Vinnie: Merry Fencemas!

One thing you might want to do pre-emptively, is to get a certified dog behaviourologist to come in and look at Vinnie, and have them certify that he is not violent towards people or other dogs.

I keep thinking about what TheCounselor said:

TheCounselor wrote:

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. .... 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.

So, how then could they press charges against me when she was not attacked? When she went to the hospital with a dog bite, they had to report it. In the police report she states that her dogs got into the neighbor's yard and got in a fight with the neighbor's dog ... while trying to break up the fight, she was repeatedly bit by the neighbor's dog. While this is a lie, because I'm sure it was her own dog that bit her (and repeatedly equals exactly twice), this still does not amount to her being attacked.

I'm not trying to ask a rhetorical question, I truly want some insight to this. I feel this going to be a damn important decision of whether to go to the Co. Atty and ask for confiscation of the dogs, which is what I'm being encouraged to do, or just go talk to an attorney and end up fighting a possible confiscation of Vinnie just because of this:

Mudbunny wrote:

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.

. Which I find all too easy to believe.

I feel like I'm taking a risk no matter what.

At the very least you can talk to an attorney. You would probably have to pay a consulting fee, but if you want good advice about what to do, they're the best to talk to. The Counselor is also an attorney, if you didn't gather that from his handle.

repeating myself and again echoing others talk to a lawyer, some of your potential liability (assuming for a moment that you lose and it is believed that exactly what she claims happened happened) will depend upon the local laws, some areas will basically tell her she is SOL, because she invaded your and Vinnies territory, others you might be deemed liable still.
You will need a pros legal advice. Do this before talking with any government official, especially if they are looking to press charges at all, which has been indicated.
Also try to find someone that actualy handles these sorts of claims, if possible.

That being said sue the hell out of her and set poor little Vinnie up for life. I hope you both come through this OK.

NSMike wrote:

The Counselor is also an attorney, if you didn't gather that from his handle.

Yeah, I did.

That's a good point, never thought of comparing the bite marks.

Get your own lawyer and have her subpoena pictures of her wounds. I bet dollars to donuts that the bite patterns will reveal they aren't your dog's but hers. Let her know that you have her dead to rites and that if she isn't interested in charges of perjury and malicious prosecution she better remember the facts as they actually happened and pretty freaking quickly. Plus, if she wants to play that kind of ball, let her know that every person in the neighborhood will back you up and you absolutely will not stop until you own her freaking house.

Better yet, get your lawyer to inform her.

Seriously, though. If some guy did that to me, it would take every bit of self control I have not to drag him out of his house in the middle of the day and beat him to death with a rubber dog bone in full view of the whole damned neighborhood.

edited for non-angry grammar.

Jakobedlam wrote:

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.

So very true. For all critters. I have three dogs, and in our neighborhood there are several roaming cats. One in particular is very friendly and affectionate. We get along great. However, he made the mistake of jumping our fence while the dogs were out. Some hissing and barking later and it was a full on brawl he was going to lose. I jumped in, and managed to get the dogs off him. The plan being he would run away as soon as he was detached from the dogs. The first thing he did was bite me on the calf - hard. I don't blame him, he was freaked and in full self-preservation mode.

He still comes by the house to say hello, thankfully he is more mindful of when the dogs are out

*edit - I went to the ER afterwards and got the recommended shots. Do you have any idea how much a post-bite rabies immunization costs? Take a wild guess, I'll bet a donut you don't come close. Thank goodness for health insurance!

Regarding any damages, I'd assume your home owners insurance should cover it. I had a dog bite issue recently, and my renters insurance is covering it. I'd definitely look into it.

My circumstance (just so you don't think of me as someone like that pitbull owning ahole neighbor) was a recent adoption of a dog (australian cattle dog) who evidently had a history of territory aggression that was not told to me. After 2 months of ownership, she bit a friend who came to walk her, who then needed stitches. The legal fallout is ongoing, but fortunately my insurance is covering it all. Unfortunately, I did need to put the dog down for a variety of reasons. Being in this sort of situation is terrible for everyone. I'd hate even more to find myself in your situation.

My heart goes out to you and your dog. I hope she recovers fully, and you can resolve this with as little heartache as possible.

Heretk wrote:
Nosferatu wrote:

*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.

Sounds like this neighbor didn't do much training with her dogs at all. Which means their actions were dictated by instinct.

Yeah. Herding breeds tend to push people with their noses irrespective of whether or not they've been trained to do so. Water dogs like to swim. Terriers like to dig. I don't think it is too big a stretch to assume that dogs bred for fighting like to, well, fight.

