There will probably always be debate over pit bulls as long as the breeds exist and incidents like this one occur. It’s exactly these sorts of instances, coupled with the negative views of the breed and people’s dislike of them, that will continue to fuel breed-specific legislation for the foreseeable future.
Do dangerous encounters with other breeds exist? Of course. All the time. Some of the most innately aggressive breeds are tiny — but because they’re small, they don’t do as much damage. According to Forbes, the most reported human casualties are still firmly linked to the pit bull category of breeds, and many insurance companies still won’t cover them.
Many people claim it’s the owner, not the dog, that makes a dog bad — and that’s true in most cases. But when bad owners tend to favor a set of breeds over another and attacks continue as a result of this poor stewardship, banning pit bull breeds will stay alive and well despite the efforts of responsible owners and their amenable dogs.
There are some “understandable” reasons why a dog might attack a person. If they feel threatened, are giving lots of fear signals that are going unheeded, or are protecting their territory, a dog may snap or bite.
But what this particular dog did was far from a warning. While it may have somehow been triggered into the response it exhibited, the fact remains that this dog attacked a person, could not be dissuaded, and even turned on a family member when it was deprived of its initial target.
Allegedly, the dog got out of the house when a family member was leaving and the door was open. The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told WXYZ that the dog, named “Boss Hog,” sneaked out accidentally.
Video of the attack has been circulating on the internet, shocking people with the dog’s tenacity and intensity. In the video, the mailman is sitting on the ground and the dog is biting and shaking the man’s foot.
Neighbors and a man driving by saw what was happening and tried to help. One woman whacked the dog repeatedly with a broom handle, but the dog didn’t even seem to notice.
A man hoisted a large empty trash bin aloft and brought it crashing down on the dog, also to little effect. One man even brought out a tire iron and dealt some heavy blows, but despite all their efforts, no one could get the dog to stop his attack.
Eventually, the family member (the owner’s nephew) realized what was happening and ran over with a belt, which he looped around the dog’s neck like a leash. He managed to disengage the dog and the mailman was helped to the safety of a nearby car.
As soon as the dog realized it had been cheated of its prey, it turned on the nephew. Video shows the man screaming and flailing, trying to stay out of the dog’s way but slipping and falling in the snow — doing all the things you don’t want to do in a dog attack.
At some point the dog was reeling in the street, alone, and then it decided to go after the woman with the broom, too. She barely made it back into her house in time.
Though the owner was not home at the time of the attack, she sounded surprised that her dog could ever do something so aggressive.
“I used to tease and say oh you know he’s a little push over he wouldn’t bite anybody,” she said. “I could have cried, for the victim as well as my nephew for going through that.”
The dog was handed over to animal control, where he will ostensibly be watched to make sure he exhibits no signs of disease. In ten or so days, Boss Hog and his owner will find out whether or not he’ll have a future.
Meanwhile, the mailman’s hand, knee and foot injuries were tended to at a hospital, and he should make a complete recovery.
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