Vinnie: Merry Fencemas!

Hope your dog is alright, SillyRabbit.

Nosferatu wrote:

Because those just get written up as "Dog bites mailman", whereas if it was a pitbull it goes something like "Pitbull mauls postal worker". You used to see the same thing about "Black Males" in the news.

edit: I fully admit that some breeds are less likely to do major physical harm to others simply by their size or lack thereof. A Ratdog is unlike to be able to kill a human or another dog if the other dog is large enough and not already wounded (well not until they learn to wield knives or guns anyway)

This argument rings hollow. It acts as if all dog breeds are equally aggressive, and pit bulls just happen to be more likely to maul because they're stronger.

I don't believe in demonizing pit bulls, but pretending that they're not considerably more likely to be aggressive than most other dog breeds is just turning a blind eye to reality. People, pit bull owners most of all, have to be very aware of this. It's pretty critical to properly training a well-adjusted pitty. Pretending it's not there is... not constructive.

Every breed has behavioral issues. Properly training the dog requires understanding them, not ignoring them. They don't all come equal. Labradors have their own set of issues, aggression just isn't one of them.

Yeah, it's very possible to bring up a good natured pitbull, but it's critical to accept that you need to do it despite several decades of breeding intended to make them dangerous.

*Legion*,
I'm not trying to make this into a debate, but properly trained/raised Pit bulls are not likely to be more aggressive than other dogs. I place most of the blame on the owners. People percieve them to be violent dogs and make sure they end up that way, Rotts had the same reputation, but now all the assholes that gave Rotts the bad name own Pits.

Big hugs from me and from Gizmo. And yes, nail your neighbors to the wall on this. It was on your property and their dog tried to kill yours (and probably you if they'd been inclined)

I know you're a complete pushover for all dogs, but I'm of a mind with Paleo regarding absolute ruthlessness in defending hearth and home. People need to be worried about what's going to happen to their loose animals on my property, not the other way around.

Something that might be of help, should they get aggressive again, is an electric cattle prod. When you go to the vet you could discuss it with him/her to see how effective it would be against a pitbull. If it's enough to get a cows attention it should more than get the pit bulls attention. I linked a model that also has some length to it so you aren't putting your hands in immediate danger.

http://doitbest.com/Electric+fence-Miller+Mfg-model-SS36-doitbest-sku-703581.dib

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Yeah, it's very possible to bring up a good natured pitbull, but it's critical to accept that you need to do it despite several decades of breeding intended to make them dangerous.

True, but I think the vast majority of owners don't possess these skills. I love dogs but I pit bulls very warily. I think it would be beneficial for owners of particularly dangerous breeds (pits, rots, germans, dobermans) be required to carry some type of training certification or licensing.

When looking up info about this I found this story about a 2 year old killed two days ago.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/22/national/main6703350.shtml

SillyRabbit wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Grab both legs, put your knee in its back, and pull like your dog's life depends on it. It should look like pulling the drumsticks off a turkey.

I can do this. I just visualized myself applying this move. It's no more dangerous than what I was already doing ... ok, well it is a bit more dangerous. But still, I can see this working. I'm not real sure I'm strong enough to do this to one of the massive pitties, but I think I'll be doing some strength training to be prepared. What I was doing yesterday, which was pulling at the neck, hitting the head, kicking the ribs ... barely phased these guys. The images of yesterday are haunting me. I think they always will.

I'm going up to see Vinnie now, I'll send him all of your well wishes. Thank you, everyone.

As someone with two shepherd muts who've been attacked, I've found this the quickest way to get one dog off of another dog. Though I don't often put my knee in its back, rather I simply grab the two hind legs and pull hard backward. They have very little leverage with their two front paws to hold ground against it, but as you mentioned earlier, they can spin to bite you as well (which is where the knee in the back probably helps).

What I find very annoying is that while I jump into the fray to separate *their* dog from *my* dog, the other owner just stands there like a jackass instead of helping me in separating the dogs.