I'm taking the advice given here and contacting an attorney first thing in the morning. In fact, I've already sent him an email that I'm hoping he reads today. He's probably about the best in town and I want to get to him first.

I can't see Vinnie today, the clinic is closed. The on-call Dr happens to be Vinnie's regular doctor and he was kind enough to call to give me an update. He said Vinnie is holding is own, and is doing well considering the extent of his injuries. His temperature is normal which is something they're watching very closely, infection is a huge risk of course. He said the bleeding from the drain tubes has slowed down and he flushed them out again this morning. He's not out of the woods yet, but he's bright and alert.

I would say that the actual owner of these dogs is the male owner, he seems to have good control and they seem to be well trained. I think he thinks that he has absolute control of them, but I think that's mostly an illusion. The first attack, the man brought the dogs out himself. He didn't even know his dog was in my yard until I started yelling my head off. He wasn't able to call his dog off, he had to pull him off Vinnie. This time only the girl was home, and she considers herself mama and the dogs her babies. She also seems to have control of them under normal circumstances. In this instance, these dogs became vicious. If the man had been home he might have been able to kick them off like the guy that came to our rescue, but he would not have been able to gain control of them.

At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I'm having some pretty serious anxiety and emotional unrest. When I wake up is the worst time, it all hits me and the images flash through my mind. I'm trying to chill out and think things through and stay calm and rational, but it ain't easy. I'm actually a little relieved at the thought of an attorney helping me through whatever is going to happen next. You all have been a great help.

Thanks for all the advice and concern, keep those healing thoughts and prayers going for Vinnie, he still needs all the help he can get.

You went through a traumatic experience and it's not far-fetched to suppose you may have some mild PTSD. If it becomes severe, you should consider seeing your doctor.

This is all totally heartbreaking. My dog's been attacked by another dog twice in the park. This guy rides his bike with is dog loose, and as soon as he sees my (leashed) puppy he bolts right at her. First time I wasn't there, and my wife managed to get them apart (but still had to go to the vet). This last time I was with her and when the dog attacked I kicked that little mutt in the head so hard he yelped and flew 5 feet in the air, then cowered behind the dude on the bike.

I had some rather strong words with the owner, who kept trying to solve the problem by offering to pay our vet bills. I let him know that the ONLY acceptable solution was for him to keep his uncontrollable dog on a leash. Period.

I saw him again two days ago. He was walking his dog on a piece of yellow rope, and when he saw us coming he picked up his dog and jogged in the other direction.

You show remarkable restraint. I love my dog, but have no sympathy for uncontrolled animals who attack her. If I'd had a shovel, I would have used it instead of my foot.

My thoughts are with you and Vinnie. Here's hoping he'll be okay.

Paleocon wrote:

Get your own lawyer and have her subpoena pictures of her wounds. I bet dollars to donuts that the bite patterns will reveal they aren't your dog's but hers. Let her know that you have her dead to rites and that if she isn't interested in charges of perjury and malicious prosecution she better remember the facts as they actually happened and pretty freaking quickly. Plus, if she wants to play that kind of ball, let her know that every person in the neighborhood will back you up and you absolutely will not stop until you own her freaking house.

This actually sounds like the most sure of all the plans we've offered so far.

rabbit wrote:

This last time I was with her and when the dog attacked I kicked that little mutt in the head so hard he yelped and flew 5 feet in the air, then cowered behind the dude on the bike.

You're a good protector, I'm glad it worked.

rabbit wrote:

If I'd had a shovel, I would have used it instead of my foot.

I'm thinking I need to start going out in steel toe boots carrying a Louisville slugger instead of barefoot with an aluminum broom for my only weapon. I'm definitely getting pepper spray and a bat. Probably gonna need chain mail for when I piss them off so bad they decide I need to go.

I don't like that this thread had to be created, but since it did, I'm gonna let you all know that this is why I keep coming back to GWJ.

And, I would listen to The Counselor. He's good people. In the top ten on my Xbox friends list.

SillyRabbit wrote:

I'm thinking I need to start going out in steel toe boots carrying a Louisville slugger instead of barefoot with an aluminum broom for my only weapon. I'm definitely getting pepper spray and a bat. Probably gonna need chain mail for when I piss them off so bad they decide I need to go.

Get an aluminum bat, they won't break on you.

In all seriousness, it's good to hear Vinnie is doing well. And +1 to the suggestion of getting pictures of her bite marks to compare.

