I See a Different Mentality Between Cat and Dog Owners

By Elisa Black-Taylor

I see a different mentality between cat and dog owners in this country. Well, around the world as some of my friends live in other countries. I want to explain what I’m seeing and I’d like for the readers here to give me their own opinion. I apologize for being a bit long on this article.

I first noticed this in the past few weeks, as I’ve covered a lot of family dogs shot by police articles for my writing on dogs for Examiner.com. I’m currently #4 Dog Examiner in the U.S. and I’m doing well because there are so many cases to cover. I never run out of writing ideas. I’m even studying landmark cases and forcing myself to study a lot of legal court records. Michael, I don’t know how you did it! I need a book titled “Dogs Wrongly Killed for Dummies.” There are “dummy” manuals for everything else these days. I’ll either gain a bit of legal intelligence or drive myself a bit more insane. My focus is on past cases where dog owners sued the police (or city) and won a cash settlement.

Dog owners here are tired of police either busting into their homes or being at the wrong address and their family dogs pay the price. My most recent article was about a police officer killed when he pointed a stun gun at a dog owned by a horrible individual. The officer had been ordered by the chief to “kill the dogs” at which time the owner killed him. This article has received a lot of comments about how he was a good man and left behind a wife and two small kids.

Be still and look innocent

Collage by Elisa

The comments on these dog articles can be upsetting. I see a lot of people who think the officer “got what was coming to him.” On the dogs killed articles I see comments saying they hope the officer “burns in hell” or “spends the rest of his life in jail”. The officer shot had several comments praising his death.

I even admit myself if someone pointed a gun at my dog, I’d take a dive toward my dog or the officer. I consider it a “mothering” instinct more than a dislike of police officers. My article about the slain officer was to warn people there are a lot of crazy people out there. I’m surprised I’ve only found one case leading to death.

I don’t see this type of hatred on the cat sites. I see major disagreements sometimes. There are a few extremist groups who have commented in the past on PoC that fit the mentality of these dog owners who leave negative comments. I received a lot of feedback on my PoC abuse articles, where cat lovers state they want maximum punishment for the abuser. But I don’t see the raw hatred that’s in the comments on my cat articles that I do on the dog articles I write.

Just about everyone who comments on the dog sites is like our notorious cat hater who calls himself “the Woodsman” who Michael has such a cat and mouse game going with. Only it’s towards the police instead of the animal. Which may be justified since almost all of the dogs shot were innocent and not a big threat. Certainly not enough for the dog to be killed.

I almost titled this article I’m writing now “Could You Kill A Cop Who Threatened Your Cat?” That would be a bit insane because I can’t picture a police officer being afraid enough of a cat to kill it. A cat-hating officer may kill a cat then hide that fact. The cat would disappear and no one would be the wiser. I just can’t picture a cat as being the same threat and openly shot in front of its horrified owner. A few cats have even been known to scare off burglars (Gwen Cooper’s little Homer of Homer’s Odyssey fame is one).

I picture most cats as lazy laid-back. That may be the difference. Affectionate dogs are often misjudged as aggressive. I recently did a story of an officer who killed an 18-pound dog. I have CATS almost that size! I have a problem with an officer killing a dog that couldn’t reach high enough to even bite him on the knee.

We have a big problem in this country with police shooting and killing any family dog who walks toward them. People became upset months ago, then angry. Now they’re infuriated and fighting back. They’re also condemning police without judge or jury. Some officers deserve this. In fact, most of them do. I handle the stories I believe I can make a difference in. Anything to get laws made to protect dogs and punish those responsible for senseless killings.

Michael recently did an article about the women who killed or injured a spouse when the spouse threatened to kill a cat. It’s at http://pictures-of-cats.org/Killing-Would-be-Cat-Killers.html. I did a similar one for my dog column and the response was overwhelming. I’m giving you the link to that article so you can check it out. Feel free to check out some of my others while you’re at it. It’s at www.examiner.com/article/would-you-kill-your-spouse-to-protect-your-dog

Perhaps I’m too involved in this, as I love dogs and cats equally, although for different reasons. Are dog-only owners of a different mentality than cat owners? I see cat owners as more relaxed. Earth-friendly and nurturing. Sometimes. Unless you make them mad and they come out with their claws ready for a fight.

Do dog owners just have a different set of problems to worry about concerning ownership? Or is their general outlook on life totally different than cat-only people? What do the readers here see as the most important difference between cat people and dog people? Or do you see a difference at all?

Also, do any of you believe the Woodsman likes dogs, or does he hate animals in general? Hi Woody Woody! Care to comment?

