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Irresponsible dog owner

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thursday morning, I heard a story on the radio, about a little boy being attacked by 5 pit bulls. When they mentioned the street, I realized that this was where my friend Jen lives and I know that her next-door neighbor has 5 pits, who frequently get out of the yard.

After work, I called Jen, to find out if it was one of her 4 boys. Fortunately, it wasn't.

The dog owner has been cited before, for dog at large and one of the dogs bit someone, last year. She has been cited again and ordered to repair her fence. The dog with the previous bite report is at Animal Control for an aggression evaluation. The dog may be returned to the owner, depending upon the outcome of the evaluation.

The 11 y/o boy has only minor injuries, thank goodness but, this dog owner needs to be held responsible for her animals. These dogs are so aggressive, Jen's kids can't play in their OWN back yard, on that side of the house because these dogs break through the fence, when they see the kids. So far, Jen's kids have not been attacked but, if this situation is allowed to continue, its only a matter of time.

I lay the blame on the owner. My own Pearlie-mutt is a pit mix and is playful and affectionate with people that she knows. She IS territorial and defensive of her turf but, I make sure that the fence and gates are secure and neither of my dogs has ever left the house/yard without a leash and a human.

The fine for dog at large is only $100. This and an order to repair the fence doesn't seem to be enough, to make this woman act responsibly. Personally, I think she should be fined MUCH more and not be alowed to even HAVE dogs. I'm going to write to my City Council member, to see about having the law toughened up. Tucson has a lot of drug dealers, with highly aggressive dogs and the incidence of dog attacks (primarily pits and Rottweilers) has been on the increase, in recent years.

I'm not singling out any breeds. My family has owned both pits and Rotties but, they have all been big spoiled babies, securely fenced and leashed. Irresponsible owners, like Jen's neighbor, have to be dealt with, though.
post #2 of 29
It's shame but in most cases, the dogs lose out, not the owners. You are absolutely right, the owner should be accountable for the attacks. Pits and Rotties are no different than other breeds, except for the fact that they are big and strong dogs. But they get such a bad wrap since so many people chose to train them to be aggressive.

When I had lunch with Jan Fennell (The Dog Listener) a few weeks back, we talked about this specific issue. It is one of her pet peeves, as in most cases, the Pit or Rottie is simply removed and euthanized. I personally think the owner should be jailed and the dogs rehabbed and adopted to a family who isn't compelled to have a guard dog.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany
I personally think the owner should be jailed and the dogs rehabbed and adopted to a family who isn't compelled to have a guard dog.
I am in 100% aggreement. Where I live there is a bylaw that you cannot own a pitbull (and as my friend just found out with her dog..no dog with a "locking jaw") it's very sad, they can be very good dogs if trained properly...besides I've been many smaller dogs scar children with a bite to the face.
post #4 of 29
Wow-she does sound like a very irresponsible dog owner and its too bad. Those dogs probly dont know any better, maybe they have been trained to be aggressive? She def needs to pay a bigger fine espically if this has happened before!!
post #5 of 29
I think it's a terrible thing that a dog get blamed for stupid human actions or lack of action.

In my city there are also bylaws preventing people from having pitbulls. Like if a person were to buy one, the other community members can force the owner to get rid of the dog or they have to move and sell their home. I think this is very unfair for responsible owners and unfair to the breed itself.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
The Tucson Humane Society will not even adopt out pit bulls now - they are all euthanized.

My son found Pearl abandoned in the desert and couldn't keep her. For the above-stated reason, he wouldn't turn her in and brought her to MY house.

Everyone who has seen Pearl playing with Rowdy is amazed at how a cat and a pit play, without anyone getting hurt.
post #7 of 29
That's so sad...for the child and for the dogs... I have learned with animals that it is pretty much the same as with children... 50% nature & 50% nurture.

I have seen pits that you can yank on their ears and lay on them and the kids can hang all over them and they don't do anything. And I'm just guessing, but I can't imagine the lady had 5 pits inside her house with her at all times??? So they were probably 5 outside dogs, living together in a pack, and getting naturally aggressive over food/shelter etc, with less human interaction. Sad....
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
I talked to Jen yesterday and the neighbor has had only one of the dogs returned. The rest of them are still under evaluation.

A rep from the Humane Society was on the local Sunday-morning show and stated that they now have a new policy, for adopting out pits. Pits will now be adopted out, if the adopter meets the following criteria:

1. The dog must be the ONLY pet in the home.

2. The home MUST have a secure fence, at least 6' high.

3. There must be NO children under the age of 10 in the home.

ALL pets are spayed/neutered, before they are allowed to go home.

