Dependable Erection

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


From my neighborhood listserv:

I don't know the details except that there are 2 Animal Control truck around the greenway searching and warning folks about a rabid pit bull. FYI!!!


Rabid dogs in one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. And Durham still doesn't have a plan to bring the majority of dog owners into compliance with the simple requirement to register your dog with the county and vaccinate it against rabies.

Last i checked it's 2009, not 1909.

UPDATED: Latest email:
I just spoke with Lt Duarte at Animal Control. Apparently there was a sighting of a loose red pit bull (thought to be the same one involved in the tragic incident a few weeks ago) around Ruffin St. earlier today. I saw the officers shortly after noon warning people on the green way. The rabid part may have been commentary, not actual circumstance. Sorry to cause extra alarm bells. I was just reporting what was told to me. The officers sent out did not see the dog, but they have asked us to be vigilant in calling with information about this particular dog.

The rabid part may have been commentary, not actual circumstance"?

Let me try to understand this. Two dogs attacked and killed another dog on the greenway several weeks ago. One was taken to the shelter where, as far as i've been able to learn, it was kept long enough to determine whether or not it may have been infected with rabies. I have not heard that anyone ever came to claim that dog. Now, a potential sighting of the second dog (which was an intact male) draws AC officers out to the site, and they make a casual comment about the dog having rabies? What could possibly have caused that?

I mean, it's probably safe to assume that neither of these dogs were vaccinated, but if we know that the dog that was captured was rabid, shouldn't we be doing a little bit more to find the second dog? And if we don't know that, shouldn't we be a little more careful about saying something like this?

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  • as far as what I've heard, the first dog was put down immediately, and if they tested its brain for rabies, then I havent heard. I mean i would *hope* they did, but who knows.

    I understand the second email, because its so easy to attach "rabid" or whatever other bloodthirsty adjective to a Pit Bull-- but no doubt whether rabid or not, this poor dog doesnt have a chance at being anything other that "rabid" in nature. Lord only knows what situation it escaped from.

    All I can say about the original incident was thankfully the child or the other 2 persons trying to help weren't hurt.

    By Blogger Vera, at 2:12 PM  

  • I think the comment was just careless. The officers dispatched may have assumed they were being sent after a potentially rabid dog, or someone calling it in may have just used the word "rabid" as a synonym for "vicious".

    If the dog from the greenway attack a couple of weeks back had been rabid, he'd be dead by now. Even if he'd been in the prodromal (first) stage he'd most likely have been a week or less from the paralytic stage, during which he would have died of respiratory arrest.

    By Blogger Brian, at 2:15 PM  

  • B- you're probably right about the careless use of the term "rabid." But the email that appeared on my list, at least as i read it, says that the woman was told by the AC officer that they were looking for a rabid dog.

    V- i went to the ACAB meeting last Tuesday (4/7). It was rather definitively stated by the director of the shelter that the dog which they were holding from the first attack had not been put down at that time, and was not in rabies quarantine. Since it hadn't actually bitten a person, there was no legal grounds for holding it more than 5 days if the owner came by to reclaim it.

    By Blogger Barry, at 5:52 PM  

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but from the first-hand report I've read only the male pit-bull actually attacked the little chihuahua. The female pit-bull which was captured was described as "less aggressive' but I've seen no information that it actually participated in the attack.

    I would be greatly disturbed if this dog would have been immediately "put down" given these circumstances. Absolutely, hold the dog, give it a medical check, a temperament check, and then determine how best to proceed.

    It's pretty clear that this dogs owners, if they exist, will not show up to pay any fines and penalties. They can get a new pit puppy, for less money, from any of the many backyard breeders that exist within the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Dogs in general, but Pit bulls specifically, are a disposable commodity here in Durham.

    If the vast majority of the Michael Vick Bad Newz Kennels dogs, dogs that were trained to fight and kill other dogs, can be redeemed, I expect that this dog - that did not participate in this attack - can quite likely be redeemed too if there is the will to do so.

    By Blogger SteveG, at 8:29 PM  

  • Barry, sorry I could have sworn i saw an email saying the first had been putdown, but who knows, maybe someone was reporting reactionary off-the-cuff on that too.

    True that, SteveG...very true.

    *happy to have recently rescued a puppy running around in traffin in OND*

    By Blogger Vera, at 9:57 AM  

  • Steve, while it is true that pit bulls can be redeemed (although I would NEVER trust a former fighting pit around children or other pets) I have to question if this is a good use of the limited resources in the dog rescue community. Couldn't the time and effort that go into redeeming a pit be better used to find homes for several dogs that never learned to fight to the death? Is it fair to THOSE dogs, the ones who would make excellent pets without as much expense and time?

    Sadly there are many, many more dogs that homes and my feeling is that the best dogs (health and temperament) should be put up for adoption at the expense of the unhealthy and potentially dangerous or difficult temperaments. I wish we lived in a world where it made sense to rehabilitate pit bulls because there were so many loving homes waiting for dogs. The sad reality is that over half of all cats and about a third of all dogs will end up euthanized due to a lack of loving homes (and pet overpopulation).

    Proud owner of two rescued dogs and three rescued cats

    By Blogger Diana, at 8:23 PM  

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