(FL) Armed Neighbors End Dog Attacks


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Drizzt
March 4, 2003, 06:50 PM
Armed Neighbors End Dog Attacks

By SEAN C. LEDIG sledig@tampatrib.com
Published: Feb 1, 2003




TAMPA - Teresa Castellano knows that some folks saved her life. She just doesn't know who they are.

Castellano, 25, her daughter, Alysa McBride, 6, and her daughter's friend, Kaitlyn Green, 8, survived a recent attack from two Rottweilers and a pit bull.

It is an amazing story of horror and heroism.

Castellano said it began while she was watching the girls at Kaitlyn's home on Jan. 18. Kaitlyn's father, Sean Green, had stepped out for 10 minutes to run an errand.

Castellano, of Land O' Lakes, said she and the girls laughed at something on television, and that apparently sparked the dogs to start barking and growling. She soon realized the dogs were not playing, and she sensed it might get worse.

She asked the girls to quiet down so the dogs would relax.

It never happened.

The dogs attacked.

``When [the Rottweilers] saw the fear, one of them started biting Kaitlyn,'' Castellano said. ``I told them to stop screaming because they were making the dogs upset.''

Castellano said she laid on the girls to try and protect them from the dogs. She then tried to block the dogs to give the girls a chance to escape to a bedroom.

Nothing was working. The Rottweilers were going wild.

So Castellano and the girls bolted outside the house at 8126 Bay Drive. The girls ran to safety in a neighbor's house while Castellano distracted the dogs. The pit bull, Petey, joined in the attack.

The commotion outside attracted the attention of neighbors and a motorist passing by.

John M. Anderson and his wife were in their car and leaving a friend's house nearby when they passed by and saw three dogs attacking Castellano, according to a Hillsborough County sheriff's report. Anderson drove into the driveway and began blasting the horn and yelling out the window, trying to scare the dogs and allow Castellano to get into the car.

It seemed to work. The dogs stopped biting Castellano, but she couldn't make it to his car.

Anderson, 22, was about to get out of his car when he looked over his shoulder and saw a man toting a pistol. He kept honking his horn and sped away to get his friend, Justin Turner, who lived nearby.

The man with gun was Winston H. Harr, a next-door neighbor. He had heard screaming outside and grabbed his Kimber .45-caliber pistol. His wife, Deborah, came, too.

Harr said he saw Anderson's car moving back and forth in the driveway, and three dogs attacking a woman. Harr fired three shots into the ground to try and scare the dogs. They screamed at the dogs, but it didn't seem to matter. Deborah Harr called the dogs by name, and they stopped momentarily.

Then, without warning, the dogs charged at Harr. The pit bull bit him on the leg before Harr trained his pistol and fired, hitting the dog in the head. He also fired at one of the Rottweilers, and it fell to the ground.

Harr, a librarian's assistant at Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library near Carrollwood, said he fired the rest of his bullets at the third dog, and it seemed to back away. He bolted for his house for more ammunition and a flashlight.

Turner, who had heard the screams and was told by Anderson of the attacking dogs, grabbed his Glock .40-caliber pistol and ran to the scene. He was told there were three dogs, and only one was dead.

Turner, 33, told deputies he positioned himself between the wounded Castellano and the Rottweilers. When one of the dogs made a move toward him, he fired. Deputies believe it was his bullet that wounded the dog.

At that point, both Rottweilers retreated into the house.

Also arriving at the scene was neighbor George Lease, a Tampa police detective. Carrying his 9mm pistol, he found Harr and Turner at the house with their guns.

While Deborah Harr and Anderson comforted Castellano, the three armed neighbors searched the house and found the dogs, one wounded and on a couch and other other laying on the living room floor.

The wounded Rottweiler was euthanized later that night at Florida Veterinary Specialists, said Dennis McCullough, an investigator for Hillsborough County Animal Services.

The other Rottweiler was placed under quarantine at Animal Services until Wednesday, when it was euthanized.

Alysa was released from St. Joseph's Hospital on Jan. 26; Castellano remained hospitalized this week due to infections from the bites. Both mother and daughter needed more than 100 stitches each to close the wounds on their bodies.

Kaitlyn's injuries required 20 stitches, said her mother, Jennifer Harvey of Town 'N Country.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said no one will be charged in the incident.

For Castellano, she said she doesn't know who fired the shots that spared her from the dogs.

