An Interview With Pit Bull Attack Victim, Former Burien Mayor Sally Nelson


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Former Mayor Sally Nelson in a 2009 photo.

by Scott Schaefer

On Monday morning (July 11), we had a chance to speak with former Burien Mayor and founding councilmember Sally Nelson, one of two victims of a pit bull attack last Thursday (read our extensive previous coverage here) in the 15800 block of Maplewild SW.

Sally lives next door to the dogs’ owners, and she was bitten on the back of her right leg around 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 7th. She told us that she has “eight bite marks” on the back side of her leg, just behind the knee.

In our interview, Sally shares what it was like being attacked by “two terrifying dogs” she knew from next door, as well as how a cloth bag full of mail may have prevented more serious injuries.

While the future of the now-found second pit bull “Bella” (recovered Sunday night and now in quarantine – read our previous coverage here) hinges on whether or not Sally presses charges (she told us she’s not planning to), Sally said “I don’t want any more pit bulls in my neighborhood.”

Sally also shares her concerns about Burien’s new CARES Animal Control – specifically about their lack of response to numerous phone calls, as well as recordings saying their voice mailbox was full.

“A neighbor told me he tried to call animal control about the loose put bulls all morning (Thursday July 7),” she said. “And he couldn’t reach anyone.” Burien CARES “is not giving adequate animal control and safety to the public in Burien,” she added.

Below is a full transcript of our interview:

Q: Tell us in detail what happened?
A: I had been downtown (Seattle) on Thursday, and when I came home at about 12:45pm and as I drove down Maplewild I saw police in front of my house and across the street and I wondered what had happened. So I pulled into my garage, came out and a guy from across the street told me what was going on – that “a woman with a child in a stroller had been attacked by two pit bulls that live next door to you.” He and another neighbor had come out after hearing screaming, and had driven the dogs off and called 911. So I wondered where the dogs were. Burien Police Officer Galusha came over and gave me an update, and told me what was going on. I knew the dogs, they had escaped before and I thought of them as very frightening dogs. The front door of the dog owner’s house was open. So I then decided to walk back up to my house. There are steps and a very dense hedge on the north side. When I got up to that area on my walkway, I could see the dogs, so I started walking more quickly. They ran over at me like 100 miles per hour, barking and nipping at me and I was terrified and I screamed and they bit me on the leg. The officer came up and I got in the house and looked at my wounds and my leg, and shortly after that he shot and killed one dog. I heard just one shot. The whole thing was just awful and terrifying. And what’s interesting about what happened to me is that I had a cloth bag with my mail in it when I walked up to my house, and I dropped it when the dogs started attacking me. A detective found that bag with blood on it and teeth marks from the dogs. And that bag probably saved me from bigger wounds. So that turned out to be a safeguard from a more serious injury. Medics came and looked at my wound, wrapped it up and told me to get a tetanus shot from my doctor. My Doctor looked at it, told me to keep it clean, and it’s now black and blue but it’s healing. There are eight teeth marks on the back of my right leg behind my knee. I’m not sure which dog bit me, or if it was both – it was like it was all in slow motion, it was really terrifying – these dogs are big and powerful, like hunters.

Another neighbor called Animal Control and never got any response – he told me he called them five times, because these dogs had been out for a while by the time I got home.

Q: What was going through your mind when it happened?
A: It was like everything was in slow-motion – it was terrifying.

Q: Have you ever been bitten by a pit bull or other dog before?
A: Never, and I’m a dog lover. I’ve had dogs all my life.

Q: Were these dogs known to you?
A: They were known to me because they belong to my neighbors, and I can see the back door of the house that they rent. I had seen them before, pawing at the doors trying to get out. That’s when I first called, but I never got a call back. Renters have lived there since April or maybe longer. They have two little kids. They came over and apologized to me this weekend, and told me the pit bull was a rescue dog. I said “a pit bull that’s a rescue dog should be put down.”

Q: The future of the found pit bull hinges on whether you plan on pressing charges. Are you planning on doing that?
A: No, I am not going to press charges. But I’ll tell you, if I hadn’t had been carrying that cloth bag full of mail, I would definitely press charges. My leg is recovering fine so I’m not going to do anything.

But I’ll tell you this – I don’t want any more pit bulls in my neighborhood.

