Thursday, June 19, 2014

I just saved my dogs life

Lucy says:

The pit bull across the street (a new one) darted across the street into my yard and started going after my Chihuahua and ran in side my house trying to catch her. I have this combo mace/alarm siren device and a knife I always carry on me. I deployed the siren, dropped the mace, opened up my knife. It was complete mayhem. Both of my daughters and my husband were trying to get the pitbull away from our Chihuahua. The pitbull then ran outside and the owner of the pitbull face planted on our driveway and was all bloodied from trying to get his pitbull under control. I stabbed it between the shoulder blades in the back, and it took off across the street back to his house with the bloody owner chasing it. I stood in the driveway and screamed at the top of my lungs. My husband told me to get into the house which I did. My girls came with me while my husband talked to the owner. I do believe that, this time, I was prepared. I managed to save my dogs life.
Roxanne, safe after the attack
Update: the owner of the Land shark that came into our house to attack our dog didn't know that I stabbed the beast until he read the police report today. He called the police to press charges against me and they said "Absolutely Not".

Update - the owner of the mauler that tried to kill Roxanne has concocted a story to peddle to social media:



 The all too predictable reaction from those eager to form a lynch mob:


Unfortunately this is quite typical after a pit bull goes on a killing spree. The pit bull owner paints himself and his mauler as victims, and spreads his own narrative. Lying comes to these people as easily as breathing comes to most of us. (Fortunately the post above was removed once the fraud was discovered - but the damage has been done)

The epidemic of pit bull violence against pets, livestock and companion animals is horrific, and getting worse every decade. Roxanne was blessed to have an owner who was ready and willing to defend her.

A close escape

The number of innocent animals mauled by pit bulls is simply heartbreaking. It's a welcome reprieve when a beloved animal companion survives such an attack. Here is one victim who survived.

It has been a year since my Yorkiepoo, Colette, was attacked by an unleashed bully breed dog. I'll never forget her screams while she was being attacked.




The attack was awful, but could have been much worse. I was walking my Yorkiepoo and Jack Russell terrier when two unleashed bully breeds (one American Bulldog and one Pit Bull) came at us. Luckily, the pit bull and my JRT just stood there, but the American Bulldog savagely attacked. I keep reminding myself that I was fortunate that Colette wasn't hurt worse (or killed), that the second dog didn't attack, that my JRT wasn't attacked and that my injuries were minimal. but it makes me hesitant to walk in a very nice neighborhood.

A recent picture of Colette.

Note - out of all canine attacks on animals, pit bulls appear to have committed no less than 95% of such attacks, an unprecedented level of violent aggression, but one which can be accounted for by the specific purposes for which pit bull type dogs were developed, and the specific resulting traits which define their genetic imperative.

See the study How many animals do pit bulls kill? for more information.



Monday, June 2, 2014

The Akita


Are you considering an Akita? Think again. Richard Gere gave this breed a boost in "Hachi: a dog's tale"  but this is no Retriever or Shepherd we're talking about. In order to properly care for one of these large, strong willed animals, you'll need to know exactly what you're dealing with. We came across this article on the now defunct dogster.com, and felt it was worth passing along. 

It really has been a long trek with me and the Akita, as for a long time they were on my secret list of breeds I could not stand. My very first childhood dog was part Akita, and while I loved him dearly his aggression was just a trauma to me....not merely that he had it, but HOW, which I would come to know to be rather Akita specific. I then went through an extended history of Akitas aggressing on my own dogs and on those of my comrades, and just for my own sensibility could not exactly connect with a dog who was so NOT a GSD.

For a working dog, I would like to see something more trainable and handler thirsty, thank you very much, and so for the longest time while those who I would review the breed for never would have guessed my personal feelings, there was no love lost between me and the Akita. He was a pretty face but a marauder, and stacked up against other breeds not worth much to me personally. 
Didn't like him. Didn't like him one bit. I didn't even admire anyone who liked him....I thought they were being sucked in by an impressive form and were just clueless to how dogs COULD be. 



That would change in, of all things, a shelter setting when I was asked to test out dominant dogs. And people were not too keen to mess with this staunch figure who did not bark, did not growl, did not flinch, but just in his stance lent the firm suggestion that he was packing heat and was not afraid to use it, but would not let you know when. I am also not only a wildlife rehabber but more to the point a stallion manager, and what I found was an animal strikingly reminiscent of the latter. Not the jiggy, over thirsty stallions, but the crested ones who were vats of confidence. The ones who would try to fake you out. 