SillyRabbit wrote:

I'm thinking I need to start going out in steel toe boots carrying a Louisville slugger instead of barefoot with an aluminum broom for my only weapon. I'm definitely getting pepper spray and a bat. Probably gonna need chain mail for when I piss them off so bad they decide I need to go.

Honestly, if it were my dog's life that were threatened, I'd seriously investigate getting a gun. People can power through pepper spray and keep attacking in some instances, I'd not trust it to stop a dog bread for fighting once it locked on. I'm not a violent person, nor have I ever owned a gun, but what you've described is a genuinely scary situation, and getting in the middle of a dog fight is very likely going to end up with people in the hospital, as you've seen.

I know this sounds extreme, but I'm a dog lover, and live in a neighborhood with a LOT of aggressive fighting dogs, and have no tolerance for people that keep violent animals as pets in situations where they can hurt people and other animals.

Yellow5 wrote:
SillyRabbit wrote:

I'm thinking I need to start going out in steel toe boots carrying a Louisville slugger instead of barefoot with an aluminum broom for my only weapon. I'm definitely getting pepper spray and a bat. Probably gonna need chain mail for when I piss them off so bad they decide I need to go.

Honestly, if it were my dog's life that were threatened, I'd seriously investigate getting a gun. People can power through pepper spray and keep attacking in some instances, I'd not trust it to stop a dog bread for fighting once it locked on. I'm not a violent person, nor have I ever owned a gun, but what you've described is a genuinely scary situation, and getting in the middle of a dog fight is very likely going to end up with people in the hospital, as you've seen.

I know this sounds extreme, but I'm a dog lover, and live in a neighborhood with a LOT of aggressive fighting dogs, and have no tolerance for people that keep violent animals as pets in situations where they can hurt people and other animals.

I'm not much to resolve disputes with guns and have often told people that I have never been in a violent situation that I thought would have benefited from having someone armed with a gun in it. This may very well be the exception.

If you are untrained and unable to do what needs done regarding dogs attacking someone you love (imagine if this were your kid instead), a gun may very well be the only real answer.

I would suggest a .357 magnum revolver with some pretty nasty hollow points like Golden Sabers or Hydrashoks.

SillyRabbit wrote:

I would say that the actual owner of these dogs is the male owner, he seems to have good control and they seem to be well trained. I think he thinks that he has absolute control of them, but I think that's mostly an illusion. The first attack, the man brought the dogs out himself. He didn't even know his dog was in my yard until I started yelling my head off. He wasn't able to call his dog off, he had to pull him off Vinnie. This time only the girl was home, and she considers herself mama and the dogs her babies. She also seems to have control of them under normal circumstances. In this instance, these dogs became vicious. If the man had been home he might have been able to kick them off like the guy that came to our rescue, but he would not have been able to gain control of them.
.

Sounds to me like the owner is a real prick who wanted pitbulls because they are macho penis extensions to make up for his sh1tty life. My guess is that his demonstration of his inability to responsibly handle animals that powerful is probably outed also in his inability to handle other aspects of his life. It sounds like he needs a lesson in life as an adult.

The thought of a gun has crossed my mind. I would have to be quick and steady enough to get them right at the moment that they came under (or over - which I'm told is not a problem for the breed) the fence. Any delay and the bullet would likely go through my dog as well, since he ends up on the bottom. I might look into some gun safety courses and keep this option open.

with the right ammo hitting something behind the target is.... Unlikely, not sure how legal it is though, you'd have to ask when of the resident gun toting psychos (i just strongly support their right to carry, don't actually own one myself)

boogle wrote:

Dude, f*ck them being pitts, if you can't control your dogs, you don't get to have dogs.
SUE!

There dogs attack on your property, that bitch and her dogs lose anything when they cross property lines. Sorry for the strong language but irresponsible pet owners get my hackles up and piss me off. There's a 7 year old who was mauled by a pit-bull in this area who, 2 years after the attack, is still having surgeries to repair the damage. f*ck those dogs and your neighbor.

I have to share this one other thing that has been on my mind. My three dogs are as close as 3 dogs can be. They love each other, they play, eat and sleep together. Yet, they never exhibited the pack mentality that the other dogs did. I'm endlessly grateful that Mei Mei stayed on the porch. Josie kinda followed us around the yard but never became aggressive. At one point, as Vinnie was giving up the fight, she just sat down in front of him, trying to shield him. She never even showed her teeth. When Vinnie was able to make it to the porch, they all went in the back door together, never looking back.

