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Thursday, November 6, 2008

They Must Have Provoked Those Dogs Somehow

posted by on November 6 at 18:10 PM

What will we talk about now that the election is over, Lindy? How about those adorable killing machines

An Indianapolis man continues to recover in a hospital four days after he was mauled by three pit bulls as he tried to save a woman from the attacking animals on the city’s Eastside. Thomas Wimberly, 48, and Carrolle Bales, 42, both Indianapolis, suffered severe puncture and bite wounds in Monday night’s attack, according to an Indianapolis metropolitan police report.

According to IMPD, Bales was walking in an alley near her home in the 2800 block of Brookside Avenue when three pit bulls bolted out of a yard and attacked her…. Wimberly, who lives in the 3000 block of Forrest Manor Avenue, saw the attack while driving by in his pickup and began honking to distract the animals. He ran to Bales’ aid, at which point the dogs turned on him and dragged him to the ground…. Police said Bales suffered gaping holes in her left arm and leg and torso, and that she may have suffered a broken arm. Wimberly suffered deep puncture wounds to both arms and his face.

And I think we may have a contender for pit bull fancier of the year:

Carolyn Boss, 49, Indianapolis, said she was caring for the animals while their owner—her son—is in prison. Boss, of the 2800 block of Brookside Avenue, told police that someone came to her residence to alert her that her dogs had escaped their enclosure

Carolyn Boss, 49, Indianapolis, said she was caring for the animals while their owner — her son — is in prison. Boss, of the 2800 block of Brookside Avenue, told police that someone came to her residence to alert her that her dogs had escaped their enclosure…. Police said Boss went to the alley, where she found her dogs loose and a person lying on the ground. She confined the animals, and later told police that she thought they had been provoked.

An IMPD officer who responded to the scene reported seeing blood on all three animals, scuff marks and splattered blood in the alley behind where Boss lives.
Police said that two of the dogs had water but lacked proper shelter, and that one of the animals had been tethered to a tree by a 7-foot-long heavy tow chain.

So… Boss finds her son’s dogs covered with blood and a person “on the ground,” and she puts the animals back in their enclosure and then insists to the police that her dogs must have been provoked somehow. No word on whether Ms. Boss called for assistance for the person she found “on the ground.”

The Indianapolis Star provides this insulting sidebar to its story about this pit bull attack. The sidebar is full of instructions about what you can do to do avoid dog attacks. Not one thing on this list would’ve protected the victims of this unprovoked attack.

Ban these violent, dangerous dogs already.

RSS icon Comments


Why do you insist on calling them adorable? They're fucking ugly. Even when they're puppies.

Posted by Mr. Poe | November 6, 2008 6:16 PM

A community approach to dog bite prevention (PDF) by the American Veterinary Medical Association Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions. Advice for the reality-based community, by the reality-based community.

Now, back to journalistic hysteria...

Posted by elenchos | November 6, 2008 6:18 PM

Gotta love the "don't run past a dog." Please make a note of it, joggers.

Posted by Mr. Poe | November 6, 2008 6:18 PM

I put this up in the Tuba Man post below:

Hmmm, I know the prevailing opinion around here is that the death penalty is wrong, but the ass clowns that killed Edward McMichael (Tuba Man) make human euthanasia seem so very, very attractive. We put vicious animals down, why are we so squeamish about putting vicious people who act like animals down? If a group of pit bulls had viciously attacked and killed Tuba Man, we'd be screaming for them and their owners (their mumsies and daddies) to be boiled in oil and fricasseed. Nobody would suggest the pit bulls be rehabilitated (and returned to society) or kept alive in a cage their entire lives.

Pit Bull Owners, do you find this somewhat hypocritical?

Posted by Y.F. | November 6, 2008 6:26 PM

Seriously Dan, doesn't it occur to you that a common thread runs through these stories that you are obsessed with? Like poor, ignorant, irresponsible and terrifying owners? How often do you see reports about pit bulls owned by middle class, educated, together people running amok? Why don't you call up the shelter, talk to some animal control officers, and talk to some vets about pit bulls. I have, and the ones I've spoken to think pit bulls are great dogs. If you succeeded in banning these dogs, I guaran-fucking-tee that the thugs and morons who currently are destroying pit bull's reputation will find a new "it" breed.

