Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I am afraid...


Let me just make it clear...this is not an actual photo of my neighbor's dog. However, if I was brave enough to take a photo of my neighbor's dog it would look like this dog's twin.


Thank you Julie @ Fourson's for your blog carnival and the opportunity to vent!


Dear Neighbor,

I am afraid.

Your Pit Bull jumps over the fence whenever he chooses.

When he is chained in the yard he doesn’t take his eyes off of my kids.

Last week a tiny baby, not far away, had his testicles torn off by a pit bull.

Earlier in the year, children nearby were mauled by a pit bull, leaving a child on life support.

Story after story…

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local-beat/10-Year-Old-Injured-in-Pit-Bull-Attack-84914747.html

http://www.cass-news.com/articles/2010/04/01/news/local/doc4baf93a6f3f13726508391.txt

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Dogs-Maul-Girl-Siblings-Savaged-By-Mastiff-And-Pit-Bull-Mixes-In-Fontana-California/Article/201002115540931

http://www.latimes.com/sns-ap-us-dogs-attack-baby,0,499005.story

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/03/pomona-pit-bull-attack.html

These were just a few from this year.

What if wild creatures did the same thing, like a mountain lion or coyotes? The search would be on and a huge public outcry would be heard.

When will it end?

In the meantime…I’m afraid.

I am sure you will defend your animal…

"Our dog is sweet."

"He would never hurt anyone."

"I trust him with my kids."

…every time a child, or an elderly person is mauled, these exact words come out of the owners mouths.

When will human rights prevail over animal rights?

When will it end?

Neighbor…I am afraid.

~Julie

Click here to read my firefighter husband's post with statistics and his own personal experiences.

39 comments:

mama's smitten said...

That is one scary looking dog!That just sucks , sorry you have to feel that way!

AtYourCervix said...

As the owner of a dog (cocker spaniel): my dog would seriously not hurt a fly. He would rather chase said fly. Kids: he would kiss them and want to play and cuddle. He has NEVER growled at or bit any one - EVER. He is also 11 yrs old. That being said, if he were to suddenly flip out and attack someone, believe me, I would be VERY concerned for all involved. AND he would be taking a quick trip to the vet to find out medically why he would bite.

On the other hand, I have had a child bit by someone's dog. It wasn't very serious, but her arm was damaged. I required the dog owner to pay her medical bills (minimal), plus we hired a lawyer to sue. This dog had been known to be an escape artist and did NOT have a history of biting/attacking. The owner decided, instead of making sure his dog could not escape again, to have this lovely 2 yr old dog put down. I objected to this, but it was the owner's decision. This dog was a husky -- and I believe if he wanted to hurt my child seriously, he could have. But he didn't. He gave her more of a warning chomp on the arm.

Jen said...

I would be and am afraid too.

Foursons said...

You are so welcome my dear. I'm glad you're writing letters! You'll have to link up tomorrow so all of my readers learn of your lovely blog.

I don't know if that dog in the picture is your neighbor's dog, but that is one scary looking dog for sure! Honestly, I don't think Pit Bulls or Rotweilers ought to be bred anymore. I think they are a terrible accident waiting to happen. I hope your neighbor's dog stays on his side of the fence and your family remains safe from him.

-stephanie- said...

Yikes, I am afraid with you.

Pam D said...

After watching "The Dog Whisperer" ad infinitum, I believe that it's the owner vs. the breed that needs to no longer allow to reproduce. Just sayin'. And if this dog can jump the fence, it would seem that you could complain to authorities. Isn't there a dangerous dog law in your area? I had to look up the one for our county because of a pitbull chained out next door to a house my husband is trying to sell. You should have some rights... BEFORE the dog mauls your child!

melaniek said...

Right on, I'm afraid too. It is disturbing that you are able to list story after story. I can't understand why people believe that dogs, especially breeds known to be aggresive, will continue to defend these dogs after they have bitten. Maybe you didn't know before, but you sure as hell know now. Dogs will always have a wild instinct tucked away no matter how tame and domesticated you might think they are. Don't get me wrong, if you want a dog, to each their own, you know. But the minute that dog poses a threat to my child, I'm gonna let you know about it.

