Wauconda, IL “Pit Bull” Kills Shih Tzu. Result? Two Dog Victims

By Editor
In Animal Rights Groups
Jul 26th, 2013
2 Comments
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July 31, 2013 update: Sadly, word came today that “Chuck,” the dog being called a “pit bull,” will be killed following a 10-day rabies quarantine.  Again, what a pity.  “Chuck” in the hands of a responsible owner could have had a long and happy life, and so could the Shih Tzu, Shibui.  Incidentally, this article about Chuck being put down mentions that he is a 70-pound “pit bull.”  If by “pit bull” they mean American Pit Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier, well, they get to be no more than about 60-65 pounds.  It sounds like Chuck is not a “pit bull,” but then since the definition of “pit bull” is constantly changing, it’s anyone’s guess what a “pit bull” is. 

Today we have a perfect example of the difference between dangerous dog laws, which kill dogs just like breed-specific legislation (BSL) does, and dangerous dog owner laws, which hold the owner of a dog responsible when his dog, due to lack of training and socialization, hurts someone or their domestic animal.  

On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, a Shih Tzu was attacked and killed in a Wauconda, Illinois park by what is being called a “pit bull,” though no confirmation yet on what breed the dog actually was.  The “pit bull” was unescorted, with no leash, collar, or tags.  For the owner’s negligence, he was charged with one count of dog at large and one count of disorderly conduct.  For his owner’s negligence in failing to train him, socialize him, and keep him contained or on a leash with collar and tags, the “pit bull” in question, “Chuck,” may pay with his life.  

Does this sound fair to you?  For instance, if Cesar Millan, a.k.a. “the Dog Whisperer,” came and did a segment on Chuck, Millan would most likely have Chuck trained, socialized, and walking happily on a leash by his side within a fairly short period of time.  Many of us could probably have Chuck trained and socialized within a short period of time, because long before there was a “Dog Whisperer,” folks took the time to learn how to train their dogs and did so properly. 

Sadly, because Chuck was unlucky enough to have an irresponsible owner, Chuck will either spend the rest of his life muzzled and/or kept indoors, or be “euthanized.” (However I take issue with the word “euthanize” in this context, because killing a dog when it is his owner who is responsible, or irresponsible, is not a “mercy kill.”)  There are no other options for Chuck.  

And here let me be clear that I do not intend to minimize the loss of a pet, the Shih Tzu named Shibui Fong.  I’m simply saying, owners are responsible for their dogs’ behavior and the onus should be put squarely on them with escalating fines and penalties.  The “pit bull,” however, should he pass his temperament (or disposition) test, should be allowed to find another owner who will train and socialize him properly.  

Used to be pets could be animal-aggressive and their owners either trained them out of that behavior, or simply kept them secured.  With today’s dangerous dog laws, that behavior is now apparently worthy of a death sentence.  But should this be?   

I have long argued that dangerous dog laws can be just as deadly as breed-specific legislation (BSL) and the incident with Chuck illustrates why: because dangerous or vicious dog laws still focus on the dog instead of the owner who is responsible for his dog’s behavior.  

But why?  Why are our dog laws still looking at the wrong end of the leash, whether it’s breed-specific laws or dangerous dog laws?  Because, it is the same radical animal rights groups who want to end all domestic pet ownership who have taken the breed-specific legislation they’ve been passing around for decades, removed the breed listings, and just added language that defines a ‘vicious’ or ‘dangerous’ dog as one that attacks domesticated pets.  Make no mistake, though.  Whether through BSL or dangerous dog laws (DDLs) the agenda is still to end domestic animal ownership as we know it. 

Don’t believe me?  Then why are the comments sections underneath the articles here, and here, about the Chuck incident already loaded up with “kill all ‘pit bulls'” comments from what looks like Dogsbite.org disciples and disinformers?  Dogsbite.org who appears to be a funded arm of the radical animal rights groups who want to end domestic pet ownership by killing your pets (and making it impossible for you to ever eat another hamburger again in your life). 

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: If these doggy killers’ campaign to end domestic animal ownership is so righteous and so just and so moral as they keep propagandizing that it is, then why must they resort to these shadowy, stealth tactics of passing legislation — like BSL and dangerous or vicious dog laws — that, on its face looks humane or like it might keep communities safer, but in the end just results in a lot of innocent dead dogs and a community with merely a false sense of security?  Indeed, there were two victims in that park in Wauconda on Tuesday: The Shih Tzu who was needlessly killed, and the “pit bull,” who has fallen prey to a bad dangerous dog law thanks to an owner who did not train, socialize, or contain him; a misfortune that could befall any breed of dog.

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2 Responses to “Wauconda, IL “Pit Bull” Kills Shih Tzu. Result? Two Dog Victims”

  1. Lisa Didier says:

    The beast from hell known as Chuck had already attacked other dogs in the same park and also bit 2 humans. A year before he tore my little, brave Shih Tzu apart, his owners had received a citation from Lake County Dog Warden and a face-to face re vicious attack on female doberman being walked on a leash in Cook Park. These ignorant owners, the Bender brother and sister, disregarded the citation that the dog be muzzled, collared and strongly leashed when not on the property resulting in the death of my beloved pet of 10 years. This brave little 20 pound dog stepped into the line of attack as the pit bull was charging at the professional dog minder who was walking my dog.
    That vicious animal will be put down as it should have been 5 years ago when it 1st attacked withut provocation!!!

