Friday, October 15, 2010

Canine Profiling

Tonight's news told a story of a 6 month old puppy that had to be put down after a pit bull attack in a park. The puppy was on a leash and being trained by his owner. He asked the pit bull owner if the dog was safe to play with and that owner said it was. Sadly it wasn't and it critically mauled the puppy. "Men couldn't pry the pit bull's mouth open after it locked onto the puppy."
A blue tick coonhound puppy was so badly injured in a prolonged attack by a pit bull terrier that it had to be put down.
Three men used a baseball bat in an attempt to pry six-month-old Jet from the jaws of his attacker, but the pit bull only gave up when bear spray was blasted in its face.
By then, Jet was bleeding from the mouth, "had a tear in its back leg, a bad gash down the front and its left shoulder broken in two places and torn open," said Jim Scott, father of Jamie, the puppy's owner.
Police are investigating Thursday evening's attack, which happened after Jamie took Jet, his first dog, to Rudd Park in Saanich. He was holding the puppy on a 10-metre rope to practise basic commands.
Jamie noticed another man throwing a ball for a pit bull.
"I asked him is yours safe to play and he said 'yes'," Jamie, 27, said Friday.
The two dogs sniffed. The other man threw the ball and the pit bull retrieved it and brought it back. But when Jet picked up the ball, the pit bull lunged on him.
"He was submissive because he doesn't know how to fight," Jamie said.
"The other dog grabbed onto his chest and was pulling his chest off. There was a five-inch by four-inch gaping wound on his chest."
The owner of the pit bull laid on his dog trying to unlock its jaws but to no avail.
Jamie tried kicking the dog, then a neighbour brought a baseball bat.
Jamie called Jim, who lives close by, while others called police and the pound.
Jamie got Jet away from the other dog, but because the pit bull was not wearing a collar, it slipped out of its owner's grasp and attacked again.
"It grabbed my dog's front leg and broke it, then went for its face and neck," Jamie said.
A motorist stopped to help, taking the baseball bat.
"But the jaw was so shut, there was no way to get the bat inside [to pry it open]," Jamie said.
"There were three grown men trying to get a pit bull to break its grip and it just wouldn't."
Jim arrived with bear spray, which he blasted into the pit bull's mouth and nose.
"It let go of my dog and my dog started walking away on a broken leg but he didn't get far — he collapsed in front of the pit bull owner's van," Jamie said.
The pit bull was muzzled and taken away by staff from Saanich pound.
Jamie took Jet to a veterinarian but the dog's injuries were extensive and he was put down.
"He's really playful and was never away from me," Jamie said. "He was starting getting into his role as a dog, turning into a really loyal, good dog."
The pit bull was put down late Friday afternoon with the owner's permission, Jaimie said after receiving word from pound officers.
The same dog was involved in a previous attack earlier this year in Victoria, said Sgt. Dean Jantzen of Saanich police.

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This story saddens and horrifies me. And I think if something so horrendous happened to me, I'd probably need sedation for a couple of weeks. But let me tell you that I have long been cautious of where I take my dogs and that times that I'm out with them. After 20+ years of dog ownership and daily walks, I have have seen a lot and have plenty of stories about being ambushed by loose dogs during daylight hours and often while the owners are present. As well, many owners feel no need to even apologize for the inconvenience and trauma they have put me or my dogs through. And like Kim Rossmo or Gavin de Becker, who have developed criteria for criminal profiling, I have developed my own rules for canine profiling. For example, the other day as Eco and I we were walking I saw a lady with a husky wearing a halti (or gentle leader). Now in my experience, the huskies I have met have been very nippy dogs and at first I wasn't sure if it was a muzzle or a halti, so Eco and I pulled off to the side of the path, and let them past. The owner assured me her dog was safe, but there were enough little signs to cause me to be cautious. Maybe her dog was safe, but I am going to do everything I can to keep my dog for as long as I can and without unnecessary wounding.

Fellow dog lovers, I hope that a situation like the one above never happens to you, and I hope that it never happens again. I am not going to ban the breed, as it were, but I will continue to maintain that bad people have bad dogs and I hope that one day people can become more responsible pet owners.

And maybe one day things like Stephen Colbert's March to Restore Sanity will really do just that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is very sad. Our vet warned us also about our dog park and Pitbulls. I can't Imagine losing Domino that way. There was a warning notice at our park about a certain type of collar on dogs that caused them to strangle a dog that was just playing with another dog.