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Friday, August 15, 2008

Pit Bull Fanciers of the Year

posted by on August 15 at 16:37 PM

I realize it’s only August—man, is it ever August—and there are lots of other pit bull fanciers out there. We won’t stop taking nominations for Pit Bull Fancier of the Year, of course, but I don’t see how any other pit bull fanciers could possibly hold a candle to these two.

A couple who received a $210,000 settlement from the city of Richmond after police shot and killed their pit bull are in custody after two of their other pit bulls—abducted from a Sacramento County animal shelter after attacking a utility worker—were shot and killed by a sheriff’s detective.

At about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives went to a motel on the 7800 block of College Town Drive to arrest the couple for allegedly robbing an 80-year-old woman of her purse on July 9. When Peters opened the door, two large pit bulls charged out of the room and “viciously attacked” a 57-year-old motel maintenance worker who was walking nearby, said sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Curran.

Fearing for the man’s life, a detective fired numerous shots, killing both dogs, Curran said. The maintenance worker was taken to a local hospital for severe dog bites to his arms and legs. Investigators learned that the two pit bulls had attacked a Sacramento Municipal Utility District worker in Carmichael on June 16. After that attack, the dogs were impounded by animal control officers.

The couple is suspected of breaking into the animal control facility at 4290 Bradshaw Road on July 8 and taking their dogs, Curran said. When investigators went to the couple’s Carmichael home, they learned that the two had been evicted, authorities said…. The investigation into the animal facility break-in and abduction of the dogs is ongoing.

What a heartwarming story of devotion! Breaking into an animal control facility to free your precious dogs after the animals had proven themselves to be vicious! I imagine that Dreamworks has probably snapped up the rights already.

And without a doubt the first cop, the second cop, the motel maintenance worker, and the utility worker all did something to provoke those dogs. We actually know what the maintenance worker was doing: He was “walking nearby,” which I shall add to the list of things one is not supposed to do when one leaves the house, lest one provoke some good-natured pit or other into mauling one nearly to death.

Oh, and I don’t doubt that that 80 year-old woman did something to provoke these pit bull fanciers into stealing her purse.

Thanks to Slog tipper TPF.

RSS icon Comments


the $210k wasn't enough

Posted by Gggghggh | August 15, 2008 4:46 PM

Wow. This really is the worst (best?) yet!!

Posted by friday | August 15, 2008 5:11 PM

This is pretty bad, but to tell the truth, people like that should probably not be allowed to take care of any living thing.

At least the pit bulls had both a mother and father, though. How many more might have been attacked had the dogs been raised by two gay parents?

Posted by dbell | August 15, 2008 5:17 PM

They got $210K in a settlement but were evicted and are now living in some dumpy motel and robbing old ladies. Am I wrong to think this reflects badly on pit bull owners?

Posted by RainMan | August 15, 2008 6:45 PM

You should check out this article Malcolm Gladwell wrote for the New Yorker a couple years ago regarding to pit bulls. Interesting stuff.

Posted by Nelson | August 15, 2008 7:13 PM

Hey, Dan, guess what!

Yesterday I went down to the basement of my apartment complex to take out the trash, and while I was emptying it I heard some commotion. Two pit bulls on leashes were growling and barking at each other on the street. I thought there might be a fight, but the owner of one dog pulled it away, walked into the garage past me and went up the stairs. When I went back up a minute later there was a huge pile of puke on the steps!

I guess that wasn't a mauling story, but it's still pretty bad.

Posted by sepiolida | August 15, 2008 11:01 PM

Unless I missed it, this story from earlier this week didn't make it into Slog. A cancer patient was a 'food source' to hungry pit bull pups:

Posted by Madashell | August 15, 2008 11:15 PM

The Pit Bull Terrier is not an animal to be taken lightly. When they attack, they attack with extreme prejudice. Just as they were bred to do. I don't like them anywhere near me. They don't just bite, they maul whoever suffers their wrath. These are hi-performance dogs and are not for everyone. Unfortunately, many Pit Bull owners do not have the proper understanding of what these animals are capable of. Or just don't care if someone is seriously harmed from their negligence. They attack without provocation and there is no defense against them. Police tazers are ineffective on them. The only way to stop them is with a bullet. And it usually takes several hits before they stop their attack. Have a bad experience with a Pit Bull and you will be spending some time in the ER.

