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Edmonton Rottweiler Attacks -

August 25th, 2005, 07:02 AM

The last paragraph says it all. One of the key recomendations that Michael Bryant's Ontario Liberals refused to consider despite opposition parties attempts to get it in when they pushed through Bill 132.

Rottweilers aren't vicious, Edmonton Humane Society says after two attacks

EDMONTON (CP) - They're large and powerful dogs, but that doesn't mean Rottweilers should be labelled a vicious or aggressive breed, says the Edmonton Humane Society.

The city has seen two attacks in as many weeks by Rottweilers, this week by a pair that smashed through the front window of a house to get at a poodle being walked across the street by two children.

"In every breed group there's going to be good examples of animals and bad examples of animals," said Melissa Boisvert, spokeswoman with the Edmonton Humane Society. "We don't support labeling any breed as good or bad."

Any dog is capable of attacking and the number of bites reported is far fewer than what actually occurs, she said.

With big and powerful breeds such as Rottweilers or pit bulls, an attack can be more serious and cause greater injury, Boisvert said, but it also gets more coverage and can lead to a public perception of the breeds being dangerous.

"A golden retriever attack, which does happen, is not usually as much news as a Rottweiler or a pit bull attack is because golden retrievers are perceived as nice dogs in general."

Crystal Klatt, an animal behaviourist with the Edmonton Humane Society, said it's rare that an animal lashes out without first having shown signs of aggressive behaviour. She said it's up to owners to recognize and deal with such signs.

"People have to realize they're dogs and they are going to act like an animal and it's our responsibility to make sure they're safe."

On Aug. 10, two Rottweiler-German shepherd crosses mauled a 10-year-old girl when she and three friends went into the backyard where the dogs live. One of the dogs tore into her scalp, ripping off her ear.

The dogs' owners have been charged, and the animals have been allowed to return home after a 10-day quarantine.

On Monday afternoon, two children were walking their poodle-terrier cross past a house when they saw a large Rottweiler inside banging its head against a window.

The dog shattered the window and it and another smaller Rottweiler attacked the poodle. A neighbour who heard screaming managed to separate the Rottweilers from the kids and their dog, and chased one of them out of the kids' home when it followed them inside.

The dogs were picked up from the city pound and their owner has been charged and fined for two counts of dogs running at large and one count of dog attack not causing injury. A charge of two counts of dog attack causing injury will require a court appearance.

The city's animal control officers are still pulling together their investigation and will forward their findings to city lawyers, who will decide what sanctions or restrictions to apply for in court.

David Aitken, director of Edmonton's complaints and investigations section, said there are grounds to consider a destruction order since the dogs have shown they can't be safely housed.

"They've demonstrated the ability to break through a window," Aitken said.

"It certainly warrants close review, if these animals can't be housed safely."

Aitken said the city recently went through a debate on banning certain breeds of dogs and decided to place restrictions on two types of pit bulls, including that they be kept indoors or secured if outdoors, and leashed and muzzled when off their property.

In Ontario, a ban comes into effect Monday that will make it illegal to breed pit bulls or bring the dogs into the province. Those already in Ontario will be allowed to stay on a restricted basis, provided they're sterilized and leashed and muzzled in public.

Dr. Louis Francescutti, an emergency room physician and director of the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, said doctors need to start reporting every dog bite they treat to the medical officer of health so people get a better idea of how many attacks actually occur every year.

He said better reporting would allow dog bites to be followed up to determine if an animal has rabies or if other people are at risk of aggressive behaviour.

"I don't think that we're seeing the true picture of dog bites that are out there," he said. "Occasionally we'll have the fatality or a serious injury that'll make it in the newspapers, but it's the other dog bites that are happening on an hourly basis that aren't reported that I think are the bigger problem."

August 25th, 2005, 07:34 AM
I completely agree there are good dogs and bad dogs in every breed. Rottweilers included. I own one myself, and I say every dog has potential to bite, Precautions should be made, and OB classes a must. My Dog is the best, friendliest pup around, but do I trust him 100%. NO, that is what makes me a great owner. I know what to look for in dog posture, for many dogs, it is a simple Dominance problem that has never been errased from the dogs mind.
Not every person should own specific breeds, and it is up to the humane societies, and breeders to point that out to people. Pet shops never evaluate, they give any dog to any tom dick or harry. And unfortunetly, it is more seen in those dogs, the attacks. BYB and pet shop pups.
Until More people are willing to eduate themselves, and stop saying MY dog will never hurt a fly. There will always be attacks, and dog bites

August 25th, 2005, 07:45 AM
I agree too. I once witnessed a discussion at a humane society. The staff were trying to convince a mother that the dog she had chosen was not in their opinion a good choice for her and her kids. They had evaluated the dog and although good enough for adoption it was not the dog for them. However she seemed focused on getting that dog.

I don't know how it ended but I at least saw that they tried. The dog - it was a Golden.

August 26th, 2005, 01:04 PM
On Aug. 10, two Rottweiler-German shepherd crosses mauled a 10-year-old girl when she and three friends went into the backyard where the dogs live. One of the dogs tore into her scalp, ripping off her ear.

I am from Edmonton and this stuff is all over our news. The charges against the owner of the two Rottweiler-German shepherd crosses were dropped. The investigation concluded that the attack was unintentionally provoked (eye contact, high pitch scream), and the fact the the little girls entered the yard of the dogs when no one was home with no permission.

August 26th, 2005, 04:39 PM
Wow. Not blaming the dog for the behavior of others. That's news.

August 26th, 2005, 05:36 PM
On Aug. 10, two Rottweiler-German shepherd crosses mauled a 10-year-old girl when she and three friends went into the backyard where the dogs live. One of the dogs tore into her scalp, ripping off her ear.

I am so sick of people that blame the animals and maybe if they spent more time teaching the kids about animals and respecting them. What do you think is going to happen if you walk into there back yard where you don't belong. I would never walk into a backyard where a dog was even if I knew the dog and the owners weren't there, it is like asking to be bit. They are protecting there home. Which is what you want your dog to do. Maybe parents should have to take their kids to obedience school because I see lots of kids out there who need it, mind you some of the parents need it too.