In a world like this, there are always two sides to every story.
Initial reports cited many things, including a two year old male pit bull attacking two different people before turning on one of the police officers that arrived at the scene.
Five shots, and two separate weapons, were used to detain and kill the attacking dog.
An anonymous source close to the investigation contacted the Examiner to provide another view of this story.
The attacking dog was reported to be 2 years old, but is more than likely a little over a year old. He was roaming free, with a 6 month old pit bull type dog who was in heat.
The cocakpoo, who suffered the brunt of injuries from the attack, was being walked by an elderly man. This dog was contained on a leash. It's possible that the male pit bull approached the female out of sexual desire. At this time, the initial encounter, and what may have provoked the incident, is unknown.
The elderly man, aged 73, was bitten trying to disconnect the two dogs. After that, the owner of the cockapoo also tried to do the same, but was bitten. Bite records have not been made available, but a source suggests that the female owner is unsure as to which dog provided the bite to her hand. That's truly unimportant in the sequence of events, but written word suggests that the pit bull was fully responsible.
Officers fired on the male as he “charged” an officer. That's how the articles read. No officer was bitten. And while the hail of bullets stopped the dog, it didn't kill the young pit bull until five had been fired. The final shots were at very close range.
It's important to note that the source says “The pit bull NEVER went after ANY humans in this situation and the people that were bit, it was due to trying to break up the fight.” This can be common with owners of multiple dogs. It's easy to forget the basics when trying to stop a fight. When in doubt, your hands should not come near a dog's mouth. An object can be wedged in between the two animals and spare the hand!
None of the dogs in question were neutered or spayed. And despite claims to the contrary, it's been suggested that none of the dogs, including the 25 lbs. poodle mix, were up to date on vaccinations.
The reality is, this side of the story makes everything worse. Nothing will be better for those involved. The medium sized dog in question has been tragically hurt, but is expected to recover. Two individuals have been bitten, by a dog with no vaccination records. And, that dog lost its life because of irresponsible owners.
Why is everything worse? Because, this goes well beyond a pit bull story, as first suggested by the news headlines. Truth be told, this could have just as easily been a lab mix. Roaming dogs are a serious issue. No animal should be free to run city streets. It's not safe for the animals nor those in society.
In-tact dogs are more than likely to bite, attack, and defend; more than any spayed or neutered canine. When a female is in heat, there's a single purpose to mate. Hormones control brain and body. When unaltered male dogs are near females in heat, protective instincts kick in.
The owner of the two pit bulls is being cited, and possibly fined. The outcome is short of what the penalties should be. The owner in question failed these animals. Dogs are pets and family members. It's simply irresponsible to allow ones animals to run free.
This incident could have easily been avoided. The solution has nothing to do with a specific breed. Responsible owners do not allow their animals to roam free. Their dogs are vaccinated and registered in the appropriate counties.
And, unless the dogs in question are being bred for the betterment of a blood line, there's no reason to not have companion animals spayed and neutered. Studies show that this can add longevity to the life of the animal, calm the hormonal natures of the canine, and help to prevent certain cancers. Most importantly, it helps to control and overwhelmingly large pet population that continues to grow, especially in the Lehigh Valley.
There are two sides to every story. In the future, seek out both before making a final judgment.