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Luvmypit July 5th, 2006 03:58 PM

Worthington is Pit Bull bashing again!

In a discussion on Sun-TV a while back on the ban of pit bull types of dogs, I reluctantly supported the ban because it's just not right to have an animal that threatens other animals and children.

I didn't blame the dog --bred for excessive loyalty and courage -- but facetiously (I thought) suggested that a ban on pit bull owners might be more appropriate -- even "putting them down" instead of the dog.

This touched off a rash of responses from pit bull owners testifying to the gentleness of their dogs "who wouldn't hurt a fly." Well, it wasn't flies I was concerned about, but kids and other small dogs. One lady piously wondered why I wanted to "put her down" (murder) when she'd never harmed me. That sort of stuff.

One Dianne Singer, describing herself as a proud member of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada and a proud supporter of the Banned Aid Coalition, sent a nasty letter: "Should I conclude that all your writing is as poorly researched and irresponsible as that infamous column" (on Ontario's pit bull ban). Well, stand by Ms. Singer for some first hand "research!"

When it comes to issues between people and animals, I tend to side with animals. But pit bulls are dogs with big heads, huge jaws, fearless, and are dangerous to anything that irritates them.

Even minimal research indicates their prime targets, when they go berserk, are small children and small dogs -- toy poodles, Lhasa Apsos and the like. Rarely does one hear of pit bulls attacking German shepherds, Rottweillers, Doberman pinschers.

Last summer, a couple of young guys moved into a house next to where we have a house in Wellington, west of Picton in Prince Edward County.

We had grandkids of various ages (youngest 3) running around, and an oft-publicized Jack Russell terrier (Murphy), who once got a bravery medal from the Toronto Humane Society for alerting us to a burglar breaking in one night.

With us, too, was a King Charles Spaniel (Jumble), whose sexual orientation we often debate, and a lumbering yellow Lab, (Cobber) who'd qualify for sainthood if he didn't insist on eating things like Warfrin, kitty litter and corn on the cob that sometimes require costly surgery to correct.

The new tenants had a pit bull with the menacing name of "Sniper" who frequently got loose and headed for our place. The owner was alarmingly indifferent, but when my wife, Yvonne, and daughter warned them to keep their dog away, he agreed.

I reinforced the admonition by visiting him and warning that if the dog menaced us, our grandkids or Murphy, "Sniper" would be in big trouble.

"He's not dangerous, just playful," I was assured.

"Plays with kids, don't worry, we keep him tied up." I insisted it wasn't me who had to worry, but him and his dog if it got loose.

Well, of course it got loose. Often. Once we saw it swimming in Lake Ontario near our place and diving to the bottom and fetching rocks the size of bread loaves.

A nice couple from Toronto who have the lot next to us are worried for their little girl because the pit bull has come onto their property. They'd already alerted Animal Control.

Last Thursday, as I was about to leave Toronto to go to Wellington for Canada Day, I got an alarmed phone call from Yvonne.

"Don't worry," she said, "She's going to be all right, but there was an incident."

"Who's all right?" I said, instantly alert. "Dani, Mandy, Buzzy? Are they okay? What happened?"

"No, it's Murphy -- the pit bull attacked her but the vet has stitched her up, and she'll be okay."

It seems that Yvonne was walking up our dirt road, and turned back when she saw the pit bull loose in its yard. Unfortunately, the dog saw her, and immediately charged and attacked Murphy, bowling her over and ripping a chunk from her ribs. As it wheeled to re-attack, Yvonne screamed. A young guy ran from the house yelling "Snipe, stop it!"

The pit bull paused. Yvonne scooped up the bloody Murphy, and drove frantically to the vet near Picton.

When the vet, who's owned Jack Russells, heard the story he said Prince Edward County takes dog attacks seriously "and that pit bull is history."

After half a dozen stitches, a sedated Murphy came home and Yvonne phoned Animal Control -- which knew all about the pit bull and its owner from past complaints.

A couple of animal control officers -- Shannon and supervisor Garry Davis -- came out impressively fast to get details. Another, Jim, called the next day. They took photographs of Murphy's wound and said the pit bull would be seized the minute the owner could be found.

Meanwhile the OPP were notified in Belleville and surrounding towns in case the owner and dog decided to go on the lam -- which was the case. By the time Animal Control arrived with a warrant to seize the dog, it and its handler were gone The animal control people said while they took dog attacks seriously, ever since Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby started defending pit bull owners, convictions have become a lengthy process.

It took four months to get a conviction of an owner whose pit bull bit a cop. During the interim, the dog has to be kept at taxpayers' expense, then euthanized.

Personally, I don't blame the dog. Like pedophiles, they simply can't resist attacking what they see as weak, defenceless, easy or vulnerable. It's just the way they are -- bred that way by people who've done the breed a disservice.

Yesterday, they nabbed Sniper. "The OPP really pulled out all stops," said Garry Davis. "They knew the guy, visited his friends, and he just ran out of places to hide and turned himself and the dog into the OPP."

