Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dog Attacks & Kills Another Dog at "Dog Beach"

We have two reports via Park Slope Parents emails about a big dog attacking and killing a small dog at the Dog Beach in Prospect Park yesterday. Both get at the issue of keeping big dogs on leashes. Apparently, a pit bull or pit bull mix attacked "a little long haired dachsund" in full view of a lot of kids and parents. The attack went on for a long time and no one--including the dog's owner--was able to stop it. One email says:
i'm writing to stress to dog owners how important it is to keep dogs on their leash when walking through the park or at dog beach. today i witnessed an incredibly upsetting sight - a large dog, i think it was a pit bull, attacked a little long haired dachsund - the owner of the big dog had no idea how to get her dog off the dachsund. it was very frightening and no-one was able to offer any help to save the dachsund. i was at dog beach with my son and a friend and her son, and there were lots of other toddlers standing around with their parents. if the owner of the pit bull had had the dog on a leash she could have pulled it away before it had gotten anywhere near the dachsund. another point that raised is that all dog owners should learn how to get their dog off of another dog during an attack.
And there is this email:
I was also at the dog beach this afternoon when a dog (looked like a pit bull, wasn't on a leash) attacked and killed a small dog (who was on a leash) in front of many shocked bystanders. It was horrifying and I'm furious that the dog's owner was allowing this dog to run around without a leash on and had no idea how to control it. I felt completely helpless and can't get the whole scene out of my mind, especially since my toddler and several others were only a few feet away. I don't have a dog myself, but I wish I had known what to do during the attack. It was clear that no one else in the vicinity knew what to do either, as the attack continued for an eternity (at least 15 minutes) and no one could get the big dog to release the little dog from its jaws (or knew to keep the big dog from shaking the little dog
around, which I learned tonight does the most damage).
Sounds like an awful day at the Dog Beach yesterday.

UPDATE: Someone who was near the incident notes that the person supervising the pit bull was a volunteer at a shelter that was watching the dog. She was apparently bitten while trying to separate the dogs and received medical treatment. It is not known whether the little dog that was attacked survived.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a hundred percent sure about this, but I think if you stick something in the big dog's rectum, it gets it to release its jaws.

Awful. I'm a dachshund lover. In a way you can't blame the dog, though, b/c it probably thought it was a squirrel or something.

That said, I believe the regulation is that big dogs have to have those mouth guards on.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it is a pit bull especially, grab the dog by the hind quarters and pick it up the hind quarters, often this is enough to make a dog let go. I would be more weary of doing this with a non-pit bull. Pit bulls have been selectively bread for many many generations for this type of handling, as it is part of the fighting procedures which formed them, and thus they are far more likely to turn on a human handler (since a dog in a ring that would turn on a human handler would be killed on the spot, thus breeding out such instincts).

Failing that, one should use a "breaking stick". Find a stick, pull on the skin on the back of the neck, which will pull back the dog's lips, exposing the molars. Jam the stick in between the upper and lower teeth and use the leverage of the stick to pry apart the dogs mouth. googling on "Breaking Stick" should provide lots of instructions. I've used this method successfully on a very large, very agressive pitbull that had a mini-poodle in its mouth with instant success using a broom handle.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

more evidence that pit bulls are awful dogs. people should not buy these dogs. rescue them, perhaps, but the market for this awful "breed" (they are not in fact a breed) should not be encouraged.

and i am sick of hearing about how pit bulls are great dogs. that's a load of crap - some are great, but there is a compararatively very high incidence of lethal to extraordinarily violent pit bull attacks when considered against the incidence of attacks by other dogs. do you really think that a black lab is going to tear apart a dachshund? or a baby? not bloody likely.

i would be happy to see the state outlaw pit bulls.

just disgusting... so disgusting...

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you mean far *less* likely to turn on a human handler?

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next time, find a stick or large rock to bash the pit bull owners skull in. Maybe his /her dog will release it's hold. My sister's Chow was attacked by an off leash pit bull. She kicked the dog as hard as she could in the ribs. The pit bull released my sister's dog and then clamped down on her calf dragging her for several feet before the dog was put down by some bystander with a baseball bat. (It was on the baseball fields.) When the owner of the dog saw it attack they ran in the other direction. As for the doggy beach I see many many dog owners release their dogs from their leashes at all times of the day, usually when small kids are feeding the ducks.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's good information on parting/breaking sticks and the mechanics of a pit bull fight:


Pit owners should know this method, and carry a parting stick with them at all times. It's part of the responsibility of owning a pit.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wonder if you got permission from the posters on PSP to reprint their messages on your blog?

