Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Greg Peck: Cautious about vicious dogs

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Greg Peck
August 25, 2015

It was sad to read last week the story in Monroe about two pit bulls that attacked and killed a small dog, a bichon fries-shih tzu mix.

Jeff Buehler owned Buddy, the “toy” dog that died. He told Channel 3 that his wife was walking Buddy at 7 a.m. when the other dog attacked. Buddy died at a veterinarian's office.

Police Chief Fred Kelley told Channel 3 that it looks like Buddy's owner did nothing wrong and that the owner of the pit bulls could face charges. Buddy weighed about 18 pounds, and the pit bulls weighed about 90 apiece. According to police records, these pit bulls attacked another dog off their property in August 2013, causing nonfatal injuries. The owner of the pit bulls was cited for letting the dogs run free. The pit bulls were involved in another incident in 2012 when they were at large and went after another dog, which was not injured.

Police suggested that last week's attack might lead to legal action including euthanization of the pit bulls. They were taken to the Green County Humane Society pending a court hearing, Channel 3 reported.

This scenario sounds all too familiar. Last month, a neighbor who frequently walks past our house, warned of an incident in which his son's dog, Holly, was bitten. He said a vicious-looking dog raced across yards and attacked Holly without provocation. He and his son had all they could do to fight and try to pull the attacking dog off Holly. It wasn't until the owner showed up and pulled off the attacking dog that the fight ended. My neighbor said Holly suffered wounds and hundreds of dollars in veterinary care. He said he wanted the attacking dog “put down” to avoid another attack. He filed a police report and learned the dog lives on the 100 block of South Fremont Street. The attack occurred at least a block away from that home. The owner of the attacking dog, a white or light yellow Lab named Buster, told police it was a rescue animal that she got about a year ago.

“She stated that he was abused in the past,” the police report states. “She stated he is fine around people and her other two dogs but can be aggressive to other dogs. She stated this is the second time this has happened. She mentioned having the dog put to sleep.”

The thing is, the owner of that dog apparently paid the vet bills, but my neighbor doesn't think she followed through and put her dog down. The responding police officer concluded the incident report by writing, “At this time, no follow-up is necessary.”

That house is about three doors from where I take my morning walk with our cairn terrier, Molly. Any terrier can be unpredictable, but as cairns go, Molly is about as timid as they get. She might defend me if another dog approached, however. From time to time, if I see a dog running loose and heading toward us, I'll scoop Molly up to avoid any confrontation.

These days, you can bet I'm extra cautious whenever we pass near that block of South Fremont Street.


Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or [email protected]. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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