Posted by Cedar | November 6, 2008 6:26 PM

glad to see your still an idiot savage...i guess karma helped pass prop 8

Posted by steve porter | November 6, 2008 6:28 PM

Hey #4, I'm against capital punishment, so no, I don't think Tuba Man's attackers should be executed. However, I do think that Pit Bulls (and all dogs) should be put down if they attack a human, even once. There are lots and lots of pit bulls (and other breeds) in shelters put down every day. The only ones that should be out in society are the ones with perfect tempers. Dan thinks that being a pit bull itself implies that the dog has a bad temper. I think that having a terrible owner improves that odds of the dog having a bad temper. I guess we can both agree that a lot of those dogs should be put down.

Posted by Cedar | November 6, 2008 6:33 PM

What exactly would a breed "ban" entail? Outlawing the sale of pitbulls? What about breeding? Are we pursuing an extinction agenda here or what?

Posted by shub-negrorath | November 6, 2008 6:43 PM

Ban Barney. He's a fucking killer.

Posted by heywhatsit | November 6, 2008 6:49 PM
Purdue University Vet Alan Beck - Pitbulls Should Be Extinct

Posted by maybe | November 6, 2008 6:52 PM

@5, and it's not just pit bulls, other breeds are just as dangerous when owned by ignorant, irresponsible and terrifying owners... see the link below...

Posted by cmaceachen | November 6, 2008 7:28 PM

Um, it's not like these stories are fictional. Nor is it the case that middle and upper class dogs are attacking people in droves and their owners pay off the police and government officials to keep it quiet. Sheesh! The socio-politico theory people try to graft onto this isn't fitting.

Bottom line: These dogs have physical characteristics that enable them to do serious damage to human beings. That's part of their appeal to their owners. Yeah, yeah, yeah, chihuahuas bite, collies bite, etc.. Yes those bites can do nasty damage. All dogs bite. I get that. But when Pitbulls bite they tend to really fuck shit up and don't seem to require much in the way of provocation! Pitbulls--for whatever reason: crazy owners, innate tendencies, I don't claim to know--bite people more often. CDC stats indicate as much.

As a pedestrian, and a small one at that, I feel pretty uncomfortable around these dogs. I don't appreciate being at the mercy of the folk who'd like to be badasses. I just want to go about my business in peace.

Will a ban work? I don't know. I just want to be able to walk around my neighborhood without having the possiblility of physical injury thrown up in my face, or at the very least without having to partake in somebody else's symbolic display of aggression.

Posted by know-it-all | November 6, 2008 7:47 PM

Google up the Russian lab that bred rats for aggression and rats for gentleness and see how many generations it takes to get terrifyingly aggressive rats.

The common idea in the "blame the owners" camp is that biology is not destiny. Great. But these dogs were bred to be aggressive.

Border collies were bred to herd flocks. Watch a border collie when a tot goes too close to the water and the mother's not watching. Classic herding behavior.

There are other breeds for the violent thugs: German shepherds where the it dog for security in the seventies, then it was dobermans and Rotts. Rhodesian Ridgebacks like to tree cats and kill if they get the chance.

There has got to be a better answer than banning all dogs. How about requiring bond and insurance and then let the accountants figure out how much to charge for each breed?

Oh, gotta go, my pet rattlesnake is hungry again and the pet wolverine is chasing the postman.

Posted by Rain Monkey | November 6, 2008 8:07 PM

Self-defense classes should teach how to fight against dogs.

Posted by Sean | November 6, 2008 8:09 PM

Wouldn't it be funny if the Obamas adopted a pitbull puppy?

Would Dan's head explode?

Posted by Jeff | November 6, 2008 8:14 PM

If either of the victims had been carrying a pistol they could have shot the dogs. Problem solved.

Posted by K X One | November 6, 2008 8:45 PM


Many insurance companies won't insure people who own pit bulls.

What we really need is criminal penalties for negligent owners. Civil liability doesn't work for poor people who don't have any money anyway and the fear of getting sued doesn't seem to be doing much to curb bad behavior among the middle class. Euthanize the dog and throw the owner in prison.

Posted by keshmeshi | November 6, 2008 9:33 PM

Sorry Dan, your so wrong here.
#5 has it right. Don't hate the breed, look at the owner.
Stupid person with a gun = a bad situation.
Stupid person with a strong dog = a bad situation.

