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18 thoughts on “2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Rescue Dog Kills Woman at Phoenix Boarding Facility

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  1. So, the Rescue Industrial Complex claims another unsuspecting human. I'd say that there's a lawsuit or two that would be justified in this case.

  2. I might add that, here in AZ, tax-supported animal control agencies and privately run shelters are under enormous pressure to increase their live adoption rates.

    You might be wondering where this pressure is coming from, and I'll tell you. A lot of it is coming from efforts financed by the Best Friends Animal Society and Petsmart Charities. Follow the money, people!

  3. Akita Advocates' FB page is down.

    I hope the kennel owner reconsiders his no-doubt enthusiastic efforts to help rescue groups. One of many things that the pitbull/no-kill/rescue movements have changed for me is the appeal of ever using a boarding kennel for my own dog. It has become very common for rescue groups to use public boarding kennels to house dogs. This started off very reasonably, as a way to save dogs who were normal dogs in the days of overpopulation of beagles, collies, etc. But now, with most unwanted dogs being pit bulls and an increasing unmet demand for dogs, almost any normal dog is adopted quickly or placed in foster homes. Now, most of the ones that end up in boarding are dogs that even the available foster homes are unable to accommodate. This means that the most common 'rescue' residents in a boarding kennel are dogs from fighting breeds which have shown sufficient threat to other animals that even rescue people, who tend to see only the best in dogs, are uncomfortable housing them with their own pets. I would never board my dog in a kennel which contains 'rescue' dogs – what's the upside for me as a customer? The increased risk of disease from a perhaps newly transported rescue dog? The increased risk of attack from a dog who is perhaps too dangerous to live in a normal home with other animals, but who is being kenneled beside my dog? Yet the kennel owners use this as a marketing ploy – I support rescue puppies! I'm a great business!

  4. Although my personal belief is that all dogs with a "bite history" should be euthanized and that there are certain types of dogs that simply shouldn't be pets, it's refreshing to see AARTA actually admitting and advertising the fact that the dog has bitten in the past.

  5. The Akita people really aren't that honest about their breed.

    Before I ever got a dog I looked at several breeds and based on looks and descriptions (from breed specific rescues) of the Akita temperament I decided I wanted one. I contacted a few rescues to enquire about different dogs and I was never told (as a never-owned-a-dog-before complete newbie) that these dogs had been bred for killing bears, fighting other dogs / animals for sport, or guarding property / people and had the potential for extreme aggression & extreme violence. I did, however, hear all about how these dogs "babysat" the children of the house and that the Japanese housewives would leave the kids alone at home with the dogs so that they could go shopping… blah blah blah.

    The rescues did state that Akitas often didn't like other dogs and must be kept on leash or only allowed offleash in fenced areas without other dogs around. That's about the only mention they made of anything remotely aggressive about these dogs though.

    As a dog-newbie I had no idea what kind of precautions & measures keeping a dog like this would entail and I had the idea that I could take it jogging in the park like a normal dog (HA!) or to sit outside coffee shops and sip coffee with my friends (HA!).

    No rescues ever explained in plain terms what these dogs were really like. They used euphemisms and coded terms to describe their aggression which went RIGHT over my head (NOW I understand what they were trying to say in not-so-many-words, but THEN I had no idea).

    Fortunately I went off the idea of a dog entirely before I ever took it any further, and I didn't get a dog for another 2 years after that.

    In the end I went into the local dog pound, picked the only dog that stared longingly at me and wasn't barking his head off, and took him home the next day. He was a border collie.

    Ironically rescues had REPEATEDLY warned me off border collies 2 years before, due to being too "hyperactive", "reactive", "sensitive", "needs to work", "neurotic", "often develops separation anxiety" "too intelligent" "needs a huge backyard" "not for first time owners" and all kinds of other things (that actually mostly aren't really true but border collie rescues will do everything in their power to convince you that you shouldn't own a border collie).

    I still don't understand why a soft breed like border collies are so demonized (all their bad traits are mentioned over and over even though they really aren't that bad), while potentially dangerous breeds like Akitas (and of course pit bulls) have all their good traits emphasized (with those odd nanny-dog fairytales), while their bad traits are couched in euphemism so that any non-dog-owning person wouldn't understand them.

