[nagdu] Pitbulls and Reputations was RE: A leisurelywalk oranightmare? Dog aggressionincreasingin Davis, Calif.

Larry D Keeler lkeeler at comcast.net
Mon Sep 15 15:22:15 UTC 2014

The fact is, that a lot of dogs especially pits are somewhat unpredictable 
and will sometimes get aggressive when the conditions are right. My friend 
had one and he was a great dog until one day when he got out and attacked 
another dog and the dogs handler. Another friend of mine got a puppy and she 
decided to leave him and her 11 year old pet lab together. Well, she came 
home and the puppy had pretty much killed the other dog. Those kind of 
things make me a whole lot nervous about people who don't know about the 
aggressive breeds and how to deal with them. Unfortunately, in those cases I 
blame the people as much as the dogs because the handlers of aggressive dogs 
should know the capabilities of there dogs. In the second case stated abov, 
I told the woman what she had and that she'd have to be careful. Well, she 
wasn't and they had to put both dogs down and replace carpets and stuff from 
all the blood. I try to tell folks there is nothing wrong with owning a dog 
who is aggressive as long as you can control it and realize that they can be 
unpredictable. The first woman had to put her pit down after 6 years and pay 
about $5.000 in damages. Also, its interesting that some folks deny what 
they have! The first woman as well as the second referred to there dogs as 
staffershire terriers. Same as pits but they figured that if they called 
them that other folks wouldn't know what they're talking about! Not bering 
negative but I have seen enough issues with aggressive dogs to know that 
many folks don't know how to deal with them and get into all kinds of 
trouble. I also have seen many good pits and handlers. Some of the best dogs 
I've seen were pits. I also believe that mmany folks get them for protection 
or to look like they're "bad asses" and bon't bother to train them properly. 
In fact, I believe that most average folks don't realize what they can and 
can't train there dogs to do. Most pets are potty trained but little else. 
People allow them to bark, bite and basically misbehave and blame it on the 
dog without taking the time to even teach they're dogs basic behaviors. If 
folks could realize the potential of dogs and would bother to put the time 
necessary to produce dogs with outstanding behaviors, things would be more 
interesting. I don't respecdt a person with a big, aggressive dog unless 
they can control the dog. I feel that most average dog owners don't respect 
there dogs as well and like the general population has low expectations of 
blind folks, most people have low expectations for they're best friends anc 
most loyal dog companions. Most of us on this list sure know better though!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Daryl Marie via nagdu" <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
To: <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 10:28 AM
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Pitbulls and Reputations was RE: A leisurelywalk 
oranightmare? Dog aggressionincreasingin Davis, Calif.

> Yesterday we had a local woman attacked by dogs.  here's the news story. 
> It doesn't indicate the breed(s) of the dogs, but ultimately it doesn't 
> matter.
> http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/edmonton/intervened+attack+saved+victim+life+police/10202789/story.html
> Daryl
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Tracy Carcione via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> To: Julie J. <julielj at neb.rr.com>, NAGDU Mailing List, the National 
> Association of Guide Dog Users <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:08:19 -0600 (MDT)
> Subject: Re: [nagdu] Pitbulls and Reputations was RE: A leisurely walk 
> oranightmare? Dog aggressionincreasingin Davis, Calif.
> A friend's pet golden was recently attacked by a pit bull, in an area 
> where
> I often walk.  The pit bull was a rescue.  Its owner was walking it when 
> it
> pulled away and attacked my friend's dog.  It took some time to get the 
> pit
> off her, and she needed a lot of stiches on her shoulders, sides and legs.
> She really got mauled.  It was the second time this pit had attacked a 
> dog,
> so the owner had it put down.  I'm sorry for the owner, who my friend says
> seems very nice, but I'm relieved that I can walk in that area without 
> being
> on high alert.
> Tracy
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Julie J. via nagdu" <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> To: "Nicole Torcolini" <ntorcolini at wavecable.com>; "NAGDU Mailing List,the
> National Association of Guide Dog Users" <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 6:24 AM
> Subject: Re: [nagdu] Pitbulls and Reputations was RE: A leisurely walk
> oranightmare? Dog aggressionincreasingin Davis, Calif.
