Musings of a Veterinarian

Archive for May 19th, 2014

Cat Hero, Dog Menace

May 19, 2014 By: Dr. K Category: Opinion

The brave cat, Tara, blew up in the internet last week when a video surfaced of her attacking a dog that was attacking her owner’s child.

It. Is. Epic.

This video solidifies two things for me:

1. Cats are awesome. They tend to get labeled as aloof, indifferent creatures. Cat lovers know their cats have very individual personalities and love differently than dogs. Now the interwebz has proof that cats, really and truly, have deep affection and allegiance to their owners.

2. The dog is a menace. I have seen many social media posts from dog loving persons who bleat, “Blame the owner, not the dog!”

It is true this dog should never have left his yard and the owner will certainly be fined for “dog at large” and a litany of other offenses. It is highly unclear, unlike what you might read from animal activists, whether or not this dog has ever been mistreated leading to this behavior. When dogs act aggressively the owners are often blamed and for good reason. Many of the behavioral issues in our pets are directly related to how they are treated and trained. Yet, there are a small number of dogs who are unsocial-able and naturally aggressive. There exist breeds that are known to have a higher tendency to bite (and pit bulls aren’t on my list). Given he was reported as part Chow Chow, a distant and oft-times aggressive breed, it’s no surprise he would attack unprovoked.

Regardless of the owner’s responsibility in this dog’s behavior, the dog clearly stalks this child and attacks him completely unprovoked. I cut many dogs a break when children are tugging at them, jumping on them, or they attack our of fear during entrapment. That’s not the case with this dog. He poses a major threat.

My golden rule for aggressive dogs is this: He cannot be trusted no matter what medications or therapies he could undergo. Period. Perhaps he would be okay in an isolated home without children or other animals. But why risk the liability? All it takes is one incitement of the prey drive, one wrong movement, or one wrong pat and these dogs can bite again, sometimes with much worse outcomes.

I fully support euthanizing this dog, as is the plan following the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Too many nice dogs are euthanized every day in this country for this nasty menace to get a reprieve.