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Should Bolt be euthenized?

Yet another viral internet-cause:

Bolt is a very lovely 31/2 year old malamute in danger of being euthenized because he “mauled” a woman’s face. This is apparently the second woman he’s bitten and officials are thus declaring him vicious and, in the name of efficiency, deciding destroying the dog is the answer. Link to online article

I’m basically against euthenasia in any case other than blatant, uncontrolled violence in an animal or one so sick there’s no realistic chance of quality life. In general, behavioral and physical problems are the fault of the owner not the animal and the owner should be milked for the funds to rehab the animal and never be allowed to own another… at least until they’ve been through obedience training.  I realize that monetarily this is unreasonable, but if wishes were…

However, in this specific case… there are so many things they’re not addressing, and possibly not even thinking about.

a) has the dog been neutered. A1 question always to be asked in any case of animal behavior.

b) This dog has been around kids and people all his life, and never had problems (according to his owner and no one has come up as far as I can tell to dispute this claim.)

c) The news article refers to him as the mauled woman’s “boyfriend” and the other woman who was allegedly bitten is referred to as “another woman he brought home.” Hmmmm… jealousy much? It happens. Who knows what kind of pheromones he and the little ladies were sending to the dog’s sensitive nose. Signals which he might interpret as rivals for his person’s affections.

d) This woman was, in her own words, an animal lover, having volunteered at animal shelters… Hmmm… we all know people who are just convinced they’re great animal people and who, first thing, get all smoochie with animals, convinced all animals just  lo-huv them. Not saying she’s one of those, however…

1) her face was bitten, not her hand, which means she was down at his level and the closest thing to him was her face not her hand. The BIGGEST no-no in animal-human interaction.

2) she was allegedly warned to back off from him and didn’t listen.

3) she was allegedly intoxicated, likely a contributing factor for ignoring #2.

4) the dog’s owner is a hunk and seems really nice and if she’s human, she was probably doing her best to impress. What better way than to prove his beloved dog lo-huvs her?

Bottom line, I do not think the dog s/b euthenized and I think animal behaviorists s/b all over the news with this one discussing why it happened and how it could have been prevented. Instead, we’re getting lots of vitriol against both sides and darned few facts.

Incensed mobs have never been a very effective social arbiter…

5 comments to Should Bolt be euthenized?

  • Why is there a death penalty for animals when it’s a human’s mistake? I don’t see the logic. She got in the dog’s face, you do not do that with a strange dog. Dogs do not like it when you get that close unless they know you’re the alpha. Otherwise, as a stranger, you’re a threat and if you have the dog cornered, it’s going to defend itself. The fact that she was allegedly intoxicated and allegedly ignored the warning to stay back is no grounds for destroying the dog. I’ve had several dogs, I have bred them, I know that there are certain things you just do NOT do if you’re a stranger to a dog, and this woman certainly did just about everything she could do to cover most if not all of those things.

    The dog pays with its life for the human’s stupidity. We call that protecting society? Um, I think maybe we have the tail on the wrong end of the donkey – she got punished for violating several cardinal rules when interacting with canines. Now, it was not the dog’s intention to punish her, rather to defend itself against a threatening stranger. I plead self-defense on Bolt’s behalf. Maybe the woman will have learned something about her behavior, but if not, well, Darwin has a way of dealing with people like her.

  • I’m also betting that if she was intoxicated, when the dog bit her face, instead of staying still, she screamed and writhed and fought to get away, which would cause the dog’s jaw to clamp.

    It’s just so wrong in so many ways. Mostly, as I tried to suggest, they’re asking the wrong questions and reporting the wrong facts. This is my best guess as to what happened based on my reading of what few facts they’ve given. Once again, the only people who will benefit from this mess are the lawyers…

  • Suppose, just for a minute, that this woman was a burglar. If Bolt had bitten her then, regardless of whether she was drunk or not, would Bolt be a candidate for euthanization?

    Here’s another question: Police dogs routinely bite criminals who display aggressive behavior toward the dog or the handler. When these dogs retire, they go to the family of the handler. But, they’re already shown to be capable of biting, so what happens if big brother gets into a fight with little brother and slaps him around? Does the dog get confused and not know which one to attack, or does it assume that big brother is the aggressor because he’s louder and making more noise? I don’t believe dogs have that much brainpower to understand the situation. Also, many of the dogs are trained in either Germany or the Czech Republic, and they aren’t given commands in English. This serves to keep from confusing the dog by having it learn a new language’s unique sounds, as well as preventing any perpetrator from giving the dog commands that it might obey, thereby putting the handler at risk.

    There is no easy answer to this, but I think the woman should count herself lucky, and if the scars to her face are any reminder, maybe Darwin will take over and she won’t breed. On second thought, never underestimate the stupidity of the human race. 🙄

  • ready4more

    joe, we had an ex-police dog as guard for our business when I was growing up. The handler and I would slap each other’s hands (lightly) and Chris would physically move between the two of us and if we didn’t stop he would grab a hand and tug gently. Well trained dogs are less dangerous than dogs that are left to their own devices, or not given the necessary training. That is not to say that any dog should suffer for the stupidity of a human if he is not trained, but the woman got what she deserved while Bolt deserves training and a better home altogether!

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