According to one of my neighbors, the dogs have escaped before by ripping the back door down. I wasn’t here at the time though so I’m not sure. I called the landlord and told him it was unacceptable to have dogs running in the neighborhood. He basically said “see ya, bye…we’ll take care of it.”

I would hope that the landlords would decide to have “no more animals in that house.” It makes me feel bad, because these were pets to their kids, but with the history of pit bulls being mistreated something should be done.

I don’t know if the city has a policy of putting animals down. And what’s their policy on animal control, what’s their policy? Who’s really manning the store? It’s got to be that someone’s answering the phones, because when citizens call and get a recording that the voice mailbox is full that’s unacceptable.

Q: What’s your stand on pit bulls – should they be banned in Burien?
I don’t know. From my own personal experience I’d say ‘Yes’ because you’re totally vulnerable, it’s terrifying to be attacked. But what we need is responsible pet owners. People should understand that their dog may be dangerous and they need to be educated about their dog’s potential viciousness.

Q: What are you thoughts on CARES, Burien’s new Animal Control Group?
A: I have concerns about their ability to be reached, as well as their ability to respond. A neighbor had trouble finding their phone number, and was told by someone to call Five Corners Veterinary Clinic. Five Corners then told her to call the new animal control; she called, left a message and never heard back from them. I called city hall about this and a woman there said that they were still “in training.” Then I heard someone else tried to call and got a “this mailbox is full” recording. This is not giving adequate animal control and safety to the public in Burien. The city opted out of King County Animal Control because of costs, and decided to create its own animal control unit. Far as I know, Burien was the only city that opted out of an opportunity to negotiate a new contract with the county like other cities did. Other cities made new deals with the county, but not Burien.

CARES, Burien’s new Animal Control, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They can be found online here, or reached via telephone here: (206) 81-CARES (206-812-2737).

And if you haven’t taken it yet, please vote in our Poll below (NOTE: this survey is our own; far as we know, the City of Burien is NOT considering banning pit bulls):

Should the City of Burien ban pit bulls?

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Comments

49 Responses to “An Interview With Pit Bull Attack Victim, Former Burien Mayor Sally Nelson”
  1. Viola says:

    I have to say I’m a little disapointed in her. For the most part she didn’t bash the breed, but her comment about “a pit bull that’s a rescue dog should be put down” is not a comment that a true dog lover would say. There are reports of pamaranions killing children, does that mean that they are a bad breed to have too? not at all. Experts say that genetics account for less then 30% on wheather or not a dog will be vicious. She is right about needing owners to be responsable and know more about their dogs, in this case the house was robbed so they had no idea the dogs would get out, but future reference they should put the dogs in a kenel when they are gone. does a dog, and i mean ANY dog, have more of a chance of being violent if it’s a rescue? it depends on what age it was rescued at. Does that mean that a rescue WILL become violent? not at all. Look at the Vic pits, they have all found new homes and have had no problem adjusting to loving caring homes. No doubt it was a scary situation for her and its extremely unfortunate that it happened, but in all honestly this was not a full on “hunter” attack. If it was more then them just being scared and confused out of their witts, more then them being in protective mode(of their family and house due to the break in) there would have been more damage done, bag of mail or not. I think Burien made the right choice in creating their own animal control, look at whats been going on in Desmoines with the countys control (i.e Justice for Rosie @facebook) I do think that they need to make adjustments to it, have more people on the team and make sure they are sending trained people out that know how to deal with animals (i.e. not running from them, they are faster then you or showing your fear, more often then not animals will respond to a strong firm command. it’s about dominence) again It’s very sad all around what happened, but i’m tired of people not being correctly informed about this breed.
    P.S. eight bite marks is a big difference from 8 teeth marks. Another example of media making things worse.

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  2. NP Resident says:

    Most insurance companies will not carry your home owners if you or your renter have what is considered a vicious dog and I am sure that pit bulls are on that list. Find our who is insurance company is and turn him in! If they are clawing to get out of the house they are trouble!

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    • Keith says:

      Oh what a great idea! This family has already suffered a break in, a loss of a family pet that was murdered by local cops and the scorn of the ignorant knee jerk online community. Lets look into how to get them evicted!

      sigh…

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    • Viola says:

      every breed of dog paws at a door to get out. that does NOT make them trouble. I think people need to understand a little more how animals communicate before they start labeling them.