>> There seem to be two types of pit bull owners...those who want them to be
>> aggressive and protective  and those who want to prove to the world that
>> they are sweet and harmless.  Unfortunately, the first group seems to 
>> have
>> undertaken the bulk of the breeding endeavors.  The pit bull varies 
>> widely
>> in it's breeding and you end up with an incredible amount of
>> unpredictability from one pit bull to the next.  Also they are not a true
>> breed, in the same way that cocker spaniels or Greyhounds are. they are
>> not recognized by any organization like the AKC.  You can breed any sort
>> of dog with another dog and if the result has the look people have come 
>> to
>> associate with a pit bull, then you have a pit bull.
>> I grew up next door, like 50 feet away, from a man who bred and trained
>> pit bulls for fighting.   I'm not scared of pit bulls as a whole, but
>> there are some scary dogs out there.   I mean the truly aggressive,
>> killing sort.  The sort of dogs who will come at you silently, head down,
>> no barking, no growling, just focused on the kill.   The man next door
>> kept his dogs locked up, usually.  Still we never climbed the fence into
>> that yard.  If the basketball went over the fence, you went and asked the
>> neighbor man to get it for you.  If he wasn't home, you found something
>> else to do until he came back.  My brother climbed the fence once and one
>> of the dogs was out, lying under a car so you couldn't see him.  He came
>> flying out straight for my brother.  Chris took a running jump back over
>> the fence and almost made it. He ended up with a small bite to his
>> backside.   It's kind of funny now, but very scary back then.  I grew up
>> in the ghetto.  You don't call the police for things like this.  It just
>> isn't done.   You would end up making your neighbors very angry and that
>> will make your life much, much worse.
>> Julie
>> -----Original Message----- 
>> From: Nicole Torcolini via nagdu
>> Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2014 10:44 PM
>> To: 'NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users'
>> Subject: [nagdu] Pitbulls and Reputations was RE: A leisurely walk or
>> anightmare? Dog aggressionincreasingin Davis, Calif.
>> Trying this again since the system messed something up the last time.
>> First, before I say anything else, I want to make sure that it is
>> understood
>> that I think that any dog of any breed can attack another dog. As it was
>> once said in a movie, "You can make any dog mean."
>> That being said, I have certain opinions about pitbulls that I would like
>> to
>> share.
>> First, JMHO, the problem is kind of a vicious circle. Pitbulls are known
>> for
>> being aggressive, so people get them and train them to be aggressive or
>> don't take steps to train them to not be aggressive, thus making the
>> problem
>> worse.
>> Second, people who have pitbulls don't always train them properly. Yes,
>> all
>> dogs should be trained certain ways and certain amounts based on breed,
>> but
>> there are different, and sometimes worse, implications for not properly
>> training certain breeds.
>> Finally, some people who have pitbulls say that their dogs are harmless
>> and
>> friendly when they are not. I am not sure if this happens more with
>> pitbulls, but the consequences are worse.
>> If a person has had dogs attacked by other dogs, and one or more of the
>> attacking dogs was a putbull, when asked about dog attacks, that person 
>> is
>> probably going to talk about pitbulls because it was the most frightening
>> and probably the most severe.
>> I have pasted most of the website below my signature. If you don't read
>> all
>> of it, at least read this part:
>> Q: Do pit bulls bite more than other dogs?
>> Depending upon the community in which you live and the ratio of pit bulls
>> within it, yes and no. But whether a pit bull bites more or less than
>> another dog breed is not the point. The issue is the acute damage a pit
>> bull
>> inflicts when it does choose to bite. The pit bull's "hold and shake" 
>> bite
>> style causes severe bone and muscle damage, often inflicting permanent 
>> and
>> disfiguring injury. Moreover, once a pit bull starts an attack, firearm
>> intervention may be the only way to stop it.
>> Nicole
>> http://www.dogsbite.org/dangerous-dogs-pit-bull-faq.php
>> Dogs bite. Some dogs don't let go.  |  DogsBite.orgDogsBite.org is a
>> public
>> education website
>> In the 9-year period from 2005 to 2013, pit bulls killed 176 Americans 
>> and
>> accounted for 62% of the total recorded deaths (283). Combined, pit bulls
>> and rottweilers accounted for 74% of these deaths.