And in time, we came to an understanding, the Akita and me, and he won my begrudging admiration. For in such a dank, depressing dungeon of chaos, with nothing left to hold onto, he would still stand proud. A sense of self and self assurance....science says animals do not have that, but they would do well to pull their faces out of books and stats....that belonged only to this dog. This defiantly proud animal, stuck in domesticity but never quite electing to bow. 


Now before I say a word more, to underscore this CLEARLY. They are adorable as puppies, they are stunning adults, and they are impressiveness on a leash....massive ego dogs. And massively overbred, milled to the gills. You will see many variations in Akita temperament. I have found some softer, I am found some affably outgoing, even some submissive. The Akita being spoken of here is what breeders go for, judges look for, and what breed fanatics revere most. THIS is the Akita in America when he is what his greatest supporters would expect him to be. Some would call the Akita dominant. To me, more aptly put, he is the personification of ALPHA. He is confident, contained and never out-stated. Drama and the Akita are often many miles removed. He is mysterious at times and can be hard to read. He does everything with self assurance....he doesn't rush in - he just responds. He is often intolerant of stranger dogs in his backdrop. I have more than a few times seen an Akita not show aggressive response until within strike range, and then it comes fast and hard. For he is not aggressive in a traditional sense - he is resolved, absolute, intent. He can, more than most, be intolerant of those messing around with his possession or his own sense of order. He is, infamously, intolerant of heavy or harsh handling, or being treated disrespectfully.

This is the romantic Akita, but it also can be the actual Akita. This is a niche breed who should be SO less popular than he is. Those who love him do so profoundly. A dog from quite a different culture, he is not a fawning or highly emotive dog, but he is intensely loyal to his family. He would defend them to the death, considers them his own, wants to be near them, and separates from them poorly. Rehomed as adults, Akitas can take a while to settle in.....this is a dog of discretion and they do not open their hearts carelessly. Once embraced by an Akita however, he is yours for life. And in death as well, much as Akita legend would show. To understand the Akita, cultural understanding is important, as is to function. There are many hats this breed has worn in his history, but I think the one that most defines him is a hunter of large game, which he pursued not only with determination, but also held at bay until the hunter could arrive. Now when it is a bear being held, should the dog back down he would likely get killed, but getting too riled up, also, would have escalated the situation and perhaps prompted the bear to strike. 



So in the Akita character, we do see a dog with lots of determination, an absoluteness of holding his ground and tremendous rates of confidence and self control. Many who are drawn to this breed find something reminiscent of the wolf in him and something primal....a "savage beauty." They also are able to enjoy some marvelous qualities the Akita can bring. One is that for all his size, he is not bursting with energy, has a marvelous in-home energy, is very tidy, and can be rather good at not being constantly underfoot. He is, in short, a superior house companion. He also has a vibrant, charming demeanor and an enthusiasm for life that brightens his personality tremendously, and is extraordinarily devoted to his people and his life. He is a protector and a guard dog who takes the matter of turf very seriously....an excellent breed for a sense of inner security....and yet is not a noisy animal. 

When an Akita barks, LOOK, for infrequently is he a random barker....he is not one to sweat the little things in life. Many of the other breeds considered for security and protection are considerably more reactive than this dog. These are qualities that partner well with our modern lives. As well, beauty is as beauty does, and this is an enormously intelligent breed and a true thinker. You may not always know his thoughts, but that he is always assessing and always aware is vividly clear. A very wise animal, he seldom does anything stupid and has a very knowing presence. It IS that presence that draws people. 

There is much Akita brings to the plate. Presence personified, he is one of the most loyal of all breeds, offers a distinct brightness and he is amazingly responsible. He has a great energy, is easy to live with and offers a tremendous sense of security and pride in ownership. I am sure Taz is destined to agree, however, that this is NOT the dog for an inexperienced owner. Akitas need a great deal of socialization. They need an owner who will ensure their world to not become too "small"...getting out with them frequently, having them experience many different situations, so that they will not define their territory lines too profoundly. And they need the experience of someone who knows how to be a calm, strong and effective leader. 

This breed is a total Goldilocks. If you are too soft with him he may well not respect you....and this is a dog who can be naturally driven, to function, to enforce his wont....and yet at the same time if you are too stern with him, he will not tolerate that, even if you are his beloved. There are very few breeds who are as infamous to their responses for overbearing handling....this IS a dog who will put you on the floor....but not having control of a dog so determined is an equally bad idea. He already loves you....now he wants to be sure you know what you are doing, that you do it well, and that you treat him with respect. A dog of very strong will and at times an achingly independent mind....far less a follower than many....the Akita is a training challenge where fairness, consistency and self assurance are paramount.


