Police shooting of dog under review
by Michael Langley
Sep 27, 2013 | 10502 views | 48 48 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Officer kills dog
Caitlin Cotton points to where a Tracy Police Department officer was standing on Sept. 15 when he shot and killed her dog, Johnny Blaze, outside her home. Cotton described the events of that night on Sept. 17.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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A Tracy Police Department review board is looking into the fatal shooting of a dog by a Tracy police officer on Sept. 15.

Officer Michael Richards shot the dog, a pit bull mix, while responding to a home alarm in south Tracy.

Caitlin Cotton said she returned to the home she shares with her boyfriend, Bradley Martin, and his mother at 2236 Stalsburg Drive a few minutes after 3 a.m. Sept. 15. She had forgotten her key and entered through a window, which set off an alarm.

Richards responded to an alarm report from security firm ADT at 4:23 a.m., after attending to other higher-priority calls, and knocked on the front door.

“I opened the door because I thought it was my boyfriend coming home,” Cotton said. “My dog ran on the front porch, was barking at him.”

Richards heard the dog behind the door and said loudly, “Get your dog,” before the door opened, according to the officer’s official description of the events obtained by the Press. Richards backed away from the door and into the front yard.

“He didn’t state who he was. Didn’t tell me he was police,” Cotton said. “I saw the gun pointed at me when I opened the door.”

Richards wrote that he felt threatened by the white pit bull mix, named Johnny Blaze, and fired three shots at the dog. One of the bullets hit the dog in the chest. The dog then ran across the street and died.

Neighbors who did not wish to be identified for privacy concerns said they heard gunshots and Cotton screaming.

“I was very upset,” Cotton said. “I was screaming. I kept saying, ‘You shot my dog. I hate you. I’m going to sue you all.’ I just kept saying stuff like that.”

Richards called his supervisor, Sgt. Dean Hicks, to the home, which is standard procedure when an officer has fired his weapon, according to Tracy police spokesman Lt. Mark Duxbury.

Hicks wrote in the official report that Cotton and Martin, who returned home after the shooting, were so upset “that it was going to be futile” to explain what happened. Hicks ordered Richards, and another officer who showed up, to leave.

“I think the sergeant made a good call to leave the scene at the time, due to the fact that there was threats being made by some of the parties on scene toward the officer’s safety,” Duxbury said. “Instead of having to take legal action, which he could have done based on the comments made, he decided the best thing to do was defuse the situation.”

The officers left behind the shell casings ejected from Richards’ gun when he fired at the dog.

Hicks returned to Stalsburg Drive with another Tracy police sergeant and four other officers at 9 p.m. that same day — roughly 16 hours later — to interview neighbors about what they heard and saw.

“The sergeant that was supervising the investigation (Hicks) came back on duty that evening and coordinated the additional follow-up,” Duxbury said.

Duxbury said the shooting is now the subject of a firearm review board. The board is led by a representative of the special operations division and includes representatives from the patrol division and firearms training section and a patrol supervisor.

The process will be completed by the end of October, according to Duxbury, who said Richards remains on full duty.

Duxbury said the dog owners had not filed an official complaint with the department as of Monday, Sept. 23.

• Contact Michael Ellis Langley at 830-4231 or mlangley@tracypress.com.

 
Comments
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northerncaliforniagirl
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October 19, 2013
This article and the responses to it scared me to death and made me cry! I am shocked at the officer's response to this dog but worse by the responses of my fellow citizens of Tracy. I am a Pit Bull owner. I seriously doubt I fit into your narrow minded stereotype, whatever that may be. What is wrong with you people? I am afraid to let my dog outside, not because I am afraid it will be shot by police but because I am afraid of what you whacked out people will do to her. Stupid uneducated people who have no idea what they are talking about!
AleashyaB
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October 19, 2013
NorthernExposure,

What you need is exposure therapy. Open your front door and let your pit bull run free the way nature intended ( PETA approved ).

Seriously, though. Your pit bull will most likely be picked up by animal control and put down. Why? Not because she is your little angel, but because when someone else administers the temperament test and pulls the dog dish away from your dog, it will growl, or it will not do well near a terrier.