>> Pit bull FAQ :: Download PDF file
>> Learn the names of the different dog breeds that comprise a "pit bull,"
>> the
>> selective breeding history of the pit bull (dogfighting) and answers to
>> other frequently asked questions.
>> Q: What is a pit bull?
>> The legal definition of a pit bull is a class of dogs that includes the
>> following breeds: American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire
>> terrier,
>> Staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog1 and any other pure bred or
>> mixed breed dog that is a combination of these dogs. Weight and shape can
>> vary significantly amongst pit bulls, from 35 to 100 plus pounds. (Please
>> see Disguise Breed Name to learn more about the deliberate renaming and
>> mislabeling of pit bulls through history.)
>> Q: What is the history of the pit bull?
>> The blood sport of "bull baiting" began over 1,000 years ago in England
>> (various sources dispute this date). What is undisputed is that by 1500,
>> bull baiting had progressed to Britain's national pastime. Bulldogs were
>> reportedly first mentioned by name in 1631, referring to their function
>> rather than a distinct dog breed. By 1800, and through further selective
>> breeding, the bulldog developed into a compact muscular dog characterized
>> by
>> tremendous jaw strength.2
>> Due to public outrage, bull baiting was banned in England in 1835. 
>> Bulldog
>> breeders and owners then moved to the sport of "ratting," where a number
>> of
>> rats were placed into a pit and wagers were made on how many rats the dog
>> could kill in a certain time period. To increase agility, quickness and
>> prey-drive in the bulldog, ratters crossed the breed with terriers.
>> Essentially, it was the sport of ratting that combined the bulldog and
>> terrier into the modern day pit bull terrier.
>> On the heels of ratting, dogfighting developed. Pit bulls and dogfighting
>> were exported to America as settlers made their way to the New World. In
>> 1884, the American Kennel Club was formed but rejected pit bulls due to
>> their use in dogfighting. In response, Chauncey Z. Bennett formed the
>> United
>> Kennel Club in 1898 to bring formal recognition to the pit bull breed. At
>> that time, Bennett also drew up rules and regulations for dogfighting to
>> bring "organization" to the blood sport.3
>> Q: What is dogfighting and what does it have to do with pit bulls?
>> Pit bulls are the dog of choice amongst dogmen, individuals who fight
>> their
>> pit bulls against other pit bulls. Dogmen consider pit bull terriers, who
>> they commonly call "100% bulldogs," to be the ultimate canine gladiator.
>> Pit
>> bulls were selectively bred for "gameness," the ability to finish a 
>> fight.
>> A
>> truly gamedog will continue fighting "on stumps," two or more broken 
>> legs,
>> and far worse.4 (Please see excerpts from The Complete Gamedog, by Ed and
>> Chris Faron to learn more).
>> The blood sport of dogfighting involves a contest between two dogs,
>> primarily pit bulls, fighting each other in front of spectators for
>> entertainment and gambling purposes. Other felonious activities, such as
>> illegal drugs, often accompany dogfight matches. A single dogfight
>> averages
>> about an hour in length but can last two or more.5 A dogfight begins when
>> a
>> referee says, "Face your dogs," then says, "Let go." The fight ends when
>> one
>> of the dogs will not or cannot continue.
>> The arrest and conviction of Michael Vick shows that dogfighting still
>> proliferates in the U.S. Law enforcement education, however, is on the
>> rise.
>> In July 2009, authorities unleashed an 8-state simultaneous dogfighting
>> sting and seized over 450 dogs.6 In December 2008, Edward Faron of
>> Wildside
>> Kennels, known as the "godfather" of dogfighting, was arrested and
>> charged.
>> Authorities seized 127 pit bulls from his property. Faron pleaded guilty
>> to
>> 14 counts of felony dogfighting.7
>> Q: Why do I always read about pit bulls in the news?
