Judge rules embattled local pit bull can live, not with owner

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Updated: 6/17/2013 12:33 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- It was a matter of life or death today for Dude the dog. A judge in Reno Justice Court decided Dude should live, but not in the care of his owner, Sally Christensen.

Over the course of approximately four years, Dude got out of his owner's supervision several times. Some neighbors believed Dude was dangerous, and some reported the dog had bit them.

Dude has been with Animal Control since January. Tomorrow, he will head to Mound House where he will be retrained and reevaluated by Cold Nose Kennels.

Christensen was ordered to pay a fine totaling $355 or 36 hours in community service. She also has to pay $1,260 in restitution to Washoe County for the time he was in their care.



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Ronnie - 6/21/2013 11:36 AM
0 Votes
The dog should have been humanely euthanized. It may have shown bite inhibition, or it may have been unable to gain a grip. The fact is, it's intent was to grip on/bite; and it did. So, it's a bitedog.

Hy21brid - 6/18/2013 7:52 PM
1 Vote
I am SO glad to see a Judge realize and rule according to the philosophy that the owners need to be held responsible and often times are the problem. Now, maybe she'll think twice before getting another dog that she doesn't intend to spend time training or taking responsiblity for, since it has cost her time and money!

Hlukhard - 6/18/2013 3:07 PM
1 Vote
People like DebbieBell who have prob never owned a pit or had any interaction with them go by what the media have unfairly portrayed about them.Pits are used for fighting, many against their will.Look up Misty's Journey on facebook if you want to see what a truepitbull is.She was a bait dog in dog fighting.Many pits won't stand up in the degrading conditions.They're too loving & compassionate.A small % are pushed into fighting & then the other vast majority of the breed are accused of being vicious.It's very sad & frustrating.Pits are chosen to fight because they are loyal to their owners.They'll do what they're told & unfortunately have to fight for their lives.The MVick case showed that many of those dogs can be rehabilitated.The same traits that make them preferred to fight make them great family pets.They're loyal, do what they're trained to do & are easily trained BECAUSE of their desire to please their owners.I have a 10 month pit I inherited from my daughter.I had no desire to have a dog much less a pit.I fell in love w/her the minute I saw her & was glad when my daughter's living situation no longer allowed her to keep the dog.I've had many dogs & next to my Rottweiler I grew up with, this pit has been the absolute best dog I could've ever hoped for.If people that pass judgement on pits would take the time to see their true personality instead of going on various news reports their perceptions WOULD be changed.But saying pits are not NORMAL dogs & their owners don't care is absolutely wrong.I've had my pit that I walk on a leash attacked by 2 chihuahua's, a dachsun, & a german sheppard & my dog NEVER fought back.HID BEHIND ME!I have to walk w/a broomstick handle now. The Chihuahua owner, who's dog bolted out of it's house & ran straight for my dog, told her husband "You see what that thing is don't you?!" So don't say how other breeds never instigate trouble! I'm a responsible owner & I'll continue defending them.Shame on the uninformed/incorrect people!

CherokeeGirl - 6/18/2013 11:15 AM
2 Votes
DebbieBell you need to do your research. There’s a great deal of confusion associated with the label “pit bull.” This isn’t surprising because the term doesn’t describe a single breed of dog. Depending on whom you ask, it can refer to just a couple of breeds or to as many as five—and all mixes of these breeds. The most narrow and perhaps most accurate definition of the term “pit bull” refers to just two breeds: the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff). Some people include the Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Bulldog in this group because these breeds share similar head shapes and body types. However, they are distinct from the APBT and the AmStaff. Because of the vagueness of the “pit bull” label, many people may have trouble recognizing a pit bull when they see one. Multiple breeds are commonly mistaken for pit bulls, including the Boxer, the Presa Canario, the Cane Corso, the Dogo Argentino, the Tosa Inu, the Bullmastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog and the Olde English Bulldogge. Think you can accurately identify a pit bull? Test yourself by following this link: http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Findthebull/findpitbull_v3.html. Are Pit Bulls Dangerous to People? Despite the fact that pit bulls were bred to fight with each other, early breeders took pride in producing dogs that were trustworthy and friendly to people. Handlers bathed their opponent’s dog before a match, stood in the pits with the battling dogs and often pulled them apart to end a fight. Any dog who behaved aggressively toward a person was culled, or killed, to avoid passing on such an undesirable trait. Pit bulls typically lived in their owner’s homes, where they earned the nickname “nursemaid’s dog” because they were so reliable with young children. In fact, “Pete the Pup,” the children’s friend from the old TV series “Our Gang,” was a pit bull.

AlexD - 6/18/2013 10:50 AM
1 Vote
Good ruling by the judge. Irresponsible owners of ANY dog should be held accountable for their failure to be responsible. It's also commendable that the judge recognized that Dude is not an inherently dangerous dog. In both bite reports, the skin was not punctured. As experienced dog professionals know, that shows great restraint on the part of the dog. Bite behavior never comes "out of the blue"; it is a series of escalating communication signals from the dog. Unfortunately, most humans aren't trained to recognize pre-bite behavior, and they ignore the signals (usually through ignorance). All too often, the dog is killed as a result of one of these instances when, in fact, the dog was just "being a dog". It's nice to see that this dog was judged on its behavior, and not on stupid, outdated, and unfounded myths about "pit bulls" spread by stupid, outdated, and irrelevant fear-mongers.

DebbieBell - 6/17/2013 7:49 PM
0 Votes
Pits can be happy, outgoing kissy faced snuggling with the kitty and the kids and next moment crash through a screen window to take now a passerby and the not stop attacking, all without being "angry or mean". A border collie isn't angry or mean when acting on her instincts to chase sheep, a golden retrieve isn't angry or mean when stealing a gardening glove from the neighbor's lawn chair. The difference with "good" pit bull instincts is that their "kill or die trying" dog fighting instincts can get another dog or a human maimed or killed. It is never the dog's fault; it is the fault of pit breeders/buyers, all the pit mongers who mislead the public and say that pits are normal dogs. Pits are NOT normal dogs. The pit men who created THE fighting dog know this; that's why they use pit exclusively for their dog fighting! If pit bully people cared about pits, they would offer ways to reduce pit attacks and the poor ownership that permits pit attacks to happen. But they don't so they won't. They do care about themselves and their ability to breed/own the dog of their choice. The disproportionate suffering and death that is the pit crisis, both caused by pits and suffering by pits, is acceptable to pit BULLY people.
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