Barron Park neighborhood outraged over donkey attack Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Nov 15, 2012 at 10:17 am
Barron Park's beloved donkeys have been attacked by a dog for the second time. The donkeys, Perry and Miner Forty Niner, were placidly residing in their pasture near Bol Park when the attack occurred Nov. 6, according to Barron Park Association Board Member Doug Moran.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 15, 2012, 9:37 AM
Posted by artbuilder, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:45 am
" somewhat more serious " is a Massive Understatement
perry was taken to the donkey hospital for a few days,
this may spell the end to his movie career. perry is clearly suffering from post traumatic stress
the owner of the dog allowed the dog off lease for what in fact is the Third Time it has attacked the donkeys, the first time there were no visible injuries but there are witnesses to all three attacks
the third incident the dog attacked both donkeys but only physically injured the smaller " miniature " donkey.
Posted by Don't hate the dog..., a resident of another community, on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:52 am
A dog is the owner's responsibilty. If the owner can't control the dog, it should NOT be outside of it's home. If the owner doesn't want to keep the dog penned up, he has 2 choices: find someone who can control the dog, or move the dog to a location where it can't hurt people. Or Donkeys.
There is no excuse for negligent pet ownership. I hope the owner is paying for poor Perry's vet bills. It's his responsibilty.
Posted by Harris, a resident of another community, on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:56 am
Well this is not new. We lived in Barron park and it was the thing to do i.e. let your dog run off leash behind Gunn ( of course always under control ). The city does have a law:
Any dog or puppy must be controlled on a leash by an able-bodied person, at all times, even when under supervision, whenever the dog is on public property. This includes all parks, sidewalks, streets, school grounds and the Baylands marsh areas or while on an unenclosed lot. The leash law is strictly enforced, but certain dog exercise areas have been created as playgrounds for exercising your dog off leash.
But the phrase " strictly enforced" is non existent. The owners are the problem!
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm
Oh, owner should be preventing from having another dog as long as he/she lives here.
It is an outrage that this should happen once .. .but twice? It is clear there is a dog policing problem in Palo Alto.
When I am walking out at the Baylands, or even in the city, how am I supposed to know what dogs are dangerous or what owners are responsible?
If the city and our community cannot take responsibility to come down and inspire responsibility in people, then the community is not advanced enough to be able to manage having dogs in it.
What this does is to lower the standards for even being in public space, forcing civilized good people into their homes or protected places and droping the overall level of civilization in our city.
Like the constant random crimes I read about in Palo Alto against people just walking around the city and then robbed or attacked?
Somehow in this modern technological age we seem to have forgotten the basic rules of society, or indeed that society needs rules and used to have them that were not draconian or oppressive to allow everyone to enjoy Palo Alto without fear of the lone idiots who don't get it.
Now the lone idiot is the rule, the lone idiots set the standard and seem to be in charge.
Posted by Odo, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm
I was visiting the egg laying chickens nearby and someones loose dog just ran right up to the enclosure and scared the chickens and looked like it was about to jump into the yard where some other chickens were walking around. I grabbed the dog, the owner came up sheepishly acting sorry and put the leash on his dog.
I'm really sick of this situation of dog owners flagrantley violating leash laws. The dog that attacked Perry should be euthanized. This is the third attack and I don't understand why the owner is being given special treatment when anyone else's dog would have been euthanized for the THIRD TIME!!!
Posted by Leash Em, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm
I was once jumped on by a couple of dobermans in Bol park, whose owner ARROGANTLY let run off leash. Not sure the attack was violent, but they were lunging toward my chihuahua which I'd quickly scooped up in my arms. It's beyond repulsive to see dog owners behaving in such an arrogant and entitled way letting big dogs run in the park off leash.
Posted by MP Dog Park fan, a resident of Menlo Park, on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm
Attacked 3 times? Really?? This is asinine (no pun intended vis-a-vis the donkeys). Why wasn't the dog's owner held liable for the first two attacks given that there are leash laws in place to prevent exactly this kind of thing? And where have the authorities that are responsible for leash law enforcement been all this time? Didn't anybody call to complain in order to prevent recurrences of this type?