  2. Ms. Didier-

    My sincerest apologies at the loss of Shibui Fong. As I said, I do not intend to minimize the loss of your pet at all. In fact, in pointing out how dangerous dog laws can be as ineffective as breed-specific legislation — since they still put the onus on the dog instead of the irresponsible owner — I was trying to argue for laws that make owners responsible for their pets, not just slap them on the wrist with a ticket.

    You are absolutely justified in being angry with the owner. He let his untrained, unsocialized dog free-roam and cause all kinds of trouble, a negligence that could cause a free-roaming dog of any breed to become a problem. For instance, I have prior written about similar circumstances in my neighborhood, only the roles were reversed. I was walking my well-behaved and socialized American Staffordshire Terrier in my neighborhood and from out of nowhere, two Scottish Terriers tore out from behind their owner’s house and flew at my dog. Seeing these Scotties’ aggressive and rapid approach, I reached down and put my hand on my dog’s flank and calmly told her “no” and to “heel” which she did. We stood there and let the Scotties approach us, all the while I kept talking to my dog. Once the dogs reached my dog, they simply stopped. They didn’t know what to do because my dog wasn’t aggressing and we weren’t running. They were expecting a fight or a flight; they got neither. My dog didn’t engage. And that was the end of it.

    Please don’t misunderstand the point of the story either. I’m not saying your dog’s caretaker/walker did anything wrong. On the contrary, I’m sure s/he did everything to stop what happened. I’m just trying to illustrate how breed has nothing to do with it. A free-roaming dog of any breed, in my case Scottish Terriers, can be a big problem. You may be tempted to say it’s Chuck’s fault because of his “breed,” whatever they’re saying a “pit bull” is this week, but I just illustrated how when the roles are reversed and you have a trained, and socialized dog (from a “breed” they erroneously call “pit bull”), that it’s the training, or lack thereof, that is the issue, not the breed.

    Likewise I have seen Labradors and little Chihuahuas acting like big bullies at dog parks, and yes those dogs do damage when they bite too. It’s a matter of, as Cesar Millan has pointed out, training, socialization, proper exercise, and affection for any breed.

    Volunteering at shelters I’ve seen dogs of different breeds who had been abused by their former owners and were vicious as a result. It wasn’t their fault that their former owners had horribly abused them, but they were probably eventually put down anyway. Some could get over the abuse and go on to be fostered and adopted; some couldn’t. So it was about the individual dog, not the breed, and it was definitely the owners’ faults, not the dogs’. So, again, it’s not the breed, which is why Animal Control temperament tests, or should, before they put a dog down or put him up for adoption.

    And again, I don’t mean to be disrespectful to your experience at all, but as I so often write here, dogs don’t attack unprovoked. I’m not at all saying Shibui Fong provoked Chuck or that Shibui Fong deserved what happened. I’m saying that in the absence of proper training and socialization and because he was allowed to free-roam, that Chuck would’ve started thinking that park was his territory. Again, territorialism in an untrained, unsocialized free-roaming dog of any breed is not uncommon. That’s why free-roaming dogs can be dangerous and that’s one of the reasons Animal Control tells people not to approach an unfamiliar dog and to call Animal Control instead. So Chuck’s provocation was another dog being in what he incorrectly thought was his territory since, in the absence of his owner telling him otherwise, he would’ve done what free-roaming dogs do: Become his own pack leader and define “his” territory.

    Don’t you see then how, in addition to really irresponsible owners, not having a law that is strong enough to deter irresponsible dog ownership is really a big problem? It’s not uncommon for Animal Control to keep having to give citations to irresponsible dog owners before a dog of any breed escalates in his behavior. The longer a dog of any breed is allowed to free-roam, the more he will revert back to his pack instincts, define a territory, and start defending it. If Chuck was a problem for all this time, you’d have to think there could have been Animal Control or law enforcement intervention before now. With a law with escalating fines and penalties, repeat offenders (meaning irresponsible dog owners) are much less likely. And again, I’m not talking a slap on the wrist. I’m talking hefty fines, etc.

    In closing, please allow me to say again how very sorry I am for your loss. The point of my post was not to upset you, but to point out the problem with dangerous and vicious dog laws defining a dog as potentially dangerous or vicious when they go after animals. An untrained, unsocialized dog isn’t going to necessarily understand the difference between a wild rabbit or squirrel and domesticated pets, especially if he has become territorial. So defining a dog of any breed as “dangerous” or “vicious” because his owner didn’t train or socialize him, can lead to dogs being unnecessarily killed just like breed-specific legislation can.

    You and others are already calling for “Chuck” to be killed, but perhaps you could wait for that call until after the temperament or disposition test. If Chuck passes his disposition test, will you still want him killed, or will you be able to look at the other end of the leash that should have been there but wasn’t and blame the absent owner? Even if Chuck doesn’t pass his disposition test, it’s still the owner’s fault, but Chuck will be the one to pay for his owner’s negligence with his life. In more responsible hands, Chuck could’ve been a perfectly pleasing family pet and your dog would still be alive. That’s why the onus must always be on the owner.

    And here’s another scary thought: If Chuck is killed, then what’s to keep this irresponsible owner from getting another dog and doing the same thing all over again?

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