June 25, 2007

Not "pit bulls"? Not interested!

Since I've been involved in dog legislation issues, I have seen many newspaper articles and TV stories about "pit bulls". They range from ridiculous to horrifying and everything in between.

I have seen instances of articles being passed from newspaper to newspaper throughout the world, cases of multiple local and national newspapers and TV stations carrying stories of the most minor nature, simply because they involved the phrase "pit bull" (even if the dog's breed was not identifiable or was later identified as something else).

I still regularly meet people who refer to "those dogs who killed the lady in San Francisco" or the dogs who attacked the young girl in Vancouver as "pit bulls", thanks to news reports at the time.

Without a doubt, there have been some horrifying attacks by dogs that might be classified, somewhere, as "pit bull" type dogs (whatever that is).

Clearly, however, there have also been some reports that only existed because of the sensational nature of what the people involved believed the breed to be.

Some examples:

  1. Dog on dog incidents with minimal injury.
  2. Dog "nips" children (particularly puppy nips).
  3. One dog kills another dog.
  4. Two dogs kill a cat.
  5. Loose running dog shot to death by police. No attack, no bite, no injury.
I'm not suggesting that any of these incidents were not serious, especially to the people victimized. Any time there is serious injury to a person or another animal, we need to find out why and take steps to prevent similar occurrences, and the owners should be held accountable.

My point is simply that each of these stories appeared in multiple newspapers and on multiple TV stations, even at the national level, because they involved the word "pit bull".

Contrast those stories with this incident that occurred in Sarnia last Thursday. The only newspaper to pick this up was the local Observer. I've included the entire story at the end of this article because I don't want to lose track of it if the Observer removes it later.

Note that, according to the article, the owners have not been charged and the dogs have not been confiscated.

Now, take this same story, with the same number of dogs, with the same end result of 12 cats dead, but instead of "hounds", put the word "pit bulls".

Can you imagine the press coverage? This would not only go nationwide. It would probably be read around the world.

If it weren't so scary, it would be almost humorous to point out that this occurred in Sarnia, the same city that designated three seven-week old mixed breed puppies as "posing a menace to the public safety of persons and domestic animals".

The comparison between those three puppies and these "hounds" (whatever they are) is laughable. The "hounds", although doing what comes naturally to a pack of dogs running loose, were ALLOWED to do this by their owners by not being properly supervised and restrained. Contrast this with the puppies, who were capable of nothing more than drinking their mother's milk.

Has common sense gone out the window regarding dogs, not only in Sarnia, but in the whole province?

Maybe Michael Bryant should follow his own lead and ban hounds as well. Wouldn't we all be safer?

Sorry, does that sound stupid, far-fetched, hysterical?

Why, because they're not "pit bulls"?

Here's the whole story from the Sarnia Observer:

From the www.theobserver.ca web site
Monday, June 25, 2007
© 2007 The Sarnia Observer

Pack of hound dogs kill 12 cats; 'They just kept attacking,' says Carol Reynolds


Saturday, June 23, 2007 - 16:00

Local News - A local couple is reeling after a pack of hunting dogs slaughtered 12 of their cats Thursday.

Carol Reynolds said she woke to the baying of a hound dog around 5:15 a.m. outside her Waubuno Road home, about five minutes from Brigden.

By the time she peered out her window, four hounds were circling the yard and within seconds two more joined the group.

"I looked out and I saw dead cats on the lawn," she said. "I began screaming. The dogs were killing the cats."

Carol and her husband Greg provide care to stray cats and had about 32 of the animals. They lost 12 cats in the attack, including four kittens.

Carol Reynolds said she called police who advised her not to go outside. All she could do was watch in horror, she said.

"There was nothing I could do," she said. "They just kept attacking, one cat after another."

The dogs circled their prey one at a time and attacked. The cats were trampled, bitten and disemboweled.

Some other kittens managed to climb the stairs of the front porch and Carol reached out and pulled a handful to safety. Several adult cats sought shelter under a car and didn't resurface until hours later.

"I started throwing stuff at the dogs, anything I could find. I even threw some china at them but it only caused them to pause for a second, then continue," Carol Reynolds said. "It was just horrible. It was a slaughter."

Her husband arrived home from shift work about the same time as police, some 30 minutes after the attack began.

Officers located the dogs later that morning, along with their owner.

They were collared with tracking devices, Greg Reynolds said. "We want (the owner) charged."

He said the dogs were left outside by the owner to hone their hunting skills.

The owner told police he would not be contacting the Reynolds family.

"My main concern is that people should be aware that this is a practice, that dogs are being allowed to roam free in order to train," Carol Reynolds said.

"Maybe if charges are laid, people will be less likely to allow their dogs to run loose."
© 2007 , Osprey Media. All Rights Reserved.

-- END --


Jamie and Mac said...

[quote]"Maybe if charges are laid, people will be less likely to allow their dogs to run loose." [/quote]
If this was a pack of "Pit bulls",the world would have come to an end before you had a chance to write your column.,
Maybe if something was done before charges had to be laid,oh I don`t know, perhaps a $1000 fine for an off leash dog.Perhaps people would think twice before allowing a dog to run loose if we got serious with the fines.
I just contacted my municipality this AM about dogs coming off the property when a person walks by with a leashed dog.The fine is $50 after 1 warning.A repeat offender can be brought to court after 3 incidents.
I have actually witnessed this practice of letting a pack of hounds loose at night.They are then picked up by the owner at the same spot next day unless they go home on their own.This isn`t only happening in Sarnia.

Dianne said...

Thank you so much for this article, for saying what I'm thinking...without the profanity.

I love cats as much as I love dogs, and can't imagine the pain Carol Reynolds went through, seeing them slaughtered and being trapped in her home, unable to help them.

If I were her, I'd buy a shotgun and learn how to use it.

If this dog owner doesn't get some serious charges slapped on him, and a lifetime prohibition on owning dogs, then there is no justice in Ontario. And there was little enough for dog owners to start with, thanks to the Lie-berals.

Selma said...

I've said for years that if people are worried about dogs killing other animals, hounds should be number one on the ban list.

Those who 'hunt' with hounds don't actually do any legwork. They sit around the campfire while the hounds, selected for centuries to run with a pack, hunt and kill prey, do the work.

No, I'm not advocating the banning of hounds. It's just a way of pointing out the foolishness of worrying about terriers, who were selected all along to work closely with people, to work alone and to go to ground after their prey.

Betcha five dollars this story won't go anywhere.

I'm still thinking Sarnia is coming around to our way of thinking.

Thanks for a great post.

Rottweiler said...

My God, what is wrong with our society today, where a twisted sadistic pathetic excuse of a man, is aloud to sick his pack of dogs on an unwilling neighbourhood! What if there was a child in the yard? What then? In a pack mentality, in the heat of a kill, a dog wont be able to tell the difference between a small animal or a small child.

This discusts me in ways I can barely believe. That man is the threat to public safety! He needs his head examined.

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