It's illegal to do so if you have not.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who said "more evidence that pit bulls are awful dogs. people should not buy these dogs. rescue them, perhaps, but the market for this awful "breed" (they are not in fact a breed) should not be encouraged."

Your ignorance astounds me. First of all, if the owner can't handle her dog, and lets it off leash, don't say it evidence of anything other then a bad owner, because it simply isn't. Sorry.

For years all I heard about was how bad rottweiler and dobermans were evil and had higher rates of incidences, now the hip dog to hate is the pitbull. One bad, or for that matter 1000 bad pitbulls, does not make a blanket statement about the breed correct. Also, you don't generally hear about the bad things other breeds do it doesn’t make for a sexy story. I have personally seen a Golden Retriever catch and kill a rabbit. Does that make Golden Retrievers unfit to live near other animals? Of course not.

Pitbulls, I would certainly concede, have the widespread problem of bad owners for a variety of reasons, and that more then anything else would make the stats (which you mention but don’t give any sources for) viable . You simply cannot make a law against a breed because of what one dog has done. Much like we do not outlaw cars just because drunk driving is a huge issue or ban Germans from coming to America because 1 German person out there somewhere killed somebody while visiting NYC.

It’s just ignorant.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"i wonder if you got permission from the posters on PSP to reprint their messages on your blog?

It's illegal to do so if you have not."

enlighten us. what law is being broken?

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a horrible story. Thanks for posting the emails from PSP -- some of us have dogs and no kids and don't read the PSP list.

Is it true that the dog was an off-leash rescue being supervised by someone from a shelter?
I always wait months before I let my rescue dogs go off-leash -- you have to know and train the dog first. That's some scary sh*t if a person volunteering for rescue is letting any dog they are working with off-leash.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I volunteer at BARC and there are two rules if you walk their dogs

1) Never let the dog off the leash
2) No going to dog runs or places where a lot of dogs congregate

What irresponsible shelter doesn't tell its volunteers the same thing?

It kind of sounds like that dog should be put down

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The headline says that the small dog was killed and then the "update" at the end of the piece says it's unclear whether the dog survived. Can we get an update on the update? I'd also like to know if the pit bull was euthanized.

On a side note, it looks like both of those emails were sent by the same person...not that it matters.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my small dog was bit by a pit from a shelter - fortunately nothing fatal. i now keep a distance from these dogs as this seems to happen too often.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there. It was NOT a pitbull. So those of you "more evidence that pitbulls are bad" should feel free to retract your insensitive and uninformed comments.

There is a much more informed and reasonable discussion of the events on brooklynian.com.

The dauschund apparently survived. The offending foster/rescue dog was taken by the police.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Wow, ignorance abounds. Maybe people should do some research before making sweeping generalizations. First off, "looked like a pitbull" is not much of a description. Take a look at this link to see how pitbulls are consistently misrepresented in the media.


And how many people can actually correctly identify a pitbull? Try it yourself.



Second, no other breeds bite or attack? Yeah sure, take a look at this link.


Anyone who thinks all pitbulls are vicious or that they should be outlawed needs to wake up. Stop being sheep and believing everything that mainstream media feeds you. There are good owners and bad owners, we should be focusing on the bad ones that do disgusting things like this.


Rarely do we hear about these pitbulls but more people should.




10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't really blame the dogs but any person who lets their dog/s off their leashes should be held accountable.

Owners are so besotted with their pets that they forget they are animals with teeth. I don't care how big or small, they belong on leashes and if you can't control them, you should not have them.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an awful story. I take my dog do the park reguarly. She is a German Shepherd and often other owner's assume that she is mean or unfriendly, which is far from the case. She run's around with a kong in her mouth and doesn't drop it, so any biting that she does is on her toy, which she uses to bait other dogs to play. This is a suggestion for owners with large or snappy dogs. It works like a charm.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to know which rescue agency this dog handler was from. I say this because I had a terrible incident in Prospect Park involving my dog, a rescue pitbull and useless handler from the local recue agency that tries to get people to adopt dogs on 7th avenue in Park slope.

