Monday, November 8, 2010
The Buck Stops Where the Biting Incident Occurred
Burien, WA - On July 24, Jeanette Cunningham was attacked by a pit bull on a public street in the City of Burien. She suffered permanent disfiguring injuries.1 In September, Burien banned the dog from their city limits. Like many U.S. municipalities, Burien will not euthanize a dog deemed "dangerous" if the animal can be relocated. In response to the city's actions, Jeanette's husband crafted a letter and poster that was published in the B Town Blog.
Ordering dangerous dogs, which are frequently pit bulls and their mixes, to a new jurisdiction after a serious biting incident is standard operating procedure by municipalities and judges across the U.S. Whether the goal is to remove the dog's threat or to rehabilitate it is irrelevant. As Walter Cunningham states in his letter, what gives Burien the right to insert a dangerous animal that seriously injured a person into a new and unsuspecting community?
In the case of Jeanette, the owners of the pit bull, Gabriele and Juan Garcia, told Burien officials that the dog was sent to live with relatives in Yakima. Yet the City of Yakima banned pit bulls in 1987, and the ban remains in place today.2 Did Burien officials, specifically Animal Control Director Leslie Kasper3, ever contact Yakima officials and warn them that a dangerous pit bull is illegally residing in their city? Possibly provide Yakima authorities with an address?
The guess of DogsBite.org is a resounding "No."Officials must take responsibility when a dog inflicts serious injury in its jurisdiction. Responsible actions do not include sending this animal to a new jurisdiction. There is little doubt that such policies were written into law due to the urging of dangerous dog lobby groups. Unfortunately, Burien and too many other U.S. cities willfully believe that "what happens" to a legally deemed dangerous dog is more important than Jeanette and the dog's future victims.
By Walter CunninghamRelated video
BURIEN what gives you the RIGHT? to take a "dangerous dog" that caused serious injury and disfigurement to someone in your community, and release it into someone else's community!!!
Don't tell me it's the law. Burien had the option well within the law to euthanize a vicious, uncontrollable, aggressive, "dangerous dog" that was harmful to the community. After deeming the dog "dangerous" Burien decided to return it back to the owners, with an order to remove the dog from the city after violating city code. Was this dog dangerous, aggressive, vicious, or uncontrollable?
There was a hearing held at Burien's city hall Sept. 21st, 2010 where the owners of the dog appealed the decision to remove the dog from the city for violating city code, in which Burien upheld their decision to release the dog and ban it from the city. Here is a quote from Leslie Kasper (Burien's lame Animal control authority) referring to the dog at the hearing.
"We were not able to move him between kennels or cages without being on a catch pole which is a long ridged pole used for animal control." Another quote from Chris Ingalls, reporter from KING 5 News, after the same hearing. "Animal control here in Burien says because of the viciousness of the attack and the aggressive nature of the animal it declared this dog dangerous in the eyes of the law."
James Lynch of Fox News reports, "It's probably some of the worst injuries that I have ever seen in a pit bull attack." KOMO News Commentator Ken Schram, "What the heck are they thinking. The owner of the pit bull was told to get the dog out of the city. What the hell is the sense of that?" "Sending a dangerous dog off to be some other city's problem is an asinine and stupid policy."
Jeanette's Attorney, Chris Davis, after the hearing. "The city is simply avoiding its responsibility to the public at large by allowing the dog to be shipped off to another jurisdiction and letting that jurisdiction deal with a potentially lethal animal."
A blog posting from one of the first two EMTs to respond to the scene, Kman says: "I was one of the 2 first EMTs on scene to render aid to this patient. This dog was extremely aggressive and we were very concerned about our and the patient's continued safety with this animal within striking distance. This poor woman will be disfigured for life and someone actually wants to keep this dog alive? Nurture or nature, folks it doesn't matter...if a human had done this they would be locked up for aggravated assault and quite possibly attempted murder (doing 10+ in Walla Walla4)." (Read complete letter)
2Well written breed-specific laws have a 100% success record in U.S. courts. Yakima's ban is no exception.
3After the pit bull was confiscated, Leslie Kasper told KCPQ, "I believe that dog is very loving to people it knows." Another inexcusable pit bull apologist in a public service position -- whose job is to protect the public from dangerous animals. Craven Desires has more about Kasper in a related blog post.4Walla Wall is a maximum security correctional facility in the State of Washington. The Green River Killer, for instance, is serving out a life sentence there.
