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Your letters: Our side of the 'dog fight'

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opinion Wadena, 56482
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

I would like to clear a few things up on the so-called Pet Expo dog fight. I was there. I helped separate the two dogs, not to mention I am extremely knowledgeable about medical service dogs. I also was the chair person that put together the Pet Expo, and everyone that was there and participated really had fun and enjoyed it. We got a lot of positive feed back for the next one.

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First of all it was not a dogfight. It was a minor dog bite; if Lola wasn't a pit bull this wouldn't have been mentioned or talked about at all. Lola didn't even puncture Cheyenne with all four of her canines, she just punctured with her top two and they were very minor punctures. Cheyenne was sniffing and yapping at Lola. Lola got tired of it and just stopped her, not wanting to let go because she didn't want Cheyenne to start again. The clamping of the jaws made it hard to have Lola release her, but Carolyn and I were there instantly and knew what to do. It was more of the adults' than the dogs' fault. They were visiting and paid no attention to the dogs on the end of the leashes, especially when one dog is harassing another dog. There is no dog of any breed that will put up with harassing for very long. The kids that were around happen to be very knowledgeable about dogs and what happens when you don't pay attention to them on the end of your leash. They have been around dogs all their life and witnessed the harassment of one dog to the other and having to separate them. Thus, this was not a fight -- Lola just stopped the dog from harassing. The whole time Lola was there she was on her very best behavior. I have worked with Lola at dog training and she was an extremely well-behaved dog and wasn't bothered by the numerous dogs, kids and adults there.

Patty Jones' signed document for her so-called service dog, is not for being a medical service dog. I have the same papers as she does. I happen to live in a similar housing. The doctor's note was written so that she could have a companion dog in a no-pet-allowed apartment complex. I have the same for my dogs. She has done no training for a medical service dog. I have done a lot of research and training to have a medical service dog. I know what you have to do to have one and what you need to have to use one in public. Patty has done none of this.

Patty brought her papers to the board meeting of the Humane Society to prove she had a service dog. I looked over her paper work and informed her what her paper work was. It was her doctor's note saying it would be good for her to have a companion dog in her apartment and D.W. Jones giving permission for her to have a pet in one of their no-pet-allowed apartment complexes, not stating it is a medical service dog.

No doctor can state that they have no legal knowledge of what is required. Patty also informed us she didn't take that apartment. That in itself makes her papers invalid for use in any situation. The use was for that particular apartment complex only. If she wants Cheyenne to be a medical service dog she has a lot of home work and classes to take and tests to take.

It is a shame that a very well behaved Lola has to now have a bad rap not only because she is a pit bull but now that the papers, TV media and unknowledgeable people have blown this small dog bite out of control. If it is decided she has to be put down, it will be on the hands of those with the lack of knowledge about what happened and the kind of dog Lola was. She is a very friendly and sweet dog. I have missed working with her the last 10 days.

I hope those out there that didn't consider both sides of the story, not to mention looking at it from Lola's point of view, can live with the decision. I know I can't because if I was Lola and no one was attending to the harassing dog that was all over me and in my face I would have done the same thing -- taken care of the situation until humans stepped in. This was a human mistake on both humans, but if I had a dog that was harassing another dog I would have corrected it or removed it. When you have your dog in the public, you have to be more attentive to your dog, not visiting or whatever you are up to. If you are doing something else, you have to keep your attention on your dog on the end of leash at the same time. It's called multi-tasking. If you can't do that, it is best to leave your loved dog at home.

Dogs are our responsibility. I hope the humans out there take that into consideration before they make that automatic decision about pit bulls and Lola. Not all pit bulls are killers, just those that the humans have bred and trained to do that. Lola has never been treated in that way. She is a dog just like any other dog in the shelter, our homes, playing with everyone and other dogs. She is a dog first.

The Humane Society is a non-profit organization and everything goes through a board. We did not ignore Patty and her vet bill, we had the right to investigate the situation before making any decision. That is what we did and are doing. We never made light of the situation, but of course it is good listening and reading that a fierce pit bull was out on the attack. Which is so far out in left field. The Humane Society wants to do what is best for the whole situation -- Lola, Patty and Cheyenne. There is nothing wrong in doing that in this situation.

I hope with all my heart that Lola is allowed to go to a forever home, because she has great potential, not to mention a very sweet dog and should be able to have a happy life. I don't personally feel she did anything wrong. I hope there are others out there that feel the same way. This is what the Humane Society is about -- finding forever homes for these not wanted or "can't keep any longer" dogs and cats.

Suzy Stoddard

Vice president of Humane Society

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