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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cops and Dogs 1

Now I don't want it to seem like I have a poor opinion of our local cities Police Officers (PD), CHP, and County Sheriff Deputies (SSD). I don't. I worked for the Sheriff's Department before coming to Animal Control and know many city and county officers. One of my best friend's husband is a K9 Officer for one city. They really are good people for the most part.

Except it seems when it comes to pit bulls or dogs that look like pit bulls.

I'm sure some of it has to do with the bad press that pits get. And some of it has to do with the asshats they have to deal with owning "badass" pit bulls.

They seem to have some over driving paranoia that ALL pit bulls are going to eat their face.

And you know what they want to do with that? Pepper Spray it. Tazer it. OR Shoot it.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times we, ACOs have literally saved dogs from being shot by cops. and I'll tell dog owners, they were lucky we (Animal control) showed up or your dog would be dead.

Now I may be getting ahead of myself. And I don't want to really give the impression that cops are shoot first ask questions later when it comes to ALL pit bulls.

And Not ALL cops react this way. I even know a few that have transported pits in their cars.

But the pits who are out running around acting like knuckle heads.

These are the ones that have cops up in arms. Literally. Most recently especially.

A couple weeks ago, we had a couple of pit bulls that were running loose and bit a man near a high school. Cops arrived first then 460 arrived. She put a call into me since my beat is closest to hers and the Swing officer 455 who had just started working other calls in her area.

When I arrived there were cops everywhere around the high school and junior high. You would have thought there was a bank robber on the loose. I get a radio call from 460 that she had one of the dogs but the other was last seen running down a major street. Cops were pursuing that one. I turned down that street and saw 2 SSDs running down the side of the street and a squad car lights going also turn onto the street. Waaaaaaay up ahead I saw this black blur blasting through traffic. I pulled over long enough for one of the SDDs to jump into my truck with his shotgun and we were in pursuit. He's leaning out my window with his shotgun.

We chased the dog off that street onto a side street next to the schools and down towards the residential neighborhood. The dog ran straight to the first house of the neighborhood. Several, four or five, cop cars were suddenly there. Cops jumping out of their cars as the dog was trying to jump the low fence into the front yard of this house. Cops with their guns drawn where yelling at the young woman, who was nonchalantly standing on the front step smoking a cigarette, to get into her house. Instead, she walks over the the gate and lets the dog into the yard. A couple young men came out of the house. Turns out this is where the dogs live.
My thought at this was "HELLO??? COPS WITH GUNS ASSHATS!!" But I was kind of hanging back, since the cops seem to be taking things under thier control.

So during all of this the owner was at home hanging out. This house looks directly at the schools. The bite attack happened just down the street in front of the high school. So for a undetermined length of time these dogs were not home, running loose, bit someone, had cops arrive, animal control arrive, chased all around the school and neighborhoods, then chased back home. And the owners had no idea their dogs were gone.
The black dog, Trey and the white dog, Hitler. Were both impounded by us. The cops ran everyone in the house for warrants and probation checks.

I told the owner, when he asked me if he was going to be able to get his dogs back, that he was lucky that his dogs were alive. That if we hadn't been there the cops would have most definitely shot and killed his dogs. Yes, he could get his dogs back, AFTER a 10 day Quarantine for the bite, paying all the fees (impound, quarantine boarding, rabies vaccinations, licensing and at-large fine) AND a fence inspection. Then his dogs can come home. And if the bite victim filed a Vicious/Dangerous Dog Affidavit they couldn't be released until after the Court hearing if they are released at all. (As far as I know the Victim didn't file one, even though he was encouraged to do so). This was 460's call so I just helped her out with taking down information for the reports while she impounded the second dog.

I have many other stories about cops and animals, especially dogs and namely pit bulls. But I'll have to share those later.

