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Thread: Muffy the Mad

  1. #111
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    May 2012
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    I know that sounds very harsh, very dry but it's for everyones long term benefit to make things very black and white when it comes to dogs such as this.
    Not really - I don't think Muffy should be put down based on her behaviour (but then there are very few dogs that I think PTS is an acceptable decision, but that assumes I'm the handler too), but from a legal stand point - given the change of hands involved with an adoption - I think there is a mountain of concerns. None of which rest on us. We don't own the dog, and we don't have a say in what ultimately happens to her, from whether she stays with us to whether she is ultimately adopted. - and if she bites a future owner, any legal ramification would lie on the foster organisation.

    We are able to assess her actions and make some kind of comment on what she is likely to do in future, and how she should be handled. But that "will she be rehomed?" one.. we actually can not control that, and we know that the foster org will not choose PTS, which leaves us just doing whatever we can from a training perspective to make sure she is a safer dog than when she arrived. While we may be involved in behavioural consults for her, we will not be the ones saying to a potential foster "this dog has problems, are you willing to handle them?" ..rather, we will be the ones saying, "this dog has a known history that makes her a potential danger - given that you are making the choice to keep this dog, this is a way you can handle her behaviours, but YOU are taking a risk, and you have been warned." (...The "you" in that sentence is the foster organisation)

    ^this will be our position regardless of her behaviour.

    For me, in the situation I'm in I wouldn't argue for a PTS because I don't believe personally believe she is dangerous, but if I was the foster coordinator, and I was in charge of muffy's life, I'd also just keep her myself - as many have suggested we do - ...its just not my call though is it? As it stands, the foster people will have to continue to pay us to look after her until such time that they make a decision about what to do with her as an alternative, because unfortunately, we are not in a position to take on another dog long term. And especially since it would be completely insane for us to house a dog of this kind with other clients dogs without constant supervision, - and around my piano students (which with the exclusion of the adults I know to be good with dogs she has been completely isolated from - pain in the ass - and even those adults I've of course kept her at a distance and told them not to approach her as there is too much liability).

    EDIT:
    These comments I make about the process of how one might successfully re-home her are not things that I would back in writing while in the capacity of "the pawfectionist" as a business. I'm just speculating about what would be required to safely re-home her, many of my thoughts probably fit into a hypothetical situation where legal concerns do not exist and people getting hurt doesn't matter.. just what it would take to get the dog from point A to point B, and be safe and acceptable at the end.

    ^these are the things I think about because getting bitten by a dog is not something that scares or concerns me even slightly. But that is ofcourse just me.
    Last edited by pianoman; 05-21-2012 at 08:35 PM. Reason: added additional point -

  2. #112
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    and that is all very true. It's OK this is all discussion really lol the pts decision too does come from liability. I recommended a dog non rehomable due to the fact the chance it would bite and severely injure someone was very high - now the dog was PTS due to the fact there was no one out there who could be trusted with safely containing the animal or handle its behavior. If I had the space or a personal friend had, the dog would have a secure run to live in right now, but no one had the facilities or resources. Now warehousing for some people is an option but the risk of something happening was way too high. Shame, was a great dog but one heck of a bite on it.

    Conversely I'm sure you and your partner do not want to become the warehouse either for these unrehomable dogs, money or not. I personally have put my foot down to taking on long term dogs or having them surrendered to me anymore, it would have to be an extreme circumstance for me to accept them right now. That and one gets sick of being the last link in the chain for some of these unrehomable dogs.

  3. #113
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    Adelaide
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    We don't own the dog, and we don't have a say in what ultimately happens to her, from whether she stays with us to whether she is ultimately adopted. - and if she bites a future owner, any legal ramification would lie on the foster organisation.
    I don't think this is entirely true. Hasn't this dog bitten the pianoman himself? And you're well aware of the dog's history. If it was me- I'd be saying if you force us to hand over the dog to an inappropriate carer or unassessed home - then I will be notifying the local council of the dog's dangerous menancing history and way of dealing with stressful situations, with a view to getting it declared dangerous (and all the safety precautions that go with that).

    Then you might reduce your liability - because it will be then the local council's responsibility to act to minimise future risk of harm of the dog and by the dog.

  4. #114
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    May 2012
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    LAW-di-law.. law.

    The relevant point -

    Domestic Animals Act 1994 - SECT 41A
    Declaration that a dog is a menacing dog

    41A. Declaration that a dog is a menacing dog

    (1) A Council may declare a dog to be a menacing dog if-

    (ab) the dog bites any person or animal causing injury to that person or
    animal that is not in the nature of a serious injury;


    more laws relating to menacing dogs.....

