Monday, September 5, 2011

Claw Hammer

[This post is archived and is no longer supported.]

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Revised: July 17, 2013; 15:01 GMT

. . . most likely caused by a claw hammer found in the vicinity.  
Linda Watson, from a comment on The Conversation

SRUV recently came upon an account of a dog attack while reading the comments under an article. The comment is excerpted here:
I recall one [human] fatality, due to dog attack, where the dog was subsequently found to have suffered a fractured skull, most likely caused by a claw hammer found in the vicinity.  . . . .   In this case, the media focused heavily on describing the dog as a Rottweiler. I needed a laugh and I certainly got it! It was a small black and tan dog of unknown parentage with little, if any, resemblance to a Rottweiler. It will be a great example for use in a media analysis. Now there are polls asking whether Rottweilers should be banned.
This comment is unusual in several respects, not least of which is the incongruous injection of frivolity by a scholar into a description of awful mayhem involving a human death and a dog with a fractured skull.

There are other disturbing elements in this account. We are especially intrigued by the presumed claw hammer attack on the dog, and are seeking proof of when the hammer attack on the dog occurred. Did it occur prior to the dog's attack on the human (and perhaps serve as a contributing factor to the dog's attack on the human), as Ms Watson seems to suggest?

It seems too obvious that the claw hammer attack occurred as a defensive effort to fend the dog off during the fatal attack; surely the investigators would have considered that possibility. A third possibility is that the claw hammer was used by a third party to destroy the dog, following the fatal attack.

We are also curious as to how a "small dog" could be implicated in a canine homicide. When we think of a small dog we think of a lap dog. But some one year old pit bulls are relatively small, and yet are capable of canine homicide.

Furthermore, we're curious about the "polls" which ask if Rottweilers should be banned. Were these polls scientifically conducted, or were they simply digital customer surveys now commonly found beside news stories on the web?

We agree with Ms Watson that this case deserves further study, and SRUV would like to verify the particulars of this fatal dog attack. Please send links to original sources (as opposed to apocryphal accounts) to SRUV.

In an effort to discover the truth of this purported attack, SRUV will publish the results of any verifiable information we receive, regardless of what it shows. In the meantime, SRUV suggests it is unwise for anyone, especially a scholar, to indulge in passing rumors in comment sections. Furthermore, we find that the macabre attempt at humor in this otherwise horrific account is particularly offensive.

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Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 32+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

Dog Bite Studies Index

Today's pit bull attacks
   Google News

This page may also include information from Dogsbite & Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.