Her Name Was Tiffany

As the parent of a child who was mauled by a dangerous dog (but not to death, as happened in the wrenching tragedy yesterday

16 comments

  1. Rogue109 says:

    SpaceyG: I was unaware of your own personal story as it reflects on this issue and you have my sympathies. Dangerous dog laws need to be strengthened and now is the time to begin to write to members of the General Assembly for action next session.

    I will note, though, that the IG in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, Shawn LaGrua, was able to push through (when she was the DeKalb County Solicitor-General) and have signed by Purdue a bill known as Mercedes Law, which provides stiffer penalties for dog owners.

    Here’s the old press release:
    http://www.dekalbsolicitorgeneral.org/pdf/mercedes_law_4.27.06.pdf

  2. Doug Deal says:

    The owner should be treated as if the animal was a weapon in the owner’s hands. It kills someone? You are a murderer. It maims someone, you are guilty of assault. It destroys a neighbor

  3. jsm says:

    I know the child in this case was innocent in her unsupervised venture and did not understand the danger, and I believe the blame in the Tiffany Pauley case lies with her family. Remember that the animal was chained up on the owner’s property. Tiffany wandered away from her house undetected. What if she had wandered into the street and been hit by a car? The dog may have been merely reacting to an unfamiliar intruder, protecting his property or his food bowl by instinct.

    My feelings on this particular case, however, do not mean that I think the issue of dangerous animals should not be addressed. There are far too many instances in which innocent humans are attacked and mangled by vicious animals who are not restrained. In those cases, the owner should be held accountable for the actions of the animal. Frankly, I see no justifiable reason that anyone would own a pit bull or other dog bred for fighting, anyway.

    Spacey, I’m sorry for what your child and your family had to go through because of an uncontrolled animal. I do hope our state lawmakers will address this issue with real solutions in the next session.

  4. Nicki says:

    While I share your dismay about Tiffany Pauley, I don’t agree with the conclusions you reach. In her case, the animals were restrained on private property. While I don’t believe animals should be chained, there is no reason why their owner should be charged when they appear to have attacked a child who trespassed on private property where she should not have been and cannot have been anticipated to be. The owner was also fully compliant with law enforcement upon learning that she was missing.

    And this is not about the breed.* 99.9% of the time it is about animals that are unneutered/unspayed, young, used for nefarious purposes and poorly socialized, and unsupervised/uncontained. The quickest way to make a significant difference in the number of people bitten and/or killed, therefore, is to undertake aggressive spay/neuter programs and to enforce our existing humane care and leash and containment laws.

    *I own a pit bull and a pit bull mix — neither of which has ever or will ever maul anyone. I have also rescued and handled a lot of different dog breeds in various capacities, mostly humane, and there are few that I would consider inherently dangerous.

  5. Doug Deal says:

    Nicki,

    I was not really commenting on this case, but the general case of a stray, poorly kept dog attacking and killing a person.

    However, on this case. Keeping viscious dogs in a city is not a good idea. If you want to take the risk that nothing will happen, then so be it, but if your dog kills someone, and it was not a justified attack, you should go to jail, just as you would if you accidentally shot someone out of careless and not self defense.

  6. Nicki says:

    We’re probably in agreement, Doug, as long as we can agree that “vicious dog” is not necessarily synonymous with “pit bull or pit bull-type dog.”

    I think we do ourselves a huge disservice when we concentrate on what the dog’s breed is instead of what the dog’s history is. There are so many cases of serious bites that were pretty predictable, in which animals have been known to run at large routinely, etc. Which means those incidents are pretty preventable. People always say “these were family pets. They just turned on people,” but that’s almost never true. Most animals who kill have certain characteristics in common, and those characteristics can be assessed in advance. Having jerkoff owners who want dogs for status so they can look like scary badasses is a great indicator, for example.

  7. Doug Deal says:

    Nicki,

    I know you do not like singling out a breed, but would you like to have a neighbor keep a lion on a chain in his yard? If it is all about the treatment of the animal, then why would a lion be more dangerous than an alley cat?

    Of course there are genetic dispositions that cannot be overcome. If genetics can affect physical size, you bet that it can affect temperament. All dogs are not created equally.

    However, you are right the whole set of vicious dogs includes a large number that are not just those two breeds.

