Friday, October 21, 2005

Dog Attacks continue...What GOOD is the BSL?

In the Toronto Star
Oct. 17, 2005. 01:00 AM
Who owns this `beast of prey'?Dog caught after vicious attack, but no owner in sight Has animal been disowned to avoid new punitive law?

There is a puncture wound in Eve Fishell's right thumb, a bandaged wound on her right shin and gashes to her right wrist and forearm, all in various stages of mend. There is a long, raised ridge along Tonka's shaved neck, where the oldest of Fishell's three Kerry Blue terriers required 50 staples to close torn, hanging flesh. Molly, the youngest, wears a cone collar to keep her from her rump, which is held together by a Frankensteinian series of stitches.
On the morning of Sept. 23, Fishell, 74, was walking her Kerries on O'Connor Dr., near Woodbine Ave., when an off-leash Rottweiler appeared, and quickly tore into her and the dogs. So vicious was the attack, it stopped traffic and prompted eleven 911 calls from witnesses.
"It was," said Fishell, a radiologist at Women's College Hospital, "a horrendous attack."
Weeks afterward, Fishell and her show dogs are slowly healing. The dog responsible for the attack — a healthy Rottweiler cornered later that morning — is in the custody of Toronto Animal Services and faces an all-but-certain death sentence.
An owner, however, has not come forward — perhaps in an effort to avoid a lawsuit (so far, Fishell's vet bills total $3,500) and stiff new punitive measures available under an amended Dog Owner's Liability Act, which carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and six months imprisonment.
"In this instance, we think we have an idea of who might be an owner but we don't have proof," said Eletta Purdy, city-wide manager of Toronto Animal Services.
"I think the owner is a coward for not coming forward," said Barry Swadron, Fishell's lawyer. "It's inconceivable that a dog like that does not have an owner and I suspect animal control will eventually identify the owner."
The investigation, said Purdy, continues.
Irresponsible ownership is an ongoing concern, but it is too early to know if the stiffer penalties, part of changes implemented earlier this year, will lead to more owners disowning their dogs, or failing to come forward, said Purdy. "Sometimes, people just don't come looking for their dogs if they don't care about them," she said.
"Even if an owner doesn't come forward, and we're able to determine who the owner is, then we can still lay charges," said Purdy.
"Even if we euthanize the dog, we can still lay charges, and the owner can still be held liable, and responsible, for their dog's actions."
`Even if we euthanize the dog, we can still lay charges'
Eletta Purdy, manager of Toronto Animal Services
Purdy would not comment in detail on the case because of privacy concerns. Not even the sex of the dog in custody, she said, could be revealed.
Fishell, however, remembers the dog well.
"This one was a small Rottweiler bitch," said Fishell, who travels Canada and the northeastern U.S. with her Kerries to attend dog competitions. "I know Rottweilers very, very well. And most of the ones I know are pussycats. They are really very sweet dogs."
Tonka, her oldest Kerry, had in fact been attacked by a Rottweiler in 2000, in an incident also documented by animal services, and in which a dog was tracked back to the same area where the Rottweiler in the latest incident was apparently picked up.
That first attack was slow and deliberate, Fishell said, and she doubts it was the same dog who attacked her last month.
"The only thing I can compare this one to, is when you see beasts of prey on television, hunting their prey, and they suddenly attack very quickly and end up rolling with the prey — that's what this was like," said Fishell, who walks her dogs between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. each morning in order to avoid people and other dogs.
"It just shot across O'Connor, grabbed Tonka by the throat, dragged her on to the road. I had leads on, so I followed, hoping that the cars will stop, which indeed they did, and I was screeching like a banshee, `Help me! Help me!' I could not do anything about it."
Molly, Tonka's 8-month-old granddaughter, was "truly grievously injured. The (Rottweiler) took her whole rear end in the mouth and dragged her about half a block," said Fishell.
Her third dog escaped serious injury. Police arrived. So did an ambulance. A paramedic used a pressure bandage to control the bleeding from Tonka's neck. Fishell, dripping blood herself, insisted on locating all of her dogs. The youngest, Molly, was found on a driveway a street away, crouching in the darkness.
The fact the Rottweiler was found in the same area as the Rottweiler in the first attack is upsetting, said Fishell, and she is worried they may have a common owner — one who could have, or get, more dogs.
"The dog has no microchip, no tattoo, no collar. And I am a bitter person. All I can think of is, it's like (they have) the gun" but not the person who pulled the trigger.

