Maltese Dead After Pit Bull Attack

Maltese Dead After Pit Bull Attack

There are 65 comments on the WJZ-TV Baltimore story from Sep 7, 2007, titled Maltese Dead After Pit Bull Attack. In it, WJZ-TV Baltimore reports that:

“The woman who owns the dog, my ex husband and a neighbor tried to pull her away from the pit bull. The dog bit every part of my dog.”

BEL AIR, Md. Molly, an 11-year-old Maltese, is dead, as is the year-old pit bull that attacked her. via WJZ-TV Baltimore

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WJZ-TV Baltimore.

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United States

#1 Sep 8, 2007
Once again, another mauling, rather killing by a pit-bull. The woman who owned this dog, as she stated when she was interviewed...."didn't have this dog very long, but it never showed any aggression". Please, when are people going to get educated & stop thinking they can try to socialize a pit-bull!! Maybe if she had this dog as a puppy, there is a chance for socialization, but not when it is an older pit-bull and not knowing its background. This is a sore topic for me. I have met numerous people who have adopted pit-bulls from the humane society and "try" to make attempts to socialize the animal....when they cannot, I have been chased by pit-bulls and pit-bulls have lunged and tried to attack my dogs. Each time the owner would say, "well, I just adopted this dog & he hasn't shown any aggression towards me"...well then walk the dog in your back yard...quit bringing these uncontrollable dogs out in the public!! These dogs have jaws that LOCK on their victim and they cannot be released unless they are shot. I feel so bad for the owners of the maltese, their dog didn't deserve this. Could anyone tell me why someone feels they need to have a pit-bull as a pet?!?? For protection against what??

Hyattsville, MD

#2 Sep 8, 2007
Wow! Someone needs an education. Liz I have several APBT's in my home and I have done a ton of research on the breed. Pit bulls were bred NOT to like other animals, plain and simple. In this case both the maltese and the pit bull were off leash and off their properties. BOTH owners are to blame. And I say owners b/c the OWNERS are responsible for this mess. Neither dog should have been atlarge and unfortunatly when you have a 60lb dog vs a 15lb dog the larger dog is always going to win.
As for some of the false information you stated about the breed....
1. socialization - you cannot force any dog to like other dogs. You can socialize them, train them, and manage them so that they behave appropriately with others but you cannot make a dog aggressive dog into a dog friendly dog.
2. Dog aggression- Dog aggression and humane aggression are NOT related. Just b/c a dog attacks another dog does not mean that he will then 'turn' on you or kill you children. Believe it or not dog fights happen everyday
3. Locking Jaws- Come on now, so I'm supposed to belive that pit bulls have some special make up in which their jaws lock down when they attack. PLEASE! Have you every seen a jack russell attack another dog? I broken up pit fights, lab fights, jack name it I've seen it. Pit bulls do not have locking jaws, they are simply terriers. Terrier are determined, high energy, working dogs and that's it!
4. "Could anyone tell me why someone feels they need to have a pit-bull as a pet?!??" - I own 3 adult rescued pitbulls and I also work at a pit friendly shelter. Pit bulls are amazing companions. Mine follow me everywhere, curl up with me at night, greet all of my vistors with a wiggle butt, are gentle with children, let my chihuahua sleep on top of them....I could go on and on.
I hope you understand Liz that there are no bad dogs out their, just bad owners.
Horse Person


#3 Sep 9, 2007
fijiblue wrote: "In this case both the maltese and the pit bull were off leash and off their properties. BOTH owners are to blame. And I say owners b/c the OWNERS are responsible for this mess. Neither dog should have been atlarge and unfortunatly when you have a 60lb dog vs a 15lb dog the larger dog is always going to win."

But the news story from WJZ states:"Molly was on her front lawn and the owner of Kane, the pit bull, walked by with her two children. Molly started barking at the pit, which gave chase and caught the Maltese."

So, the responsibility lies with the owner of the pit who did not have her dog on leash.

