Watch Tip: Violence toward Pets

Posted on November 6th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Watch for family members, friends, or neighbors who act violently out of frustration or anger toward their young untrained dogs and cats—small children and male youths are particularly likely to act out. Those pets are in danger of losing their lives one day because they learn to bite and scratch defensively. Biting pets may die violently by their abuser’s hands, or be abandoned, or be euthanized for their learned vicious behaviors. Try to help re-home the pet before it is too late.

It was too late for Moonshine; everybody failed him

Ten-month-old Moonshine was beaten to death a few weeks ago by a young man who had a history of abusing him out of frustration. Animal control had twice been called to the home, responding to calls from neighbors who heard the puppy yelping frantically. Friends reported witnessing violent behaviors toward Moonshine by one of his two owners. The co-owner even bit him twice and bragged about it later, calling it “discipline.” Despite these serious signs of impending disaster, no one helped him.

Furthermore, Moonshine was a wolf mix. Wolf-dog hybrids require knowledgeable, experienced, totally committed dog owners. Many will never behave like dogs are expected to behave. They have been variously described as timid, high maintenance, destructive, intelligent, and unpredictable. Moonshine’s breeder didn’t screen the two young men for suitability for this difficult type of dog. They foolishly sent a 10-week puppy home with impulsive amateurs.

Moonshine was a three-legged dog, but his history of the lost-leg injury is not reported online. Presumably emotional trauma caused by such a severe injury could have contributed to the deadly outcome.

Animal control officers who were interviewed for Moonshine’s case reported that the young dog appeared to be unhurt and didn’t seem fearful, so they issued warnings. These professionals saw the pattern but abuse laws in the state don’t support intervention unless signs of injury are present. Perhaps they could have advocated for reaching out to a wolf-dog rescue.

Moonshine learned to bite to defend himself against the violence. Everyone with an influence had failed him, and he eventually paid with his life. Please light a candle for him tonight.

Read more about Moonshine’s ordeal here.

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