Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beau's Tombstone Memorial

It pains us to present this message, but it is a reminder of why we work to raise awareness of the pit bull problem. 2 year old Beau Rutledge was mauled to death by a well-behaved family pit bull last year. His mother, Angela Provo Rutledge, speaks about what their family went through, and about the memorial she hopes to build.

On April 24, 2013 We lost both our beautiful son Beau Isaac and our family dog, affectionately known as Kissy Face. Kissy face had been part of our family for 8 years and lived up to her name, for she was compelled to overload you with kisses. Oh she was such a very loving and family oriented dog. Kissy face had been around since her birthdate, November 22, 2005, two years prior to having the first child, Bella. When Bella came into the picture, it was so much fun to have the dog around, because she acted as a companion and protector. Never was she aggressive towards Bella and played generously with other children. Therefore, we felt confident in our family's safety when it came to our family pet.

Then 4 years later Beau Isaac was born on April 4, 2011. Over the next two years Beau and Kissy Face loved on each other compassionately. Until shortly after his 2nd birthday I made a trip to the restroom. Just a few minutes later I came out of the restroom to find my son in a pool of his own blood. It was the most horrific day of my life and a day without warning. Our dog sat next to his body looking confused as if she didn't understand why he wasn't getting up. The screams from my voice were so loud and so terrifying that our neighbors (two doors over) rushed over and joined in with my horrific screams!
Rewinding back to the year 2005, I was told by some random person that pit bulls were aggressive and were bred to fight other dogs to the kill. Then I was also told by another random person at our dogs vet the very opposite. I was told if you raise pit bulls with love and care they are just as gentle, loving, and domesticated as any other household dog breed. Therefore, we truly believed that with love and proper up brining that the nurture factor would override the nature of this breed dog.
Our story is not about hating or loving the pit bull breed. Our story is simply this, any dog can bite and any dog can love like a human being, yes all dogs have the ability to display some strong emotions that resemble those of a human. The downside to a dogs thought and emotional process is simply this, it cannot process the chain reaction that comes of their nature. We regrettably believe, now that it is too late, that there is something extremely untrue to what we had once believed. The truth is this, there is not just this story, but 288 reported stories like ours since 1998 and 30 plus stories reported this year alone. There are countless adult fatalities and countless attacks leaving a person for dead because of this breed of dog and like aggressive breads.
In conclusion, we are not saying to take your dog out back and shoot it. We are not saying not to love your dogs. We are simply saying that even with tons of love and attention that our dog (and many dogs of her breed) still snap ped and killed our son in a matter of moments. Consider this, we as dog lovers, should ponder this one thing, if there was a one and a million chance that your dog could turn on you or your child, would you get rid of it and grieve for a moment or loose a child and grieve for a lifetime?

Please help us raise the funds to give Beau the tombstone he deserves, as well as a beautiful place for his mother, big sister Bella and friends/family to visit and mourn.

News accounts of Beau's untimely death may be found here

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lessons from the school of hard knocks

Here are a few accounts from readers who have chosen to remain anonymous for their own safety. 

The sweet pit bull

My coworker owned a pit bull. She described her as very sweet, wouldn't hurt a fly. She often dog sat for a friends large akita, and the pit and akita were always best friends. One night they were out in their yard together and they noticed that their play had escalated to a full on dog fight. The pit was no match for the akita, who had size and a protective coat on its side. But despite the fact that the pit bull was losing badly, it continued to fight. Her husband had to beat her with a shovel to get her to stop. Once the pit stopped, the akita stopped.

Some years later this same coworker decided to adopt a small, elderly chihuahua mix that someone found wandering in the road. I warned her not to trust her pit bull, but she was not concerned. For a year the dogs lived together happily, often sharing a bed and seeming to enjoy each other. Then one night the pit walked over to the sleeping chi mix and grabbed it around the neck and began shaking it with the clear intent to kill it. The chi was screaming but the pit was silent. Again her husband and to stop the pit bulls attack, but there was no shovel handy. He had to punch the pit bull repeatedly in the head to get it to stop, and he had to do it so hard he broke his hand. The little chi survived only because he was wearing a thick collar. The next day my coworker came to work and was clearly still shaken up by the whole thing. She kept saying "you were right, you were right..."  She will never own another pit bull. Wise woman.

The Vet

She was connected to the company I worked for, she was not my vet. Because she knew I had  knowledge of dogs, she called me one day and told me that she adopted a pit bull and wanted advice on how to integrate this male dog into her household of three other dogs, a male and two females. I told her to return the pit bull and not even bother trying. She did not take my advice, but she did call frequently to keep me posted. Big surprise, the pit decided that her male dog needed to die, and would attack him whenever he saw his chance. She had to separate them, and enlist the services of a trainer. Of course it did no good. It got to the point where if the pit bull even heard the male dog in another room he would go ballistic and try to get to him, through the door or wall if necessary. He could not be distracted when he was in such a state. Eventually, of course, management fails and he had a fight with the male and the vet and her husband realized that it was not going to work out and that someone was going to be seriously injured. They returned the pit to rescue where it was placed in home with no other animals. I hope their neighbors have no other animals either... That vet did call me and say that she would NEVER own another pit bull again.

