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Tommy Tucker

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Tommy Tucker: Is it the Pup or the Press?

tommy@wwl.com - 3.18.13

Is it the pup or the press?  That’s the question again today after news of a horrific pit bull mauling in Westwego that left a 54-year-old woman in intensive care at the LSU interim hospital, minus an ear, an eye and without any arms.  She was attacked by her own dogs, pit bulls she helped raise from puppies and police still don’t know what caused the attack.  She was leading a smaller dog into the home on a leash and one of the pits had just given birth and was nursing a litter of pups.  Either one of those are possible causes.  What is without doubt is that Westwego police had to shoot and kill all four dogs to stop the attack and protect themselves.  On the same day, in Wisconsin, a 14-month-old toddler was attacked by pit bulls in his own home.   He later died from his injuries.  

So, are pit bulls inherently dangerous animals?  Or, are they lightning rods for the press, making headlines every time they bite?  Statistics would indicate the former.  The Centers for Disease Control report 32% of all dog related killings of human beings in the United States are caused by pit bull attacks, yet pit bulls constitute only TWO PERCENT of all dogs.  Seventy percent of those mauling deaths were of CHILDREN.

I had the unfortunate experience of having people with pit bulls buy the house next to mine.  One dog chased me into the house, while I was outside washing my car.  On other numerous occasions I had to bring my then toddler daughter into the house, while both of the neighbor’s pit bulls furiously tried to dig under the fence to get to her while she was in HER OWN BACKYARD.  I’m a dog lover but if I had gotten the chance, I would have used the Remington 870 to dispatch those dangerous nuisances to doggie heaven.  I wouldn’t have done it out of anger or malice; I would have done it to protect my daughter.

The dogs have been outlawed in the UK.  Should we follow that same course here?  And should it be limited to pit bulls?  I don’t think so.  I’m all for freedom.  But with any freedom comes responsibility.  I think if you decide to own a pit bull, or any dog, you should have to accept with it any consequences that occur as a result.  That includes criminal penalties if your dog(s) injure or kill someone in or out of your family.  That way the marketplace would decide without having to pass any laws.  If you want to own a big, dangerous dog that has a propensity to attack and you’re willing to go to jail if anything goes wrong...good luck.  Is that fair?  Do you think that would have any effect on the number of people that own big, dangerous dogs?      

Photo by Hugo Quintero via Creative Commons with Attribution

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Topics : Human Interest
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Locations : Wisconsin
People : Tommy Tucker

03/18/2013 12:21PM
Tommy Tucker: Is it the Pup or the Press?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
03/18/2013 1:59PM
I Will Never Own a Pit Bull...
Tommy, A good friend of mine lost a pit bull a few years back to cancer. The dog was very intimidating, but was very friendly once he got your scent and knew you were okay. He was protective of my friend, but he was gentle like a house cat would be. The only time she ever had a problem with him was when he was getting into it with another dog and accidentally got her (the bite or scratch wasn't bad). Once he realized he'd hurt her, he pulled away and stopped fighting. Anyways, I personally would never own a pit bull because of the dangers they pose. I would never want to run the risk of having a loved one attacked by one under my watch. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
03/18/2013 2:10PM
Is it the pup or the press
tommy: I think it is the owners of the dogs that make them mean. I think a dog picks up on the owners vibes and how they are treated. I currently have three schnauzers and have had many others. I have taken in several from the age of 5 and never had a problem with anyone being bitten. I tend to be an in your face owner. I love on them giving them kisses all of the time. I think they sense good people. Nola was not the one I was going to select out of the litter, however when the breeder put the pups on the ground all the other pups ran off except Nola. I knew she was the one for me. The dogs sleep with different members of the family
03/18/2013 8:32PM
Please get some facts straight
03/18/2013 10:56PM
let the facts speak for themselves. if 32% of all killings by a dog breed that make up 2% of all dogs. then the odds are pretty much against pit bulls. you never hear about a pack of terriers ripping the arms off their owner.
03/18/2013 11:00PM
use common sense
if 32% of all killings by a dog breed that make up 2% of all dogs. then the odds are pretty much against pit bulls. you never hear about a pack of terriers ripping the arms off their owner.
03/18/2013 11:58PM
Look beyond the headlines
Take the breed out of the equation, and look for the common denominators: those are what need to be addressed. Read beyond the words pitbull in the headline. Roughly 25% of fatal and serious dog attacks are from chained dogs. Leaving infants unattended is another serious common denominator (even a pomeranian and a 6 week old lab puppy have killed recently under these circumstances). Backyard breeders, with too many undersocialized dogs confined to a small space, such as the woman in Westwego, also represent a handful of fatalities. Animals with a history of neglect and abuse (25% of reported dog abuse cases involve pit bulls) also make up a big percentage of cases. If you ban pit bulls, these variables don't go away... they just go to another dog. To the poster above: pit bulls are terriers.
03/19/2013 10:32PM
All you need to know in one place:
03/21/2013 2:16PM
These are dogs from hell
04/08/2013 5:28PM
Unfactual "facts"
I keep seeing "let the facts speak for themselves" but the "facts" presented here don't seem accurate to me. We used to hear these same kinds of things about German shepherds, dobermans, rottweilers...In over 20 years as a ER nurse and Vet tech, as well as news report searches and researching statistics I have rarely seen a dog bite, fatal or not, that was not due to a human issue. Neglected, abused, chained dogs are far more likely to bite, and sadly Pitt bull types are high on the list to be treated in that way. How about letting THESE facts speak for themselves: http://www.1800petmeds.com/education/pit-bull-facts-and-myths.htm
04/12/2013 9:16AM
Unreliable dog census and dog identification
There is no doggie census..there are many mis identified breed reports that when corrected are on the back page.. a jack russell terrier killed a baby recently, small dogs kill too.. golden retrievers and huskys too, but of course not misidentifiable.. boxers and labradors kill and are often misidentified as "pitbulls"..any mix of a medium to large dog is apt to be tagged "pitbull".. its pure ignorance in a lazy public.. Make Owner Specific Legislation..not breed specific.. and make parents of unsupervised toddlers criminally responsible when thier child is maimed or killed by any dog because they dont keep track of thier child.. when you see these tragedies reported, try looking at the circumstances of what the history of the ppl involved is.. most children that "wander away unnoticed" is a habit, not an isolated incident.. its disgusting that these debates go on without end over whichever breed is being targeted..and nothing is done about the real meance..people..behind every dog bite there is a person(s) to blame.. dogs do not think in human understanding..they are apt to be provoked by any of the following stimuli, sight, hearing, smell, touch, conditioning (neglect/abuse/poor socialization).. its amazing that there isnt more bites/fatalities due to the lack of understanding the general public possesses.. bad owners, irresponsible parents and people who intentionally or unintentionally provoke dogs, bad breeders, those are the causes of why dogs bites.. the public and legislators are immature and blind to blame any dog or breed.. and dogs are the ones who suffer real pain and death for it.. if you are of the thinking that dog bites/fatalities are breed inherent or any dog's fault, then you are the problem and you have human blood on your hands for pushing blame and laws on animals that cannot understand human concepts.. you are responsible for innocent animals sufferring daily from this wilful human ignorance that blames anything but itself for what only it has control over..
04/12/2013 9:26AM
to all u need to kno and possesed..
when u form opinions from ignorance, unscientific and unreliable sources, you remain under the dark shroud of ignorance.. common sense, logic and reason light the way to true knowlege and understanding.. but until then the public will always blame an unblamable entity, just so they keep the blame from ppl just like them.. smh.. people tip toe around making laws that make people responsible.. such a sad statement on human nature.. wilful ignorance..
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