The Observer (Sarnia) 2005
A dog attack left a Grade 2 student at Devine Street school bleeding but not seriously injured Friday.
Following treatment for multiple cuts, the youngster returned to class and a warm reception from concerned classmates, according to school principal Taf Lounsbury.
The dog, a nine-month old Rottweiler and Labrador mix, scrambled under a fence separating the schoolyard from a home.
Lounsbury was in the yard during the afternoon break when the attack occurred. She was able to back the dog off by calmly talking to it. At the same time she instructed other children to quietly go inside the school.
"She showed a real presence of mind," said Lambton Kent District School Board education director Gayle Stucke.
Lounsbury said she didn't consider the potential danger of approaching the dog.
"I wanted to make sure the child was safe. Afterwards, I started thinking it was frightening," she said.
Schools are surrounded by homes with pets but Stucke said it was the first time she could recall that a pet posed a risk to students.
Scott Sills, a member of the Devine Street parents council, said the attack will be a "prime topic" at this week's council meeting.
Council members will want action from the the school board, he said.
Repairs to the fence were made Friday.
Counseling will be available to the student and others who witnessed the "frightening" attack if monitoring shows it's necessary, said Stucke.
The children were familiar with the dog, one of two that use the backyard. The property owners had covered the fence with a tarpaulin to visually separate the dogs and the children.
On the weekend the owner was served with a notice from the city that the dog is considered a dangerous animal and must be muzzled when off the property.
When contacted by the Observer the dog's owner, who declined to be identified, said she was planning to have the dog euthanized. The female dog has been kept inside since the attack.
Activity in the schoolyard is just too much for the do, which likes to jump and flop down on people and also nip them, said the owner, who expressed remorse for the injuries and trauma caused to the child.
She said the incident is proof that dog owners must ensure their animals stay on their property.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said the action under the existing city bylaw shows there can be municipal control of dangerous animals.
"We can deal with it," he said.
The bylaw prohibits dogs running at large and unlicensed dogs. It also allows any dog running at large to be seized and killed in the interest of public safety.
Banning dogs by breed, like the current provincial law against pitbulls, doesn't deal with problem, Bradley said.

Dog in fatal mauling had attacked before: TownOct 20, 2005

Joan Ransberry,
A Ballantrae family is mourning the loss of Molly, a five-pound Yorkshire Terrier killed by an Alaskan malamute Monday.
It was the second time the 100-pound dog has attacked, jumping a fence in 1999 to bite a senior citizen and her dog, Whitchurch-Stouffville's senior bylaw officer, Keith Saunders said.
Cathy Wallace of High Point Crescent said the latest attack occurred when she and a friend were walking her four-leashed dogs on the southeast shoulder of Jasmine Crescent, near Hwy. 48. A woman was walking nearby with two leashed dogs, an Alaskan malamute and a chow chow.
"It happened so fast," Mrs. Wallace said. "It was chaotic. At first, both dogs tried to attack me. I kicked one (the chow chow ) under the chin so it wouldn't bite me or my miniature pincer. But the bigger one got hold of Molly. Even though the dog's owner held on to the leashes, she was dragged around on her stomach. There was no way a 130-pound woman could control that big animal."
The malamute had Molly clenched in its mouth and started shaking her, Mrs. Wallace said.
"The owner punched her dog and she finally let go of Molly."
Mrs. Wallace rushed Molly to a veterinarian on Aurora Road.
"When I got there, the vet declared her dead," she said.
Mrs. Wallace is worried about children playing in a nearby park.
"That dog has tasted blood once," Mrs. Wallace said. "It's bitten before. It will bite again."
In 1999, the same malamute jumped over a fence and bit a senior citizen and her little dog, Mr. Saunders said.
"The woman was treated for injuries," Mr. Saunders said. "Her little dog was chewed up, but it survived."
The dog's owner was fined under a town bylaw for allowing the dog to run at large, Mr. Saunders said.
The case didn't proceed further under Dog Owners' Liability Act because witnesses did not want to testify, he added.
In the latest incident, the malamute dragged its owner across the road.
"The woman shouldn't have been out with two dogs she can't control. The dogs should either be kept in a fenced yard or muzzled when off the property," Mr. Saunders said.
The case is being handed over to York Regional Police under the Dog Owners' Liability Act, a judge can order an owner to decide if his dog should be restrained or destroyed, Mr. Saunders said.
The owners of the malamute and chow chow declined comment.

