main | Weekly Roundup - Week Ending 2/22/09 »

February 21, 2009

Comments

Jim Crosby

Another cool thing about Calgary...they have a special unit that investigates all aggressive incidents and prepares a behavioral profile of each incident. They are really state of the art-and I love every time I can spend time with them there. Hats off to Bill Bruce (I AM his southern evangelist!), Nikeae, and all the rest of the Calgary crew-thanks again for having me up to speak guys!

Dan

Chief Animal Control officer Bill Bruce in Calgary said it best. "Any animal that ends up in a shelter is there because the human end of the relationship failed." He is speaking in a broad sense, about not just the owners, but the service providers, the municipality, the community. And the costs are greater than money when you include tragedies such as preventable bites or cruelty to animals.

I think this pervades his whole philosophy, and is responsible for the stats in your post today. That community is lucky to have him in a position of being able to direct resources.

thanks for posting this

Selma

They have a fabulous facility and the best-equpped animal services personnel in North America.

Also, their program is completely funded by pet owners through licensing revenue.

Calgary is where it's at - I don't get why more places can't just accept it and adopt it instead of going the redneck route with 'breed' (ha ha) related laws and other failed ideas.

IndyElmer

This news could not have come at a better time. I can't wait to tell the Indianapolis City-County Council all about it :o)

Tyson

As a dog trainer we come across aggressive dogs from time to time in which proper socialization and positive training can overcome these social problems.

When dealing with aggressive dogs it is very crucial to use positive training. A new website has been launched called www.MyDogSpots.com which lists dog services that use positive training methods. So if anyone is in need of a trusted dog service, that is the place to go.

bata

we dont want low rate, what we want is 0 rate, so get rid of all those bully dogs.

bata

for all of you pitbull lovers, maybe in the back of your mind, you have a little guilt for every time you heard or read a person being attack by your so called loving dogs. Why this victims have to suffer just for your selfishness, just to make you look tough. Is it worth it?

Brent

Bata,

There is some inherant risk with everything. Bathtubs, swimming pools, latters, cars, electricity, playground equipment, beds, food, stairs, etc all come with some level of risk -- and all cause significantly more serious injuries and fatalities than dogs. We accept the risk because the risks are deemed to be fairly small compared to the value we get from these things.

The only way to get to a zero rate would be to get rid of dogs altogether - -and because of the value they provide to our lives (as service dogs, working dogs, companionship, and statistically, people who own pets live longer than people without) we have determined they're well worth the very low risk they provide.

I hate seeing any person bitten by any type of dog. But in all cases there are causes that led to the bite -- and the case study in Calgary has shown that when cities focus on responsible pet ownership, and focus on the root causes of dog bites -- and not breeds -- they are infinitely safer than places that focus on breeds. Science, trainers, veterinarians and experts all note that breed is not a determining factor in major attacks -- and when people like you try to make it about breed, you create ignorance, which leads to bites.

bata

Ignorance? I think people like you should really be educated about dogs. Dogs are dogs, no one knows what their dogs think, as every person doesn't really know what on their mind. Yup your dog does obey your commands, but why? then you think your in control. The thing is, I wrote this comments because We are on the other side of the story, We are the possible victims, and seeing the aftermath of the attacks will never make you think twice, why you don't want this animal around. Is that worth the satisfaction this dogs gives you?

Brent

Bata,

Here's the thing, dogs are among the safest animals in existance. While anything is a possibility, the statistical chance of you or I being killed or even badly mauled by a dog are just tiny - -because dogs are by nature, incredibly safe. There are 78 million dogs in this country -- approximately 25 will kill someone this year (and another 1000 or so will cause serious harm). Automobiles on the other hand will kill 45,000 people and significantly injure another 50,000 or so. And yet we think the satisfaction we get from automobiles is worth it.

I write a LOT about dog attack stories on this blog -- and I pay a lot of attention to the circumstances surrounding the attacks because I do think knowing those will help us to further minimize the number of such attacks. The circumstances that surround major dog attacks almost always include one or more of the following:

1) A newborn child that is left unattended with a dog.

2) A toddler-aged child that will wander away from home unattended and up to a strange dog (often tethered). Or, in some way injures a dog in a home (often by falling or jumping on the dog) and the dog lashes back.

3) A dog that is unsocialized and left tethered as its primary form of containment and either someone comes up to the dog or the dog breaks its chain.

4) A dog is used primarily for guarding purposes.

5) And while less common, the other cause is two dogs getting into a fight and someone being badly injured in the middle of breaking up the fight between their two dogs.