>> When a pit bull attacks, the injury inflicted may be catastrophic. First
>> responders, such as police officers and firefighters, understand this as
>> do
>> members of the media, who are quick to report these attacks. Ongoing
>> social
>> tension also keeps pit bulls in the news. The pit bull problem is nearly
>> 30-years old.8 In this time, most lawmakers have been "too afraid" to 
>> take
>> breed-specific action to correct the problem. Due to this failure,
>> horrific
>> maulings continue to make headlines.
>> About half of all media reports regarding pit bulls involve police
>> officers
>> shooting dangerous pit bulls in the line of duty.9 Since the late 1970's
>> pit
>> bulls have been used extensively in criminal operations for drug dealers,
>> gang members and other violent offenders. The pit bull terrier is the
>> breed
>> of choice for criminals. This choice is directly linked to the pit bull's
>> selectively bred traits of robust jaw strength, a deadly bite style,
>> tenacity (gameness) and a high tolerance to pain.10
>> Q: Why do people say that pit bulls "don't let go?"
>> Through selective breeding, pit bulls have developed enormous jaw
>> strength,
>> as well as a ruinous "hold and shake" bite style, designed to inflict the
>> maximum damage possible on their victims. This bite trait delivered
>> winning
>> results in the fighting pit. When the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the
>> Denver pit bull ban in 2005, the high court set aside characteristics 
>> that
>> pit bulls displayed when they attack that differ from all other dog
>> breeds.
>> One of these characteristics was their lethal bite:
>> "[pit bulls] inflict more serious wounds than other breeds. They tend to
>> attack the deep muscles, to hold on, to shake, and to cause ripping of
>> tissues. Pit bull attacks were compared to shark attacks."11
>> Leading pit bull education websites, such as Pit Bull Rescue Central,
>> encourage pit bull owners to be responsible and to always carry a "break
>> stick" -- a tool used to pry open a pit bull's jaws -- in case their dog
>> "accidentally" gets into a fight. These same websites also warn that 
>> using
>> a
>> break stick on any other dog breed may cause serious injury to the
>> person.12
>> This is true because no other dog breed possesses the pit bull's tenacity
>> combined with a "hold and shake" bite style.
>> One of the most powerful examples of a pit bull "not letting go" occurred
>> in
>> an Ohio courtroom. During the Toledo v. Tellings trial (Tellings was
>> convicted of violating the City of Toledo's pit bull ordinance), Lucas
>> County Dog Warden Tom Skeldon showed a videotape of a tranquilized pit
>> bull
>> hanging from a steel cable. The dog is essentially unconscious and still
>> does not release its grip. At the time of the taping, the pit bull was
>> being
>> housed at the Lucas County Animal Shelter.13
>> Q: Do pit bulls bite more than other dogs?
>> Depending upon the community in which you live and the ratio of pit bulls
>> within it, yes and no. But whether a pit bull bites more or less than
>> another dog breed is not the point. The issue is the acute damage a pit
>> bull
>> inflicts when it does choose to bite. The pit bull's "hold and shake" 
>> bite
>> style causes severe bone and muscle damage, often inflicting permanent 
>> and
>> disfiguring injury. Moreover, once a pit bull starts an attack, firearm
>> intervention may be the only way to stop it.
>> When analyzing dog bite statistics, it is important to understand what
>> constitutes a bite. A single bite -- recorded and used in dog bite
>> statistics -- is a bite that "breaks the skin." One bite by a poodle that
>> leaves two puncture wounds is recorded the same way as a pit bull 
>> mauling,
>> which can constitute hundreds of puncture wounds and extensive soft 
>> tissue
>> loss. Despite the "quagmire" of dog bite statistics, pit bulls are 
>> leading
>> bite counts across U.S. cities and counties.14
>> Q: How come pit bull owners say, "My dog might lick you to death."
>> To understand the experience of owning a negatively perceived dog, Tufts
>> Center for Animals and Public Policy did a study on pit bull owners.
>> Researchers found that owners of out-law dog breeds directly feel the
>> stigma
>> targeted at their breed and resort to various tactics to lessen it. One 
>> of
>> the tactics included attempts to counterbalance the pit bull's menacing
>> appearance and physical power with overwhelming "affectionate" behavior,
>> such as: "My dog might lick you to death."15
>> Q: Why does my friend say, "Pit bulls are dog-aggressive not
>> human-aggressive?"