I agree with others who have stated that the problem is not the dog but the owner and the owner should be taken to task and fined or jailed or both for his/her arrogance and stupidity by allowing this dog to continue attacking other animals. It amounts to criminal negligence and should be treated as such. Oh, and paying the vet bills should be an absolute requirement. Put a lifetime ban from Bol Park on the owner and his dog because, after three attacks, it should be obvious that this person's irresponsible behavior is incorrigible.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm
This is the deal: the dog owner is negligent & so is donkeys' owner. Many dogs will return to the place of an attack in prey.
What is PA Animal Setvices doing to ensure it won't happen again? What is the dog owner doing about it? The donkeys' owner? Is the dog getting a vicious dog hearing? How hard can it be to fix the fence & leash the offending dog? How hard is it for the dog owner to NOT bring their dog back to the scene of the crimes? Horrifying. Just as upsetting is the lack of remediation to percent the second attack.
Posted by call the police, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm
Please park users, if you see dogs running off leash and especially if you feel threatened by the dogs, then call the police immediately. Call 911 if there is an attack or threat of one. This is a criminal issue.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm
I didn't know til now that Acterra owns the donkeys. They've been negligent in providing a safe structure for the animals, IMO. Don't know if the authorities would agree. Sorry for all the posts, I'm concerned & angry - these attacks were so easily avoidable.
Posted by Cindy, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm
I am very upset by this. 49er is now alone without Perry. This kind of attack should not happen once, let alone twice. And I agree, it could be a child just as easy as a donkey. I am tired of all the dog owners who take their dogs off leash along the bike path and Bol Park. The owner of the dog needs to have stiff punishment.
Posted by Barron Parker, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm
3 attacks on the donkeys! Not sure whether the dog or its owner should be euthanized. Or both. I do find it surprising that nobody has called for jail time. So I'm doing so -- it is NOT a sufficient deterrent or punishment for the serious and escalating damage done to our community pets that this person be required simply to pay the vet bills.
This is CRIMINAL negligence. Name the owner and throw the book at him or her.
Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Mountain View, on Nov 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm the_punnisher is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
" In farming communities, I believe an owner of livestock can shoot an animal that is attacking his/her animals. "
In Colorado ANY person is allowed to use his OPEN CARRY weapon to kill attacking animals, and the TWO LEGGED animals as well. If that Aurora movie theater HAD NOT TAKEN AWAY THAT RIGHT, there wouldn't have been a mass murder and the following lawsuits...
Back OT: The dog owner must pay the vet bills on the donkey AND either have the animal killed or spend $$$ to have him and the animal TRAINED properly.
When you use public places, you share the RESPONSIBILITIES when using them. Obeying all the laws protect ALL who use that public space.
Posted by moi, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm
This dog has tasted donkey blood at least twice.
Further attacks by the same dog are only a matter of time.
I agree that the dog's "human" (I dare not use the term "guardian" under this circumstance) should be fined as well as named. Shame is a powerful thing.
Both of the donkeys are surely dealing with PTSD. This is not a joke. I witnessed it when a neighbor's dog twice brutally attacked my companion goats, almost killing one of them the second time. Although their physical injuries healed eventually, my goats never recovered from the shock and terror.
Posted by mj, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm
This dog has now "tasted" blood and learned it can get away with this. Dog should absolutely be euthanasiad. Even if this is "prey" behavior he is now a real danger to other dogs, possibly humans too. Lesson to owner that his responsibility has killed his dog. Hope he has to pay all the medical bills too. Maybe the owner of the dobermans referenced above will take note, and other irresponsible dog owners in Barron Park.
Unfortunately many dog owners are so ignorant about the nature of animals they believe their dog would never attack, or think it is no big deal. I was raised with dogs and am a dog owner myself. We once tried to adopt an older dog that turned out to be extremely aggressive in certain situations, even after working with a dog behaviorist. We all loved that dog. But with many tears and much heart ache for the whole family I had the dog euthanasiad.
