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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news September 30, 2016

9/3/2013 2:34:00 PM
Pit bull killed by deputy after attacking donkey

CAMP VERDE -- The Camp Verde Marshal's Office reports that one of its deputies had to put down a neighborhood pit bull after it attacked a miniature donkey and critically mauled the animal Saturday. The dog had reportedly also threatened people.

Camp Verde dispatch received numerous 911 calls concerning the attack and the dog's aggressive nature.

The attack occurred in a field and continued after the officer arrived, leaving the deputy no option but to dispatch the dog, according to the report.

The Marshal's Office says the same dog had been reported at large twice in the past and its owner had been cited for allowing a vicious dog at large.

A veterinarian brought to the scene on Doug's Park Road advised the owners to put the donkey to sleep as well, since the injuries were so severe.

The dog's owner, 26-year-old Steven Spearman, had been cited twice in July.

In one case, the dog was fighting with another.

In the second case, Spearman was alleged to have abused the animal.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Article comment by: Addison Johnson

@californicste you have proved yourself to be the half wit in the conversation. By concluding on the mentality or motivation of a pit bull you are guilty of the same faulty reasoning you accuse others of. You are one of the reasons these problems exist, because you lack objective reasoning even in the face of objective fact.

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Article comment by: Helen Zanetti

Our daughter's very sweet and gentle Shiba Inu who weighed about 20 pounds was killed this past weekend in West Texas. A pit bull with No Collar or tags broke through a 2 yr old 7 foot high Privacy Fence to get at her.
Some wonderful neighbors came to her rescue and chased the pit bull off. She did not survive the night at the veterinary hospital. A wonderful pet is gone and we are all
angry and broken in spirit. We buried her this morning in Central Texas.

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013
Article comment by: @ Californicate?

The word would be Floridasation and like Californicate would mean to not bring your half witted ideals to an area and feel like your doing good when there was nothing wrong with it to begin with. As I mentioned before you have to understand the pack mentality when dealing with any dog breed. While the loss of an innocent sheltie is tragic, it is very explainable when thinking in the terms of the pack. Competition is nothing new and in a pack it is the way of life. The fenced yard was your pits domain and the sheltie was perceived to be too close. EXPLAINABLE. When a child is bitten by a dog, normally there is a reason, and the only two who knows what really happened was the child (who is too young to usually say what was happening) and the animal.

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: Californicate? How does that word apply to Florida??

Wh�t counties in California have banned pit?

Pits are banned in Miami, which is in Florida, not California. A dozen more counties have banned them in various other states. Eleven countries have restrictions on pits, and some have banned them across the world.

Ever wonder why it's just the pits that are banned? Maybe other countries too, have discovered the same problems in pits that has happen here too.

My pit was trained, exercised and disciplined when she needed it, and raised inside as a family member. She had 4 fenced acres to roam on in addition to hikes we took he on. Why she jumped the fence and killed the Sheltie just shows how unpredictable pits can be.

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: ricky Perry

Pitbull are used for the wrong reason yes they can be pets but people listen and listen clearly pitbulls are used only soulfully for hunting meaning if you are a hunter a big game hunter at that "wild bores" so if you are not a hunter this wound not be the dog for you read up on it thats what they were used for.

Posted: Friday, September 6, 2013
Article comment by: It isn't just pit bulls

And it isn't just bad owners.

I've seen superbly trained and cared for German shepherds suddenly berserk. My grandma's gorgeous, loved, disciplined, and totally pampered box terrier had to be put down because his vicious streak kept getting worse until even she got chomped. And haven't you met a few nippy Chihuahuas? Not to mention the breeds no intelligent person would leave loose near strange animals or small children. (My daughter loves Rottweilers and has never owned a mean one. But she'd never take one to a farmers market.)

Sometimes it's improper breeding. A dog gets popular, and the puppy mills churn them out. That happened to pit bulls because they can be such good companions and guard dogs rolled into one. Or breeders select for one trait and get a negative along with it, like dobermans and whippets.

So should we ban dog breeding? Or should good owners simply be careful and keep an extra eye on breeds known to have problems?

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: So Thankful

Good riddance, poor donkey.

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: @Ban in Yav County

you can attempt to Californicate Arizona as much as you like but banning a dog breed because the owners are not responsible is like taking shellfish of the menu for everyone because one person is allergic. These animals are listed as " friendly, enthusiastic and usually extremely affectionate towards humans. They express their affection through jumping up, nuzzling, licking". I have loved the breed for decades and have owned a handful. They have always been great pets and awesome additions to the family. I have never had a problem with any of my pits, mainly due to the fact you have to DISCIPLINE them to get them to understand the difference between what they are and are not allowed to do. The are a very intelligent breed and they will push the envelope every chance they can looking for the line they can or cannot cross. If there is no line, like anyone or anything, they will cross it. I have never believed the statistics of an "unprovoked attack" caused by one of these dogs. Yes it can happen, but then you punish the owner of that dog, not all owners who know how to take care of their animal. In the 1800's the breed was known as the "nanny dog", look it up. There is a reason for that. They love their human companions and they will protect them and treat them as if part of their pack.

