New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

February 06, 2010

Killer pit bull found

The pit bull that killed a pet dog in a Christchurch home has been found.

Jo Lethbridge and her family could not stop the pit bull from mauling and killing their pet griffon-shih tzu cross called Bizza in their Bryndwr lounge last weekend.

Christchurch City Council inspections and enforcement manager Gary Lennan said dog-control officers caught the pit bull after it was spotted near the Lethbridge's house by a resident.

He said the pit bull was in the council's animal shelter while officers tried to find its owner, who could face prosecution over the incident.

Lethbridge said she was happy the dog's been captured. "It's good to know that no-one else has to go through that pain and terror again."

She said she wanted the dog put down.

If the owner was not found, the dog would be killed, Lennan said. MORE>>

10 Comments:

  • At 7:44 AM, Blogger Brendan H. said…

    Back in the good old days when I was a kid, the 80s, these stories weren't considered headlines. They were personal tragedies for the toy dogs and their owners. I know because my grandmother's friend's toy dog was killed by farm dogs, and I'm willing to bet it didn't receive an ounce of media attention then. Back then it was considered a case of the bigger dog getting the better of the smaller dog. Dogs of all breeds back then behaved like this. But obviously this headline is not simply a case of a bigger dog getting the better of a smaller dog, it is more importantly a case of a "Pit Bull" getting the better of a smaller dog. And that is why it got this headline. New Zealand media never tire of writing headlines when they can get "Pit Bull" and "killer" in the same sentence. I doubt they would call a dog who killed a cat a killer. I doubt they would call a man who killed a dog a killer. And I doubt they would have called that farm dog killer, because "Killer Pit Bull Found" evokes a reaction from a reader that "Killer Border Collie Found" never could. And yet it would be difficult for me to imagine that suffering a fatal attack in the jaws of a Border Collie would be less horrific than in the jaws of a Pit Bull Terrier. Perhaps the little dogs in these stories might also be wondering how one fatal attack could be considered newsworthy while the other was most probably just a case of rotten luck.

     
  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger Natalie said…

    I agree Brendan... it sounds as if the journalists of this country aren't really 'investigative' journalists. If there were, they'd be too busy investigating newsworthy articles.

    I do feel sorry for anyone who sees their animal die, but we do live in an animal world, and according to National Geographic, this sort of thing happens quite often in other countries.

     
  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger g said…

    and that justifies it? get real... so we can expect you to just say " oh well dog eat dog" if your pooch ever is attacked? i think not, you would be banging on the mayors door demanding action because you pay rego etc etc. Do you wanna live in a 3rd world country where this is the norm? i think also brendan you will find that yes headlines are sensationalised, but its a newspaper... thats what they do! thats how they sell... without having to give you a full blown lecture, bite pattern of breeds differs greatly... hence the damage caused by large terrier breeds.. hence their usage for centuries for this purpose..

     
  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Natalie said…

    Now, how many news stories in the past 2 weeks were about dog attacks?

    This is the month that journalists are milking it... it's the news item of the month.

    Just like family violence is the topic of the month, then it's something else. When another toddler dies... then the dog attack stories will diminish.

    It's newspapers. They are there to sell newspapers even if it does sound like tabloids.

    Yes, the dog attack in Christchurch was awful, and yes, the other dog should have been fenced in... but shouldn't the question been "why did he attack in the first place?"

    Where was the journalist that questionned and sought expert advice on the why's of the case.

    The Tauranga man that got bitten- are we sorry for the man, or for the dead dog?
    Dogs that are treated right don't turn on the hands that feed them... so why did this dog attack? why is the media making out that it's dog's fault?
    because,... what,... it's a pitbull looking dog?

     
  • At 5:06 AM, Blogger Brendan H. said…

    G. For the most part I have no idea what you're on about. But you have brought up a couple of things I was talking about. We know media sensationalize their stories to sell... I was pointing that out. But what you have to ask yourself is at what point is it still exceptable for a so called newspaper to keep running their bussiness like a no good tabloid like The Sun. You also illustrated another point I was making here:

    "without having to give you a full blown lecture, bite pattern of breeds differs greatly... hence the damage caused by large terrier breeds"

    A fatal attack is a fatal attack. And it doesn't somehow become a less horific experience, when the attacking dog is not a Pit Bull, at least not to the victim. But if you really feel differently here? perhaps you should explain why a fatal attack is less horific in the jaws of another breed of dog. I'm all ears.

     
  • At 1:29 PM, Blogger g said…

    The fact im raising is that statistically other breeds of dogs feature less in serious and fatal attacks because their bite patterns are different. Collie breeds tend to bite and release simply because genetically thats what a herding dog does, labradors are the same as a hunting retriever dog, a strong bite hold is not a genetic requirement, German shepherds and rottweillers will hold in an attack as again that is what human selection of breed traits has required, American pitbull terriers, amstaffs, american bulldogs etc are genetically selected for bite pressure and hold ability.
    Therefore as shown worldwide, yes other breeds of dogs feature more in dog bite stats, but APBT types feature disproportionately as being involved in dog bites/attacks, given their relatively few numbers as opposed to Labs and Fox Terriers, and feature highly in serious attacks and fatal attacks. If you had to bitten, what would you select???