Not saying your dog is bad. Mostly it is the owners who are the problem and allow their dog to be put in a situation where it can get into trouble. If the dog stays in the house, nine times out of ten, there is no problem.

May I suggest you keep your door shut?
MyKompressor
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October 02, 2013
Excuse me Missy, but you are pointing away from your house.

That means your dog was not on a leash and escaped your control.

Maybe the police officer should sue you!
victor_jm
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October 01, 2013
Before a man decides to be the master of another animal, what questions does he ask of himself and of the animal he would like to lord over?

May we suppose his choice reflects his metaphysics? His personality? His sense of potency or impotency? Does he project attributes and qualities upon his possessed animal? Does he devalue or demean his own life by owning an animal? Does he devalue or demean human life because of his alleged righteousness about the signifance or meaning of his animal, as opposed to a human life? Is his animal an excuse? Or a rationalization for his inadequacy? Does he pretend he is operating a the same cogntive level as his possessed animal.

Why is this man in need of the "comfort" of an animal? Is it truly biological or conditional?

Well, I don't care to own an animal, so perhaps it is more conditional, but I am sure rabid animal owners will state otherwise.

I am sure we can all rationalize our allegiance to our many petty decisions and choices, because it brings us comfort, and man is so cognitively plastic, he has the capacity to believe just about anything.

amos35
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October 01, 2013
Ok....put down your bible and stop thumping on it
Wobbley
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October 01, 2013
A lone officer responding 1 1/2 late to an old burglar alarm with his gun drawn. What could go wrong?
HotRodder
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October 01, 2013
Lots could have gone wrong, but in this case, everything went right. One dead pit, one living cop, and one home that is suddenly a whole lot safer .
mdsmith17
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October 01, 2013
I'd bet the real story is the gun didn't come out of the holster until the dog came out of the house.
doors17
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September 30, 2013
If I’m not mistaken I believe today (September 30) is the day the Tipton’s will be sentenced for insurance fraud. I hope the Tracy Press will give us an update as soon as it becomes available.
Tim95376
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September 30, 2013
obviously Tracy police officers need additional training on handeling these type of situations. last resort should be to shoot, but with all the equipment the officer has, tazor and club, guns should be last to be used. police officer should be fired, obviously not suited for law enforcement.
victor_jm
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September 30, 2013
Often, in spite of our education or experiences, we make “rookie” mistakes. Often, daily, we have to make “snap” judgments based on what we see. I have been charged twice by different Pit Bulls. I have noticed a particular demographic possess Pit Bulls. I have a neighbor with a Pit Bull and every time I go out back and this dog is out, the Pit Bull proceeds to charge and bounce its head off the fence.

The language cited with this ordinance is incredibly ambiguous. I will continue to live with my demographic prejudices and try to avoid particular situations. It is why I cross the street, when walking, if I see something approaching me I deem “probable.”

mdsmith17
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October 01, 2013
I have a better idea. How about people who want to own Pitbulls learn to control them so they don't go chasing after people on your front porch? These people chose to have an alarm and the lady admits to setting it off. Why didn't she call the police or her alarm company and make sure the police didn't have to respond to her false alarm? Why didn't she make sure the dog was controlled when somebody was at the front door? Pitbulls will do serious damage if they latch on to you with their jaws and you don't have time to try all kinds of different ways to stop them when they're coming at you.
aztec
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September 30, 2013
What a shocker, just because it's a Pit Bull...it's a vicious dog!

Tracy Code of Ordinance 5.08.400

(a)

No animal may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious based only on any injury or damage sustained by a person who, at the time the injury or damage was sustained, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the animal possessor's or owner's premises, or the injured party was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the animal, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. No animal may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious based only on the animal protecting or defending a person within the immediate vicinity of the animal from an unjustified attack or assault. No animal may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious based only on an injury or damage sustained by a domestic animal which at the time of the injury or damage was sustained was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal.