It turned out that the pit bull was registered to someone else, who has tentatively agreed that the dog should be euthanized.

Michael Laird is due in court on Friday to face five charges involving endangerment, mishandling the dog, improper care, etc. If convicted he'll likely be forbidden to ever own a pit bull type dog.

"I'm sorry about Murphy," said Davis, "but it was only a matter of time before that dog attacked a child, and that would have been tragic."

One wonders why people want a dog that by law must be muzzled and leashed - something "Sniper" seems rarely to have endured.

"Often people want them as a secondary defence against police," said Gary Davis. "They are owner-specific, unpredictable and often dangerous."

As for Clayton Ruby, a skilled lawyer, I'll bet his personal experience with pit bull-type dogs is limited; I doubt he's ever been victimized by one.

If this had happened in the "bad" old days, the issue of "Sniper" would have been resolved with a shotgun.

Instead, he's a victim of his breeding.

Funny cause last time I checked the JRT was not good with children (in their breeding) and the Staffy was great with kids... Sounds like he still didn't do his research. I hate this guy. I wrote a letter. POO POO POO on him

Melei'sMom July 5th, 2006 06:54 PM

I agree with one thing he said. basiccaly any dog that attacks other dogs could pose a real risk to small children.
What I don't agree with is that it is pitties that are dangerous to children and small dogs. It is any aggressive dog, small, large, or inbetween that is dangerous.

wdawson July 5th, 2006 07:15 PM

worthington is a total moron........i hope his jack bites him in the ass:evil:

Copper'sMom July 5th, 2006 07:25 PM

Once again, it's the OWNER'S FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:mad: :mad: But still, they want to bash the breed! AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH :mad: :mad:

twodogsandacat July 5th, 2006 09:06 PM

I read this first thing this morning but didnít post it I was so disgusted. This man should have already been charged with inciting hatred regarding some of the things he has said about people that own pit bulls in the past. He is most definitely a moron but back to the story.

The owner is definitely at fault here for continually letting his dog run loose. These kinds of attacks play out daily and in many cases the smaller dog victim dies. Of course in many of those cases itís not an issue because the off leash roaming, persistent threat to the neighbourhood isnít a pit bull but some other breed. I guess Worthington just wonít get it until some family members dog is killed by a breed other than a pit bullÖthen again heíd probably misidentify it anyways.

Luvmypit July 6th, 2006 08:37 AM

Here are the leters in regards to yesterdays articles.
Good ones!! The Editor probably got tons of letters.

Any breed can attack

Re "Pitbull attacks columnist's dog" (Peter Worthington, July 5): Opponents of breed bans have never said that pit bull-type dogs have never attacked people or pets. There isn't a dog breed or dog breed mix on the planet that hasn't attacked at some point in time, and the victims of those attacks, understandably, probably won't like that type of dog in the future.

But public policy shouldn't be determined by anecdotal evidence or isolated incidents. We don't ban cars because sometimes people are killed by them, nor do we ban contact sports because a student once had his back broken playing football.

It's terrible that Worthington's dog was attacked. Opponents of breed bans wholeheartedly support holding dog owners responsible for the actions of their dogs. What we reject, however, is the specious assumption that aggressiveness or a propensity to attack can be determined by a dog's appearance or (often incorrect) breed designation.

Worthington would also do well to remember that people across this province have had their pets attacked by dogs of all breeds, but only some dog owners are being penalized by ill-conceived provincial legislation, and only some dog breeds are chosen to be exploited by lurid newspaper headlines.

Eric Sparling


(We feel for Peter and his dog and hope the attacker's owners are severely punished, but we're against the breed ban, for all the reasons you mention)


Dogs are individuals too

Re "Pit bull attacks colomnist's dog" (Peter Worthington, July 5): My "pit bull-type" dog has been attacked twice by Jack Russell Terriers. My dog has not even seen her second birthday, but two different Jack Russells have let loose on her, without provocation. If it was so simple to blame the breed for these instances, I would be pretty wary of Jack Russells. I would assume that they were all "programmed" to attack pit bulls. It is not that simple, Mr. Worthington. I look at the dogs as individuals, with individual sets of circumstances that led to the attacks. In both cases my dog did not retaliate in any way, although injured. I would assume that if all pit bulls were "hardwired" to attack small dogs as Worthington says, this would have been the perfect scenario.