Comments are much appreciated on this one. I’m going to pass this article around to my dog sites, so be prepared for some new faces on here. I hope someone appreciates this topic enough to take the time and comment. It’s often hard to judge the articles that will go over well and the ones that just take up internet space.

Elisa

Facebook Discussion

Comments

I See a Different Mentality Between Cat and Dog Owners — 22 Comments

  1. We have a big problem in this country with police shooting and killing any family dog who walks toward them

    Could you explain this, Elisa? Are you saying that if a police officer thinks a dog might be hostile and is in front of him, he shoots the dog?

  2. You need to check out my Examiner.com articles and also the Dogs Shot by Police page on Facebook. There are dogs shot by police who tresspass on dog owners property such as going thru a back fence to reach another property. One near me was shot while tethered. They’re shot for barking and also if they’re running in the opposite direction. Go to my webpage at http://www.furbyshouse.com and click on the Journalism Bibliography page. The dog articles are listed on the right column nearest the bottom.

  3. Hello Elisa. As with many topics, there aren’t stereotypical cat or dog owners. Clearly more dogs than cats would be killed by officers if the officer felt they were going to be attacked. The issue is the mentality of the dog owner. Why did they get a dog? Why that breed? And a number of other questions. If the owner is already doing the wrong thing, they might happy for their dog to attack an officer. I have heard irresponsible dog owners say a child deserved to be bitten. That us obviously ridiculous. People who are so hyper extreme about any topic are not in control of their emotions. Those types if dog owners, most of the time, are irresponsible dog owners.
    As for me, I am a dog person. My dogs are trained. If I can’t call my dog off then I am a bad owner. If a child irritates my dog and he doesn’t walk away, that’s my fault. My dog will attack only if I tell him to attack. Otherwise he is dangerous and out of my control. Period.

    • Nice point. A responsible dog owner will ensure his dog is never a threat to anyone which will always preclude the need for anyone to harm the dog. Elisa says:

      They’re shot for barking and also if they’re running in the opposite direction

      That seems odd to me. Are you saying a person with a gun gets irritated by a dog barking so he shoots it? That must be a crime. And what does “running in the opposite direction” mean in this context?

      • I believe that Elisa is specifically referring to certain police officers allegedly being too quick to use deadly force against dogs during the course of carrying out their duties.

        Perhaps it may be helpful to those not familiar with American law if I attempt to summarize what I perceive is the intent of the various state and local laws pertaining to police officers and dangerous animals.

        In general (as I understand it), if a police officer, in the course of carrying out his/her assigned duty, is confronted by a dangerous animal that interferes with the carrying out of said duty, and especially if the officer feels physically threatened by the dangerous animal, then the officer is legally permitted to use the minimum necessary force to counteract the threat posed by the dangerous animal. This is with the intent that the police officer may then safely proceed to carry out his/her assigned duty without interference. This does not necessarily require killing the animal, but killing the animal is legally permitted if the police officer believes that there is no satisfactory alternative under the circumstances.

        An example might be a police officer suddenly being attacked by a vicious dog in the course of chasing a criminal through a residential neighborhood.

        So, I believe Elisa is alleging that some police are too quick to shoot animals that are neither threatening the officer nor in any way preventing the officer from carrying out his/her assigned duty.

        • Thanks Howard for that. I sort of guessed as much. The truth is that a lot of dogs are killed unnecessarily. And the same will go for wild cats. I regularly read about cougars (and even bobcats) being shot because they were sauntering down some suburban street minding their own business. Wouldn’t it be more humane and harmonious if people just let the cat go on its way back to the forest or wherever it came from? There does seem to be an over zealous approach to using firearms. I have a strong dislike for shooting wild cats and dogs for no good reason.

  4. As a lover and owner of both (but probably more a “cat person” by temperament), I vote for: “dog owners have different concerns.”

  5. Woody cares about native animals – especially the ones which are adversely affected by what he deems to be animals who have no right to be around – like cats.

