Aside from the heroism of two men in Riverbank; aside from the terror of the victim, the painful injuries she suffered, the gross negligence of a dog owner, the lack of regulations to protect the citizens of Stanislaus County, one thing stood out in The Bee’s reporting about last weekend’s pit bull attack: The bent hammer.
Isidro de Jesus Carrasco Vasquez charged out the front door of his restaurant, Nifty’s, to save the life of a 74-year-old woman who was being mauled by a pit bull. He brought with him a hammer, which he used to pound the dog until it let go of the woman’s leg. He hit the “bull terrier” – aka, pit bull – so many times and so hard that the hammer’s handle bent.
This attack absolutely could have been fatal. Modesto’s Juan Fernandez was killed by three pit bulls in 2014, but he saved his elderly mother who had been the dog’s first victim.
Wednesday’sstory prompted this tweet: “Heroes save woman and her dog from pit bull attack. Don’t blame dog; blame those who refuse to pass restrictions on deadly dogs.” Here’s why: We know pit bulls are aggressive, they are deadly and our elected officials have failed to protect us.
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When Kristin Olsen was in the State Assembly she noted that state laws insist pit bulls are just like any other breed, an argument refuted by statistics. Pit bulls and their cousins are responsible for two thirds of all fatal attacks on humans. This year, pit bulls have killed an infant in Ohio; a 61-year-old Mississippi woman; a 76-year-old woman in Florida; a 65-year-old woman in Montana, a toddler in Maine, a 3-week-old baby in Michigan. The list goes on. (The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. recently laid out the facts quite succinctly.)
In 2014, Olsen noted that anyone who suggests better regulating aggressive dogs is attacked by the ferocious pit-bull lobby. But they’re never around to clean up the mess or swing the hammer that saves a life.
We’re calling on Olsen, now a county supervisor, to pass ordinances similar to those in Ripon and Manteca that make it illegal to let pit bulls run free; that limits ownership of aggressive dogs; that sets standards for caging them; that requires better liability insurance. Most importantly, we’d like to see a law that eliminates second chances for dangerous dogs that injure humans.
Oakdale animal control says the Riverbank dog isn’t “aggressive toward people;” tell that to its hospitalized victim. Pit bulls attack and kill people. But they don’t do it without the indifference of a lot of people.
Modesto’s city council delayed, again, making a decision on its city manager. It didn’t initiate a search to find a new one or give the job to its interim, Joe Lopez. Anyone who takes the job has to realize that city managers are like managers in baseball: they’re hired to be fired and they’re only as good as the team around them. That’s why it’s so important to demand the right attitude, approach and accountability. When you’ve got all that, the city’s “record” is bound to improve.
President Donald Trump famously implied that Colin Kaepernick is a “son of a bitch” for kneeling during the National Anthem. Teresa Kaepernick then made mothers everywhere proud by calling herself a “proud bitch.” We’re proud of her. Interesting that people on both sides of the issue – angry over treatment of Kap or angry players are “allowed” to kneel – are calling for an NFL boycott. A better reason to boycott? The brain damage suffered by virtually every player who makes it to the league.