Pitbulls no more

Newsday Editorial
May 12 2011 – newsday.co.tt

Dangerous DogWe could not concur more with the seizure of the roaming pack of pitbulls that attacked and killed an unsuspecting Denise Rackal early Monday morning. The overwhelming public sentiment might be “blame the owner”—a police corporal whose property, ill prepared to hold one animal — could not be expected to contain eight pitbulls. We understand that sentiment. The dogs should have been secure and a policeman should have exercised better judgment. But these dogs are killers which may not be permitted to remain at large.

So we say yes, remove them because today there are eight fewer pitbulls to threaten the public. But what of the hundreds of other killer dogs residing among us in our neighbourhoods, the pitbulls and dangerous dogs that will maul our children, our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers in the mornings and days to come? Are we contemplating using post dog attack euthanasia as a solution or are we going to seek a permanent end to the savage dog bite related injuries and killings?

Eleven years ago we reached a clear consensus: pitbulls and other dangerous breeds were to be eliminated from TT. There was no need for further debate — we were in possession of the media reports and studies which demonstrated pitbulls are responsible for one third of the dog bite related fatalities, locally and worldwide. Trinidad and Tobago thus was resolute: we would join the league of sensible and progressive nations which for the protection of their citizens had banned dangerous breeds of dogs. We passed breed specific legislation, which would prohibit their importation and propagation and would call on owners to immediately neuter the animals in the country. Think of the attacks and deaths we might have prevented since 2000 had we been fully committed.

In the 11 years we have typically wavered; we have traded dog related deaths for home security and the business of security firms and at the appropriate moments, we have expressed due outrage. We have counted on irresponsible owners to be responsible. In the 11 years our fellow citizens have paid with their lives for our legislative vacillation and our lack of political will. Let us make it up to them. Let us make it up to Denise Rackal, to Denise Rackal´s family. Let us make her death our last pitbull killing if only out of selfishness — our wife or mother could be the next victim.

In her name and in the name of the victims of the last 11 years, we must commit to revisiting the 2000 Dangerous Dogs Act immediately and to making it a priority over lesser legislative business on the parliamentary agenda. Many insignificant bills have been enacted since 2000 and many hours have been lost on debate irrelevant to even these. In the name of Denise both sides can now agree to agree.

The Prime Minister has indicated Cabinet will today discuss the 2000 Act and has given us a half promise — the Attorney General she says has his eyes on the legislation. The public needs real reassurance, a vow that is more concrete. When the Government holds its post-Cabinet press briefing today it must give us a definite deadline for the legislation’s enactment. Will the Dangerous Dogs Act in its revised form be law by the end of 2011? What is Government’s target date for the complete elimination of pitbulls and other dangerous breeds of dogs from TT? These are not tough questions to answer, not when we consider the alternative, which is explaining to the children of another victim of a pitbull attack that their mother is dead because we let an Act of Parliament lapse.


May 10, 2011

A FEMALE SECURITY guard, walking on her way to work yesterday morning, was attacked and mauled to death by five pitbulls shortly after the vicious animals escaped from the Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas home of their owner — a police corporal.

Woman killed by cop’s 4 pit bulls
Four pit bulls mauled a security officer to death at Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas, early yesterday morning.

Woman killed by pitbulls
PITBULLS owned by a police officer attacked and killed a woman on her way to work yesterday. Security guard Denise Rackal, 46, was savaged by seven dogs, which ripped open her throat.

Relative of owner: Dogs will be put to sleep
A relative of the owner of the dogs yesterday told the Express that the four pitbulls owned by a police officer assigned to the North Eastern Division Task Force, would be put to sleep later today.

May 11, 2011

Killer pit bulls put to death
FOUR pit bulls, including the two which viciously attacked and killed security officer Denise Rackal in Chaguanas on Monday, were yesterday put to death, even as their police officer owner faces being evicted.

Husband cries out for justice
An autopsy performed on the mutilated body of Denise Rackal at the Forensic Sciences Complex, yesterday, revealed that she died from severe haemorrhaging caused by dog bites to her neck and head…

HDC moves against owner of killer dogs

‘Don’t blame dogs’
DOGS should not be blamed for their actions since it is the owner’s responsibility to properly secure them, Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis said yesterday as she reacted to news that mother of two Denise Rackal was mauled to death by five pitbulls while on her way to work on Monday morning.