Also, pits can lock their jaws, a trait they inherited from their ancestors when they were "pitted against bulls" (the bovine type) in high stone walled pits in England. The dogs would latch onto the nose of the bull and lock their jaws as the bull would thrash the dogs against the walls of the pit trying to dislodge them. A good pit was never dislodged even when it was killed during the fight. Hence the name "pitbulls"

Maybe fijiblue needs to do a little more research into their chosen breed. Yes, they are considered terriers, and they were not used against bulls in the U.S. but to compare them with a Jack Russell is misleading, there is no comparison if you do your research.

I am not anti-pit, I know several, lovely, socialized, well-handled ones. BUT, everyone of their owners knows what they have and never let their guard down to allow their dogs to get into a situation like this, pit off lead.

Sorry fijiblue, responsibility of this horrible incident is due to the irresponsibility of the pit's owner to obey the leash law.

Bel Air, MD

#4 Sep 9, 2007
Myth: Locking jaws
This is a very common myth. Pit bulls are just another member of the canine species and have the same jaw structure as any other dog. If they had a special enzyme or other physical mechanism that allowed them to lock their jaws, we would have to reclassify them as a different species. However, pit bulls do seem to have an above average amount of determination for things they are interested in. In fact, they were selectively bred to never give up. Their focus may be barking at squirrels, fetching rocks or sticks, but whatever they do, it's done with a great deal of enthusiasm. If they happen to grab onto something they don't want to release, it can be quite difficult to extract it from them. In addition, in the heat of a fight pit bulls tend to grab a hold on their opponent and shake as any canine would do with a normal prey. A breaking stick may be needed to break the hold. This may seem like a locking jaw effect, but it's only a strong determination to win the fight

The above statement was taken directly from -Horse person I suggest that unless your facts are correct maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself.
Horse Person


#5 Sep 9, 2007
Regardless if a pitbull can lock it jaws or not,the owner of this pit was responsible because she did not have her dog on lead. Also, according to WJZ, Molly the Maltese was in her own yard, not running at large and Kane the pit chased and caught her, mauling her. It is this kind of irresponiblity that makes me more inclined to support breed specific legislation

Woodstock, MD

#6 Sep 9, 2007
Breed specific legislation would only replace one breed for another. It's quite possible for rottweilers, dobermans or even german sheperds to take the place of banned pitbulls. The answer lies in tougher animal control laws and counties with the determination to enforce stiffer penalties and jail time for any dog owner that is convicted of dog fighting. Dog fighting is big money and unfortunately the pitbull is the dog of choice right now. In just about every county in Maryland you'll find dog fighting and as long as these ignorant and heartless people make money on it, nothing will change.

Nottingham, MD

#7 Sep 9, 2007
THANK YOU for your statement on "this would only replace one breed for another. APBTs are NO different than any other breed. From my personal experiences, they are the most loving and dedicated dogs I have ever come into contact with; and I own a cockapoo, as well as a lhasa/terrier mix- you know, dogs that are typically considered "family dogs" (not that I don't love my dogs; they are wonderful and very friendly). As for those who engage in pitbull (or any other animal for that matter) fighting- If I were able to

As for you, Horse Person: according to one of the popular apartment finder websites, here is a list of the most typical breeds that are considered "vicious" and not "rental welcome": "Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Wolf Hybrids, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Chows, Mastiffs, and Akitas. Many apartments also have restrictions on Boxers". Tell me; would you like to see every one of the aforementioned breeds KILLED for no reason at all? I think not. Notice, cutesy little chihuahuas, cocker spaniels, and cairn terriers are not listed in this horrible "vicious dog" list. Too bad those are the three types of dogs that I have been bitten by in my line of work. I have never once been bitten or "viciously mauled" by a pitbull, rottie, or any other of these incredible breeds. And, I know I never will be- because I am a dog SMART person and know not to base my knowledge on whatever other bandwagon the rest of the ignorant BSL supports are jumping onto.