Posted by papillon | August 16, 2008 4:12 AM

This is really ridiculous, do you know how many times a journalist will say a dog is a pit bull for the story when in fact it isn't. Its the dog not the breed If dan actually had any balls he would try and do something good like making it much tougher for people to get an animal rather than attacking a breed that is the victim of sensationalism and ignorance. It is the owners and My wife and I recently rescued a pit-lab mix that has been a joy and is a favorite when we take him around greenlake or horror to the magnuson off leash to play. So beware because me and my pit bull are coming and he is going to lick you to death.

Posted by steve porter | August 16, 2008 9:00 AM

Ahh yes pit bulls. "It's been a gentle family dog for years, how could it have killed/eaten the neighbor lady? What did she do to cause it?"

Oh please. Tell me how many people are killed each year by poodles. How about collies? Retrievers? None? Hmmm... Pits have been bred for this and it's in their nature - regardless of their upbringing. Require special licenses, insurance AND handling requirements for them and other guard/fighting dogs. They're deadly weapons.

Posted by BK | August 16, 2008 9:04 AM

@9 Isn't it a contradiction to say the Pit Bulls aren't a breed and then follow with "my wife and I just rescued a pit-lab mix"?

Posted by Schweighsr | August 16, 2008 10:39 AM

Sorry that the american pit bull terrier that I sought to rescue from a pit bull rescue happened to have some lab in it. I would have preferred a full bred american pit bull terrier but alas the one my wife and I fell in love with is not a pure bred what a hypocrite I am for defending a breed that has gotten a bad rap by close minded ignorant people because the puppy I rescued isn't a pure breed.

Posted by steve porter | August 16, 2008 11:40 AM

I am so amazed by the ignorance of close minded people such as yourselves. I myself have an American Pit Bull Terrier Mix dog that I rescued. He is the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever had the privilege to meet and share my life with. Fortunately my experiences with all American Pit Bull Terriers have been great ones. Don't get me wrong. Any RESPONSIBLE APBT owner will tell you that they take their dog responsibilities with this particular breed more seriously than they would if they had another dog. But if socialized from a young age, given boundaries and trained properly, these dogs can be the perfect addition to any household. I am so fortunate that I was not raised to be as close minded as the likes of all of you and that the people who surround me love my dog just as much as I do and think he's absolutely precious. The only thing he wants out of his life is to love and be loved by those around him. I look at his face and feel saddened by the prejudice he will face throughout his lifetime but am so glad that he is too kind and happy to notice. All of you should be ashamed of yourselves. This is what stereotypes are built upon and why people and animals in this world are discriminated against.

Posted by Anonymous | August 16, 2008 12:55 PM

Dan Savage.

You write a lengthy slog talking about Vanessa Ho's journalism. When just earlier you present us with yet another pit bull crap story.

As a journalist you should realize that in the case of these two criminals....they chose to own pitbulls and obviously make sure they are angry ones...they are the kind of people who break into an animal shelter in addition to robbing an 80 year old woman. Yet at the end of the slog you still make sure to tie these people to pit bulls being "unprovoked."

First, animals are a little different than humans in their actions and behavior.

Second, the case you present would add evidence to the Nurture not Nature argument.

Third, you are a craptastic "journalist" with too much time on your hands...stick to the sex column and leave science and animal behavior to those who actually study it for a living.

Posted by Hunter | August 16, 2008 2:04 PM

>Oh please. Tell me how many people are killed each year by poodles. How about collies? Retrievers?

This year alone, an infant was killed (eaten alive) by a labrador puppy. A toddler was killed by an Old English Sheepdog. A woman was killed by her labrador and australian shepherd. A kid was killed by a chained husky. A child's lip was torn off by a leashed chihuahua. A poodle tore an infant's genitals off. A jack russell terrier killed an infant in KY.

Need more?

Posted by EdjacateYerself | August 16, 2008 6:56 PM

In 2007 Pit Bull dogs were responsible for 60% of all dog attack fatalities. Have you hugged your Pit Bull today.