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  3. Ed Dacy says:

    I’m glad that Salley is doing well. I hope to see an interview with CARES shortly on this event

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  4. Debra George says:

    CARES received a phone call from the police at approximately 12:50 pm about the situation, dispatched our animal control officer as soon as we got the call and he was on site by 1:04 pm (a 14 minute response time). Officer Snyder of Animal control stayed on site until 9 pm that night and work throughout the weekend.
    CARES answers all calls and clears out our voice mail regularly and takes this very seriously. The phone number for CARES is listed above and on the City of Burien Web-Site.

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    • Ed Dacy says:

      Debra, I’m glad to heard this, I assumed that there was a quick response

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  5. gee says:

    It’s always the stupid owners at fault.

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    • Keith says:

      It is the owners fault that low life savages like to break into homes in our town and the cops don’t seem to ever do anything about it?

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      • say what? says:

        Huh? We on the same subject here?

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        • Keith says:

          The dogs were only out because their house was broken into. The original poster was blaming the owners for this situation.

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  6. Jose Fuerte says:

    Bash the breed? Pit Bulls are a breed that have no social redemption whatsoever.! You tatted out skinny, hoodie wearin’ jerks that are weaklings to begin with should just go to h!!! with your freakin’ hounds. Quit hidin’ behind your attack dogs. . Period. You want a four legged pal then buy a tail wagging pooch. Pit bulls are for the weak! Peace Yo!

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    • Keith says:

      It is ignorant racist comments like this that will never allow there to be a level discourse on this discussion.

      Jose, you might want to take a little time and look into the history of this breed. Look past the sensationalist headlines about “pit bulls” and educate yourself before you go off spouting this kind of nonsense.

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    • Viola says:

      yeah they are for the weak. like the hundreds of special needs people that use them as service dogs. or the law enforcment officers that serve along side them on a daily basis. and i will have a tail wagging pooch, her name is ScrappyDoo she is a 6 year old RESCUE red nose pit, who has NEVER hurt or acted like she was going to hurt anyone. only down side is she will clean your kids face off with licks… o wait that’s not a down side at all.

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      • KLeighD says:

        Viola- I like you. Thank you for being a voice of reason.
        The real story is never published. Neither of these women were actually injured and the fact that they keep calling it an “attack” is ridiculous. The media never fails to sensationalize anything related to “pit bulls”. The dog that was shot was a 10 year old dog that had no teeth and he was shot eight times. This family’s home was violated, they lost a dog and now they have to deal with the public judging them. If this had been ANY other breed, the dog would not have been shot and the police would have probably helped find the missing dog.
        Any breed can bite and/or attack. Pit bulls just make better headlines. The breed has a bad rep because of the media.

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    • Jose Fuerte says:

      Ignorance? What is ignornance? Racist? What is a racist? You are obviously an astro physicist, aren’t you? You brainiac you! Hah! You broker of hucktouyey!

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  7. Eaton B. Verz says:

    Everyone is SOOO concerned about those dogs ,but no one cares about the real victims!! You people should be ashamed……….. Bet you would all be singing a different tune if your child or yourself had been attacked. Mindless lemmings all…..

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    • Viola says:

      no one has said anything about being happy that the people got hurt. the people aren’t needed to be defended either, they can talk for them selfs. dogs can’t.

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      • Eaton B. Verz says:

        dogs are born in litters, people are not…..

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        • Joy T says:

          Funny that when I was attacked by my neighbors Wire Fox Terrier and near lost my arm, not one news channel or reporter for any magazine would do a report on it, and we called several. The owners did have to pay my medical expenses but I have seen so many “pit bull attack” reports, I thought i would show people that other dogs are just as dangerous when not handled by breed educated owners. Each breed has “quirks” an owner must know of and work with. I don’t have dogs but I am so tired of the pit bulls taking the fall because of media bias. What about the rest of us? We are victims too yet we are ignored because we weren’t attacked by a pit bull? Explain to my friend in Marysville why her story wasn’t told when her 6 wk old little girl was killed by a Jack Russel terrier? Why wasn’t the man’s story told who was attacked and had to watch his dog get mauled to death by grey hounds? WHERE ARE THESE STORIES?????? Get off the pit bulls because it’s ALL DOGS and just because they are small doesn’t mean they can’t kill. You people just want to complain and get wrapped up in hype and only for that do I feel sorry for you.

