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News of Calamities That Could Have Been Averted


Seminole County Parents Ignore Barking Dogs as Their Child is Being Mauled
Summary: The parents of a seven-year-old Sanford, Florida girl failed to respond to the barking of their backyard dogs, one of whom was, at that moment, in the process of delivering 240 puncture wounds their seven-year-old daughter.

Elderly Lakewood Woman Raped and Beaten into Unconsciousness as Neighbors Ignore Dogs Who Call for Help
Summary: A sixty-two-year-old woman from Lakewood, Washington was raped and severely beaten, possibly after having been followed home by her as yet unknown assailant.

Several of the victim's neighbors heard her dogs barking the night of the attack. However, believing that the untrained dogs were barking without provocation, they failed to investigate, leaving the victim to lie unconscious on the floor until she was discovered by her daughter the next morning.

Three Burglaries in Jersey in Rapid Succession While Everyone Ignores Dog Who Sounds the Alarm
Summary: A New Jersey burglar broke into the basements of two South River residents and tried unsuccessfully to enter a third, all while the dog of one of the home owners barked out a warning. The dog owner heard the animal barking. Presumably, since their residences are in extremely close proximity to one another, the people from the other households heard it as well. However, no one investigated to learn why the dog was barking frantically. Ironically, the noise of the animal sounding the alarm may well have covered up the sounds of the burglary in progress.

If you are not going to train your dog so he will know when to bark and what to bark at, and when to be quiet. And you are not going to check to see what the problem is each and every time he barks, then what you have in your backyard is not really a watchdog. What you have is just a noise machine with a capacity for suffering ­ that everyone struggles to ignore.

Lack of an Enforceable Anti-Barking Ordinance Results in Puppy Being Starved to Death in San Francisco
Summary: A San Francisco woman chained her 5-month-old pit bull puppy to the toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom of her public housing apartment, and then left it there to slowly die from lack of food. Reportedly, before the end, the dog ate its plastic food bowl in a bid to stave off starvation.

The newspaper story from which this account was taken does not say that the dog barked chronically. However, anybody who knows dogs, knows that the animal did not just sit in isolation starving quietly without protesting its plight. Beyond a doubt, she cried out long and loud, and for a prolonged period of time. The article also does not state that the neighbors complained to the city about the barking, and it is possible that they did not. After all, why would they? Everybody who has been around the block a few times knows that the city will not do anything about a barking dog, as is evidenced by the fact that the city of San Francisco has zero officers assigned to the task of barking dog enforcement.

However, if there had been an immediately enforceable barking law in place, and it was well known that there was a professional staff on call that could be counted on to show up Johnny on the spot to bring barking problems to a quick end, the neighbors would have reported the barking. And the thorough investigation that should quickly follow all barking dog complaints would have resulted in the puppy's abuse being brought to an end.

Law Enforcement's Failure to Respond to Barking Dogs Results in Trauma All the Way Around in Ewing, New Jersey
Summary: A Ewing woman and her dog suffered severe injuries when they were attacked by two rampaging pit bulls, as was a second woman, a good Samaritan, who tried to help the first victim ward off the ferocious dogs.

One of the pit bulls was killed by police officers who shot him once with a shotgun and then hit him again with a second blast when he still refused to break off the assault. The other pit bull has been ordered put to death. The little dog they attacked had to be to be hospitalized for $4,000 worth of veterinary treatment. The women the pit bulls attacked were injured, scarred and traumatized. Their lives have been altered forever. The owners of the pit bulls were forced to pay $10,000 in fines and compensation. They were also distraught. Everyone was upset. There were tears all the way around in the courtroom on the day that the judge handed down his decision.

Clearly, the dog owners were in way over their heads with those dogs, and they may not have even known it.

There had been complaints about the pit bull's chronic barking. The authorities should have come out right then, assessed the situation, and brought the hammer down at that point. If they had, all the trauma that followed could have been averted.

Cobbleskill: Forty-Eight Dogs Live in Squalor and Die in Agony Because Authorities in N. Y. Make an Inadequate Response to Complaints of Chronic Barking
Summary: Authorities in New York discovered forty-eight dogs, largely abandoned in a house in Cobblestone, dying from starvation, dehydration and exposure. Throughout the property, there was a sickening stench coming from dead animals in various stages of decay.

The woman who owned the house and collected the dogs lived elsewhere and dropped in from time to time to provide them with what little care they received.

The neighbors had complained about the constant barking for over a year. If the authorities had responded to the barking complaint by assessing the situation in the home, all of those dogs would have been spared their suffering.

Sacramento Woman Ignores Untrained Dog Who Tries to Warn of Home Invasion
Summary: A Sacramento couple were surprised by a Metahamphetamine-crazed home invasion robber, who bound them and held them at knifepoint for five hours before fleeing with their belongings.

Early on in the incident, the couple's dog had barked out an alarm to warn the wife that the armed invader was in the garage, but the dog had never been taught what to bark at and what to ignore. Consequently, she mistook his warning for frivolous barking, and walked out into the garage where she fell into the clutches of the culprit.

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