    Not that I'm saying everyone should rush out and buy a border collie (most people are too lazy or overworked these days to get out and spend 2 – 3 hours with the dog per day), but I'm certainly glad I ended up with a border collie and not an Akita or I could quite easily have ended up like this poor woman.

  6. "She passed away today while helping rehab an orphaned akita in the hopes of him becoming adoptable. "

    They make it sound peaceful.

  7. What is with the obsession with trying to "rehabilitate" dogs with bite history? It seems as though "rescue" organizations try HARDER to work with aggressive dogs, like it's some kind of badge of honor.
    I can honestly say I've become quite disillusioned with dog rescue organizations. I don't know that I'd trust any of them anymore. That's sad, because every organization's reputation takes a hit when one is proven to be dishonest and disreputable. Who are you supposed to trust? We're talking the safety of our children and families. It seems like every week a new organization (and they always seem to flaunt their tax-exempt status) is exposed for being another cog in the aggressive dog "rehab" machine.

    Some of the things they wrote about Akitas – good Lord! Who exactly should own one? A hermit in the woods?

  8. About a decade ago, I was shopping for a new home owner insurance policy. I stopped by an American Family insurance office and was told that they didn't write policies for homes with Akitas.

    They also didn't cover pit bulls, chows, Rottweilers, and wolf hybrids.

  9. @ K-Hart, I feel exactly the same about dog rescues. I've done guinea pig rescue, it was a fantastic experience. I tried helping a local dog rescue that specializes in hound rescue, beagles in particular, but they couldn't help themselves and took on some pit mixes, one which latched onto a sweet fox hound and caused the rescue to use $2000.00 to stitch her up to save her. And they STILL tried to adopt out that pit mix. I got out as soon as I got my foster greyhound mix adopted out. I can't deal with the pit element, it's not only self defeating, it's dangerous.

  10. There is apparently a difference between the Akita as it exists in its homeland and the Americanized version. I have some doubts about this, but have heard it claimed that the Japanese version is smaller and less aggressive (despite the history) and that the American version is larger and more aggressive.

    Lucu, I have had a similar experience wrt collie breeds/mixes. They've always been my favorite types, I've owned 3 and none have ever been a problem. Yet as I look for a new dog, I keep hearing how Border Collies and similar collies breeds are *very* tricky and demanding. I know a trainer who has excellent skills but has completely lost credibility with me after repeatedly discouraging me from acquiring a collie type. She constantly claims that she sees a lot of aggressive ones, and as you said talks up the their undoubted challenging aspects (they are super-active to a degree that can be exhausting) as if they're really terrible, unbearable problems. This same woman owns an 80lb pit bull and is trying to 'rehab' a second pit bull that's already launching serious attacks at a few months old. But it's collies that are a problem…

  11. Rescues adopting out dogs with bite histories should be prosecuted…maybe the rest will learn and change their policies.

    Sarah, I've seen a number of news stories about dogs being killed while boarded. I certainly would never board a dog!

  12. From above: "Harris . . .does not want anyone to "blame the breed" for his wife's death. "They’re not aggressive. Just like pit bulls, people think that they’re all aggressive. They’re not," he said.

    I think that tells me everything I need to know about this 'rescue'.

  13. I used to volunteer at an animal shelter in my freshman year at college, and stories like this are why I stopped and will never return to another one. People are too obsessed with trying to "rehabilitate" dangerous animals when there are plenty of safe animals they could invest in as potential pets as well. This woman would still be alive if people weren't trying to spend their time "saving" killer dogs who should not be "saved".

  14. Two thoughts:

    1. That dog looks very old, much older than 6.

    2. Sounds like she was a breeder/Akita hoarder who was helping to create the problem of more Akitas in need of homes and "rehabilitation." I have seen this before . In my area, we have a woman who breeds rottweilers but also runs a rottweiler rescue which appears to be more of a rottweiler hoarding facility. She begs for money, help, support for all these homeless dogs while she continues to breeed and make more of them.

  15. I wonder when one of the neighbors will speak up. As in, "We were afraid to walk past that house because of all those dogs. They'd bark and lunge at the fence, no matter who went by."

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