The HS rep brought a pit, to the show and he seemed to be a very nice dog. He was well-behaved and wanted to climb onto both the rep's and the interviewer's laps and lick them.

In addition, the Humane Society is continuing their "Pay to Spay" program. Anyone bringing their pit to the HS spay/neuter clinic is paid $10 cash. They have a HUGE waiting list.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by katl8e
I talked to Jen yesterday and the neighbor has had only one of the dogs returned. The rest of them are still under evaluation.

A rep from the Humane Society was on the local Sunday-morning show and stated that they now have a new policy, for adopting out pits. Pits will now be adopted out, if the adopter meets the following criteria:

1. The dog must be the ONLY pet in the home.

2. The home MUST have a secure fence, at least 6' high.

3. There must be NO children under the age of 10 in the home.

ALL pets are spayed/neutered, before they are allowed to go home.

The HS rep brought a pit, to the show and he seemed to be a very nice dog. He was well-behaved and wanted to climb onto both the rep's and the interviewer's laps and lick them.

In addition, the Humane Society is continuing their "Pay to Spay" program. Anyone bringing their pit to the HS spay/neuter clinic is paid $10 cash. They have a HUGE waiting list.
It's great they are taking this approch rather than an outright ban.

Katie
post #10 of 29
I grew up next to a house like this. I couldn't go in my own backyard, ever, and my mom couldn't garden in the garden she'd had for 20 years. I was scared to wait for the school bus, because sometimes the neighbor's dog would be in my front yard growling at me. The people on the other side couldn't let their own dog out in their backyard either, or their kids out to play. The dog attacked me once, dragged the little boy who had been designated to walk it across the road and jumped up at my throat. I had to catch it by the back of the collar and hang it up in the air since, you know, it was trying to kill me. The same dog got out one time and killed a neighbor's poodle in its own yard. What happened, the first dog was taken away from this family and what did they do? They got another one, an identical one, that was sort of nice as a puppy and then got meaner and meaner... this happened four times, with the same people getting another dog, identical to the one before it, even with the same name.

What kind of dog was this, you ask? They were all chocolate labs.

Why were they so mean? Because their owners were idiots who barely took care of their own kids. The kids shot both each other and the dog with fireworks. Just an example. And yes, fireworks are illegal in Ohio. And we're talking about a neighborhood with house values in the 400s.

(My point is, of course, that it doesn't matter what kind of dog you have if you treat it correctly. Although if there are BYBers breeding for meanness, wouldn't it start to affect the breed?)
post #11 of 29
I agree with all the comments here. I feel the fines should be higher and the dog in question should be taken away. If anyone is injured, charges should be filed against the owner and jailed. and heaven forbid if someone is killed, then the owner should be charged with manslaughter. If the owner KNOWS they have a vicious dog and doesn't do anything to correct the situation, then they should be charged with murder.

A few years ago, a woman in San Francisco was attacked and killed by a neighbor's 2 dogs in the hallway of her apaprment building, right in front of her own door! The owner of the dogs was convicted of manslaughter, (I think)

It is a shame that a child cannot walk on the sidewalk or even play in their own yard without being afaid that a dog will attack them.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
I grew up next to a house like this. I couldn't go in my own backyard, ever, and my mom couldn't garden in the garden she'd had for 20 years. I was scared to wait for the school bus, because sometimes the neighbor's dog would be in my front yard growling at me. The people on the other side couldn't let their own dog out in their backyard either, or their kids out to play. The dog attacked me once, dragged the little boy who had been designated to walk it across the road and jumped up at my throat. I had to catch it by the back of the collar and hang it up in the air since, you know, it was trying to kill me. The same dog got out one time and killed a neighbor's poodle in its own yard. What happened, the first dog was taken away from this family and what did they do? They got another one, an identical one, that was sort of nice as a puppy and then got meaner and meaner... this happened four times, with the same people getting another dog, identical to the one before it, even with the same name.

What kind of dog was this, you ask? They were all chocolate labs.

Why were they so mean? Because their owners were idiots who barely took care of their own kids. The kids shot both each other and the dog with fireworks. Just an example. And yes, fireworks are illegal in Ohio. And we're talking about a neighborhood with house values in the 400s.

(My point is, of course, that it doesn't matter what kind of dog you have if you treat it correctly. Although if there are BYBers breeding for meanness, wouldn't it start to affect the breed?)
I would have called the authorities and kepts calling them until they got sick of me and did something. that is horrible.
post #13 of 29
The cops are who came and took away their dogs, they just kept getting more. I think they had five in the course of seven years. The one time when it killed a poodle Animal Control came and I think they put it to sleep, which is sad but by that point the dog may have been beyond the point of no return.

