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Posted at 2:47 PM ET, 09/ 2/2010

Dog attacks Va. animal shelter worker

By Washington Post editors

Prince William County police say a pit bull has mauled an animal shelter worker.

Police say the dog was being walked on a leash to its owner when it suddenly attacked the 51-year-old woman at the shelter on Bristow Road on Wednesday. They say she was treated at a hospital for severe injuries to her leg and foot.

Two other shelter employees were able to contain the dog, which officials say had not previously shown signs of aggression toward the shelter staff. The pit bull had been quarantined at the shelter for the past 11 days after attacking three family members.

Police say the pit bull's owner decided to put down the dog.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post editors  | September 2, 2010; 2:47 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Virginia  
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Comments

"The pit bull had been quarantined at the shelter for the past 11 days after attacking three family members.

Police say the pit bull's owner decided to put down the dog."
Gee...that seems like a pretty good idea!

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | September 2, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's to all pit bull owners: You're freaking morons for owning a vicious P.O.S. animal like that. Period.

Posted by: stinkyliberals | September 2, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Pitbulls can be as docile as any other dog. They are taught aggressive behavior. I'm sure the owner did so.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 2, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Pit bulls have been BRED for aggressive behavior in a way that poodles, for example, have not been. So it's not just a matter of what they're taught. Aggression has been bred into them in the same way that auburn colored fur is bred into Irish setters. People should be no more surprised that pit bulls are aggressive than they are that Irish setters are auburn; in both cases, it's simply genetics.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 2, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight...3 of my family members are attacked by a dog I own...I then take the animal to the shelter to be quarantined for 11 days...what is the purpose of the quarantine????? This dog was in my home and then suddenly attacks one of US...And I was ready to take him back home when he attacks a worker!!!!!!!

Maybe now I SHOULD BE QUARANTINED FOR BEING STUPID.....

Posted by: pentagon40 | September 2, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

All dogs have been BRED to protect themselves through bite. It's not what's encoded in their DNA, it's what triggers that response. The fact of the matter is that most dogs don't attack, even when they are being hurt. However, there is always a chance that ANY dog, big or small, will bite. People always ask me if my dog bites...my response "she has teeth." To assert that all pitbull owners are "morons" is the most asinine remark I've heard in a while. Are you seriously asserting that because some dogs have attacked, that all in that breed don't deserve to have a home? What do you suggest - kill off the species? Kill all dogs?? Nevermind...don't answer that...I can already guess your answer. I will just ignore such ignorance. Period.

Posted by: liveyourlife | September 2, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey stinkyliberals..... stop being ignorant! I have a 10 year old pitbull that has not once nipped at ANYONE, including my 5 yr old son that plays rough with the dog.... you want to know why, because I trained it properly. To be honest, the owner did the responsible thing by ordering it to be put down. Dogs will attack... freakin little Chihuaha dogs are down right nasty.. granted they can't quit maul people but they are mean. minus a poodle, Lab and a few purse dogs.... most of them have mean streaks. I have a question and I know a lot of people say it is not a fair comparison but the meaning is there.... say your kid is the trouble maker or bully in the his class... constantly beating up people for no reason... is it fair for the kids or the parents to call for your kids head ?? he might be a good kid but for years, he acts this way and his demeanor is well known... now you know that your kid is a good kid and he is just getting a bum wrap but again, everyone is calling for his head, will you defend him or would you get defensive if someone called you a bad parent or made the same comments that you just made????? Now, I know people will say Dogs and kids can't be compared the same, very true BUT, I am trying to make the point witht his example. Not all Pits are bad and msot times they are a misunderstood breed. People seem to just have their mind made up without the knowledge of the breed. peopel liek Vick and Rappers and even media make these dogs out to be monsters when in truth, are far from it.

Posted by: rvanags | September 2, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank you rvanags! I agree 100%.

Posted by: liveyourlife | September 2, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Pit bulls have been BRED for aggressive behavior in a way that poodles, for example, have not been. So it's not just a matter of what they're taught. Aggression has been bred into them in the same way that auburn colored fur is bred into Irish setters. People should be no more surprised that pit bulls are aggressive than they are that Irish setters are auburn; in both cases, it's simply genetics.
--------------------------
As an avid dog-lover, I grudgingly have to agree with most of what you say here. It's not that pitties aren't loving--they are incredibly loving dogs. But their "triggers" of biting reactivity I think are genetic. Just like my Shepherd is triggered to herd and chase. I agree with pit owners that you can train a dog and minimize that behavior. One thing that matters also is LINES of breeds.