>> Due to selective breeding for the purposes of dogfighting, pit bulls are
>> highly dog-aggressive. This aggression is not limited to dogs; pit bulls
>> frequently kill other companion pets and domesticated animals. Leading 
>> pit
>> bull education websites warn pit bull owners to, "Never trust your pit
>> bull
>> not to fight." These same websites also state that pit bulls should never
>> be
>> left alone with another dog or animal.16 The practical question is: Why 
>> is
>> "pit bull dog aggression" tolerated at all?
>> Pit bull dog aggression is unacceptable for two reasons. In many 
>> instances
>> it leads to human aggression. A common scenario is the following: A loose
>> pit bull attacks a leashed dog being walked by its owner. The owner gets
>> seriously injured trying to stop the attack. In 2009, two human beings
>> suffered death due to pit bull dog aggression: Rosie Humphreys, who had
>> been
>> walking her two poodles, and Carter Delaney, who had tried to protect a
>> smaller dog in his home.
>> Secondly, far too many beloved companion pets and domesticated animals
>> suffer a violent death by the powerful jaws of pit bull terriers each
>> year.
>> In some instances, these attacks involve pit bulls charging through 
>> screen
>> doors of private homes -- in a home invasion attack -- to kill the pet
>> living inside.17 Owners of the pet are then forced to watch as their pet
>> is
>> disemboweled by the pit bull and pray that the dog does not turn its
>> attention on an innocent family member next.
>> Q: What is the best thing we can do for communities and pit bulls?
>> The best thing we can do for communities and pit bulls is to regulate pit
>> bull ownership and pit bull breeding. Lowering the pit bull population
>> will
>> reduce the number of serious maulings, as well as pit bull 
>> euthanizations.
>> In the July/August 2009 issue of Animal People, the group estimated that
>> of
>> the 1,663,167 shelter dogs projected to be euthanized in 2009, pit bulls
>> accounted for 58%. This is true despite the fact that pit bulls only make
>> up
>> 5% of the total U.S. dog population.18
>> Over 700 U.S. cities and nearly all privatized military housing -- the
>> U.S.
>> Army and U.S. Marine Corps now have uniform pet policies -- have adopted
>> breed-specific laws to correct the pit bull problem. Such measures
>> include:
>> mandatory sterilization, liability insurance and strict containment 
>> rules.
>> The most progressive legislation bans the future breeding of pit bulls (a
>> pit bull ban). In just a few years, these communities see a significant
>> drop
>> in pit bull bites and euthanizations.
>> Learn how communities are legislating dogs »
>> 1. Progressive pit bull legislation includes the American bulldog in
>> its definition of a pit bull.
>> 2. The History of Bull Baiting, by Amy Fernandez, DogChannel.com.
>> 3. American Pit Bull Terrier Handbook, by Joe Stahlkuppe, Barron's
>> Educational Series, Inc., 2000.
>> 4. The Complete Gamedog: A Guide to Breeding & Raising the American pit
>> bull terrier, by Ed and Chris Faron, Walsworth Pub. Co., 1995.
>> 5. Dogfighting Fact Sheet, The Humane Society of the United States.
>> 6. Eight-State Dogfighting Raid Largest in U.S. History, by Wayne
>> Pacelle, The Humane Society of the United States, July 9, 2009.
>> 7. Dog-fighting 'godfather' given prison, by Monte Mitchell,
>> Winston-Salem Journal, February 13, 2009.
>> 8. Pit Bulls -- Family Pets and Fierce Fighters, by Tom Greely, Los
>> Angeles Times, July 25, 1982.
>> 9. Combined data from: Mid Year Results: U.S. Pit Bull Attacks 2009 and
>> Mid Year Results: U.S. Police and Citizen Shootings of Pit Bulls 2009, by
>> DogsBite.org, August 2009.
>> 10. One City's Experience, by Kory A. Nelson, Senior City Attorney for
>> the City of Denver, Municipal Lawyer, July/August 2005.
