Monday, May 10, 2010

A leashless reactive dog paid the ultimate price yesterday

The major news outlets are calling him a "pit bull" - it's already in the Toronto Sun, the province that loves to kill anything that has the slightest whiff of "pit bull" attached to it - but CBC News has been a bit more accurate perhaps, and actually found out the name of the dog even - "Cujo", which isn't a great name for a dog - doesn't give you a warm fuzzy feeling, but such as it is - CBC News is reporting that the (now dead) dog was a "boxer mastiff" - and not in fact a "pit bull" - but from now on, that's all anybody will be hearing.

What people also will NOT hear is that
1. there was no owner present,
2. the dog was running at large,
3. the dog had no leash on,
4. the dog had escaped from his yard,
5. his owner was horribly negligent for not being able to contain him

No one will will ever hear any of that, or seemingly - care about that - all they'll hear is "Pit bull killed after trapping man, son in car" - and then the kicker - the son was trying to get the father's WHEELCHAIR out of the car. Oh my - the PIT BULL had even found himself a handicapped person to try and shed to pieces.

I don't mean to be so grandiose - I am just being truthful - about the media, and about people who grab onto these stories to further their own agendas.

It is shameful that this boxer-mastiff dog had to die yesterday - that the RCMP arrived before animal control did - that the improper municipal service arrived first. That an IMPROPERLY TRAINED (obviously) municipal staff person arrived on scene and used the wrong type of force to deal with the situation.

It is TRAGIC. And now this story has hit every newswire - probably all across North America - and set back the dog cause. Which is also TRAGIC. and unnecessary.

Especially since the wrong end of the story is being highlighted - once again.

The dog didn't have to die, it's the owner who should be being focused on, and the RCMP officer, and the breed misidentification. It's all bad.

And I hate to bring it up - but this is the 2nd news item about "pit bulls" that's happened in the last couple weeks in the HRM - a couple weeks ago there was a story in the Halifax Weekly news about "2 pit bulls" that attacked 2 small froo froo dogs that was equally disheartening that I was meaning to blog about, but hadn't gotten around to - and tonight is as good as any time I suppose.

This story is equally as silly because the 2 "pit bull" type dogs were once again -
1. running at large,
2. their owner was actually standing up at the end of the road watching the whole scene unfold with the dogs leashes in her hand!
3. the person with the 2 little dogs didn't even try to go approach the dogs' owner to make her act responsibly
4. Animal Control has yet to find the dogs' owner

Stupid is, as stupid does. Story after story says the same tale. It's ALWAYS the owner - and never the dogs fault ultimately. Dangerous dog is a misnomer. I've written that line in previous posts.

I had an email tonight from a lady who said "Joan, my heart is breaking for someone whose dog was shot by the police in HRM. Perhaps, the dog was excited and barking. He was running around making a lot of noise and in general being a pain in the ass. Through all of that, he did not bite anyone, he did not have a prior history of biting anyone. Why five bullets?"

Why do dogs have to keep dying because of the sins of their owners? Unfortunately I don't have an answer for that because I don't think that it's ever going to happen. There's no law that says that idiots can't get dogs - we can't legislate against idiots - if we could, very few people would have dogs I'd say.

CBC's version:
Boxer mastiff named Cujo shot by N.S. Mountie
Father and son trapped in vehicle by dog

A boxer mastiff named Cujo that trapped a man and his teenage son in their vehicle was shot and killed Sunday by RCMP in Nova Scotia.

Police were called to a home in Wellington, north of Dartmouth, to deal with a dog running loose around 6 p.m. on Mother's Day.

RCMP Const. Tamu Bracken said members found a homeowner and his 16-year-old son taking refuge in their car while the dog ran barking around it. The dog was also growling and baring its teeth.

The son had been trying to get his father's wheelchair out of the car, Bracken said, when the dog ran at him and he had to jump back inside the car for safety. They then called 911.

The dog initially obeyed the Mountie's command to back off, Bracken said, but continued to bark. A neighbour came by to help, but didn't know who owned the animal.