In the UK farmers can shoot a dog, certainly once a dog has tasted blood, but even just chasing can cause pregnant animals to abort. Although in my experience the dog owner is warned by the farmer the first time.
Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm
Where on earth have Animal Control and the PAPD been in all this? I understand that PAPD were called twice, after the first two attacks, and did NOTHING!
Donkeys and mules are extremely intelligent (far smarter and less reactive than horses)
social animals. Companionship is extremely important to them. They are probably n ow suffering from separation anxiety as well as PTSD. They are also creatures that are preyed upon in the wild, "flight animals" they are called, as are deer and horses.
Dogs, on the other hand, are predators, and their very scent is frightening to a flight animal. Now that dog has been "blooded", as they say of hunting dogs, and will always try to prey upon equids, never be trustworthy around flight animals.
The donkeys probably will never get over this emotionally, and I am sure that Perry's life has been shortened as a result.
This whole thing is sickening, and I sincerely hope that charges are filed against the dog owner. She must be forcd to pay for the vet bills and extra care that Perry will require. I would hope that punitive compensation is in order, too, since this is the third attack.
The public can help by googling "Bol Park Donkeys". They have their own web site and it includes the name and address of where to send contributions. Equine vet bills are very expensive, because you pay for the vet to drive out to the patient. This means a mileage and gas charge on top of meds and treatment. If Perry had to be hauled to the vet's place, that is another big charge. Then there is the cost of boarding him there while he recuperates, on top of his meds and treatments and the additional cost of administering those meds and treatments. My "guesstimate" is that the second attack cost upwards of $1000. The third, probably at least triple that, depending on how long the hospital stay is (I am experienced in these things, having had horses most of my life).
Posted by gone to the dogs, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm
I'm trying to imagine the mindset of this dog owner: "My dog has attacked these donkeys twice; let's see what happens today!" Was it a game? A dare? Some sort of enjoyment in the suspense of seeing if the dog would attack a third time? It's mind-boggling. As is the fact that the dog was not impounded the very first time it attacked the donkey and the owner charged.
I wonder if Acterra or someone else connected with the donkeys' care asked the police not to press charges after Perry was wounded the first time? If so--and this is pure speculation, I have no idea if such a thing occurred--then knowing there was a dangerous dog and an irresponsible dog owner frequenting the area, why didn't they put up some animal fencing ASAP? Rolls of 2x4 welded wire fencing are not expensive--50' for about $25. Why not do the donkeys a favor and give them a bit more protection? There's always the possibility that another clueless, irresponsible dog owner and another vicious dog will turn up in future.
Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford, on Nov 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm
The dog owner should be prosecuted, pay all vet costs and then some for the donkeys, and banned from any P.A. park. Someone above wrote that there are "too many dogs in Palo Alto." I believe there can never be enough dogs, but they must all have responsible owners.
I wish Perry a swift recovery, and send him much love, poor little guy.
Posted by Cur Mudgeon, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm
Unbelievable. I had a dog who did not like other dogs in her space.
I was walking her ON LEASH behind Gunn. A loose dog started to run up to her. The owner said "oh he's friendly." I asked him to call his dog, saying mine was not. He told me I should DROP MY DOG's leash. I understand the rationale behind this, but NOT in a public area where a dog fight could ensue and where the law says dogs much be leashed. I told him Palo Alto has a leash law, and he needed to respect it. He became very hostile, like I should not be out with my leashed dog.
Now why is Animal Services not acting on this dog and its owner? I was accidentally bit by my own dog while breaking up a food fight between our two dogs. I went to the ER for sutures and two days later, an ACO showed up at my door, wanting proof of rabies vaccination and telling me the dog was quarantined for 10 days. My friend was scratched or bitten by HER OWN CAT and sought medical attention. An ACO showed up at her house as well and made her quarantine the cat. So the lesson is, don't get accidentally bitten by your own pet, but your pet can inflict harm on another helpless animal several times and there are NO consequences???
As for the donkeys, know that there are coyotes and foxes in our town at night. They do need better protection, if all that keeps predators out is a fence that allows dogs in.
