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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Unleashed Dog Attack at 7th & I Yesterday

The Battered Leash by whyamiKeenan
The Battered Leash, a photo by whyamiKeenan on Flickr.
I received the following email about a dog attacked by another dog yesterday. The attacked dog is lucky to be alive. The unleashed, but accompanied, dog was a light brown pit. It, and its owner, ran off after the attack. The woman who was walking her retriever also had her nine month old child with her, so this could have had a much worse ending. She and her husband are seeking help from anyone who might have witnessed the attack and can identify the dog. Apparently several people saw it and some attempted to give aid. This story illustrates why it's so important to keep your dog on lease while walking him/her. Read the full story after the jump.

Hey there inked,


An unleashed pit attacked and nearly killed my dog while we were walking (with my 9 month old in a carrier, actually) yesterday morning around 10:00 in the morning. I want to caution neighbors, dog owners, and families with small children about this dog who has been witnessed by others off leash in the past... How would you warn folks? Animal control was called but the dog-owner split before they got to the scene and none of the witnesses seemed to know who she was. (I was securing my dog at my house when she took off.)


My dog, after a couple hours of surgery, overnight in the Veterinary ER, is in pretty rough shape. The vet put in five drains and he's on a lot of medication, but it looks like he's going to recover. If he were any smaller, or had less fur on his chest or around his neck, he'd probably be dead. (Walt, my dog, is a black retriever type mix.)

So,  please keep your dog on a leash. It's the responsible thing to do. It's also the law. Your dog might be well behaved most of the time, but it only takes a moment for things to go horribly wrong. Be safe. Be nice. Protect your dog, and protect others.


+++++++++
UPDATE
+++++++++


I'm told that the person "walking" the unleashed dog was a young, skinny, light skinned, black female (who threw herself on top of the pit in an effort to separate the dogs). If anyone can identify her, or the dog (obviously you either have to be a witness, or have seen the dog and walker). You can send tips to: waltgotbit[at]gmail.com.

83 comments:

Gonzo said...

Pits should not be bred. This stuff does not happen all the time, but does happen. Pits were bred to kill. I'm sure plenty of people will say "oh, no, that's not true at all" but they have their head in the sand.

FancyPants said...

Someone seems to be uneducated in understanding pits/dogs in general. Any dog, not just pits, have the ability to attack. All dogs have an innate sense when they feel threatened. (granted I was not there when this sad situation happened but I do feel bad for the family that's dog was attacked and am glad everyone is safe). My issue is that Gonzo is so readily to use the word "kill" means that you are clearly a moron.

Pits have been wrongfully accused and euthanized due to the lack of understanding and education someone like you seems to have. People need to understand that Pits need a strong leader, also in this particular case (as in all cases) the owner should have had the dog on a leash. Don't be ignorant and blame it on the bred. There have been great and amazing stories that came out of the dogs from the Michael Vick case, maybe you should read about those dogs, that were supposed to be euthanized and where claimed by the courts unfit and dangerous, but since then many have been able to be rehabilitated and now have a loving home and some of those homes have KIDS. (gasp! shocker! oh wait, my head isn't in the sands)

People who have no idea of how great a pitbull is as a pet, especially if they are just going off of the fear factor, are ignorant and moronic. The bottom line is: Before you get a dog, do some research, understand the bred and make sure that you are able to be responsible strong leader in the household. If Gonzo did any research on pitbulls, maybe he'd learn that they are extremely loyal and intelligent animals, that need to be given the respect and love they deserve. Maybe Gonzo has a hamster as a pet? Sorry dude, I'm proud to be a pit lover.

Anonymous said...

The attacking pit was an unfixed male.

Alan Page said...

the race of the owner is fairly useless as an identifier, as is any single detail out of context. "light skinned female" probably applies to 15% of the city. height, weight, identifying scars/tattoos, clothing, etc, in combination, are far better identifiers (people who saw a five foot two woman with a neck tattoo walking a pit would say "a-ha, i saw her!", people seeing a light skinned black female with a pit might instead say "i might have seen her, i wish i could say for certain").

this isn't political correctness, it's logic. a more detailed lookout is more likely to result in a positive eyewitness id. unfortunately, the propensity of many people, including witnesses, to only focus on skin complexion often results in these type of poor lookout descriptions. be more observant and learn how to describe people by more than just their complexion, folks, for your own good.

Alan Page said...

ps: there are other comments about this attack in the fruit bat thread and the important detail that the apparent dog owner was "thin" is therein. no height description or any other identifiers, but that adds something to the picture. apparently no one said in which direction she fled, which might also be useful (as one assumes she fled in the direction of her home if she lives in the area).

inked said...

alan,
overall someone basically ether had to see it, or be a regular dog walker/passerby to have an ideawho this was. The description is just to general.

Anonymous said...

Stop being a pit bull apologist. Pit bulls attack humans at a rate of several times the number of all other breeds combined. They are not misunderstood except by their defenders. It is foolish to say they are no more dangerous than other dogs.

ro said...