The boxer mastiff eventually wandered off, but then returned and charged at the officer, she said.

"The officer had to draw his pistol and shoot the dog," Bracken said, adding the officer feared for his safety.

The Mountie shot at the dog five times. It ran away but was later found dead by its owner in the backyard.

The owner is questioning the shooting, saying the dog never bit anyone, and suggested animal control should have been called.

RCMP and animal control officers are investigating

Chronicle Herald's version:
RCMP officer shoots pit bull

By IAN FAIRCLOUGH Staff Reporter
An RCMP officer shot an aggressive pit bull Sunday evening in Wellington after a man and his son called police to say the animal had them trapped in their car.

Spokeswoman Const. Tamu Bracken said the man called police at 6 p.m. from the driveway of his home on Highway 2, saying he feared for his and his son’s safety.

Bracken said the son got out of the car to get his father’s wheelchair when the dog approached him.

“The pitbull chased him around and he had to retreat back into the vehicle, and fearing for their safety they called 911.”

She said the dog remained outside the vehicle and they couldn't get out.

When the officer arrived, the dog was barking and running around the yard. The officer yelled at the dog and it moved away, but continued barking about 10 metres from the officer.

The homeowner and a neighbour both said they didn’t recognize the dog.

The dog wandered away, but then returned to the yard.

“(It) charged at the officer, and the officer, fearing for his safety, then drew his pistol and shot the dog,” Bracken said.

She said the officer felt several times before then that the dog was getting ready to charge, and that the dog was acting aggressively.

The dog ran off, but its body was found a short time later by its owner.

Police could hear the owner yelling from a distance that someone had shot his dog.

Bracken said the dog had been restrained, but got loose.

RCMP are investigating and the municipality’s animal control department is also looking into the case.

Bracken said animal control was called and en route when the dog lunged at the officer.

She said police normally just contact animal control when they receive a call about a dog running loose, but when they are told that someone is in fear for their safety, they will respond as well.


  1. as one person that was called to speak about this 'case' by a media outlet in the early morning, which I refused, without FACT & EVIDENCE as to the circumstances and of the identity of the dog in question - I guess if I were a media 'pig' I would have just jumped in ... but as I said to the very well spoken girl who seemed GLOBALLY aware that something was amiss - that I could not comment at the time... and jeese louise - guess what it wasn't a PITBULL. BOYO we have a lot of work to be done on the issue of breed identification BUT that would probably mean that BILL BRUCE of CALGARY would have to come back to HRM for a THIRD time to try and change our HORRID legislations and also address the total lack of education of officers in all fields that have the power to SHOOT animals...

    But the biggest issue is an IRRESPONISBLE OWNER allowed for whatever the reason (opps I forgot to close the door - my kid left the gate open???? yada yada)
    the dog paid the price ... and
    that is just DOG GONE WRONG!

  2. Totally agree - stupid owner once again. My mantra: I don't care how high your fence - when owners are out, or can't supervise, dogs should be inside the house.
    I was also wondering who'd call a big "bully" dog Cujo? Why? What is the intent behind giving a dog such a name?
    The other thing I was wondering is that after the RCMP officer shot at the dog five times, he just let it wander away? Didn't follow and check what an injured dog might do? Didn't care that he was suffering or ensured he was dead?

  3. and while I am still in the ranting mood - just love the media for yet again stating it's a PITBULL -
    no its a Boxer/ Mastiff mix -
    then its a MASTIFF mix ...
    why not just say a mixed breed dog?
    @Silvia - good points - why didn't the RCMP officer ensure the status of this dog - why was it a 5 year old CHILD that found the dog in the yard? What if the dog was still alive, injured and lashed out at the child - who would be held accountable?
    oh - RIGHT STUPID me - it's the dogs fault of course not his owner because we all know that dogs running at large do it by themselves - their owner is never ever to blame for their inactions in keeping their dog(s) contained.

  4. I hate that im so far behind in your blogs. I love how awesome your blogs are. I am so happy there are real dog lovers out there like you who care :) thank you for this post