Posted by: sickofit66 | September 2, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Pitbulls are a menace. Your pitbull may be friendly towards you and your family, but it may go off and attack a small child or another small dog at any instant. Yes, any dog may do this, but the strength of the teeth and jaws of pitbulls make them extremely dangerous. My dog (6 lb toy poodle) was attacked by a pitbull being walked by a 70 year old man to weak to control the wretched creature. The demonic dog grabbed my dog by the neck to try to go for the kill, it took 3 people to get that freak off of my dog.
The old man had the decency to pay my vet bill, but I still would've liked to put a bullet between the eyes of that dog.

I would support any politician who moves to ban this breed from VA or even the USA. Send them all to Korea for lunch.

Posted by: gt0571a | September 2, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Yet again, the ignorant ignore intelligence. It is not the breed. It is the dog, the enviroment, the temperment, the training.. and sadly, sometimes animals just snap. Humans would be a good example of this.

If, in using German Shepherds for 100 years as security and attack dogs didn't breed them into killers, then the past 20 years of pitbull ABUSE hasn't bred killer into the breed.

@gt0571a: if a dog attacked your dog in such a fashion, and you properly called police, you would have had a hearing, and could have requested teh dog be put down. Did you?

i have a standard poodle. A play fight with a Rottie got a bit too rough. She put that dog in his place right quick. Poodles can be vicious.

Posted by: Greent | September 2, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@ Greent, I did call the police. Animal control took a report and gave the owner a warning as a dangerous dog. Apparently, in Fairfax, it takes two complaints before the process begins for the dog to be put down.

Call me liberal, ignorant, whatever, but you cannot take away my (and many people's) hatred for that breed of dog, and I believe the pitbull haters significantly outnumber the pitbull lovers.

Posted by: gt0571a | September 2, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

JCKDoors, yeah right, the owner taught the pit to attack his family. You don't have to teach aggressiveness/violence to a pit, it is what their breeding dictates. Like a shepherd will herd without being taught and a hound will follow their nose without being taught because that is what they were bred to do. They are taught only to make them better at it. Pits were bred for one purpose and one purpose only - to kill. Each purebred has been designed by man for a job whether it is herding or hunting. Pits were designed to kill, what is so difficult to understand about that? To deny the genetics, the bloodlines of the pits is to deny each and every purebred out there. Prevent the Deed and Save Lives by Regulating the Breed. We've had too many closed casket funerals already. Come out of denial before the next closed casket contains someone you love.

Posted by: PitsR4Fools | September 2, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I can understand someone that has been traumatized by a pitbull, and why they may have negative views of them, but I am a proud owner of one. I also have a Rottie and a Yorkie, they all get along. Dogs have a natural hiearchy in them, it's only when we add our sh#t in, is when they take on the masters personality, thus you have human agression. Most dogs aren't agressive to human's, hell they have lived alongside and cohabitated with us forever. We put those tendencies in them.

Posted by: barrycarey123 | September 2, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I can understand someone that has been traumatized by a pitbull, and why they may have negative views of them, but I am a proud owner of one. I also have a Rottie and a Yorkie, they all get along. Dogs have a natural hiearchy in them, it's only when we add our sh#t in, is when they take on the masters personality, thus you have human agression. Most dogs aren't agressive to human's, hell they have lived alongside and cohabitated with us forever. We put those tendencies in them.

Posted by: barrycarey123 | September 2, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I can understand someone that has been traumatized by a pitbull, and why they may have negative views of them, but I am a proud owner of one. I also have a Rottie and a Yorkie, they all get along. Dogs have a natural hiearchy in them, it's only when we add our sh#t in, is when they take on the masters personality, thus you have human agression. Most dogs aren't agressive to human's, hell they have lived alongside and cohabitated with us forever. We put those tendencies in them.

Posted by: barrycarey123 | September 2, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

In the same way that there are HORRIBLE parents who can't/won't control their children, there are horrible dog owners...

The person with a pit who bites family members, is the same person who'd have an annoying big dog who jumped on people, or an aggressive dog at a dog park...it's all about training.

The lack of control/poorly implemented training ends up in a more risky situation with a pit than some other dogs, but don't misplace the blame.

LOTS of people who have pits "think" that they know how to train the dogs for "protection". It is typically those misguided people who end up with vicious dogs.

Posted by: squatty2 | September 3, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Dogs live in the moment, and can and should be controlled by their owner at all times. If you can't do that, you should probably call a trainer.

Probably what happened was that the dog was never given proper leadership in the home, and decided that he was "pack leader" and was going to put the humans in their place.

Such a shame that such ignorance persists about this dog.

Posted by: whitneyuevans | September 3, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe the nonsense in some of these comments. Unlike other dogs, pit bulls are genetically predisposed to attack without provocation. Training can cause the dog to suppress this tendency, but it can still come out. All pit bulls should be killed, period.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | September 3, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If the owners were quarentining the dog after it attacked family members, and then it just decided to attack this lady, I would suspect rabies. I wonder if everyone involved got treatment, and if they tested the dog for the disease.