    I’m categorically not a dog person because I have never found dogs to respect my personal space. Some of the more calm and older ones do but most make me nervous either with barking or getting all up in my face when I don’t even know them. Having said that I think it’s terrible if a dog is killed in the wrong circumstances. Alot of dog owners don’t respect other people’s space and let their dogs invade people’s space and I think they shouldn’t do that. It seems they are not able to understand what it’s like as a person who doesn’t know dogs to have their dog all over you – furthermore I think it is absolutely wrong wrong wrong to allow your dog to spend the whole day barking at whoever walks past. To live next door to a barking dog has to be one of the most incredibly frustrating things you can imagine if you don’t care for the sound of the constant barking. I’ve heard dog owners claim that ‘the neighbours should be happy cuz it scares thieves away’ – nonsense – even it they do scare thieves away it is not worth the fact that you cannot have a peaceful day outside your own home. I know many dogs don’t do this so don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of dogs who don’t bark all the time. My friends dog barks incredibly loudly and bolts through the house EVERY time the doorbell rings. It’s just incredible to me. Dogs may be happy and full of automatic love no matter what you do but they hant have an ounce of independence and I think that is the deciding factor between dog and cat people. Dog lovers who hate cats usually are just people who want to feel needed deep down. I can understand why people hate police who shoot dogs so much because generally dogs apparently have absolutely no control over themselves so its awful to shoot them but I do think there are dog owners out there who get off on their dog being all big and aggressive so there are many fine lines and no stereotypes to be given in such serious circumstances.

    However – I don’t doubt there are a hell of alot of trigger happy gun slinging cops out there who are not more clever than the dogs they shoot and they should pay miserably for what they have done – which is kill somebody’s familly member and loved one – assuming the dog really wasn’t attacking the cop. I still think there is no reason to KILL a dog – it’s totally amoral and if the dog is vicious its not the fault of the dog but the owner.

    • I sense you are not very keen on cops ;). Neither am. My views are based on personal experiences (a very few I hasten to add!).

      I’m categorically not a dog person because I have never found dogs to respect my personal space..

      I have never seen it that way before as an example of the differences between dogs and cats. A nice observation.

      • I base it on personal experience too – in Canada, and England. I know you might not see it that way and there is alot of corruption in the UK police but they have 100 times more respect for you and the law than they do in Canada. In Canada they do whatever they want whenever they want and they don’t answer to anyone because the whole system seems corrupted. It cost me 10,000 dollars to get charges dropped because a police officer broke a whole bunch of laws arresting me for something i didn’t do. For those who can’t afford to pay a lawyer the law is incredibly corrupt and ironically: unlawful, – if I hadn’t had the somebody to get me out on bail and been able to pay a lawyer I would have been in jail for months. The crime was committed by the person I happened to be with (at another time, they came to get her after the fact) and they decided they just didn’t like me and would have a bit of fun throwing me in jail too. I believe the police system in north america is very ‘us and them’. In england you can go ask a police officer for directions, in america or canada you are too scared to go anywhere near them. In England they treat you more like a human being than in North America. I was shocked at how many rules they break just for a laugh. I only just finished paying off the money it cost me to get through all of that. I will never go back to canada or the US again and I will give up my US passport as soon as I find a safe way to do it (they want their citizens to file tax even if they have never lived in the US and pay tax in the country they live in so it’s tricky, you can’t just tell them to f**k off because not filing your taxes in the US is, get this, a jail offence.)

        • Scary stuff, American police. What with Elisa and barking dogs being shot and your story it puts me off going to America. I remember being interrogated by border control in the USA once and being insulted by them for no reason whatsoever. An abuse of authority. You just keep quiet and bow to them otherwise who knows what will happen. Although I feel like doing the opposite.

          Ruth (Monty’s mom) knows about American police. I hope she comments.

          • It was in the news here recently that 2 drunk swiss guys on holiday in new york dented the bonnet of a cop car because they were a bit drunk and on it I guess. You can’t iagine the punishment they got so far – they were immediatly thrown in jail and have a hearing in April (this happened in January so 2 or 3 months in jail with no hearing) and a – get this – 10,000 dollar fine. It bears no relation to reality in any way. Its horrible. It was in the news here and people were in shock. Here you would be fined the cost of repair and spend a night in jail while you sober up. In the US it’s 3 months and 10 grand before you even get to the hearing. Disgusting.

            • Horror. I guess they didn’t grant bail because they were Swiss (they’d go home) which put an obligation on them to deal with it as you say. A quick fine for repairs and an overnight stay in a police cell. What you describe is unjust and probably close to being illegal. It is certainly not civilised, fair or sensible. It is probably vindictive behavior from the police.

              This is a story of a policeman who bludgeoned an injured cat to death: http://pictures-of-cats.org/its-ok-to-bludgeon-an-injured-cat-to-death.html – horrendous and brutal.

  6. Michael, here are the articles you need to read. Yes, barking is a police officers excuse for shooting many of the dogs. Good Lord, if a dog sat there and barked in front of me, all the dogs in my neighborhood would be dead. They’re all little ankle biter barkers. Except the neighbor a few houses up who has a large dangerous type dog. I had to go visit him once, but I had the sense to stay in my car and blow the horn.

