Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Some Veterinarians Lack Horse Sense.

Sometimes professional people are incredibly ignorant. Last Sunday, Niskayuna veterinarian, Ronald A. Scharf, wrote a piece for The Sunday Gazette in which he argued that laws banning specific dog breeds will not prevent dog bites. His basic argument was that all breeds of dogs bite, so banning some breeds won’t change anything. He also argued that statistics on dog bites are unreliable.

The point Scharf is missing is that while all breeds may bite, and maybe even all breeds bite in equal numbers, some dogs by the nature of their size and strength can do more damage and and their bites are more likely to end up being fatal. The statistics below are taken from a website which is in total agreement with Scharf. Except for the Chow Chow, none of the breeds involved in fatal attacks are small dogs.

Breeds Involved In Fatal Attacks On Humans.
Pit Bull and Pit-bull-type dogs (21%), Mixed breed dogs (16%), Rottweilers (13%), German Shepherd Dogs (9%), Wolf Dogs (5%), Siberian Huskies (5%), Malamutes (4%), Great Danes (3%), St. Bernards (3%), Chow Chows (3%), Doberman Pinschers (3%), other breeds & non-specified breeds (15%).

When I go out for exercise, I walk softly and carry a big stick. Most of my neighbors do as well. We don’t carry canes, clubs or baseball bats because we are worried about being bitten by a Daschund or a Chihuahua. We carry them because of the large and/or powerful breeds of dogs that not only can bite, but can seriously maim or kill.

While we are on the subject of veterinarians, how is it that veterinarians are allowed to benefit from raids on farms? A woman wrote me after a swat team raided her farm. In her letter she said, “Dr. Bluvas [a Fulton County veterinarian] took two of my horses for himself. They were a black standardbred gelding and a black quarter horse gelding.”

People often assume that all of the animals taken in these raids are essentially worthless. Not true. Thousands of dollars worth of good animals are taken. Vets and Humane Society workers often get first dibs.

Not all vets are bad of course. We have had good experiences with some of them, but none can match my favorite veterinarian.


  • Wondering why my last post never made it on here, Dan.

    By Anonymous valleygadfly, at 7:01 PM  

  • I have published all of your comments. I'm not sure what happened. Sorry about that. Can you try it again. I have only ever rejected one comment in the whole time I've been blogging, so if your comments don't show up, please let me know. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 7:33 PM  

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