Mr. Daddy said...

If it can wait that long, I have some extra ammo for that piece you pack.....I would be glad to share...

Or hamburger and stricnine (I know I spelled that wrong) over the fence??????

I know. It's the redneck in me talking...*grin* but there really has to be something that can be done to alleviate your concerns...

I know maybe Brain can put him in his turnout jacket pocket and make him disappear??????? Just saying...

hope it gets better for you guys.

P.S. if not give me a shout out and I will deliver the ammo sooner...LOL

Orah said...

I AM ALSO AFRAID!!! Right next door??? Saying a Pitt Bull is really a sweet animal and they have been given bad names is the same as when Sigfried and Roy say Lions are sweet and been given a bad rep. Some animals just have brains that get triggered too easily into attack mode and a Pitt bull is one of 'em. I hope they keep that thing on a tight leash or better yet - IN THE HOUSE! Stay safe.

Beth E. said...

Eeek...I would be afraid, too! Praying for safety and protection for your family.

April said...

I am right there with you, Julie. I am a HUGE dog lover...own a Shih Tzu and a dachshund and they are big chickens! One dog that terrifies me is the Pit Bull because I feel they're so unpredictable. I think they all have an innate ability to attack...and that's very worrisome. We hear stories all the time around here, too, of young children being mauled and killed by Pit Bulls. Owners have got to take SERIOUS responsiblity for these animals!

Kat said...

Absolutely phenomenal post!

Sarah said...

First, that is not your neighbor's dog, it's a stock photo of a "scary pitbull".

I could tell you that the dogs most likely to bite are daschunds and chihuahuas. NOT pit bulls or rottweilers. I have done research myself that shows that less than 20% of people can accurately identify a pitbull from a photo. I can tell you that pitbulls were bred to fight other dogs, and aggressiveness towards humans was discouraged because they need to be able to handle the dogs. So most of them are very docile with humans.

That's not anything you're likely to be able to hear because you're in "afraid for you kids" mode, and it's made worse by the media.

I hope you do hear this, the BEST thing you can do to keep your kids safe, is report to the local animal control EVERYTIME the dog gets over the fence, AND if the dog is tied out, or outside in a fence without access to shelter, or water PLEASE call animal control. Tethering dogs does increase aggression, that is a real concern, and pitbulls are social creatures that want to be with their families. SO everytime you call you're doing the dog and your kids a favor.

and wow... the suggestion that you poison the dog because it jumps the fence and "looks" at your children is pretty sick, and disturbing, it's not redneck, it's called precusors of a serial killer....

Helene said...

Oh definitely...that is one scary dog. I can see your concern! Isn't that a dog owner's last words..."but he's friendly...he'd never hurt a fly". Animals can change their attitude in a matter of seconds. All it takes is one time for them to fly off the handle. I don't care what type of dog it is....every dog has the potential to hurt a human being.

Mighty M said...

I am generally pretty scared of dogs that I don't know, and the larger and scarier looking they are the more they freak me out. I always CRINGE with fear if I see a dog running around without a leash. Most are just happy to come up and say hello before moving on, but you just never know....

mitchsmom said...

LOL ... I'd take my chances with a chihuahua 90% likely to bite over a pit pull 10% likely to bite any day.
I would also take my chance with a bee that's likely to bite vs., say, a tiger that's not likely to bite and very docile around humans the vast majority of the time.

I think the numbers of damaging and fatal attacks by certain breeds speak for themselves. It's not a conspiracy.

Rachel said...

Dear Julie -

Forgive me for joining the fray.

My sister suffered severe injury when an uncle's dog (not a pit or rott) attacked her in the face without provocation.

It was traumatic to see her bloodied face with missing skin that the dog had eaten (sorry). She was the same age as Itty Bit is now - and that Momma instict is not for nothing.