(b)

No animal may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious based only on an injury or damage to a domestic animal sustained while the animal was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog on the property of, or under the control of, its owner, and
aztec
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September 30, 2013
Continued...

the damage or injury was to a species or type of domestic animal appropriate to the work of the dog.

(c)

This article does not apply to Humane Society shelters, City Animal Services facilities, or to dogs while utilized by any Police Department or any Law Enforcement Officer in the performance of police work; guide dogs for the blind or deaf while performing their duties; dogs participating in field or obedience trials or conformation exhibitions; dogs assisting their owner in legal hunting activities or in the herding of livestock.
aztec
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October 01, 2013
HotRodder,

I applaud your eager to justify your condition, unfortunately idiots come in many ways...you passing with flying colors. The fact that you call yourself a man of God is like saying Obama is the best President ever! I call many people on my phone...nevermind I won't tell you who calls me all the time :)

Thanks again for the laugh Compadre :)
HotRodder
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October 01, 2013
I am not sure what the Second Amendment has to do with this case. You could call Nancy Pelosi on your Obamaphone and even she would tell you that a police officer has a right to gun down a vicious pitbull in a situation like this.

You don't need to apologize for using logic, if you were to do so, but I see a marked lack of the use of any formal reasoning in any of your posts. Instead, I see a bunch of the same random garbage that pitbull apologists always spew.

Fortunately, the one actor in this drama did a fine job of applying the logical tool known as "Inductive Reasoning." In this application of logic, the actor examined the premises (i.e., late at night, burglar alarm, uncontrolled pitbull), and inferred therefrom some degree of inductive probability for the conclusion that this pitbull should be killed for the safety of the officer and everyone else.

Can we be absolutely certain that this particular pitbull would kill someone, just because so many other pitbulls kill people? No, of course not. However, the risk is great enough (pitbulls attack frequently enough), the costs of not acting are high enough (attacking pitbulls kill people), and the costs of action are very, very low (as evidenced by shelter populations, there is no pitbull shortage in this county, so what's another dead pit?), and so the officer made the most logically reasonable choice and decided to shoot this pitbull.

You might not agree with this decision, but to say it lacks "logic" is, in fact, illogical.

I hope that helps.
mdsmith17
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October 01, 2013
It was a vicious dog not because it was a Pit Bull but because it tried to attack a police officer who was doing his job in a lawful manner. Pit Bull's have been known to inflict career ending injuries on police officers as well as many other people. Had this officer not shot the dog we have no idea how this story would have ended. It could have ended with the officer being seriously injured and having to leave police work. Do you think the owners of the dog have enough insurance to cover the millions of dollars that would have cost the tax payers over the officers life? Sorry, but if you chose to own a dog that has the capability to do serious damage to humans, such as a Pit Bull, then you are responsible to make darn sure you can control that dog or your dog may end up shot too.
aztec
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October 01, 2013
HotRodder,

Thanks again for proving my point, I do apologize on using logic....since I believe you have an odd count of Chromosomes. FYI I'm a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment and I Open Carry withing the law...

“purpose of education is not to validate ignorance, but to overcome it.”
HotRodder
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September 30, 2013
Aztec, you and I definitely agree on one thing: The discharge of firearms around innocent civilians is very dangerous, and the police should try to do it less often. Unfortunately, in carrying out their duties, and through no fault of their own, all too often they confront dangerous situations, like this one, and they have to shoot their way out. If they didn't run into these dogs, they wouldn't need to shoot them.

I actually don't hate this breed of dogs. I think they are incredibly useful dogs, if you have a meth lab to guard, or if you have a small child that you are tired of caring for and you want to get rid of the kid, permanently, or if you want to run a dog fighting operation like Michael Vick, if you fall into one of these categories, then I think these are excellent dogs.