And this is one of the main reasons I started this blog -- I started it because I want to educate people on why these attacks happen -- focusing on the why, not the what. And the sooner we get our conversations focused correctly, the sooner we will make improvements in dog bite safety -- even though dogs are already incredibly safe.

bata

How safe? Have you read the ordeal of the victims? 1 victim is enough, because this victims doesn't deserve what happens to them, right blame the owners, but we can blame more on the supporters of this dogs because they are the reason why this irresponsible owners can have this dog. As if not anyone can have a gun. Have you seen that show when good pets gone bad? That fat lady uses her dog to attack an officer. The point is people can use this animal as a weapon, and How you can assure that this animal cannot be use as a weapon? Just like guns, there should be a regulation, training or maybe psychological evaluation from a professional. And please don't use the statistic, statistic wont save you, if you mention statistics, still there is a percentage of at least 1 victim. What we want is 0%.

Lori

Bata -- if you are making you proclamations strictly from an emotional position, there is no reasoning with you. To get to a 0% risk of any human being seriously mauled or killed by dogs, we have to get rid of all dogs.

You're correct that victims of dog attacks inflicting serious bodily injury suffer greatly both during the attack and recovery and some suffer significant, lasting, disfiguring or disabling injuries. However, that is also true of victims of serious automobile accidents -- a much more common risk.

Your fear of dogs that look a certain way appears to have disabled your ability to logically reason.

Brent

Yes, there are a few people like the woman from your TV show that are bad owners that will used their dog for protection purposes (see #4 on my previous comment)..and if this is someone's agenda, then there are a whole host of dog types they can use. The important thing to note is that these people are a tiny fraction of the percentage of dog owners out there -- and while it makes for entertaining TV, it certainly isn't reflective of the largest majority of dog owners.

This is one of the big reasons why trying to mandate certain ownership requirements (like training requirements) fails. While enforcemnet officers use a vast majority of resources making sure everyone complies, it uses a huge amount of resources that are then not being used on the small number of people who are problems in the first place. So the misplaced resources end up making things worse, not better (for an example, click on "Omaha" in my category cloud on the left). This is why reckless owner laws and targeting reckless owners is a far better method for dealing with the problem.

I think it's interesting that you compare dogs to guns. In Kansas City, MO which I think is a fairly typical city and probably worse than a lot because we have fairly high poverty rates and many of our wealthier neighborhoods are in suburbs (many of which are in a different state), we haven't had a dog attack fatality in more than 35 years - -however, over 100 people every year are shot and killed with guns. Which should I spend time and resources regulating (and enforcing?)

As Lori noted, zero is not an option. There is absolutely nothing in our lives that poses zero risk. Everything has some risk...and while we do have to be responsible and manage the risks as best we can, we have to keep a realistic expectation that everything has at least some risk -- and dogs are safer than almost everything else. While this doesn't minimize the tragedy for these families that suffer losses, it is impossible to remove tragedy from our lives.

PAMM - People Against Madd Mothers

1 victim is enough?? Then YOU bata have to go. Humans are the most dangerous animals on the planet. 2000 children die each year from abuse/neglect and most at the hands of their parents.

http://www.childdeathreview.org/causesCAN.htm

Lori

Brent, I seem to have not gotten a screen shot or PDF version of the linked Herald news article saved to my computer. Do you happen to have a copy that I could use in an e-mail?

Brent

Lori, I didn't snag one either. If the link doesn't work, I don't have it...

Fayclis

I see some of the dogsbite people have been commenting and spreading their usual fear mongroling. FACT is that Calgary IS the most successful city in all of North American and they don't discriminate and profile based on appearance. WAY TO GO CALGARY. Now if the HUMAN race would end their stereotying the WORLD and everyone in it would be such a better place.

Brent

Of course they have. While they continue to say they are for "public safety" they continue to belittle cities that actually are producing better public safety because they're doing it without breed bans -- all the while supporting breed bans which have not shown themselves to create more safety.

If we're really interested in improving public safety, then let's look at the cities that do it well and model them -- vs trying to decide what we think will work and then try to force feed them as successful.

H. Denim

Open discussion can always be insightful, but at the same time dogs are still dogs and do not think logically. They live on instinct and instinct alone. When a dog draws blood on a human or other animal there is no discussion required! The dog must be put down!!! We can discuss until the cows come home and it will not change the laws of nature.

Brent

Disagre Denim. There are a lot of factors that go into a dog bite. For instance:

1) what were the circumstances of the bite? Was the dog threatened? Injured? Was it an intruder?

2) How severe was the bite? Was it a warning bite? A deep wound? An all out attack?

Decisions on the dog's euthanasia should be made based on the circumstances and the severity of the wound.

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