Those who connect with this breed can manage OB titles with him and even can turn him into a hunting dog and retriever. They also can do well in therapy work.  A good mentor is essential, as well as is a devotion to laying a good foundation down, always having control of your dog, and being someone worth listening to. 

The single greatest piece of sage Akita advice I can give is that an Akita WILL decide what is acceptable and what is not. If that sentence made you nervous, this breed may well be too much for you. 

The original article was found at this link, which may or may not remain available:

http://www.dogster.com/forums/choosing_the_Right_Dog/thread/625201#

Monday, May 26, 2014

Strategies for dealing with dangerous dogs next door

An anonymous reader sent these suggestions for dealing with maulers next door. This is a threat to be taken seriously as evidenced in tragic cases like those of  Klonda Richey and Juan Campos, not to mention the staggering number of innocent pets mauled to death in their own yards by invading pit bulls. We welcome comments, and if there is enough interest, we'll incorporate updates, improvements and refinements. 




First of all, get the neighbors on board.


Get as many neighbors to call in every single complaint they have, and send letters when needed. You cannot be the only one that wants the maulers gone. Make sure the owners get anonymous notes about their dogs being a threat, and let them know that every time their maulers leave the house someone is watching them, waiting to have them removed.

Do not harass them or be nasty, just let them know they are posing a threat and they will not be tolerated. Even the biggest jerk is bothered by a steady onslaught of complaints. REMAIN ANONYMOUS. There is power in this, as well as safety.


Keep in mind that if you engage these people directly, they may get violent. People have been shot and killed over this.


Stay safe. The owners are often as volatile as their grippers, and they frequently have anti social behaviors and criminal proclivities. Let the authorities handle them, and keep your actual names out of any actions.


You need the neighbors to be witnesses and write their own complaints about the dogs, so the sooner you organize them, they better. Just know most people are both lazy, AND hesitant to get involved. This may be the most frustrating thing. Head this off by offer to write the letters for them, as long as they agree with the content and are willing to sign it. The more people you can get to complain the better it is for you. Letters to the local newspaper can also help, if enough neighbors do it.



Secondly, approach the landlord or the property management company. 


Send the owners landlord a certified letter telling them all about the danger this dog poses, and list all of the attacks and escapes, plus any other witnesses. Make sure you include the bill for your dogs vet bills, with a detailed description of the wounds. Ask them for reimbursement, and ask who their insurance carrier is (you should already know this).

Let them know that they WILL be liable for any more attacks. Since they have been notified, if they do nothing to remedy the situation, it will be even worse for them financially if any attacks happen. Let them know that the average insurance claim for pit attacks is $500,000, with awards being much higher if a lawsuit is necessary.


Let them know that you understand their position, but that you cannot live in terror each day. Spell out clearly that your small children are in serious danger; they may have kids too. Be polite, be to the point, offer a way out: eviction. I would send it overnight, with a signature required for delivery.


Call the landlord and see if they are willing to do anything, and when this will happen. Make sure you wait until they get the letter. Be kind and polite, and make sure they know that they will be on the hook for any attacks from the maulers. If they are going to help, thank them profusely and tell them they are saving lives. People need to feel good

about doing the right thing.


Thirdly, approach their insurer.


Find the insurance carrier and send them a similar (but shorter, and more professional) letter. If you weren't paid by the landlord, make a claim. If you were paid, make sure they know this.

Tread carefully! Be advised that this step could result in the insurance company dropping the coverage.This could force the landlord to have the mauler removed in order to secure new insurance coverage, but it could also result in a victim being unprotected financially. Without insurance, victims can only get a judgement against the landlord, many years later, if you are lucky, with no guarantee of recovery.


To be fair, you may be unprotected anyway, as many carriers will not pay out for pit bull attacks. They are often not covered because of the inherent hazard. You can find out if they cover pit attacks BEFORE you let them know about the situation- if they don't, you might as well let them know, you have nothing to lose. If this is the case, also let that

landlord know that HE will be personally liable!


Fourth: Call the cops.


Engage the police department, and push for removal of the animal and for charges from the last attack (based on the pattern, which you MUST document carefully).

Call them about the dogs anytime you feel threatened, or they are lose, or trying to get loose/ ANY excuse to have them come out, you need a record of complaints. Be frank with them, some might actually help you. They may also be more apt to come with guns drawn if they know the dogs are likely to attack. This is good, one snarl and the grippers may be

dispatched.

