7.20.2012

a pit bull, a cop, and a happy ending

Now here's something we don't see every day, although we should, and we could.

The police are called to investigate "a vicious pit bull"... and they don't assume the story to be true, don't draw their weapons, don't shoot the animal on sight. In fact, a police officer rescues the dog, first to a shelter, and then to his own home. Here's the story in the officer's own words, written to a blogger called Modified k9 Pit Bull Rescue. Click through for great pics.
I'm a Police Officer in Baltimore City. I am originally from Wilkes-Barre, and I am a fan of your organization and Pit Bulls. Today I received a call while on duty about a vicious dog chasing kids. When I came on the scene, I noticed people yelling out their windows at the dog. I followed the dog into an ally to see how it was acting. Going on my own approach, being a dog lover, I got out of my car and called the "vicious dog" over to me. The dog came over with it's tail between it's legs and panting. I grabbed my water bottle and the dog sat down next to me and began licking my pants. I started giving the dog water. I brought the dog over and waited for the pound to show up. My partner was not a fan of dogs and was startled by my approach. I suggested to him that this dog cannot be put down, and should be taken to a shelter. We took it upon ourselves to take the dog to the shelter, and transported it in the back seat in the back of our patrol car. Then I decided that I wanted to keep the dog, and spoke to the shelter about the steps to take to adopt it. The dog was originally kept outside and was filthy, and now it just might have a new home. I know you like positive pictures so I have attached a few. Have a great day and keep up the good work!

Officer Dan Waskiewicz
Baltimore City Police
Why is the pit bull in this story now someone's cherished family companion, and not long dead by a bullet? One, the man didn't hate the dog based on his appearance; that is, he wasn't bigoted. And two, the officer invested a small amount of time in the situation before taking action. That's all it took.

Thanks to Antonia Z.!

Update. Even after this dog was rescued by a kind and rational police officer, its life still might have been in danger. As Dharma Seeker points out in a comment, a third ingredient was necessary: the absence of a pit bull ban or other similar breed-specific legislation. In Ontario, for example, the officer might not have shot the dog, but the dog - friendly, loving, neglected - probably would have been killed in the animal shelter. It makes no sense.

10 comments:

Stephanie said...

Puts a big smile on my face, thanks. D

Amy said...

Brought me to tears. The lessons here go far beyond pit bulls, of course. Never judge anyone by appearance, class, race, etc.

What a wonderful story.

Dharma Seeker said...

There's one more critical piece that made this story possible - the absence of BSL. If this had been in Ontario the dog would likely have been destroyed at the shelter. I don't know why the right against BSL isn't gaining more traction among dog lovers :(

laura k said...

Dharma, thanks for that, I'm annoyed with myself for not including that in the post.

laura k said...

I'm annoyed with myself for not including that in the post.

When will I learn to not rush posts. :(

Amy said...

What is BSL?

allan said...

Breed Specific Legislation.

Dharma Seeker said...

@Amy in the most basic sense it's the legislated banning of a particular breed (or breeds) that requires the destruction of said breeds under most circumstances. Even if it's a model canine that's never harmed a fly.

@Laura apparently I rush my comments :P I meant *FIGHT against BSL not "right" against BSL. grr.

Amy said...

Thanks for the explanation. It is awful.

laura k said...

BSL is the reason all my pro-pitbull posts are tagged with the "bigotry" label - since BSL punishes dogs and their people based solely on appearance, not on actions. And the punishment is usually the death of the dog.