Long story short. Have a knucklehead pit bull in my county? Better make sure it's secure in your yard. For its safety as well as the public.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eat my Face

I use this term a lot at work. It's nice short graphic description of how a dog has reacted to you.
"He wanted to eat my face".
Seems like how my partner 460 and I can sum up this week.
Now let me start off with this little disclaimer:
I do not have an prejudice against Pit bulls, I have met and been around MANY great pit bulls and other bully breeds. It is unfortunately due to their HIGH population that in the Animal Control Field, we deal with many of the Not-So-Nice ones.
Now with that said, on with this week.
Sunday we get a call for a Police Assist. Three to Four aggressive Pit bulls in a grocery story parking lot.
I got there first. Cop 1 has his shotgun ready. The Cop 2 is on the other side of the Vacant store's back lot that is fenced in. There are indeed Three pit mixes in this enclosed area. No they didn't belong there. I actually knew where they did belong. We had dealt with them before, a few times. Cop 1 and 2 have not entered the fenced in area. So grabbing my catch pole I open up a panel in the rent-a-fence and enter with Cop 1 right behind me. My partner 460 is on her way to give me a hand, I can usually handle 2 aggressive dogs but three is very tricky if your on your own.
Not to mention the cops always seem ready to shoot pit bulls. So even if the dogs are knuckleheads, we are actually saving them from being shot on many occasions.
So Cop 1 tells me he is ready to shot if any of them charge. And he is ready. Shotgun is leveled and ready. I can tell by now that these three dogs are young. In the back of my mind I am wondering where the other two dogs that live with them are, the adult pits.
Growing tired of walking slowly behind Cop 1 and his shotgun with him repeatedly saying he is prepared to shot if we are charged, I finally started walking faster and passed him. Striding with purpose towards the closest dog.
I Said," Well, let's see if we get charged". Leaving Cop 1 standing back there with his shotgun.
Dog of coarse knew I called his bluff and went running to hid in the bushes with his buddies. 460 Showed up around that time and we have all 3 dogs impounded on our trucks within a few minutes. Cop 2 was cheering as we caught and pulled one by one snarling, rolling, pole chewing, gator rolling dogs out of the bushes. Actually it was only the first and second one that wanted to eat our faces. I caught the first one and took him to my truck, 460 caught the second one and took her to her truck and I caught the third. I actually was able to put a leash on him.
Cop 2 caught up with us at out trucks and offered praise and awe at our bravery to go into the bushes to "get so close" and catch the dogs. 460 and I just looked at each other and kind of laughed.
We are getting ready to leave the area, when we get a report of two more pit bulls running loose just a few blocks away from our location. Supposedly they caught and mauled a cat.
We knew it had to be the missing adult dogs.
We patrolled the area, but found nothing. I told 460 that we would get a call on these dogs. No doubt.
And several hours and three more aggressive dogs later. We did.
Red Dog and Daisy, as I later found out their names. Definitely wanted to eat our faces.
They were even working as a team to try to get 460 or myself into a spot where they could bully us down. But we were working the same game. Daisy nearly ripped 460's hand off when she was running passed 460 and 460 snagged her with her catch pole. Daisy ripped the pole out of her hand and ran for the fence. We had the hole blocked. Red Dog tried to go after 460 when she went for her catch pole still on Daisy's neck. I distracted him long enough for 460 to get her catch pole, and Daisy and haul her off to her truck.
Red Dog wasn't going without a fight. We did finally get him cornered and 460 got her loop over his head. He was a big strong dog. He started whipping around and fighting the pole until I got my loop over him. It took both of us to move him to the truck.
Wrestling dogs really does wipe you out.
The next day wasn't much better.
460 called me for assistance with 2 extremely aggressive pit bulls in a lady's backyard. When I got there These two, especially the female were over the top aggressive. They made Red Dog and Daisy seem like, well, puppy dogs. And the worst part was these two could scale 6 foot fences with ease. Like they had springs on their feet.
But they first wanted to eat our faces and I imagine gnaw on out skulls.
They did get tired of trying to eat our faces and *bo-ing* back into their yard. I peeked through the fence and saw teeth....But I was also able to see that there was another dog and a small puppy in the backyard. No shelter, no water. Just three and a half dogs.
We called in our Senior Officer and explained the situation. Our senior came to assess and assist with another officer.
It is a VERY rare thing for FOUR officers to be needed to impound dogs. But that was how bad these dogs were.
We got them though. Not without the Uber aggressive female going over 3 fences and attempting to go over a 4th that would have put her onto a public street. We got her before she was able to get all the way over the fence.
Whew. What a week.
But we still have our faces!