Thursday, November 20, 2008

Arkansas City: A case of the stupid

Arkansas City banned seven breeds of dogs. When a man who has had dog issues threatened to buy a Presa Canario - Arkansas City banned that breed too. Fascinating.

Mayor Mell Kuhn said he realizes that often the real problem with dogs is the owner and not the dog, but he said he feels the city should be proactive and protect the citizens of the city.

If Mayor Kuhn actually realized the problem was with owners, he would not have encouraged a vote to ban seven breeds of dogs.

And is there truly a vicious dog problem in Arkansas City?

Niles said she hears about one vicious-dog case a week. City officials hope to cut down on that number.

It is difficult to cut down on the number one but perhaps dogs with three legs who act aggressive can be considered 3/4 a vicious dog case. Just kidding.

For a town with 12,000 people a vicious dog case a week is hardly anything to panic about. The fact is that a "vicious dog case" could range from dog ate my baby to dog stared at me funny.

I still maintain that most regions in this country do not have a biting dog problem and that while generic "breedless" dangerous dog laws are great...there really isn't a need for them, imo.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A nice article out of Colorado on pit bulls (except for mentioning that oft-quoted CDC 'study' that everyone misses the end point of - that breed bans are ineffective).

I feel for the directors and employees of city/county governments forced to enforce a law that mandates death for dogs who look a certain way and discrimination for people who own certain dogs.

Doug Kelley, director of animal services in Denver says it best: He said the ban has lessened the number of attacks by pit bulls, certainly, but he has no evidence that the ban has decreased the total number of dog bites or attacks in the city. He also said the ban gives people "a false sense of security."

Pit bulls still bite in Denver. Other dogs still bite in Denver. Dog bites haven't gone down (in Aurora and other BSL-ridden areas, they've gone up). People aren't safer.

But were they unsafe as it pertains to dogs to begin with? I still submit that dog bites aren't a public safety problem that the overwhelming majority of dogs don't bite, that the overwhelming majority of people are not bitten or mauled by dogs. But that isn't much of a story - the dog that just sits there and wags her tail, the dog who plays with a tennis ball, the dog who licks the face of the neighborhood children. Those stories don't sell but they happen far more frequently than the stories of children being mauled or adults being bitten.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lab puppy who killed infant starved

In July of this year, a young infant was fatally mauled by a young Lab puppy.

The dog, age 10-12 weeks, was left alone with the 2-month-old infant. The attack was so severe that the infant's genitals, portions of his leg and butt were eaten.

The necropsy just released shows what may have been obvious to many - a starving, malnourished puppy was left alone with a potentially tasty morsel. The dog had no food in his stomach, was underweight and no one in the house knew the last time the dog had been fed.

What is so interesting about this case is that the necropsy follow-up is actually published. In so many other bites or fatalities where the breed in question is not a Lab, readers never learn that the dogs may have been chained, neglected, underfed, fed poison, abused or mistreated. Instead, they are left thinking "family pets" (in the cases of resident dogs attacking) turn on owners b/c they are a certain breed.

That is silly, of course, as this case shows. The puppy did not attack because he is a Lab or genetically unsound. He attacked because he was systematically starved through neglect and left alone with another creature who probably smelled edible. Any dog treated in such a way may succumb to hunger pains. And this is why breed bans or restrictions are so silly: They don't address the people problem.