Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Alphie - triple biter, cop threatener, and....loving wigglebutt with "no serious issues"?

Family brawl sparks dog attack in Calgary

CALGARY - Three people were taken to hospital with bite wounds after the family dog attacked them during a brawl Sunday afternoon in Calgary.

Mark Travadi was walking home from the store about 2:30 p.m. when he saw the door to his Pinemont Rd. N.E. house fly open, his brother, sister and nephew spill out to the lawn and begin fighting.

Before he knew it, his one-and-a-half-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier, a pitbull-type breed, started attacking them one by one.

Travadi said his sister, Lauren Henault, threw a backpack at her 14-year-old son, Lennon Henault, and the dog, named Alphie, responded aggressively, he believes defensively.

He intervened and took Alphie into the garage where he then bit his brother, Basil Travadi, on the arm.

“He’s never responded well to violence but it is a surprise he would take it to this level,” Travadi said.

“I’ve never seen him behave like that.

“Once he gets mad, it’s hard to stop him.”

Previously, a cop called to the house to break up a fight between him and his brother had to pull a gun on the dog when he became aggressive, Travadi said.

While Alphie is usually very well behaved, trained, and walked often, he acts up when people are aggressive, he said.

“I love the fact that he’s territorial but I can’t have a dog I can’t trust,” he said.

“I can’t control him when people are violent and I’m not there.

“It’s very inappropriate, I’m embarrassed.”

The dog first latched onto his nephew’s shoe, biting into his foot, before nipping his sister’s thigh.

“He’ll bite the person that he loves,” he said referring to the teen.

Paramedics took the three to hospital in stable condition and bylaw officers seized the dog.
“I’m a dog lover, he’s my first dog,” he said.

“It hurts like hell to lose a dog but people come before animals.

“I shouldn’t have left him unattended.”

The dog, which Bill Bruce, director of animal and bylaw services said has never been a problem before, will be assessed and the matter investigated.

Bruce said it’s not uncommon for dogs to become aggressive during a chaotic situation.

“They can’t stand disorder in the pack,” he said.

Neighbour Craig Northup said he saw a family melee break out that looked like it was a fight over the dog.

“I heard yelling and screaming and then louder yelling and screaming and ‘he’s taking the dog, he’s taking the dog’,” he said.

“One guy was trying to take the dog and the dog became confused.

“It’s not even the dog’s fault — everyone was yelling.”


This dog bit three separate people badly enough that all three had to be taken to the hospital.  Previously, this dog had acted aggressively toward a police officer, causing the officer to draw his gun.  The dog is clearly unstable in situations which involved heightened emotion AND it now has a bite history.  Surely Bill Bruce will appropriately "punish the deed", right?

Nope.  Bill's going to send this dog to live with a different member of the same family.


"The pitbull that attacked members of its owner’s family when they started fighting has passed a behaviour assessment and will now live with other relatives, bylaw officials said Monday.

Alphie, an American Staffordshire Terrier, bit three people Aug. 15 when they started fighting at their Pinemont Rd. N.E. home.

Animal control officers seized the dog as all three were sent to hospital to have bite marks treated.

“The dog had a clean record otherwise,” said bylaw head Bill Bruce.

“It happened inside a family unit and we met with the family and the dog owner and another family member who felt he could provide a more stable environment for the dog.”

A behaviour assessment showed no serious issues, said Bruce, so the dog was released on Friday to the owner’s relative, who lives outside the city.

“They’ve consented to all the conditions about training,” said Bruce.

“Of course we’re going to stay on this very carefully.

“The dog’s behaviour assessment is very promising and the owners who are taking over know exactly what they are doing, they know what has to happen and in terms of public safety, we’re comfortable all the safeguards are in place.”


The behaviour assessment showed no serious issues?  WTH?  The real-world behaviour assessment just showed us some really serious issues, didn't it Bill? 

Did you appropriately test the dog?  Really?  What was the test?  Did you test the dog around a group of angry adults or excited children, for instance?   What happens when the new owner walks this dog past an arguing couple on a street?  What happens when the next door neighbour's kids start screaming as kids are prone to doing?

I predict we haven't heard the last of Alphie.