This is awful, I've witnessed two such attacks since I moved to the area. While I do think pit bulls get a bad rap as a breed, let's face it, most of the people who own pits in this neighborhood have absolutely no idea how to control them. Anytime I see some kid being pulled down the block by his pit I go the other way. Not worth the risk.

Rebecca said...

Here is an appropriate piece by Malcolm Gladwell on the subject of pitbulls.

http://www.gladwell.com/2006/2006_02_06_a_pitbull.html

I was one of the people who witnessed this neighborhood attack on Saturday. It was horrifying, and left me sobbing for some time afterwards. I'm not someone who crosses the street when I see a pit coming, but after seeing this event, you can bet I will from now on.

I know these posts tend to dissolve into race debates, but in this case race came in (rightfully) only as a physical descriptor of someone associated with this dog that needs to be found and put down. There is a lesson to be learned here, but unfortunately, I doubt that the many irresponsible dog owners out there are reading Frozen Tropics.

My most sincere sympathies to the dog owners. I can't say how relieved I am that the attacked dog is going to be ok.

Anonymous said...

Does DC have a leash law? If so, it needs to be enforced. If not, we need one. This would include all the irresponsable dog owners who let their dogs run loose in Lincoln Park.

- Pit Bull owner

CGladbach said...

Ya know...there's a woman that walks by my house all the time with her giant (and totally badass and beautiful) German shepherd all the time. This dog is always on a leash, but I swear one of these days it's actually gonna get free of her and attack my little 30lb spaniel mix. This dog loses its mind around other dogs. You can tell it's totally out for blood, and she's barely hanging on to it. Clearly, this German shepherd hasn't been socialized properly. Every time I see this woman I get pissed for that animal. For a dog to react that violently, the owner has to be a complete idiot.

Anon 8:09, get your facts straight. Daschunds bite more people per year than any other breed of dog. Of course, no one cares about that because a Daschund bite hurts about as much as a bee sting.

Gonzo, yeah. This breed was created to hunt and take down big game (hence the intense jaws). Because of this they can often be very aggressive towards other animals, but their instinct is NOT to be aggressive towards people. They were also used to guard the bed chambers of children, and were often called the "babysitter" breed.

My point here is the OWNER, not the ANIMAL, is at fault. She clearly hasn't trained that animal and isn't a responsible dog owner. She should be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I understand that if this dog is found it will be put to sleep. That's not something I want to debate. I just can't stand it when people start to get anti-pit.

Anonymous said...

Thin African American female, light to medium skin, long light hair loose with braids mixed in and streaks of bright colors especially pink, wearing a tight mini-dress. The unleashed pit was male, tan with dark trim, big but short. They were coming from the south on 7th turning east onto Eye Street.

Anonymous said...

This description of the woman and dog fits exactly with what I saw (I'm Rebecca's husband). Hopefully someone on this blog recognizes this idiot as a neighbor and we can pass that info on to the proper authorities.

-J

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine had her lab attacked by a pit bull in Maryland. I don't know if the law in DC is different, but she said unless the victim dog dies the aggressor will not be put down.

Anonymous said...

FancyPants needs to get a clue...

Of the 88 fatal dog attacks recorded by DogsBite.org, pit bull type dogs were responsible for 59% (52). This is equivalent to a pit bull killing a U.S. citizen every 21 days during this 3-year period.

Anonymous said...

I don't get what this Pit debate is about. Pits are unquestionably a more dangerous breed (especially to other dogs) than most other breeds and even moreso when in the hands of irresponsible owners.

Whereas indicting the whole breed (e.g., "Pits should not be bred") is certainly an overgeneralization, no one here can seriously argue that it wouldn't be better if access to that breed by irresponsible, uneducated people was drastically decreased somehow.

Anonymous said...

so after all this, is there any recourse if someone identifies the dog and owner? most likely the girl is not the adult owner of the dog. if she's walking it with a leash next time, then what to do? if no leash, then call animal control, correct??

Anonymous said...

@Cgladbach, the lady who walks the big german shepherd always keeps her dog away from others and is very careful with it. the dog might not like other dogs and people but it appears to be well trained by the owner and follows her commands. So before you call her an idiot, I suggest you actually talk to her, she's an expert on german shepherds. Her name is Mary by the way.

Anonymous said...

yeah, "pits should not be bred" is the equivalent to "the african american race should not be bred due to high murder rate in Trinidad." That sounded dumb, right?

dogs should be leashed. offer free spay/neuter. unneutered adult male DOGS bite more than any other dogs, regardless of breed. pit education should be given to the community by our animal control/shelter.

those are solutions. unlike the uneducated comment by Gonzo the bozo.

Anonymous said...

What was the woman whose dog was attacked wearing?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the owner of the pitbull didn't realize anything had happened?

Anonymous said...

12:06-what could that possibly have to do with anything?

12:08-why would that matter? They would still have ultimate responsibility for their dog, right?

Annoyingmous said...