It was very sad to watch every time they got a puppy I'd try to make friends with it and it would be nice and friendly for a few months but as it started to get older it would get meaner and meaner.

My dad talked to them several times and the mom, well, she was very submissive and weak and she'd always apologize and it was very hard to be mad at her. Their dad was um, I have several choice words for him! We would have been happy if theyd've put up a fence that the dog couldn't knock over, because we had about an acre and a half and there was no way we were putting up a fence around the whole thing when it wasn't our dog. Anyway.

I did call the police a few times myself, at first they said I couldn't call them because I was a minor and then later they'd come out and issue warnings but nothing ever happened, until it got so bad they'd take the dog away. I don't know why they couldn't say they weren't allowed to have dogs at all.
post #14 of 29
This is the type of situation where I am all for stealing animals.
That's a hideous horrible circumstance. It sounds very likely that the father may have also been abusive to his wife, the kids and the dog...

I would have taken every puppy that ended up in their yard...
post #15 of 29
It's so sad when things like this happen, especially when it's dealing with one of the "bad" breeds. People claim that pitbulls are "monsters," and there's so much out to ban them...but it's the owners, not the poor doors. ANY dog can be made into a "monster" if treated in such a way to do so.

My mom was visiting me a few weeks ago and something came up about pitbulls on the tv, and she made the comment that, "those dogs need to all be banned." I was enraged and I told her that it's the owners, not the dogs...but of course I'm sure she didn't listen. It's too bad.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Talked to Jen, yesterday. The woman has had one dog returned and is awaiting the decision from "doggie court" about the other three. In the meantime, she has acquired another pit bull puppy. With this woman's history, she should have been enjoined from getting any more dogs, until the court rules.
post #17 of 29
What a piece of work!

I would be so upset and miss my pets so much I wouldn't even be able to think about getting another! They shouldn't let her have any dogs at all. She pretty clearly doesn't know how to be a responsible dog owner. I have my fingers crossed that by some miracle her new puppy will have a very sweet temperament and whatever she does to ruin them won't affect the puppy. How sad!
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Got an update this evening. "Doggie court" has ruled that the woman has to post a $50,000 bond for EACH dog and PROPERLY repair her fence before she can have the three dogs back.

There is no way that she can/will come up with $200,000 so, it looks as though she will have to sign over the dogs to Animal Control. In addition to the bond, she would have to pay boarding fees, for the time that the three dogs have been confined. If she volontarily signs over the dogs, she won't have to pay anything.

One of the dogs was so violent, Animal Control could hardly get it into a crate. AC checked on the new puppy today, too. One more bite report and this woman will be permanently banned, from owning dogs. If the bitten kid's parents decide to sue, the woman my lose her house, too - she doesn't have homeowners' insurance and the house is paid off. At least, that would get her out of Jen's neighborhood.

If she signs them over, AC will try to socialize the dogs but, if they are too far gone, they will be euthanized.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Yet another update: the dog owner's trial was held on Tuesday. Jen and several other neighbors had been subpoenaed to testify. The woman's lawyer has been advising her to cop a plea but, she has insisted upon pleading "not guilty" all this time. At the last minute, she pled out, to several misdemeanors. She has been fined $1200, banned from owning a dog for six months and has been given a strict time limit, to repair the fence. The fence will be inspected by Animal Control.

The woman's son (who lives with her) has acquired a pit puppy. Technically, SHE doesn't own the dog but, DOES have "care and control" of it, as it lives on her property. I have feeling that she is going to find herself back in court, within a year.

On a side note, another neighbor may have a civil case against this irresponsible idiot. Neighbor #2 is trying to sell her house and has to disclose the dog bite issues, to potential buyers. Its hard enough, to sell a house in that neighborhood, without having vicious dogs at large.
post #20 of 29
I get so angry and upset about stuff like this. Before I learned more, I thought that pitbulls should be banned, too. But it's not fair and not necessary. Breed-specific legislation is a joke, and it's pointless because it's not about the dog, but the owner.

In Australia, the number one dog for biting is the Blue Heeler. Would anyone think of applying BSL to a Blue Heeler?? No - of course not. But say the word `pitbull' and all hell breaks loose.

