Monday, July 28, 2008

Lab Puppy Kills

Infant dies

I hate that we (we, as in pit bull people) will be using this heart wrenching story as an example of failed dog ownership, but we will - for a long time. Just like we've been using the example of the French woman who received the first face transplant. It's horrible to have to know about these things, much less keep track of so much grief. (Chako Press) I look forward to the day when people finally start to get it....

The dogs that are set up to fail don't know what breed they are.

Rest in peace, little Tulsa baby.

Since when do paramedics get to speak on dog behavior? Ugh.

"Even a very familiar family dog can turn on you, puppies specifically, they're unpredictable, they're young, they got a lot of hormones going on, you've never know what they're gonna do" - Chris Stevens of EMSA.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you see the first comments on the story?

"So sad, but I find it hard to believe a lab would do that. They are the friendliest breed. And a puppy no less. I wonder if it was a lab/pit mix."

rinalia said...

Puppies are not unpredictable, they're highly predictable chewers. Curious, always getting into some form of trouble.

It's pretty damn sad they murdered that puppy for doing nothing more than engaging in normal puppy behavior.

I feel sad for the family and, of course, for the infant, but in my mind, this was a freak accident.

Chaining a social animal and using them as a guard dog is setting them up to fail, but I don't really agree that leaving an infant up in his crib/bed around two small animals (who the family may have not believed could jump up on the bed) is a sign of bad ownership. None of us can claim to be perfect, and all of us have done something dumb that - yes - could have cost someone or another animal their life or caused injury.

It just sucks that the reality check this family received is in the form of death. :(

Anonymous said...

"Set up to fail", yeah, that's exactly what it is.

Anonymous said...

I`m already reading speculation that it couldn`t possibly be a Lab,it must have been a Lab/Pit mix.

There has to be some controls put on human Breeding.
Perhaps only the people who have really thought things through and who have decided NOT to have children(because they realize it`s a HUGE 24/7 responsibility and they are smart enough to acknowledge that they aren`t up to it for whatever reason) SHOULD be encouraged to have them.
Ted,you should have kids.
People who think it`s normal for 3 year olds to be wandering around unsupervised(because they`re clever...) or that only certain dogs bite should immediately be neutered.
The speculation that this puppy is part Pit and that`s why this happened is frightening to say the least.
And I read that the Mother is 17??
Perhaps,lack of Parental supervision runs in that family.
Kids having kids.

Donna said...

Dog deaths are gruesome things to dissect, and I'm hesitant to do it in a public forum where victims' families can access...

But, rinalia, as you said - puppies chew. And leaving a child exposed & dangling (child swing) and walking away is terribly neglectful, given what we all know to be true about puppies' predictable behavior. Bad ownership might be too strong a term, but this is more than a freak accident. Ignorance? Complacency? ('Oh a lab puppy should be perfectly safe')

In both cases of chained dog and biting puppy, the adults fell asleep at the wheel.

But your point is well taken. I think I'll edit my entry to say 'failed ownership' rather than bad.

Anonymous said...

No one knows this killed the baby. There were 3 people in that house. Mom, Dad and grandma. No one heard that baby cry?
It could have been dead long before the dog got to it. It might have been nicer to blame it on the dog.
We need the results of the autopsy here first.

Cindy said...

I cannot imagine the grief that family feels right now. I have 2 older adult male labradors and they are the sweetest dogs I have ever known or had. That said, I would never leave them alone with a baby or young child as I know they get testy with my bouncy, wiggle butt pit bulls for doing nothing more than bumping into them. Who knows the genetic makeup of the puppy. There is so much in breeding with this particular breed. Sad for the family and sad for the puppy.

philotherian said...

I find the claim that a 6 week old puppy "mauled" an infant to death hard to believe. I myself have (2) 8-week old German Shepherd puppies, and while they do jump, chew, romp and bite, they don't have the attention span to "maul" anything, nor the physical size to leap up onto a baby in a child swing to kill him. As other folks have commented, it's not like the baby was on the floor. I have a small child, and a child swing puts a baby at least 18 inches off the floor, so I'm not clear how the pup could have done enough harm to kill the baby. That said, I would never leave my toddler with any dog - mine or anyone else's - no matter how small, young, old, feeble, placid or friendly the dog might be. Babies and small children lack coordinated motor skills and can easily grab, kick or pull at a dog with enough strength to elicit a bite. It's the parents' responsibility to protect both the child and the dog from potential harm. That the parents/grandparents in the story felt it was "ok" to leave the baby ALONE IN THE HOUSE (forget the dog for a second) is a testament to their commitment to "responsible" child care.

