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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Red Dog

Red Dog was mentioned in previous story Eat My Face. And the following post about Cops and Dogs I of coarse mentioned, well cops and dogs.

Now I guess you could say both of those stories have blended together in Red Dog's story.

As I previous mentioned. Red Dog was not a very friendly dog. Well Red Dog's owner bailed her dogs out of "doggie jail" after that Sunday incident. All 5 dogs. Ya, I know County Regulations are they can only own 4. Don't ask me how that flew out the shelter door. Not my call.
Well exactly 2 weeks later, on a Sunday AGAIN, we get another call. SSD again with several pit bulls loose and aggressive. They were chasing people and had attacked a couple cats, killing one and the other one was not located yet. As I was responding, I kept getting different reports, 2 dogs, 5 dogs, 3 one seemed to be able to nail down how many dogs there actually were.
I arrived on scene to 5-6 SSD cruisers blocking off the Court where they thought they had all the dogs sort of contained.
I already had this nagging feeling, 3 to 5 dogs, pit bulls, the location. I just knew it.
I made contact with the Lt. on scene. She told me that there was one dog that was in a yard to the left side and two more at the end of the court. They weren't sure of their exact location. I told her I thought I might know the dogs and quickly explained.
I decided to go for the easy one dog first.
Catch pole in hand, compared to the shotgun and pepper ball gun armed SSDs, I went into the backyard. All the residents had already been told to stay in their homes and bring their own pets in. I was kind of hoping I was wrong about the dogs. Sure enough, Daisy peeked through a broken fence board at me. Daisy had been Red Dog's partner in wanting to eat my face. Today though she pretty much walked into my catch pole loop. But then I knew her name and yelled it at her. She knew she was busted and wasn't giving he any fight. I was actually able to put a leash on her and get her loaded in my truck. Officer 477, was also on her way to the area from across town, in case I needed help with multiple dogs.
So now I knew what or rather who I was up against. There were still four dogs unaccounted for, Tiny, Moomoo, Tiger and Red Dog.
I then went after the two dogs that were somewhere at the end of the court. In backyards. I need to mention that all of the houses on this court are quite nice, but their fences are crap. Falling down, full of holes, fence boards missing. Only one house had an actual nice new fence, except they had NO GATE.
Well, A couple of the SSDs helped me try to locate the missing dogs. We searched several backyards. I was about the give up when I decided to give a look behind a shed in the back corner of one yard. Sure enough I found Moomoo. She tried to charge out at me then cowered back in her hiding spot snarling at me. She screamed and alligator rolled when I catch poled her. You would have thought I was killing her. She fought me the whole way to the truck. I would stop and let her settle down and try to not let her choke.
Dogs will do that, twist and do the alligator roll trying to get away. We have to be able to know how to calmly deal with that.
I finally got her loaded and went back to double check the area behind the shed. I found Tiny. While I was struggling with Moomoo, Tiny had been right there, under a tarp covered BBQ inched from my legs. If he had wanted to, he could have bitten me. But he didn't and he let me put a leash on him and quietly walked with me to the truck. Complete opposite personality than Moomoo. He had also been the easy one from the call 2 weeks prior.
So now the question was, where are Tiger and Red Dog? Because of the prior history. I knew exactly where they lived. I had done the fence inspection, twice. I had failed it the first time and it passed the second time. Who knew that the owner wasn't going to separate the dogs like she said, and they were going to chew a hole through a 2x4 fence board and get out. The yard had been secured when I had inspected in and the owner had assured me that the young dogs would be separated from the older dogs. But with 5 dogs, 3 of which are barely a year old barely socialized and bored puppies, and an owner who is naive to the problem, shit happens.
I told the SSDs that I knew where the dogs lived and 2 cruisers and I headed over the the dog owners house. I called my Senior and asked him to look up the owner's phone number and advised him of what was going on. we arrived at the house and no one was home. No one except Tiger, who was barking from the backyard.
One of the SSD's was with me as we walked back from the side gate to the front door, the other one was still in his car advising the other units that we located one of the dogs at home.
Just as I was telling the SSD that I was concerned the Red Dog wasn't there and he was the worst of the pack, we had turned to head back to our vehicles. Red Dog came snarling and charging up from out of no where towards us. The SSD reached for his sidearm and I yelled "Red NO!" I guess this was enough at that moment to send him past us and off in the opposite direction of where he came from. And the chase was back on. The other unit took off and so was the SSD who had been with me.
I had to get to my truck, turn it around on this small residential street and follow. I was only what seemed like a minute behind the cruisers but they had faster more maneuverable vehicles than my truck. I had neighbors pointing the direction that they all went. I followed. I got a phone call from my Senior that the owner had been located and she was on her way. I saw a cruiser pull into the parking lot of the shopping center behind the houses and sped in that direction.
Just as I turned and pulled into the driveway of the parking lot I saw Red Dog charge out of the bushes along the retaining wall running towards an SSD with a shotgun. Two shots.
Red Dog went down.
It was over very quickly.

