New on Board, need advice

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New on Board, need advice

Postby BethMcLean » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:12 pm

I have a 9 year old fawn pit, beautiful dog, beautiful temperment to the family, the kids and the other animals in the house. I love her dearly, she was my late first husband's dog, even before we were dating so in a way, she's the matriarch of the family.

Herein lies my problem... last night, she got sprayed by a skunk and we had to vacate the house (the family and I). I left her and our other dog (a westie) here for the night, I figured that she couldnt possibly stink up the house worse than it already is. Anyway she managed to get out of the house via the back deck, open the safety gate on the porch, and bite my neighbor and his dog. I come home this morning to a posting from animal control on my door stating they have my dogs (I still have NO IDEA how they got out) and my pitbull bit my neighbor. Now, I cant let her come back to the house. My husband, who's always been a bit leary of Pitbulls (he's from australia and the breed is banned there) doesnt want her back and I cant risk her doing it again for her sake or for my family (Im not worried about her biting my family, I just dont want a repeat of the incident in the neighborhood again) and Animal Control, although they didnt deem her aggressive, wants to keep her for 10 days. What do I do? Will pit bull rescues take her at her age? I dont want to get rid of her and certainly dont want her destroyed, I love her probably more than most humans, but I can't have the liability. I havent gotten hold of the neighbor that she bit (he's either celebrating Easter or in the hospital) so I dont know the extent of the damages. I dont want her put down, but I cant have her here. Im sitting here in my skunky house in some ways so angry at her for these series of events, but so sad that a decision has to be made. Someone please help!
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Postby Sally_Dog77 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:20 pm

Wow...
That's a scary situation to be in.
Rescues will take elderly pits.
You can try and find one here

http://www.pbrc.net

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you, and welcome to the board.
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Postby voodoopitbull » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:28 pm

Welcome. I am so sorry this has happened to you.

You're going to have to make a very tought decision. If your dog truly bit your neighbor and he/she is not just making that up, your dog needs to have her temperament evaluated. Biting humans is NOT a normal APBT temperament.

No responsible rescue will take in a dog who's bitten someone...even if the dog didn't do it or was provoked. Giving a dog who's bitten someone to a rescue organization NOT a responsible choice.

IMHO, you have two options:
Euthanize the dog or take on the responsiblity of owning an unsound dog, keeping it secure and keeping it away from all strangers

If it were me, my first step would be to a knowledgeable behaviorist.


Good luck.
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Need Advice

Postby BethMcLean » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:37 pm

I dont know the situation behind the biting. What I could understand from Animal Control is that my dogs were really skittish and nervous and they were sitting on my front porch when the incident happened (my dogs NEVER go outside without either myself or my husband because we dont have a fenced in yard so being outside without one of us probably kinda freaked her out). She's never shown aggression before, could be a mixture of the skunk incident along with being outside alone that set her off. No one, vet or guest, has ever seen aggressive behavior in her. I dont know the extent of the injury. She is never left to her own devices outside, we have been constant companions for 8 years now and I have never wanted her to be put in the situation we're in now. I cant make excuses for her, I know that there are good temperments and bad ones, but this is the first time she's ever shown this.. she's old, she was scared I dont know. I just dont know what to do!
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Postby rgyoung777 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:47 pm

voodoopitbull's advice is sound, IMO. I, too, am sorry to hear that this has happened. It must be incredibly stressful to you and your family.

Please have your dog evaluated by a canine behaviorist.

If she is determined to be unsound, either make a commitment to contain her responsibly to prevent another incident, or have her euthanized.

Even if you don't have her evaluated, putting her up for adoption or surrendering her to a rescue is a very bad idea.

Please do not rehome this dog. She is your responsibility.

Welcome to the board.
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Postby Sally_Dog77 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:55 pm

Most rescues do run temperment tests on potiential adoptables, which is why I posted the link to PBRC.
I'm not quite sure that helps, though. *shrug* You could also ask the shelter to give her a temp. test too, if they haven't already done so. I think that's why they're holding her for 10 days.
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Postby rgyoung777 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:01 pm

Actually, the 10 day holding period is probably a quarantine for rabies. She will be watched during this time to see if she exhibits any signs of the disease. As far as I know, that's SOP when a dog bites a person.

I don't know of any PB rescues who would take a dog with a history of biting, temperament test or not. Biting history is information that has to be disclosed when the dog is put up for adoption. Then there is the issue of liability if the dog ever bites again. It's just too much of a risk for a rescue to take.
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Postby voodoopitbull » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:04 pm

Sally_Dog77 wrote:You could also ask the shelter to give her a temp. test too, if they haven't already done so. I think that's why they're holding her for 10 days.


