Monday, May 30, 2011

Should Condemned Canines Be Saved?


ANIMAL LOVERS are hoping for a miracle to happen within the next 48 hours.

ANIMAL LOVERS are hoping for a miracle to happen within the next 48 hours. 

The two pitbull-like canines that was reportedly responsible for the death of a foreigner in the island not long ago is expected to be put to sleep within the next 48 hours.

Two other similar dogs believed to be from the same family and owners but were not involved in the killing have also been sentenced by the local court to be destroyed. 

PET+BLOGSPOT has learnt that at 9.30am, the condemned canines are still alive and waiting for a miracle to save their lives.

According to a representative of the local council or MPPP, an appeal for the animals' lives have yet to be made by lawyers for animal groups.

"But it won't be surprising if such an action comes through at the eleventh hour; buying more time for the canines," the official told PET+BLOGSPOT. 

What a horrible tragedy the entire episode was not only for the victim and his family but for everyone. 

In all dog bite incidents, PETPOSITIVE believes the animals also become the victims.

Even after the canines are put down, a lot of questions still remain unanswered. 

Why did the dogs attack? Why were there allowed to run free when there was a stranger around? 

Why were the dogs used to attack wild boars and snakes? If the canines were to be saved, should they be returned to the owner? 

If not, who would bravely adopt the animals? Would the dogs be subjected to cruelty, given their background? 

Would they be exploited by unscrupulous dog-trainers for the latter's benefit? 

Tell us what you think in our comments section.

Meanwhile, here is another rather similar story involving Bear a pit bull that also faces the same fate overseas.

The Star's story about our local situation is at the bottom.


Alternative to destroying dog?

Story Image
Bear (right), a pit bull, and Buddy, a mix, stand in an enclosure at Bobby and Karen Warren’s Lockport home. Bear is at the center of a Lockport legal case that has continued for 26 months. | submitted photo

LOCKPORT — A pit bull is at the center of a 26-month-long legal case that could be decided this summer.

The dog got out of Bobby and Karen Warren’s Lockport yard through a gate in March 2009, Karen said. The pit bull, named Bear, ran loose with another family dog, Buddy, a mix.

The city has determined that the dog attacked a man in the neighborhood, said City Attorney Ron Caneva.

Karen disputes this point, saying, “They’re just assuming it was our dog because the dogs were out.”
The dog has been determined to be vicious, and a judge has ruled that the dog should be destroyed. The city and the Warrens have been in discussions to try to find an alternative.

Lockport resident John Chirico said he was walking west on Division Street on the afternoon of March 11, 2009, when he was attacked from behind by a dog.

On Saturday, Chirico looked at a picture of the Warrens’ dogs and said the pit bull was the one who attacked him. He also said the mix did not attack him, but was present at the scene.
Chirico, who still has a scar on his arm two years after the attack, believes the pit bull should be destroyed. He asks the question: What if a child or elderly person had been attacked, instead of a 42-year-old man?

Case history
After the March 2009 incident, the city issued a ticket charging that the dog was running at large, Caneva said.

The city also determined that the dog had attacked a man in the neighborhood, Caneva said.
That was the basis of an administrative hearing procedure, with Lockport City Administrator Tim Schloneger as hearing officer, Caneva said.

A hearing was held to determine if the dog was vicious, and Schloneger made the determination that it is, Caneva said.

Because of the ordinance violation ticket, the case went to Will County Circuit Court.

The Lockport ordinance also provides for a judge to determine if the dog is vicious, as defined in the ordinance. And if the court determines that the animal is vicious under that definition, it may order that the animal be removed from the city or destroyed, in order to protect the health, welfare, safety and property of the city’s inhabitants.

A judge determined that the dog is vicious and should be destroyed.

The defense argued that the state Animal Control Act has certain requirements which must be met prior to a dog being declared vicious, and that the city’s definition decreased that standard.

Caneva responded by citing a provision in the act: “Nor shall anything in this Act be construed to, in any manner, limit the power of any municipality or other political subdivision to further control and regulate dogs ... provided that no regulation or ordinance is specific to breed.”

The judge ruled that the Lockport ordinance was valid, and the case was continued to set a date for the destruction of the dog. The court ordered the Warrens to comply with the ordinance requirements regarding vicious dogs, such as requiring them to keep the dog in a certain type of enclosure.

On Saturday, Karen said the Warrens have complied with that order.

For the many months and court appearances that have followed, the city and the Warrens have sought several possible resolutions other than destruction of the dog — for instance, relocation of the dog. However, certain difficulties arose regarding each of the attempted solutions.

The case returned to court on Friday. The matter was continued until June 24.

The Warrens are being represented by attorney Joel Murphy, of Chuck Bretz & Associates in Joliet.
Advocate’s letter

Barbara Ann Dornan, an animal rescue volunteer, wrote a letter to The Herald-News, written from the perspective of the dog, Bear.

“My best friend Buddy and I were out in the yard when we saw the gate open just a little bit so we decided to go out and play in the neighborhood. Our owner discovered the gate opened and started to search for us,” the letter states.

The letter says Bear’s problem is that he cannot speak for himself, and because Bear was out with Buddy and a man was bitten the same day, Bear is being accused of the attack.

Victim’s perspective
Chirico said he wants the Warrens to “do the right thing” and have the dog destroyed.

Chirico said he tried to defend himself against the dog’s attack, but the dog knocked him down repeatedly. He said two people arrived to help him, the dog let him loose, and the two dogs ran away.
Chirico asks: What if the victim was a child or an elderly person, and couldn’t fight back as Chirico did? Or what if nobody was there to help?

That is why Chirico believes the dog should be destroyed -- for the safety of people who cannot defend themselves, or for whom help is not available.

On Saturday, Karen Warren continued to dispute the assertion that her family’s dog was involved in the attack. She maintains that her dog has been treated wrongly and should not be destroyed. She also reiterated that she has complied with the city’s and court’s orders.

Comment on this story

Saturday May 28, 2011

Four pitbulls to be put to sleep

GEORGE TOWN: All four pitbull-type dogs belonging to organic farm owner Joseph Teoh, 42, and his wife Teoh Bee Eng, 56, will be put to sleep, Penang Municipal Council president Patahiyah Ismail said. She said the council would put down the dogs as per the magistrate court's decision on April 4 when it fined the couple RM4,000 each for owning the dogs without licences.

“Any appeal is to be made to the court as it is the court's decision and not the council's. The council cannot go against the court's decision.
To be put to bed: The two pitbulls, Lee (right) and Ning, will be put down for mauling Sullivan to death.

“As for the licences for the four dogs, they were only applied for on April 6 which was after the court's decision,” Patahiyah said after chairing a full council meeting yesterday.

She said the information on the dog type and their owner's address in the application forms for the licences were also inaccurate.

She said the dogs would be put to sleep by May 31.

It had been reported that the dogs were to have been put to sleep on May 20 but the council decided to postpone the move to May 31.

The Teohs had requested that two of the dogs, Yin and Kang, be spared as they were not involved in the fatal mauling of Irish tourist Maurice Sullivan, 51, at their farm on Jan 9.

They sent legal letters to MPPP and the Penang Veterinary Department in their bid to save the two dogs.

In the letter, the law firm representing the couple said Section 15 of the Minor Offence (Dogs) Penang Municipal Council 1977 and Section 38(6) of the Animal Act 1963 did not authorise any local authority to destroy the dogs as both were properly licensed.

Sullivan, a volunteer worker, had gone to the farm with a Polish friend to photograph organic plants when he was attacked by two of Teoh's dogs.

Patahiyah said a check by the council's lawyer revealed that the couple had not appealed to the court.

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