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Old 06-08-2009
Giga-posting ACO
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Roselle Park, NJ
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Originally Posted by Big Brown Dog View Post
I like it A LOT. There's always two sides to any issue and I'm always amazed at how the political agenda of some of folks on this board is as equally apologetic for the dogs as it is indifferent to the human suffering the dogs generate.

As ownership of dangerous dogs becomes increasingly criminalized (as I believe it should) sites like this serve to move change forward.

The best way to "humanize" this discussion, to my mind, is for the mangled human victims to have a voice in it.

As the owners are held increasingly responsible the true liability of owning these animals will become apparent and the fate of the dogs will take care of itself.

Big Brown Dog,

I agree with you in the sense that someone needs to be responsible if they own a dangerous dog and it bites someone. I am one who owns an aggressive dog. I realized she was aggressive when she was two years old and investigated her past since I got her when she was 9 weeks old. It turns out that men/boys wrestled with her when she was younger. She did not think it was play as these men thought. She learned to bite when she did not like something. I was attacked by her when she was about 2. I was still a vet. student at the time. I contacted my professor who was an animal behaviorist. She thought the dog needed to be euthanized. I was studying to be a vet. and did not think that I could honestly recommend euthanasia of aggressive animals until I educated myself in training, etc. to see if these animals can be helped. Owning one would be the real challenge.

I worked with my own dog and was able to retrain her without medication. It took a lot of patience. I am a responsible person and I keep her away from strangers, particularly men. She is so sensitive about men that she actually chased some burglars out of my house; then did not allow police into my house either. I can control my dog and can get her out of a situation with strangers if I needed to.

Having said the above, not everyone is fit to own an aggressive dog.

I was supposed to be a witness to a case where the "aggressive" dog bit a child. The owner of the dog had done everything possible to separate the child from the dog when the child came for a visit. (The mother of the child and the owner of the dog were related.) The mother of the child jumped a dog gate and carried the child over. The dog bit the child. (There was one scratch mark over the child's eye.) I examined the dog for the bite release and the dog was the sweetest thing in the world. (She was a Chow Chow.) I wrote up the report. A few months later, I examined the dog for her routine examination and vaccines. While examining the dog, the dog began crying when I touched her knees. I asked my technician to hold the dog tighter in case something should happen. When I "pushed" the dog by manipulating the knees a little rougher, the dog began crying again and struggled to escape. When my technician did not let go, the dog tried to bite. To me, that is self-defense. This dog appears to have knee problems that act up with the weather changes. As soon as I let go, the dog stopped struggling and attempting to bite.

In most cases of dog bites where the dog is not aggressive, I found that the child (or other human) did something that caused the animal attack. The animal was just defending itself the only way it knew how. In the case where the Chow attacked the child, the owner of the dog was charged by the ACO when in reality, I feel that the mother of the child should have been charged since the owner of the dog did put up a gate to keep the dog from the child. To me, the mother put the child in danger just as if she turned her back and the child walked into moving traffic.

It is a shame that the humans are getting hurt but a lot of times it is the person's own fault (or at least the parents' fault) when an animal injures the human. If an owner of an aggressive (or potentially aggressive) animal cannot control the animal, then the person should not own that animal. I also believe that if the "mangled" human being files false charges and a proper investigation is not conducted by the ACO, etc., the person filing the charges should be charged themselves for the pain and aggrevation that the owner of the dog has to face. It has become too easy in this country for people to file false charges. The victim of the false charges (and the animals they own) often are forced to negotiate with officials that are acting more like terrorists, threatening the victim of the false charges to do what they say or go to jail.

I'm the first one to say if someone did something wrong and they can negotiate it down to a smaller charge and both parties are in agreement, then fine. But, if you are innocent of the false charge, then you have a right to have a proper investigation performed before the charges are filed; if there is probable cause to file the charges and the accused feels that they did not do what they are accused of, they have a right to a fair trial. They should not be threatened of coerced into giving up their rights. I believe that we still have rights in America; our fore-fathers fought for our freedom from England's rule and yet in this country, we now have to fear false accusations/charges from municipal government/employees?
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