     
  • At 3:57 AM, Blogger Brendan H. said…

    G. "The fact im raising is that statistically other breeds of dogs feature less in serious and fatal attacks because their bite patterns are different."

    Statistically speaking, statistics on dog bites are typically skewed anyway. Last year a little girl in Australia was fatally attacked by large mixed bred dogs. The story, to the best of my knowledge, didn't go outside Australia. By comparison, a story of a little Jack Russell who was killed by Pit Bulls in New Zealand did. It went to Australia, North America, UK and Scandinavia. Also by comparison, a story of a man who was bitten in the hand for 20 minutes by a Pit Bull Terrier in Melbourne also went international. So what I have learnt from the media, is a fatal attack on a small defenceless girl by large mixed bred dogs, is less serious than a bite to the hand from a Pit Bull Terrier. In fact a few thousand people receive hospital treatment for dog attacks every year in Victoria, yet none of those cases are as serious as the man being bitten on the hand. Now I for the life of me can't figure out how that could be more serious than a fatal attack, but there you go. Apparently in New Zealand the large majority of dog attacks which require hospital treatment are caused by mixed bred dogs. And somewhere way down that list are Pit Bulls followed by Labradors.

    Now as far as fatal attacks are concerned, the study that usually gets paraded about by scare mongering politicians and Pit Bull haters as evidence that Pit Bulls are inherently more dangerous is the Merritt Clifton study (I wonder if Mayor Micheal Laws or Tim Shadbolt have used it?). But the Merritt Clifton study was compiled by collecting and counting fatal dog attacks from newspapers where breeds were named. Given the media's crude fondness for incorrectly labelling all attacking dogs as Pit Bulls, as in the case of NZ's Koro Dinsdale, and their preference for covering Pit Bull stories over others like the ones above, these types statistics collecting are absolutely meaningless.

    "German shepherds and rottweillers will hold in an attack as again that is what human selection of breed traits has required, American pitbull terriers, amstaffs, american bulldogs etc are genetically selected for bite pressure and hold ability"

    There is a National Geographic video available on Youtube which tests different breeds of dogs for bite pressure based on breed. Of all the dogs tested the American Pit Bull Terrier bit with the least amount of pressure, and it was right under the German Sheppard. On the other hand the Rottweiler bit with 100 pounds per square inch of bite pressure more than both Pit Bull and German Sheppard and in another test a Mastiff bit with twice the pressure of a Pit Bull. Also several breeds were given the task of bringing down a human, in which it was determined the Dutch Sheppard combined all the best traits for the task. And this to me is why the "dangerous Pit Bull" is not even an argument: We know Pit Bulls don't bite more frequently than other breeds. We know other breeds can also work as man stoppers. And we know there are other breeds which can bite with a hell of a lot more pressure. So, no matter which way it gets turned, I just don't see the argument here anymore.

    "If you had to bitten, what would you select???"

    A Pekingese considering I don't think those dogs can pick up a tennis ball. Then again a Pekingese hardly fits my image of a healthy normal dog.

     
  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger g said…

    so you have an issue with journalists then Brendan? or is it dog bites or is it both?? Dogs are classified by both breed and deed in New Zealand... Any dog can bite... but should we encourage ownership of dogs historically and genetically bred as "fighting" dogs... no.

     
  • At 1:53 AM, Blogger Brendan H. said…

    "so you have an issue with journalists then Brendan? or is it dog bites or is it both??"

    Neither. No issues with journalists per se, or even dog bites. But when news media claim to bring the news, then that's what they're obligated to do. Nobody's expecting them to deliberately add to problems by creating, exploiting and then perpetuating them for their own benefit (apart from you). You may not have moral issues with what they do. But if they target Pit Bulls today, maybe they target something which effects you tomorrow. Maybe your breed of dog?

    "Dogs are classified by both breed and deed in New Zealand"

    By whom?

    "but should we encourage ownership of dogs historically and genetically bred as "fighting" dogs... no"

    One might think if it is people you are concerned about, you would prefer to discourage the ownership of guard breeds. Fighting breeds fight animals. But to answer your question, no. We shouldn't encourage the ownership of ANY breed when there aren't enough good owners out there to look after them. And, currently, this rule applies to Pit Bulls more than any other type of dog. Bad owners are what's at the core of any dog problem, so you won't see me encouraging these trends.

     
  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger g said…

    dogs are classified by your local Territorial Authority under the Dog Control Act 1996, all classifications carry a right of appeal to a Hearings Committee.Those T/A's publish annual reports of reported incidents, a high proportion of dog bites occur to people when they get between dogs having a fight or aboutr to fight.

     

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