``I thank them with all my heart. They saved my life.''

http://carrollwood.tbo.com/carrollwood/MGAIHP0ZMBD.html

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blades67
March 4, 2003, 06:59 PM
See Virginia, guns really do save lives! I told you Sarah Brady is a Dictatorial liar.

P95Carry
March 4, 2003, 07:05 PM
Yet another example ... if any were needed, of the responsible armed citizen having purpose in society.

I can only imagine the outcome if there had been no armed intervention .. these dogs were in full ''pack frenzy'' and I doubt would have stopped until their living ''targets'' had become motionless .... for which read, possibly dead.

Hardtarget
March 4, 2003, 07:08 PM
Good for 'em! Glad there were people ready,willing, and able to intervene! I like animals, but...dogs are just dogs...people are irreplaceable! Now, think back a month or so. A Cookeville Tn. police officer shot a dog and the cries of disbelief came from around the WORLD. :confused:
Mark.

JamisJockey
March 4, 2003, 07:29 PM
A Cookeville Tn. police officer shot a dog and the cries of disbelief came from around the WORLD
That's because the dog WAS NOT attacking, which is plain in the video. Also, it was a :cuss:ing bulldog, which are slow and easy to stop (swift kick comes to mind). Instead, a JBT blows him apart in front of his family....
:fire:

spacemanspiff
March 4, 2003, 07:42 PM
hey now! that JBT might have been afraid the bulldog was going to drown him in slobbery drool. he might have actually feared for his life!

just one tidbit of advice: for canines, i think a shotgun would be better.

OF
March 4, 2003, 07:45 PM
Another incident rendered un-newsworthy by the intervention of the armed citizen(s). If these people had been killed by their own dogs it would have been all over the news nationwide. Now you won't hear a peep.

Especially not with the striking similarity between the responses of the off-duty officer and the armed neighboors.

- Gabe

PS: You have to be kidding, Hardtarget. The only thing similar between the two incidents is they both involved people and dogs. :rolleyes:

Baba Louie
March 4, 2003, 07:56 PM
A .45 acp and a .40 S&W won't put down a pair of exited Rott's and a Pit?

Placement error maybe due to the excitement/commotion and movement of the canines in question?

Hope the girls are OK...

There's a lesson or two to learn here, but I'll be darned if I can put my finger on it/them at this moment.

Never squeal and bounce around like a little girl or wounded rabbit around a pack of dogs bigger than you has gotta rank up there tho.

Three shots into the ground? Whassup with that? Had to go back to get more ammo? Doh!

Front sight, squeeze. Stick it down the dogs throat if he's on ya I guess. Might jam an auto if the barrel/slide are pushed back too far.

Whew.

Again, I hope everyone's OK.

Too bad about the dogs. Next time get a chihuahua or dachshund.

Adios

(edited to add) Oh yeah. Main Lesson...Its a good thing someone had a firearm VERY handy, eh what? Rather have it and not need it... you know the rest.

Kalvan
March 4, 2003, 08:02 PM
Important safety tips:
- never waste ammo on warning shots
- always carry spare ammo

bad_dad_brad
March 4, 2003, 08:16 PM
If I had done that (shot the dogs) in the sorry State of Illinois, I would be in jail.

Oh, and I suggest we submit legislation to ban attack dogs.

P95Carry
March 4, 2003, 08:26 PM
If I had done that (shot the dogs) in the sorry State of Illinois, I would be in jail. I know things are pretty grim in IL BDB ..... but ... are you serious?? You mean, if you prevented others bein ripped to pieces .. you'd be arrested and go to jail???

On what pretext would they indict you?? Because you were ''carrying illegally''?? What would it be.?? I am more than dismayed.

Standing Wolf
March 4, 2003, 10:06 PM
<sarcasm> No wonder leftist extremists hate firearms and law-abiding American firearms owners so much! </sarcasm>

JohnBT
March 4, 2003, 10:35 PM
I didn't do it!

JBT

geekWithA.45
March 4, 2003, 10:52 PM
There where 3 armed civilians in the yard!

3! Count em!

God, I'd love sensible neighbors!

Around my neck of the woods, (The Dark and Fascist People's Republic of New Jersey) it'd be me, and, er, well, me.

And yes, I'd be tossed into jail, if not for killing the dogs, then for possessing a firearm at a place not exempt. (ie: my own property, gunshop, or range)

CZ-75
March 4, 2003, 11:07 PM
people are irreplaceable!


