Something for dog owners to consider....


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SMLE
October 18, 2005, 05:22 PM
A dog is capable of independant action, unlike a firearm. In this case, the dog attacked the wrong person. (I'm posting the full story here because it is only available by subscription on the web page.)

Deputy Kills Dog to Get Arm Back
By T.J. Wilham
Journal Staff Writer
A Bernalillo County sheriff's dog that was shot and killed during an attack on a deputy Monday was named in a lawsuit involving a similar attack two years ago.
The deputy, Detective Heather Schreckendgust, 36, was forced to shoot the dog because it would not let go of her arm.
Schreckendgust was being treated late Monday at University of New Mexico Hospital for a "serious" bite wound to her arm. Sheriff's officials said she might have to undergo surgery.
She was not the dog's handler but part of a group of officers seeking a suspect.
The Belgian malinois, Bart, attacked her rather than the suspect.
When Schreckendgust tried to get Bart off her arm, she couldn't. She pulled her handgun and shot him. The attack lasted about 10 seconds.
"Everything happened almost instantaneous," Bernalillo County Undersheriff Sal Baragiola said.
The dog was named in a lawsuit after attacking and allegedly refusing to release a 49-year-old woman in 2003. The woman, Toni Osborn, was being chased by police. Her suit claims that the dog chewed on her arm and that an officer had to put a "shock collar" on it to get it to stop biting her.
Sheriff's officials defended Bart on Monday, calling him an "excellent dog" that served the sheriff's office well for eight years.
"Everyone right now just feels bad," said Baragiola. "We feel bad for the dog and the deputy. These dogs go into dangerous situations for us all of the time, and there is a feeling that they are a part of our law enforcement family."
Deputies were called about 9 a.m. Monday to a gas station near Isleta Boulevard and Interstate 25 by a clerk who said she saw someone being stabbed in a car, sheriff's officials said.
The car was gone by the time deputies arrived. They found it later, but the car wouldn't stop.
Deputies pursued it until it went over a ditchbank, lost control and ended up in the water near Isleta and Le SW.
Two people in the car gave themselves up, but one took off on foot, flashing a gun at deputies and causing a massive manhunt.
Several deputies arrived in the area, including Schreckendgust and K9 officer Larry Harlan, to create a perimeter around the area.
Sheriff's deputies suspected the man, whom they identified as 22-year-old Cory Ward, was hiding in vegetation.
During the search for Ward, Schreckendgust was assigned to guard some evidence near the perimeter. Harlan had Bart off his leash sniffing for the suspect.
The dog started to get a strong scent in an area near Schreckendgust and rapidly moved forward. He came out of some brush, saw Schreckendgust and attacked her. Harlan was about 20 yards behind.
Ward was not apprehended, and officers were still looking for him late Monday. Investigators determined that a stabbing never occurred, and they suspect Ward was responsible for several robberies in the South Valley area.
He had been pursued by sheriff's deputies within the past week and escaped in that instance by going down a ditchbank.
A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court contends that about two minutes after police stopped Osborn's truck in October 2003, Bart was ordered to attack her. Osborn had led police on a 19-minute chase in which her truck tires were flattened by stop sticks.
At the time, Bart had a different handler than the one that guided him Monday.
The suit said the dog bit Osborn's arm and held on for "minutes, not seconds" while officers tried to get the dog to "stop biting and chewing the plaintiff's flesh off of her arm."
Osborn was arrested by Bernalillo city police on charges of eluding law enforcement and aggravated driving while intoxicated.
The suit says Osborn's arm has been "rendered into a sort of a weird prosthetic device, still human but dead to the touch."
A jury trial has been set for next year.
Osborn's attorney, Brad Hall, said Monday the recent incident involving Bart is likely to come up in his suit.
"One of our allegations is that the dog is not well-trained," Hall said. "Why couldn't they get this dog to stop biting my client for two minutes? I am not surprised (Monday's incident) happened."
Baragiola said Monday he could not comment on the pending litigation. He did say that it is common for police dogs to be named in suits. He also said that many suits question the decision to order the dog to bite someone, not the training of the dog.
Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White spent time with Schreckendgust in the hospital Monday. He said his deputy, who has been with the department since 1998, was distraught over the decision she made.
"It was the last thing she wanted to do, but she felt she had no choice," White said. "No one is going to second guess her for that."

