Michael Daly's story yesterday, 19-year-old Analise Garner was arrested in the Illinois village of Lake in the Hills after biting her family's dog. Kingston, a bulldog, suffered "numerous" bites to the back during the fracas, which seems to have begun as a fight between Garner and her mother.
Kingston eventually got fed up with the crazy and bit Garner back – and even though he was provoked by Garner biting him first, the McHenry County animal-control authorities were notified, as they must be any time a dog bites a human. The "standard bite report" cited by Daly's article listed Kingston as a three-year-old neutered male, weighing 80 pounds and having no history of biting prior to Sunday morning's dust-up. But though it looks like Kingston is the victim here, he's in a mandatory 10-day quarantine at home anyway. Garner is also quarantined, away from the family apartment, for three days herself, and fortunately, the bites didn't cause any lasting damage; Daly quotes an animal-control supervisor as saying that "the dog is fine."
Garner allegedly kicked off the kerfuffle by hitting and biting her mom, then turned her teeth on the dog, breaking the skin under Kingston's coat. The supervisor commented that this is the only recent instance of anyone in the local area, man or woman, biting a dog, and as far as other women chomping canines, Daly could only turn up a 2009 report from Minneapolis in which a woman bit a Pit Bull on the nose. In that case, the biter – Amy Rice – was forced to take drastic action when the Pit attacked her Lab, Elle.
Men, meanwhile, are more likely to bite dogs, including a West Haven, CT man who, in response to a police dog clamping down on his arm, wrapped his own jaws around the dog's leg and wouldn't let go until separated from the dog by a police officer.
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And another guy, the aptly named Stephen Maul, then 24, took two collars for biting his own dog in San Francisco in 2000. A witness saw Maul "press" his dog, a Lab mix named Boo, to the ground and bite its neck; the witness said that "It sounded like the dog was being killed." The prosecutor assigned to the case, Jim Fernandez, asserted that "this is not normal behavior, biting a dog," and cited Maul's "irate" and abusive behavior toward the dog and nearby witnesses, but Maul's attorney, Jasper Monti, tells the Daily Beast that Maul had been exercising mild discipline, as a mother dog would to a puppy: "A growl and a shake."
At the time, though, Monti's explanation of the incidents was, while no less ridiculous, markedly creepier. Describing Maul's actions as "tapping into the primal instincts of dogs," Monti informed the press also that Maul, "in fact, has French-kissed his dog," adding, "My client is very oral." We don't see how this is a defense of anything, frankly, except the pleasures of thinking before speaking to reporters -- but rather than adding a charge of interspecies sexual harassment to Maul's list, the city chose to drop the case.
(Possibly because it just wouldn't stop getting weirder. Get this: Maul, who said he'd disciplined Boo for jumping out of his truck and running into traffic, missed a court date in connection with the case because, Monti claimed, he had had a stroke brought on by the stress of missing Boo. Boo was impounded pending the resolution of the case, which included both misdemeanor and felony animal abuse charges. Monti told the San Francisco Chronicle that the grief of missing this "family member" had caused Maul "severe headaches." This in turn led to Maul passing out while on the job as a furniture mover, Monti said: "He fell out of the truck and went unconscious and someone stole the truck." Of...course that's what happened. Listen, we have nothing but compassion for those who struggle with substance abuse – but at the end of the day, that's what this sounds like to us, from the weird biting to the keeling over. Yes, the stress of losing a family member can have some strange physical consequences. So can getting high at 9 in the morning. Maul also told NBC News at the time that he'd bite Boo again "in a second," so we're not saying. We're...just saying.)
It doesn't sound like Garner's going to get off easily, meanwhile. Police responded to an initial report of "screaming and pounding" at the family's residence; arriving on scene, they found obvious bite marks, and arrested Garner on charges of animal cruelty, domestic battery, and – no surprise here – under-age drinking. We would speculate that there's more to the story, but let's face it, "drunk people do crazy stuff" is probably the extent of both these strange tales. We hope the whole fam gets some counseling…including poor chewed-on Kingston, who is probably feeling pretty nostalgic for fleas right about now.
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