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Pit bull owner backs ban after mauling: Calgary Sun

November 15th, 2004, 06:46 PM

Mon, November 15, 2004

Pit bull owner backs ban after mauling


Watching in horror as her beloved dog was fatally mauled by her two pit bulls has convinced a heartbroken woman to support a ban on the controversial dogs. "Right up until that fight, I stuck up for them, always gave them the benefit of the doubt and defended them because they were my children," a distraught Betty Petrov said last night, one day after her 12-year-old German shepherd, Sarge, was killed by her two pit bulls in the living room of an Edmonton Tr. home.

"By raising them and giving them love, hugs and kisses every day and no violence, we figured we could overcome the stereotype and, in the end, it didn't happen.

"Unfortunately, I probably would support a ban."

During a family gathering, for no apparent reason, one of her two pit bulls -- who lived with Sarge since they were puppies -- lunged at the shepherd with the other joining in.

Petrov's mother hit the attackers with a board as Petrov struggled to pry the attackers off the shepherd she raised since a pup.

The 12-year-old dog, after being grabbed by the throat by one dog while attacked by the other, did not survive.

Petrov later made the devastating decision to euthanize her two other dogs.

"It's the right decision," the teary woman said. "Even if we were to keep the other dogs, I could never love them in the same way, all I'm going to see is the death of my baby.

"It's not their fault, but the bottom line is it's just bred into them."

Ontario recently introduced legislation which could see it become the first Canadian province to ban pit bulls by the end of the year.

Pit bulls have been banned in Windsor and Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., and Winnipeg.

There are similar bans in place in France, Britain and Germany.

November 15th, 2004, 07:33 PM
Well, that just takes the wind outta my awful for this poor woman to lose not only her shepherd, but all 3 dogs. I can not imagine how heartwrenching this must be for her. And I certainly do not blame her for her decision to euthanize the other 2 dogs.

I have never witnessed a severe attack by any dogs, just some dust-ups, and for this, I consider myself lucky. When it happens to someone who then loses their pet or loved one, or is unfortunate enough to bear witness to such an attack, it must be very disconcerting and enough to make one in favour of the pb ban. I can only judge by what I know and have experienced, and I know of a very loving pit bull who is my buddy. Yet I have been in a circumstance where a territorial and wary pb was protecting her environment and showed great aggression, but no one hurt. I'm not sure that I am qualified to help make a decision, or if my "vote" would even count for anything. Definitely, the professional bodies, such as Humane societies, vets, SPCA etc. should be involved in this decision-making process. Just my thoughts....

November 15th, 2004, 07:42 PM
While i agree this is a tragic thing to witness and have happen, it is something that happens with ALL breeds of dogs. Pit bulls can be dog aggressive, and precautions must be a daily part of life if you own multiple dogs. If we were to ban dogs for being aggressive and killing other dogs, then i can tell you, many many breeds will be added to that list.

November 15th, 2004, 09:25 PM
I feel awfal for the situation I would hate to witness somthing like that. But at the same time Im wondering what really happend?? I have NEVER seen a dog just go hey i think ill go attack that dog. This doesnt make sense to me. And I know from the past that not all of the story gets into the papers could that have happend this time as well?? Im not in anyway trying to take away from the situation I just don't get it.
I remember speeking with a vet one time while walking my old dog (she was a Texas red nose) and we were talking about how people think badly of pits and she was telling me that a few years back a kid was bit in the face by a pit really bad and it was in all of the papers BUT she was the vet that put the pit down and she said that the child had jamed a pen in the dogs ear(that part "surprizingly was not in the papers). Again Im not trying to take anything away from what happend but I Just dont understand how out of the blue somthing like that can happen for "no reason"? Is it just me???

November 15th, 2004, 09:45 PM
I feel bad for this woman, I really do. That being said, please don't think I'm being cold, but in the grand scheme of things, stuff happens. There's been other dogs killed, and not by pitbulls. I don't think we need to get into the whole thing about why we don't hear about it, but it definitely happens. Would this woman be saying the same thing if this wasn't such a hot topic right now? I would argue the article isn't necessarily an indication of one owner's feelings, but an indication of the current enviroment around the breed.