That the pup was put down without bite impression comparisons being conducted is sloppy detective work. What if the pug mentioned in the story turns out to have been the biter? It seems there is more to this story than we are getting. I wonder if any reporters will have the journalistic integrity to report ALL the facts, not just the attention-grabbing data bits?

An in-depth report on the family's string of poor decisions that lead to this tragedy might be a good place to start. Alas, both the baby and the dog have already paid the ultimate price for the mistakes of others, as is almost always the case.

rinalia said...

Thanks, Donna. I think the two cases are emblematic of our schizophrenic relationship with dogs. We expect them to be protectors...but only guarding against the "wrong" people. We expect them to be like people, capable of making human rationalizations. And then we act surprised when they do dog-stuff, like guard against invading kids or chew on soft-squishy infants. In the dog world, neither dog's behavior was aberrant.

(And just to be clear, I'm not arguing that these deaths were "warranted", by any stretch.)

Anonymous said...

The puppy was 6 weeks old? It must have been older or we are missing part of the story.

Donna said...

The pup looks older than 6 weeks in the news videos.

Intensely driven puppies do show up often enough. Consider the puppies you've met that will grab on and not let go of their toy when they're wound up.

pitbullfever said...

Yeah, it's so easy for someone to say that the puppy had Pit in it when they weren't there. They don't know the exact circumstances of what happened and I don't anyone think anyone else does either. I wasn't there but personal convictions and speculation can be dangerous. There was a blog where someone had posted something about Ontario banning Labradors. It turned out to be NOT TRUE. They were just seeing what people's reaction to that would be. I can tell you that I believed it and was already speculating why and what not. So stepping back to assess the situation and using rational thinking meaning not jumping to conclusions would do so much for everyone. Media please educate yourselves!

Donna said...

This is worth re-posting.

____

I think the two cases are emblematic of our schizophrenic relationship with dogs. We expect them to be protectors...but only guarding against the "wrong" people. We expect them to be like people, capable of making human rationalizations. And then we act surprised when they do dog-stuff, like guard against invading kids or chew on soft-squishy infants. In the dog world, neither dog's behavior was aberrant.
_____

rinalia is right on. Neither dog acted inappropriately, given the situations they were placed in.

Cathy said...

I have met badly bred puppies as young as eight or nine weeks old with a frightening aggressive streak in my time as a veterinary technician. One of these was a purebred flat-coated retriever who grew up to be one of the most frightening dogs my clinic sees.

What a tragedy for the family and the puppy.

Anonymous said...

Yowsa!
Just scanning some of the asinine comments posted by people on those forums...
It`s a wonder there aren`t more children losing their lives for various reasons simply due to the sheer stupidity of people.
There really needs to be some screening of people BEFORE they are allowed to procreate or even be in the company of children.
I am stunned beyond words by reading the responses to this tragedy.
Leaving dogs(size,breed/type,age) out of it.
The majority of children are surviving in spite of Adults.
How about requiring Parenting classes because commonsense seems to be sorely missing?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone catch that the mother was 17? She probably thought that babies and puppies are the same thing or was too busy painting her nails and hanging out on myspace.

It's horrible that they put that puppy down. In a home with intelligent, civilized people this never would have happened. I'd take in that puppy in a heartbeat.

I think teen mom should catch a charge for this and never breed again.

Kris said...

My first thought when I read this story was "They didn't hear the child cry?" If they were in the house when this happened, why didn't they hear the baby screaming before it was too late? It must have taken some time for the puppy to inflict all the bites.

That said, I'm not surprised that the puppy bit the baby. Many dogs do not seem to understand that infants are small humans. Add to that the baby was in a swing, his legs dangling--the movements probably incited the puppy to play by biting him (the movement of a dangling leg in a swing is not so different from the movement of a tug o' war toy). We all know that puppies bite hard until you teach them not to. I doubt a six-week-old pup is capable of serious aggression, but I can see how play bites from a large breed pup could seriously injure or kill a tiny baby.