I've often thought that one solution to this problem of off leash dogs would be to have a fenced area that groups could rent for the sole purpose of dog play. This way, known groups of friendly dogs could interact without interference from potentially unsociable or reactive dogs, as can be the case at dog parks. The horse park in Woodside allows people to run dogs off leash if they pay an annual fee.
Palo Alto does require dog licenses, and recommends cat licenses.
Shame on the donkey biting dog's owner for not being a good pet guardian.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Nov 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm
Cur Mudgeon, you know in your situation that it has to do w/public health, not fault, right? The ACOs aren't there to judge you re your dog biting you - accidents happen & they know that. Ditto the cat - people can get cat scratch fever & rabies from cats, as well as other infections & diseases, which is why it's a public health issue which has nothing to do w/fault.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm
I frequently visit the donkeys with my young child in a stroller and I am always surprised at how many dogs I see along the path, in Bol Park as well as behind Gunn that are off the leash. I would say that most are not on the leash and I have never seen animal control or the PAPD enforce the leash law, only talk to the dog owners. I worry that one of these days it will be a child that gets hurt or someone running, biking or roller blading along the path. It wouldn't take much, one or two days of enforcing the leash law out in the park or back by the donkeys and I'm sure people would leash their dogs. I have a dog but don't walk him much beyond the park as sometimes there are too many dogs roaming freely.
Posted by Odo, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm
A Story in the Mercury has more complete details (excerpt below)
Palo Alto Animal Services Acting Superintendent Connie Urbanski deemed the dog dangerous following the most recent attack and police Chief Dennis Burns agreed. The owners were given the option of either having the dog euthanized or removed from the city. They chose the latter.
Posted by Otto, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2012 at 6:01 am
I routinely encounter dogs off leash in this area as well as in other PA parks. Politely asking dog owners to put their dogs on leash results in the following (based on a fairly large sample size): 1) being yelled at by the dog owner and told to mind my own business (about 25% of the time), 2) being ignored and the dog owner who does nothing (about 25% of the time), and the dog honors my request (about 50% of the time). So, even when politely asked for compliance with the law and public safety (did I mention my wife was attacked by an off leash dog, though I was impressed when animal services took it seriously) about half of PA dog owners with either yell at you or ignore you. Given this, we can fully expect further incidents such as the one described above.
Posted by Gisele, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm
According to the Daily News, Perry is back with Niner, but he is not doing well, not eating and acts depressed. The dog owner paid for the second attck, but this third one is going to cost a lot. Peninsula Equine Hospital is very, very expensive.
Animal Control, according to the Daily News, deemed the dog vicious, and gave the owner a choice of euthanasia or move the dog out of town. They chose the latter.
@duck duck goose: You seem a little undereducated for a Palo Altan. All social and herd animals, even cattle and sheep, are susceptible to PTSD and separation anxiety. Surely you have experienced dogs with it? Elephants, whales, wolves and humans suffer most from it, but do not trivialize what any animal suffers. They are sentient beings.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Nov 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm
Gisele - thank you for your reminder re PTSD/separation anxiety w/herd & pack animals. I've had dogs w/both issues, & it can be very troublesome. We all know this has nothing to do w/kids going hungry. I live in a city where kids experience hunger ongoingly. Responsible people do what they can to address both issues whenever possible. My rule for giving to the hungry: If I can't afford to donate to the hungry, I need to be on the receiving end of the help - every little bit helps.
Posted by Love 'em and Leash 'em, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm
What concerns me upon hearing all these reports of unleashed dogs roaming freely is that dogs are pack animals and will revert to this kind of behavior in a flash. I had a friend who lived in Saratoga and was attacked by a group of neighborhood dogs when he was attempting to retrieve his mail from a roadside mailbox. These were dogs that he recognized who were normally mild-mannered family dogs. Apparently when the right circumstances occur these normally harmless family pets can get vicious in a pack. As soon as a child (or anyone for that matter) is attacked by a pack of these neighborhood dogs there will be a public outcry with stern measures taken to enforce the leash laws. I have been bitten by a dog before and many dogs can sense my fear of them. This scares me as I never had fear before the first bite and I really do love animals but can't turn off those fear vibes around certain dogs in certain situations. Dog owners, please be respectful of others and leash your pets unless you are in an area where they cannot have access to people (special area designated for dogs to run free).