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Hardware
October 18, 2005, 11:41 PM
The only thing that is obvious from this report is that the dog was not well trained. If the dog is not able or willing to reliably release its grip on a suspect or training target it needs more training or needs evaluation as to its suitability for use as a police dog.

A lot of departments treat dogs like humans. A lot treat them like machines. They're DOGS, DUMMY. They need a consistent partner, not swap-a-handler. They have physical, mental and emotional limits. Limits that a good partner recognizes, adapts and compensates for. So the taxpayers have wasted a lot of money, and they're likely to lose more in the lawsuit. They've lost more money on the injured officer. Every officer present likely will have a nagging doubt about the next police dog they have to serve with.

Nothing good can come of this.

Stand_Watie
October 19, 2005, 01:30 AM
That headline had me visualizing a one armed deputy chasing down a fleeing dog that had her arm in it's mouth.

71Commander
October 19, 2005, 06:10 AM
That headline had me visualizing a one armed deputy chasing down a fleeing dog that had her arm in it's mouth.

That was my first image as well.:eek:

Cosmoline
October 19, 2005, 06:15 AM
Some of the ultra-high drive GSD's and Malinois get into this weird feral state when they get a good bite. It can be a struggle to get them to out, but it's obviously an essential command.

Stand_Watie
October 19, 2005, 07:26 AM
The dog was named in a lawsuit after attacking and allegedly refusing to release a 49-year-old woman in 2003. The woman, Toni Osborn, was being chased by police. Her suit claims that the dog chewed on her arm and that an officer had to put a "shock collar" on it to get it to stop biting her

I got this little hussy a couple weeks ago and that's exactly what I did to get her to stop chewing on my hens...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v426/Stand_Watie/family%20photos/digitalpicsoctober05091.jpg

http://store1.yimg.com/I/gundog_1865_36225690

I put a hen in the kennel with her yesterday and blasted her when she jumped on it...she now thinks chickens are like electric eels:D

benEzra
October 19, 2005, 12:02 PM
That headline had me visualizing a one armed deputy chasing down a fleeing dog that had her arm in it's mouth.
That sort of happened in northwest Florida some years ago, when we lived there, except it was a shark and not a dog. A bull shark attacked a boy and severed his arm, swallowing it. The boy's uncle WENT IN THE WATER and pulled the shark to shore by its tail; after the boy was airlifted to a local hospital, a park ranger shot the shark, retrieved the arm, and it was driven to the hospital and reattached. When I read the headline above, that's exactly what I pictured.

http://www.time.com/time/2001/sharks/side_jessie.html

http://www.sacred-heart.org/WhatsNew_tree/article.asp?NID=11

The boy is still recovering, but it's been a long, slow process.

Mk VII
October 19, 2005, 02:57 PM
a lot of people think that because it's a 'police dog' it's some sort of four-footed genius. But it's only a dog, with a very limited understanding.

Stand_Watie
October 19, 2005, 03:52 PM
a lot of people think that because it's a 'police dog' it's some sort of four-footed genius. But it's only a dog, with a very limited understanding.

True. I suspect major mishandling. I am far, far from being an expert, but from my limited understanding, police dogs are supposed to be under the immediate control of their handler 24/7, and even other non k-9 police officers aren't supposed to be handling them.

Drizzt
October 20, 2005, 04:00 PM
My view is just that this is another example how dogs are like kids. First instinct is to blame the parents, but sometimes you can do everything right, and raise them correctly, and they're still a bit haywire. I will say, though, that the dog probably should have been taken out of active duty after that first incident.

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