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Our poor, sweet Gabe got attacked by a dog across the street as we were finishing up our walk yesterday afternoon. The dog ran across the neighbor's front yard, and before I knew it this pit bull was latched onto his hind leg. We finally came home after 5 hours at the ER with him last night. He's in a lot of pain, but ate and drank okay this morning. We haven't quite figured out how to get him to pee.

 

Overall, a few things to be grateful for. The biggest is probably that this happened now and not a few months ago, so at least he is comfortable with us and we were able to do a lot of the handling at the vet's. She kept saying "We don't normally let owners see this part", but I'm glad they let us be there with him through most of the poking and prodding, and waking up. I think it would have been worse had he been with strangers through that.

 

Grateful it was his leg the dog latched onto and not something more vulnerable.

 

Now starts a long healing process, and I can't even imagine the psychological healing we'll need to work on. Send some good healing vibes to our Gabey boy.

 

 

 

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About the sling-walking, just remember to position whatever you use as the sling far enough forward that he doesn't pee on it - the alternative is to use something easily washed.

 

I'm glad you have been pro-active, able to be with him at the vets, and his bills will be covered.

 

I hope the rescue/foster will realize that this is not a dog that should be "saved" when there are so many non-aggressive dogs of all breeds that will be put to sleep for lack of a rescue/foster placement. This dog is a risk to all concerned and with a bite history (thank you for reporting it), he really is not adoptable without the real threat of a lawsuit should he hurt another animal or a person in the future.

 

Very best wishes for good healing, physically and mentally.

 

PS - Liz P here had a dog that was severely traumatized by a pit bull attack. I hope she chimes in with her experiences because I am sure she has a lot to offer in the way of advice for you. I can't remember if her user name is Liz P or Dangerous Dreams.

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I hope the rescue/foster will realize that this is not a dog that should be "saved" when there are so many non-aggressive dogs of all breeds that will be put to sleep for lack of a rescue/foster placement. This dog is a risk to all concerned and with a bite history (thank you for reporting it), he really is not adoptable without the real threat of a lawsuit should he hurt another animal or a person in the future.

 

V

 

I agree. I don't quite get the mania in some quarters to "save the pit bull" as if they were an endangered species. If they put half the energy into getting people to quit breeding a dog that needs a more-savvy-than usual dog owner, that they do into trying to "rehabilitate" dogs with dog aggression issues, the breed (and the public) would be better served.

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My next door neighbor has a pit that is very sweet but she is really hard to control. And she is so strong that they.

have trouble just with ordinary training.

I don't see the appeal.

 

I guess I'm just so spoiled after having bc'S for so long. Why have a dog that is so hard to train?

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In my experience, with pits around here, some have some DA issues but most are very, very trainable, handler focused, easily motivated and biddable. And most of the DA stuff is pretty minor - less than I see in my own BC. Easily controlled and handled with minimal work on the handler's part to provide some distance and separation.


Basically, I like pits save the 'in your face' physicality of their affection. I see no reason to try and save a dog who's done that level of damage to another one, though. It's dangerous for everyone and a liability waiting to happen. Particularly sad when there are undoubtedly other dogs waiting who are much more easily adaptable and without those risks.

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So sorry to hear this! Very scary for you and Gabe. If I were in your position, a big part of the recovery would be MY trying to get over MY trauma and fear of something scary jumping out from around every corner!

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Thanks for all the good vibes everyone! He's bearing a little weight on that leg tonight (thank god), and seems to generally have a little more pep in his step.

 

We fashioned a towel sling for last night, but he wasn't a huge fan of it, and is getting along okay on 3 legs, and luckily we don't have a ton of stairs, so we're making do, and haven't peed on anything yet.

 

I think tomorrow's plan is going to be touching base with our trainer on how to best go about introducing walks again. We were already working on some fear/reactivity issues, so I'm hoping it'll be pretty consistent with what we were doing, but like the advanced course.

 

I hope the foster realizes her energy would be better spent on a different dog. I guess that the dog could be the sweetest, most wonderful dog with humans, but it inflicted a ton of damage on my dog, and wasn't really showing much interest in backing off, and evidently did this to the foster's cat too. The dog's a liability. After she told me the shelter wasn't going to cover vet bills, I reached out to the shelter directly. They're obviously covering, and told me the dog would be off my street within the week. A neighbor saw them walking the dog muzzled today. I feel like that's too little, too late.

 

I'm not sure how I'm going to feel safe walking him ever again. I've never been scared of a dog, until I was staring at this dog with my dog's leg in its mouth, and hoping beyond all hope his leg wasn't snapping. Not too mention the experience of being in the emergency vet, and having to answer the "if anything goes wrong during surgery, how much do you want us to try..." questions a mere 5 months after we lost our 5 year old dog to liver failure, and had to make a lot of "what do we do, how far do we go?" questions. It was the worst deja vu all over again.

 

 

I remember seeing something about someone else whose dog had a bad pit bull experience, and I do hope to look back on some of what their journey post-attack looked like.

 

We're pretty lucky that we've been able to put together a schedule of "the dog isn't alone" until next Monday, so plenty of time to heal under some watchful eyes.

