Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Will you find a home for my bitting dog??

I received this email today:


We have a Jack Russell who is at risk of being euthanized if we cannot place him somewhere soon. He has bitten 3 people just this summer and it is becoming more and more difficult to prevent this from happening and still be able to function as a family. He is annoyed by children of whom we have a lot of interaction. It seems that he has gotten worse and worse over the last year. We have been contacted by the Board of Health to quarantine him to insure he was not rabid and keep his shots up to date. I am in the process of being sued as a result of his most recent attack on a young girl who was simply walking down the street across from my house. We were actually sitting in the door way and he slipped out suddenly and attacked her. I fell really badly about having to get rid of him because we have had him since he was 11 months old back in 2001. However, I will not be able to live with the guilt of having him bite an even smaller child especially if he maimed them in any way. I think he would do well around adults. I guess because he is getting older he is becoming less tolerant of children. I have very small grandchildren and I’m afraid he will eventually bite them. He has already bitten my 4 year old granddaughter because she stood too close to him while he was lying on a chair and she stared at him. I reminded her to not do that and to not get too close to him but he runs after them and barks whenever they play and make too much noise in my house. Please let me know if you can help in any way before we have to make this decision or it is made for us. This will be the second time I have been sued.

- A.

My response to her:

Hi A -

I tried calling but I keep getting your voice mail. I am afraid that humanly euthanizing your dog is probably the best thing. I know you don't want to hear this and I am guessing you are probably mad that I said that but hear me out.

Your dog (depending on where you got him from) is probably in breed (pet store, back yard breeders are known for this) which has caused him to be aggressive. Dogs that are in breed are sometimes more aggressive then dogs that aren't. Dogs that are aggressive who are breed then pass that aggression down to their children. Hence the reason Pit Bulls are aggressive.... they aren't normally but people breed them to be by using the above mentioned methods.

Would you put to sleep a dog that is hurt physically?? It has cancer and is in pain. It was struck by a car and has horrible injuries that are not fixable. Would you put the dog to sleep humanely? I would hope you are a caring person and answered YES.

Aggression is a mental illness. So, your dog is in pain. Just not the kind of pain you can see. It is all in his head. So, then why wouldn't you humanely put him to sleep to stop him from suffering?

Dogs aren't like people. You can't sit them down on a couch and help them through their mental issues. And that is exactly what aggression is... a mental issue. Your dog is suffering and he is counting on you to do the right thing.

You stated that you are afraid that he will hurt someone else and you can't live with that guilt. He has already hurt several people and you said you are being sued for the 2nd time. So, you wouldn't feel guilty if you re homed him and he hurt someone else in the new home? I am sure you would.

Not to mention if you re homed him and he hurt someone else you can still be sued for re homing an aggressive dog.

Also, food for thought...90% of the time if a dog has an issue..... aggression, separation anxiety, obsessive barking, etc. It only gets worse when moved to an new environment.

You said you want him to go to an adult home..... that again isn't going to fix anything. I am sure that an adult home has children in the neighborhood. You said yourself he attacked a girl walking across the street from your home. He can do that in an adult home too. What about when the adult home has guests over... Do they have children? What about when they go to the vet... Will there be children at the vet's office? What if they need to go on vacation and board the dog... Will there be children coming to pick up their dogs at the boarding facility?

I am sure someone doesn't want to get a loving sweet dog that can never leave the confides of their home. That doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me and not what someone is looking for.

Re homing is not going to fix the fact he is mentally ill.

Also, I need to point out the fact to you that you love him. The next home might not. How would you like him to die? In your loving arms, with just a prick of a needle drifting off to sleep? In a new home with strangers that abuse him for his behavior? Maybe re homed again and again until he ends up in the hands of dog fighters who use him as bait dog? Maybe in a shelter where he is put in a box and gassed? Maybe of old age in the backyard tied to a tree where he has gotten very little attention the last 10 years of his life, with barely enough food and water exposed to the weather year after year?

This, I am sorry to say is the fate of many dogs. Please don't let it be the fate of your dog.

I 100% know how you are feeling and I 100% understand that this is going to be difficult. Attached you will see a picture of Ruger. My 1.5 year old Min Pin who I put to sleep at the beginning of the year because he was aggressive. He was wonderful with me, my mom and my fiance but anyone else WATCH OUT! You can loose a finger faster then you can say NO RUGER!

Ruger was mentally ill through no fault of his own. He was used as a bait dog and lost an eye at only 6 months of age. He was ALWAYS paranoid. He wanted to GET YOU before you could GET HIM. I worked with him for a year and spent over $3,000 on him to make him better. He was suffering mentally and I had to do the right thing by him.

He was only a baby and only weighed 8 pounds but he was dangerous and was going to hurt someone. I couldn't let that happen and I hated the fact he was suffering, mentally.

Good luck with your decision. I hope you choose the right one even if it isn't the easiest one.


Thoughts said...

I think you did the right thing here. Your email back to her was very informational and helpful and brought up points that she probably hadn't thought of before.

Joann said...

I just read this and your response helped me so much. I just put down my min-pin mix for aggression and have such feelings of regret and guilt over it. He was very sweet with me but wanted to bite everyone else. He was a rescue that I adopted and after I had him a month or so the aggression started. I tried training hoping that would help but the second trainer suggested that he believed he had been abused before I got him and with the degree of fear and aggression he was exhibiting he would never be able to be trusted around people. So I made the difficult decision.