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Old 01-30-2008, 01:29 PM
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Default When the bite is worse than the bark

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When the bite is worse than the bark: Cities should have zero-tolerance policies on aggressive dogs

Tribune Opinion
January 29, 2008

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Two dog attacks in recent weeks -- one in Greeley and another in Eaton -- have caught our attention and raised the question of whether bans on specific breeds of dogs should be pursued by city officials in Weld County.

The first occurred on the Poudre Trail in Greeley, when three pit bulls that previously had been in trouble for chasing joggers attacked a woman's two dogs as she walked them. One dog sustained serious injuries, while the other got away with minor injuries.

A second attack came a week later, when an Eaton police officer, called to control a wandering pit bull that had reportedly also had prior issues, shot the dog as it charged him after the officer slipped and fell on the ice.

It's a struggle to take the stand we do: We don't think Greeley or other towns in Weld County should ban certain breeds because of a few "bad apples." Just as we would not condemn an entire profession for a few bad acts by its workers, we don't think attacks by a few bad dogs should condemn an entire breed.

But we temper that. We do think dog owners should be held accountable for their dog's actions, and we think there should be a "zero-tolerance" policy among cities. First strike and they're out.

Dogs that have attacked once shouldn't be allowed to attack again, and owners of such dogs should face a penalty stiff enough to deter them from ownership in the future.

Again, we come to this conclusion not because we want to ban any specific breed of animal, and we recognize that any dog can bite under the right circumstances, such as being taunted, being scared or angry, or simply being surprised.

But dog owners need to pay heed to their dogs' issues. If the dog has a habit of chasing people or other dogs, keep the dog behind a fence.

If the dog has a habit of trying to bite people who come into the yard, make sure the dog is put in a safe place before anyone comes on the property. Post warning signs about a dangerous dog.

No dog should be allowed to run free in a neighborhood, or in a park not designated as a dog park, or even to roam a person's yard without restraints. It's just common sense.

No one begrudges residents who like the added protection of a dog, especially in today's world when property crime can touch any of us. A good, scary bark usually works wonders in keeping away those pesky burglars.

But that doesn't take away an owner's responsibility in case of an attack. Dogs that do attack should be euthanize to avoid the occurrence in the future, and their owners should be held accountable with stiff fines and penalties.
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:42 PM
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hmm thats just as scary in some ways as BSL
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:22 PM
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I agree. That article is extremely scary.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:00 PM
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i wonder how they define "attack". when the loose dog ran out of its yard and started a fight with my leashed dog where there were minor injuries on both sides, is that an "attack"? would it have been had the breeds been reversed (the other dog was a sheepdog, my dog is a pit bull)?

what if the dog "bites" but only gets clothes and no blood is drawn and no injury occurs? i see those reported enough in the news. is that an "attack"?

how about if my dog kills a loose cat in my yard? "attack", even though the dog was properly contained and the cat wasn't?

yeah, no thanks. i'm all for legislation for dealing with dangerous dogs, but one strike and you're dead?? no.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
We do think dog owners should be held accountable for their dog's actions, and we think there should be a "zero-tolerance" policy among cities. First strike and they're out.
I personally agree. I don't believe that dogs who escape their yards and bite people should be given a second chance. Because we all know that they will use their second chance and just how many people have to be bitten before the dogs get euthanized?

And I agree about not allowing dogs off-leash to roam.

And I'm all for an owner being held accountable for their dog's actions. If you're dog fatally injures someone, you go to jail for manslaughter. Period.

ALL of these situations are 100% preventable. Yes accidents happen, but that doesn't mean that consequences shouldn't follow.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:03 PM
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what if the dog "bites" but only gets clothes and no blood is drawn and no injury occurs? i see those reported enough in the news. is that an "attack"?
Hmmm. If someone's loose dog puts it's mouth on me with the intent to do harm, I don't give a rat's behind if it actually leaves punctures or just a bruise with some teeth indentation. I want that dog AND the owner to be accountable.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:07 PM
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if nothing happens what are they accountable for?
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
if nothing happens what are they accountable for?
Like a dog that gets caught running loose but doesn't pose any other problem?

Then they are accountable for allowing their dog to be a nuisance. And for breaking the law.

(Maybe I'm not talking about the same things here, so help me out if I'm off base.)
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:28 PM
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No if a dog 'bites' you but there are only small marks? Or what if a dog goes to bite you 'air snaps' Many people would call that aggressive.

This doesn't account for any human responsiblilty (except the owner) If you are teasing a dog through a fence and get bit, that is a different thing that a dog walking past you on leash and biting you. What if someone makes a really fast aggressive move at you and your dog?

This 'zero' policy is pretty scary IMO.

Ok what about this incident (this happened to me) I was out in my yard with my dog, a Dalmation. She was perimeter trained (now that I know more about dogs I wouldn't have let her be out there with me) I was doing some gardening stuff for my mom when all of a sudden I here Bali alert bark. There is a person with a little white dog on a flexi lead, the little white dog is now in the middle of our front yard peeing on one of our trees. Bali rushed over and grabbed the little dog by a front let. The woman starts screaming and yanks her dog back. Bali is dragged too, now my dog is holding onto her dog on the sidewalk. I get over there a second later tell Bali to stop, and she does. We did pay the bill for the little dog to go to the vet. But really the bite happened on my yard, and the damage was caused by dragging her dog with my dog holding it. (there was no punctures but an injury)
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:35 PM
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No.

It's a step up from BSL and I'd rather see laws promoting responsible dog ownership than banning breeds that idiots shouldn't own.

But really... One incident and the dog is DEAD? Just.. no. How about one incident and the dog must be neutered, muzzled in public and killed only if an attack happens a second time?

I'm really torn on this. For one, it'll force people to take responsibility for their dogs. But their dogs will also be to blame if a HUMAN provokes them into biting, by harrassing their owner, teasing them through a fence, entering their house uninvited, etc... I can't see the law working in the dog's favor if the dog attacks with a good reason.
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