Sunday, September 12, 2010

This has got to stop.

I typically try to keep this blog apolitical and light, but something happened today in DC and I need to comment on it.

I was having  a really lovely day today—my friend Miss Heather and her friend Caitlin were in town from New York, and we’d had a great day doing brunch and visiting the American History Museum.  On my way home, I checked my Twitter feed and saw from a local blog that cops shot a dog at a neighborhood festival.  I won’t link to the article, because reading it absolutely ruined my day.  If any of you want to read the gory details, it’s Googleable.

The short version of the eyewitness reports is that two dogs (a pit bull mix from Lucky Dog Rescue—a great local rescue group out here) and a poodle got into a tiff.  Police reported to the scene, and something transpired, which ended in a cop throwing the pit bull over into a stairwell (approximately 10ft below) then walking down and shooting him from only several feet away.

I’m absolutely shocked, horrified, livid, saddened, and disgusted.  I knew of the dog—Lucky Dog was at a pet festival in my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago and I went looking to see who they had on their website and saw him (he had a distinctive name-- Parrot).  Even if I didn’t, that is absolutely no way to treat any living creature, especially when it sounds like there was absolutely no reason for the cop to act in such a way.  You do not physically throw someone or something to injure them, and then go down and kill them.

I feel awful for the dog—I can’t imagine what horror and pain his last moments were like.  I can’t imagine how traumatized the onlookers must feel—and there were many.  I can’t imagine that many rescued dogs wouldn’t try to defend themselves if they were feeling threatened—I know Alice absolutely would.  I can’t imagine what kind of mental state the cop would have to be in to make this decision.  I’m not a fan of guns by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe in tasers.  If an animal’s really out of control, subdue it.  Don’t freaking throw it down into a stairwell and then shoot it.  Enough damage was probably done when it fell 10ft.

On top of this, there’s the fact that cops are shooting dogs is becoming increasingly more prevalent.  It’s happening all over the country.  Some of the stories even include cops raiding the wrong home and shooting the dog when it reacted.

And I think it needs to be noted that it’s always a “pit bull” early on in these situations.  In many cases, it’s found out later that the dog was a lab, a boxer, a mutt, a bulldog, what have you.

Needless to say, this story has hit way too close to home for me.  I’ve already cried for the dog and for Lucky Dog, and I’m scared to death right now of taking Alice to a festival—like we’ve done many, many times before—for fear that she may look at a cop wrong or bark at something and face a horrible, needless death.  I’m even scared that our apartment will get accidentally raided and she’ll do her natural thing and defend us.  And honestly, I fear for my reaction if that did happen—I can 1,000% guarantee I would not act like anything remotely resembling a lady.  And I wouldn’t feel even remotely remorseful for whatever I did.  You don’t mess with my dog.

I understand that cops have tough jobs—I would never want to be one.  And I also understand the majority of cops aren’t dirty.  But this has got to stop.  Because you have a gun and the power to use it doesn’t mean that using it to neutralize a situation should be the first reaction.

And honestly, the early reports are saying that the poodle was biting the pit bull’s face.  What dog wouldn’t react to that?  We have got to stop vilifying pit bulls and assuming that they’re always the aggressors.  Any dog can be the aggressor or the victim.

If there are any calls for an investigation, protests, moves for legislation, fundraisers, what have you involving this situation, I’ll be involved.  As a dog owner and lover, I cannot sit idly by and allow this to keep happening. 

My heart goes out to the poor sweetheart, Lucky Dog, to the witnesses, to pit bull owners, and to every dog owner.  I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone.


Riley, Titan,Boo and Sandy said...

My Titan is Pitt mix and let me tell you, he is the gentlest creature walking on four legs. His sisfur Boo antagonizes him to no end and he just walks away and never engages. We are constantly putting our hands in his mouth and face so he knows thats ok and not fearful, in case we ever go out and a child walks up when we are not looking and puts their hand in his face. He loves to be loved and show love...He is @RockumSockum pup and I could not have picked a better tempermented dog if I tried.
My heart goes out to you< Alice and the Lucky Dog Rescue.

Ariel said...

This is just TERRIBLE! Why can't people leave the breed alone. I have a lot of Pit Bull friends that are just Great! Keep me posted Alice. Whatever you need me and human Granny to do just let us know! <3
p.s.s. Thanks a Million for the donation I really appreciate it!

Mr. Puggle® said...

oh my heavens. how horrible & tragic. so traumatic for onlookers. i haven't thought much about this subject before. there was a pitbull shooting a few cities over from me. when i heard about, i could understand why the cops shot the dog. i was a cop. i get it. you respond to a domestic call (in an known area for dog fighting) & you have an 84lb pit charging you. cop's guns are not the best for stopping animals. the bullets go in too clean & fast. the exit wound is clean. it doesn't stop the animal like a shot gun. when i just googled the article for you, i saw a link for the pit that was tasered. i thought that was a good suggestion you made. but i guess the taser didn't stop a pit that was attacking a little boy. think of the strong sense of protection you have for little alice. image the mom trying to protect her little boy from the pit. I was attacked by a german shepard in an ally when i was a kid. my arm got chewed up. i was all alone. it was frightening. i understand the dogs are not bad. just like a gun. it is the person holding the leash or gun that is bad. there seems no easy answer & a lot of heart ache. thanks so much for bringing this subject up and shedding light on it. i will really be thinking about this topic. sorry you had to experience this. glad you got to see Parot in person. grateful you support the shelter. prayers out to Parot's family.

Alice's Human Female said...

Mr. Puggle-- I always forget that you used to be a cop. How could I with your great bail number story?!

Thanks for adding your perspective. Shortly after I wrote this I read that tasers don't work the same on animals as they do people (there's some kind of physics/distance/mechanics behind it). You're absolutely right-- there's just no easy answer to this situation. :(

Bruschi said...

I just read about this on Mr. Puggle's page. I am so sorry for what happened. That is absolutely tragic. Pits have a bad rep everywhere, and in this case, it certainly sounds like the poodle was the aggressor! But of course, it is assumed that the pit was at fault. I was attacked and bit by a pit mix while out running a year and a half ago, and I do not for one second blame or have ill feelings towards that dog. It is the humans responsibility to properly train and restrain their dogs. And while out walking my puggle and pug mix, we are constantly being attacked by all the white froo froo dogs in the neighborhood, yet NO ONE ever looks at them as being the problem! Again, I am so sorry about Parrot....I don't even want to think about the fear he felt in his last few minutes. I am sick to my stomach just thinking about it!