May 27, 2011 at 7:16 am #14780Oliver CastonguayParticipant
My name is Lois Castonguay. My family and I live in Radford Virginia.
My name is Lois Castonguay. My family and I live in Radford Virginia.
This is a long story, so I will try to abbreviate what I can. My family and I have three rescue dogs, including a pit bull mix. We own a home in a nice neighborhood in Radford. A little over a month ago, the pit mix went to the door with my 85 year old mother in law and bit a Jehovah Witness who was on our front stop. The dog “nipped” at her three times, barely drawing blood. Two days later, animal control came to see us. She stood on our front step in front of the window where the dogs were barking. When my daughter came out, the dogs ran out. I screamed provoking the mix (Oliver) to jump at the animal control person and again nip her. Did not draw blood. She took him away. We hired a lawyer. We were served with dangerous dog papers. We have had him for two years and he has never done this. Everyone who knows him knows that he is a sweet, loving, gentle dog. He bit out of fear and protection.
In preparation for his return, we built a 300 foot, $3000 fence in our back yard (the dogs had been using an invisible fence which this dog had NEVER crossed and we hired Dr. Jackson Savage who is an animal behaviorist.
Yesterday was the court date. We thought the worst thing that could happen would be that he would be deemed “dangerous”. The Commonwealth Attorney spinned the pitbull thing over and over and the judge deemed him viscous and ordered that he be put down. The lawyer is appealing. We are so very distraught as this dog is truly a member of our family. In the meantime, Oliver has been in a 4 x 6 cell with no human contact for 31 days. Can you offer any help or advice? We are good, law abiding people. This is NOT a viscous dog!
Thank you,May 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm #17274
I’m very sorry you and your family are going through this! if this had been any other breed i doubt this would be an issue. I unfortunately dont have any advise i wish i did. My thoughts are with you and i hope that this turns around for the better. This feels a lot like racial predjudice, it would be unacceptable if the prosecutor said put the black man away for doing somethinng a white man did that got off scott free, yet it is okay for them to do it to pits. also if the pit really wanted to do damage it would have seriously hurt the jw but didnt. this is such a shame i truely hate it for you!!! are there similar cases of other breeds inflicting the same injuries but not getting put down? maybe that is an angle to try, show the court the predjudice. courts are supposed to be equal across the board if you can show oother cases of similar instances with other breeds not being put down maybe you can show the court is not being equalMay 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm #17275
Sorry to hear about your predicament. Your dog is clearly dangerous. Running out of the house and biting someone is not the normal behavior of a Pit Bull. To add insult to injury, he tries to attack the animal control officer. As much as it pains to see the dog not be given another chance, that any other breed would be afforded, the fact is; this is not any other breed. The next time could have disastrous consequences. We (the entire pit bull community) cannot afford to have such a dog carrying the pit bull name. We don’t need any more bad press. Bad apples have to go. I realize you don’t consider your dog to be a bad apple, but ask the person that was bitten, or the animal control officer. Most animal control officers have dealt with hundreds of pits and know that the vast majority are very loving. So when one demonstrates the kind of aggression your dog has, there is no other choice. Sorry, but true.May 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm #17276
i completely disagree. yes i do think that some dogs have to be put down, what she has described here i dont thinks rises to killing a dog. i think putting a dog down has become a knee jerk reaction in our country. Besides what in the world we dont need the bad press so your dog has to die? really? your dog has to go? Dont listen to such nonsense, fight for your dog!May 31, 2011 at 12:43 am #17277
LOL! What would have to happen before you understand the dog is dangerous? Let’s see; it has already bitten one person, and went after another who would have been bitten had it not been for their professional training and readiness. Sorry, if I am not one who believes you wait until the dog kills someone before deciding enough is enough. This dog is a menace and society needs to be protected from it. Our breed is on the precipice of being banned in every town and even on a state and national level. We cannot afford to allow sentimentality and complacency to overrule sound judgment.May 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm #17281
The poster said the dog nipped at the jehova’s witness 3 times. Nip and bite are 2 different words and mean 2 different things. The other incident she listed the pit ran out with all of her dogs and after her admitted mistake of screaming did the dog get upset and nip again, not bite. This is not going after the animal contol agent as you make it out to be. I was not there i can only take the word of the poster which I believe. Given what she states here I dont think the dog is dangerous. If we are truely to stand up for our beloved breed we have to stand up for them when they act perfectly and when they have the same stupid moments that ever dog of every breed makes. By saying every pit that makes an error must be put down is ridiculous. Granted there are some pits that should be put down and some that are bad dogs. Putting a dog down should be the last resort, not first reaction which is how you make it sound. I agree that our breed has to fight against banning but saying kill every one that isnt exactly one way does not change any minds, it does the opposite. The people who hate pits will say yes here is another example of a vicious pit having to be put down without anyone willing to stand and say no you would not say vicious of any other breed with the same behavior you will not say it of mine. Yes I am sentamental I truely love my dog, what is the point of having a dog if you dont love it? The last point confuses me. you state the dog is a menace but 2 times nipping at people does not a menace make. The only way you would ever be able to call this dog a menace is if you actually have personal knowledge of the dog, given what is listed here the word is completely misused unless as i said you have personal knowledge of this dog. It baffles me that you are okay with putting this dog down after a couple of nips being a pit owner yourself as you purport when this is fine from other breeds. Sorry my pit is a dog and will act like any other dog on the planet and i will always stand up for the dog I love.May 31, 2011 at 10:08 pm #17282