Posted by: akchild | September 3, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Anything that has teeth will bite. If I was in a situation and the only way I had of protecting myself was by biting, I'd bite too. While Labs are supposed to be one of the most docile breeds around (and mine were), the two I had the pleasure of owning were trained to attack if I or my household felt threatened. There's the difference - training! They just didn't going around chasing and attacking folks for no good reason.

As for pits or rots, I personally do not like either breed, but it is more because I fear the strength of their jaws. Seems that once they clamp down on something/someone it is darn near impossible to get their jaws pried open.

Posted by: gladiatorgal | September 3, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

To those defending Pit Bulls (and ignoring the irrefutable genetics argument): Why don't we read stories of Poodles or even attack dogs like German Shepherds attacking and killing/injuring people if they are just as likely to attack? I live in PG and many of my neighbors have Pit Bulls (in defiance of county code). My dog was recently attacked by one whose owner could not control it. Thankfully, he was not seriously injured. Even on a leash, many owners cannot control these dogs. They represent a safety hazard to everyone, and defending the right to own them is akin to defending the right to own assault rifles in that both were designed to do one thing, and do it well. At least with assault rifles, the human has control of what it is used for. Far be it from me to stop a fool from tempting fate, but the calculus changes when their stupidity poses a threat to those around them. Ban the breed.

Posted by: sethdoherty | September 3, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@gt0571a - didn't know it took 2 complaints, expecially if blood was drawn. Sorry for your pup, and hope the owner got himself and his dog some good training.

I am not attempting to take away your hate. Hate is what it is, and hate usually outnumbners love. To hate an entire breed of dog ... whatever floats peoples boats, I guess.

Both myself and my brother got attacked by a fullbred german shepherd when we were kids - and bro has the scars. He still fears them, but he doesn't hate them. I adore them. My poodle plays with a sheperd/rottie kix every day in the park. They play hard, but fairly. And when they don't, we the owners are there to stop it before it goes to far. That is the responsiblility part of "owning". And, like bad parents, there are bad owners.

And again, sometimes, dogs just flip.

Posted by: Greent | September 3, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I live in a house with a Pit. He is a complete lover and pansy, never have I seen him be aggressive toward any person. Granted, he isn't the brightest animal (he's actually dumb as a stump) but that's part of his charm.

Basically, any animal will act out if it is neglected or mistreated. And the fact that a Pit's bite is stronger than most and can do more damage is the reason for the stigma of "maneaters" applied to them.

Love your dogs and they will love you back, be mean to them and you will have a monster. It's just that simple.

Posted by: ericroks | September 3, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

this was a shelter worker. bites are always a possibility when working with animals. I didn't know this was an issue reportable in the Washington Post no less. If that were the case I would have called the Post to tell them that, when working at the shelter I used to work at, a coworker was mauled by a golden retriever/lab mix. Yeah, seriously. In a shelter full of pit bulls, this golden/lab came right up the leash and mauled her arm. Hospital admission, stitches, antibiotics, sling, everything. And not a pit bull. Bites -- bad bites -- by non-pit bull dogs happen all the time...it doesn't matter what the breed. But the news wouldn't be interested in such a thing --unless it was a pit bull. Happens more often than you know, because all you know is what the media tells you. Anyone who lets the media drive their opinion usually doesn't base their opinion on the facts, just what they are told.

Posted by: 4BoyzNow | September 3, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Bites can happen, but severe injuries requiring hospitalization do not happen at shelters all the time - at least, not at shelters where the workforce is competent and well-trained, anyways.

Why was it reported in the paper? Because of the sheer irony of the family STILL wanting its pet land shark back from quarantine for attacking three family members, only to have it rip up and hospitalize a shelter worker as she was walking the dog out for release.

I'm sorry for the shelter worker, but I think the family lucked out that the final attack of their "pet" didn't consist of ripping the out the throats of family members. It looks like the owner finally puzzled it out, too.

Posted by: Pablo01 | September 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Bites can happen, but severe injuries requiring hospitalization do not happen at shelters all the time - at least, not at shelters where the workforce is competent and well-trained, anyways.

Why was it reported in the paper? Because of the sheer irony of the family STILL wanting its pet land shark back from quarantine for attacking three family members, only to have it rip up and hospitalize a shelter worker as she was walking the dog out for release.

I'm sorry for the shelter worker, but I think the family lucked out that the final attack of their "pet" didn't consist of ripping the out the throats of family members. It looks like the owner finally puzzled it out, too.

Posted by: Pablo01 | September 4, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

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