My only recommendation, though, is that you shouldn't get too attached to your pitbull, because if you ever cross paths with TPD (i.e., if crawl through your window at 3 a.m., too borracho to remember to disarm your ADT alarm), TPD will probably have to draw his weapon and kill your dog. C'est la vie.
aztec
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September 30, 2013
HotRodder,

Glad you see that, unfortunately certain individuals still need proper training and common logic. It's clear you HATE the breed, but to justify shooting at that distance with a handgun that shoots .40 round is nuts...multiple times! The public is actually outrage and was never in any danger in both cases...wouldn't you be upset if an officer fired multiple rounds at your family pet while you or your kids are feet away? But your right, public safety :)

Being born and raised here in Tracy, I've learned and seen how TPD treats/responds to Pit Bulls. As a Pit Bull owner myself, can understand what this family is going threw.
HotRodder
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September 30, 2013
Aztec, thanks for clarifying that.

I totally agree with your very logical point that, even when a pitbull is trained by a law enforcement officer who is a great person and is great with dogs, and that pitbull is the nicest and most obedient pitbull around, a lot of times an officer still has to kill that pitbull just to ensure everyone's safety. Officer Flowers was forced to kill that poor pitbull for public safety concerns, just as was Officer Michaels had to do last weekend.

Fortunately, in both cases, the public stayed safe and neither of the pitbulls killed a human, so both situations. That is probably why, in the Code Section that you cited, paragraph (c) exempts law enforcement officers from silly laws. The Council probably adopted that provision specifically to ensure that a police officer can ensure public safety (by shooting pitbulls) without worrying about some silly lawsuit.

I am glad you and I can find common ground and agree on some very contentious issues.
aztec
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September 30, 2013
HotRodder,

Your actually missing the logical point, but your entitled to your opinion. This officer made a "rookie" mistake and most importantly resorted with deadly force without actually being in danger. I assume he passed the Police Academy and was trained properly on how to reacted and handle a situation like this one.

I believe awhile back Officer Flowers shot and killed a "Pit Bull" within a couple of feet away from innocent bystanders. FYI this Pit Bull was trained by another officer in Sacramento and this is also the same Pit Bull that was "pink" in the downtown parade awhile back.

ANY dog can be a vicious dog, but to say it's a vicious dog because of it's breed is ridiculous.
HotRodder
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September 30, 2013
Aztec, thanks for pointing this out. In this case, I don't seen anything in this article that indicates that any humans were harmed by this vicious dog, thanks, no doubt, to the heads up play by the officer on the scene. Police officers have a pretty good method for recognizing vicious dogs that need to be killed in order to keep everyone safe, and in this case, it seems like the officers methods were right "on target." Kudos to Officer Michael Richards for saving lives here.
HotRodder
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October 01, 2013
Aztec, thanks. Coming from a fellow Tracy native , I will take that final sentiment as a compliment in spirit, if not in form.
Golfinfool
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September 29, 2013
Good Lord People...... All this Monday morning quarterback stuff is ridiculous, let the family mourn in peace, free from all the moronic idiot remarks posted in this comment section. you idiots are slinging innuendo's left and right with absolutely no basis,........{IE:HotRodder,

NewToTracy, I couldn't agree more. This girl and her man look very nice and sweet in their pictures, and I am not going to judge them for living in sin in his mom's house, but she is rolling home alone at 3 in the morning, sneaking through the window, and her BF is not getting home for a couple more hours? I wonder what is going on in this relationship where they are both out partying to all hours on a Saturday night, but they are out with other people, and leaving their mom at home guarded by a killer pit bull?

The police solved their pit-bull problem, but I think these two should go in for marriage counseling to find out why they are living such sketchy lives and going out partying so late with other people. Maybe they aren't ready for the commitment of living together?} just make it up and then post it with out regard, are you kidding me, grow up and grow a pair ya idiot.....
Mona1996
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September 30, 2013
REally? It's not about the breed it's the owners, we own a PitBull and he is the most well trained and loving dog ever! And you people are ridiculous with all your accusations, I work in the ER and get home at weird hours of the night when I'm on-call, doesn't mean I'm out partying. Also, this officer should have identified himself, I would definitely take legal actions if I felt my dog was shot for no reason, and 3x at that!? This story hits my heart, and I feel for the family.
HotRodder
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September 30, 2013
Mona, why are you criticizing these owners? They seem very nice. Lots of pitbull apologists like to trot out the whole "Its not the breed its the owners" shibboleth, but almost all of the pitbull owners I know are nice people. That doesn't stop their dogs from killing children.