Susan Macleod

(That's what's wrong with breed bans)

Sounds like no one is buying this crap. I mean you can read the article where he says he has done his research. When did one personal incident become research. Really and I hope most people see the correlation between his article and the fact that it almost proves we are correct in saying it the owners. He probably thought he was so slick sending that article for print when in actual reality the more crap he talks the more likely people are to see it for what it is.... may I say it again........ crap!:mad:

But I am happy in terms of these supportive letters. And the fact that the paper is pretty much taking a position on BSL... and its our side... yeah !

kaytris July 6th, 2006 09:02 AM

what this story clearly illustrates to me is that we need to start insisting that Animal Control laws be more strictly enforced. If the owner was repeatedly fined for the previous stray incidents, it is less likely that the attack would have happened.

wdawson July 6th, 2006 09:34 PM


the problem i have with enforcment of the laws is they have too have some discreation as to when to lay charges.....imagine you follow all laws for lets say 10 years , then one day your kid leaves the gate open , dog unleashed running wild , $200.00 fine to you....fair , you will not be upset , and you will pay no questions asked ? discretion for law enforcment is a must...imo

babyrocky1 July 7th, 2006 04:40 PM

[QUOTE=twodogsandacat]I read this first thing this morning but didn’t post it I was so disgusted. This man should have already been charged with inciting hatred regarding some of the things he has said about people that own pit bulls in the past. He is most definitely a moron but back to the story.

Exactly, I can't believe there hasnt been anything done about that! And he has the nerve to reference that comment again in this article! He has to be doing this for attention. He really needs to grow up!

kaytris July 7th, 2006 06:06 PM


the problem i have with enforcment of the laws is they have too have some discreation as to when to lay charges.....imagine you follow all laws for lets say 10 years , then one day your kid leaves the gate open , dog unleashed running wild , $200.00 fine to you....fair , you will not be upset , and you will pay no questions asked ? discretion for law enforcment is a must...imo[/QUOTE]

Ah, wouldn't that be great? But of course if AC starts doing that, everyone who is fined is going to claim "it was only the one time! It was an accident!"
But what I really meant was that if a dog is loose AND aggressive, then AC needs to do more than just paperwork.

Calgary has established a very successful dangerous dog policy, with serious fines for aggressive incidents ... 70% reduction from 1985 to 2003! [url][/url]

OntarioGreys July 8th, 2006 10:10 AM

[QUOTE]I agree with one thing he said. basiccaly any dog that attacks other dogs could pose a real risk to small children.

Sunny is my high prey drive dog, and prey drive has nothing to do with people. If a cat came into my yard he would likely attempt to kill it, and even if he did, that does not mean he would attempt to kill my cats, the reason is why. The cat he views in the yard is prey, my cats are part of his pack, the same sould possibly happen if he seen a small dog running

He totally adores people and he has attended several huge events like the All about Pets show,which gets 35.000 visitors, The Royal Winter Fair, the Canadian Pet Expo, several parades plus smaller events doing meet and greets to promote greyhound adoption, he can be surrounded be hundreds of kids and feel totally comfortable, with toddlers he will walk up to them and lay down in front of them in order to get petted, even after 8 hours of touching and petting he would still be comfortable with a toddler wanting the check outhis tongue or touch his teeth or if the parent is talking too long he is quite content to have that toddler curl up beside him and use his body for a pillow.

But I no longer take him to meet and greets, he is getting older now and his abdomen is sometimes sensitive/tender due to his enlarged spleen, I not longer feel he could be as tolerant especially at longer events were he would be handled by thousands of people once he gets tired, he is still the sweet boy he always was and he is still willing to let a child lay on him, but if they should rest their head on his abdomen or stumbled landed on his abdomen it could cause him a great deal of pain, and that could potentially lead to a bite
I accept reality that every single dog has their limitations to what they can handle and that limitation can change over their lifetime

I know dog that could not live with other dogs but get along great with cats.

My moms little shih tzu was uncomfortable with bigger dogs and would nip them if they got too close, but not once did she growl or snip at a child, she is blind now and her hearing is almost gone, it increases the potential now for her to bite out of startling not because she is aggressive

of my 3 dogs the one most like to bite a child is Nikki, not as an attack but to protect herself from them if they box her, she is very uncomfortable around children but she is very safe with other dogs

Every single dog has the capacity to bite a child under the right circumstances for that individual dog , no matter how sweet they are or how animal friendly they are,

Some dogs may attack other dogs out of being territorial, prey drive, fear, possessiveness, competitiveness, dominance and fearfulness but those same reasons may not apply in their view of children. Or they may apply to children and not to other dogs.

When I read the article, what came through to me is his total lack of understanding dog behaviour in general,

I know people that have had dogs longer than me, I also know a person that is a dog trainer, and yet they have never bother to learn about dogs behaviour or really made the attempt to understand them, this trainer wanted to put down a dog simply because it was very shy, only 2 weeks after adopting it, saying is was cruel to let it live that way, she gave it 1 month to show some improvement, luckily it did, her dog is no where near even to close to as shy as my girl, her dog spent spent several years racing, mine could not race because her fear was so extreme, it took a year for her to start coming out of hiding and to cautiously approach me if I was lying down, thankfully I understood building trust take time, had that trainer adopted Maya instead this is what she would have been robbed of, and who in the world could look at these pictures and say it was cruel of me to let her live and give her a chance a living life



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