Honey... don't let anyone tell you that fearing for your children's safety is irrational. I'm deaf... I have to depend on body language to try to understand someone's intent. If you are reading "aggression" with this dog - by all means, LISTEN to your God-given instinct to keep your kids (and you)safe.

My sister is lucky to have her sight. But the scars are something she has to live with every day. I could care less about the breed - if you feel threatened, I pray that God will show you wisdom.

Apologies in advance - for what it's worth - I am sickened that someone said that about my husband.
He has a wry sense of humor in dealing with tough situations. I'd rather the commenter tell me they are willing to watch a child be attacked by a dog like my sister was, or to make the hard decision to euthanize a dangerous animal.

Sorry Julie.

Lesli said...

Julie, I have to say that I agree with you and you should be very concerned about the dog, especially when it involves your children. Earlier this year my husbands cousin(who also happens to be a nurse) was attacked by her OWN dog which happend to be a pit bull. She almost died and spent some time in the ICU. The neighbor heard her screaming when her dog turned on her and started attacking her, he ran and got his gun and had to use it in order to save her life. Up until this point, the dog had been perfect and was like a child to her and her husband.

Although a daschund and chihuahua may bite more often, last time I checked, they were not FATAL. Come on people, seriously??

wife.mom.nurse said...

Just to make things clear...that is not the picture of the actual dog...but if I took a photo of the dog...it would look exactly the same! I am not exaggerating!

Ok, are we clear now?

wife.mom.nurse said...

oh and I must add...I can just imagine being mauled by a chihuahua or a daschund...it would have to chew on me for days!!!

Those stats have shamed me.

Oh also, shame on me for being in the "afraid for my children mode"...I need to change my mindset to "these dog's are friendly and safe, it's just a kid here and there who loses his face, his genitals, or his life" mode. The risk for my children is nil.

Brandi said...

Ugh. My parents' neighbors own and breed pit bulls. Every time I go to their house, I sit in the car and make sure the coast is clear before I run to the front door.

When Bubba was 3, one of the pits came running over and jumped on him. I picked Bubba up and threw him on top of the hood of the car and then my husband jumped out and started screaming obscenities at the dog and it ran away. S.C.A.R.Y.

momof3darlings said...

I have had 5 family members bit by dogs. Some more severe than others. But 3 of them were to the FACE. Only 1 of them was a Pit bull.

Doesn't matter, if a dog comes in MY yard where my babies are.....I'm shooting it.

But I'm not nice.

And I have great aim. ;)

Now that I've scared you....LOL

Sarah said...

"Oh also, shame on me for being in the "afraid for my children mode"...I need to change my mindset to "these dog's are friendly and safe, it's just a kid here and there who loses his face, his genitals, or his life" mode. The risk for my children is nil"

I was not trying to shame anyone, except for the guy advocating killing an animal, who has done nothing, and has not harmed anyone. I was trying to give you some CONCRETE actions you could take to make your children safer.

I knew you wouldn't hear the info about how most of the dogs are not "insane, vicious killers, who could turn any second", exactly because you are in "scared for kids" mode. I didn't say that was a bad thing or even a good thing, simply that you are. I made no judgement either way, sorry that you inferred one.

I also didn't say all dogs are fluffy wuffy little babies, or that there was no danger. Any dog with teeth can bite. PERIOD. Dogs should be treated with respect, recognizing that they are not children, personal protection, humans,an alarm system, or disposable.

There is a problem if the dog gets loose, it can be dangerous.. I even gave info about tethered dogs and increases in aggression. So, I'm not sure how I was trying to shame you for your fear. I was hoping that in addition to blogging about your fears, you'd take some action. Also I hoped for some education and rational discussion about dogs in general and pitbulls particularly.

WolfeFamily said...

i have a friend with a pitbull and she swears he is a sweetie but i will never let me kids go there without me. I don't trust it.

How said about that baby! that is horrible

Beth said...

Followed you here from Letters of Intent. I would be afraid too! Sorry you have to feel that way.

momof3darlings said...

I'm with Mr Daddy personally.

For real.

God gave me kids to protect them, and if a dog, or a cat, or a tiger threatens my kids, that animal is going down the hard way. Period.