The Dog Walker

Several years ago I helped out a local dog walker with her overflow clients. One of her clients owned a young male dog, Ralphie. The dog walker mentioned she had a "bull pit" and when I asked her what that was, she said it was a pit bull that didn't realize it was a pit bull. I know. Nauseating. In any case, her bull pit figured it out pretty fast. When Ralphie was taken to the dog sitters house for the evening, he was attacked by the shit bull and his throat torn open. He survived, but the dog walker didn't even have the decency to tell his owners. She returned Ralphie while they were at work the next morning and went off on vacation. I got the phone call asking what the hell happened! I could not believe that not only would she endanger a clients dog's life by bringing it near that fucking thing, she didn't even tell them what happened! She just took the dog to the vet where she worked and had it treated!

A senseless mauling

Sue wrote about the loss of her beloved papillon in a brutal, senseless pit bull attack. Attacks like this, where an innocent family pet is savagely mauled to death by one or more pit bulls, occur daily, but are almost never reported. This is her story: 

The house next to mine became a rental this fall. The chain link around the house was built in 1970 and has never been replaced. It has a lot of damage and is held together with BBQ grates. A family moved in with two pit bulls. I told the tenant that the fence was in bad condition and I was scared with my two sons and dogs in my yard. He said he was making improvements on the fence. And that one dog was aggressive and liked to dig out but he was working on it.

On November 12th, a month after they moved in, the Pit bulls jumped the fence and attacked my dog in my front yard in front of my four and nine year old sons. The dogs severed the spinal cord of my 13 year old nine pound papillon. He was unable to move or get away as they crushed his pelvis and punctured his colon exposing his internal organs to the outside. My son held the dog as we rushed him to the vet as my other son cried. I incurred a $800 vet bill before having to put him down.

Since the attack I found out the pits had been getting out while I was at work. They jumped the fence and attempted to attack a neighbor walking her lab. She let go of the leash and her dog managed to escape unharmed. The day after the attack on my dog, the same lab was being walked by another person past the pits. They jumped the fence and grabbed the lab by the throat and hind quarters. The owner came out and called the dogs in. The owner ignored the woman as she screamed her dog had been attacked. The wife of the pit owner came on the scene at that point and asked if the dogs had attacked again, and offered to pay. She claimed her husband was deaf and could not hear her screams.

Sue was left with a dead animal companion and a vet bill for hundreds of dollars. This is the everyday reality for animal lovers who suffer the loss of their pets in vicious attacks by "family pit bulls" The pit bull owners are not held accountable for their actions or the actions of the animals or which they are supposedly responsible. The bereaved virtually never receive any compensation for their loss, but are routinely harassed and threatened. This needs to change, and the sooner the better.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's a slaughterhouse out there


The study How many other animals did pit bulls kill last year has been published by animals24-7.org - please follow the link for details

The animal people organization have been collecting and analyzing data on dog attacks against animals in 2013. While the complete report has not yet been published, some statistics have been released, and the sheer number of horrific attacks occurring daily is heartbreaking for any animal lover - nay, to anyone with a heart. Some of the pertinent statistics which have come to light are as follows:

Ann Ziegler's hearing ear dog, brutally massacred by a pit bull

About 31,400 dogs attacked about 61,500 other animals in the U.S. in 2013, killing 43,500 and seriously injuring 18,100. 

The animals killed included about 12,000 dogs, 8,000 cats, 6,000 hooved animals, and 17,000 other small domestic animals, primarily poultry. 

Another victim of pit bull advocacy

The seriously injured included about 12,400 dogs, 4,000 cats, and 1,700 hooved animals. Few small mammals and poultry survived reported dog attacks.

Pit bulls inflicted 99% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000); 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520); 95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700) and on small mammals and poultry (16,150); and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280). 

About 30,000 pit bulls were involved in attacks on other animals, many of them killing multiple other animals. 

There are about 3.2 million pit bulls in the U.S. at any given time, according to the annual ANIMAL PEOPLE surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption via online classified ads. 

Thus in 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal, compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds. 

Complete details of the year-long epidemiological survey that produced these estimates will appear in the January/February edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE. 

Merritt Clifton has added the following clarifying comments: The forthcoming ANIMAL PEOPLE study is taking an epidemiological approach to estimating the dog attack & pit bull attack tolls on other animals precisely to address the underreporting factor. Figuring out how to compensate for non-reporting is among the most common problems in epidemiological research, and we have used standard methods for doing it.

More info will posted here as it becomes available. In the meantime, there are many interesting articles to be found at the web site -  Animal People News