November 15th, 2004, 10:04 PM
"By raising them and giving them love, hugs and kisses every day and no violence, we figured we could overcome the stereotype and, in the end, it didn't happen.

I would argue that this sentence possibly tells us what happened. Pit bulls, like Rottweilers, GSDs, etc., can be very dominant dogs, and need firm obedience training. Most people who emphasize giving their dogs "love, hugs, and kisses" are not the types that are committed to disciplining their dogs from a young age. Of course, I don't know for certain, but that's what crossed my mind as soon as I read this.

People who think ANY large breed dog is just a big teddy-bear isn't the most educated person in the world. Any dog who isn't consistently trained is a danger to attack.

Not just anyone should be allowed to own large breed dogs - that would cut down on most of the statistics.

November 15th, 2004, 10:09 PM
That is tragic, and I feel really bad for the woman.
I just can't understand how one incident( even if it is your dog) can make you do a 360 in your beliefs.

I have a pit bull, but that is only part of the reason that I have a beef with the ban. At the end of the day, ban or no ban, I still keep my dog. But I have a serious problem with a bunch of innocent animals suffering, for no reason.

Even if someone( or some event) did convince me that MY dog was dangerous, it still wouldn't change the fact that BSL solves nothing. It wouldn't change the fact that innocent animals( of many breeds) would suffer because of BSL.

I just can't imagine a scenario where I would tell a newspaper that I support BSL. I don't make the claim that breed bans are wrong because MY dog is friendly, so how could I claim breed bans are right if MY dog isn't friendly. How can one claim be more valid than the other?

November 15th, 2004, 11:13 PM
I would argue that this sentence possibly tells us what happened. Pit bulls, like Rottweilers, GSDs, etc., can be very dominant dogs, and need firm obedience training. Most people who emphasize giving their dogs "love, hugs, and kisses" are not the types that are committed to disciplining their dogs from a young age. Of course, I don't know for certain, but that's what crossed my mind as soon as I read this.

People who think ANY large breed dog is just a big teddy-bear isn't the most educated person in the world. Any dog who isn't consistently trained is a danger to attack.

Not just anyone should be allowed to own large breed dogs - that would cut down on most of the statistics.

horrible incident.

i was thinking along the same lines. the dog must understand it's hiearchial place in the family. treating them like humans is no good for them or you. that doesn't mean you can't luv 'em and squeeze 'em, just at the end of the day, they understand who the leader is.


heeler's rock!
November 15th, 2004, 11:31 PM
Another thing about this incident, which is horrific, is why did she have 2 pits from when they were pups? Were they litter mates? People shouldn't keep litter mates, of any breed, together. Most of the time the litter mates form a pack of their own and if one thinks the other is in trouble, the brother or sister will jump right in. My hubby read somewhere that these 2 pits were brother and sister.

It is a horrible tragedy for this poor woman, but supporting a ban on an entire breed, is not solving anything.

November 15th, 2004, 11:44 PM
There's only one conclusion to this issue..the dogs were simply dog aggressive...and the saying holds truth: "Never trust a pit bull not to fight."
They were bred to fight other dogs, and whoever thinks it will never ever occur with their dog, is simply naive. I feel bad for all three dogs in this case. The owner just didn't understand the breed or its background enough to take precautions. Plus, we definately don't know the entire story, so we can't judge the dogs thats for sure.

As for the hugging and kissing and snuggling. I don't find anything wrong with that. My dog receives all of that and more...she'll sleep in my bed occassionally too...that doesn't mean she doesn't know who the boss is. Simple things like eating before the dog eats, or playing tug of war and NOT letting the dog win show your pet that YOU are the boss. My dog is well trained, but I don't get the point when people say "the dog CONSTANTLY needs to be trained." many different ways can you teach a dog to sit and heal? To me, if you position yourself on the top from the beginning, there should be no problem. I guess this woman just didn't have a darn clue about how to PROPERLY raise ANY dog.