>> 11. Pit Bull Case Report and Literature Review, by Steven F. Vegas, MD,
>> Jason H. Calhoun, MD, M. Eng., John Mader, MD, Texas Medicine Vol. 84,
>> November 1988.
>> 12. Breaking Up a Fight, Pit Bull Rescue Central.
>> 13. Information provided by the Lucas County, Ohio Dog Warden.
>> 14. Pit Bulls Lead "Bite" Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties, by
>> DogsBite.org (continuously updated).
>> 15. Managing the Stigma of Outlaw Breeds: A Case Study of Pit Bull
>> Owners, by Hillary Twining, Arnold Arluke, Gary Patronek, Tufts Center 
>> for
>> Animals and Public Policy, Society & Animals Journal of Human-Animal
>> Studies, Vol. 8 Number 1, 2000.
>> 16. 10 Easy to Remember Tips for Responsible Pit Bull Owners,
>> PitBullLovers.com.
>> 17. Pit bull put down after attack, by Kieran Nicholson, The Denver
>> Post, March 3, 2009.
>> 18. Decade of Adoption Focus Fails to Reduce Shelter Killing, by Merritt
>> Clifton, Animal People, July/August 2009.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Valerie Gibson
>> via nagdu
>> Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2014 6:53 PM
>> To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
>> Subject: Re: [nagdu] A leisurely walk or a nightmare? Dog
>> aggressionincreasingin Davis, Calif.
>> Hi,
>> apart from the obvious, my only gripe about this article in particular is
>> that it seems to point out pit bulls as the breed to attack other dogs.
>> While I'm sure that the dogs mentioned were pit bulls, I'm sure they were
>> not the only breed that's been after this couple and their dogs.
>> Just another article to give the pit bulls even more of a bad rep than
>> they
>> already have.
>> On Sep 14, 2014, at 3:04 PM, Nicole Torcolini via nagdu 
>> <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
>> wrote:
>>> This kind of thing where the laws are not enforced until there is a
>>> problem has got to stop. It's not just with service dog laws; it's
>> everywhere.
>>> Nicole
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ginger
>>> Kutsch via nagdu
>>> Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2014 4:44 AM
>>> To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
>>> Subject: [nagdu] A leisurely walk or a nightmare? Dog aggression
>>> increasingin Davis, Calif.
>>>      A leisurely walk or a nightmare? Dog aggression increasing in
>>> Davis, California
>>> September 07, 2014
>>> By Mike May
>>> Source:
>>> http://www.davisenterprise.com/forum/opinion-columns/a-leisurely-walk-
>>> or-a-n ightmare-dog-aggression-increasing-in-davis/
>>> Mike May and his wife Gena and their Seeing Eye dogs, Tank and Yulie,
>>> walk on F Street in downtown Davis. The Mays say that aggressive dogs,
>>> particularly downtown and in Community Park, are becoming a big
>>> problem for them and their guide dogs. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo
>>> With your eyes closed, picture the sound of growling and barking
>>> getting closer and closer and yet you cannot open your eyes.
>>> Sound like a nightmare?
>>> Now with your eyes open, walk down the street with your wonderful but
>>> nosy dog on a leash and pass a blind couple with their Seeing Eye
>>> dogs. Your dog barks or even growls. You shout, “She just wants to 
>>>  play.”
>>> The blind couple can’t hear you over the barking. They can’t see if
>>> your dog is on leash or baring its teeth. This is a leisurely walk for
>>> you and a nightmare for them.
>>> Things are totally different from the perspective of a blind person
>>> with a guide dog. I am blind, as is my wife Gena. Both of us have a
>>> little vision but not enough to know if there is a fence between us
>>> and a growling dog or if the dog is on a leash. For us, walking in and
>>> out of downtown Davis two or three times a day can be a nightmare.
>>> Our Seeing Eye dogs, Tank and Yulie, are trained to ignore other dogs
>>> and to focus on their highly challenging job of guiding us. Pet dogs
>>> mostly pass by our working dogs without incident but at least once a
>>> walk, we encounter aggressive dogs, which seem to appear from nowhere.
>>> The nature of aggressive dogs ranges from barking to growling to
>>> lunging at Tank and Yulie. We have no idea if that dog in the front
>>> yard of the house on Fourth Street near E Street will reach the end of
>>> a chain, is behind a fence or if it has burst from its house with
>>> intent to protect its territory.