I am really sorry to hear of the situation you've found yourself in, and I agree with many here: you unfortunately have to take an offensive mindset in this matter and pursue all reasonable courses of action to prevent your dog from being destroyed, and hopefully prevent this other owner from continuing to own misbehaving dogs who can escape from their territory and attack others.

Nosferatu wrote:

I'm not trying to make this into a debate, but properly trained/raised Pit bulls are not likely to be more aggressive than other dogs.

I agree. Proper training deals with the issue.

But we have to recognize that not everyone knows how to raise dogs, and that without proper training, aggression is a very prevalent trait of pit bulls. The Labrador is not (very likely - there are always exceptions) going to be aggressive even without proper training, because it's just not a trait of the breed. An ill-trained Labrador is likely to be skittish and annoying, but not dangerous. An ill-trained pit bull is much more likely to be dangerous.

People percieve them to be violent dogs and make sure they end up that way, Rotts had the same reputation, but now all the assholes that gave Rotts the bad name own Pits.

I also agree with this. There are many bad dog owners who seek out breeds with naturally high levels of aggression and see that as "cool" instead of a trait that needs to be addressed in training.

I don't agree with people who rail against the pit bull breed, but I don't agree with people who insist the breed is the same as any other, either. Pit bull owners need to go into their dog ownership with their eyes wide open. Every breed has bad behaviors that will become prevalent if the dog is not properly trained. It's just that aggression is a bad behavior that is far more likely to injure someone else.

And that goes for other breeds where aggression is a trait, too. You're right that it is not unique to pit bulls, and that pit bulls have become synonymous with "the aggressive dog breed" because of popularity.

Apologies for the thread derail.

This makes me boil with rage when I think of another animal attacking my neighbor's kitten. I would stomp anything into the ground that hurt my little buddy.

I hope that are able to crush this woman and see her brought to justice. Old West justice, at that! >=(

I've seen plenty of dogs come to the ER with dog fight wounds, and the vast MAJORITY of the owners bringing them in have been bitten. Most think its by the "other" dog, but a lot admit it was their own. The point being, ANY dog will bite when it fears for its life. Animal Control knows this, and likely the police and many attorneys do as well. So on the off chance that someone is convinced it was the one nearly-killed dog vs. the three pit bulls (who, however unfairly, are considered to all be vicious until proven otherwise), the circumstances will be interpreted by people in the know that it was a dog fight, and people get bitten. Nothing about the circumstances make your or her dogs vicious.

I'm happy to say I will be repeating what a lot of other people have already been saying. You are fine. I showed a good friend of mine this post (she is a lawyer and has dealt with a lot of cases like this or has friends from law school that have extensive experience) and she said that your case is almost guaranteed. Not only were there three dogs on your one they are also Pit Bulls which are notorious for being very aggressive and alpha dogs. It's not being biased or stereotypical... it's pure fact. It's like saying labs have hip problems and pocketbook dogs are known to yip yip yip. It's just nature.

Also I doubt this is the first time something like this has happened. Pit Bulls wouldn't just suddenly attack for no reason, I'm sure neighbors and other people will stick up for it. And again... sad to say but your dog was in bad shape. The three Pits were ok.

Go for as much damage as you can get, and I say that because she is pressing charges and being a bitch when she should know that her dogs were in complete control and at complete fault. And, here's the kicker: THEY WERE IN YOUR YARD.

Very sad story SillyRabbit. I hope Vinnie pulls through and The Man leaves him alone. Destroy that neighbour's life, she deserves it.

Thinking good thoughts for Vinnie and your case, I can't see that your neighbor has even the slightest chance of winning.

Sorry to hear this. Hope all goes well with the pup.

I honestly can not understand the sort of irrationality necessary for someone like your neighbor to think what her dogs did and her part in it were somehow okay. I've witnessed it and know that this sort of entitlement and malignant narcissism exists, but I will never in 1000 years understand it.

The first time, I'd chalk it up to accident and bad ownership. The second time, she'd be getting her dogs back in black trash bags.

