I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about it, maybe 10 hours after reading it, but felt I should probably put my thoughts down here.
So – my first thoughts. Oh my god! Some b**tard’s gone and stabbed a dog to death. Vile scum. Nothing but the death penalty’s good enough (insert your own Daily Mail reader quote here), etc, etc.
The further I read down the page though, the more my thoughts quickly changed. It seems, from the article, that in actual fact, the man was trying to save his own dog’s life, from this huge 48Kg dog that was mauling and attacking it. After punching and kicking the larger, attacking dog, to no effect, the man felt he had no option but to quickly bring a weapon to help. It turns out that the closest weapons to hand were three knives from his kitchen, so he used them to stab the larger dog, which then bled to death.
His own dog’s life was saved, although it apparently suffered bite marks to his head, face, ear and chin and now flinches when anyone tries to touch it. It would seem that one dog was going to die, and he made sure it was the attacking dog, and not his own.
At this point, I was thinking along the lines of “Well surely you didn’t have to stab the thing with three knives and kill it. Wasn’t there something a little less final you could do?”. So I tried to put myself in his situation. Not difficult with Coco, our Chocolate Labrador, who seems to invite other dogs to attack her (lifting a 27Kg dog into the air to rescue it from a snarling nasty greyhound isn’t fun…).
He’s tried punching and kicking – after shouting, that would be my plan – they didn’t work. What would I do? I’d grab any weapon I could and probably, scared for my dog’s life, do as much damage as I could to her attacker as quickly as possible. In other words, I’d probably do exactly the same thing. Would I be “in a frenzy”? Yes, I probably would.
Then I’ve been thinking about what I would do if it were Coco attacking another dog. Apart from the fact that she’s a mild mannered Labrador, and she’s always under control, I’d have to say I’d approach the situation the same way (at least I hope I would). I’d shout at her, I’d use my arms to try and prise her off, I’d then try becoming more physical, with elbows, legs, feet, hands – I guess the best description is kicking and punching. If that failed to work, I’d have to use a weapon. I’d also do what it took to ensure that whoever’s dog was the attacker, that the attack would stop. Even if that meant killing my own dog.
So – not a nice mental exercise, but one that I think helps form my best opinions on the case as presented by the Daily Mail :
I believe the man was right to use weapons to save his dog’s life. He may have gone further than he needed to, but I don’t know – from the sounds of it, maybe not. I’m glad the police took no further action.
I believe neither dog was at fault here though. The owner of the attacking dog caused this. From the reports of other witnesses, and people from the area, this was a timebomb waiting to go off. The owner should have been in control of their dog, it should not have been roaming the streets.
At the end of the day, we have a sad story, with a sad ending, and innocent animals bearing the cost of human stupidity.