I was in Prospect Park last Spring with on a weekend morning during offleash hours with my chocolate lab. He is a nurtered non aggresive male, and this pitbull kept trying to fight him. He had the bright orange shelter jacket on an the handler was no where to be found. My dog was trying to get away but this pitbull kept coming up to him, snapping, snarling and body checking my dog. I was totally freaked out and kept calling for the owner to take the dog. No one seemed to know who was looking after the dog. Finally after me screaming for the owner and my friends joining in, the woman was able to extract herself from her cigarette and conversation with some other folks and attempt to try and control her charge.
I was so furious about this incident but relieved that my dog wasn't hurt. What infuriated me most was the fact that this woman would be so irresponsible as to not be minding her dog. Every dog needs to be supervised while in public space, even when off leash. It is these folks that give offleash a bad name.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and i am sick of hearing about how pit bulls are great dogs. that's a load of crap - some are great, but there is a compararatively very high incidence of lethal to extraordinarily violent pit bull attacks when considered against the incidence of attacks by other dogs. do you really think that a black lab is going to tear apart a dachshund? or a baby? not bloody likely.

i would be happy to see the state outlaw pit bulls.

just disgusting... so disgusting..."

I think you are seriously misinformed. ANY dog that is trained to fight, attack or kill will do just that. You don't think a black lab or golden retriever can't be trained to attack? Ha. That's hilarious. the reason you hear about these "vicious" attacks by pitbulls all the time because that's what the newspapers want you to read. They want to pump you with fear. They'll also have you believe that all muslim are terrorists and all african-american's are criminals.

Don't be so ignorant. I am a proud pitbull owner. The owner should learn about their breed of dog and train it accordingly. This has nothign to do with what kind of dog it was. It's more about the behavior of the owner who let the dog off the leash.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Prospect Off-leash Hours Regular said...

This incident at Dog Beach happened after the official 9pm-9am off-leash hours.

There needs to be ZERO TOLERANCE for anyone with an off-leash dog in any NYC park outside of the official 9pm- park closing and park opening -9am rules. We must have enforcement of the rules, or just like any other rule or law that's not enforced, a percentage of people will ignore it.

We can't let that happen.

I'd like to see better signage at dog beach clearly reminding people that after 9am, owners MUST have their dogs leashed. I'd also like to see park rangers on a regular basis ticketing any violators.

I greatly value the off-leash hours policy in many NYC Parks, and I use the park almost daily to socialize and exercise myself and my dog with many other park users who are also dog owners. Hundreds of people are in Prospect Park early every morning (sometimes thousands on the weekend) to take advantage of the official off-leash hours.

Because responsible dog owners take the time and have the opportunity to exercise and socialize their dogs, the City has a record low number of dog bites. The Health Department, when they amendended the Leash Law last year, acknowledged the public health benefits of the 9-9 off-leash policy.

A reminder to readers that this privledge was almost taken away last year by a State Supreme Court case. Responsible dog owners fought very hard to protect the 20-year policy.

All that hard work to protect such a valuable policy should not be undermined by a small percentage of dog owners who through ignorance or willful disregard for the rules, ignore the law.

Better signage at Dog Beach, and enforcement of the existing rules would have prevented this incident.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a pitbull mix who has been involved in a pretty bad scuffle at a dog run. She absolutely loves people and most dogs, but bottom line is she is unpredictable. As an owner who absolutely loves her, I need to take the proper precautions to ensure her and other dogs safety. That means she is leashed at Prospect Park during on-leash hours, and if she is permitted to romp in the off-leash area, she is muzzled. That's just the way it has to be. It is infuriating how many people keep their dogs off-leash in areas and during the times when they are not supposed to. And how many times I've been yelled out and snapped at when I ask people to leash their dogs. Was the dachsund leashed too?

It is not these dogs' faults. They have instincts and past complications that we may not understand, but we as their owners must manage them... from the most docile to the most aggressive. Please people, for everyone's safety, keep your dogs leashed in the park.

That said, the most aggressive dog I've ever seen was a Jack Russell that was ready to pounce and destroy any person or dog that he didn't like, and the most docile and sweet was a huge pit bull who I witnessed have its ear clamped down on by another dog and do nothing. Pits are wonderful dogs for responsible and intelligent owners.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the owner of this blog: Your headline is incorrect. The dog that was the victim of this attack has thankfully not died. Thanks to some very fast response, the dog is stable and should recover. Kindly correct the incorrect headline.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and i am sick of hearing about how pit bulls are great dogs. that's a load of crap - some are great, but there is a compararatively very high incidence of lethal to extraordinarily violent pit bull attacks when considered against the incidence of attacks by other dogs. do you really think that a black lab is going to tear apart a dachshund? or a baby? not bloody likely."

No, but I do think that a black lab will attack a person so badly that they need a face transplant.

"She was mauled by a pet Labrador in May, leaving her with severe facial injuries that her doctors said made it difficult for her to speak and eat.

The Labrador was put down, but neighbors said the woman was an animal lover and bought a smaller dog after the attack."