>>> Believe me, my adrenaline spikes and Gena usually screams. This turns
>>> a pleasant walk into a frightening experience for us and our dogs.
>>> The two worst areas for dog aggression are the Community Park and E
>>> Street, although the Third and E corner seems to be quieter the past few
>> weeks.
>>> There are several pit bulls in the park. Occasionally, one is tied to
>>> a bench without an owner apparently around. Other times, these dogs
>>> bark and growl and even lunge at Tank and Yulie such that we have to
>>> leave the sidewalk to avoid them.
>>> Recently, two guys with their three dogs were blocking the sidewalk in
>>> the park. When I asked, “Are your dogs on leash?” They said, “Two are.
>>> Only the black one is vicious.” I learned only after giving them a
>>> wide berth that the black one was the one not on leash and the other two
>> were pit bulls.
>>> Gena didn’t risk it and took the long way around.
>>> We have given up taking the shortcut through the park into town and
>>> instead stay on the much busier Fifth Street where there usually
>>> aren’t dogs other than sometimes at Davis Community Church at C Street.
>>> Not all obnoxious dogs are big and mean-looking. There have been two
>>> little dogs frequently with their owner on the corner of Third and E
>>> streets that are allowed to bark and surprise us because their owner
>>> says, “Dogs are allowed by God to use their voices.”
>>> That stretch of E Street, near Peet’s Coffee & Tea, often has a
>>> gauntlet of dogs, some well-behaved, some not. One day, when walking
>>> along the west side of E Street between First and Second streets, we
>>> passed three growling dogs and one nice one, all within one block.
>>> When crossing Second Street, a dog snapped at Yulie in the middle of
>>> the intersection and the owner did nothing but continue on his way.
>>> Most dog owners try to be responsible even if a bit misguided about
>>> dog handling or socializing. Many owners don’t quite get that town is
>>> not the dog park and letting their dogs socialize with working dogs is
>>> a dangerous distraction. Some say nothing when their dog barks and
>>> growls.
>>> We can report the situation to Animal Control or the police, but the
>>> officers have little recourse if no dog or person has been injured.
>>> Like a dangerous intersection that needs a signal light, it will take
>>> a serious injury before anything will be done about this dog
>>> aggression. Even then, that will only impact the one bad dog and not
>>> the more general increase in lackadaisical dog management.
>>> A Seeing Eye dog costs about $65,000. Injuring the dog physically or
>>> emotionally is expensive and traumatic, potentially leading to the dog
>>> being taken out of service. My fourth Seeing Eye dog was attacked in a
>>> park and seriously injured while I tried to stay out of the way with
>>> my 3-year-old son in my arms.
>>> My dog subsequently became very protective so when pets challenged
>>> him, instead of backing off and defusing the situation, he fought
>>> back. That’s not something that I want my guide to do. Fortunately,
>>> Tank veers away from other dogs.
>>> Sometimes near-proximity with pet dogs is unavoidable, like the dogs
>>> tied to the fence at Café Bernardo, or the dogs under the outside
>>> tables at Burgers & Brew or de Vere’s Irish Pub. Now that a recent
>>> bill was passed allowing restaurants to permit dogs on their patios,
>>> we know that unpleasant surprises are in store for us at many
>>> restaurants.
>>> We hope that Davisites will be sensitized to this problem by reading
>>> this article. Perhaps the city leash laws could be expanded to
>>> disallow growling or lunging dogs to be in town. At the very least,
>>> officials could patrol the park to deal with unattended dogs and to
>> enforce leash laws.
>>> We would someday like to navigate Davis as we did even a few years ago
>>> wherever, whenever, without being threatened by dogs with well-meaning
>>> but misguided dog owners.
>>> We love Davis and are always happy to meet people in town and even
>>> other dogs under controlled situations. We almost always say yes when
>>> children nicely ask if they can pet our dogs. Please say hi to us as
>>> we can’t see you.
>>> For more information about state laws regarding dog attacks, see
>>> www.seeingeye.org/protect.
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