Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dog Attack

Our friends at one of the big news networks carried the story of another attack on a human by a pit bull dog. This time the aggressor was a pack of pit bull dogs and the intended victim might have been a disabled person’s caretaker dog, but the pit bull dogs attacked the disabled person instead. The dogs entered through a pet door intended to let the caretaker dog out to handle their business without intervention by their master. Once they attacked the woman she began shooting them with a pistol and they only became more aggressive. After the lady reached her car in the garage she was able to lock out the dogs and call 9-1-1. The dogs left the house and killed a small dog outside.

The police arrived to find the dogs still in a pack and unwilling to submit to capture. Pepper spray did not seem to help and the police claimed they almost had to terminate the dogs at the scene. I don’t understand why there was any question on termination. But, the poor owner of the dogs would probably file suit against the police department for such an “exaggerated response.”

An interview with the neighbor revealed the dogs belonged to a homeowner about three or four houses away. The dogs had been an investigative target of other incidents.

The local television station reporting the incident asked for comments. Pit bull dog owners cried overwhelming support for ownership of what is overwhelmingly documented as an aggressive beast. One owner claimed their child helped deliver pit bull puppies. Let’s be realistic. Most murderers don’t kill everyone they see. The murderer probably supported and obeyed traffic laws on the way to kill their victim. You’ll find no sympathy for the owner from me.

My view of owning a pit bull dog is about the same as owning a high powered gun that can break loose of its own lock, provide its own motility, picks its victims, and shoot without command. I have never filed suit against anyone and I don’t support frivolous lawsuits. But this case calls for both criminal and financial ramifications that exceed mere compensation. If the case is proven, as I think it will be, the owner should be assessed punitive damages to the fullest extent possible. Only by setting an example will animal owners begin assessing the value of owning an aggressive animal.

About a year ago I purchased my wife a small dog for a companion while I am away at work. I am not sure who cares more for the other. But my family knows that dog only needs to show serious aggression once and he will be reconciling his actions in doggy heaven. No, I don’t believe in abuse of animals and I do think Michael Vick deserves strict and severe punishment. His case is different in allowing dogs to suffer for human entertainment. He actually trained the dogs for aggression which places him in a worse category than a normal aggressive dog owner. But our friends at the Humane Society and other animal organizations must realize, human life comes first.

Pit bull dogs are the popular breed for dog fighting. Why? Because of their strength, courage and dog-aggressive tendencies. My answer for those who must own one: keep the dog in the house; keep the yard fenced and locked; and keep the dog muzzled when in public. Otherwise, you may face the consequences and, worst of all, live with the knowledge your dog took the life of an innocent creature. If you can live with that knowledge then I wouldn’t be surprised if you owned such an animal. You will find no sympathy here.