My pitbull is licking my hand as a show of love for you Dan. She says Equality for all.

Lay off the pitbulls and look at the assholes that use their animals for evil.

Posted by james | November 6, 2008 10:03 PM

I think Dan just likes to instigate passion.

Seriously, you KNOW dogs don't attack people because they have a natural hunger for human brains.

You KNOW the dog owner is at fault.

Why the distraction? People actually listen to you. You should wield that power for good, not... advocating the extermination of a canine breed.

Exterminate the humans to stop dog attacks.
That might be more effective.
I'm pretty sure it'll be easier...

Oh, wait. I just remembered you hate dogs altogether. Now I get it. *slaps forehead*

Dan Savage: "I don't understand how people even keep dogs as pets"

Posted by Bright Lies | November 6, 2008 10:04 PM

oh please, dan has a dog himself. who's a boy, stinker? who's a good boyyyy??

even though dan's allergic.

my BIL is allergic to cats, which creates a powerful aversion no matter how any individual animal may act. if you're not rewarded in some way for an animals' company, what's the point of having one at all? unless you like having a pain in the ass dependent all the time, which not many do. a lot of hid-haters feel the same way. 'i don't want one myself, therefore all kids are brats.' not true, right? but there's no reward in it for you outside a relationship, so why bother? you'd be crazy.

well, dog owners are crazy. and cat owners, and snake owners, and parents. all of them. BAT-SHIT CRAZY.

but here's the thing: living around other people, animals, and vehicles always carries risk. we mitigate risks that carry mortal risks for others with insurance, because we're a (somewhat) civilized society, right? we carry liability insurance for our cars, we have health insurance for ourselves, and parents can be sued in court for damages their kids do to other people and property, but no one will unsure dogs, because it's not required and therefore there are no standards. insurance companies exist to make money, not to pay claims. but they do have to insure most people who drive, at one price or another, because laws require it so the market exists.

shouldn't there be a requirement, and therefore a market for dog insurance?

if dog owners were required to carry liability insurance, like people who drive cars are, then the highest rates would go to people who keep the most aggressive breeds and who have the lowest fences. and people who didn't want to pay high rates would get mellow dogs. aggressive dogs are bred because there's a market for them, not because aggressive breeds are more desirable than mellow ones. dog lovers can learn to love the breeds available once the most aggressive ones have become scarce, believe me. i love my russiam blue kitty, but he's a freak! and if the breed wasn't available, i'm sure i could make friends with a domestic shorthair. it's not depriving me of any inalienable right to have another type of cat. same goes for dogs.

i've taught the kids to 'be a tree' and 'be a rock' if confronted with an aggressive dog. but frankly, i don't think it would do much good if it was a doberman, german shepherd, or pitbull that went after them. and i don't carry a gun. but i've often been tempted, as the number of aggressive dogs that are in this neighborhood behind inadequate four-foot-tall chain link fencing well outnumber the folks with concealed weapons permits - and in *my* hood? that's saying something. chain link won't cut it; something that electrocutes them on contact would be my first choice, but lacking that - at least six feet, people! seriously.

Posted by happyhedonist | November 6, 2008 10:41 PM

#18 - Owning a dog is not a Constitutional right. Fuck 'em.

Posted by brad | November 6, 2008 10:42 PM

Another day, another whiny NIMBY rant on the SLOG.

Posted by Jay | November 7, 2008 1:02 AM

In Germany you have to have a permit to own a pit bull, kind of like having to have a permit to own a gun. Both are considered weapons. I don't hear about many dog attacks here, but at the same time I mostly only see little dogs. Ack!!! Wiener dog attack!

Posted by Linda | November 7, 2008 2:06 AM

@6: Prop 8 passed because of the Pitbull Lobby?

Posted by AJ | November 7, 2008 8:08 AM

@22: In fairness, not wanting somebody else's pit bull in your back yard is perfectly reasonable. Maybe this is more of a NIYBY (Not In Your Back Yard) or a NIADBY (Not In Any Damn Back Yard) rant.

Posted by flamingbanjo | November 7, 2008 8:23 AM

I donated to fight Prop 2 in Florida, and asked Dan this question: "Is there a later scientific peer-reviewed study supporting the efficacy of breed bans that forms (in part or whole) the foundation of your opinion?"