Anon 12:18 -- re: Anon 12:06's question, if that info had been provided quickly, it might have helped to *identify* the person. That's why police lookouts always provide what clothing a perp was wearing.

In the modern "whip out your cell phone" age, I'm surprised no witness has come forward with pics.

Annoyingmous said...

OOPS -- I'm now re-reading Anon 12:06's question, and I see that for some reason, he/she was asking about the victims and not the perps. I am brain dead. Yeah, no idea why that question was asked.

Robby said...

The American Staffordshire Terrier is not naturally violent. The AM Staff debate is silly. All dogs if not trained or trained well will not behave well. The breed isn't the problem, the person is. If the person is found the dog should be rehabilitated if possible and then adopted out to a pet parent that will do right by it. We don’t need one injured dog, and one dead one. The execution of that pit will simply contribute the cycle of violence. It will do nothing to heal the wounded dog, and it may rob its owner of a very important teachable moment.

Anonymous said...

Robby,

Suggesting they are "naturally violent" was not the point. They ARE, however, prone to be more dog-aggressive than a great majority of domestic breeds and they have the innate tools (bite strenth, lack of fear, aggression) to be extremely dangerous. You simply cannot get away from the fact that breed is a large component of this discussion. Someone's super aggressive Minature Pincer is simply not going to be able to do as much damage to another dog as a Pit (and can be more easily controlled even by an irresponsible owner). Likewise, an untrained Golden Retriever is simply not as much of a threat to other dogs as a Pit, simply due to the breed's general disposition and tendencies.

I get that you are trying to point the focus on irresponsible dog ownership (a place where it should rightfully be, don't get me wrong) but it's dishonest to try and claim that the breed is not a relevant factor.

charles said...

There never seem to be any discussions about how labradors aren't really as vicious as everybody thinks they are. I wonder why that is?

Anonymous said...

As for the ultimate consequences here, I think if found, the dog should be removed from the house and it should be left up to folks with more knowledge than any of us here to decide if the dog can be rehabilitated (not just given to another family of irresponsible owners).

CGladbach said...

Anon 11:37,

There are multiple shepherds in the neighborhood, but there's only one owner I'm talking about. This lady is probably a real sweetheart who loves her animal. I won't fault her for spoiling him rotten, because Lord knows I do the same. I'm just saying this woman pisses me off because the dog clearly hasn't been socialized properly. I mean, this thing is a beast when it sees my dog (this happens when I'm in my front yard behind my little fence, so we're not in his way or anything...there's no territory stuff happening). She seems to have a real hard time keeping him contained when he lunges. Yes, she crosses the street when she sees me now, but it doesn't listen to her commands to stop at all. I keep expecting it to get loose and jump my fence to attack. You can tell it wants to. It's just an example that breed bias makes no sense. Pit, shepherd, pomeranian, who cares? A dog is a dog is a dog. The owner is what makes the difference.

I really hope they find the owner in question here. The person responsible needs to get their ass handed to them.

Anonymous said...

American Pitbulls, American Stafordshires, Cane Corsos, Presa Cararios, American Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Bandogs and the hundreds of mixes all look similar but are not the same dogs. The biggest problem with these dogs is over-breeding and irresponsible owners. Anytime there is an attack the dog is called a "pitbull" and these threads are predictably full of pro-pit, anti-pit statements.

All dogs should be on a leash in the city. Period. I wouldn't take my overly socialized Pit to a dogpark, but many people do.

Anonymous said...

I am also very weary of pitbulls in our neighborhood. There's a nice gentleman who always brings his 3-4 black pit bulls to the Kingsman dog park. I saw one of them get into a scuffle with another dog once and I've been gun shy about these dogs ever since. I brought my 3 year old and 1 year old to the dog park the other day when they were there and I was nervous the whole time. I think the owner has good control over the dogs, but I really think even well-trained pits can be loose cannons. I prefer to just walk the other way if I don't know the dog personally. And I am going to always keep my kids far away from any dog that looks dangerous or aggressive. But the bottom line about this whole story is that ALL dogs, no matter what their breed should be on a leash when not in a space reserved as off-leash for dogs (dog parks and Congressional Cemetery only). I don't care if the dog is "friendly" "older" "well-trained" or otherwise, it's the law and it should be followed for the safety of everyone in the neighborhood. I am glad the surviving dog is ok from this attack and I hope they find this wayward pit owner very soon. Those medical expenses for the victim dog must be astronomical and that woman should pay for reimbursing this poor family for their injuries.

Scooby Doo said...

A large fraction of attacks reported in the media as coming from pit bulls don't come from pit bulls. One of the more infamous dog attacks in this country, the killing of Diane Whipple in SF ten years ago, has been routinely attributed to a pair of pit bulls in the media; but the dogs were Presa Canario/Mastiff mixes. Presa Canarios don't even look much like pit bulls, and they're not a related breed to any of the "pit bull" breeds (Am Staffordshire, Am Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull); but attacks by Presa Canarios are routinely reported in the media as attacks by pit bulls. And they're not alone. When you read a newspaper story about an attack from a pit bull, there's an extremely high chance it was a Presa, or a Boxer, or a Cane Corso, or a zillion possible mixes. In Chicago when I lived there, an attack by a Doberman (!) was described in the paper as a pit bull attack.

