June 28, 2008

They'll turn on you

Tragic story from Florida, where 74-year-old Lorraine May was killed by two dogs she'd raised from pups. Reporter Susan Jacobson of the Orlando Sentinel writes:
The animals, which May had owned since they were puppies, had a history of fighting with each other, Hutchinson said.

The relative said the 11-year-old female golden-retriever mix is named Sammy, and the 6-year-old male Australian-shepherd mix is called Seth.

They are being held in separate cages at Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement in Melbourne while workers there conduct an investigation, said the services' Capt. Bob Brown. They could be euthanized as early as next week.

"This sounds extremely suspicious. A golden lab mix and an Australian shepherd mix? These are extremely gentile and loving dog breeds. I sure hope further investigation is done. This sounds like a murder and cover-up to me."

Several readers were flummoxed by the non-involvement of pit bulls "dangerous breeds," and commented to that effect: "Golder retrivers and labs are not aggressive animals. I don't get this." Snapped another, better-informed reader:
Lorraine was a wonderful person with family that cared deeply for her, and will be missed greatly. The cockerspanial was an old family pet and good dog who cowers at her own shadow. Her 47 year old troubled son who lived with her was the owner of the offending two mongrels. Breed be damned those dogs had a known history of aggression and the evidence is overwhelming. There is no conspiracy here so go back your grassy knolls, fake moon landings, and get over yourselves.
Over at KC Dog Blog, Brent makes a number of important points, and I'd like to quote one of them here:
Until we start talking about dog attacks as DOG issues, instead of breed specific issues, people will continue to ignore issues that put people's lives in danger. We MUST start talking about aggressive canine behavior as a canine issue, because it is.
Breed be damned.


Anonymous said...

Cool new comment form.

People's misconceptions abour 'breeds', mixed breeds, sizes and shapes of dogs are the direct result of lazy media and lazy politicians.

Media, especially, have done a great disservice to the public with their ridiculous reporting about dogs. It's such a shame, since they are perfectly positioned to educate the public. Instead they have chosen to make them even more ignorant and have set them up as easy meat for self-serving politicians who are determined to erode civil rights - on the backs of helpless dogs if need be.

Luisa said...

It just fries me that so many children suffer needless trauma and injury because "pit bull" in the headlines sells more papers than "Watch your kids!"