The dog has to know it is at the bottom of the pack or it will attempt to "school" the ones it feels is lesser to them. Basic pack mentality, nothing more and definitely not aggressive. We as people try to humanize everything to death to the point we make animals appear aggressive or dangerous when they are not. Learn the animal as I have and you will have the best pet you can. If not, they you will have a terrorizing monster, but that is with any dog. Dalmatians, German Shepard's, Dobermans, Rottweilers, etc...all have had bad names in the past and there is a reason.....BAD OWNERS!

Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Article comment by: Wish I could trust them, but I can't and I don't trust shelters to place them into home

My dogs and I were attacked recently by a pit mix on our evening stroll on our street - all survived but it was totally unprovoked and the irresponsible owner took no responsibility for the injuries or the bills. My poor dog will never be the same and my nightmares will probably never cease. I no longer even feel safe to walk on my own street now. Once in the dog park - a woman lets her pit loose after I'd asked her to let us leave first ( she assured me it was "fine"), it walks right up to mine and rips her side open --- that too was totally unprovoked. That owner failed to take any responsibility either.
Shelters insist on saving EVERY animal but then apparently take little or no time to evaluate or train the pits to be proper pets and they apparently don't train the adopters either. I know of pits adopted locally that the new adopters feel unsafe in public with their pits and do not know how to manage the particular characteristics of the breed. So HOW exactly are these no kill shelters helping the pit breed by adopting to people with no training? Just finding them ANY home is the solution? I'd much rather see the shelters offering training to the new adopters and redirecting their meager funds to the SAFE, RELIABLE, ADOPTABLE pets than trying to find a home for unpredictable pits or pit mixes.

My heart goes out to the family that lost this donkey - it was a LOVED member of their family and none of them deserved to endure this. And trust me -- they will be living with this very VIVID memory for a very long time.

Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Article comment by: renee allen

The donkey (Jack Whitney) was in his pen which was totally fenced off. The pit bull chewed thru the fencing and attacked Jack Whitney severly.

Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Article comment by: Ban the Pit Bull breed in Yav. County

They are just too unpredictable. Ever seen a 3 yr old boy whose private area was ripped off by a pit bull that was a family pet? The pit had shown no signs of aggression before he ripped off the boys private area. The boy was going down the water slide in the family's pool when the pit suddenly lunged toward the slide and ripped into him.

Ever seen a llama attracted by a pitbull? I have, and the llama died a brutal, horrifying death. And the pit was a warm, family pet before that.

Even seen a 69 yo grandma after the family's pit tore into her, unprovoked (unless you count 2 kids riding by on bikes that may have been the trigger). I have, and it was shocking. Granda needed 9 hours of surgery, plus a lengthy recovery time in the hospital.

By banning pits in Yavapai county, the number of dogs at the shelter would drop. Take a look online at the dogs just brought to the Yavapai Shelter and over 1/2 being a pit or pit cross. Now look at what animals are available for adoption, and most of them are not pit/pit crosses as they can't pass the temperament test and end up being euthanized.

Before you call me a pitbull hater, let me tell you about my pit. She was raised from 7 weeks old in our loving, pet filled home of horses, cats and chickens on 4 acres. She used to allow our cat to share her food bowl and they frequently ate together. I have a video of our pit half snoozing on the back porch while the chickens ate dog kibble, and she never even lifted her head in objection.

One afternoon, the neighbors kids were walking down the dirt road with their Shelty dog. To this day, I still do not know what triggered her, but she leaped over the fence (first time ever) and attacked their Shelty. It was over in 30 secs, despite the effort of the vet clinic, the Shelty died. I took our pit in to be euthanized that day.

The pitbull population is out of control in Yavapai County, as it is in many counties. A few months ago another aggressive pit was shot in Bridgeport by a deputy. Ban the breed, and euthanize all pits and pit mixes that are found or turned into the animal shelter. Many towns banned pitbulls/pit crosses.

There are too many nice dogs out there that need homes. Why would you ever take a chance with a pit?

Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Article comment by: Animal Lover

Why wasn't the pit bull removed from Steve Spearmans care if it was being abused?? That poor pit bull, no wonder it was aggressive. Too bad it didn't turn on its owner!

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