This is not a way of saying that breed doesn't matter at all -- of course it does. But there are a large number of dog breeds that frequently are aggressive towards dogs and/or people; they all get referred to in a knee-jerk fashion as "pit bulls" when, very often, they ain't.

Owning one of these dog breeds carries with it a lot of responsibility; unfortunately, many of the owners don't have the tiniest bit of responsibility. To a certain extent, I blame Sports Illustrated, which at least owned up to their role when, a few years ago, they wrote "Some contend that this hysteria reached its apex with a 1987 Sports Illustrated cover that featured a snarling pit bull below the headline 'Beware of this dog'. Despite the more balanced article inside, which was occasioned by a series of attacks by pit bulls, the cover cemented the dogs' badass cred, and as rappers affected the gangster ethos, pit bulls became cool. Suddenly, any thug or wannabe thug knew what kind of dog to own. Many of these people didn't know how to train or socialize or control the dogs, and the cycle fed itself."

So you have a lot of self-absorbed idiots who probably shouldn't have any type of dog at all getting one of the highest-maintenance breeds there are. The fact that the woman walking the pit in this attack was walking the dog off-leash, and took off afterwards rather than own up to her responsibility in the situation, would be a strong argument that she's just such a self-absorbed idiot.

Anonymous said...

Why do whites get labradors and blacks get pits?

Robby said...

Living with a Chihuahua who tried to attack a Clydesdale, I will agree that leashes required for all city dogs. On the matter of bad or good dog breeds, it’s more about the owner or previous owner than the dog. It’s not pro-or anti- breed type, it’s realizing the owners are the responsible party. If you’re scared of that type of dog then yes by all means cross the street, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with that dog. But it’s your decision. Often when walking my rather aloof Chihuahua mix, out of concern about any dog larger than a Scotty, I cross the street or pick him up. Not that there’s anything up with those dogs, but I happen to know my little boy.

Anonymous said...

Data compiled by Animal People found that from 1982 through 2010 and found that Pit bulls and close pit mixes accounted for 57% of all dog bites resulting in bodily harm and 47% of all dog bites resulting in death. That is 1 breed. No other single breed even comes close.

You can have your own opinions, but you cant have your own facts.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous because I know I will be crucified if discovered. Dog-people are frighteningly loyal to their canine companions.

I have friends who own dogs, who love them, who are responsible dog owners. My family, too. But I really dislike dogs and I am tired of hearing stories like this and the subsequent debate. You want a large-sized dog? Move out to the country. It's just too crowded in DC for everyone to own a dog and I don't have the time when I'm walking down the street to suss out whether each owner is responsible. We can't tell the responsible owners from the irresponsible ones. As a non-dog person I shouldn't be subjected to this. How do I know a leash will even restrain certain dogs? Or that a fence will hold them back. Not to mention the leashes that get in my way when I am walking down the sidewalk. Or the poo. There are really too many dogs in this town.

Gonzo said...

I stand by my opposition to breeding pits. I also stand by my assertion that they were bred to kill. I will simply add two points:

1) Pit bulls are now the #1 bred dog breed in America.

2) Pit bulls comprise 70% of all dogs housed and euthenized in annimal shelters in the US today.

Those two points make clear that the pit bull is a unique animal and can be distinguished from other breeds in their role in our socity. Yes, all animals if attacked, can become aggressive, but the consequences of an aggressive pit pull are a threat to our community. Period. I do not respect the opinions of apologists. Yes, I too feel sympathy for these poor, overbred, overpopulated dogs. I also understand that the are nice dogs most of the time - some may be their entire life and that this card can be played again and again. But the truth is that they are capable killing or tearing the face off a child in a way that other breeds cannot. This was not the first near-death attck in NE DC. There will be more.

I would support a Pit Bull ban in DC if it came to a vote.

Scooby Doo said...

Anon 3:32:

1) Link to study please?

2) In particular, how did they verify that a particular attack that was reported as being from a pit bull was really from a pit bull?

3) You write "that is 1 breed. No other single breed even comes close. You can have your own opinions, but you cant have your own facts." But it isn't 1 breed, since there are three breeds in the U.S. that are *collectively* referred to colloquially as "pit bulls" (the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier). You can have your own opinions, but you can't have your own facts.

4.) Assuming the study is correct, what conclusion is it that you're guiding us towards? That breed matters? I don't see anyone here arguing otherwise. Where people disagree is *why* the breed matters. If, out of an attraction to a violent image, a large fraction of the pit bulls out there are being raised by irresponsible dog owners that don't socialize their dogs, then it's hardly surprising at all that pit bulls would comprise a huge fraction of dog attacks.

Scooby Doo said...

Gonzo wrote:

"1) Pit bulls are now the #1 bred dog breed in America."

Really? That's surprising. Got a cite?