November 16th, 2004, 07:26 AM
Obedience training is a life-long process for any dog. You don't just spend 6 months at it, and then forget about it. If you start getting lax, any dominant breed will start to exert its dominance. That's what I mean by continual training.

November 16th, 2004, 08:19 AM
This owner seems uneducated. It seems as though she let her guard down because she assumed that her pit bulls were perfect. NO animal is perfect. Dogs need to be supervised, like children. It's sad to hear storied like this, it really is, because ALL this CAN be avoided. If this person has knowledge about the breed and training of these dogs, sheshould have been aware.

People say that pit bull owners are developing this stereotype and saying that these dogs are safe when they're not... but it's very simple. You have to be educated, committed, and smart. These dogs are a spectacular breed, they NEED guidance!! They NEED a leader. They are unique that way. People owning these dogs NEED education, and it's obvious that there was little here.
There was ALOT of activity with the family gathering, possibly children running around, loud voices, sounds and one of the dogs was probably showing signs of aggrevation and that then turned into aggression, un noticed... :sad: Poor doggies again suffering because of the lack of judgement and responsibility of humans. :sad:

November 16th, 2004, 08:22 AM
I am in agreement with the fact that training is a lifelong process. As soon as I get lax with my Pyr, a very dominant female, she takes over and it is back to square one. I have to be on her 24/7 and she seems to respect that. Much easier on the rest of the household too.
I also agree that it takes a certain person, well versed in their breed of choice, to handle certain large breeds. The pit bull that I am familiar with is under a constant watchful eye and strict set of rules, no exceptions, no breaks in training. She is definitely in the hands of a responsible educated owner.
And I believe that there is alot of truth to the idea that the woman in this article may not have had a solid understanding of the breed and what it takes to raise them.
I also believe that the press only gives you what they want you to see/hear. So there is no doubt a lot more to this story than meets the eye.

Having read your replies to this thread, I am now more confident in my stand on BSL. You may recall that tonight is the meeting in London where the council is proposing a 4 breed ban and strict muzzling laws. I will try to shorten my presentation, as I can only speak in the open forum if I am lucky to be selected from the throng and will no doubt be limited to 1-2 minutes at best.
It is good that there are so many wise folks on this site dispensing valid knowledge to those of us who are trying to fight the fight but lack a full understanding of the breed. But hey, we're trying :thumbs up

November 16th, 2004, 10:14 AM
That is an absolutely horrible incident but as others have stated in this thread this breed are/can be dog aggressive!!

I was just wondering........has anyone noticed that most of the attacks reported in the news involve more than one pit bull?? In any case, when you have more than one dog, what one does, the other will follow especially when it involves ant type of animal behaviour.

November 16th, 2004, 03:25 PM
Terrible story. I heard another story recently which involved a springer spaniel who attacked and killed the other household dog. In that case, as in this, the other dog was very senior and when the owner of the two dogs asked some questions some of the people online that she asked suggested that perhaps an autopsy of the dog that was killed would reveal some answers. I can't remember whether this woman got an autopsy done but the poster who suggested it indicated that they had heard of this happening in situations where the older dog had gotten very sick (cancer in one case, epilepsy in another). Natural pack behaviour was the suggestion. A 12 year old german shepherd is pretty senior, I wonder if there was something the owner didn't know? At the very least the fact that this happens across all the breeds is indisputable.