Overhaul for Dangerous Dogs Act
Kamla turns sod for $60m Couva/Preysal interchange

PM: Cabinet to take ‘serious’ look at law

May 12, 2011

Mauling victim’s husband demands apology
LIONEL RACKAL, husband of Denise Rackal — the mother of two who on Monday was mauled to death by a pack of pitbulls — yesterday said he felt no justice on learning that the dogs were euthanised.

Pitbulls no more
We could not concur more with the seizure of the roaming pack of pitbulls that attacked and killed an unsuspecting Denise Rackal early Monday morning. The overwhelming public sentiment might be “blame the owner”—a police corporal whose property, ill prepared to hold one animal — could not be expected to contain eight pitbulls.

19 thoughts on “Pitbulls no more”

  1. The normal response when an animal kills a human being is euthanasia. Further to that pitbulls and rotweilers are known killers. Anyone owning these dogs should have them on leash or muzzle . The policeman is culpable in death of this woman,(he should know better) “murder by dogslaugter”. That means he should be tried and if it is determine that he did not do enough to protect the public from these animals, then he should be sent to jail to serve time for the animals he nutured. That is the only way to send a clear message to dog owners.

  2. remind me to cancel my ticket to Trinidad/Tobago.. I had no idea that it was such a backward place. ROAMING dogs of any type are dangerous. Contained dogs of any type are not dangerous. There is no such thing as a “killer dog’ as if dogs had morals and are possessed of free will and can practice malice aforethought. people however can do just that.. perhaps that is why the murder rate in TT is the highest it has ever been in 13 years.. PRIORITIES? from ETN.. travel advisory for TT.
    “Although much of the violence is gang-related, in recent years tourists have increasingly become targets for robbery, sexual assault and murder.

    In October 2008, a Swedish couple was chopped to death in their hotel room in Tobago.

    Just 10 days later in Tobago, two British females were robbed and sexually assaulted by a bandit who forced his way into their holiday apartment.

    Travel warnings
    The US and the UK issued travel advisories warning travelers about increasing violence and the failure of police in Tobago to apprehend and prosecute criminals.

    “You should be aware that there are high levels of violent crime, especially shootings and kidnappings,” states a travel advisory issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in October 2008. “British nationals have been victims of violent attacks, particularly in Tobago where law enforcement is weak.”

    A US travel advisory issued about the same time warns travelers that armed robbers have been trailing tourists as they depart international airports in Trinidad and Tobago.

    “Violent crimes, including assault, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault and murder, have involved foreign residents and tourists (and) incidents have been reported involving armed robbers trailing arriving passengers from the airport and accosting them in remote areas…the perpetrators of many of these crimes have not been arrested.”

    Highest crime rates
    According to the Economist, the English-speaking Caribbean, which extends from the Bahamas in the north to Trinidad & Tobago in the south, averages 30 murders per 100,000 inhabitants per year, one of the highest rates in the world.

    By comparison, the murder rate in both Canada and the UK is about two per 100,000.

    With 550 homicides in 2008, Trinidad and Tobago has a rate of about 55 murders per 100,000 making it the most dangerous country in the Caribbean and one of the most dangerous in the world.

    The rate of assaults, robbery, kidnapping and rape in Trinidad and Tobago is also among the highest in the world.

    According to a report issued by the United States State Department, gang-related homicides and other crimes will continue to increase in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009 and 2010.”

    and you worry about DOGS.. Cancel my ticket.. and will advise others to do the same..

    1. Ms. Smith apparently has spent too much time in the cold, and has adopted the sick ways of her host/home country. A pitbull like many of these inbred and crossbred “canines” is a manmade monster; and like the Frankensteins who created them, they need to be quarantined or exterminated.

  3. no animals are :known killers”.. animals have no morals.. only people do..seems to be lacking in TT

    1. Quite agree Alice. Dangerous owners are the problem. What is wrong with these people?

      Fancy quoting media reports to back up breed specific legislation. You’d have to have the I.Q. of an artichoke not to see through the deliberate demonisation of certain breeds in pursuit of revenue and ratings, easy votes for politicians with their knee jerk legislation, and the resultant attraction to the targeted breeds by the worst kinds of owners, with such highly predictable and obvious fallout.