I love animals with the best of them, but if a dog like that, with a reputation like that is in MY yard....you're toast.

End of story.

Foursons said...

Yay! Thanks for linking up!

Foursons said...

OK, I just went back and glanced at your comments. Obviously one of your commenters doesn't "know" Mr. Daddy. Don't worry Mr. Daddy- we still love you!

He & Me + 3 said...

My doggie is as sweet as they come, but she is an animal and I don't know what will set her off at any given time. Sure I can say she is nice, but if she doesn't like someone for some reason she may bite. Unfortunately, those dogs are known to be mean (not that they all are)...and they are just so strong if they got ahold of anyone it would be the end. We have a rottweiler next door and she is super sweet...but I am still afraid when my son puts his hand through the fence because he has no fear.
I know your fears...they are legit...

Just Breathe said...

I don't understand why people have to own them. They scare me so much.
I pray that dog never hurts anyone.
I have read way too many stories and it makes me sick. I wish the states would do something about it.

Marice said...

i so feel u! we were once an owner of a pitbull (who died because of old age luckily and have never beaten/eaten anythin) but that doesnt give us the right to let him be exposed to anyone even us. we have kept her all his lifetime at his cage knowing his breed. and we have own several kinds of more tamed dog and almost did the same thing, just 25% freedom. i agree trust your instincts! hope u can do something about it.

u may view mine here

Melissa said...

Be safe...do what you need to do...

Kara @ His, Hers and Ours said...

Stock photo or not, I swear I have seen the same dog too. Pit bulls tend to look the same, and are generally built the same, and still scare me the same.

Yes, about 10 years ago, my ex and I owned a Catahula and pit mix, who was the best dog EVER, but would I have trusted her with my 1 year old. Hell to the no. Not for one second. My stinky breath chihuahua?? In a split second.

I don't blame you for being scared. I would be scared too. I hope the neighbors gain control of that dog...permanently, or get rid of it. Or, have some damn good homeowners insurance, God forbid anything was to ever happen, cause I would take them to the cleaners.

Outrider said...

All dogs bite. Every breed, every age. They all have the potential to bite, and children (especially elementary-aged boys) are the most frequent victims. Kids also tend to sustain the most damage because they're low to the ground. Kids tend to panic, run and scream (normal kid behavior) and dogs tend to chase, jump up, and grab with their mouths (normal dog behavior). Not a good combination.

I'm a veterinarian. Though I am probably more fond of animals in general than the average person, I also have zero tolerance for irresponsible pet owners. Who do you think has to euthanize those healthy dogs that bite children? That would be me, or one of my colleagues. Veterinarians hate this, and it in 99% of cases, it's not the dog's fault: it's the owner.

If you see your neighbor's dog out, call animal control or the police, every time. Take photos or video with your camera phone - that's evidence. There is no excuse for violating leash laws; they're in place for a reason.

And those of you who own any type of dog that lives with or comes in contact with children: do not leave children unsupervised with a dog. Do not ever do this. It is a formula for disaster. I love dogs. That includes many pit bulls, BTW; I saw one yesterday on his own turf (I do some house call work) and he greeted me at the door as though I were the best person he'd ever met and proceeded to sit on my feet and wag his entire body. I still wouldn't trust him alone with children, but then again, I wouldn't trust any dog alone with kids. Not fair to the dog or the kids.

Check out: doggonesafe.com (Doggone Safe). There is great information on the site for parents, kids, and dog owners.

Your neighbor is irresponsible, and it sounds like he owns a scary dog. That said, you and your kids might actually enjoy the Doggone Safe program and the tips are great ("Be a tree"). Meanwhile, research the details of your town's leash laws, and become friendly with animal control. If the laws are lax, get involved with your local government. Those of us who love dogs appreciate all efforts to bring bad owners to heel.

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I thought that dogs like that were illegal....if they aren't they surely should be. I get the heebeejeebees just looking at the picture. YIKES!

wife.mom.nurse said...