Got to visit with Vinnie for about an hour today. He's rebounding well from the surgery. He's got some breathing issues going on ... they think it might be that he needs to cough out fluids that built up during the time he was anesthetized and he's just too sore to cough. They're monitoring that and feel that the strong antibiotics he's on will help with that. He tried to cough 2 or 3 times while I was there, and it hurt me! This guy has a long road to recovery. I feel like he's at a really good place, they all seem to love him and I've been told that all the doctors and techs there are the best in town. His regular doctor hasn't been on duty yet, I'm looking forward to him seeing him and getting to talk to him about it. He's the one that's on call tomorrow while the clinic is closed, so he'll be in the office twice during the day. I won't be able to see Vinnie again till Monday. Today as I was leaving, he thought he was going to be able to go with me. It broke my heart to leave him, and I broke down after I left the room. It's becoming more real to me as time passes and I'm able to look at the whole picture.

Thank you all for the comments. Just want to touch on one thing that I've heard independently from a former pit bull breeder and an animal rescue professional: they recommend that pit bulls should not live together. If you own a pit bull, you should own only one. If you want multiple dogs, get other breeds to go along with your pit. Apparently they have a pretty strong pack mentality that can be fatal. And they both told me that the ferocity of the attacks escalates. And, that a 4 ft chainlink fence will not hold in a PB if they want in your yard. If they can't get under it they can get over it in a heartbeat.

I met a new neighbor today, she's a vet tech. She saw me out and wanted to come over to talk to me ... she was accompanied by her sweet old German Shepherd dog. She asked how my dog was doing and told me she used to work with the Dr's taking care of Vinnie now, she assured me he's in good hands. She also told me that in Feb of this year, the 3 pit bulls pinned her dog on the ground in front of her home. Her dog wasn't injured, they beat the pits off her with a coat hanger and she was able to run home to safety. So, there is escalation going on here. I'm convinced these dogs won't stop till they finish what they started with Vinnie.

I got a few pics of Vinnie today, I'll post them when I can.

SR, I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I hope he pulls through.

It boggles my mind that someone would sell these very demanding animals to an owner who clearly has no idea how they should be handled. My mom's a vet and I've heard enough horror stories of bad breeders. You should always get to know the person you're buying your animals from - if they're not making sure you know how to raise them, you really should go elsewhere. Raising dogs, even demanding ones, is not very hard, but it does take an effort to learn and apply. Only take a dog you know you're compatible with. The breed traits are not some arcane knowledge, they're easy to come by. You really have no excuse for not properly training your dog - and I don't mean make him a circus puppy, but someone you, your other loved ones and your community are happy to live with.

SillyRabbit wrote:

I got a few pics of Vinnie today, I'll post them when I can.

It sounds as though you are building a solid case against this woman. She is going to rue yesterday.

I read the first page and skimmed this one. Pushing for the Pits to be put down might seem like a really cruel thing to do, but I'm probably the only one here who is going to advocate for it. Poorly trained animals scarcely recover enough to be trusted with other animals or even people. If they could not restrain themselves merely at the sight of your dog being outside and accessible, they should be put down. Allowing them to be adopted by another family through a rescue is likely to lead someone else to a harsh lesson about the nature of the animals that they otherwise might not have needed to learn.

I think you're making a mistake by planning on going to the County Attorney's office before you hire your own attorney. The County Attorney does not represent you. He or she isn't going to press charges against her dogs for attacking your dog, and they can't press charges against her because you weren't attacked. I understand the thought that you just have to explain yourself, but that's not the case. Let a professional handle it. Talking to the police or a prosecutor when you have any potential for criminal exposure is always a mistake. If they want to charge someone, it's most likely going to be you because of her story, and you'll have to prove that she's lying at a trial. That's no easy task, no matter what the situation. Get your own criminal attorney, and let them deal with the County Attorney's office. Then talk to a civil attorney (the same attorney might handle both, but be careful) about pursuing damages against the neighbor.

Also, written statements from the neighbors are useless at a trial. They have to be willing to testify in open court, and subject themselves to cross examination. Written statements can help them remember what they saw the date of the incident, and the neighbors can always refer to them later to help remember things, but don't make the mistake of thinking they are more important than that.

Good luck, and hopefully you and your dog make it through ok.

