Pit Bull Awarded for Saving Owner Twice

Another hero has emerged in the form of a six-year-old pit bull named Titan who saved the life of his owner Gloria Benton, not once, but twice.

Last July Gloria Benton’s husband John was leaving for work when Titan started acting strange and blocked the door, while barking and growling, which sent him back upstairs to check on his wife. John found Gloria had suffered an aneurism and had fallen and fractured her skull.

“What the doctor said, had it not been for this dog, if he had let me leave that house, she would have either bled to death or the aneurysm would have killed her. And it’s a, like I said, we owe a whole lot to this little rascal. It’s not about the breed but the way they are raised,” said John.

More recently, Titan rescued Gloria again by waking John up at 4:30 in the morning to let him know she had fallen in the bathroom and fractured her hip and another bone.

The Humane Society of the United States is honoring Titan with a Dogs of Valor Award and delivered his award this week after he won third place with public votes.

“I think he won because he saved her life, which is just amazing,” said Jessica DuBois, Georgia senior state director of the HSUS. “There is so much negative press about these dogs and there are incidents where unfortunate circumstances happen, but overall, the breed is an amazing breed. They are made not to be gentle by humans. HSUS thinks he deserves all the credit that he gets because he is an example of what the breed really is.”

Gloria was reportedly skeptical about having a pit bull in the house at first, but has since definitely changed her opinion.

“He is so special. And you just can’t give him enough love. He loves to be loved on,” she said.

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Socialization, training key to safer dogs: Trainer

By ADAM JACKSON Herald-Tribune staff

Posted 1 day ago

In light of two dog attacks on Canada Post letter carriers in the last month, a local dog trainer is reminding owners to socialize their dogs to ensure balanced behaviour and disposition.

Rebecca Hayes-Copeland, owner and professional trainer at Partners Naturally, says while attacks from larger dogs often get more attention due to the strength of the pooch, smaller dogs can be vicious as well – an issue that can be remedied by socializing as much as possible.

The latest attack on July 24 sent a postal worker to hospital with serious bites. An earlier attack July 11 left a Postie with minor injuries.

“It comes down to owners,” said Hayes-Copeland. “If you’re not going to train your dog and socialize your dog…your dog is not going to be well-behaved.”

The Dogo Argentino breed – two of which were involved in Tuesday’s attack – is an Argentinian mastiff, bred from 10 different dogs. It was created in Argentina, in pursuit of a dog that is friendly, but has the strength to carry out difficult work, according to the American Kennel Club website.

“They can be bred to fight, but they are typically bred for protection, as a guarding breed,” said Hayes-Copeland. “They are bred to bark and defend territory.”

While Hayes-Copeland admits the dogs are strong and can be imposing, she adds that if trained correctly, they can be friendly, just like any other breed.

“We have a Neapolitan mastiff here in daycare, and she’s fantastic, plus we have an American bulldog – they’re both the large style of breeds and they’re lovely dogs,” she said.

“It’s not a breed thing.”

While large breeds typically get more attention because of the extent of the injuries they cause, Hayes-Copeland says it’s important to keep in mind that all dogs – big or small – can and will bite for the same reason.

“If you actually start looking at bites per capita, those dogs aren’t on the top end of those statistics,” she said. “Yes, if they are bred for protection work or guard work, they’re less likely to back down from a challenge, where another breed could say ‘Oh you’re scary’ and get one bite and run off.”

Dogs bred to guard and protect are usually suited for farms, where there is a risk of coyotes or other wild animals, but according to Hayes-Copeland, they can make friendly, family-based dogs.

“They are animals, so they need to be taken out and put in the human environment and taken for walks every day,” she said.

When it comes to training dogs to behave appropriately with humans, Hayes-Copeland says it is important to remember that a dog is an animal.

“I’m not saying not to love your dog…but they are still animals and don’t see the world the way that we do, so we can’t begin to understand.

“There aren’t really bad dogs out there, but there are bad owners – people who haven’t taken the time with their dog.”

