Monday, April 2, 2012


She was telling him to restrain his dog and he was doing a balancing act trying not to spill the vodka out of his bottle.

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We'll assume the following scenario:

  • A police officer attempts to arrest a suspect for public intoxication and is attacked by the suspect's dog. The officer shoots the dog.
  • The dog recovers and there is a court hearing. 
  • Adam Laflin, the owner of the dog, accepts county mediation, and the dog is returned to him.
  • Under terms of the agreement the dog, a pit bull, is declared a "Potentially dangerous animal" (a lower designation than either a "Dangerous animal" or "Vicious animal"). The agreement was set to expire next month.
  • The police have "repeated run-ins" with the dog and its owner and have pepper-sprayed the dog on more than one occasion. Terms of the agreement are apparently ignored.
  • Three years after the original encounter, the police are called to remove a suspect from a local little-league game for public intoxication.
  • The same dog again attacks an officer, as well as injuring a parent who comes to her assistance.
  • Additional police and humane society officers arrive and restrain the dog.
  • The dog is currently under a 10-day bite quarantine.

This is a sublimely ridiculous scenario, but it is, in fact, not hypothetical. The pit bull advocates who argue vehemently for Dangerous Dog Laws (DDL) as opposed to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) can take satisfaction in knowing that the laws work better than they could have hoped.

In our view, the purpose of DDL is to slow the legal process down to an interminable crawl, adding layers of court hearings, pleadings, appeals, record keeping, and bureaucratic categories: anything to keep the process grinding along in a Kafkaesque charade. The dog will in all probability be returned to the comfort and safety of his home again.

"Sadly, it is the guardian who has subjected the dog to these unpleasant situations and it is the guardian who is ultimately responsible for the dog and his actions," said spokesman John Reese of the Marin Humane Society.

John, you're in LaLa Land. This was an "unpleasant" situation for the officer and the Little League parents, more so than for the dog, who apparently relishes attacking police officers. And as far as who was responsible: it was the dog who was chewing on the cops.

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Pit bull attacks Fairfax cop and Little League Parent
Pit bull attacks officer, parent in Fairfax

Related Post: Dangerous Dog Laws

See Also: Today's pit bull attacks in the US