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  8. RealityBites says:

    “But what we need is responsible pet owners.”

    A-freakin-men. People seem to conveniently forget that ALL dogs are capable of causing harm to people (and small breeds actuall bite people 7 times more often than large breeds do). 9 times out of 10, when any dog attack happens it comes right down to the owners not doing what they need to do. Banning dog breeds will not solve this problem.

    People, if you want attacks to stop, then train your dogs. Be aware of their triggers, and do what you need to do to make sure they feel safe and secure. Do not be abusive, neglectful or negligent, and if you see someone who is then be proactive, don’t sit around being annoyed that someone else isn’t getting involved. Treat them well, and they will be wonderful members of your family.

    And if you don’t think you can do these things, DON’T GET A DOG. If you don’t have the time, energy, money or patience to take on the responsibility, get a cat. They take care of themselves and generally don’t attack people if not handled correctly.

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    • kaleb says:

      RB – I think you are absolutely right that it comes down to humans being responsible for the animal. I would also rather be 7 times more likely to be bit by any 5 lb dog than a large dog.

      ALauren – Please find a way to be chased after and bit by a pit bull that leaves 8 bite marks on you and then let us know what you think. Heck if you’re so determined to support pits find a shepard, lab, chow, poodle, anything. Any dog that goes after a person that is running away and bites them HAS ATTACKED.

      Pit bulls are known for being aggresive and statistics prove that. I don’t care if they started out as an “nanny” dog. They have been proven to be too unreliable now. People most likely damaged the pit bull breed but regardless of the breed if a dog attacks someone there is a problem.

      The adorable pics of your pit bull with a cute little dog or child proves nothing about the dog other than you can get a cute picture of it.

      Sally Nelson’s responses show some ignorance and are disappointing. Just because an animal is/was in rescue doesn’t make it a bad animal. What an appalling statement. She makes it out to sound like the dogs were terrifying and dangerous yet she doesn’t want to press charges because they didn’t cause enough damage. What if the attack had been on a child?

      How many warnings do we need before we acknowledge and address a dangerous animal?

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      • MattR says:

        That pits are a dangerous breed or any more dangerous than other breeds is a HUGE myth that is spread by media bias. If you take the time to do REAL research and look at REAL statistics you’d see this. The Center of Disease in Atlanta did a national study of nearly fatal dog attacks over a three year period and broke them down by breed. Some examples: German Shepherds came out to 19 attacks, Chow Chow’s equalled 8, Labrador Retrievers only came out to 5 and American Pitbulls only came out to THREE!! In December of 2008 an elderly woman was attacked and hospitalized by two labradors….this attack only made one local newspaper article. That same month a man was attacked and hospitalized by two pitbulls….this attack was reported in over 285 media outlets nationally and internationally from stations like CNN and MSNBC. Where is the justice here! These dogs are extremely biased against, but people need to understand that ALL dogs bite. Punish the deed not the breed! I have raised Pits my entire life and never once have I owned an overly aggressive vicious dog like the media reports all pits to be.
        http://youtu.be/LsxiYoJTq68

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  9. ALauren says:

    Eaton, people are concerned about these dogs because 1. Dogs can’t speak for themselves, 2. Now people are trying to start a breed ban and this will affect their family pets (and all the money Burien will lose by running out all of it’s tax paying, local business supporting, pit bull owning residents and any future potential residents with pitbulls in addition to the thousands of dollars it will cost to actually put together a halfway decent animal control to enforce a breed ban), and 3. THE LADY IS FINE! She was not ‘attacked.’ She was bit, that’s it. But ‘attack’ sounds so much better doesn’t it?

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    • Eaton B. Verz says:

      There were two people bit, both unprovoked. I call that an attack. Dangerous dogs should equal destroyed dogs no matter what breed! Nuff said! Nothing to see here…. move along…..

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  10. disgusted says:

    Any dog, of any breed, that goes after a baby in a stroller has just committed a capital offense. Keep your dogs in, or on a leash always!