      Time the media and politicians were held to account for the problem they have created in giving the puppy millers the most massive free marketing campaign in the history of humankind. Shame on them.

    2. Animals have no morals because morality is a subjective evaluation and only HUMANS are capable of moral judgment; thus if we are rendering morality judgments, how about the morals of the “humans” who genetically engineered an already aggressive animal towards more aggression?

      Do you understand what it means to be aggressive? Or is your semi-neanderthal brain incapable of distinguishing a difference? Many other world communities have already outlawed the pitbull, and if they have not the owner is required to carry copious amounts of liability insurance.

      Aggression is what I reccommend to any Trini living next to an idiotic pitbull owner. If the law of the land cannot protect you, protect yourself.

  4. Would Ms.Smith have been more comfortable if, instead of slashing that British Tobago Couple, The Greens, their attacker had unleashed two pitbulls to tear them to pieces, while he robbed their house?In such a case, there would have been no fussing about paying them compenation, flying them down to testify etc etc. it was have simply been a case of “two bad dogs, a pity” woman, you should have your head examined.

    These dogs are the descendants of the killer dogs used by pro-aparthied people in South Africa to keep the Blacks in “their place”, they are the descendants of the hunter/killers used to track runaway slaves in the American South, Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. They are cousins to the dingoes that stole a baby from a campsite in Australia and ate her.As well as the German Shepherd that ate its masters sleeping son in the USA. Such nonsensical people are correctly advised to stay out of TnT. You’d probably try to give a charging pitbull a biscuit. These are NOT her Majesty’s corgis, woman, talk sense will you?

  5. Pitbulls are breed as fighting killing machine, they were breed to be aggressive, take pain, and kill, you can train a pitbull to be tamed, if not they naturally kill in the wild, so that’s not a killer, morals or no morals they kill, so if you think animals are not known killers, go jump in a lake full of alligators. But I don’t think you should kill them off, pitbulls could be tamed. And to mrs smith stop trying to put down t&t, they can’t be backwards, to be one of the most develop country’s in the caribben, also one of the highest in education next to Barbados.

    1. It is quite amazing that people are willing to comment on things that they have absolutely no knowledge about, and probably have deep-seated fears about dogs thereby responses made are based on emotions as well as hear-say. In response to karibkween and Rovell, if pitbulls are “man-made monsters” then who exactly is the monster, the dog who was the tool of man or the man for wanting a destructive tool??? Also these so called developed nations that have adopted legislation has now seen that the law does not deal with the real problem which is the human element. Pitbulls, and all dogs are domesticated animals which mean they exist alongside humans and don’t truly exist in a wild state such as wolves, foxes etc. Pitbull history will show you that they were originally used as a family dog due to its loyalty to the family and protective instinct. The dogs were thrown into the fighting ring as entertainment for “Gentlemen” in the urban setting, and today as a guard-dog. So do you really hold the breed responsible for where it has landed today?? And to Linda Edwards, please don’t show your lack of knowledge to the world. That should be a family secret. I know about freedom of speech, and talk is cheap but time is precious so when you place a comment it should actually have some form of sense backed by some fact. Its painful to spend time to read a contribution and then realize it is a pile of un-intelligent crap founded on mis-information, bias and just plain human ignorance. People fear what they don’t understand…..try and get some people!!!!

      1. I agree with the Aurthur of this Article the Owner is the one that should be held responsible for the attacks from any Dog not the Breed of the Dog.Unfortunately the Attack dog should be put down again regardless of the breed because of the Attack but it should not end there the Owner of the Dog should also be tried in court and if convicted should pay the penalty.As the saying goes ( if you are old enough to do the Crime you should do the time )well the dog will pay the price of the Crime Punishable by death why should the Owner who trained the dog to be that way go unpunished.I am sure that the Courts will be able to come up with a just penalty based on the attack but the person that took a playful friendly puppy and turned it into a vicious attack dog should be dealt with as the Court deems fit.