How many times have you seen some mother of some serial killer claim their child wouldn’t harm a fly? Your comment about always standing up for your dog clearly demonstrates that you are misguided. It is human nature for the owner of a dog to minimize what transpired. You must have missed where it was indicated “barely drawing blood”. The poor person was bitten! Then to add insult to injury the dog attempted to bite, attack, show aggression or whatever one might call it the officer. Most animal control officers know the difference between a barking dog and one that is clearly a danger. You may not believe this, but there is a hugh difference between a poodle that bites some one and a pitbull that does the same. This is a dog that is a danger, and if it gets another opportunity is likely to do the same again.June 1, 2011 at 3:13 am #17286
And it is the nature of some one who hates the breed to maximize any story of a pit bull misbehaving to shout kill the dog. No pit bull owner would compare our breed to serial killers. Its obvious who you are but maybe I am being sentimental and misguided. Lois pay no attention to this person.June 1, 2011 at 4:49 am #17290
Lois, I am the only person speaking here that has a voice of reason. The other person is clearly delusional, living in some fantasy world. In the real world, our beloved breed is about to be eliminated by force because of a few bad dogs. Tens of thousands of very innocent Pits have been and are being euthanized because of a handful of bad dogs. Now talk to the owners of these dogs that have tore children to pieces and they all spew the same tired story; “the dog just snapped, I don’t know what got him to him, he’s never done anything like this before…” The real facts are generally much, much different than what the owner will admit to. Your dog is a dangerous dog, and it appears the court system agrees. So far you have been lucky, the JW had the angels on her side and the animal control officer had professional training that saved him; next time you may not be so lucky. How far does a dog have to go before the danger is realized? I recognize that it is not an easy decision to make and feel for you. I pray that you have strength.June 1, 2011 at 4:53 am #17291
Just noted the article in the upper right corner entitled: 8 Ways to be a Responsible Pit Bull Owner
8. Be Prepared to do the Right Thing
Sometimes, no matter what you do or what type of breed you have, you end up with an unstable dog. Part of being a responsible pitbull owner is knowing when your dog is no longer fit to be around others.
Many adolescent dogs become aggressive for no good reason, and you need to watch for signs that perhaps your dog is one of them. If you have any concerns about your dog you need to take steps to ensure that it cannot hurt anyone. This may mean a muzzle, professional behavioral training, or in severe cases euthanasia. This may be a difficult decision, but it is one all owners of potentially aggressive dogs need to be prepared to make.June 2, 2011 at 1:15 am #17294RedlegParticipant
I think a large portion of the issue here is a lack of control by the owner. To have your dog get out of the house once is a mistake. To have it “Nip” someone, which in my opinion drawing blood is stretching the term “Nip” a bit is another. But for them to get out again when it is the animal control officer at your door is worse yet. If this was the child’s fault that the door was opened then that is still the adults fault, as we are responsible for the actions of our children and our pets. As much as I agree, if it had been most other breeds, it would not have been a huge issue. I guess it also depends on the definition of a nip.June 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm #17299
Sadly, though it breaks my heart, I think I have to agree here.
“Just a nip” may not be just a nip to someone that is not experienced with Pits, especially when it draws blood. That’s not “just a nip”, it’s a bite. Maybe not a serious bite but a still a bite. Many people only know what the media tells them about Pits.
Perhaps the ACO and court will allow you to try a muzzle or get a trainer to help you before recommending the dog be put down.
Thankfully it appears that no one was seriously injured though injured nonetheless. We all need to be mindful that WE are ultimately responsible for what our dogs do.
Good luck and please keep us posted.June 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm #17300
Agreed.June 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm #17301
How i define nip is the mouth is barely open, teeth are just where they arent touching. my definition of a bite is open mouth. I feel they are 2 different things with 2 different intents. The way you view a slap verses a punch. Drawing blood in this instance should be equivelant to how Layla “draws blood” when her nails which are clipped and filed, scratch me when i come home from work and she is excited to see me so she jumps, (we start obedience class sunday). is there blood? yes. does it drip, pour, gush, or otherwise leave the exact spot of the mark of her nail? no. Paper cuts are worse lol! When blood is drawn from a nip, this is what i think of. yes there is blood but it is superficial. The blood should have no movement. If the blood pours or drips then it wasnt a nip. In anycase the poster is already taking steps by spending 3k on a fence to avoid this. We should always look at every option before putting a dog down. Death is final and should be the last resort not first. We dont get the death penalty for a speeding ticket.June 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm #17302
But what if the person “nipped” has no experience with a Pit Bull and their only knowledge comes from our friends in the media? What if they or a loved one has been attacked by a dog of any breed and they are truly terrifed by what happened?
The lesson here is to keep the dog under control. The fact that the dog also got out and went after an ACO is just the icing on the cake.
I’m not saying this is a bad person but they definately should have had better control of their animal on TWO seperate ocassions.
Sorry but it is what it is. Hopefully they can work something out with the courts where the dog doesn’t need to be put down. In the meantime, it’s a lesson for the rest of us.
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