Most shelters either do not offer those services or have staff knowledgeable enough to make a decision like that. I've seen shelters preform "temperament" tests where a runner runs past the dog and if the dog jumps out (even in play), it's automatically aggressive. Someone must be knowledgeable enough to judge not only a dog's reactions but its subtle body language.

Here's a list a behaviorists you might find helpful, Beth: http://www.geocities.com/l_herf/behavior.htm

Good luck, Beth. I can't imagine how hard this is for you, your family and your dog.
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Postby Sally_Dog77 » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:08 pm

I see now...

My guess would just to put her to sleep then, since the husband doesn't want her.

I was watching Animal precinct, and the thought came to mind with the temperment testing. I see them do it all the time with pit bulls. But then I read your post and thought about it... those dogs are strays, so it's manditory.

Wow... I'm learning stuff already. lol

PS. Saw you on deviantart. I think I fav'd your pitbull collage a long tme ago.
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Postby BethMcLean » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:08 pm

Here if they deemed her vicious they would have put her down immidiately. They're holding her for 10 days because of rabies.. they said that she could come home earlier than that if the vet tells them she's up on her vaccination. I dont know what the pound does to judge them vicious, but if theyre willing to give her back to me, apparently she hasnt exhibited any signs of aggressiveness there, or when they contained her. The westie can come home tomorrow, it's just that since it's Easter Sunday I cant go and get her. She's old, has had cancer and has arthritis and is going blind, I try to use that to justify euthanasia, but it just doesnt work, it's just totally not like her to do this, and I know that if it had been the westie biting the neighbor, I wouldnt even be thinking about this.
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Postby Shorteesmama » Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:29 pm

did she have a rabies shot? she may of been biten by the skunk also..
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Postby BethMcLean » Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:16 pm

SHe's up on her shots, they just have to verify it with the vet. I dont think she was bitten by the skunk, if anything it would have been the other way around- she got the spray full on in the face, she was drooling and spitting and her eyes were watering... my husband said that he was outside with her and he heard her scuttling around in the branch pile we have outside (a perfect place for skunks) and then all he saw was her barrelling toward the back door and before he caught the smell, she had gotten in the house and got under my daughter's bed. I cant do anything until tomorrow morning when I can talk to Animal Control and find out what will happen with her as far as length of time she will be there (they said 10 days or 10 days 'house arrest') but if I want to have her put down, I dont want her to come home and then me have to make the agonizing trip to the vets, I'd rather them do it at animal control... I hate to say that but I dont think I can do it and my husband went away on business this morning so he wont be here to do it either.
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Postby moochesmama » Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:42 pm

I agree with the opinions expressed about not placing her in another home and making sure to get her temperament professionally evaluated...if her temperament is indeed questionable the two options of managing her very carefully or euthanasia are the only responsible options.

On the other hand, there are so many questions to be answered - please don't make up your mind until you know the facts. You've stated that:

1. The event occurred on YOUR front porch.?..what was your neighbor doing on your front porch? This doesn't excuse the biting, but it is weird.

2.
and bite my neighbor and his dog

The neighbor AND the neighbor's dog were bitten...did the neighbor's dog run up onto YOUR porch, then get in a scrap? Maybe the neighbor was bitten while breaking up the fight? This is very different than your old dog attacking the neighbor and would still require a quarantine.

3. Is it your westie or your pit bull who is
old, has had cancer and has arthritis and is going blind
Not that this excuses biting, but it adds another dimension to the incident.

4. Was your house locked? Was your old dog traumatized by a break in? How in the world did they get out?

5. Animal control hasn't deemed her aggressive...they MUST know something you don't - and it does sound a least a little positive.

These are not meant as any criticism to anyone, and ultimately you must act responsibly. But please don't buy into the pit bull stereotypes until you have all the information. She sounds like she's been a great companion for 8 years....
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Postby Red » Mon Mar 28, 2005 1:05 am

but if I want to have her put down, I dont want her to come home and then me have to make the agonizing trip to the vets, I'd rather them do it at animal control


Despite the fact that you don't even know for sure if she bit or not, she is your dog and she should not die alone.
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Postby desmogod » Mon Mar 28, 2005 2:43 am

Sorry to hear of your dilemma.
Pitbulls are NOT banned in Australia btw.
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