      2. Your Question: “if pitbulls are “man-made monsters” then who exactly is the monster, the dog who was the tool of man or the man for wanting a destructive tool???”

        My Answer: Both

        Your Statement: “Pitbull history will show you that they were originally used as a family dog due to its loyalty to the family and protective instinct.”

        My Statement: The original Bull Terrier is not todays PitBull. A number of genetic crossings and exchanges lie between your family dog with a “protective” instinct and the Mexican Drug Cartel’s Pitbull with a killer instinct; and clearly we are speaking of the latter in the case of Mrs. Rackal.

  6. Dog owners say sorry to dead woman’s family
    The owners of the dogs which attacked and killed 46-year-old Denise Rackal in Chaguanas last Monday are receiving counselling to deal with the trauma arising from the incident.

    ….Tears, screams at funeral of mauled security officer
    Loud screams rang out and tears flowed at the funeral service yesterday for Denise Rackal who was mauled to death by seven pitbulls on Monday morning.

    …’Mammy, mammy!’
    WENDELL CHAD RACKAL collapsed onto the carpet-covered floor of the Laventille Open Bible Church yesterday as he cried for his mother Denise, the woman who was mauled to death on Monday by a pack of pitbulls, as she lay in her coffin during the funeral service.

    …Pastor: Justice not served in death of mauling victim

    …Ramlogan: New Dangerous Dogs bill coming soon
    If you wish to own a dangerous dog, you will have to face heavy restrictions, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said yesterday as he promised to bring a new Dangerous Dogs bill either before the end of this parliamentary session (by June 13) or at the start of the new session.

    …Pass dangerous dogs law now says London

    …Urgent need for good law against bad dogs

    …AG gets cracking on bad dog legislation

    …Time for dangerous dogs law

    …HDC issues eviction notice to dog owner

    Edinburgh 500 residents say: We keep dogs to protect property
    In several parts of Edinburgh 500 as many as four dangerous dogs can be seen in one home lying in deceptive calm behind low walls. These dogs belong to residents who have moved into the new Housing Development Corporation (HDC) developments in Edinburgh South and in fact throughout the Edinburgh 500 community. In a visit to the area, residents said that they had been plagued with vandalism and so many had been forced to obtain the dogs in an effort to secure their property.

    Bitten Diego man remains in hospital
    Carl “Carly” Joseph, who was badly bitten by two pit bulls in Diego Martin on Tuesday evening is still hospitalised.

    To err is human
    How can we demand clemency for eight pitbull slaughterers of a mother of two, yet be stone hearted toward humans who commit murder? For the canine killers, we say no to euthanasia and yes to rehabilitation; for the human hit men we chant, “Let them hang!”

  7. Woman mauled to death by pit bulls in New Mexico

    Mon Apr 25, 9:31 pm ET

    SANTA FE, New Mexico (Reuters) – A woman has been mauled to death by a pack of four pit bulls in the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, authorities said on Monday.

    Margaret Salcedo, 48, was walking alone when the dogs, which had escaped from a fenced yard at a private home, attacked her at an intersection on Sunday afternoon, Truth or Consequences Police Chief Patrick Gallagher said.

    A passerby in a car opened his door to intervene, but he stayed in the vehicle when a dog charged him, police said.

    “The officer arrived on the scene in less than three minutes, but it must have felt like an eternity to the poor woman being attacked,” Gallagher told Reuters.

    One of the dogs charged the officer, who shot and injured the animal, police said. All four dogs ran off, and the officer administered first aid to the wounded woman.

    Salcedo was bitten on all her extremities and lost a lot of blood, Gallagher said. She was taken to a hospital, where she died within hours, he said.


    Does this sound familiar; there is nothing that can contain these monsters. Maybe the cop thought he could control them, but he cannot be with them 24/7; and unless he plans to keep them muzzled and chained, which would defeat the purpose of owning them in the first place, they will be on their own with unsuspecting citizens at their mercy. Is this cop on the take? Pitbulls have a reputation for being the preferred dogs of drug dealers and gang members.