For example, I didn't know him personally, but members of my family knew Keala Keanaaina, and they thought he was one of the nicest, most humane, caring people in the world, and a wonderful person and pet owner, but that didn't keep his pitbull from killing his nephew in Union City this summer.

You don't need to criticize these people. They aren't bad people. The police needed to kill their dog because the dog was dangerous, not because the owners were bad. When the police have to kill your dog, it isn't because you are a bad person, but rather, because you own a dangerous dog. OK, I hope that helps.
mdsmith17
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October 01, 2013
Mona1996, the officer was working patrol in full uniform. He went to a house where the occupant had sat the alarm off. She should have reasonable known the police would respond to the alarm. And besides, the only info you have that he didn't identify himself is her version. He may have a different version of the event.
HotRodder
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September 29, 2013
Whenever the police step into a situation, they need to make sure that everyone is safe, and so it makes sense that shooting all the killer pitbulls in the area should be the first step.

The homeowners should be thankful that the police stepped in and shot this dog before the dog killed one of the people in the house. It sounds like they had an elderly woman living in the house, so the police probably saved her life.
pcmiles
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September 29, 2013
The US DOJ states that shooting a dog is an action of last resort. Citronella, pepper spray, or even tasers are better first options. This is either a direct failure of the TPD to provide adequate training or gross incompetence on Richards’ part.

More disturbing is the response of the supervisors. Hicks had a duty to investigate, not simply declare that it would be futile. Duxbury, in even mentioning potential legal action against the understandably upset dog owners, displays an amazing level of arrogance.

Unfortunately, there is little hope of a reasonable review of this shooting. The TPD has a documented history of dishonesty when it comes to resolving complaints of police misconduct, even when such misconduct is clearly criminal (http://www.tracy-ca.us/hampton.htm)

HotRodder
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September 29, 2013
I think that everyone here has already reviewed this situation, and we have all decided that the police here did the right thing by killing a vicious dog before the dog had a chance to hurt any people. Not sure why that conduct is "clearly criminal." The police department's job is to prevent crimes, which they did here by killing a pit bull.
mdsmith17
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October 01, 2013
And all those are things are good tools to use when you know you are going into a situation, such as a search warrant, where you know dogs will be present. It is standard practice to be ready for those dogs and as a last resort use firearms. This was not that type of situation. This is a split second decision type situation from an officer standing on the front porch of somebodies house. The office chose to go for the gun and that was a decision he had to make in a split second, not plan for in advance. The fault here lies with the owner of the dog not being able to control it.
HotRodder
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October 01, 2013
The DOJ. That's Obama and Eric Holder, right? No surprise that when faced with a decision between the rights of police officers to defend themselves, and the rights of gang bangers to protect their meth labs, Obama and Holder would fall on the side of protecting the gang bangers. Fortunately, TPD is more concerned with public safety than political correctness, and so they ensured public safety by permanently eliminating the dangerous dog.
newtotracy
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September 27, 2013
something seems off here...

she crawled through a window just after 3 am...ADT called police who responded at 4:23 am...

so was the alarm GOING that whole time? because ADT would have called off the police if it were turned off I would think.

And where were the people who had the authority to approve her window entry?

I feel bad for the dog and for the owners...it stinks...but I've got some pits that roam my neighborhood (lovely neighbors around the block) and having been growled at for chasing it off of my lawn (don't care to clean up the poop!)...I call the police when it's here. I'm not risking ANY dog biting me...I've been there and it ain't fun!

it just sounds really strange that there's an hour and a half between entry and police arrival...
fortheunderdog
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September 27, 2013
The story says the officer was dispatched a call to this house but was involved in other higher priority calls. That's the reason he arrived at the house at 4:23.

What I'd like to know is...did ADT call the house to verify the person entering knew all the questions alarm companies usually ask? It could be that the female resident didn't know the correct answers and that's why the police were called. If this were the case, she should have called her boyfriend or his mother who could have given her the answers.