It's a tragedy that this happened. I guess the parents learned a lesson about dogs, but it's terrible that their baby had to die for them to learn that lesson.

Anonymous said...

As a dog owner and mother I know first hand how these two worlds can collide. My two year old was biten by the family pet with me less than 6 feet away. After surgery and recoup time she is happy and beautiful again. The dog did however find a new home without small children and we still have 2 American Staffordshire terriers and a new lab pup. I know what you are thinking the Am/Staffs bit the child. How wrong you would be... our Staffs are wonderful loving members of our household and choose to protect our children. In fact these "mean" dogs got the other dog away faster than I could and refused to let it near the child again. Granted it only took me seconds to get there, but who knows what a second bite could have done. Dogs only know what they are taught (or not taught) the dog that bit had socialization issues when we acquired him. I know that many will say...why was he around your child? Because my family believes that animals are important and that this dog deserved a chance. He still does, but without children. So people who judge should know any dog can be good or bad it depends on who is in their lives. My two year still loves dogs (all animals to be more precise). As a parent I know there are risks involved in raising my children, I just believe their lives are enriched by have dogs in them.

Anonymous said...

As a dog owner and mother I know first hand how these two worlds can collide. My two year old was biten by the family pet with me less than 6 feet away. After surgery and recoup time she is happy and beautiful again. The dog did however find a new home without small children and we still have 2 American Staffordshire terriers and a new lab pup. I know what you are thinking the Am/Staffs bit the child. How wrong you would be... our Staffs are wonderful loving members of our household and choose to protect our children. In fact these "mean" dogs got the other dog away faster than I could and refused to let it near the child again. Granted it only took me seconds to get there, but who knows what a second bite could have done. Dogs only know what they are taught (or not taught) the dog that bit had socialization issues when we acquired him. I know that many will say...why was he around your child? Because my family believes that animals are important and that this dog deserved a chance. He still does, but without children. So people who judge should know any dog can be good or bad it depends on who is in their lives. My two year still loves dogs (all animals to be more precise). As a parent I know there are risks involved in raising my children, I just believe their lives are enriched by have dogs in them.

Anonymous said...

Sadly another baby has been killed.
My condolences to the family.
When will the Media start educating so we don`t see more of these tragedies?
Probably preventable if some pretty simple facts and information was put out there instead of trying to blame some dogs.

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--infant-dogattack0907sep07,0,7985182.story

Anonymous said...

Another tragedy
How often can we ask for education rather than legislation?
I`m asking once more for educational programs,TV PSA`s.
But we all know what the Media will do with this sad event.
My condolences to the family.


http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/sep/12/pit-bulls-kill-infant-north-las-vegas/

Anonymous said...

Looks like the message of NEVER leaving a young child alone with ANY dog(let alone an unknown strange dog that didn`t even belong to the friends) isn`t getting through.
Reading between the lines it sounds like the child may have tripped and fallen on the dog.(They say bumped)
But we know what the focus will be,don`t we.

http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/sep/30/simi-valley-girl-5-dies-after-backyard-attack/

My condolences to this family.

Anonymous said...

There`s actually a half decent article about this latest fatality in California.
http://www.simivalleyacorn.com/news/2008/1003/Front_page/003.html

I especially like this quote from the head of Animal Regulation

"When any other dog besides a pit bull bites, it's an accident."


Points out the dangers of leaving small children alone with ANY dog.
Talks about people ONLY reporting Pit bites because of their fear.
Authorities are also trying to piece together a history of the dog before euthanizing it.
The dog has also been downgraded to a pit bull mix.
It just looks like some kind of a mutt to me but I`m no expert.
Dog was also intact.
Man I wish people would supervise their small kids around dogs.

Anonymous said...

Another child killed and now a Police spokesperson adds fuel to the fire!

Also a commenter has brought the Vick dogs into this
[quote]

David Monroe wrote on November 27, 2008 05:56 AM: I beleive you would be surprized at how little progress is being made in the rehabilitation of Vick's dogs. I'm pretty sure three or four more were put down just recently. [/quote]


http://www.lvrj.com/news/35167314.html

[quote]Bill Cassell, a spokesman with the Metropolitan Police Department, said the boy and his younger brother were being taken care of by their grandmother when the 2-year-old was attacked by one, or perhaps both, of the family's mix-breed terriers.

Cassell said the dogs also might be a type of pit bull.[/quote]