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At least one dog dead thanks to irresponsible owner

By on September 25, 2017

*Editorial note – This story was originally published with a random headline media file that happened to be of an animal under the care of an area rescue. It has been removed and that dog had no connection to the incident discussed below. Sorry for any unintended misrepresentation.*

On Sept. 24, the police and Nebraska Humane Society (NHS) were called and responded to a dog attack near Chalco Hills. Apparently, a man’s Siberian Husky was killed in a scrap over a bone. The deceased was attacked by three of the man’s other dogs. It was reported that the dogs were “pitbulls”, though specific breed information isn’t known at this moment (there are many “pittie” mixes and “bully breeds”). The man also owned two other dogs, bringing the total number of dogs in his home to six.

The man has not been cited. It’s unclear whether he will be cited at all. He has relinquished all six of his dogs to NHS. It’s possible that the shelter opted for removing the dogs from his care instead of fining him and allowing him to keep the animals.

Much of the focus in this sad story has been on “what will happen to the dogs?” This is important to talk about, but what’s more important is that this man no longer has the dogs. It’s possible that he’ll own dogs later, but given this incident, he won’t be adopting from NHS. The shelter has said that the dogs no longer pose a threat. It’s unclear what that means. Some will assume the shelter will euthanize the animals, but that’s not a given. The shelter has a Diamond Dogs program where animals who can be rehabilitated are trained, socialized, etc. It could be that the dogs are going into that program. Again, this is not the focus we should have.

The Husky is dead and that is awful, obviously. The man no longer has the surviving dogs and that’s appropriate. The focus here should be that dogs, regardless of breed or size or history, should not be owned by everyone. There are many people who don’t give the time or attention or effort to keeping animals and those folks just shouldn’t have animals. If you are a pet owner, it is your responsibility to train them, keep them safe for other animals and humans, and keep others safe from your pets.

 

The focus here should be responsible pet ownership. It’s a shame that an animal has died as a result of a incompetent owner.

Kelley McAtee, owner and head trainer at Dharma Dog Training, is saddened by this incident, like most of us.

“It’s so frustrating that people think they can get so many dogs without having tools to keep them safe- and a dog is dead because of it.
These issues always come down to responsible dog ownership. And we need to start holding people accountable rather than blaming the dogs,” she says.
Kelley is an advocate for all dogs, but is especially sympathetic to pits and like-breeds as they are often deemed more dangerous than others. The “bully breeds” are often misunderstood. In fact, and this is what’s most important to think about, humans often misunderstand dogs altogether. Kelley says.
“Dogs are canine apex predators, designed to hunt, stalk, chase and kill things. We are fooling ourselves to believe otherwise. Until our society starts taking animal behavior issues seriously as medical issues and starts to understand these are powerful creatures, these tragedies will continue to happen,” she says.
There is a giant need in every animal community to educate and empower people with knowledge on how to live with dogs. Two-thirds of American households have dogs and this other species we are living with is more than “a pet.” It’s especially important when multiple animals are living in the same space. “A pack of dogs requires another level of knowledge and people need to understand how serious living with a pack is. There’s a lot at stake,” Kelley says. “In this case, it’s another dog’s life.”
And although the focus will be on “the pits” and that they are more dangerous than another animal we choose to live with, these issues always come down to responsible pet ownership. We all must know how to advocate for dogs and keep them safe. “We need to start holding people accountable and stop blaming dogs who are put in these situations,” Kelley says. “I live with three male bullies and they help me rehabilitate dogs of every breed. There are rules and boundaries set in my house to keep everyone safe.”
It is unfair these dogs were put in this situation. Our focus should not be on the fact that these are breeds that have been legislated against. That legislation is often made out of knowing irresponsible people don’t understand animals. All dogs can be fierce. All people can foster loving and compassionate domestic animals. We’ve heard of other attacks recently involving Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, and other breeds. Dogs are dogs.
We believe the news media is focusing on this story for two reasons, we believe: one being a dog was killed. The second is because of the attackers’ breed. That’s not fair and we wish it were irrelevant, as it should be.
Keep following this story on social media and on the news. We’d typically tell you to stay away from the comment sections because that’s where all sorts of anger and falsehoods reside, but take a look at the ones made on this story. If you can educate someone or call someone out on unfair comments, do so.
Be educated, be responsible. It could save lives.

 

 

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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