Posted by papillon | August 16, 2008 7:32 PM

I went to Juggalofest today and saw pitbulls, and the pitbulls were exposed to tens of thousands of people, many stoned out of their heads, loud bands, and all kinds of crazy behavior AND NOT ONE PIT BULL I SAW ATTACKED ANYONE. Therefore, according to Savagelogic, pitbulls are cool! Anecdotes = Evidence!

Posted by Bob | August 16, 2008 10:44 PM

I like this story, so thank you for posting it Dan.
It gives credibility to the fact that we need to have better screening measures in place for those who choose to own APBTs and other strong breed dogs.

It is a cop out to simply cry..."It's in their genes..kill them all", because if that were true, that would mean that Boxers, Mastiffs,Am Staffs,Sharpeis,German Shepherds, English Bull Dogs,American Bull Dogs& French Bull Dogs are also "selectively bred" monsters unfit to be pets. I think we can all agree that this is untrue.

Behavior is generally the result of genetics and environment working together.Putting a strong breed like an APBT(or really any dog) in the hands of these a-holes just seems like a major mistake.

There is a sweet dog who may be killed on Monday simply for being a pit bull.
Check out to help

Posted by Julie Russell | August 17, 2008 10:34 AM

@ 16
here is a clearer pic of 2007 Dog Fatalities:

Total fatalities:33

26 of 33 involved intact (not spayed or neutered) animals

10 0f 33 involved chained/tehered animals

15 of 33 involved pit bulls (more like 48 not 60 %)

18 of 33 victims were kids age 11 or

Researcher Jim Crosby purports that these findings show us a few things. 1)Irresponsible Owners (IOs)tend not to spay and neuter their pets 2)(IOs)tend to chain their pets. #) Pit bulls are popular with IOs.

Other dogs involved in fatalities
German Shepherd
Catahoula,American Bulldog, Golden Retriever
Mixed breed Unknown
American Bulldog
Doberman &German Shepherd
2 Siberian Huskies
8 Wolf Hybrids
4 American bulldogs
2 German Shepherds
German Shepherd

In 2008- Fatalities thus far have been from :
Doberman Pinscher
Jack Russell Terrier
Pit Bull (3)
Australian Shepherd mix
Black Lab Puppy
Olde English Sheep Dog
(my memory escapes me...but it's in my last post) More coffee please.

Bottom line: This is A PEOPLE problem...not a dog problem.

Posted by Julie Russell | August 17, 2008 11:04 AM

2007 Dog Attack Fatalities

Total Deaths 37

Breeds Causing Death

Pit Bull 60%

Rottweiler 11%

American Bulldog 8%

German Shepherd 8%

Chow 6%

Other 11%

If this is a people problem then Pit Bull owners are the most irresponsible dog owners on the planet.

Posted by papillon | August 17, 2008 6:16 PM

A six year old girl was attacked by the family Pit Bull last Tuesday and remains in the hospital in Alaska. I suppose dear old dad thought it would be a great idea to have a Pit Bull around his six year old daughter. Wonder how he feels about that cute little puppy in the window now.

Posted by papillon | August 17, 2008 7:14 PM

@20: There is certainly correlation between the breed and the attacks. But we have no idea what the causation is, and many merely assume that the breed is the cause. It is also possible that their reputation increases their demand among the irresponsible, and that this is the cause for the disproportionate number of attacks. Look at the last few decades, and you see a disproportionate number of attacks in different breeds, depending on what is currently in vogue.

Clearly, breed isn't the complete picture.

And I second the irony of Dan calling a journalist a "stupid, fucking credulous hack," a day after posting another one of these biased screeds. Pot, kettle on line one!

Posted by Lavode | August 18, 2008 10:05 AM

Credibility SHOT if you are referencing
That is Colleen Lynn of Seattle and her site is ALL propaganda and egregiously FALSE info to support her proposed breed ban on pits in Seattle.

She will likely present a citizen's initiative to ban pits in Jan 2009 to Seattle City Council. The public won't get to vote..just the council.
HER SITE is a bunch of BS. But thanks for sharing:)

Posted by Julie Russell | August 18, 2008 1:04 PM

OK, you have convinced me otherwise. First thing in the morning I will be getting a Pitbull for my mother-in-law.

Posted by papillon | August 19, 2008 12:35 AM

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