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Taking a bite is a crime
by Gary Kent
May 18, 2013 | 1842 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE – An attack on two residents of the 1200 block of South Tyler Street last week probably has some owners of pit bulldogs concerned.

But Beeville’s Senior Animal Control Officer Lupe Valdez said it is not always the breed of the dog that should concern owners. Often, the problem of dogs that bite depends on how they are raised and treated in the home.

“I really hate to point fingers at a specific breed,” Valdez said. Still, the majority of the dog bite calls he answers involve either pit bulldogs or mixed breed dogs that have pit bulldog in them.

“Any dog and any breed can bite,” Valdez said. However, he added that the injuries suffered by the man in his 20s and a woman in her 50s were serious.

The woman lost a portion of muscle in one arm in the attack, and the man lost a finger.

The owners asked Valdez to put the dog down once it had been tranquilized.

Police Chief Joe Treviño said dog bites are rare here. Normally, the Beeville Police Department receives only a couple of dog bite reports a month.

But Valdez said last week he had four or five calls for dog bites. The day the two victims were bitten on South Tyler Street, Valdez had to delay answering another dog bite call.

The animal control officer said spaying and neutering an animal is key to how aggressive it will be. Also, female dogs are not as aggressive as males.

Valdez said it is important to “socialize” a dog around people and other animals starting at an early age and by doing that as often as possible.

“Never put your dog in a situation where it feels teased or uncomfortable,” Valdez warned.

The officer also warned against allowing a dog to run free and to teach children to never approach a stray dog. It is important to obey leash laws.

“I’ve been around the breed (pit bulls) growing up and never had any problems,” Valdez said. “We have even had some really big pit bulls come through our facility that are gentle giants. But I would not trust them totally due to what I’ve seen working as an ACO. It really takes a responsible person to own a breed such as this.”

Valdez also warned that other large breeds like German Shepherds and Rottweilers are known to attack and bite.

“Rottweilers are one of my favorite breeds,” Valdez said. But not everyone should own a large dog like that.

Valdez said he and the staff at the Beeville Animal Shelter on Cook Road will not allow someone to adopt an animal if it appears dog and the owner might not be a good match.

He also is careful to see that the animal will go to a home where it can receive the care it deserves.

Valdez recommended that anyone interested in adopting a dog for the family go to the shelter’s Facebook page at City of Beeville Animal Shelter. The site has helpful tips and information on adopting and caring for any animal.

And the shelter always has plenty of homeless dogs and cats that desperately need loving homes.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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