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    • RAE says:

      A band-aid on the back of their leg is an attack? These dogs weren’t vicious! I know them personally, and they were around kids all the time! One was half boxer, so she was a little hyper and liked jumping around and she nips when she gets excited. I felt her nip before and it was nothing serious! Tyson the one that was gunned down, was in the family for about a decade. He hardly had any teeth! He would of licked your face off if you ever met him. The owners weren’t home at the time, so everyone can shut their mouths about irresponsible owners. They were busy working! No one cares on how the doors got opened at the house! Oh, the dogs just magically unlocked the front door themselves! There is too much left out on these stories on the news and I think the women personally made the situation worse by freaking out when they seen them, because we have talked to other neighbors they said the dogs greeted them with a wagging tail! I can keep typing and let you guys know how much I loved these dogs but I won’t! I will just let you guys keep your own opinions with out knowing all the facts to this particular story.

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      • MattR says:

        Exactly, the media always leaves things out. 7 times out of 10 as well they report attacks as being from pitbulls only to find out later that it was another breed. Yet, even after finding out the truth they don’t change what they report. The media is terrible about this kind of thing. I thank you for adding some the actual facts here though.

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  11. skeptical says:

    Sally Nelson says: They came over and apologized to me this weekend, and told me the pit bull was a rescue dog. I said “a pit bull that’s a rescue dog should be put down.”

    That’s all you need to know about Sally Nelson and her account of the events. She has an uneducated bias against pit bulls, and it obviously colored her reactions and perceptions. She refers to the dogs as large, even though 55 pounds is not large at all by dog standards. She says they ran 100 miles an hour, which they obviously did not. She was frightened of them before any of this, and she called animal control because they scratched on their own back door.

    It’s frightening that someone with such an obvious bias based on ignorance was ever in charge (nominally) of legislation and animal control issues in Burien.

    Sally Nelson is not a dog lover. A dog lover would not scream and run, inciting the dogs to bark and nip. A dog lover would have spoken to the dogs calmly, stood still, avoided any sudden or threatening gestures, and helped the dogs get to safety. A dog lover would have gotten to know the dogs a long time ago and already have been friends with them. A dog lover would have prevented the murder of the one dog and the tazing of the second dog.

    Nelson acts magnanimous, saying she won’t press charges. By her own admission, she doesn’t know which dog bit her. For all anyone knows, the dog that is dead is the only one who ever nipped anyone, and the dog in custody has not bitten anyone. I don’t believe it’s legal to kill a dog just because you think it might have bitten someone, and if it is legal, it shouldn’t be.

    Nelson says she doesn’t want any pit bulls in her neighborhood. Well, I don’t want any ignorant, prejudiced people in my neighborhood, but what are you gonna do. I have met many pit bulls who were much kinder and smarter than half the people I’ve met, including Nelson.

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  12. Julie says:

    CARES was at Burien Market where they always are on Thursdays.Well maybe a fomer mayor and council member can pull some weight to get back to KC animal control.

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  13. kaleb says:

    The fact that someone broke into the dog owners home does not justify them chasing after someone and biting. If they bit or attacked the person that broke into their home then good for the dogs! I’m sure it created a lot of stress for the dogs when someone broke in but a well trained/socialized dog wouldn’t chase people after the break in barking and biting.

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  14. Kelly says:

    It is not the dog but rather the owner.

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  15. myboynamedsioux says:

    I worked in the animal care field as a veterinary technician for almost ten years until recently moving on to human medicine. My specialty was emergency care. I love all animals, and have my whole life. That being said, I can comfortably say that over 80% of the animals brought in for attacks to the emergency facilities I worked at during these years were “Pit Bulls” or “Pit Bull” mixed breeds. Every quarantine I can ever recall performing after a human bite was for the same two. I don’t lean towards blaming the breed, but come on! I think an owner can prevent poor behavior. I believe that anything your dog does wrong was in some way your own fault. Either way, statistics tell me to leave the dog park when one shows up. And it has told me to keep my family away from them. I think it is unfortunate.

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  16. Bernice Bellamy says:

    Great job, Burien, as you continue to fail the animals and the people of Burien. The blame belongs with your city manager and your city council. Shame on them for creating this disastrous mess for the Burien community and its animals. Citizens are doing their best to fill the gap created by your city councl and city manager, but this is a classic case of bureaucratic failure.