    41E. Restraint of menacing dogs

    (1) A notice that a dog has been declared to be a menacing dog may require the
    owner of the dog specified in the notice to cause the dog, when it is outside
    the premises of its owner in circumstances specified in the notice, to be-

    (a) muzzled in a manner which is sufficient to prevent it causing injury
    by biting;

    (b) under the effective control of some person by means of a chain, cord
    or leash.


    .......Declaration of dangerous dogs.

    34. Council may declare a dog to be dangerous

    (1) A Council may declare a dog to be a dangerous dog-

    (b) if the dog is a menacing dog and its owner has received at least 2
    infringement notices in respect of the offence in section 41E; or


    ........

    By that definition Muffy is a menacing dog, and can not legally be declared dangerous by a council. I havent been able to dig up the laws relating to re-homing in such a situation, only the ones for whether or not an animal can legally be destroyed and whether or not owners can collect them. A new owner is no doubt a different deal. Seems like it would be negligent to not have her registered as menacing if rehomed? Don't even know what council she'd end up in at this point, or where she is currently registered.

    ________________________________________________


    ... On a lighter note, bel wanted me to post these videos before I go to bed. One is of her playing a bit, and then telling off our dog.. not sure whats in the other, maybe just more of the same.

    muffy play.mp4 - YouTube
    muffy other.mp4 - YouTube

  5. #115
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    Oh what lovely video's, muffy looks really confident and really happy and lukey is a honey, thanks for sharing that!
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  6. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman View Post
    I'm not even sure if we have the authority to "claim" muffy - as in not allow her to go back to the foster org - as I believe they own her, and we do not have any power in that respect. If we did, any man and his dog (ha) would be able to commandeer their neighbour's pet and have it destroyed without legit evidence. The dog hasn't bitten us, or anyone/thing else while under our care, and the foster org could probably reasonably deny that it ever happened..
    Look, I have no experience in these type of things but from a layman's point of view I understand you have no authority to claim Muffy. I also understand that ultimately the rescue organisation decide any outcome for Muffy.

    But surely if the foster organisation trusted you enough to employ you they are going to be prepared to take any advice you offer, take it seriously, and follow through. I would think they would be most agreeable to you guys assisting in the process of rehoming Muffy putting aside any legal arguments which have been discussed so far and if that is what you would like to do as far as Muffy's rehabilitation and rehoming.

    If the organisation does not take your advice they would no longer by my client. Are they prepared to spend whatever money is required to rehabilitate Muffy or is she on a time limit? Keeping in mind a reasonable time limit probably does need to be set? Are they going to pull the plug before you feel she is ready? That would be a huge waste (and I don't mean just financially). We all know most of these organisations are running on a shoe string budget.

    This thread has certainly give me food for thought as far as obligation, legal issues and moral issues. To be honest it is downright depressing at times. I am the ultimate pain in the ass here - I want her rehomed if at all possible but would not be prepared to take her myself. So what do you do with a dog like a Muffy when people like me have an attitude like that. And Nekhbet (who by the way is a girl!) is right - you cannot become the home for all displaced animals as much as I have suggested you keep her.

    You both seem really switched on but I guess I am feeling a little sorry for the position you guys seem to have been put in. It seems you have been given a big responsibility, add the moral dilemma and the legal ramifications and I, personally, might be in the fetal position by know. Again, good luck. I am glad you both seem so positive to the situation.

  7. #117

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    So a question I would like to ask is - what has happened to Muffy since the 22/5/2012 ?

  8. #118
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    Jan 2012
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    Melbourne VIC
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    Hi Riley.

    It was getting a bit heated and started being all about the legalities, instead of Muffy's progress, so I left it alone for a while. I'm glad you asked.

    Muffy is still with us. We have been overfull with dogs for the last few weeks, having two 11month old Pap x Jacks staying with us too. She is doing very well. Not as protective of her food, and if she is it's a growl first to warn without lashing out at the other dog. She is getting better with bikes going past. She adjusts well to meeting new dogs, when handled by us. We will test her with less experienced people soon.

    I haven't heard from Nekhbet about a catch up after our last meeting had to be cancelled due to last minute plans. Hopefully we can meet up soon

    On another note, I got sick of Muffy's matts so got her clipped. He hair is quite short now and she seems happier for it.

  9. #119
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    Great to hear she is progressing well Paws...nice work I think its great what you have done with her, she is a lucky girl Keep the updates coming...
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

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