And you can't blame the officer for the shooting if he felt his safety was in danger.

It's a shame the dogs life had to be taken but let's wait until the investigation is complete before anyone makes any rash judgements.
HotRodder
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September 29, 2013
NewToTracy, I couldn't agree more. This girl and her man look very nice and sweet in their pictures, and I am not going to judge them for living in sin in his mom's house, but she is rolling home alone at 3 in the morning, sneaking through the window, and her BF is not getting home for a couple more hours? I wonder what is going on in this relationship where they are both out partying to all hours on a Saturday night, but they are out with other people, and leaving their mom at home guarded by a killer pit bull?

The police solved their pitbull problem, but I think these two should go in for marriage counseling to find out why they are living such sketchy lives and going out partying so late with other people. Maybe they aren't ready for the commitment of living together?
fortheunderdog
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October 01, 2013
This is for HotRodder,

There is nothing in this story talking about a couple "living in sin" like you so insinuate. What planet are you from to even being that up?

There is nothing in this story talking about this couple coming home from a "party". Again, what planet are you from?

There is nothing in this story talking about the male's "mom" being home guarded by a "killer pit bull". Again, what planet are you from?

There was nothing in this story that said the occupants of this home had a "pitbull problem". Again, what planet are you from?

There is nothing in this story talking about the couple's relationship being "sketchy" and needing "counseling". Again, what planet are you from?

You also allude that this couple may have "committment" issues and question why they are "living together". Again, what planet are you from?

It's people like you that bring out non-facts to a story that only makes you look stupid.
HotRodder
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October 01, 2013
FoTUD, sorry about your reading comprehension issues. With respect to their living situation, the article states:

"she returned to the home she shares with her boyfriend . . .and his mother . . . a few minutes after 3 a.m."

Sorry if those facts aren't clear to you. Again, I am not trying to criticize these people or their living situation. "Living in sin" is a figure of speech. Just because their living situation would be considered a "sin" in my church, obviously it isn't a sin in your church, and that is cool, no problem, I am not attacking your religion or their religion either.

The more important fact is this. You state that:

"There is nothing in this story talking about the male's "mom" being home guarded by a "killer pit bull" [or] that said the occupants of this home had a 'pitbull problem'."

From the facts of the story, obviously, the mom spent time at home alone with the killer pitbull, and obviously that constitutes a "pitbull problem" when the pitbull threatens the police officer.

Again, no big deal. The police took care of the pitbull problem and made the house a lot safer for everyone. I know that gunshots were a little dangerous, but the end result is a win-win for everyone.
fortheunderdog
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October 01, 2013
HotRodder,

I'm not trying to anger you but you cannot, in good faith, say that you're adding more to the above article than is in it.

In my church, we are taught not to judge people. That is left to the Big Guy.

You say "From the facts of the story, obviously, the mom spent time at home alone with the killer pitbull, and obviously that constitutes a "pitbull problem" when the pitbull threatens the police officer."

There is nothing in the article that says the mom spent time at home alone. It doesn't even say she was home when the girlfriend got home. And the article doesn't mention the dog as being a killer pit bull.

I think the hysteria over pit bulls is a bit much. Dogs are as mean, or gentle, as the owner makes them. It's a persons mentality about dogs that makes them fear certain breeds.

If you've already made up your mind about certain breeds of dogs, I wonder where you stand when it comes to different ethnic groups?



HotRodder
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October 01, 2013
FoTUD, you are right, we shouldn't judge, and I apologize for the comments about the living situation of this family. I think the occupants seem like a very nice family, and I don't think they are responsible for raising the vicious dog, and I wish that they had chosen a different breed for happier times.

BUT, your point that "Dogs are as mean, or gentle, as the owner makes them" is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. The Nephi Selu case in Union City this year, or the Nicholas Faibish case in San Francisco in 2005, the dog owners were wonderful, kind, gentle people who fell for the lie that pit bulls are great safe pets that are great with kids, blah blah. In both of those cases, dogs that were well-known to have sweet dispositions suddenly snapped and killed kids. The pitbull apologists will come up with bogus excuses, like, "oh it was the kids fault, they pulled the tail, or they didn't show proper respect for the pit bull," or some other garbage.