Thank you Outrider for your very balanced approach. I appreciate your advice.

~Julie

Outrider said...

>>Thank you Outrider for your very balanced approach. I appreciate your advice.>>

You are quite welcome. Do check out Doggone Safe. The emphasis is on human safety and education. Every kid should know when to leave a dog alone (including the family pet) and what to do when confronted by an unknown, aggressive or loose dog. Kids regularly encounter dogs at friends' homes as well as leashed dogs in their neighborhoods. A little basic knowledge may save your kids from a bad scare or even a bite.

>>I thought that dogs like that were illegal....if they aren't they surely should be. I get the heebeejeebees just looking at the picture. YIKES!>>

I recommend you check out Doggone Safe as well.

The dog in this photo is tied and appears anxious (ears back, tail tucked, mouth closed/not panting). I wouldn't approach, but a kid might not know better. The Doggone Safe website explains basic dog body language.

The happy dog I saw last week looked much like this dog other than color, though his ears were rotating; he had his tongue hanging out of his mouth, trying to lick my hands and shoes (a veterinarian's shoes taste yummy, to dogs); he was spinning in circles/wagging his tail at hyper speed; and was delighted to sit on my feet facing away from me so I could scratch his neck. A shelter rescue and really a lovely dog but he's also fortunate to have an excellent, responsible owner.

hollybygolly said...

This is actually what brought me to your blog. I just googled "dog bites Avon lady". After having had 3 different wonderful boxers thru childhood, knowing how ferocious they looked and how sweet the ones we had were, I was proud that I was not afraid of dogs. Sure, dogs run up and bark, but I never flinched. That is why I was so stunned when walking up to a house with a dog that was relaxed on the step it suddenly attacked me. "Cypress" a good looking dog, didn't indicate any concern as I approached, when like the flip of a switch, he jumped up charged through the shrubbery and was then hanging from my forearm by his jaws before I could even blink! My first thought was that he would do the whole barking routine, oh well, I'm an Avon Lady now, it happens. While I was waiting for my husband to come and take me to the ER the homeowner (who couldn't have been nicer about the whole thing) shared two things with me. Her dog had gone after a delivery man on a previous occasion and her husband was a mailman! It seemed ironic in my state of shock that he was a mailman, I kept blathering about it at the hospital when even 2 hrs later my blood pressure was 168/112!!!!!!!
Unfortunately, I continue to have unpleasant encounters. I've been charged, nipped and cornered since. Yesterday after a dog I was not even aware of on the property began barking VERY aggressively I leapt up on top of a 4ft high stack of pallets on a flatbed trailer. All the while the homeowner was attempting to reassure me her dog would NEVER hurt me. I told her I no longer take chances and this dog was very scary. I called a vet on my way home and he told me I was a fool if I didn't get pepper spray! What happened to me the first time, would have killed a small child. As I turned to run away, he chomped down on the back of my calf and I fell to the ground clawing at the dirt to get away. Fortunately he was tied to a tree so I could get beyond his grasp. Another thing I blathered about in my state of shock "Gives a whole new meaning to at the end of my rope!"
Every homeowner loves their dog and they should, but after all they are animals that act like animals. Sadly, I will be getting pepper spray and yes, I did prevail in court.

Chrissy Cooper said...

I dont like that article are focused on all pitbulls. Any kind of dog can be aggressive. A poodle can atack your children. Yeah, maybe the damage wouldnt be as bad because the dog is smaller but it still atacked your child. Right?? I have a pitbull hes about 100 pounds. I cant put my hand near his mouth if I do he goes to the other side of the room. Hes 11 years old . I ve had him since I was 1 , I cried and sreamed but it never bothered him. I would ride on his back and he wagged his tail. I admit there are a lot of vicius pitbulls, some that will never be good with people. Its not there fault there trained to be that way people starve them until the bite another dog . They make them fight until another dog dies.its sucks that the dogs are judged. I not saying you shouldnt be scared of that dog , but just dont be scared of every pitbull. Please.. get to know one. I promise if u find one as a puppy and raise it with love it will do the same.