Yeah, like Stalin, Hitler, Ted Bundy, Saddam and Charlie Manson. :rolleyes:

I'd trade ANY dog's life for ALL of theirs.

Mark IV Series 80
March 4, 2003, 11:15 PM
A .45 acp and a .40 S&W won't put down a pair of exited Rott's and a Pit?I have to believe that a hot .357 Magnum, 125 grain JHP would have stopped each dog with a solid body or head shot.

Mike Irwin
March 4, 2003, 11:34 PM
"I'd trade ANY dog's life for ALL of theirs."

I'd also trade a dogs life for a LOT of people who aren't vicious dictators....

Hand_Rifle_Guy
March 4, 2003, 11:53 PM
Well, uhh... I see it like this.

None of those dogs were "attack" dogs. Pit bulls in particular were bred specifically to NOT bite people when the breed was created, so that when they're fighting another dog in a pit for money, their human masters can wade into the thick of combat and break up the fight before the dogs kill each other, without suffering severe injuries in the process.

Rotties were bred for, what, bull- or bear-baiting? Predator hunting? I can't remember. Every Rottweiler I've ever met has been a total sweetheart, though. Humans have been breeding dogs for good dispositions for longer than we've been writing down history.

But that doesn't mean we changed their fundamental nature. Dogs are one of the most successful apex predator species on the planet, and they're still built to do that job efficeintly, both physically and mentally. It's a good thing the dogs we live with are kept well-fed. Loose packs of feral dogs can be an ugly problem, especially if they got really hungry. Humans don't like being eaten, which is why wolf populations in Europe were systematically destroyed. Hungry wolf packs in wintertime can be a big threat when you're a groveling indentured peasant who's best weapon is a woodcutter's axe. Makes a man proactive about neutralizing threats, and he'll go get the rest of the village to help.

My point is that their behavior isn't breed-specific. Almost any dogs could be capable of attacking in similar circumstances. I'm not trying to imply that they're PRONE to that behavior at any given time, mind you. I also don't want to assert that there aren't some breeds that are more prone to attacking people. But I don't think Rottweilers and Pit Bull Terriers are on that list. Members of these breeds that are agressive towards people are usually raised that way specifically, and are subjected to rigorous training.

Personally, I suspect these dogs weren't raised around kids, who just happened to about the same size as the dogs were. Dogs can react strangely to kids who's heads they can see over if they aren't raised with them, in my experience. Never heard of a pack flipping THAT hard before, but I can understand it.

A .45 acp and a .40 S&W won't put down a pair of exited Rott's and a Pit?

Nope. Wouldn't want to count on that at all.

.40's and .45's aren't really sufficeint to the task. They're both marginal on people, and dogs are much, MUCH tougher than people, particularly rotties and pits. They were bred for strength and endurance. I've read in American Rifleman about a pit bull that was munching on another dog that took 8-9 .40's from an off-duty deputy's Glock at point-blank range starting from the back end and shooting down through it's spine into the ground, working closer to it's head with each shot. It didn't let go until it received a bullet through the brain pan. DOGS ARE TOUGH! They don't die easy when they're charged up. No animals do, really. Deer can run 100's of yards with shattered innards from a magnum rifle round, just ask any hunter.

It's too bad our Brave Hero planted three shots in the ground, but I imagine he was trying not to shoot the poor things. Unfortunately, it appears that instinctive successful-apex-predator pack behavior had set in, and the dogs were not inclined to listen.

Landing a rescuer in jail for shooting the dogs under such circumstances would be a crime. Even here in the PRK folks aren't THAT forgiving of bad dogs. Especially since we had our own ugly dog incident not too long ago that got splashed all over the country in the media. I would like to think that incident would poke a hole in the nation's preconceptions in a permanent fashion, but incidents of this type are extremely rare, and most of us grew up with good dogs to some degree so it catches us by surprise when they remind us that they are, in fact, ANIMALS. In this case, animals that are stronger than people, and equipped with teeth that are 3/4" long.

Animals are not burdened by compassion. It would interfere with basics like eating, and isn't in the specie's interest as a survival tool. That's why we call them animals, and treat them as such, PETA's nonsensical whining notwithstanding. That includes regarding them as instantly expendable if they should happen to turn on us.

natedog
March 5, 2003, 12:01 AM
A long gun is always better when you can get it.