To me, BSL is not the answer, tougher penalties for crimes against animals would work a lot better. Once people get it into their heads that it is NOT ok to abuse or neglect pets, it's NOT ok to treat them as objects, it's NOT ok to breed indiscriminately, these things will start to happen less. Education is the key, but hey, many people can't even look after themselves or their children, so animals, as always, will get the shortest straw and the least legislation to protect them. It makes me angry as hell, but mostly just terribly sad. I feel that animals are just as important within our society and should have laws and rules to protect them, same as us.
post #21 of 29
I am glad to hear that dumb pit owner had the book thrown at her. It is about time.
That is just not right that people are scared to go in their own back yards
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
The woman has already violated her probation and plea bargain - just having a dog living on her property is in violation and the neighbors have already called Animal Control. This person has NO business owning ANY kind of dog, as she does not see to it that they are secured and not a danger to themselves or others.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Mew View Post
I am in 100% aggreement. Where I live there is a bylaw that you cannot own a pitbull (and as my friend just found out with her dog..no dog with a "locking jaw") it's very sad, they can be very good dogs if trained properly...besides I've been many smaller dogs scar children with a bite to the face.

There is no such thing as a "locking jaw"-this is an urban legend.

At any rate, the fines cannot be stiff enough for people who knowingly keep aggressive dogs AND who do not take proper precautions to ensure that innocent humans and animals are not harmed. I do not have a problem with someone who keeps nasty dogs to gurad their property, as long as they stay ON the property and the owner can keep them under control.

This woman should not be allowed to won ANY animal IMO.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
. I personally think the owner should be jailed and the dogs rehabbed and adopted to a family who isn't compelled to have a guard dog.
It's not always that easy to rehab a dog. Although I agree it is not the dogs fault once it is aggresive it is a very tuff situation cause you always have that thought what if. Anyway it should be attempted to be rehabbed but it isnt always going to be successful
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
There is no such thing as a "locking jaw"-this is an urban legend
Is it really? Because it seems so commonly in the dog vernacular whenever one speaks about pits or other bull terriers.

I saw a horrifying incident with a pit that need to be hit with a cricket bat to let go of a 5-month-old lab's throat. The lab survived (just) but the pit had actual broken bones in it's body by the time it let go.

If that's not lock-jaw that's one tenacious dog.
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Is it really? Because it seems so commonly in the dog vernacular whenever one speaks about pits or other bull terriers.



If that's not lock-jaw that's one tenacious dog.
On numerous occasions, I've had a heck of time, geting Pearlie to let go of the birds that she's caught. Its not that she has a "locking jaw" - she just doesn't want to give up something that she's caught, fair and square. Fortunately, she's finally learned the command "drop it".
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Is it really? Because it seems so commonly in the dog vernacular whenever one speaks about pits or other bull terriers.

I saw a horrifying incident with a pit that need to be hit with a cricket bat to let go of a 5-month-old lab's throat. The lab survived (just) but the pit had actual broken bones in it's body by the time it let go.

If that's not lock-jaw that's one tenacious dog.
It is common because it keeps on getting repeated. It is kind of like asking 1000 people who have never seen the Emperor of China how long his nose is. If they all give an answer and the answer gets repeated often enough, people will start to think it is true. There is however no evidence for the "locking jaw" story.
http://www.defendingdog.com/id5.html
Pits and similar dogs do tend to be medium to large dogs with blocky heads, so they will be able to exert more force than smaller dogs. But the key as you correctly point out is their tenacity. They just plain do not want to let go or give up. Believe it or not, this was once considered a virtue in the US, so much so that the American Pit Bull Terrier was chosen as the symbol of the American spirit during World War I.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pit_bull

http://denver.yourhub.com/LAKEWOOD/S...ory~47922.aspx
post #28 of 29
I think it's great that it's not actually true. The amount I have learned over the past two years of my training and learning about dog behaviour and history has been fascinating and informative, but the lock-jaw thing comes up over and over. I completely believed it, and so did Max. Nearly every day I dispel some kind of ridiculous myth or other with the dog owners I work with, and there's so many out there. That one is going to get told to everyone!

I try my very best to talk people out of irrational breed prejudices - `Dobermans are so vicious' `German Shepherds can just "turn"' and now `Bull terriers have lock-jaw' will be added to the list!!
post #29 of 29
A few years ago I took a cab in London (short journey!) and the guy was telling me how he got a pitt bull because his son kept nagging him and how he gave in reluctantly in the end. That already is not a good thing. Well he then tells me they just got a girl and when the were of age they would breed them! I was horrified as he did not seem fond of the dog and this was BYB I asked him if the breeder of the dogs had given him permission and he said no.

What a disaster! I mean I felt so angry but was scared to say anything as I was in his car.
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