Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunday Concert

Marianne Hamilton, co-chairwoman of Music in the Park, said onlookers described a frightening scene where the pit bull "had [the terrier] by the neck, shaking it back and forth."

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To: Los Gatos Mayor Joe Pirzynski
      Los Gatos Town Council

Dear Mayor Pirzynski,

I read of the recent dog attack at the Civic Center in the Mercury News with great interest.

On the same day a similar attack occurred in Seattle; a dachshund and its owner were pulled to the ground by an attacking pit bull.  Passersby came to their assistance.

In the Seattle incident the pit bull had been adopted out by "the pound." Whether this refers to the city animal shelter or a humane society is not yet known. I suspect the owner of the Los Gatos dog revealed a similar history, when he left a message on the Mayor's telephone the following morning. 

The number of rescued pit bulls which are claimed to be "rehabilitated" and then are adopted out as safe family dogs has become a national scandal.  Humane Societies and rescue organizations that place pit bulls in family homes are facing increased liability as the number of attacks increases.

Animal control at the local level is also accountable for the growing number of attacks. In neither the Los Gatos attack nor the Seattle attack were the dogs removed from their owners, and neither owner was cited. Often attacking dogs are returned to the owners without prejudice, and the victims are left with no recourse.

These are only two of the countless attacks that have occurred in recent days.  Many municipalities are unwilling or unable to pass Breed Specific Legislation. Stronger oversight of rescue organizations will become a necessity as the liability for dog attacks is spread across humane organizations and civic institutions.

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Related posts:  Shock and AweEscape Artist

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Compiled from various news sources including the Mercury News

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