Thanks for all the nice comments, guys!

Mudbunny is right about the nature of bureaucracies, but the problem when talking to a prosecutor yourself is you don't know what can and can't hurt you, and they won't tell you until it's too late. So, having a professional there who knows what you should or shouldn't say will be more likely to result in a good outcome than simply telling your story first. The good news is a prosecutor is less likely than a police officer to file charges first and ask questions about the evidence later, mostly because they aren't seeing the situation in the heat of the moment.

Besides, your neighbor could have a reasonable belief that your dog bit her. I'm sure it was a chaotic situation, and the natural reaction would be to protect her dogs over yours. Truth is, you'll probably never really know for sure, but as long as you get what you want, it won't matter. Avoid trying to turn legal proceedings into personal crusades. They aren't designed for that, and you'd be setting yourself up for disappointment. Fact it, the legal system can't do what most people would want it to do in cases like this. The important thing is to make sure that your dogs are protected, and that you and your neighbor can co-exist from now on. You might want to consider getting a new fence, or one of those invisible fences that the dogs won't cross.

The Counselor wrote:

but the problem when talking to a prosecutor yourself is you don't know what can and can't hurt you, and they won't tell you until it's too late. So, having a professional there who knows what you should or shouldn't say will be more likely to result in a good outcome than simply telling your story first.

I'm understanding this now, it's excellent advice.

TheCounselor wrote:

Besides, your neighbor could have a reasonable belief that your dog bit her. I'm sure it was a chaotic situation, and the natural reaction would be to protect her dogs over yours.

At the time she was bit I heard her say "Oh my god, you bit momma!". I think she believed at the time, as I did, that her own dog bit her. Second time she was bit I heard "Oh my god, she bit me again". Now, you have to understand both she and I were doing a lot of screaming. I was repeatedly screaming "they're killing him" and "Somebody help us!"

TheCounselor wrote:

Avoid trying to turn legal proceedings into personal crusades. They aren't designed for that, and you'd be setting yourself up for disappointment. Fact it, the legal system can't do what most people would want it to do in cases like this.

Another excellent point. I have to put the global agenda on a different burner. This has to be about my security, and that of my dogs and my property. I adopted these dogs and I'm charged with their safety. My neighbors want these (*attacking) dogs gone. But I have to be sure that my immediate security issues are handled before I take on a cause like that.

*edited for clarity

I hope Vinnie continues to improve and gets well soon. Hopefully you'll be able to come to a resolution with them, but don't let them bully you into anything. They failed to contain and control their dogs. I doubt they have a leg to stand upon legally.

If your neighbors are breeding the Pit Bulls for AKC (American Kennel Club) standards, you may want to report them to that group. I'm not sure exactly what they can do toward removing animals, but they can strip accreditations attached to their breeding program. Lost breeding accreditation can affect the demand on their puppies and also the amount of money they can charge per puppy.

My poor dogs are scared of being in the yard now. I'm taking them out one at a time on a leash as I was instructed per quarantine rules. Josie pees as soon as she hits the grass and wants back in the house, Mei Mei paces nervously until I bring her back in and then she pees on the floor. I'm trying very hard to make them feel safe - they just keep looking over at the neighbor's yard and keep an eye on the entrance to our house.

RedJen wrote:

I hope Vinnie continues to improve and gets well soon.

Thank you Luna

RedJen wrote:

If your neighbors are breeding the Pit Bulls for AKC (American Kennel Club) standards, you may want to report them to that group. I'm not sure exactly what they can do toward removing animals, but they can strip accreditations attached to their breeding program. Lost breeding accreditation can affect the demand on their puppies and also the amount of money they can charge per puppy.

I don't think it's quite that legitimate of an operation, but I do know that there is a mother and son in this threesome. The son is the one that started the attack (as well as the one a month earlier), the mother is the last to be kicked off of Vinnie.

About this fence, is there a way where you could put a stronger fence, maybe even a wooden fence with deep posts to keep anything from happening? I keep thinking God forbid that there were kids there with your dogs when the uncontrolled neighbor dogs came whipping under the fence.

I've been told by a former breeder and a professional rescuer, pit bulls can scale even a 5 - 6 ft chain link fence like a cat. I thought I would be safe if only they couldn't come under it. But, the fence is a 4ft chain link fence, so, if they can't come under it they can come over it easily. I'm not sure if there are different rules for stockade or privacy fences, but this is an historic district, chain link fence can't be over 4 ft.