As far as breed-specific legislation, that is a very short sighted and ignorant answer to the problem. The dogs are not at fault, the owners/caretakers are. My 4 year old female Amstaff was attacked by 2 Pomeranians 2 months ago, as both small dogs were off leash on a public sidewalk. She bit one of them, but as my dog was on leash, I controlled her and removed the small dogs from conflict with my foot.
Does this mean we should ban Pomeranians? I don't think so.
And, as anyone who knows and respects dogs, the misidentification of Pits and other medium size terriers is more than prevalent. They NYPD apparently corraled a Pit bull in the courtyard of some public houses in Harlem, when in fact, it was a good sized Rottweiler.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I don't understand why people can't keep their dogs on Leash. What's the big deal? I have a beagle and at least once a week when I am walking my dog in a park (on leash) some large dog comes racing up off leash and I have to keep them separated til the other owner arrives. What are dog runs for?

I have a friend who lives in Brooklyn with a small dog that was just attacked by a pit bull. The dog lived but had to go to the vet and get its cracked skull repaired.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if you grab the dog's front paws and in between the fingers really hard, that will stun them for a moment. That action or pulling the paw may distract long enough for the dog to release.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that you've corrected the story in a later post, are you still going to keep the incorrect headline that a dog was killed?

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My neighbor was walking her Pit Bull on a leash. Obviously unable to handle it, it broke free from her and attacked my dog and almost killed it. Had it been my child on the street it would be on the 6 O'clock news. This breed should be wiped out. These dogs may not be raised in a manner that would teach them to attack people or other animals but they are darn crazy and snap.. and just kill to kill.. Down with the Pits!

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: It's the owner not the dog. B...S...! Even if one considers all dogs to be equal regarding a proclivity to violence, once it becomes violent a pitbull is far and away the most dangerous dog. It's almost impossible to to release it's jaws involuntarily, and if you're fortunate enough to do this, it will find another target to attack. Other dogs are less inherently dangerous, and more easily calmed.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

15 minutes!?!?!?! This attack when on for 15 minutes!?!?! Every adult that was there that day should be ashamed that no one stopped that attack or called for help, via cell phone. Most of all, that dog handler should be kicked by the owner of the little dog. She is an idiot for taking that large dog off its leash. She should be sued for neglegents and for emotional distress with all of those woman and children around to witness that. You can't blame the dog, or the bread, you have to blame the idiot who was handling it. Next time someone witnesses something like that, kick the big dog in the ribbs with everything you got, if you have no other means of stopping it. Having a big dog off its leash in these parks should be a fine!

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dog was wonderful with people and kids but terribly dog aggressive. This is pretty easy to figure out and I can't believe a shelter owner would not have tested for this. I turned my dog in to the have it euthanized and one of the vet techs there agreed to keep the dog under close supervision and never let it near another dog. That is the only solution. This aggression is not on any level at any time acceptable behavior. Some idiots, including many obedience trainers not trained in animal aggression think this behavior can be treated with positive reinforcement and conditioning. I have learned through bitter experience it can only be modified in certain situations and with certain types of aggression. Most often it can be controlled by a very skillful owner, but it can never EVER be reversed completely. Dog aggression can only be modified if the behavior is based in fear versus predation or dominance and only a very smart, skillful owner can determine which is which. Most owners are frankly not involved or knowledgeable enough to identify the type of aggression they're seeing and hence be able to effectively address this problem. The dog that is aggressive must be put down, period. Tons of great non violent dogs are out there waiting for homes. Put your killer dog down and adopt a peaceful one today. I re-homed my violent dog with a person who never had in her lifestyle contact with other dogs and knew how to handle an aggressive dogs. But if she had not stepped up I would have euthanized my dog for the sake of other dogs on the planet. I don't want my dog attacking or traumatizing another dog or a child or anyone else. It i's easy to test for dog aggression and if this shelter person had done her homework she would have learned that simply putting dog aggressive dogs near other dogs in a dog park simply makes the problem worse. It's completely irresponsible. Best idea: euthanasia and get yourself a peaceful dog that is about to be put down for no reason than they don't have space at the shelter to keep it or its owner was too lazy to take care of it or was moving.

3:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to respond to this. I live in CA and we have off leash beaches and parks. My dog was attacked by a golden retriever (probably the last dog I thought would attack). Thank god for the people on the beach that helped in saving his life and prying the mouth and lifting my dog off the canines. I cannot tell you how I am still traumatized form the event.
There are not really bad dogs but bad owners. Any breed of dog that is not socialized and thinks a small dog looks like prey can have a similar occurance. There needs to be stricter laws on injury to pets and fines to irresponsible owners.

3:27 AM  

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