This unforgettable phrase comes from a member of the Pit Bull Regulation Project. The term refers to the overwhelming coddling of owners of dangerous dogs by law enforcement and municipal officials. In some instances, dog bite victims file civil lawsuits, as such continuous coddling can turn into negligence claims. It is true that the coddling of crappy dog owners can in part be blamed on crappy local and state dog laws, but at some point the authorized enforcer of these laws is left holding the malodorous poop bag.

(2010) Dog owner Virgil C. Mitchell, Delaware, Ohio – Prior to his dangerous dogs nearly killing a man, Mitchell was cited at least 10 times for being an appallingly unsafe dog owner. Below is a laundry list of Mitchell’s offenses leading up the near fatal mauling of 67-year old James Bright, Jr. In the end, authorities were able to stack up enough charges to construct a jail sentence of three years. Mitchell later pleaded guilty in a plea agreement.

(2001) Complaint for dogs running loose, police investigated
(2002) Complaint for dog running loose, officers dropped charges after Mitchell agreed to purchase state required insurance for one of the dogs, a pit bull, caught at large.
(2004) Complaint for dogs running loose, police investigated
(2004) Complaint for dogs running loose, police investigated
(2005) Complaint for bite upon human being, victim declined to press charges.
(2005) Complaint for dogs running loose and menacing. Mitchell was charged with having dogs at large.
(2006) Complaint for dogs running loose
(2006) Complaint for bite upon human being. Mitchell was ordered to pay victim’s $2,000 medical bills and a $418 fine for court costs.
(2006) Court ordered to not have any dogs over 20 lbs for two years due to 2006 biting incident.
(2008) Charged with failing to register and vaccinate his dogs.
(2009) Mitchell pleaded guilty to a felonious assault charge and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
(2010) Complaint for bite upon human being, victim declined to press charges after Mitchell agreed to pay the victim’s medical bills.
(2010) Charged with 4 misdemeanor charges and 12 minor misdemeanor charges after the violent attack upon James Bright, Jr.DogsBite.org

(2007) Dog owner Charles Smallwood, Knoxville, Tennessee – In the several months leading up to the brutal attack that killed Jennifer Lowe, 21, animal control officials had visited Smallwood’s home 5 times. Knoxville County later settled a civil claim that was brought by the victim’s family. No charges were ever brought against Smallwood. Note the “reminder” in the last paragraph three days before the attack that ended Jennifer’s life.

The first visit, in August, followed a complaint by a neighbor saying her dog had been attacked by one of the pit bulls.
Subsequent to this, the dogs attacked two police cruisers, which is when officials deemed the dogs “dangerous.”
On August 23, Smallwood’s brother was cited over the dogs and sent to court.
On August 28, Smallwood signed papers stating he understood the county’s requirements.
On September 14, animal control checked to make sure the county orders were followed.
Three days before the fatal attack, the dogs were found running loose in the yard with the owners. An animal control officer stopped and reminded them that the dogs needed to be muzzled and on a secure chain. – DogsBite.org

(2007) Dog owners Shellie Wilson and Zachary Martin, Pierce County, Washington – Prior to the pair’s pit bulls entering Sue Gorman’s house while she slept and attacking her and her dogs, animal control had visited the home of Wilson and Martin 16 times due to dog complaints. The dogs could have been declared “potentially dangerous” four times prior to the attack on Gorman. In 2011, Gorman won a $2.2 million award against Pierce County.

The two dogs, Tank and Betty had a history of problems. According to records, animal control officers cited Wilson twice in 1998 at her previous residence and made 16 visits to her current home since 1999 for dog complaints from at least eight neighbors. They cited Wilson a total of 10 times for roaming or unlicensed dogs. – DogsBite.org

It doesn’t pay to coddle crappy dog owners!

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