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  17. Chloe says:

    I really think it’s unfortunate that Ms. Nelson isn’t pressing charges and I didn’t get from this interview/article why she’s not. Is it to keep peace with her neighbors? In any case it’s not about blame at this point, it’s about reality. It is now established that this is a dangerous dog (regardless of whether the origins of its behavior are nature or nurture). The next time it could be a child’s face, or worse, life. In my opinion, the threat of potential harm to another human being trumps the tragedy of putting a dog to sleep.

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  18. brit says:

    Hello the dogs where inside the house! The owners did what they where supposed to do. Not one of us were in the house when the low lifestyle broke in, so we have NO idea what they did to the dogs. They more then likely scared the dogs an riled them up. Which would put these dogs in defence mood. These dogs where living in a house with children. I highly doubt they where trying to attack anyone. They where just as scared as anyone of us would be if we found someone breaking into our home. If the dogs truly were dangerous someone would have been severely injured. Stop taking it out on the owners an remember that someone broke into someone’s house an tour there life apart. The family is also a victim in this. I do feel bad for the people that were hurt an scared, but it is not the familys fault of the dogs.

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  19. cat lover says:

    When a dog bites, there is only one rule,, Double tap,,

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  20. Lynnette says:

    “A pit bull that is a rescue dog should be put down”??!! What? And this woman used to be our MAYOR?! No wonder things are in such a mess in Burien.
    I can totally sympathize with Ms. Nelson throughout much of this story. It IS terrifying to see two fair sized dogs (of ANY breed) running at you with apparent bad intent. I’m sure Ms. Nelson knows perfectly well that they were not running at 100 mph — but I’m sure it did SEEM like it. Whether the actual bite damage was small or great, this would still be a shattering experience. The only time I have ever been bitten (in a lifetime of being around dogs), it was by a 5 pound Yorkshire terrier. I was wearing tall boots and his little teeth couldn’t penetrate them, but it was still unnerving. That little guy had serious problems and he continued to bite and bite and snarl and bite with savage intensity until he was dragged away. It was a creepy experience and I’m sure being surprised and bitten by a larger dog would be much worse.
    However, I would expect a woman who was actually the leader of our city for awhile to be able to keep her wits about her enough not to say stupid things to the media afterward. I can’t imagine what she was thinking when she made the “a rescued pit bull should be put down” remark, so I won’t comment on her reasoning. However, to enlighten those who may be reading this and not have much experience of dogs or animal rescue, I will say this —- a rescued dog (OF ANY BREED) is always an unkown quantity. For this reason, the Regional Animal Services of King County shelter and other reputable rescue groups do temperament testing on the dogs they plan to adopt out. They expose the dog to situations and irritations that might cause a dog to respond in a bad way. For example, they will give the dog a dish of something yummy and then reach for it to see if the dog is food aggressive. By doing these tests, they are able to identify potential problems so they can warn an adopter or, if the problems are severe enough that the dog is a danger, he will be put down. ANYONE adopting a rescue dog needs to get to know their new dog well before trusting him in unfamiliar situations, but the fact that a dog is a rescue, in NO wise means that he is a danger to anyone. He has been tested to be as certain as possible that he is not.
    There are large volumes of information everywhere attesting to the reliability and good character of pit bulls. Anyone who has been in the dog community for any length of time knows that these “dangerous breed” hysteria things are unpredictable fads that target one breed after another more or less at random. In the 1950’s it was terribly fashionable to hate and fear German shepherds. Following that, there were vendettas against Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Chows. Up until recent years, pit bulls were regarded with the same affection as Labrador retrievers are now. Unfortunately, drug dealers and other bad guy types began to exploit the pit bull’s muscular build and TRAIN them to be aggressive. The media simply drooled over the tough guy sound of the name “pit bull” and away we went —– nonsense piled on nonsense. It is a fact that many luridly reported pit bull attacks were committed by dogs who were NOT pit bulls. Indeed, in this very story, one dog was a pit bull/boxer mix. Gosh, Ms. Nelson, should all rescued boxers be put down also?
    On the one hand, Ms. Nelson has my sympathy and support. On the other hand, her irresponsible statements regarding rescues and pit bulls are inexcusable as they only feed the ignorance and hysteria already directed at this excellent breed.