"2) Pit bulls comprise 70% of all dogs housed and euthenized in annimal shelters in the US today."

I'm not at all surprised if that's true. But apparently you discount what the animal shelters themselves say is the reason for that. Let's take our local Humane Society's shelters on NY Avenue and Georgia Avenue, for instance:

The Washington Humane Society, like many shelters througout the US, is experiencing an overpopulation of pit bulls within our care. Though the percentage of pit bulls brought into our shelters isn't much higher than that of other breeds, pit bulls tend to sit in our shelters for longer periods of time, in part because of a host of myths and misconceptions about the breed in the public at large. Learn about the misconceptions and the truth about this misunderstood breed.

Anonymous said...

Another complicating factor here is that most of these irresponsible dog owners are probably getting their dogs just from other irresponsible dog owners, rather than breeders or even shelters. I don't know how you can police this effectively, which I guess, can be seen to speak in favor of some sort of ban. I mean, the reality is that our area has a high concentration of uneducated, irresponsible people who, when looking to be dog owners will choose Pits for their fearsome rep. This combination is unquestionalby dangerous enough to maybe warrant some measures that would, in other situations, be deemed extreme. I dunno.

Anonymous said...

I dont humor sanctimonious assholes on the internet by doing their research for them. You've already prejudged the study (which is a compilation of reports, so not really so much a study as a accumulation of incidents) so I dont know why you are going to bother looking at it.

I told you the source and the content. Use google for christ sake.

Anonymous said...

Additionally, its totally offensive for you to say that only negligent or violence loving dog owners have pit bulls that attack other dogs or people. I have personally seen violent prone pit bulls that are owned by perfectly responsible owners.

So stop running around spouting this nature vs nurture bs. Violent animals, even if they can be tamed somewhat, are still more prone to violence. Ask Siegfriend and Roy about that.

Gonzo said...

The information is provided by the Humane Society of the United States, the largest national network of annimal shelters in the US and a widely recognized and respected institution. The HSUS has some great resources on Pit Bull care and the consequencse of breeding, dogfighting, etc.

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/pit_bull_resources.html

Mark said...

@CGladbach, why do you still insist the woman with the Shepherd is a bad owner? Yes, the dog has not been socialized, but how do you know whose fault that is? Perhaps the woman rescued the dog and is attempting to socialize it now. Your description of this dog is similar to my own situation... I put a lot of time and effort into training my rescued pit mix, and she is very well behaved at home and everywhere I go, save for the times she meets another dog. Sometimes her anxiety gets the best of her and she will not listen to me. Even this poor behavior is heavily dependent on the dog she meets - some she just ignores. And she's showing signs of progress. Rehabilitating a dog is neither easy nor quick. I am always responsible and have her leashed and do not force confrontations with other dogs - same as the Shepherd's owner. So why vilify someone who is being responsible while trying to rehabilitate a troubled dog?

Dave B said...

Why dont you guys take this thread over to the Washington Dog Dork Discussion Boards?

Gonzo said...

The information is from the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS also offers some great resources on pit bulls: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/pit_bull_resources.html

Scooby Doo said...

Anon 4:19 -- so what you're saying is, when you make an assertion, it's not your responsibility to be able to back it up?

Gotcha.

Gonzo said...

The Animal People report is more recent, but not as widely recognized as the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association's massive 20 year study (1979-1998), which found pit bulls to be responsible for 1/3 of deaths during this period. Rotweilers and German Shephards were also at the top. Fascinatingly, there was one death by Cocker Spaniel. I would presume the increase in pit bull breeding has increased this number. The Annimal People figures combine pibull and rotweiler breeds, so the numbers are completely consistent with the JAVMA numbers

Scooby Doo said...

Gonzo -- Thanks for the link. I'm confused, though, in that the link seems to run counter to the points you've been making. For instance, it included the following:

Opposing Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), a shortsighted and ineffective response to dog bites in a community, is another priority for The HSUS. By placing bans on specific dog breeds (most often pit bulls) BSL unfairly targets dogs who are most often not problematic, because irresponsible owners are not likely to abide by laws in the first place.

So I'm not sure how it goes along with your argument; but I could easily be missing something.

Gonzo said...

Animal People Report: Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada
September 1982 to June 25, 2010
. Seems like a small organization, but the numbers are very close to the JAVMA numbers.

@Scooby-Doo - I cite the HSUS numbers, but I do not take their position on breed-specific legislation. I personally support breed-specific legislation. If you want ot enforce specific breeds, it's not clear cut but it's not hard. Just ask the Dept. of Commerce.

Scooby Doo said...

Gonzo -- in the previous post, I was referring to the link from the Humane Society, not that of the study. *Thanks* very much for the second link.

Scooby Doo said...

Anon 4:22 wrote:

"Additionally, its totally offensive for you to say that only negligent or violence loving dog owners have pit bulls that attack other dogs or people. I have personally seen violent prone pit bulls that are owned by perfectly responsible owners."

That would be a great criticism if I ever said that. But since I never did, it's just a strawman.

