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« Worcester's idea to put restrictions on 'pit bulls' becomes problematic | Main | Weekly Roundup - Week Ending 7/25/10 »

July 23, 2010

Comments

YesBiscuit!

The article says something about extended family living in the house. How did no one hear anything? I always ask this question because it does seem so unlikely to me that a kid being killed by dogs would be quiet. Maybe he was knocked unconscious at the start of the attack?
I've never been within earshot of a fatal dog attack to a human (*knock on wood*) but many years ago a pack of dogs mauled a Cocker Spaniel to death across the street from me. I was playing ball with one of our dogs in our yard at the time. I will never forget those sounds. They haunt me to this day.

Karen Delise

It never ceases to amaze me how "breed identifications" are created in cases like this.

This case is a perfect example.
The female dog (Sadie) was a dog of unknown genetics and origin as admitted to by the owner.

So, any breed identification of her is purely speculation.

Sadie then gave birth to the other two dogs suspected to be involved in the attack.

No one knows the sire of these two offspring.

It is amazing that while no one yet knows the origin of Sadie or the type of dog that sired her two offspring - yet ALL these dogs are identified as "pit bulls."

Clearly, all "identifications" on these dogs have been made by people who have NO knowledge of the genetics of any of these dogs.

CristyF

I notice in the beginning of this post it is mentioned that the dog killed a chihuahua prior to this incident, and I have a question. Why, because a dog has killed another animal, do we call it vicious? Many breeds of dogs were created over the centuries to aid us with hunting, some breeds were even created to hunt large game, such as lions, jaguars, and small bears. Some hunters do still use dogs, such as boar hunters (the dogs catch and hold on to the boar, then the hunter kills the boar), and those cute little terriers were bred to kill rats, and other small game, like badgers. These breeds still retain the instincts to hunt, and to a big dog, a chihuahua may be no different than a squirrel. Aggression to other animals DOES NOT equal aggression to people! They are completely separate things. For example, I petsit for three huskies now and then who will kill and eat critters in the yard. They are three of the sweetest dogs, and welcome every visitor wholeheartedly on to the property. I also know an APBT who is very dog aggressive, but he's never laid his teeth on a person, he's very sweet. I knew a lab who was very fear aggressive to other dogs, but is a big silly love bug with people. I could go on.

Certainly, if a dog is leash reactive, he may redirect on a person because he can't get at what he's reacting to, but he's not actually trying to hurt the person, and he doesn't actually want to hurt the person, he's just taking out his frustration on the nearest thing.

My heart goes out to this poor child who died due to his family's negligence.

Brent

Cristy,

I thought it was worth mentioning because the owner noted that he didn't trust the dog because it was aggressive -- which leads me to believe there were other warning signs beyond that.

Yes, there is a reality that most types of dogs were originally bred to hunt something - -rabbits, squirrels, vermin, birds, lions -- whatever. And I agree that aggression toward other animals doesn't always translate to people -- that said, I think we owe it to the dogs to be sure there is at least some level of tolerance for other animals, because one slip of a leash should not equal a tragedy of some type. Most dogs with work with professional trainers can be socilized to the point where there is at least some tolerance -- which is needed. Just managing around a situation is doable, but really not the best option in my opinion.

Lori

I just wanted to add that while I agree that dog aggression and prey-drive do not necessarily equate with agression towards humans, I wish more owners would take appropriate precautions (and/or work with a trainer to help desensitize the animal). A friend's dog was recently mauled (nearly to death) by a "territorial" pit bull type dog who simply broke through the screen that was separating him from the outside world.

Thankfully, the attack happened when it did rather than 90 seconds earlier when a small child had her arms wrapped around the lab who was victim of the attack. I can only imagine the headlines if the child had been hurt when the "pit bull" was "just" after the "intruding" stranger dog.

The homeowner of the attacking dog had allegedly told neighbors that he reinforced his garage door screen with a metal grate because of the "pit bull" but then they leave other screened egress points open/unreinforced?? Please, if your dog has high prey-drive (like mine does for cats) or is "territorial" (or DA) like this other dog, use extra precautions when you have doors or windows open!

CristyF

And that's the rub, isn't it Lori? If only people were more responsible with their dogs, so many of these things wouldn't happen. People shouldn't own carnivorous animals if they aren't prepared for what they can do. Rescue once had a dog returned because it killed the guinea pig. And they thought a dog with normal prey drive instincts wouldn't chase, catch and kill a small furry critter? We need to stop focusing on the fact that dogs have hunting drive, and start focusing on the humans that are allowing these dogs to practice these drives inappropriately.

Ginny Blair

My friends toddler was killed about two years ago in Pleasant Hill. She was at work and left the child with a babysitter, who took the child to a friends house who had a pit bull. The pit bull attacked the toddler in the presence of the baby sitter but she could not stop it. A pit bull who has never been aggressive can suddenly snap and kill.

J.M.

Sorry for your friend`s loss Ginny but dogs don`t suddenly snap and kill.
There`s always more to the story as you can see from the Final Investigations from 2009.
http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/2009-DBRF-Booklet-FINAL-11.pdf

We need to stop making this about Breed because as you can see from the Investigation into the Fatality of the 17 mo old in California there was more to the story and there was nothing to substantiate the Breed ID of the dog made by the Media at that time.

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