Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wonders Never Cease

And not the good kind of wonderment either! The last week or so's news headlines have left me shaking my head.

First off was the Google alert I received which sent me along to an online news article regarding two Borzoi that escaped their yard and attacked and killed a small dog belonging to a neighbor. This is a nightmare for Borzoi owners - and containment is key for our dogs. They were bred to chase and catch game - so yes, one needs to be careful around small, furry pets and one needs to watch one's fences for any repair needs. Unfortunately, upon further inspection of the story one can find events which could have precluded this unfortunate event...

(1) The dogs had escaped before and killed a dog earlier in the year. So were extra steps taken to try and prevent further escapes after the original? If not, why? I am terrified of my dogs getting out of the yard, not only for the safety of smaller animals (although the dogs running loose in our neighborhood tend to be of the large variety) but for the safety of my own dogs. We live close to busy roads - the last thing I want my dog to be is a road pie.
(2) The dog that was killed in the latest attack was also loose. Its owners left it in the yard as they ran away screaming. Hello - let's just add to the hysteria in the air. Screaming just upsets all involved and sets everyone, including animals, on edge. That's not going to help. Why did they not pick up their dog? Peek-a-poos aren't that heavy.
(3) The Borzoi were obviously not bloodthirsty threats to people. A stranger had caught the pair and put them in his backyard and called a number he had gotten from the dog's collar tag. They sound like a controllable couple to me.

Because of these events, it is likely that the dogs could be declared dangerous - and rightly so in this case. But it's sad for the Borzoi breed - these are quite charming and funny, as well as beautiful, dogs. But irresponsibility in keeping them properly (or any dog, for that matter) can bring trouble for all, not just one's neighbor. In today's heated climate against dogs and dog ownership, to have my breed placed on a "dangerous dog" list because of people's irresponsibility, causing them to fall victim to obscene insurance rates and BSL legislation is unacceptable.

I have always stood behind the phrase "punish the deed and not the breed" when it comes to fighting BSL legislation. This event brings that motto even closer to home.

The next headline comes courtesy of Tulsa, Oklahoma. A 2 month old infant was left in a swing chair unattended (mother and grandmother were too busy to attend him because they were....sleeping). Unattended, that is, except for a 2 month old lab puppy and an elderly Pug. (Latest news article HERE) This is such a sad situation resulting in not only a dead child, but the puppy as well as it was put down. The poor thing was just a-waggin' its tail as the AC officer loaded him into the truck - it wasn't a vicious puppy....it was just a baby itself, with super-sharp puppy teeth and claws. Lord knows I've been left with marks from playing with rowdy puppies - they don't have to be mean to mark you up at that age! If it hadn't been this incident, the poor child would have likely died from another common parenting "skill" - that of being left alone in a vehicle in the heat of summer - yet another common headline that has been all over the news as of late.

What confounds me is that local and state (and then we had the federal PAWS legislation) governments are wanting to pass all sorts of restrictions on animal breeding and husbandry for an activity that the IRS insists is just a hobby, yet they want to legislate it out the wazoo, if not make it illegal to have a pet with all the body parts it was born with...but yet any yahoo can contribute to the human gene pool, no licensing (or apparently knowledge or responsibility) required.

Also...can some explain why the AR nuts claim how cruel and unusual it is to dock a tail, crop ears or even remove dewclaws on a puppy - yet preach and lobby for the more intrusive and risky surgeries required to spay and neuter pets!? They're all about ripping out uterus's and tearing off testicles (and the younger the better) but don't dare crop that tail at 3 days!

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