A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

There are animal lovers, and then there's this

What would you do if your dog attacked your elderly mother? What would you do if that same dog later KILLED your elderly mother?
A plastic surgeon spent three hours sewing up Linda Mittino's face after her son's dog first attacked her in November.

But she insisted the 7-year-old German shepherd, called Bear, deserved a second chance.

On Monday, the animal lover's loyalty cost her her life when the dog once again turned on her — this time attacking in her bedroom.

"She called him her protector. She loved that dog," said her son, Joe Mittino, the dog's owner.

"I don't know what happened. My mom isn't here to tell me and the dog can't talk."

...Bear, whose registered name is Baron von Valentine, was the seventh German shepherd the family had kept as a pet over the years. Linda Mittino also kept a greyhound and eight cats.

Joe Mittino said Bear was always aggressive about protecting his owner and territory.

"I took him to obedience school, but we didn't do too good," Joe Mittino said.

His sister, Lisa Boenzle, said she feared the dog, especially after it attacked her husband, who went to the hospital with serious bite wounds last year.

"You always had to keep an eye on him," she said. "You couldn't know for sure what he was thinking. The dog needed to be put down after the first attack," Lisa Boenzle said. "But my mom didn't want to take the dog away from my brother."

Joe Mittino said he intended to get one-on-one training for Bear after the attack. He scheduled an appointment to have the dog neutered Jan. 25. He hoped the procedure would curb his temperament.

Police said they expect no criminal charges from the attack, since the animal killed one of its owners, the first such case in memory in St. Louis County.

Most family members insist that the dog should be euthanized now.

"He needs to be put down. He killed my mother," Lisa Boenzle said. "He's a threat to every human."

Officials were holding the dog Tuesday at St. Louis County's animal control shelter. Delores Gunn, director of the St. Louis County Health Department, will determine if the dog should be euthanized after a hearing if the family does not request it to be put down.

But Joe Mittino wondered about other options Tuesday. He said he wished the dog could live in seclusion in rural Missouri.

"I bet he'd be OK there with no one around," he said. "I'd keep him in a pen."

I mean-- What the HELL is wrong with this guy? His dog has attacked people in the family at least three times, twice in the last two months. The animal killed his mother. And he wants it to go live in a pen in the country? First of all, if he loves this animal, that is hardly humane. Second, he has shown precious little intiative in attempting to control this animal-- they often say there are no bad dogs; there are only bad owners. No matter what, however, the animal has not been socialized to be around humans, and he has killed.

I love, love LOVE my dogs. But this is crazy.


At 1/17/07, 6:33 PM, Blogger Nic said...

He's an idiot, who should never be responsible for the care of an animal. Good god.

At 1/17/07, 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe he is waiting for his dog to get loose, injure (or worse) someone else, then get sued for everything he will ever have. If I was one to sue him, I'd also sue the local authorities for allowing a dangerous, hazzardous beast who has attacked, harmed and killed to remain alive. Perhaps the fates will reward him for his apparent lack of remorse over what his dog has done....perhaps, he'll be next on fido's menu.

At 1/18/07, 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I would love to be this guys neighbor.

At 1/19/07, 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are actually friends of the person who died. Yes this is a tragedy that we all are morning. What the article does not tell you is that her son has mental problems. He has had problems all his life. His mother was a very caring person who loved her son dispite of his problems. He is in his late forties and she was still taking care of him. Unfortunatly it cost her-her life. If you really knew this person, you would understand how senseless of a death this was. We all feel terrible that this had happened. She was a great animal lover, who also loved her son. She often took in animals that were neglected, and abandoned. Several over the years. She was somewhat like a Steve Irwin. Her son's dog probably should have been put down long ago, but it was something her son really loved, and she loved her son. It is probably very hard for most people to understand. I agree her son's comments are just wrong, but he is not in a normal state of mind.

At 4/9/07, 6:54 AM, Blogger Bijoy said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

At 5/3/07, 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sad story with an unfortunately even sadder ending.


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