Licensing an issue as well

According to City of Grande Prairie bylaw enforcement, a total of 1,768 current licensed dogs are in Grande Prairie.

Officials estimate there are between 8,000 and 10,000 dogs in the city as a whole.

According to Laureen Harcourt, executive director of the Grande Prairie SPCA, licences are important for the safe return of animals and quick pickups if a dog escapes and in turn, decrease numbers in the city’s pound.

“I think (the low percentage of licensing) falls hand-in-hand with…people just not being responsible and that is all hand-in-hand with not getting your animal spayed.”

While the fees are relatively nominal at $25 for a neutered dog, the transient nature of Grande Prairie contributes somewhat to the lack of licensing in the area, says Harcourt.

“It’s all about being responsible,” said Harcourt. “It’s ignorance, too. It’s people not taking the time to research the laws in the community in which they live.”

If bylaw enforcement is correct in its assumption of 8,000 dogs, and at an average cost of approximately $25 per dog, the city loses out on approximately $155,800 annually.

Adam.jackson@sunmedia.ca

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Police say pit bull wasn’t tortured; but they can’t explain the message on his …

Police in Savage, Minn., say a pit bull named Cesar wasn’t tortured. More likely his injuries came from being hit by a car, they say.

But there’s one thing their car accident theory can’t explain:

How Cesar ended up with a warning, written  in green magic marker, on his back. It said, “Back off, Bob.”

Cesar made headlines across the Twin Cities last week when Midwest Animal Rescue and Service (MARS), in Brooklyn Park, began a social media campaign to help pay for his medical treatment.

His owner Robert Cole, a dog trainer, had taken the dog to be treated at MARS, where he sometimes helps out with newly arrived pit bulls. MARS issued a statement on its website and Facebook page last week seeking help with Cesar’s medical bill, and described what had happened to him as an abduction and torture.

That’s how a lot of media outlets in the Twin Cities reported it.

Now, police say the dog’s wounds were not the result of torture, but most likely inflicted by a car.

“They probably believed the dog was taken and tortured, but the evidence doesn’t support that,” Capt. Dave Muelken told KARE 11.

Cole said Cesar and his black Lab, Shelby, disappeared Wednesday, and later turned up back in his driveway. Only Cesar was injured.

Cole came home and discovered what he thought were stab wounds to Cesar’s hind legs, and someone had written “Back off Bob” in green magic marker on Cesar’s back.

Police said on Friday that the physical evidence shows that the injuries were not consistent with Cesar being beaten or stabbed, and appeared to have come from a car accident. Investigators based that on a medical report they received from the Douglas Animal Hospital in Osseo, where Cesar was taken after he was treated at the animal rescue. As for the writing on his back, they offered no explanation for that.

Cole said he’d like to believe the police version, but neither he nor MARS seem convinced.

“If he was struck by a car he’d be pretty messed up all over his body, not just his legs and hips,” Cole said. “And how do you explain the markings?”

A veterinarian who examined Cesar on behalf of MARS said Cesar had no broken bones, no road rash, and that his cuts appeared to be “clean,” as opposed to the more jagged ones that would result from a car accident.

MARS officials said anyone who donated to Cesar’s care and feels they were misled can retrieve their donations, all of which were made through PayPal.

Titan the pitbull receives award for saving owner twice

Gloria Benton of Lawrenceville, Georgia, is lucky to be alive.

Last July, Gloria’s husband, John, was on his way to work when their pitbull, Titan, blocked his exit.

As John prepared to leave for work, he told Titan to go upstairs to be with Gloria, who was recovering from back surgery at the time. Moments later, Titan bolted back down the steps and started frantically running back and forth between the couple’s bedroom and the front door, FOX 5 reports.

“He’d run up a few flights of steps and run back down just to keep me from going to let me know something was wrong,” John told the Humane Society.

John went upstairs and found Gloria on the floor. She had suffered a brain aneurysm, then fell and cracked her skull.

