VA - Bethany Stephens, 21, mauled to death by her 2 dogs, Dec 2017

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Gardenista, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Lilibet

    Lilibet Well-Known Member

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    BBM

    :goodpost:
     


  2. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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    Dog lover here, owned many dogs over the years. Currently we have a Boston Terrier (12 years old), English Bulldog (8 Mo) and a Queensland Heeler (1 year old). They each have their little ticks, but we know what they are and avoid situations which provoke aggression. I won't bore you all with the particulars.

    Your post is full of common sense. No matter how 'loving' your dog is, whether you've raised them from a puppy, trained them, etc. There is an instinct within them to act out in certain situations. They are an animal, not a human. We shouldn't expect them to be able to override their instincts, like a human. I wouldn't own a pit bull, but know a few who do. I respect that right. But also feel if you are going to own a dog that has such a reputation, you need to be willing to accept responsibility for its actions.

    I suspect in this case, the dogs might have started fighting with each other and Bethany tried to break it up. Regardless of the cause, my heart goes out to her family and friends. What a terrible way to die, and I'm so sorry her Father was the one to find her.
     
  3. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    That's any big dogs.

    No. What the stats back up is that pit bulls or dogs classified as such are the dog de jure of low class, irresponsible people who shouldn't have pets, children or driver's licenses. Do normal, upstanding citizens own these dogs as well? Of course. But the lowlife macho creeps ruin it for everyone else.

    And if their dog of choice was a boxer you'd see vastly more maulings and deaths from boxers.

    Dogs classified by many as "pit bulls" including mastiffs, bully breeds, whatever, are dogs that need a job. Like Dobermans and Shepherds and Chows and Sharpeis. These are strong dogs with high intelligence who need strong owners who give them lots of guidance, huge amounts of exercise and tons of love and gentle training.

    If they don't get that, they find a job and that job is often viciousness.

    Sadly, the dogs falling under the pit bull umbrella are often owned by people who keep them chained or tied, hit them and train them to fight. Very dangerous combo. Even labs and retrievers will turn dangerous under those conditions.

    I don't know the circumstances of this case. First glance looks like they were loved. But that explains the stats. Not any inherent genetic propensity for viciousness. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U49ro5NEavU
     
  4. Lilibet

    Lilibet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your sensible post. However it happened, it’s horrible and tragic. I suspect you’re right that Bethany may have been trying to break up a fight. I know someone casually who has three pit bulls, two males and a female. He has to keep the two males separated or they will fight. From talking with him, he seems like a responsible and knowledgeable owner, and is the “alpha male” with his dogs. But one mistake and he could have a tragedy on his hands. He or his wife could even be the tragedy, like Bethany. It’s a risk I’d rather take with aggressive chihuahuas than pit bulls, just from a size standpoint (not a chihuahua lover).
     
  5. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    Of course large, muscular or half wild dogs will sustain more damage. That's a fact. Wolf hybrids will always be half wild and have an instinct that domesticated dogs don't. Pit bull types don't have any genetic markers that specifically make them dangerous to humans. Some were bred to take down bulls a hundred years ago and then later to fight each other. But as they had to be handled by humans, any that were aggressive toward humans were "culled" and not bred.

    Others were bred to be nanny dogs.

    Here is the official statement of the ASPCA: https://www.aspca.org/about-us/aspca-policy-and-position-statements/position-statement-pit-bulls

    But again, when you have lots of irresponsible, macho jerks owning these large, muscular animals, you're going to have more fatalities and serious bites.

    So I'm cautious. I look at the owner. If it's some dude in a wife beater with his dog wearing those inward, biting collars they use to make them look macho and to hurt them, and the dog is straining at the leash as the guy tries to hold onto the dog and his pants as they sag off his butt, I'm going to not approach and I will veer the other way.
     
  6. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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    Tell it like it is G, don't hold back ;)
     
  7. LaborDayRN

    LaborDayRN In a world where you can be anything, be kind

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    While I understand that no genetic markers have been identified that make dogs do the things they do, I do believe that some dogs show behaviors consistent with the "jobs" they've performed for hundreds if not thousands of years. I currently have a Greyhound. She runs, and runs and will always run. Her ancestors have run after small animals (rabbits and such) as hunters for their owners for thousands of years. She's made a track out of my backyard. I previously had a Labrador (retrieving water dog). I got her as a puppy. She's the only dog I've ever had that got in my fishpond. I couldn't keep her out! People need to be aware of the breeds (and their behaviors as a breed) that they are adopting into their families.
     
  8. human

    human Well-Known Member

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    We no longer have dogs, but if we had a dog that nipped at anyone, that dog was destroyed. Sorry, but any dog that nips could hurt a small child very intensely.

    My son had a pit bull that was the biggest baby ever. He loved people and wanted to be in your lap even though he was huge. My grandaughters would read books to him.

    I believe he was about 12 or so when he died. He was trained to know that humans were the alphas, including the grandchildren.

    He loved riding in the car. He loved trips to the drive in bank where they gave him a dog treat.

    Every dog we had which included black lab mixes and German sheapherd mixes were the most loving dogs ever.

    Our German Shepherd mix would hear the door of the elderly neighbor open ( about two blocks away) and he would whine to go out for a walk with his buddy.

    Not one dog was ever tied up or on a chain or in a kennel. They were not allowed on furniture.

    Until we were not home. Then they worked like dogs. Sleeping, looking out windows.
     
  9. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    BBM - sounds good, but it just isn't true:

    http://thetruthaboutpitbulls.blogspot.com/2012/01/culling-manbiters-and-desecrating-truth.html
     
  10. PowMom01

    PowMom01 Well-Known Member

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    I live in Goochland, about 3 miles away from where Bethany was found.

    My heart breaks to think of her out there in the cold, alone and trying to protect herself from the dogs that she loved. I hope her father is not haunted by those last images of his daughter. I pray her friends and family can find comfort during this difficult time.
     
  11. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    Sorry. I can't help it.
     
  12. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    But those are genetic markers.
     
  13. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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  14. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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    And I love you for that reason.
     
  15. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    I quoted from a statement by ROCKY ALEXANDER, APBT historian and former APBT breeder that was on the blogspot. I prefer believing a man who knows what the business and the breed is all about. In fact, if you go to that "blogspot" and keep reading, there's a lot more interesting information on there.
     
  16. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    I think the dog breed debate is like the gun debate. People have made up their minds and dig in their heels.

    justmyobservation
     
  17. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    Wow. You're right, they can be sued, and this is only for starters. I haven't looked into the rest of them yet.

    ASPCA to pay $9.3 million of owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in elephant lawsuit
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/aspca-pay-9-3m-circus-elephant-lawsuit-article-1.1229299
     
  18. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    I remember a trip to New Zealand to visit a friend. They had a bull terrier who ran loose on the farm. They rented out farm land to people who raised sheep. I asked if they worried that the dog would ever hurt a neighbor kid or anything. The husband was very grim and certain: "Nah. Any sign of aggression and I will shoot him myself." They can't have dogs that could chase and kill sheep. Such dogs are killed immediately. So they end up with dogs that are pretty docile and good around animals.

    There can be no question with an animal big enough to kill. If it shows aggression it can't be around people unless it's trained to be an attack dog.
     
  19. Knox

    Knox Well-Known Member

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  20. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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