How about we move the discussion on Pit Bulls / dog aggression to a different thread? This one had some good discussion, but maybe it deserves its own thread?

SillyRabbit, I'm so sorry about Vinnie. I'm glad he's getting good treatment from your vet, and that he's doing a little better. I would be completely beside myself if something like this happened to either of our pups.

It sounds like these dogs have been a menace to others in the neighborhood, as well - is there any neighborhood association, or some way for you guys to collectively file a grievance with the city? [Edit: re-read the thread, and it sounds like you guys are on top of that.]

The collective nature of the complaint should lend extra weight to your side, but I was hoping to also help defuse some of the direct conflict (if it's the neighborhood association complaining rather than just you, it's less personal) - it sounds like this neighbor has already decided to make it a personal issue, though.

TheCounselor wrote:

I think you're making a mistake by planning on going to the County Attorney's office before you hire your own attorney. The County Attorney does not represent you. He or she isn't going to press charges against her dogs for attacking your dog, and they can't press charges against her because you weren't attacked. I understand the thought that you just have to explain yourself, but that's not the case. Let a professional handle it.

Exactly. Always bear in mind that to the people at the CAO, this is just another day at work and just another case they've got to figure out what to do with. This doesn't matter to them nearly as much as it does to you, even if they're good and compassionate people. Do you really want to leave this in the hands of people who may not really take it that seriously?

Besides which, this all sounds like a traumatic and emotionally draining experience. Getting a professional to represent you in this matter takes a lot of work and worry off your hands, especially if this thing drags on.

My god, this is awful. Glad to hear your dog is recovering.

I think I'd have been doing the same things you were. First time would have made me cautious, but that second time I would have been looking for ways to get rid of those dogs immediately. Holy sh*t, if I saw three dogs mauling another dog with the owner completely helpless and getting chewed up that's completely ridiculous. Those aren't dogs anymore.

The Counselor wrote:

I think you're making a mistake by planning on going to the County Attorney's office before you hire your own attorney. The County Attorney does not represent you. He or she isn't going to press charges against her dogs for attacking your dog, and they can't press charges against her because you weren't attacked. I understand the thought that you just have to explain yourself, but that's not the case. Let a professional handle it. Talking to the police or a prosecutor when you have any potential for criminal exposure is always a mistake. If they want to charge someone, it's most likely going to be you because of her story, and you'll have to prove that she's lying at a trial. That's no easy task, no matter what the situation. Get your own criminal attorney, and let them deal with the County Attorney's office. Then talk to a civil attorney (the same attorney might handle both, but be careful) about pursuing damages against the neighbor.

I think this nails down what's been worrying me the most. Thank you for bringing it to light.

I do understand that the County Atty is not representing me, and this has had me pretty confused as to why I keep getting directed there. I'm being pulled in two directions. People want the attacking dogs confiscated in the interest of public safety. I want to do everything possible to protect my dog from possibly being confiscated based on her lies. My neighbors want me to go to the Co. Atty to ask that these dogs be confiscated pending a hearing, rather than be privately quarantined. One of the dogs is still in the house, two were allowed to go to a friends house.

I have a friend that's pushing me pretty hard to hire private legal counsel. I guess I was thinking Co. Atty first, private legal counsel next. So, that's wrong thinking? I've been advised by some to make sure I'm the first one at the CAO. I think I need a little more advice

Sorry about Vinnie. Sounds like he's in good hands.

With the police report and the fact that her dogs were on your property, wouldn't you also have an insurance claim against her? I'm not sure how that would be pursued, but I'd think she'd be liable for vet bills and repair to the fence.

I also think you do want your own lawyer and sue her. This sort of irresponsible person will probably need to be forced to make any changes.
I'd imagine many lawyers would be thrilled to take your case even on a contingency basis.

Good luck & glad the situation wasn't worse.

INAL, but I think it would be best to hire your own professional attorney to avoid this woman haunting you for money for many years to come. She's already trying to turn her mistakes and bad-decision making against you so that you take the fall, and she won't stop there if she can profit from it. A private attorney is a way to protect both your dog's health and your finances with your best interests in mind. Especially now that you're stuck living next to one another, you're going to need all the protection from these people that you can get. It will also show her that you're not someone to mess with in the future because she'll have seen the personal face of your legal action.