“What the doctor said, had it not been for this dog, if he had let me leave that house, she would have either bled to death or the aneurysm would have killed her. And it’s, like I said, we owe a whole lot to this little rascal. It’s not about the breed but the way they are raised,” John told FOX 5.

Eight weeks ago, six-year-old Titan came to Gloria’s rescue once more, the Gwinnett Daily Post reports. At 4:30 a.m. one morning, Gloria fell in the bathroom, breaking her hip. Titan alerted John, who then took his wife to a nearby hospital.

On July 24, the Humane Society of the United States honoured Titan’s “acts of heroism” and was named the second runner up in the Humane Society’s National Dogs of Valor Award.

“Gloria … being here [is a testament of] just the amazing effort animals can make to save humans,” said Jessica DuBois of the Humane Society.

This isn’t the first official recognition for the pitbull. Last year, Titan was named “Neighbour of the Year” by Vintage Pointe Neighbourhood Association, Huffington Post reports.

Savage Police Close Case on Injured Pit Bull, Call Incident Accidental

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Savage police have completed their investigation into the case of Cesar the pit bull, who’s story went viral last week after it was reported he was possibly taken from his yard and then returned, beaten. 

Their concusion – based on investigation, veterinary reports and interviews with Cesar’s owner, Robert Cole, Cole’s fiance, Amber Wade, and numerous neighbors – is that the dog was accidentally hit by a car after he escaped from his fenced yard.

Police reports obtained by Shakopee Patch reveal that since the incident was reported July 25, police have spoken to several neighbors who said they saw the dogs running loose that day. 

One neighbor said she received a call that day informing her that the dogs were running loose and said “the dogs run loose quite often and the neighbors will call each other to let them know.” One resident was quoted as saying a pit bull and black lab were “bolting” down the street on July 25.

Police said they saw bloody paw prints indicating Cesar had crossed a busy street near the area of 133rd and 134th Street, several blocks from the dogs’ home on the 5400 block of West 132nd Lane.

The dog’s owner, Robert Cole, has also been cited by the city of Savage related to letting his dogs run loose. In April, a resident called and reported a pit bull and black lab running loose in the neighborhood and trying to get at other dogs in fenced areas, according to police reports. When police found Cole’s dog did not have a license, he was given a week to get a license for the dog and was cited when he failed to do so, records said.

Cole also has a warrant out for his arrest for an unpaid fine related in connection with that incident, court records said. Cole was informed of the warrant last week after Cesar’s incident and given until the end of the day Monday to clear it up with Scott County court officials. 

Although a vet at Midwest Animal Rescue and Services told police Cesar’s injuries likely did not come from a vehicle because no debris was found in his wounds, that vet did not do x-rays or treat Cesar for his wounds, police records show. Cesar was transported to Douglas Animal Hospital, where he was treated. That report from a vet states that the injury on Cesar’s right hind leg was a result of severe trauma. Cesar also had a 1 cm deep laceration on his left leg and an abrasion on his chin.

The report also stated, “lung musculoskeletal and degloving most consistent with trauma from hit by car, and/or dragging. Lung changes consistent with trauma, suspect hit by car.”

The report also says that gravel was found in and removed from Cesar’s injuries.

The writing on Cesar’s back stating, “Back Off Bob” remains unexplained, police said. In a police interview with Cole, who was not home at the time the dogs disappeared, he said he would have been upset with his fiance if he found out the dogs had gotten loose and Cesar had been hit by a car.

Cole’s fiance, Amber Wade, “quietly responded no” when asked by police if she wrote on the dog in an interview on July 27.

Cole also told police that Cesar is too shy to have gone with a stranger in an abduction scenario and that although he’s involved in legal issues with an ex-business partner in a dog-training business, he didn’t think it was likely that anyone from that business happened upon the escaped dog to do him harm.

Police have closed the case, saying there is no evidence to support Cesar was adbucted and injured in any manner other than accidental.

Savage police initially responded to the call Wednesday, July 25 at 2:31 p.m. that two dogs had possibly been taken from their yard and returned beaten.