You wouldn't know it from walking through the streets of this town, but pit bulls make up only 5 percent of the dogs in this country, and they account for 60 percent of the dog bite fatalities. Go ahead, say I am prejudiced for acknowledging that fact.

If someone were to say the same thing about racial minorities (i.e., they commit crimes out of proportion to their population), most people could come up with valid explanations, namely, that minorities are poor, and poor people commit more crimes, or minorities, like in NYC "stop and frisk" cases are disproportionately targeted by the police. There might be some skewing of pit bull figures, in that drug dealers, gang-bangers, NFL quarterbacks, and other lowlife losers own pitbulls, but no matter how much the Aztec's of this world spout apoligist garbage, "gang banger owner" situations simply don't account for the disproportionate number of pitbull fatalities, nor the stunning number of Faibish or Selu type cases where "good" owners raised "nice" pitbulls, and the pits went ahead and killed a kid just for the heck of it.

Anyway, go ahead, buy some dumb pit, get attached to it, I don't care. I certainly hope and pray that it doesn't bite you, or your grandkid, or some innocent neighbor. On the other hand, if your crappy pit bull threatens a police officer, or any armed citizen, I certainly hope and pray that that person uses their firearm to rid this town of one more crappy, dangerous dog, and I won't shed a tear for your sadness, because you should have known better and bought, and developed an attachment to, a better breed of dog.
fortheunderdog
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October 01, 2013
HotRodder,

One last response then I'll let this fade away.

When my doorbell rings, and my Lab is inside the house, she'll go fubar barking because she doesn't know who it is. It's the dog owners responsibility to control their dog(s). In this case, the pit bull somehow got out the front door. We don't know if the female tried to hold it back or if the dog was too strong for her to control. What we do know is this...the dog got out and the officer felt his safety was threatened. This incident could just as easily have involved a Lab, Golden Retriever, Poodle, Rotteweiler, etc.

Dogs that are known to possess an aggressive nature, Pit Bull, German Shepard, Dobermann, Rottweiler, Mastif, etc can make good pets but they'll always have that stigma attached to them that they are all dangerous and it's not true.

In the case re: this incident, the dog may have just been happy to see someone else and was expressing it in the way it knew how, but we weren't there.
HotRodder
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October 01, 2013
FoTUD, thanks. You are certainly right that "Dogs that are known to possess an aggressive nature ... always have that stigma attached to them that they are all dangerous."

Just to be clear, pitbulls have this "stigma" attached to them because they keep killing people. Dogs killed 38 humans in the United States last year, and pitbulls were responsible for 23 of those deaths. Your lab doesn't have that "stigma" attached, because labs don't kill people.

Again, thanks for the discussion, and thanks for making me revisit my comments on the family involved. I think they seem like a fine family, and I hope that when they do decide to bring kids into their family, they make the same choice that you make and buy a lab.

lisamac17
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September 27, 2013
I'm glad to hear you're following through with this. What a sad story. Too many times, Officers shoot first and it's not right. Unless the dog was attached to the officer, he had no right to shoot.
McKendrick
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September 28, 2013
How do you think the officer will be able to shoot or subdue the dog once it was attached to him? I would have done the same thing if I were the officer. Thanksgiving 2011 I was walking my dog when a pitbull broke through the fence of its owners yard and attacked my 12 lb dog without provocation. It took me, my mother, and a good Samaritan to get the dog off but by then her neck and rear hipbone was displaced and she eventually bled to death in my arms. It happened so quickly and unexpected since we were walking towards a park and the dog approached from behind us. Pitbulls have the reputation and the propensity to be vicious and the officer had the right to defend himself before the dog attacked him. If the owner couldn't control the dog then they shouldn't own one. She could have easily owned a 10 lb Yorkie she could scoop up in her arms and easily handle.
mdsmith17
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October 01, 2013
So you think officers need to wait until the damage is done before shooting? And then there supposed to try and shoot a dog that is already biting down on their leg or their arm or some other area?


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