Then send the Police/ Sheriff, and Animal Control, a letter with the same information, plus the dates of any complaints. Firmly request that the dog is removed, and remind them that they too have been informed, and when an attack on a human occurs, they may be considered responsible. They won't get hit financially, but people may lose their jobs or get suspended if the case is egregious enough. I wouldn't bet on this outcome, but it is still a good threat.


If the steps above just won't work, you might opt to go vigilante, in which case your legal covering will be shaky at best. But it is a matter of safety at this point, and I would call it self defense. (As a wise man once said, it's better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6.) The maulers will at some point "somehow" get loose and seize a human victim. Your children are in very real danger. If only I were kidding - but a pit bull attack is so sudden, and so violent that, even if you are right there, you may be unable to stop them. Your conscience must be your guide here in choosing between greater and lesser evils, for the greater good.


It would be best if you could see them at large, and record it on your cell phone. Then you can call the cops and tell them that you are in deadly situation, that they are violently aggressive and have killed before. When cops have to come out to take care of a pit bull running loose, things often escalate in such a way as to result in the removal of the threat.


Do not call animal control (aka, pit bull social workers), they won't help you, as they tend to be primarily concerned with trying to maintain a positive image for pit bulls. The police, on the other hand, see these attacks often enough they know to shoot to kill.


Of course there are other ways to rid the neighborhood of these killers permanently, but I don't think the owners of this site want anyone posting things that encourage harming any animal. It sickens me that it can come to this in order to keep people safe from these beasts.


To pit lovers who think this is cruel: F you. We are tired of being forced to deal with your deadly dogs everyday - especially those of which owners know to be aggressive, those that have killed animals and attacked humans in the past. It's on you to keep your maulers contained. They shouldn't be killing and attacking, ever, let alone at this insane rate. You all like to talk about responsible owners, but finding one is near impossible. 


The danger needs to be resolved before someone dies.



Monday, May 12, 2014

Konen Dean Asa Dagley – attacked and almost killed by the family pit bull

This is a typical pattern of attack in which a well-treated, well-behaved, "family pit bull" with no history of aggression suddenly, with zero warning, asserts its genetic imperative.


The pit bull is the result of centuries of breeding a type of dog which will happily attack, torture and kill another creature for no particular reason. Let us not feign surprise when these motor patterns surface and pit bulls do what they were bred to do, any more than we should be surprised when a pointer points, or a retriever retrieves. 

It's well known that working dogs should be given a chance to do their work, or they can become frustrated. Border Collies without sheep to herd have been known to attempt to herd children. But the "work" of a pit bull is a felony in all 50 states. It's job is now a crime. 

What can be done and what ought to be done about this is a controversial topic, but the fact that there is a problem is not open to debate.

Please visit Daxton's Friends for the full story at the link below

Konen Dean Asa Dagley – attacked and almost killed by the family pit bull

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beau's Tombstone Memorial

It pains us to present this message, but it is a reminder of why we work to raise awareness of the pit bull problem. 2 year old Beau Rutledge was mauled to death by a well-behaved family pit bull last year. His mother, Angela Provo Rutledge, speaks about what their family went through, and about the memorial she hopes to build.



On April 24, 2013 We lost both our beautiful son Beau Isaac and our family dog, affectionately known as Kissy Face. Kissy face had been part of our family for 8 years and lived up to her name, for she was compelled to overload you with kisses. Oh she was such a very loving and family oriented dog. Kissy face had been around since her birthdate, November 22, 2005, two years prior to having the first child, Bella. When Bella came into the picture, it was so much fun to have the dog around, because she acted as a companion and protector. Never was she aggressive towards Bella and played generously with other children. Therefore, we felt confident in our family's safety when it came to our family pet.



