Dog Days of Summer

In my experience, most people can't identify a pit bull to save their lives. I say this because my dog (pictured) is mistaken for a pit bull constantly. He is a large bull-breed (a Victorian bulldog, if you're interested), but most certainly not a pit bull. Yet, when he approaches a new person, panting his tongue-lolling pant, the new person recoils in horror about half the time, asking, "Is that a pit bull?"

No, stupid. He can take on a pit bull -- he's been attacked by one more than once -- but he is, I repeat, not a pit bull.

So when I heard a news report on Sunday night that police officers had tasered and shot at a pit bull, I was a bit skeptical.

I think I was watching Fox 31, and the story went like this: Raul Sanchez was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. When he finally stopped at the park-and-ride near I-25 and Colorado 52, his dog jumped out of his driver-side window and "menaced" the officers, according to this Fox report.

A Frederick officer tasered the dog in self-defense, but that didn't stop the animal; it continued to act aggressively, so a Dacono officer (called in for backup) shot one .40-caliber bullet at the dog. Bleeding, the dog ran off and hasn't been seen since.

What I thought was really strange about this report (which isn't apparent in the script version of this story) is that no further description of the wounded, apparently aggressive animal was available. Color of its coat? Nope. Weight? Nope. So the story ended something like this: There's a wounded pit bull that attacks people somewhere on the loose, but we can't tell you what it looks like beyond that. Watch out!

I checked the next day to see if the Rocky Mountain News could provide a description of the dog, but did not see one in this report.

Whether pit bulls should even be kept as pets is a debate I'm staying away from; there's no denying that if the owners are careless, the dogs can be very, very dangerous. I've also met some very, very sweet pit bulls -- and I also know not to bring my dog around them, since they seem to instantly hate an intact bull breed muscling in on their turf. But isn't it kind of weird that the officers involved could identify the dog's breed, but not its size or color? -- Amber Taufen

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen