Monday, January 23, 2012

Lake Mary: II

Florida statutes require that the animal 

be involved  in more than one attack
 before we can deem the dog dangerous.
Morgan Woodward, Seminole County Animal Services

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Mr Woodward's explanation was offered after the attack described in the previous post. The attack by three pit bulls resulted in the death of a Bedlington Terrier named Chewy, in her own front yard. This attack followed eight complaints to Animal Control against the pit bulls in the previous half year.

It appears that the Florida lawmakers did not anticipate situations like this when they passed Dangerous Dog Laws (DDL) allowing dogs "one free kill," as the phrase prosaically puts it.

This means that the injured parties must seek recourse through the courts, if any is to be found. The steps that the injured party could pursue, based on similar successful cases across the country, might include:

  • Discover the provenance of the three pit bulls. Were they adopted from a shelter or rescue? If so, that shelter might bear liability for the attack for adopting out a dangerous dog.
  • Did Seminole County make contact with the owner of the pit bulls, Kathy Hammond, following any of the eight complaints? What was the resolution of that contact? Were any citations issued?
  • Did the Hammonds adopt the pit bulls from Seminole County Animal Services? And if this is the case, could this be the reason that SCAS has not issued citations after eight complaints?
  • How did the owner of the pit bulls come to have three pit bulls? Is she an irresponsible hoarder? Are the Hammonds backyard breeders? Were the dogs registered and in compliance with immunization requirements? Were the dogs neutered? None of these questions were answered in the initial news coverage.
  • Get a good attorney. Do your research and be sure that the attorney has NOT previously worked on behalf of pit bull owners.
  • In the case of Chewy, the owners could reasonably claim that the county failed to protect them, and therefore also bears liability.

Florida state laws limit the ability of Animal Services to protect our more vulnerable animal companions and the public from pit bulls. But eight complaints? Surely after eight complaints Seminole County Animal Services should have recognized that these dogs posed a danger to the community?

* * * * *

Previous post: Lake Mary

Sources: OrlandoWKMG 6

Related Posts: Dangerous Dog Laws

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lake Mary

Ken Foster Kara Holmquist Ledy VanKavage Wayne Pacelle BSL breed specific pit bull attack nanny dog America's dog
There's a lady out here. She's being attacked
by a bunch of dogs. She's screaming. There's blood.

* * * * * *
Revised: Jan 4, 2013; 19:51 GMT
That would not be a pack of Golden Retrievers attacking her.

Chewy, a Bedlington Terrier, was attacked in her front yard in Seminole County, Florida by three pit bulls on January 11th. The owner of the pit bulls, Kathy Hammond, was unable to stop the attack and screamed for help.

The responding officer hit the dogs with a baton, to no avail. The officer then shot two of the dogs in self defense. Chewy died later that day in the arms of her owner.

* * * * *

Attacks such as this are so common that they barely deserve notice. But details of the case illustrate how many communities fail to protect our more vulnerable animal companions and our communities.

Chewy lived with her family, the Brabbs, in an upper middle-class neighborhood in Lake Mary. The owner of the pit bulls, Kathy Hammond, lives across the street at 456 Gehr Lane. Neighbors in the community have lodged eight complaints with Animal Control since June: that's roughly a complaint a month for over half a year.

According to Seminole County Animal Services, Hammond may be issued a citation as a result of the attack, perhaps for allowing her three pit bulls to run loose.

Even now, the surviving dog cannot be declared vicious.
"Florida statutes require that the animal be involved in more than one attack before we can deem the dog dangerous," said Morgan Woodward of Seminole County Animal Services.
A pit bull which has had eight complaints lodged against it, and which then participates in a killing, is not thought to be dangerous?

* * * * * 

We have all heard the phrase certain truths are self-evident.

The horror of this attack lies not only in the attack itself (and the death of Chewy), but in the legislation that protects dogs which kill, and then returns those dogs to the safety and comfort of their homes.

Pit Bull advocacy groups lobby forcefully against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL),  and lobby instead for Dangerous Dog Legislation (DDL) like that of Seminole County. Not only do they lobby against BSL; they offer to assist communities in crafting DDL legislation which would protect Chewy's killer. And too many communities have accepted their help.

This madness is equivalent to allowing, or rather inviting, Enron or Halliburton to help craft the country's energy policy.

* * * * *

Sources: Orlando, WKMG 6

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by
an exaggerated sense of superiority and importance . . .
the expectation that others will automatically
go along with what he or she wants

* * * * *
Revised: April 17, 2013; 19:55 GMT

SRUV has previously commented on the peculiar grandiosity of pit bull rhetoric (see RSPCA ACT). Now we have discovered yet another intriguing assertion, which appears to originate with the National Canine Research Council (NCRC). The unsupported assertion is quoted here:
Every study completed to date has found breed specific legislation to be completely ineffective in reducing the incidence of dog bites.       --NCRC
The inclusiveness of NCRC's  unsupported claim fascinated us; do they really mean every study to date? Every single study in all time? Rarely do we hear such grandiose assertions.

Or . . . .

. . . . is the NCRC referring to every study conducted by the NCRC itself, perhaps in the belief that their own studies are the only studies of importance?

It is a mystery to us how any person or organization with a reputation to uphold can make such claims, and believe the claim will go unchallenged.

Does the NCRC believe that the public they serve is so credulous, so gullible, that readers will accept without question such grandiose assertions?

Is the NCRC so convinced of their own infallibility that they believe any statement they issue is inherently valid and doesn't require justification?

The relationship between criminal behavior and dangerous breeds is widely accepted.* The relationship between child abuse (or spousal abuse) and dangerous breeds has also been documented.**  Perhaps the relationship between narcissism and the advocates of dangerous breeds should also be studied.

* * * * *

Sources:  Narcissistic personality disorder (Wikipedia);
                Narcissistic personality disorder (Cleveland Clinic)

* Coren, Stanley. "Psychological Characteristics: Owners of High Risk for Aggression Dog Breeds." Psychology Today. Retrieved Jan 5, 2012

** ibid.
     Barnes, Jaclyn. et al. "Ownership of High Risk ('Vicious') Dogs as a Marker for Deviant Behaviors; Implications for Risk Assessment."  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol 21 no 12 (Dec 2006): 1616-1634

* * * * *

Related posts: The Triumvirate,  MSPCA 3,  Ax3

Saturday, January 7, 2012


. . . they can never stop it. This is America! Like Pete Sparks said, as long as there are two men and two bulldogs, there will be dogfighting. Did they ever stop the drugs? Did they stop the Klu Klux Klan? Aren’t they more a threat than us? Then how can they stop dog fighting?

* * * * * *

Source: An Interview With Legendary Dogman Sonny Sykes

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks

Ledy VanKavage, Jane Berkey, Karen Delise, BSL

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The War Room

D.A.Pennebaker's landmark 1993 film The War Room documented the 1992 Clinton Presidential campaign. The film follows Communications Director George Stephanopoulos and Lead Strategist James Carville, both of whom later became media celebrities. The film documents the media revolution that occurred during the campaign; at the end of the movie we are unsure whether Stephanopoulos and Carville were creators of the media revolution, or if they were simply more adept at exploiting trends already underway. The inner sanctum where Carville and Stephanopoulos plotted their strategies was called The War Room.

One of the most effective tactics of the campaign was the rapid response to every single news event or charge from the opposing campaign: no event was allowed to go unanswered or unchallenged. The pit bull advocacy campaign employs a similar political strategy; after each pit bull attack the advocates hit the wires with pit-positive stories to neutralize the news.

Over the last months there have been hundreds of legitimate news accounts of pit bull attacks, and always there are stories and editorials in response which deflect attention from the attack. The pit advocacy War Room response follows on the heels of the original news and sometimes it even appears in the same newspaper.

The pit advocacy follow-up often avoids mention of the attack and nearly always employs stock rhetorical phrases. The stories are so similar they would appear to be plagiarism if the articles were serious journalism; they lead us to suspect that the journalists have been reading a list of "talking points."

Here are some examples of recent pit bull attacks, with the subsequent responses from the pit bull War Room.

* * * * * 

San Diego, CA;  June 18, 2011
A:  Attack on 75 year-old  Emako Mendoza in her fenced backyard by neighbor's pit bull. Original news coverage in and elsewhere.
B:  June 23; the career pit bull advocate Michael Mountain posts a bathetic defense of the pit bulls which  killed Ms Mendoza. Mountain, host of the StubbyDog blog, titled his post In San Diego Attack, Dogs Were Victims Too. This piece of shameless pit advocacy demonstrates a callous disregard of the victim.

Boulder, CO;  July 4, 2011
A: Attack on Michael O'Neill; news coverage in the Boulder Daily Camera
B: In an extraordinary move the editorial board of the Daily Camera allowed Clay Evans, pit bull advocate (and incidentally the Features and Entertainment editor of the Daily Camera at the time) to represent the editorial board with an editorial response. The opinion piece ran on July 7 and borrowed an overused pit bull advocacy slogan for its title: Not About the Breed.

Amarillo, TX; October 3, 2011
A: On October 4th, the Amarillo Globe-News publishes an account of the canine homicide of an eleven-day old infant.
B: In an extraordinary response, the Amarillo Globe-News published an advocacy piece, also dated October 4th. This piece, like many pit advocacy stories, interviews three pit bull advocates. SRUV previously reported on this extraordinary publishing event in our Rapid Response.

Bridgewater, MA; Dec 1, 2011
A:  Facial disfigurement attack on 71 year-old Normanda Torres by the family pit bull. Original news coverage carried on, the Boston Globe, and elsewhere.
B: Within three days the Enterprise News rolled over and began publishing a SERIES of pit advocacy stories, including:
SRUV notes that this attack,  in which the pit bull ate parts of a woman's face, is calmly referred to as a bite. A bite.

* * * * *

Google news -- Today's pit bull attacks

Sunday, January 1, 2012

QuickFacts: II

Revised Jan 15, 2012

Canine homicides (pit bull type or pit bull mix) in the US during 2011: 23

This figure constitutes an average of one canine homicide committed by a pit bull every 15 days and 20 hours in the United States throughout 2011.

* * * * *

Source: Fatal Pit Bull Attacks
Today's pit bull attacks on Google news -- Click here!

Ledy VanKavage, Jane Berkey, Karen Delise, BSL