Thursday, July 18, 2013

Looking Past the Headline

Several months ago, an employee of Plains Animal Hospital, in Plains Pennsylvania, contacted Modified k9 a to see if there was anything they could do to help assist in an "Aggressive" Pit Bull Dog case. At that time, a very upset owner was bringing in his pet pit bull dog to be euthanized. The dog was given the title of "Aggressive Dog," after being part of " Two Dogs at Large" incident.

The employee of the vet hospital reported this dog was extremely friendly with the entire staff that had seen him, and his temperament was very friendly and accepting upon arrival of their clinic. The owner came to the decision to euthanize his pet because of the weight that comes with the "Aggressive Dog" title. Also, the title does not allow the owner to have his dog off property at any time throughout the dogs life aside from, relieving itself, or when going to the vet, and was required to have a muzzle on at all times when outdoors. The dog was not allowed to be re-homed or adopted out, and the owner was required to pay heavy monthly/yearly insurance fees on the title. The fees unfortunately became un-affordable, and the owner felt he had no other choice.

After receiving the call and hearing the story, Modified k9 contacted the owner of the dog to go over the situation at hand. He explained everything that went on, and that he understood the responsibility was on him that his two dogs were outside in a pen and had gotten lose. While they were lose and "at large" the two dogs had come across some pedestrians, one dog had nipped at the pant leg while the other dog (kaos) kept his distance. When the police officer arrived, the instigator dog had nipped at the officers pant leg while the other dog (kaos) kept his distance again. In defense, the officer shot the first dog at point blank range, immediately killing the dog. The second dog (kaos) was shot from a distance, resulting in injuries to its jaw, and front paw, (Per Owner Testimony, and Court Account.) The owner then provided us with a link to the television news report.

After hearing the case from the owner, a spectator, and seeing the court report and the media coverage, members of Modified k9 made several appointments with the owner, his family and the surviving dog. During these visits the dog was evaluated on response/interaction to strangers, and acceptance of new people upon approach. Now given the extreme news report and having this be a dog we never met before, members approached with caution to take a safe approach. Once our members arrived, we were greeted by the owner at the door, and no barking from the dog. When welcomed into the house, the dog greeted our Modified k9 members with friendly low tail wags and relaxed gestures. He sat at our members feet with his back turned, welcoming their petting, and showed zero signs of any human directed aggression. The owner introduced his family and his children who all played and interacted with the dog while in the presents of our members. On a few visits, our members noticed there were also cats living with the family that interacted well with this dog.

After the several successful visits with this family and their dog, a Lawyer was found. Modified k9 members approached the lawyer with the case at hand and what we would like to do to help this family, educate this family and secure the property for this dog. The lawyer agreed to take on the case. He filed an appeal to extend the trial so they could present a plea to remove the "Aggressive Dog" title. During this extension, the owner had the dog neutered, micro chipped and updated on all the vaccinations. A fence company was also contacted for an estimate on cost to secure the property with proper fencing (see estimate below). When the court case arrived, the owner willingly pleaded guilty to charges for lack of rabies vaccine and dogs running at large. The lawyer then requested the "Aggressive Dog" title and restrictions be dropped as the owner and family receives help and takes measure to secure their property.

Through the cooperation of the law enforcement officials, the Court and everyone else involved, the parties reached an agreement that could save this dog. It is required that Modified k9 assist the family with training for their dog, which we have undoubtedly agreed to provide. However, part of the agreement requires the installation of a fence at the owner's residence.

If the fencing can be put up in a few months time, the court is willing to drop the aggressive dog title and this dog can live his life muzzle free, return to attending hikes, camping trips and outings with his people as a loved family companion.


On a side note:
There are several lessons learned through this case.

One being the up most importance of responsible dog ownership.

Your job as a dog owner goes beyond walking them securely on a leash. It is the law to have your dogs under control at 
all times. This includes when you place them in a outside run, on a theater on your property and in a fenced area. You should know where your dog is and what your dog is up to.

It is the law to have your dogs properly updated on the Rabies vaccine. (no if, ands or buts).

As a responsible dog owner this day in age, having your dogs spayed or neutered is another great way to do your part not only for your dogs but for the community. Spaying and neutering your dogs decreases their will to roam, it decreases some dominance behaviors and can aid in the health of your pets, not to mention population control.  We at Modified k9 HIGHLY recommended spaying and neutering your dogs. If you visit our site you will find links to local low cost spay/neuter/vaccine clinics, please take advantage of them.

Last, but definitely not least. Please, do not allow media coverage to affect your outlook on specific breed of dog or in this case specific families at hand. What took us back were the comments we read under the media coverage article, people not knowing the family or the dogs and automatically accusing them of abuse, health neglect and harboring "aggressive" dogs. When Modified k9 met this family and the surviving dog from this case we found none of this to be true. This family adores their dogs and is heartbroken over the entire situation, not only for their dogs, but everyone involved. They never expected to be in this position (and this could of happened to any one of us). Which they now know could of been avoided from day one. This family is taking steps to learn and make better decisions for all, including their dog and their community. 

We all make mistakes. Now, what you do and how you learn from your mistakes will determine weather you will have a future with positive or negative life changes.

Lets learn from them, not allow them to happen again and move on.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this and also staying opened minded about the case at hand.

ALL dogs are results of human responsibility or human negligence.
ALL dogs are individuals and SHOULD be treated as such.

The Modified k9 Family 


Please meet the dog and family you are about to help move forward towards a better life.

This is Kaos or K Bear ( as we call him ;) 
and the Rimmer family.

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Thank you to Rutkoski Fencing Inc of Swoyersvile, Pa
for taking time to give an estimate and the offer of installment if the funds are raised in time. 

Fencing estimate from Rutkoski Fencing Inc.


Here is the fencing project, the hard working volunteers, the family & the happy pup all together. 

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