06/29/10: Pit Bull Owner Lies After Dog Declared "Dangerous," Dog Attacks Again
11/19/09: Lafourche Officials "Set Up" Second Attack; Rebuff State Representative
09/07/08: "Vicious" Dog Laws Stop at State Lines; Pit Bull-Mix Whisked to New State
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| 11/08/2010 8:03 PM |
The pit bull involved in my attack had very recently been moved across state lines as a rescue. She came from a city that orders dogs with a violent history moved out of town. My attack was very public. The dog was moved into another community 6 weeks after the attack (ordered out of town or evicted from the apartment complex, I don't know which) The documents on the dog had been falsified. The new residence was in a high population density suburb, directly across the street from a school, by this time the dog is uninsured. The owners were caught red handed by the county. The new comunity was warned and the dog was ordered out of town AGAIN. This is at least 3 trips on the Pit Bull Express. At their depositions the pit owners stated they gave the dog away and had no information on her location. This dog failed her real world temperament test and was given far too many chances. My life was changed by the "get this vicious dog out of my backyard" school of problem solving. The problem does not get solved, the only thing that happens is innocent people become victims, and the cycle starts all over again. And she is still out there...
| 11/08/2010 11:46 PM |
What happened to you, April 29, should happen to no one! Derelict officials, complicit in mauler relocation schemes, belong in the bone pile of unemployed, has-been bureaucrats.
| 11/09/2010 6:14 AM |
I just don't get it. How can any dog owner look at her horrendous injuries and want to keep the beast alive, be it a pit bull, great dane, or chihuahua! Cue the pit bull psychotics...
| 11/09/2010 8:38 AM |
Gotta wonder what Yakima is doing and if the dog is actually even there. The Burien IDIOTS -- most notably Animal Control Director Leslie Kasper IDIOT -- gave the dog (legally deemed dangerous) back to its owners after the attack and said, "Better get the animal out of town." That dog could be anywhere, including in a Burien basement.
| 11/09/2010 3:14 PM |
One of the biggest problems in animal control is the infiltration of people who are not performing their job protecting public safety, but instead are catering to the dog breeder trade or the No Kill extremism cult.
The dog breeders continually, despite protestations of "deed not breed," oppose dangerous dog laws of all kinds, or support weak and useless ones that end up protecting dangerous dogs. Breeding animals, even dangerous ones, represent money as breeding stock, and they want these animals returned for financial reasons.
No Kill has become intertwined with the breeding industry.
It must be remembered that veterinarians do NOT represent public safety interests. DVMs reflect the business interests of those who make money from animals, historically breeders and more recently No Kill.
Leslie Kasper is a DVM. DVMs are not animal control authorities. Kasper has a relationship with breeders in her area as indicated by past news stories, in particular AKC breeders and breed associations.
AKC breeders have ostensibly supported dangerous dog laws. But when you look at the actual laws that AKC breeders promote, for example one by a pit bull breeder in Massachusetts I have found reference to, the laws are weak, wipe records clean after only months, allow multiple attacks, and allow dangerous dogs to be returned to owners with vague talk of "training" and be RELOCATED.
Kasper's interests do not lie with public safety. Dangerous dogs can't be retrained, despite propaganda from breeders and related commercial dog trainer and No Kill interests.
The recent fiasco at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary with their Vicktory pit bull Tug, who along with another Vicktory pit bull, killed and decapitated another sanctuary dog even though supposedly "rehabilitated" after years of million dollar care and containment and "retraining" should be a grave warning among many to us all that rehab for dangerous dogs does not work, even after the best of care is provided. How many individual owners can provide such care and containment?
It should be noted that Kasper recives $120,000 per year to perform animal control services for the town of Burien, and recently had to close her private practice for "financial reasons."
If Kasper wants to cater to breeder interests, she needs to do this in her private practice. But her role in animal control is that of public safety, safety first. There is a conflict here.
Another issue that seems to be a problem in Burien is pressure from No Kill fanatics who do not care about public safety.
Local governments are often pressured by vocal and even belligerent special interest groups to act irresponsibly.
Burien is allowing Kasper to endanger not only the lives of the future victims of this dog, but also risking lawsuits for their citizens that could cost the town millions.
There needs to be a focus on quality animal control that represents public safety first and foremost.
| 3/13/2011 3:24 PM |
This is the first time I have visited this site. Let me say that it has scared the crap out of me. I thought if a dog mauled someone then it was euthanized. No questions asked! This is totally unbelievable.
| 12/22/2013 6:42 PM |
"If you know about a crime and do nothing about it, you are guilty of the same crime." Plato.
I am gobsmacked at the criminal injustice committed by the "authorities".