  8. SpaceyG says:

    Obviously, dog bite cases bring up so many issues. In our case, we were told the dog had never bitten before. We believed that until during legal proceedings, it turned out that the dog had indeed bitten before, several times. Yet the owners still treated it like it was “part of the family” and felt it was perfectly ok to bring it along to a party where children would be.

    In this particular case, which has since been settled, it did not have a thing to do with breed, but everything to do with the owner’s stupidity, foolishness and negligance.

    And although they say the dog who killed Tiffany Pauley had never bitten, we simply do not know all the facts about this case yet. One thing no one should EVER make the mistake of saying is that their pet will NEVER bite someone. I am the owner of a dog myself, and I can’t guarantee, 100%, the future temperment of this dog, or any other.

  9. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    Take your hysterical, irrational drivel and suck it back into your brain and leave it there.

    The child wandered INTO the yard of the dog where the dog WAS CHAINED-UP. And, you think the owner should be charged with murder?

    So, if someone breaks into my house, steals one of my guns and goes-out and kills someone with it, I should be held liable and charged with the murder?

    If you need a pair of the Jaws-of-Life to pull your head from your rear, go call 911.

  10. Nicki says:

    Spacey, agreed. But creating meaningful legal consequences for the failure to act responsibly would preclude most such incidents.

    And I can say that it is highly unlikely my dogs will maul anyone because I know what they are and I don’t leave them loose to attack people. In fact, I don’t leave them out alone at all — not for the safety of others, but for theirs. People steal pit bulls a lot, and do horrible things to them, and I can’t imagine allowing that to occur. They also have all been through obedience school. If anything, I’m suprised we don’t have MORE serious attacks. There are a lot of dogs running loose regularly, and a lot of bad owners.

    This also goes to our ideas of individual rights and autonomy. Namely, this is one area where aggressive government intervention would likely bear wonderful fruit.

    And Bill, a pit bull is a mid-sized dog with a handful of characteristics that make it potentially dangerous. They tend to have high prey drives, aggressive tendencies toward other dogs, a relatively high tolerance for pain, high intelligence, and game. These characteristics are shared with other breeds, almost none of which cannot be owned by a responsible owner. (I would argue that certain protective breeds and fighting dogs should only be owned by highly educated and responsible owners. But that’s as far as I go.)

  11. Doug Deal says:

    Bill,

    Take your hysterical, irrational drivel and suck it back into your brain and leave it there.

    You need to lay off the drugs. Or at least stop inhailing whatever Konop is smoking.

  12. frontierrots says:

    Let’s first remove the dogs from the equation

    What we have is a negligent parent. Parents of special needs children generally take precautions (locks high on doors, alarma on doors etc) to prevent these sweet children from wandering off. What if this innocent child had instead been struck and killed by an automobile or train? Drown in a pool or lake? Lost in the woods and died of exposure?

    All are equally possible given that the parents were clueless about the whereabouts of this child. Would you be up in arms about this case the same way then? Probably not, instead you’d be yelling about dumb parents

    Dangerous dogs regardless of breed or size (dangerous meaning the dog has bitten or injured a human unprovoked before) SHOULD be legislated against. Breed specific laws do nothing except cause the dumb owners or lawbreakers to simply choose a different breed to ruin. Banning specific breeds is like banning one type of car. People will just get a different type and still cause an injury with it

    Do you know the number one dog breed that causes bite wounds to humans is a Labrador? The more popular a breed the higher the bite % will be. Labradors have been #1 in the US for quite some time so this makes sense.

    Chaining dogs should also be banned. One of the top commonalities in bites to children is approaching a chained dog (regardless of breed)

    Top this conversation off with the simple fact that we don’t really know which dog bit the child. Sure she was closest to the Rottweiler, but she certainly could have also been bitten by one or both of the other chained dogs and then stumbled over to and died next to the Rott… Who knows.

    This reminds me sadly of the case of the young boy left home alone with two Rottweilers. He was found mauled in his back yard and both dogs were killed. Only later did someone think to ask the boy what happened and turned out the female fought the male off the boy and saved his life. For that great effort she was rewarded by being killed and villified instead of loved and cherished.

    In this case today we are still looking at a deficient parent and a dead child, no matter how she died

    I’m still of the belief that people who wish to own animals OR produce children should have to pass some sort of an exam to prove that they have a clue about the respnsibilities involved. Just like needing a license to drive a car or a permit to own a handgun. But we know that will never happen

    Rest in peace dear child. You are safe now from clueless people

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