Then 4 years later Beau Isaac was born on April 4, 2011. Over the next two years Beau and Kissy Face loved on each other compassionately. Until shortly after his 2nd birthday I made a trip to the restroom. Just a few minutes later I came out of the restroom to find my son in a pool of his own blood. It was the most horrific day of my life and a day without warning. Our dog sat next to his body looking confused as if she didn't understand why he wasn't getting up. The screams from my voice were so loud and so terrifying that our neighbors (two doors over) rushed over and joined in with my horrific screams!
Rewinding back to the year 2005, I was told by some random person that pit bulls were aggressive and were bred to fight other dogs to the kill. Then I was also told by another random person at our dogs vet the very opposite. I was told if you raise pit bulls with love and care they are just as gentle, loving, and domesticated as any other household dog breed. Therefore, we truly believed that with love and proper up brining that the nurture factor would override the nature of this breed dog.
Our story is not about hating or loving the pit bull breed. Our story is simply this, any dog can bite and any dog can love like a human being, yes all dogs have the ability to display some strong emotions that resemble those of a human. The downside to a dogs thought and emotional process is simply this, it cannot process the chain reaction that comes of their nature. We regrettably believe, now that it is too late, that there is something extremely untrue to what we had once believed. The truth is this, there is not just this story, but 288 reported stories like ours since 1998 and 30 plus stories reported this year alone. There are countless adult fatalities and countless attacks leaving a person for dead because of this breed of dog and like aggressive breads.
In conclusion, we are not saying to take your dog out back and shoot it. We are not saying not to love your dogs. We are simply saying that even with tons of love and attention that our dog (and many dogs of her breed) still snap ped and killed our son in a matter of moments. Consider this, we as dog lovers, should ponder this one thing, if there was a one and a million chance that your dog could turn on you or your child, would you get rid of it and grieve for a moment or loose a child and grieve for a lifetime?
Love
Angela

Please help us raise the funds to give Beau the tombstone he deserves, as well as a beautiful place for his mother, big sister Bella and friends/family to visit and mourn.

News accounts of Beau's untimely death may be found here

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lessons from the school of hard knocks

Here are a few accounts from readers who have chosen to remain anonymous for their own safety. 

The sweet pit bull

My coworker owned a pit bull. She described her as very sweet, wouldn't hurt a fly. She often dog sat for a friends large akita, and the pit and akita were always best friends. One night they were out in their yard together and they noticed that their play had escalated to a full on dog fight. The pit was no match for the akita, who had size and a protective coat on its side. But despite the fact that the pit bull was losing badly, it continued to fight. Her husband had to beat her with a shovel to get her to stop. Once the pit stopped, the akita stopped.

Some years later this same coworker decided to adopt a small, elderly chihuahua mix that someone found wandering in the road. I warned her not to trust her pit bull, but she was not concerned. For a year the dogs lived together happily, often sharing a bed and seeming to enjoy each other. Then one night the pit walked over to the sleeping chi mix and grabbed it around the neck and began shaking it with the clear intent to kill it. The chi was screaming but the pit was silent. Again her husband and to stop the pit bulls attack, but there was no shovel handy. He had to punch the pit bull repeatedly in the head to get it to stop, and he had to do it so hard he broke his hand. The little chi survived only because he was wearing a thick collar. The next day my coworker came to work and was clearly still shaken up by the whole thing. She kept saying "you were right, you were right..."  She will never own another pit bull. Wise woman.



The Vet

She was connected to the company I worked for, she was not my vet. Because she knew I had  knowledge of dogs, she called me one day and told me that she adopted a pit bull and wanted advice on how to integrate this male dog into her household of three other dogs, a male and two females. I told her to return the pit bull and not even bother trying. She did not take my advice, but she did call frequently to keep me posted. Big surprise, the pit decided that her male dog needed to die, and would attack him whenever he saw his chance. She had to separate them, and enlist the services of a trainer. Of course it did no good. It got to the point where if the pit bull even heard the male dog in another room he would go ballistic and try to get to him, through the door or wall if necessary. He could not be distracted when he was in such a state. Eventually, of course, management fails and he had a fight with the male and the vet and her husband realized that it was not going to work out and that someone was going to be seriously injured. They returned the pit to rescue where it was placed in home with no other animals. I hope their neighbors have no other animals either... That vet did call me and say that she would NEVER own another pit bull again.


The Dog Walker

Several years ago I helped out a local dog walker with her overflow clients. One of her clients owned a young male dog, Ralphie. The dog walker mentioned she had a "bull pit" and when I asked her what that was, she said it was a pit bull that didn't realize it was a pit bull. I know. Nauseating. In any case, her bull pit figured it out pretty fast. When Ralphie was taken to the dog sitters house for the evening, he was attacked by the shit bull and his throat torn open. He survived, but the dog walker didn't even have the decency to tell his owners. She returned Ralphie while they were at work the next morning and went off on vacation. I got the phone call asking what the hell happened! I could not believe that not only would she endanger a clients dog's life by bringing it near that fucking thing, she didn't even tell them what happened! She just took the dog to the vet where she worked and had it treated!