    Rosie-officer yelled NICE after the first shot http://www.examiner.com/article/des-moines-family-awarded-at-least-51-000-for-police-killing-family-dog

    U.S. Marshal shoots 18lb dog http://www.examiner.com/article/u-s-marshal-shoots-18-pound-dog

    A neighbor offered to secure the dog and the dog was shot anyway on its own property http://www.examiner.com/article/did-illinois-police-have-the-right-to-kill-family-dog

    My task lately has been to go through as many court cases as I can so dog owners can take those to a lawyer and the lawyer saves research time.

    The main concern seems to be death being the ONLY way an officer decides to protect himself. In a case where Hells Angels sued, they won almost a million dollars for negligence by law enforcement to have thought of a way to protect themselves from dogs on the property. They had a week of planning a raid and the lawsuit says a non-lethal way could have been used.

    I have plans to do an article based on the info above that Howard is giving. Also on the rules the U.S. Postal Service has to follow since mail carriers seem to see this a lot. They seem to have less fear than the police. Perhaps the officers should become mail carriers and the mail carriers become police officers.

    Another point is police are no longer going to be able to use the excuse of “I’m scared” when confronted with a tethered or fenced dog.

    • Thanks Elisa. Forgive my naïveté but isn’t shooting a dog for barking a crime? It seems the police are above the law. That would not surprise me because the same thing happens in the UK (I mean the police never get sacked or imprisoned etc for breaking the law). They close ranks.

      I suppose the police wheel out the usual pathetic excuse that they believed they were about to be attacked. Someone should be filming these events.

      • I did an article about double standards. If a civilian had done this they’d have been arrested for animal cruelty. I told you how close Dreyfuss came to being shot during our investigation. That’s what got me started on these cases. Dogs are trained to defend their home should someone break in. If its a police raid the dog doesn’t know that and is killed doing what its trained to do.

  7. To Elisa: please keep in mind that I am *not* by any means a legal expert! I was merely expressing my layman’s understanding of the intent behind the laws regarding police use of deadly force when confronted by dangerous animals. I may be very much mistaken in some way or another!

    • Don’t worry Howard. I’m studying legal sources before I write anything. I’m working on a story about that wildlife commission laying traps that are killing dogs and cats as well as predators. Have’t gotten enough of a grasp on that one yet but its important also.

  8. Elisa, I thought this might shed some light on the situation of cops shooting dogs here in the United States, which of course they all use the excuse that they felt their lives were in danger because this comment right there stomps out anything going public most of the time and the departments always back them. This publication I posted below here comes from COPS, they are the ones that make the rules/guidelines police in the US must follow, also they are the ones the provide the funding for any kind of education these police need. ( educating this asshats is not one of them ). In this publication you will see that no cop is to draw a gun on any dog under any circumstances. I can not understand why it is they havent gotten involved.
    This is a publication issued by COPS which states right in here that there are to many incidents escalating of police shooting dogs and no police officer is to have gun drawn when responding to any incident involving a dog, or under any circumstances what so ever is a gun to be drawn on any dog, and they are to treat these animals with the same respect that is given to the owners (well we know that doesnt always happen). Trigger happy bastards ! This is the link to the publication. From what I understand these are the people that make the rules and provide the funding for officers of all types all over the united states.

  9. If you Google “causes justice for ruby” you’ll see a typical case of a cop shooting a dog for no apparent reason and he wouldn’t explain why he had shot the dog either. This cop should have been prosecuted, but was he? Don’t be silly.

  10. Of course dog owners have a different set of issues to deal with, are you kidding me? This article shows you to be completely ignorant on the subject, even with the apparent research you’ve done.

    No one is going to call the cops and try to get your cat put down, for one.

    In that sense, anyone who kicks the crap out of your cat and then gets bit, for example, is going to have anything said about them other than, “they got what was coming to them!”

    Dog’s are expected to take the brunt of abuse from strangers and children, due to both ignorance or evil, and the SECOND they snap, they are deemed dangerous and put to sleep. Doesn’t matter if they were provoked, doesn’t matter if the offender was trespassing, nothing matters.

    So yeah, we get a little pissed off when we hear that not only do our dogs have absolutely no rights as far as defense, but we also can have them shot and killed for NO reason. With NO violence coming from the dog, and the dog most likely doing exactly what it was supposed to do at the time.

    Cats are allowed to do whatever they want. Heck, your indoor cat can escape outside and it’s actually allowed to BE there in most states. It’s also allowed to scratch, bite, hiss, and kill wildlife. It’s all “cute.” Dogs? Get loose, wag it’s tail, GET KILLED.

    But I guess we’re not supposed to get upset about that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.