In fact, what I actually *did* say was this: "If, out of an attraction to a violent image, a large fraction of the pit bulls out there are being raised by irresponsible dog owners that don't socialize their dogs, then it's hardly surprising at all that pit bulls would comprise a huge fraction of dog attacks."

and earlier:

"Owning one of these dog breeds carries with it a lot of responsibility; unfortunately, many of the owners don't have the tiniest bit of responsibility."

How you got from those to 'only negligent or violence loving dog owners have pit bulls that attack other dogs or people' . . .I dunno.

Gonzo said...

@Scooby Doo - Yes, gotcha. I knew you were referring to the HSUS page.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know enough to weigh in on the pit bull debate, but what I do know is that this dog is clearly dangerous and needs to be dealt with somehow. It was my dog who was attacked, and my wife and baby who were lucky to escape without any bites themselves. I just want to see the city do whatever needs to be done to keep this dog from attacking again.

In the meantime, we're out thousands of dollars on a bill for emergency dog surgery, and whoever this person is has just walked away from the scene of a crime. DC does have a leash law, and this woman was clearly and deliberately in violation of it, and her negligence nearly led to the death of the sweetest, gentlest dog that any of you would ever meet.

--Owner of the attacked dog, husband of a traumatized wife, and father of a 9-month-old baby who is lucky not to have lost any little piggies to a wild pit bull

Anonymous said...

I think the real problem here is George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Nobody can solve all the worlds problems regarding starving kids, violent dogs, racism etc. What can happen on this thread or another vehicle like it is for a few people to try and come together to nail down some solid information to pass on to the authorities regarding this irresponsble attack. I really feel trying to convince someone otherwise is simply futile and wasted thinking.

Anonymous said...

bush lied, innocent dogs died

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what kind of stroller the attacked dogs owner had?

Scooby Doo said...

Anon 7:27 (owner of attacked dog): I'm hoping that your wife is going to see this young woman (and, if with her, her dog) around the neighborhood again and can snap a picture or identify where she lives. I'm terribly sorry your poor dog and your family have gone through this. While I may think that poor ownership is a major factor in attacks from pit bulls, that doesn't mean I don't consider them a threat. I have a three-month old puppy right now (not a pit bull), who doesn't yet realize that other dogs may not want to play with her; and when we're out walking and she meets other dogs -- especially pit bulls -- I'm wary. I may believe that the biggest factor in pit bull behavior is the owner's efforts (or lack thereof) to properly socialize and train their dog; but when meeting an unknown dog on the street, how can you possibly know what kind of owner they have? So I definitely worry about just such an attack as your family experienced. I hope that your dog recovers as much as possible and you have many more years together.

Dogwalker said...

To all the arguments here in support of a ban on pits, just remember, guns are/were illegal in this city and you see the good that did for our neighborhood.

Just remember that aside from all the back and forth about the aggressive nature of the breed and the necessity of a strong "pack leader" and proper training, this could have all been prevented by the most minimal act of responsibility of the owner to USE A LEASH. For all we know she could have not even had a clue about how to properly train and socialize a dog - but any idiot can hold onto a leash.

I see far too many aspiring "dog whisperers" walking their dogs unleashed around Capitol Hill - and semi-regularly see one guy (black male) walking his large black dog (likely lab mix) around north of H St. What are you trying to prove? Sure you've trained your dog well enough to walk next to you and follow commands, but that doesn't keep him from running up to "greet" my dog if I screw up and don't see you soon enough to get to the other side of the street.

My dog is a rescue that is as sweet as he can be to humans, but can get anxious around unfamiliar dogs sometimes (and is improving substantially). However, any potential threat he may pose to another dog is mitigated completely by the proper use of a leash and harness.

It's not that difficult to comprehend - it's just unfortunate that the lack of common sense is the main culprit in this and so many other similar cases.

Scooby Doo said...

dogwalker: Great post. The JAVMA study that Gonzo posted earlier noted that "in the fatal cases, less than one half of 1% of dog-bite related fatalities were caused by leashed animals off the owners' property." Leash your dog.

Anonymous said...

If it's statistics you want, check it out. Pit bulls scored 86.4% on the American Temperament Test compared to the average of 77% of the general dog population. Check out what the other breeds scored, including golden retrievers... (hint pit bulls scored higher)....

http://atts.org/breed-statistics/statistics-page1/

Just a word of caution. Just like racism is toxic, so is generalizing an entire breed of dog due to the negligence of few.

Sincerely,
a responsible pit bull owner

Anonymous said...

I'm almost tempted not to respond in order to let this die but, I'd just point out that, "failure" in that test was achieved through any one of three means:

1. Unprovoked aggression
2. Panic without recovery
3. Strong avoidance

Only "unprovoked aggression" would be relevant to this discussion and this site (no idea about how credible this institute is by the way) does not breakdown faliure in terms of type. Not to mention the fact that the number of dogs for each breed tested varied widley, there's no mention of true experimental process and controls involved, etc...seems largely anecdotal and certainly not dispositive of the issues mentioned here.