I went to Red Dog and checked for a pulse, even though I knew he was gone. Red was dead.
About that time I also got word that 477 had gotten to the original scene and had been found the severely injured cat. She had transported it to the Vet, but it died when she got there.
She arrived at my location at this point.
The SSD had another Lt arrive and a CSI was en route due to shots being fired. They had to process the scene. So all we could do at this point was stand by.
Then the owner arrived.
She didn't know what had happened at first. Since I had been in contact with her before I took her aside and told her what had happened. When I got to the point of what happened to Red Dog. She went hysterical. I was able to get her to calm down. And she did have a family member with her. But then she would get upset again. Especially when the Lt was trying to talk to her.
She wanted to see Red Dog. But we couldn't let her at that point. This upset her even more. I finally got her to go sit in her family member's vehicle. I thought I had gotten her calmed down. Then she would start screaming out the window at the SSDs.
I won't go into the details much other that the owner, in her state most likely wasn't thinking clearly. She did end up going to jail for the night because she wouldn't follow what the SSDs asked her to do, basically to calm down and wait until CSI and the Lt finished clearing the scene. And the little matter of trying to kick the Lt in the nards, three times. He even had her shoe print on his thigh.
I did feel for her. And do understand this, she is not what you would think of as a "typical pit bull owner". She is actually a very nice, professional woman.
When the scene was finally cleared, 477 and I carefully bagged Red Dog and loaded him into my truck.
I transported all the back to the shelter for intake.

A few days later the dog owner is at the shelter to try to get her dogs back. I let her know that she will have to have another yard inspection. I went back to the house and wrote out all the things that must be done before she could get any of the dogs back. Reinforced wire would need to be installed around the entire perimeter of the yard, so that the dogs cannot chew fence boards. As well as cement along the base of the wooden portions of the fence. Electric fence wire at bottom and midway up fence to keep dogs away from digging under or jumping or climbing on fence.
She was able to get family members together to help her do this over the following weekend.
I reinspected and she had done everything I had said. I didn't speak to her, but a family member since the owner had to be at work. The family member told me that she wished that the owner didn't have so many dogs. That she is overwhelmed with everything going on in her life and that is why the dogs are the way they are. She doesn't have time to socialize 4 large dogs and take them to training classes. I told her that maybe she should discuss this with the owner. The family member also asked me about my opinion of the behavior of the dogs. And I was frank with her.
Then I met with the dog at the shelter again.

Three dogs in the shelter, one at home. She now had the legal limit. She had talked to her family and now she asked me what I would recommend. I told her that I couldn't make this decision for her. I did recommend to her that she should consider only having two dogs at home. Her first possible choice was to allow Tiny to be put up for adoption. He was young, friendly, even in a shelter enviroment, the most social and probably the most trainable. With work he would probably be a really good dog for someone who could spend time with him. Her second choice was to have Moomoo Humanely Euth'd. The behavior she exhibited outside and inside the shelter indicated that she is very unsocial and unhandleable. A fear biter in the least. The owner was adamant about getting Daisy back home. She wasn't going to budge on that one. We didn't even discuss her since the owner made it know Daisy must come home.
In the end she decided to say goodbye to Moomoo.

Both Red Dog and his daughter, Moomoo,were picked up by the owner's family members and taken to their property in the foothills for burial.

It's a tragedy that all of this happened.

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