As part of my preamble, I explained that I have searched online for such a study, but could not find anything. I could only find the CDC study of 2000, which actually states that there is no such evidence. I was hoping that there might be a later study I could read.

Dan's response was

breed bans have worked in the UK, and they work well in Denver. i don't trust the studies you cite.

all the best,


Now, I am ecstatic that he did NOT simply tell me off. However, he didn't really answer the question, as he doesn't cite any study in the UK or Denver. So I am left with the conclusion that No, Dan Savage does not base his opinions of breed bans on any scientific evidence.

What I find interesting is that he "doesn't trust the studies [I] cite." I believe there was a study in the UK that also concluded that there is no supporting evidence of the efficacy of breed bans. But he doesn't trust scientific research? What does he trust? His gut?

I find that his response, while deservedly terse, spoke volumes. His opinions on breed bans are simply that: opinions. He is neither more nor less correct than the rest of us. In fact, his opinions can be said to be faith-based, since he chooses to discount evidence that does not agree with his ideas.

Posted by Lavode | November 7, 2008 9:26 AM

13---.. actually pitbulls were the poster-dog of America in the early 20th century. They were often used to protect children and guard the home when parents were not in the home.

Posted by scallionpancakes? | November 7, 2008 9:31 AM

you can't ban ignorant, negligent MALE owners who delight in the breed's agressive nature, but you can make a special, expens$$$ive license required for intact pit bulls. or any potentially lethal breed if you're afraid the lower-class dumbfucks will gravitate to rotts or presa canarios.

and it is lower-class MALE dumbfucks in general. pit bull ownership transcends race.

Posted by max solomon | November 7, 2008 9:38 AM

Simple. Put down all dogs that attack unprovoked, and the remaining ones will be the well-socialized.

Posted by Greg | November 7, 2008 9:56 AM

Amen #11, we need to ban stupid people who breed and raise these dogs to fight and be agressive. The same thing can be done with a golden retriver or a, is the answer to ban all dogs?

My dog is part pit and she is a loving animal, as are many other full blood pit bulls I have met.

I am disappointed in you Dan for not really understanding where the real issue lies....

Posted by ag | November 7, 2008 10:15 AM

Love Pit bulls or hate them, the reality is that Breed Bans DON'T WORK: A few examples

1)UK Dangerous Dog Act banned pit bulls in 1997.
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, dog bites INCREASED from 1997-2007 and the plan cost more than 14 million to implement. Countless dogs (who had not harmed anyone were needlessly killed)

2)Aragon Spain- Dangerous Animals Act, passed in 2000.

A scientific study showed that from 1995-1999 bite reports were NO DIFFERENT than in 2000-2005.
This one cost 8.3 mill.

3)Netherlands- A 15 year breed ban against pit bulls) was lifted in 2008 due to ineffectiveness.
The Dutch Agriculture Minister reports that the ban had NO EFFECT at reducing dog bites. IN fact, while the ban was in place 120,000 people were hospitalized for dog bites and at least 3 children were killed by (no pit bull) dogs

Do we need better laws, YES?
Do we need a breed ban? Only if we are crippling idiotic and want to repeat history in a tard-like fashion

I have more, but I'm guessing you didn't read this far

Posted by Julie Russell | November 7, 2008 10:19 AM

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Posted by Indignant Pit Bull | November 7, 2008 10:19 AM

My housemates have a pit mix, 70 lbs. of muscle, who also happens to be gentle, cuddly, and full of affection. It's not the breed that's the problem; it's irresponsible owners and the criminals who run dog fighting rings.

Posted by Jen Hunter | November 7, 2008 10:26 AM

1)UK Dangerous Dog Act- instated in 1997
from 1997-2007 dog bites increased by 50%. It cost 14 million to implement/enforce this useless act. How many innocents died?

2)Aragon Spain- adopted in 2000:banned pits and 9 other breeds
Cost 8.3 mill and a study revealed that there has been NO Sig. Diff in bites from the five year period before the act to the five yrs after

A 15 year Pit bull ban was lifted in 2008 as it was not not working. Agriculture Minister Greda Verdburg reports that it had NO EFFECT on reducing dog bites.
During the ban 120,000 ppl were hospitalized for dog bites and at least 3 children were killed by (non pit bull) dogs

I have lots more but i doubt you got this far...BREED BANS DON'T WORK..Can we PLEASE focus on laws that will actually promote safety in the community and safety for innocent dogs.