A few tidbits of information I would like to share from :

*As a whole the breed is one of the most stable and safe dogs around today. Far to many news stories are blown out of proportion (go figure huh?) to sell newspapers and get people to tune into the 6 o'clock news.
*The Pit Bull is strong, intelligent, and has been bred for a willingness to "test their mettle" against larger animals and other dogs.
It is not uncommon for Pit Bulls to not get along with other dogs; especially dogs of the same sex and dogs that are not neutered or spayed. This by far is not always the case with this breed, but the predisposition for varying levels of dog-aggressive behavior is very much there.
*It is reported on temperament tests conducted by the American Temperament Test Society the American Pit Bull Terrier has a current (December 2004) passing rate of 83.9%-- compared to only 77% of the general dog population.
*A correct Pit Bull will never be aggressive with people. The Pit Bull has been breed for centuries to be a human-friendly dog. Generally Pit Bulls are submissive with people and confident in their surroundings, making for a well-adjusted family dog. Since times past when the Pit Bull was used for hunting of large game and as a farm dog, it has been a cherished fixture of family life. The Pit Bull has a special fondness for children and a pleased, relaxed look crosses its face when they approach. It can prove to be a safe, hardy friend that can keep up and put up with the active play life of kids. For a child, no better companion can be found.

There are the facts. Now tell me again why these dogs are so unacceptable to you, and how you can so horribly misconstrue information on such an incredible breed?

Sorry for the long entry everyone, this is just a topic I am very passionate (and educated) about.

Nottingham, MD

#8 Sep 9, 2007
for some reason topix ate part of one of my sentences from my response to Angel- it was supposed to sya: "As for those who engage in pitbull (or any other animal for that matter) fighting- If I were able to see you being ripped (or shot, either one is fine by me) to shreds on Monument street downtown, I would love nothing more than to spit in your face as I walked by smiling."
Horse Person


#9 Sep 10, 2007
I am well aware that this could include other breeds. My breeds are Rottweilers and German Shepherds, as well as hunting spaniels. I also have been professionally involved in the dog world for over 20 years, including rescuing and rehabilitating dogs specializing in aggression problems. I started training dogs 41 years ago, have attended numerous seminars, etc. I also live in a neighborhood where the main breeds are pits and rotties. Because of what has happened to the American attitude towards dogs I have had to reevaluate my beliefs on what is good for dogs as well as people.

Baltimore, MD

#10 Sep 10, 2007
Maybe what needs to happen here is that instead of putting breed bans there should be requirements for the potential owners of pits. They should be required to learn about the breed, take obiedence lessons and learn they cannot let a pit off lead outside thier own property unless it is a controlled atmosphere( this should apply to all dogs). I just think there are too many people out there adopting older pits that were given up for whatever reason and they are not required to take any type of classes or anything. Requiring people who are interested in owning a pit to take classes would help the dog and the owner and a well behaved dog can do wonders for the image a breed has. I know lots of nice pits but they have owners who know the breed and know how to handle them, I know lots of irresponsible people that own pits that I wont let my dogs or children around because the owner has not control over them, of course as I said I would let my dogs or children around any dog that is out of control so what is the answer

Woodstock, MD

#11 Sep 10, 2007
I have to agree with the family friendliness of APBTs. I have four and all were from a shelter. Three were puppies when I took them, the fourth was about 3 years old and they get along well. When I pulled the fourth one from a shelter, I noticed how big her teets were, which only told me she had been bred. This is the other problem this breed is facing. Backyard breeders, I mean the people that are in it to produce the strongest, and aggressive fighters, the money makers. I work in a shelter and see it too often, bitches that aren't even two years old and most likely were bred every heat cycle. Their bodies are so depleted and worn out because some jerk allowed it to happen. Educating potential pit bull owners is good, I recommend it for any breed. Some shelters do require a mandatory class for someone interested in adopting a pitbull, but unfortunately this constitutes only a small percentage of pits and owners. The law cannot require, nor could it enforce, mandates for pitbull owners to receive education. Besides what yo-boy is going to even consider adopting a pitbull when there are so many they can get through other means? Again, I say take the profit out of this horrible venture, attach steep fines and violations, adding jail time would be great, but that will never happen and hopefully it will help to make some sort of difference. Banning is not the answer.


#12 Sep 11, 2007
I have two pit bulls from a city shelter both dogs are males. One was a puppy who was severely abused before I got him. The other was two years old when I adopted him. They are wonderful, loving, dedicated dogs that get along well with each other and are gentle with my two cats. I have volunteered with rescues from many years and the overwhelming majority of pits that I have come in contact with are wonderful dogs. Unfortunately, the are strong muscular dogs that have the perfect body build for dog fighting. Thus, very bad people train them to fight and have destroyed the reputation of the pit bull. The easy solution would be to ban breeders from breeding pits and the breed would die out but I am confident that another breed would come along to replace it. The people that use these dogs for dog fighting are not going to go away unless our judicial system does something alot more drastic then they are doing to stop them. Michael Vick is a perfect example.