Stray dog attacks family pet GALEN EAGLE Local News -
Friday, October 21, 2005 @ 08:00 KIRKLAND LAKE -–
An aggressive stray dog characterized as having pitbull-like characteristics viciously attacked a local family pet Saturday morning and might still be loose in the community. The pet, which was seriously wounded, was euthanized as a result of its injuries. At approximately 5 a.m. Saturday morning, Wilf and Jackie Reaume awoke to the sound of barking in their backyard. When they turned on the backyard light they saw another dog attacking their 16-year-old Labrador retriever Woody, which was tied to its doghouse. “We could see that a dog had Woody pinned down and had a grip on his behind,” says Jackie Reaume. “We could see and hear that Woody was in pain.” In an effort to save his dog, Wilf Reaume ran into the yard, picked up a metal shovel and struck the attacking dog numerous times on the head.
“I hit the dog on the head with a metal shovel and the dog would not let its grip go. I’ve never seen a dog act so aggressively as that,” says Reaume. “After the fifth or sixth blow as hard as I could, the pitbull took off.” Reaume says the dog had “the features of a pitbull,” was black or dark brown and had a tag. After the attack, the couple attended to their wounded pet. “(Woody) had been bitten under the tail, and we could see the bite did a lot of damage,” says Jackie Reaume. “The vet advised us to put our dog down since he would not recover from his injuries.” The pet, which was seriously wounded, was euthanized as a result of its injuries. Reaume says the police took their statement, but because nobody knew who owned the dog, nothing could be done. Kirkland Lake dog control was called, but it is unknown whether the dog is still roaming freely. Wilf Reaume says Woody was twice the size of the attacking dog yet was unable to defend itself. He’s concerned that such dogs, if left in irresponsible hands, could seriously injury a person. “I hope that people are aware of how vicious a pitbull can be, especially if they are let out unmuzzled,” says Reaume. “What chance would a child, an elderly person or a person walking their favorite pet have if they were attacked by a stray pitbull?” In August, Ontario’s controversial Bill 132 banning pitbulls came into effect. Under the new law, pitbulls have to be muzzled and leashed at all times when outdoors. Owners of any dogs that injure or threaten other dogs or humans face fines up to $10,000 and up to six months in jail. Jackie Reaume says she fears the owner of the dog that injured Woody might not even be aware of the terminal attack and adds pitbull owners have a responsibility to follow the new law. “These dogs are dangerous and any owner who lets them roam loose at any time is very irresponsible.”


Amstaffie said...

In the last story he says he hopes people are aware of how vicious a pb can be.... are they arware of how precious and loveable they can be when raised in a responsible home?

Faira said...

Tonka ... dog attack comment ... If the Police indeed suspect who the Rogue Rottweiler owner is, why don't they interview the neighbors of that suspect.

And if it were my, Jengibre, that was attacked and I believed the owner lived in the neighborhood she was attacked in, I would be talking to every person who lived on that entire street to trace the owner. Was any of that done by the police or by the unfortunate lady, of the dog attack! I hope so.

I have often thought that anyone wanting to own a breed of dog, known for any kind of dog attacks, should have a thorough background check on them, to see if they can be a responsible pet owner. And a check to see, that they have the means to feed their dog and that they have the proper safe gaurds in place to keep not only the dog safe but the public safe as well. Kind of like the background check done for parents wanting to adopt children.

Any dog can attack. The majority of these dogs will attack to protect their owner and from any place they consider is theirs to protect. Even Jengibre at only 10 pounds will bite, as I try to tell everyone that sticks their fingers in her face. She is only protecting me as she does our car, out home and our property.

Our Postman says he gets bitten more by small dogs than big ones! But it is the big ones you hear more about because their bites do more damage and in some cases kill.

Conners said...

You are both right, but the purpose for me posting these three recent attacks is more to show what this BSL is doing in Ontario. How irresponsible owners will continue to be irresponsible no matter WHAT breed. Only now the dog owners won't come forwards because of the high stakes involved wth fines and/or jail sentences, that many people will be going through with those aweful rabies shots not knowing if the dogs have had their shots or not, etc.
Dobbies, Rottie, ANY breed in the the hands of a responsible owner are WONDERFUL dogs, the same as the Pit bull Breeds. And Faira I have to agree with you that for that very reason, we have to stop the buying of dogs in pet stores as most (but not all) get their precious cute doggies and kittens from puppy mills. Stop the back yard breeders that are not knowledgeable of proper breeding procedures or just don't care. So many mixed breeding in there along with the criminals trying to breed two vicious natured dogs together in the hopes of getting vicious pups, which inner breeding will often do and it doesn't matter what kind of dog. The HS screens people and the perspective adoptee's same as reputable breeders. Too many people get animals and don't know squat what they are getting themselves into, nor what they should do. That's a lot of the problems.
My Mom got two of the cutest ankle biters, pomeranians. Unfortunately, they were from parents that were brother and sister. Trouble growled in his sleep and Mischief wanted to take on my huge German Shepherd. She'd take nips out of her all the time and Shebia could have eatten her in one gulp if she was so inclined.
My Mom naturally never let small kids near them and the kids mothers would give my mom dirty remarks like "humph! She thinks her dogs are too good for you!" NO! My Mom knew they couldn't be trusted not to bite the kids and was protecting them from her own dogs LADY! Sheesh!
Why did my Mom take them? Because my Baba (Gramma) adored them and they were HER LIFE! But the point I'm making is, kids needed to be protected from them and both my Mom and Baba were responsible owners to protect the kids from them. I mean, they obviously had their sweet side to them too or they wouldn't have fallen in love with them.
The people that didn't take procautions to have the brother and sister spayd and nuetered were neglegent, just like the people that allowed their dogs to roam and bite or attack.

Conners said...

And I forgot to say, "GOOD NEWS" doesn't seem to sell as well as "BAD NEWS" does. What's that tell you about society in gerneral?