Mel and Max

November 16th, 2004, 03:44 PM
People who think ANY large breed dog is just a big teddy-bear isn't the most educated person in the world. Any dog who isn't consistently trained is a danger to attack.
I have to say the last 3 dogs that I have owned have been 2 giant breeds and Neapolitan and an English Mastiff and 1 large breed Bloodhound. These were probably the least aggressive or dominant dogs I have ever owned. Yes you need to always be on top of your dogs training but I must be uneducated because I trust my dog with my life in fact more that I would most people. I also would point out to you certain breeds are definitely more aggressive but you sound a bit like Michael Bryant painting every large or giant breed with the same brush. That would be like saying every dog the size of a pit or staff should be banned as well. Each breed is different and must not be grouped together. Michael Bryant thinks any dog over 100 pounds should wear a muzzle, that is something I will never subject my dog to it has done nothing to deserve it, but I think he has earned the right to wear a muzzle. But in these days of breed bans you really need to choose your words more carefully. P.S I have heard the same thing that happened to an English Mastiff who was the most docile dog in the world and bit a child in the face and was put down when they did the autopsy they found a pencil jammed in his ear drum. Family pets do not usually bite for no reason there is either a health issue or someone has done something to the dog.

November 16th, 2004, 04:05 PM
I respectfully disagree. Yes, IMO any large-breed dog can be a danger. ANY size dog can, but the difference is that large-breed dogs have the potential to cause much more damage. That, in a nutshell, is why pitbulls have been singled out. They probably don't attack any more than other breeds, but the severity of attacks is what gets publicized and harped upon.

Dogs, like humans, are still unpredicatable beings. You can educate yourself to be able to interpret animal behaviour and predict much of what can happen. But you can never be 100% sure.

That being said, banning a particular breed of dog makes as much sense as banning a particular "breed" of human.

November 16th, 2004, 04:23 PM
I understand where you're coming from, faceless, but as a point of arguement, I would ask, what about Great Danes?

I'm actually saying this as a curiosity as well. I've never heard of a great Dane of biting someone. But I digress...

I think to single out any dog is wrong. I think every dog should be treated as though it could bite. They are, after all, animals. Here's the way I look at it. I would trust Daisy in a room full of babies. That being said, I would never leave her alone in said room. I would never give her the chance to prove me wrong.

Nothing irritates me more than watching someone with some "rat-breed" (sorry to anyone with a small dog, but this really gets me going) giggling when thier dog is being vicious and getting in everyones face. "Oh isn't that cute? He thinks he's a tough guy!" No, it isn't cute. Just like the one that got in Daisy's face, and we had to try to restrain Daisy. Then the idiot who owns the dog, who had it off of it's leash, yells at us for having a vicious dog.

November 16th, 2004, 04:57 PM
Well I have been bitten by one of those rat dogs and the woman actually tried to blame me and my dog. Who did nothing even when the rat tried to bite him, I got bit by trying to shoo it away with my foot (not kicking it) tht is when it bit my shin. Since the woman at first thought I deserved it by trying to get her dog away wikth my foot, no way I was putting my hands near the dog. Then she tried to tell me that my dog started it. That was when I called the cops she tried to tell the cops that my dog bit me. The cop looked at my leg and said so her dog bit her highly unlikely that this dogs jaw is so small. Thank goodness for the guy who saw the whole thing.He came out and told the cops exactly what he saw and said this is a constant problem with this woman and her dog that is never on a leash. Which I might add I went to court yesterday and the woman was given a muzzle order and the dog must be on a leash at all times when not in an enclosed area on their property. The judge was very nice and listened to the whole case. Even though the woman was as yappy as her dog and he kept asking her to please not speak to wait her turn. He said with all the heat that owners of large dogs and pit and staff owner are taking his new mandate is equal penalties for every breed of dog weather it be Mastiff or toy poodle. He said that the impending BLS is not useful to responsible owners and will do nothing for the real problem. This woman is a prime example of what large dog owners deal with constantly and of course our dogs are always to blame. That was one of the reasons I called the cops.

November 16th, 2004, 05:31 PM
While I feel for the woman, BSL would not have prevented this tragedy for occuring :( I have heard of one story where a chihuahua (!) had killed another dog (a larger one), by disemboweling it. Not bashing chihuahuas, mind you, I'm just saying that anything could happen.

heeler's rock!
November 16th, 2004, 10:06 PM
I was just listening to the preview of what's on the news tonight, and there are talks of banning pit bulls in Calgary now, because of this incident. This is not what needs to happen right now. The more MB thinks other provinces or cities are on his side, the more forceful he will be to push this through. :(