Basset Hounds Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,902 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Written after a close friend's shelter dog bit an older woman and her 5 year-old grandson and killed their dog. There are no winners in this sad story. :(

From "Dog Bites Man - Not a story--a national crisis" by Jon Katz


The epidemic of attacks on people suggests that something is seriously wrong with the way many people acquire, train, understand, and move about society with their dogs. Well-meaning dog rescuers have taken an approach that may increase the amount of dog violence and frighten and alienate non-dog-owners. For some rescuers, saving violent dogs has become a mission. Violent dogs are now brought into the mainstream population by the thousands each year. Among some dog advocates, it's considered immoral to euthanize a violent dog, but acceptable, even praiseworthy, to bring one into contact with children. Sometimes, a moral inversion seems to occur: Gentler, adoptable dogs are left to die in shelters because more dangerous dogs are seen as in greater need.

Rescued, puppy mill, and incompetently bred dogs have more behavioral problems than properly bred purebreds or thoroughly evaluated shelter dogs. That's often why they need rescue in the first place...

When people buy, rescue, or otherwise acquire a dog from unscrupulous breeders or amateur rescue groups, they are making a decision with ethical consequences. They have a profound responsibility to consider their actions; to gauge the dog's behavior, to train it thoroughly and rigorously, to protect other humans and dogs from harm.
[ November 20, 2004, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,902 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your comments, Mike. I completely agree that all new owners incur the responsibility to train their dogs to be safe, no matter what the dog's origin.

Also agree that the reference to "amateur rescues" could use clarification. My understanding is that 10-15 years ago, purebred rescue was organized and conducted by breeders and others with longtime experience and familiarity with their chosen breeds. People who knew what is and isn't characteristic temperament of the breed.

Currently, purebred rescue seems to be heavily populated by individuals with a more casual interest in the breed. These are commonly people that may have had only one or two specimens as pets before becoming active in rescue. While these people are certainly well-intentioned, they aren't always (or even often) knowledgeable or experienced in identifying behavioral problems, let alone knowing how to go about rehabilitating a problem dog. Ideally, these folks should able to acquire experience from more knowledgeable rescue members, learning to evaluate and rehabilitate problem dogs and to assess prospective placements.

Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, turnover is so high and rescues are so desperate, they'll put just about any semi-interested person with a pulse on their board. People with little experience may find themselves in the position of deciding which dog lives and which doesn't, and inexperienced people tend to err in an unsafe direction. And of course, there's nothing that prevents just about anyone from hanging out a shingle as a rescue. So, although Katz' mention of "amateur rescues" isn't well-defined, it's a point that has some merit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,902 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sadly, there doesn't appear to be much doubt that dog bites are increasing in number, and that well-intentioned ignorance is contributory. :(
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top