Anonymous said...

Believe what you'd like. All I'm saying is stop the lynch mob mentality. It won't help anyone.

Breed specific legislation does not work. Mandatory spay/neuter laws would be a great start. Too bad that will never happen and this vicious cycle will continue on forever...

Anonymous said...

I think that you need to take that giant chip off your shoulder and recognize that this has been a debate with both sides pretty well represented and nothing at all like a lynch mob. A debate on a thread that should have been about a specific incident with people trying to help make their specific neighborhood safer by getting rid of a single specific menacing dog.

doron said...

1) Bite statistics cannot be used becaused most dog bites go unrecorded or the breeds are mislabled.

2) pitbull is a general term for pitbull type dogs and is as descriptive as a mut. A mastif lab mix can look identical to a cane corso or terrier mix, often labled pitbulls.

3) Dog behavior is what we need to be looking at, not breed specific. Treatment of animals, training and proper socialization is first and foremost the most important factor in maintaining a safe and harmless animal.

4) Aggressive in dogs is fear. They are not mean, out for blood, or malicious. They are protective and scared and act accordingly when in situations when the don't feel safe. dog on dog aggressive behavior is very different from dog to person aggressive behavior and one does not necessarily mean the other. Dogs walking towards each-other are greeting face to face, rather than rear to rear, and many dogs, even the nicest ones, can act aggressively when approached this way UNLESS they have been taught differently.

The points here are that a woman walking her dog in a populated area and did not have him in her control, as in leased or in voice command and another dog was terribly injured. The person responsible for allowing this to happen by not properly restraining her dog is to blame. Her dog was simply acting like, well, a dog. If we are going to allow pets as property then we need to place the responsibility on the pet owner, just like driving a car. Spaying and neutering, proper training, and treatment of a companion animal (not simply a back yard dog, or a 'resident dog) should be mandatory for all dogs, regardless of the breed. There is a reason this happens. And it's not because there are big dogs in the world.

Anonymous said...

"Spaying and neutering, proper training, and treatment of a companion animal (not simply a back yard dog, or a 'resident dog) should be mandatory for all dogs, regardless of the breed"

I can't imagine anyone on either side of this argument would be against this proposal. Make it a law, that sounds good to me. Does Tommy Wells read this blog? He could submit legislation.

jamie said...

The real problem in this incident is one that seems to plague our neighborhood--the lack of consequence for flouting DC's leash laws. I have a pit bull who is never off-leash in public. One night a few months ago, my pit was attacked near the Sherwood Rec Center by a German Shepherd who was off-leash, and whose owner would frequently walk his dogs off-leash and would in turn harass my dog. Finally, one night his dogs graduated from harassment to biting. Fortunately my dog's wounds were minor, and the police did pay the other owner a visit, but this was at least the third time I had called them, and it took two visits to get a report filed. Moreover, the city placed both his dogs and mine under quarantine, since they simply assume that a bitten dog bites back.

Irresponsible dog owners suffer few if any consequences for their actions. While the ignorant choose to blame the breed, the blame lies with the scumbags who walk their dogs in public off leash.

RP on Orren said...

Yeah, I think the leash law point is a good one. I walked pass this guy on Levis street one day and, I guess trying to impress the lady he was with, he says to me, "Watch yourself." and pointed to his unleashed pitbull-looking dog, which was on the sidewalk a ways down. Instead of playing my intended meek white boy roll I asked his stupid ass, "If it's dangerous why isn't it on a leash?" He was taken aback and muttered something about he's talking to his neighbor and next time he'd blah blah blah. But the point is that I then had to walk past this unleashed supposedly dangerous dog. I didn't call the police because this guy had a clear sight line to my front door and would see where I live and I didn't want my property vandalized so basically I was left to the whims of the dog.

Anonymous said...

@RP on Orren:

Ugh...yet another disgusting example of not being able to do anything about a neighbor's ridiculous/irresponsible/dangerous/threatening behavior because of fear of retribution. This place sucks sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed there are a whole lot of people walking their dogs not on leashes. This sense of let dogs be dogs is almost universal - and seems to afflict all socio-economic groups.

other the river said...

And maybe one day, we'll address the systematic, historical injustices
that lead pit bulls in DC to believing they have
no other out in life except to viciously attack dogs and children.

charles said...

Jamie I think I have seen the same guy with two aggressive Shepherds at Stanton Park. It's not unusual for dogs to be let off leash there to fetch or run, but these are the only dogs I have seen in the park that aggressively approach other dogs and try to intimidate them. These dogs do not resopnd to verbal commands from their owner, and I think it's only a matter of time before we're talking about another incident.

Little Darling said...