Hawkeye755
March 5, 2003, 12:21 AM
Actually a .40 is more than capable of putting down a pit bull.

About two years ago I was on a call with one of our K-9's. We end up arresting the homeowner, while we rolling on the ground trying to cuff the guy his pit bull is running around getting all excited. The dog see the k-9 outside and bolts for him. The pit gets our k-9 by the neck and will not let go. We tried OC as well as batons. Finally the handler shot him once with his duty gun. Struck the dog in the torso, lung shot. The dog released and subsequently expired. K-9 luckily just had a nasty gash on the side of his neck. Could have been much worse. The shot placement was bad because he was worried about hitting his dog.

CZ-75
March 5, 2003, 12:25 AM
Animals are not burdened by compassion.


Maybe not to non-pack members, but dogs do show concer/compassion for the sick and injured. They'll like the wounds of a comrade and bring food to a sick compatriot.

Not all dogs, of course, but most people wouldn't give each other the time of day, either.

Cal4D4
March 5, 2003, 12:24 PM
Dogs - and I love them/miine- are opportunistic predators with a modicum of self control. Little kids should not be left alone with large dogs especially in a pack situation. Little kids should not act like prey around large dogs in a pack situation.

Blackhawk
March 5, 2003, 01:03 PM
Well said, Hand_Rifle_Guy.

Two Rotties and a Pit Bull don't sound like good company for strange children. Maybe some adults weren't aware of that...?

Tall Man
March 5, 2003, 01:23 PM
Yours was a compelling post, Hand_Rifle_Guy, and I say that respectfully. I agree that a dog's training and overall environment do matter.

That being said, I wouldn't care a whit for the tiresome 'good disposition' platitudes if I was staring down the bore of a snarling dog's mouth. In that instance, I would proffer my own polished bore in return.

TM

Joe Demko
March 5, 2003, 02:22 PM
Getting sentimental over animals? Bah. In pursuit of a biology degree, I dissected one of just about all that creeps, and crawls, and flies. I observed them in the wild and in captivity. I even experimented on them. It is a sign of a diseased mind to enjoy wantonly killing animals or causing animals pain, but they are worth no great expenditure of emotion either. You have to get pretty far up the evolutionary scale before they are much more than meat robots. The only ones I have any emotion towards at all are apes and monkeys. They disgust me.

TarpleyG
March 5, 2003, 02:29 PM
Dog owner's usually know early on wheter thier dogs are vicious or not. I'd be curious to know how old these dogs were. My bet is that the owners knew these dogs were apt to do something like this and got careless. They should never have left strangers alone with those dogs.

GT

Jesse H
March 5, 2003, 03:14 PM
Getting sentimental over animals? Bah. In pursuit of a biology degree, I dissected one of just about all that creeps, and crawls, and flies. I observed them in the wild and in captivity. I even experimented on them. It is a sign of a diseased mind to enjoy wantonly killing animals or causing animals pain, but they are worth no great expenditure of emotion either. You have to get pretty far up the evolutionary scale before they are much more than meat robots. The only ones I have any emotion towards at all are apes and monkeys. They disgust me.

I've always been wary of people that didn't like dogs.

Oh, and I suggest we submit legislation to ban attack dogs.

OOhh oooh, and assault rifles too!

CZ-75
March 5, 2003, 03:21 PM
Getting sentimental over animals? Bah. In pursuit of a biology degree, I dissected one of just about all that creeps, and crawls, and flies. I observed them in the wild and in captivity. I even experimented on them. It is a sign of a diseased mind to enjoy wantonly killing animals or causing animals pain, but they are worth no great expenditure of emotion either. You have to get pretty far up the evolutionary scale before they are much more than meat robots. The only ones I have any emotion towards at all are apes and monkeys. They disgust me.


:uhoh:

Mauserlady
March 5, 2003, 03:52 PM
Personally, I suspect these dogs weren't raised around kids, who just happened to about the same size as the dogs were. Dogs can react strangely to kids who's heads they can see over if they aren't raised with them, in my experience. Never heard of a pack flipping THAT hard before, but I can understand it.

I'd have to agree with you on this one from personal experience.

Friend of mine had a female rotty that was perfectly fine around the older kids (6 -7) but did not like my youngest daughter when she was a toddler. Sonja seemed fine as long as I was holding her or she was standing but the minute my daughter went down on hands and knees Sonja couldn't handle it and nipped at her twice.

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