Since: Aug 07

Abingdon, MD

#13 Sep 11, 2007
I'm sorry but I just have to add my two cents! APBT's are not capable of locking their jaws as everyone believes. They do have a powerful jaw that enabled them in the past to get a good grip on the bulls and bears and dogs they were pitted against for sport. It does not however lock, and I really wish that above all else people in power would stop spreading that myth. Just like any other terrier breed they have determination and tenacity which is not seen by most as a good thing since we no longer use them for the sports they were bred for. Everyone keeps saying APBT's are aggressive and untrainable and that is as far from the truth as you can get. It can't be helped that they are dog aggressive...that was bred into the breed over many many years and can't be taken out without forever changing the other special qualities that I love so much. It's all about being a responsible owner. Any owner should know the strengths and weaknesses of their chosen breed, and believe you me ALL breeds have pros and cons. ALL breeds have some time or other been recorded mauling and/or killing humans or other animals. If you think otherwise you're crazy. Dogs are our best friends, but they are still domesticated wild animals with teeth and fangs and some of the same instincts that are instilled in their canine ancestors remain in them as well. Any owner should have a healthy respect for their pets and train their animals accordingly. I have never personally had many problems with my APBT's. You know why? Because I researched the breed, I train my animals and I watch for and do my best to avoid any triggers that may cause my babies to be seen in a negative light. I don't just buy random dogs from anyone on the street, and I have no problems having an animal euthanised that is showing any signs of human aggression at all. Human aggression is NOT a true trait of the breed. That comes from poor treatment, ignorant people breeding for the wrong characteristics which means dogs that should probably not even be ALIVE are out there producing puppies for money. As far as this issue, both owners were at fault. The maltese was not properly restrained either, and just because she was in her own yard doesn't make her in the right. If the case came before a judge they'd both be held responsible for any bills incurred. I'm sorry that the malti lost her life in such a horrible way, but I can't sit here and say it's just the APBT's fault because it wasn't. His owner should've known better than to have him off of a leash when smaller animals were around. The definition of a terrier...ANY terrier is an animal bred to hunt SMALL game. And the malti's owner should have had her on a leash or in some type of pen seeing as there are other dogs around, their house is right on a street, and she had territorial issues...wouldn't have been running up and barking at the dog if she didn't. It's not CUTE when a smaller dog does something negative people.

Since: Aug 07

Abingdon, MD

#14 Sep 11, 2007
If you want to be angry, be angry for the right reasons and at the right people. Be angry at the ones turning a dog that should at the heaviest be no more than 60lbs into some type of mutant 100+lb animal so deformed it's hard to tell WHAT breed it is. Be angry at the fools buying these animals! Be angry at the ones leaving highly sociable animals chained up outside with no human contact so that they want to bite out of frustration. Be mad at indiscriminate breeders selling puppies that show signs of human aggression knowing that they should be humanely euthanised to maintain the integrity of the breed. The last being we should be mad at and want to punish is the dog that doesn't control it's fate...doesn't control whether it lives or dies. We as people are the monsters in this situation. We've let all of the negative press overshadow the fact that one of the most decorated war dogs was a pit bull, and that some of us watched a pit bull on tv regularly...petie? That a lot of great people have owned these wonderful animals, and that there are quite a few positive stories out there about pit bulls saving people, nursing other animals, being good service dogs. I know I'm mad! But I'm mad at the right people, and I'm doing my best to put a bug in our leaders' ears and make my opinion heard.

Smithsburg, MD

#15 Sep 12, 2007
lulunvygrlnapbtlvr- you are my hero lol :) You said everything I was going to say (that was not already mentioned in my previous posts). Pittie Pride!

Rosedale, MD

#16 Sep 12, 2007
Two dogs lost their lives because someone was not responsible in taking care of their dog.

