Now, I'm not a huge defender of pitbulls-- while I've never met one I didn't love, they're not all friendly, and because of their breeding, they are capable of doing a lot of damage. I don't blame people for being somewhat cautious. But in this case, it seems like the cops way over-reacted. A pitbull is not automatically a "vicious dog," and a pitbull in her own home, already caught, should not be shot! Did anyone even try to tempt her with a ham sandwich or an open car door, before tasing her and shooting her? Jesus.
|Oh no, better shoot this vicious dog!|
By the way, turns out the cop fired six shots, not just the five that went into Chloe-- one bullet stuck a nearby car. Seems to me the trigger-happy cop was more of a danger than the dog! More news coverage here.
It's too late for Chloe, but it may not be too late for Charlie.
Charlie's story took place even further out of my bailiwick (San Francisco). It's also a fairly old story now (happened back in August) but it's worth discussing, in part because I'm much more on the fence about this case, and would like to hear your opinions.
So there was a dog, named Charlie, who happened to be a Pitbull. (Well actually, the owner claims he's an "American Staffordshire Terrier," but let's just cut that bullshit out, shall we? They're pretty much the same.)
Charlie's owner had let him loose in a designated off-leash area in Chrissy Field, a huge open space. It's part of a national park nearly in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. The dog was happily running around when a mounted police officer appeared on his regular patrol. Charlie barked a lot at the horse, then charged the horse, a Throughbred named Stoney. Stoney threw his rider and bolted, Charlie chased, and somewhere in there the dog bit the horse several times, the horse kicked the dog, and the horse fell down. A motorcycle cop was eventually able to stop the chase/fight about a mile away. Charlie was "arrested" by the cops. Stoney had to have a bunch of stitches on two legs and his belly. Video of everything except the actual fight here:
Who is at fault?
The pitbull owner, for not having his pitbull on a leash, or having trained it more thoroughly, as he should have done because it was a pitbull?
The public, for over-breeding pitbulls, demonizing pitbulls, demonizing cops, or defending violent dogs?
I am just plain stumped on this one, honestly. Both the cop and Charlie's owner were doing everything legally right. I do wish the dog had been better trained to come when called. I do wish the horse hadn't bucked and bolted when the dog ran at him. But for all I know, these animals were perfectly trained, and this one-time incident was just a freak accident. I am tempted to say "shit happens." But does it have to?
|Stoney & his rider, officer Evans|
And regardless of what happens with pitbulls in general, what should happen to Charlie? Should he get a death sentence because of this incident? I really, really hate to see a dog killed because of one mistake. But on the other hand, I do believe in the old farmer's adage about how, once a dog tastes blood (learns to hurt/kill) they'll do it again.
I just don't know guys. What do you think?
The most current news as of 12/12/12 is that Charlie will have to be euthanized, and his last appeal failed. Get updates on his Facebook page here.
Read anti-pitbull facts here.
Read a pro-pitbull and dog expert's testimony here.