  8. If we can’t change the dog laws to protect the citizens, then please open up the country and let everyone have a gun, at least in such a case a person may be able to shoot one, or the person seeing the attack can shoot them at point blank range.Shoot for the ear cavity, that will shatter the brain, its how you shoot elephants, because their foreheads are made of very thick bone. If people had guns the way people have drivers’ licences, that would probably help the crime situation, as it is, it seems that the ones who have the guns also have the dogs. Themajority of the people are left defenceless.

  9. Dogs are self aware creatures. Therefore they know what is, and what is not. They aren’t as stupid as you think. And yes, dogs even know right from wrong. Try and give dogs a bit more credit. They are alot smarter than you think. Although, some of them are bred for certain reasons. Also, evil can exist in any way, shape or form. There can be such a thing as evil dogs. Evil can exist in virtually anything without evil thoughts being instilled in said thing by another party. Dogs are mostly taught how to act yes, but Breeds like Pitbulls, literally have it in their wiring and genetics to be killers

    Pitbulls were bred for one reason….to be killers. They are man made killers. Try doing some research on Pitbulls and see what you come up with. They have no place in Peaceful Neighborhoods or anything of the sort. They should be nowhere close to the ones we love. Now dont give me none of that ” I have a Pit and he/she is a very loving animal bullshit. That doesn’t take away from the fact that Pits were bred to be killers. That is their true nature. What other breed of dog has this bad a track record? None!!!!! Also, no matter how you look at the situation, the Vicious ones should never be allowed in neighborhoods. That is just fuckin ridiculous. Trading the lives of others for your own selfishness? Come on people. Time to start thinking about others and their welfare, instead of yourselves

  10. As a Trini-born US Citizen who is getting close to putting his house in order looking forward to retirement,after doing a stint in the USAF and the private sector,while I am still young enough to enjoy the rest of my life,I have been seriously thinking about returning to Trinidad,having become tired of winters in the US, but at this time I am having serious reservations about retiring in Trinidad…What is happening to Trinidad? I have this mental image of inmates running the asylum. I do understand that change and evolution occurs over a period of time,but it seems as though Trinidadians have adopted the WORST that America has to offer,making it a way of life,and terrorizing their fellow citizens.When I think of my youthful days of “knocking about” Port of Spain, going to Queens Park Savannah to look at football,(Malvern/Regiment) were my favorite teams,as a young adult going for walks in the “Hollows” with my girlfriend on Sunday evenings,and all the other innocent activities that young people engage in, it scares me to think that,that innocence has given way to the events that are occurring in T’dad on a dailty basis….I am deeply appalled tho read that the murder rate is so painfully high, that Trinidad and Tobago is considered the murder capital of the Southern Caribbean.Has life become so valuless that the end result of a disagreement,is death,for an unfurtunate soul.At last count the total so far murdered was 144 and considering that we are only in the month of May, I shudder to think what the ensuing months would bring.What has happened to the Justice system?What has happened to Law Enforcement,are these entities so impotent that lawlessness,crimminal activities,corruption and other activities that negatively impact the quality of life,are allowed to exist without the slightest hint of aaccountability…..The great philosipher Edmund Burke once said..”All that is necessary for evil to triumph,is that good men do nothing”.Crimes and illegal activities could never exist without the support and approval of the communities that they are in.It is high time that Trinidadians GET UP, and start taking back their island,demand more law and order, stop being procrastinators,instead of only using the jawbone,develop some backbone let those Judges, Policemen,Lawmakers and Politicians know that they were elected to do the right things for the country,if not,next time around they could and would be voted out. Enact laws that protect the community..recently a mother on her way to work was mauled by a pack of vicious pit bulls, and no one appeared to know what to do…Here in the US there would be serious repercussions,including punitive litigation,Wake up people….this is your life…Insist that the economic boom that Trinidad is experiencing should be used to improve the quality of life in T’dad, social services, infrastructures, so that the citizenry could enjoy the quality of life that economic booms bring….

  11. i love pitbulls, i’ve trained pitbulls to be aggressive for their owners liking, they will fit through a louver payne when they want to get loose. I realise that some people are not honest with themselves, the dogs are dangerous, we need to have them banned. No more deaths. Gone are the days for walking or taking a jog in the neighbourhood. Some of these selfish ppl dont even get out of their car. Slack policeman.

  12. if you stop doing wrong things you wouldnt need all that security in the first place.

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