The Bear-Bear Tragedies

"Bear-Bear, a brown and white Husky that’s about three years old... Rettaliata adopted Bear-Bear about two years ago from a Husky rescue. He’d been seized from a Delaware home where people had tied him up outside, largely leaving him to fend for himself in the elements."  As with all seizure cases, I take what is reported with a huge grain of salt.  Maybe Bear-Bear should have been seized, maybe Bear-Bear's original owners were accorded all the appropriate due process before being terminated as owners; but then again, maybe not and, given the way these cases are usually handled, I have serious doubts.

At any rate, there's Bear-Bear, a rescued Husky, at a dog park and then there's Asia, a rescued German Shepherd, at the park also.  An incident ensues and Bear-Bear is shot by Asia's owner.  This case is a tragedy all around.  From the beginnings of these 2 dogs to Bear-Bear's probably unnecessary death.  While I am furious with the use of a gun in this case by an off duty officer, I think the issue is bigger than that.

With all too many owners of "rescued" dogs is also a sense of over indulgence and also over protectiveness.  My sense of this case is that those 2 attitudes clashed and the result was just tragic.  It just looks to me like there was Bear-Bear being a typical Husky and being indulged in Husky behavior with a more modern breed of German Shepherd whose owner was being over protective and then over reacted.

Dog parks seem like such a great idea but they also raise great issues.  Some parks segregate dogs by size but that isn't always as helpful as one might think as size alone isn't the issue.  Breed and temperament must be accounted for as well.  "Is your dog friendly?" just isn't enough information and damned few seem to know how to introduce dogs and properly supervise them.  Beyond that is the temperament of the OWNERS and handlers of dogs.

For all of the yapping about how are dogs are family members, it is just critical for all to remember that they aren't children.  They are dogs.  They are similar to children in that over indulging them and over protecting them may lead to tragedy but they remain dogs in that those tragedies may be even more violent and end in death if the humans don't do their part and that's without the insertion of a gun as in this case.

Responsible dog ownership requires us all to remember that they are DOGS first, foremost, and last.

The other issue that concerns me in this case is the devaluation of the dogs.  They are both "rescues" and at least one was seized from a prior owner.  While such seizures are almost always touted as an improvement for the animal, in the attempt to elevate them, they are actually devalued.  Items of value cannot simply be taken from one person and transferred to another.  Inherent in being able to redistribute any item at the whims of third parties is a devaluation of that item.  In the end, both these owners so valued their own dogs that they other person's dog was devalued.

I'm struggling to express this concept but I don't think it is a coincidence that we are seeing an increase in both animal seizures and dog shootings by law enforcement.  Animal seizures without appropriate levels of due process and respect for property rights inherently devalue animals, all animals.  When they are devalued, they are more easily killed by law enforcement when they are a nuisance.

Just days ago, an officer shot a pregnant cow on fairgrounds.  We've had countless numbers of dogs shot by law enforcement in a variety of situations.  Now we see an off duty officer shooting a dog in a dog park with his personal weapon.  I think we'll see far more tragedies in dog parks if dog owners don't become more rational and realistic about their dogs but right now this officer also needs to be dealt with.

About the shooter officer: Male, "32-year-old... served about two years in the Army, is a sergeant in the Army Reserves who has completed two tours in Iraq totaling 26 months, and has worked for about three years as police officer."  Well, then, he damned sure should know better than to whip out a pistol and start shooting in a dog park!

“There is absolutely no history on him being some sort of renegade or flying off the handle,” Putzi [his attorney] said.  Don't know if that's true or spin but I do know he NOW has a history of flying off the handle as far as I'm concerned.

"On Thursday, the Humane Society of the United States joined the investigation after offering to lend its expertise and resources to the county police department...  Both sides said they welcomed the addition of the Humane Society to the investigation."  And that tells me that BOTH owners are incredibly POORLY informed.

"Is there justice for Bear-Bear?"  No and there never really can be now.  I wonder if Bear-Bear's original owners are still wondering what became of him.  Was Bear-Bear really mistreated or might he have lived out a long happy life with them?  Even if he was treated poorly, was this a better life and end?  Is this one tragedy or multiple tragedies?

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