From our trainer (Drayton Michaels, www.pitbullguru.com) at www.pinupsforpitbulls.com

The issue surrounding “Pit Bulls” is simple a math and science equation. The answers are in this email. I have researched Pit Bulls from a behavioral standpoint and have been all around the USA speaking with the best in animal behavior. You can read about this at www.pitbullguru.com
Once people remove the emotions, the math and science dictate that dogs, all dogs are one of the safest risks in society.
Here is the math of dog bites in the USA.
300 Million Humans
Estimated 74 million dogs of all breeds (est. 2.5 million “pit bulls”)
On average according to the CDC studies 16 people die from dog bite related injuries. This is factored over a 10 -year period.
There is a 0.0002% chance of being killed by a dog, any dog.
Where is the dog bite epidemic in that math?
In contrast consider that 6 children die daily from some form of parental abuse that is 2000 kids a year on average.

(This kind of reporting creates) bias that extends through out communities and shelters. Resulting in prejudice of innocent dog owners and higher euthanasia rates in shelters, thus costing communities more money.
One aspect that any respectable Pit Bull advocate must deal with is the fact that yes, some dogs do find themselves in really bad human environments and are behaviorally unsound, thus they do horrible things. However one must look at the human behavior associated to those incidents.

Campy said...

Update:

Just got off the phone with my buddy who spotted an unleashed light brown pitbull at 9th & K NE, flagged down a cop, and with the help of another neighbor the police officer captured the dog.

Apparently no owner in sight but police were aware of the lookout so hopefully this is good news that some level of justice will be served.

Anonymous said...

If it's the dog in question, it will undoubtably have injuries as I think it only released after being hit repeatedly with a broom.

Anonymous said...

Pit bull advocates live in a reality That is different from the reality everyone else lives in.

Annoyingmous said...

other the river (over the river mistyped his name?): that's a DCist cliche; different culture here, and you won't get the same laughs.

Anonymous said...

My best wishes go out to the family who was attacked. I hope your dog makes a speedy recovery and I'm very happy you weren't hurt.

Pit advocates are not delusional or live in another 'reality.' I'm happy to say what no one else has so far: Pits went from being loving, loyal, family "Nanny" dogs to a cult symbol of violence popular with street gangs and drug dealers.

So to those who cite a bunch of bite or attack statistics, get a better argument. It doesn't surprise me that Pits top these lists when you train, starve, beat and abuse them so they will be mean and then breed the most powerful and most aggressive of these dogs to create more of them. So yes, they will cause a disproportionate number of attacks relative to their numbers. Duh.

Thankfully, there are lots of responsible Pit owners. Some of them have commented here. Pits are intelligent, loyal and loving when with a responsible owner. They are beautiful dogs with a long history of being loyal family companions.

Too often in urban areas Pits are used as protection animals for gangs, drug houses or used for fighting. I see many young men in my neighborhood walking male Pits - one in particular whose "leash" is actually a chain heavy enough to tow a car. These people will not care about a breed-specific ban, just as they don't care about our ban on handguns. Regardless of what the law says, criminals will always have guns, drugs, Pits or whatever else they want - hence the word 'criminal.'

So until we can strengthen animal abuse laws and laws that make owners criminally and financially responsible for the harm their animals cause, we won't have a solution. Condemning an entire breed to 'death' is just ignorant and doesn't solve anything.

Anonymous said...

On a dog related (but otherwise unrelated) note, it would be great if people with dogs would use the new dog park instead of letting their animals run around off leash in Stanton Park. Aside from the potential hazards to both other visitors and the animals themselves of running off leash, the high concentration of dogs that make daily use of the park has caused the landscaping to deteriorate and is ruining what was once a beautiful open space. Half of the park is not basically unusable for human activity because the grass has been killed and its now just packed dirt.

NPS who maintains the part put up a temporary fence around the damaged area at one point. It seemed to me that the dog people didn't get that the fence was for exclusion of dogs but rather made their own opening and used the area as an unofficial dog run. Would have been nice if NPS had put some signs up to clarify what the intent of the fence was....

CGladbach said...

@Mark

I'm so glad to hear your pup has made progress. I know that must be a lot of work, and I salute your efforts.

In the 4 years I've been seeing shepherd lady, I have seen no change in her dog's reaction to other dogs. Yeah, I'm judging her as an owner because from what I see she's not his Alpha. A dog that size needs a clear Alpha in and out of the home. Rescue or not. And that's it, really...so what if I don't like this person? Why does that matter so much?

None of that is the point here anyway. The only reason I brought up this woman was to make a point about breed bias...which I think I made pretty clear in both of my previous posts. I'm advocating FOR pitbulls as a breed because I personally don't believe it's fair to basically "profile" them like this. They're no different than this shepherd or Robby's Clydesdale-hating chihuahua (which is hilarious to think about, btw).

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more w/Anon above. So inconsiderate that a public space is destroyed because of dog owners:

On a dog related (but otherwise unrelated) note, it would be great if people with dogs would use the new dog park instead of letting their animals run around off leash in Stanton Park. Aside from the potential hazards to both other visitors and the animals themselves of running off leash, the high concentration of dogs that make daily use of the park has caused the landscaping to deteriorate and is ruining what was once a beautiful open space. Half of the park is not basically unusable for human activity because the grass has been killed and its now just packed dirt.