Posted by Odo, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm
The owner of the dog that attacked Perry may be a big donar to ACTERRA and that is why she is getting special treatment...this is just a hunch but it would explain why after three times, her dog has not been euthanized. So some other lucky community will be faced with this psychotic dog. The Donkey enclosure should be made more secure with chicken wire around the barbwire fence making it more difficult for dogs to get in.
Posted by happydogowner, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Nov 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm
There is a huge problem with off leash dogs at Bol Park. They run loose both on the grassy areas and on the path. Asking politely to have the owners leash their dogs results in responses ranging from simply rude to down right aggressive and threatening. I have avoided the park with my young son because he has been knocked down twice by a large dog. Owners either no where in sight or talking to the other off leash dog owners, and not paying attention. I really wish the PAPD would enforce the leash laws so all people can enjoy the parks,.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Nov 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm
Maybe complainers about the off leash dogs at this park can call PAAS to ask for some routine enforcement, if THREE attacks on the poor donkey didn't get them to enforce the leash laws there. The rest of us who want to take our dogs to socialize off leash go to the local dog parks, even when it means driving there. And get this - there are those of us who don't take our dogs off leash in public areas because there's good reason NOT to. Even if my dogs didn't knock down kids or scare people, I wouldn't want to deal w/the whiners complaining about my dogs being off leash - it's not worth it. Heck, people whine & complain even when dogs are leashed & not bugging anyone, why invite more petty drama & problems?
In response to community outrage over the attacks, Urbanski urged compassion for the owners of the dog. They didn't set out to hurt Perry and their carelessness has cost them a family member, she said.
"As awful as it is, there are multiple sides," Urbanski
I really have no patience for this softpedaling demeanor by Urbanski which could be accepted after the first attack...but after the third attack! Special treatment is being doled out liberally and there is some back room dealing going on here which might be that the dog owner is a big donar to Acterra which would explain this special treatment being doled out. Any other persons rogue dog would have been euthanized. This problem is just being transfered to another neighborhood. These owners should be criminally charged after the third time. Come on, lets have some equal justice and have this psychotic dogs lights put out. This Palo Alto Marshmellow justice doesn't pass the smell test.
Posted by Bruce, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:04 am
Yes, by all means, just kill something you have a problem with. Nice approach. Would you be so forcefully pushing for one of the donkeys to be euthanized if it attacked a dog? I think not. Keep the dog away from other animals -- especially the donkeys -- and let it live peacefully with the family that loves it.
Posted by Odo, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm
@Bruce....-Bruce, tell me, did the Donkeys attack any dogs? Have they ever attacked any dogs? Bruce, any thing relevant to say about this matter?
And if the dog had attacked a child or person causing lacerations of this nature, the dog would've been put down pronto.
The Donkeys weren't roaming loose with no handlers at their sides, the Dog was off leash (illegal) and attacked THREE TIMES drawing blood.
I am astonished at Palo Alto animal controls marshmellow justice and kicking the can down the road by having the dog removed from the city into another community where the problem will be passed down and what will this dog maul next.
Posted by Bruce, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Nov 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm
@Odo -- I don't condone the killing of dogs unless absolutely necessary, which I don't think is the case in this situation. Certainly, the owners should be penalized for allowing the dog to run off leash, especially in an area used by the donkeys. I simply don't think euthanizing the dog is the answer. It is the responsibility of the owners to control the dog -- why should the dog suffer for the owners' irresponsibility?
Posted by Odo, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm
The best way find out what is going on with Perry is just drop by to see him on Wednesday when the handlers take him out for a stroll for most of the day. I saw him this Monday 19th, talked to one of the handlers and he is getting his appetite back, so Perry is pretty resilient.