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  21. Kimberly says:

    I think people don’t understand the difference between being a loving pet owner and a competent dog trainer. You may be able to give a dog a good home with lots of love and care but training certain dogs takes a LOT of skill, time, and specific knowledge. It is more than just love. People get so wrapped up in choosing the breed they WANT that they sometimes forget to think about if they are the the type of owners/home that the dog NEEDS. I can understand wanting a pit-bull, as people have pointed out, a well trained pit bull can be a beautiful and helpful dog. But keep in mind police pitbulls are trained by professionals, often from a young age. As this story shows sometimes things happen that are beyond your control (like a break in) and your dogs will get out. I can think of a million times the mailman didn’t lock my gate properly, a tree took down a small part of my fence after a storm, etc. These things can happen to anyone but are these people really aware of the risk they are taking? Are they prepared to handle the consequences? I just wish people would think about this more seriously when choosing any type of dog.

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  22. RB says:

    Former Mayor!!?? Ugh! Amen Skeptical. Nelson proves extremely disappointing.

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  23. Feral Dog says:

    Where would this story be had Bella just bit the damn intruder instead of an innocent bystander?
    Me? Someone that doesn`t belong in my master`s domain won`t get out after breaking in. Not much tastes better than fresh crook. *woof*

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  24. Karin S. says:

    There are so many layers to this issue that I don’t think it will ever improve. I have a pit bull, a rescue, and as a responsible owner of this breed, I’ve learned a lot over the years. My conclusion? The answer lies deep, people. We would need to:
    ~ put an end to backyard breeding (which is unfortunately profitable, making it difficult to stop),
    ~enact spay/neuter laws,
    ~enforce existing leash and containment laws (don’t see this happening right now – I fantasize about calling AC on all the off leash dogs that charge us at the park, but I know an actual call would be fruitless),
    ~prevent neglect and chaining of dogs (given the state of our shelters and rescue organizations, not likely), and
    ~hold owner’s responsible for transgressions (dogs at-large, bites, whatever – if I had to pay a fine for my dog escaping, you can be sure I’d try to keep that from happening).

    In a perfect world, sure, but the truth is that people suck and are irresponsible, they abuse and neglect animals, and they never have consequences. I don’t see shooting one dog and euthanizing the other as appropriate, but a fine for biting, mandatory training and a fenced yard would be a good start.

    These dogs don’t sound vicious or dangerous, maybe just ill mannered and untrained. The owner’s still need to be responsible, though.

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  25. Feral Dog says:

    enact spay/neuter laws? I`m for the most part a friendly type mutt but I think if if my nuts were cut-off I would bite everyone and everything..except hotrod gal of course.*woof*

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  26. Mary McDonald says:

    See what an animal behavorist says about the breed here http://www.nonlineardogs.com/100MostSillyPart3-2.html: The Presidneta of the United States National Humane society recommends all pitbulls be euthanized because they are crowding shelters nationwide . A moratorium would allow residents to keep their current pitbulls but would not allow new pitbulls as pets.. There are hundreds of other breeds to choose from that don’t top the charts in hurting humans. You can bark about how sweet the breed is forver but the statsitics tell a very different story. I know of three people who had their sweet pitbulls turn on them. Pitbulls turn on a dime;dont accept the crime. Pitbulls don’t bite, they maul. The woman in this story had police there and she was very lucky. Many dead and dismembered people were not so lucky. This breed is eating off the legs and arms of seniors and kids alike. It is time to CARE for HUMANS too. We require control of guns and require car insurance. We need to PREVENT these attacks instead of pointing at owners. Incidentally these dogs were banned in the U.S. in 1911 because our founding fathers new this breed was a problem. Now the politicians are wimps. Go to http://www.dogsbite.org for more information on the problem.

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    • yfkm says:

      I don’t even know where to start with this one.

      First, the book, has a large number of less than one star reviews on Amazon, including being called “utterly ridiculous.” And oddly, the 5 star reviews were written by people with no other reviews i.e. family members.
      http://www.amazon.com/Silliest-Things-People-About-Dogs/dp/1904109187/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

      Second, Wayne Pacelle, as president of HSUS, has a relationship with Newkirk and PETA, has opposed TNR, accepted donations for Vick dogs while simultaneously advocating their destruction AND raised over 30 million for Hurrican Katrina pets yet spent just 4 million in the area. BTW, HSUS is not your local humane society. Approximately 1/2 of 1% of what HSUS raises is actually spent on animal care.
      http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?cat=9

      And then 1911 and founding fathers…. Really? Do I even need to say it?

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