 

Thanks again everyone, you're a great community.

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Wow, did the cat survive the encounter? I can't for the life of me imagine why someone would continue to foster a dog that had attacked one of their own pets. And I'd have to wonder how the dog came to be running loose in the first place. Doesn't speak well of the foster home. I'm sure the shelter is desperate for fosters, but a foster that (apparently) lacking in common sense just doesn't sound like someone who needs to be fostering in the first place.

 

And I think I'd ask the shelter how they plan to adopt out a dog with a known dog attack/bite history? Especially given that this isn't the first time (e.g., the cat)? That's a big ol' lawsuit just waiting to happen. IOW, it's not enough to get him off your street--he needs to be off the adoptable dog list all together.

 

J.

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I think the cat survived, since the foster was pretty lax about even mentioning it. I think the dog was on a slip lead outside (we have almost no fenced in yards on our street, so just hanging on leash in the yard) and got out of it. The further removed we get from this incident, the less I trust the foster's judgment, so I'm doing what I can to get the dog off the adoptable list.

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I don't understand why it will take them a week to remove the dog. That dog should be immediately removed. Taken to animal control for the standard quarantine procedure. And then humanely put down. There should be no grey area in a case like this. Unbelievable.

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Yeah, I'm not understanding that either. Also not understanding why the dog is still up on Petfinder two days later.

 

https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32867524

 

I'm feeling really stuck because the procedure for reporting a "dangerous dog" in Philly is to contact your local Community Relations Officer through the PD for an "owned dog" and they can serve the owners of the dog, and there's a court proceeding, and maybe the owners will be charged. They say over and over "we can't seize a dog".


This dog is currently "owned" by Animal Control, so they CAN seize the dog, since it's theirs, and they're just not. We live like 20 minutes from the shelter. Transport shouldn't be an issue. Apparently they've been walking the dog muzzled since then. Muzzle the dog and I'll drive it to the shelter if need be.

 

This dog is not adoptable, and is a liability to be out in the community.

 

Like my border collie, I can get pretty "stuck" on something and will keep at it until I'm satisfied the job is done. For Gabe, it's chasing a toy over and over and over. For me, it's contacting Animal Control multiple times a day until I'm satisfied that dog will never do this again.

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I don't understand why it will take them a week to remove the dog.

 

There could be a couple of reasons.

 

They may still be planning on keeping her in rescue and working to rehabilitate her, necessitating making arrangements for another foster home to take her. That can take some time to arrange, maybe requiring a transport.

 

Or it may be that their board has to confer to make a decision about what to do with her. I know the rescue I volunteer with would do it this way. The board would discuss the situation and decide whether the dog will be moved to another foster home or whether she should be euthanized. It's not a one person decision. Since they're located in different states they'd be conferencing by e-mail and that could take a few days until they'd all hashed it out and come to a consensus. They've made some extremely tough decisions in similar circumstances and they don't take it lightly. Nor is it an easy decision for them to make to euthanize a dog, so when it does happen (thankfully, exceedingly rarely) they're careful to consider all their options.

 

I agree that the dog's a huge liability at this point, and unless they have a very savvy behaviorist at their disposal, they may have a difficult choice to make. I hope people are patient with them and allow them the time to work through the process. . . . and that they make the right choice, of course, whatever it may be.

 

ETA: I do agree that she should be taken off Petfinder and otherwise removed from any adoptable dog lists while they figure out what they're going to do.

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Pit bull or poodle, the dog is a liability. I don't like to hear folks clinging to "pit bull" like it's a crime in itself. The OP didn't say it like that, so I'm just mentioning it because I see it heading in that the direction. I have had 30 foster dogs over the years. The pitties were the best ones by far. So sweet and loving. I was able to teach them all their limits around cats and people. That said, this dog is a huge liability. I would definitely euth with a history like that. Like others said, there are too many nice dogs lingering in shelters to use precious resources on this one. A big part of the problem is putting a dog like that with clearly clueless fosters. I kept a boxer/lab mix for 6 years because I didn't trust him with non dog saavy people. Unfortunately he got more aggressive as he got older. He never bit anyone, but I always had a muzzle on him when he was outside anyway. When he lunged and tried to snap through his muzzle at my contractor's assistant (whom did all the right things), I said that's enough.

An ounce of prevention...

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...clearly clueless fosters.

 

I'd just like to add that none of us (except possibly the OP maybe -- and maybe not really) know how good or incompetent this foster home is.

 

While I agree that a slip lead may not have been a wise choice (on any foster), unfortunate things can happen to anyone. One of our best and most experienced foster homes had a tragic accident where a dog managed to get out of her yard, hit by a car and killed. This was not a careless or inexperienced person by any means.

 

The fact of the matter is that bad shit can happen . . . to anyone. So I'm just not going to be so quick to assume that this particular person is "clearly useless" on the basis of what I've read thus far.

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Sorry, but in the case of a dog - any kind of dog - that has a history of two attacks, animal or human, an ounce of prevention equals an ounce of euthanol. There are way too many dogs with no such history dying in shelters every day.

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