PA2 days ago
Erica-Lynn - I am so sorry for your losses, but please know that there are worse things for animals than euthanasia. Sometimes animals, either from nature or nurture, that are not safe to have in your home with your children or your other animals. Euthanising an animal that has killed another animal prevents that from happening again in someone else's home and also keeps a dog like Nina from being abused in the future. I wish that every dog could find a home where they can be an only dog, but it is not feasible. I don't believe in the wholesale slaughter of unwanted animals, but until we, as a society, prevent unwanted animals, we need to care for them all the way to the appropriate end for each animal.
San Francisco2 days ago
This dog was seriously deranged and unpredictably violent. I think the adoption people were at fault for not listening to the owners' concerns and for implicitly blaming the owners. I've known dogs who have attacked. Once that happens, no second chances should be given.
Putnam County, NY2 days ago
I wrote a long comment and lost it. I want to say that there are some dogs that have behavioral issues that cannot be fixed. At best, they can be managed. I had a dog that I raised from a puppy that would be fine for weeks and then snap. I socialized her, took her through three levels of obedience classes that she passed with flying colors, worked one on one with a trainer, and tried two different medications with my vet. She was unpredictably aggressive. She bit me twice and my husband once. The last straw was when she cornered me in the hall and would not let me pass her. It turned out that three of the 5 dogs in her litter at the shelter had serious behavioral issues. My trainer said that my dog was one of only three or four dogs that she advised be put down because of the sheer unpredictability of their aggression. Sadly, i agreed.
One last note- Cesar Milan has a large following, but is not respected by most professional dog trainers and behavioral specialists, and that is putting it nicely.
Oregon2 days ago
We have mistakenly come to believe the right care will cure any ill -- either of animals or humans. All we must do is become perfect in our treatment of them. (The comment regarding Cesar Milan is a polite understatement.)
Scott and Fuller, in their landmark study of canine behavior, have made it wonderfully clear that a great deal of behavior is inherited. Other behaviors are the complex product of both environment and genetics. There ARE bad dogs, some who are beyond even the most expert therapy. For those dogs, it often seems the kindest heart delays understanding of reality, and it matters not whether the problem is inherent or environmental.
Chicago2 days ago
Utter nonsense...I volunteer at a shelter where thousands of animals have been successfully placed in new "forever" homes and quickly become cherished members of the family. The majority of surrendered animals arrive at shelters due to various and sundry reasons. Very few are incorrigibly aggressive -- and those particular animals are recognized as such at qualified shelters. To suggest that breeders furnish "perfect" pets leads me to wonder if the above comment is furnished by an individual who has an economic interest in the animal-breeding industry, or worse yet, "puppy mils".
In Reply to D Shaw
Dataw Island, SC2 days ago
I had virtually the same experience years ago with a lab puppy. Always headstrong and willful, at nine months professional trainer recommended we put her down as "having absolutely no respect for authority or desire to please". We thought: no way, at nine months? A lab of all breeds? Nonsense.
We persevered and he bit the mailman, We neutered him to find out he was a hermaphrodite. Then he, unprovoked, tore up a child in out home. Thank God the child recovered completely both emotionally and physically, and the parents remained our close, non-litigious, friends. We put the (now) two year old down.
Folks, remember that some dogs, like people, are simply evil and incorrigible. Don't think that they all can be saved, changed, managed, whatever. There are too many wonderful dogs to accept the risks and travails of keeping a bad one.
Ohio2 days ago
As a lover of animals generally, I will not, however, support "rescues," whether canine, feline, or equine. In my observation, most rescuers are motivated by an anthropomorphic need to feel morally superior to the "heartless" people who do not try to fix the unfixable; and by their own inability to make the difficult but necessary decision to euthanize dangerous animals. The results are uncounted animals like the dog in this story, medical and veterinary bills, and untold frustration, disappointment, and sorrow on the part of the final owners.
Dogs, cats, and horses are domestic animals, shaped by millennia of selective breeding for temperament to overcome the aggression of their wild fore-bearers. Until the rise of the rescue movement, it was generally understood that the best way to acquire a pet was to take the time to go to a breeder whose first concern was temperament, and to acquire the pet at an age when it could be well-socialized top the family in which it would live out its life. Badly bred animals who were innately aggressive, or those which had been badly socialized were destroyed before they could hurt someone, and wisely so. People and other animals were safer and happier with one another, and aggressive animals did not reproduce, and did not live out what otherwise would have been their angry, fearful lives.
That approach took a kind a maturity, discipline, and emotional strength that appears to be missing from the current rescue movement.
Boston2 days ago
It angers and offends me to see the comments blaming the author when she was clearly the victim. As she says, none of the damage to her family and pets would have happened if she hadn't been guilt-tripped into keeping a dog that clearly didn't belong in a house with a family and pets. Most dogs can be trained to be good companions, but some simply cannot, either because they were traumatized when they were young or because they are mentally ill for some other reason. Guilt tripping people into keeping such dogs leads to danger and tragedy. Blaming them afterwards compounds the psychic damage.
The Poet McTeagle
California2 days ago
Four other pets and two children? Totally the wrong situation for a puppy with fear issues. A home with no other pets and adults only would have been the right placement. The rescue organization made a mistake and so did the trainer. They should have known better.
North Florida2 days ago
7 yrs ago, I adopted two female ridgeback mixes. For different reasons, they had no problems with my older, larger male ridgeback and a small spaniel. But an older spaniel mix was cranky with them. Six months after their introduction, with neither me nor my wife in the house, they attacked the older spaniel and killed her.
Prior to that, they had killed a cat of the woman who had taken them from the adoption shelter, which had been reluctant to place one of them. They had jumped my fence and attacked a neighbor's cat. But I was still shocked they had attacked a dog, esp one that lived with us. I knew that the preferred dog had displayed a marked disregard of humans and a more easily quickened prey drive.
I was inexperienced with dogs of this nature. I could not in good conscience pass them, or one of them, to someone else. I felt one of them could be rehabbed. I had my preferred dog euthanized.
That night, the survivor emitted a lone howl in the middle of the night. I've never forgotten her sister or, of course, the howl. But the survivor has flourished and has become my favorite among my group, which includes the small spaniel and more ridgebacks, and she is the most obedient, eager-to-please dog I've ever had.
The best we can do is provide a home to a small fraction of the massive numbers of unwanted dogs being euthanized daily. When one proves unfit, we must deal with it and overcome the heartache by helping with the vast numbers that remain.
New York2 days ago
I agree, and speaking as someone with a background in animal behavior, prey aggression (which is why Nina killed Addie) and fear aggression (likely the cause of her reactions towards the humans in the household) are the two most intractable forms of canine aggression. They cannot be medicated or trained out of existence, only managed. Sadly, Nina is a dog who in my professional opinion might be best euthanized...and I do not say this lightly.
In Reply to MLL