If nothing else, hopefully any money so you can get out of the situation should go towards securing your fences and protecting your poor pup.

Hire your own lawyer first, and then do whatever he or she tells you. If you start talking to anyone in law enforcement yourself, you could potentially make a mistake that the lawyer can't undo. Anything you say to police officers can and will be used against you, but things you tell them can never be used FOR you. (only against someone else.) When you're facing potential charges in this way, getting the lawyer on your side as early as possible will help ensure that the bad outcomes won't happen.

From what I can see, you have a strong case, and you have an excellent chance of winning. Lawyering up is an insurance policy to make sure you don't accidentally screw something up by saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. He or she will also help you get all your ducks in a row to prove your case and get the evil pit bulls taken care of.

Talk with your lawyer, but one idea might be to have the neighbors lodge separate complaints to try to get the pitbulls handled from a different angle.

Definitely get your own lawyer. She has turned this into a bigger issue, and you need to make sure your ass is covered because she's going to try everything to cover her own. As others have said, the odds are in your favor but you need to make sure it stays that way.

SillyRabbit wrote:

I do understand that the County Atty is not representing me, and this has had me pretty confused as to why I keep getting directed there.

I think that people are directing you towards the County District Attorney with your own information because it is the County DA that will decide whether or not to file charges against you. If you allow your neighbour to set the stage, it gets more difficult for you. In addition, if you allow your neighbour to move first, then the DA may put things in motion, like the seizure of a "dangerous dog" which may be very, very difficult to reverse, even with the proper information. When dealing with bureaucracies, important to get the momentum on your side first. Also, as a rule, bureaucracies care little for who is righth or not. They care simply for following the rules established for them to follow.

I'm being pulled in two directions. People want the attacking dogs confiscated in the interest of public safety. I want to do everything possible to protect my dog from possibly being confiscated based on her lies. My neighbors want me to go to the Co. Atty to ask that these dogs be confiscated pending a hearing, rather than be privately quarantined. One of the dogs is still in the house, two were allowed to go to a friends house.

Keep in mind that these are dogs who have established a pattern of attacking in a group. Once you go to the DA with the info, I think that it will be very much out of your hands what to do with the dogs. Your best bet might be to look for a Pitbull Rescue group in your area, and give them a heads up about the dogs. They might be able to examine them and determine whether it is best for them to be put down, or if they can be re-habbed. Because it is very possible (probable??) that those dogs are at a high risk of attacking a child. Note that you would want to look specifically for a pitbull rescue. Expand your radius to be looking within your state if need be. Most rescues will not touch pitbulls, let alone pitbulls that have shown a history of violence.

I have a friend that's pushing me pretty hard to hire private legal counsel. I guess I was thinking Co. Atty first, private legal counsel next. So, that's wrong thinking? I've been advised by some to make sure I'm the first one at the CAO. I think I need a little more advice

It can't hurt to get private legal council. However, it may cost you. What you *might* want to do is to go to the neighbours with the vet bills and say:

1 - Your dogs cost me this much in vet bills (show receipts if possible, show reasonable estimate from vet otherwise);
2 - Your dogs have a history of attacking other dogs in the area; and
3 - You (the neighbour) show little concern with doing what is necessary to keep your dogs in your yard and not attacking other dogs.

You then give her an ultimatum: Pay the vet bills, and surrender the dogs to the county ACO/putbill rescue for disposal (either re-homing or being put down) or I get a lawyer and take you to court for bills plus damages.

I'm thinking good thoughts for Vinnie, SillyRabbit.

Like others said, the best way to break up a dog fight is pepper spray or some kind of metal rod. Hands should never go anywhere near the fight, you will get hurt.

As for aggression, any breed is capable of it depending on the situation. Also keep in mind there are several types of aggression (fear, dominance, territorial, etc.). I've had to muzzle just about every type of breed at work, including some labradors. Small dogs (ie: chihuahuas) are usually worse.