Posted by Julie Russell | November 7, 2008 10:29 AM

Denver Isn't working either...KKK Kory Nelson the asst attorney Douche Bag only comments that it "may be working" when questioned. He is Denver's Collen Lynn/Ellen Taft.

More than 2000 dogs were killed in Denver from May of 2005 to 2008..not b/c they harmed or terrorized...but b/c they had the physical features of a pit bull. Some were pits, some were likely not.

In Aurora Colorado there is a ban on several breeds including the pit. Since the plan went into effect in 2006, 90 % of bites have been from non-restricted breeds...this means there is simply a new class of "biters", pointing to the FACT that it is the OWNER not the DOG.

Stupid people will create troubled dogs...laws need to be punative against PEOPLE.

visit http//

Monroe is considering a ban on 9 breeds

Posted by Julie Russell | November 7, 2008 10:40 AM

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Posted by Indignant Pit Bull | November 7, 2008 10:44 AM

I want to hear how Dan's breed ban is going to work, because I don't think a breed ban is enforceable.

What if the dog is 1/3 pit bull and 2/3 boxer? Do you ban it? What if the dog is 1/2 labrador and 1/2 pit bull? Do you ban it? What if the dog is 85% chihuahua and 15% pit bull? Do you ban it? How will you tell the pit bulls from the mutts?

I don't think a breed ban is workable. Especially when people start claiming that their dogs are less than 1/2 pit bull and therefore should escape the ban.

To me, it seems the only ban that's going to work is a ban on all dogs.

Posted by TacomaRoma | November 7, 2008 11:01 AM

Those dogs were probably upset at being denied their chance at the Vice Presidency.

Posted by sasha | November 7, 2008 11:19 AM

I'm certain there's no problem here that eating the poor cannot cure.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | November 7, 2008 12:23 PM

dude, it's NOT THE DOGS. pit bulls are not inherently vicious, violent, or otherwise uruly animals. it has nearly EVERYthing to do with the way they are raised and the fact that they have a reputation as fighting dogs already. jeez. have some compassion for the animals that were probably being abused and mistreated to begin with! this makes me so angry. Dan, are you saying that the human race should be exterminated because a portion of us are murderers? well, I have to admit that the world would be better off without us, but still, you cannot say that bloodlust is something that is inherent in all of us. it may be something that can be coaxed out of anyone with right amount of neglect, abuse, and yes, provocation. I'm sure those dogs were fucking miserable. their behavior should not be taken as a reason to "ban" pit bulls, but rather to "ban" the behavior of their owners.

Posted by xan | November 7, 2008 1:06 PM

Hey Dan!

How about doing a story on the First Pet attacking the reporter? I'm sure the reporter must have provoked Barney somehow!

Posted by Lavode | November 7, 2008 1:10 PM

did anyone watch the show about the Michael Vick dogs? They rehabilitated many of the fighting dogs and MANY were adopted by families all over the country. including homes with children or other dogs!!

Posted by scallionpancakes? | November 7, 2008 1:37 PM

@42: And believe me, if so much as one of those dogs so much as growls at anyone, Dan Savage will be there!

Posted by Lavode | November 7, 2008 1:44 PM

@ 37 Boxers were originally bred as fighting dogs too.You may have to do a bit of research to find that FACT, but it is true.

The A-holes pushing for the local bans exclude that particular breed by categorizing it as a "working breed" and by mis-representing it's original purpose.(oh.... and b/c one of their members has one..same with Rotweilers)

28 breeds were supposedly BRED to FIGHT. Boston Terrier is one of them.Just saying.


Posted by Julie Russell | November 7, 2008 1:55 PM

One absolute requirement among the original English dogs that led to the animals that are now referred to as "Pit Bulls" was that the referee had to be able to walk in, pick up the fighting dog, and hand it to its owner without being bitten. Any dog that bit the ref was put down.

They were bred to fight other animals, not people.

While I personally think that the bully breeds are Fugly, and I certainly wouldn't have one, I think the real problem is the owners. Ban dumbasses, not dogs.

Posted by Steve in Indy | November 8, 2008 7:18 AM

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