I am sooo sick of people walking their dogs off lead. I can't walk my dog because of the people who won't use a simple leash. Your dog may stay with you but may also decide to give chase. I was walking my rot, on leash, and someone's cocker comes flying up in her face. The owner did nothing. My girl did not hurt this dog but it could have happened. What makes me mad, is that it would not have been the cocker that would have taken the heat if it got bit. It would have been the big bad rot.

I love pits but you have to be a responsible pit owner. It is your job to keep them good citizens. As mentioned above, I can't walk my dogs so I let them out to play in the yard.
But no, inconsiderate owner has his two pits off leash and they are trying to get in my fence (this was Saturday). Owner strolling behind.

It is the OWNERS' fault.

I am sorry that the maltese and the pit were victims of poor ownnership.
Horse Person


#17 Sep 12, 2007
"The definition of a terrier...ANY terrier is an animal bred to hunt SMALL game."
Actually terrier was a reference to a group of dogs who go to ground (terra firma or earth)to seek their quary by either digging it out or causing it to escape from another hole where the hunter could bag it. Yes they did kill the game when they could, but the definition of a terrier was any dog who would go to ground. At least, this is what I find in my 1000 (yes one thousand) plus collection of dog books including some rare, out of print volumes. Hence the sport for Earth dogs or terriers. I have never heard or read of any bulls or bears or even other dogs that would burrow to escape the hunting dog, and have often thought that pitbulls should be classified as working or non-sporting. The main issue here is an irresponsible dog owner who ignored the leash laws. As for the comment that the Maltese should have been leashed, it was on its own property acting in a normal canine fashion, warning the other dog of it's presence and informing its pack (human family)there was an intruder. If the Maltese had been tethered she would still have barked and the results would probably have been the same. Even if she had been in a pen that is still no guarantee that a powerful breed such as a pitbull wouldn't have got her (I have seen heavy chainlink gates in boarding kennels destroyed by pits who didn't won't to stay in a run). The pit's owner still has to bear full responsibility in this incident.
common sense

United States

#18 Sep 14, 2007
Here's an idea...if you want to keep a large dog with the type of tempermnet that may attack a person or other animal, KEEP THEM AT YOUR OWN HOUSE. Why would you take such a dog out in public and then complain when it happens and people want to ban them?
a vet techs point of view

United States

#19 Sep 14, 2007
We need to get one thing straight.... Its not the animals fault. It's the lack of a responsible owner. I would trust a Pit Bull before I would trust a Chow or a Cocker Spaniel. I see alot of dogs in my line of work, and to tell you the truth, I see more mean Cocker Spaniels then Pit Bulls. Its a shame this sweet loving breed gets such a bad wrap because there are stupid people who treat them inappropratly.
Horse Person


#20 Sep 16, 2007
Once again: the problem is irresponsible dog owners BUT some breeds have the potential to kill not only animals but people.

News story from Detroit on Sept. 14, 2007- 90 year old man and 56 year old woman killed by a pack of pit bulls, 10 pits confisated from a nearby residence, some still running at large.

Even though any dog, purebred or not, has the potential of biting (as an old professional shepherd I once knew, when asked if his Border Collies would bite, said, "Well they haven't yet, but GOD did give them teeth") some breeds are more prone to attacking (genetic makeup can over rule enviormental upbringing given the right, or wrong, circumstances)and when they do the results are more devistating, even resulting in deaths of humans. I don't care how many of you out there have sweet loving pits, they are still an animal and they still have the potential to kill, as have German Shepherds, Rottweilers (2 of my breeds), Dobermans, etc., so on and so forth. Many breeds are biters due to ignorant breeding plus poor training, but the fact is that all dogs are animals first, then canine, then breed (or breeds in the case of mutts) and finally individual. We in America have it backwards (Ex: Fluffy, then Poodle, then dog, then animal BUT mostly "my baby")and there will continute to be more incidents like this attack. How do you think Ceaser Milan (the Dog Whisperer) controls his 30 plus pack of pits, rotts, shepherds, chihuahuas, Lhasas, French bulldogs (by the way all these breeds can be dominant and aggressive), etc. He accepts them and relates to them as animals first. Even this pack, without his strong leadership, has the potential to attack and kill. Legislation to help control the circumstances that "dangerous" breeds can be owned will not only protect people and animals, but the breeds themselves.

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