Sunday, December 5, 2010

Law suit against Winston - the Shar Pei : Wrinkle Dog

Tid bits on Chinese Shar Pei - The Wrinkle Dog, and Law suit against Winston the Shar Pei

The Chinese Shar Pei also called just "Shar Pei" is a medium large dog with growing popularity all over the world. The name "Shar-Pei" means "sandy coat". The Wrinkles almost all though its body, square profile with a heavily wrinkled broad and flat head, wide muzzle, dark almond eyes and blue tongue (like Chow chow) have given it a typically unique look and set the dog apart from other dog breeds. Their very small high set triangular ears with moderately rounded tip is also typical of the breed. Interestingly another special thing about Shar pei is his finely pointed and extremely high set thick tail with a tapered base. Another interesting fact about Shar Pei is its uncertain origin. The ancestry of the Shar-Pei is not know clearly. Evidences in the pictures on pottery suggest that the breed had existed even as far back as 206 BC, which make us conclude that Shar pei is one of the oldest known dog breeds in the world. Owing to the similarity in the color of tongue (blue or purple) in shar Pei and Chow Chow, it may be concluded that Shar Pei is a descendant of the Chow Chow.

Again most important as well as interesting fact about shar Pei is his heavily wrinkled skin. What once most dog breeders, owners and newbie knew about Shar pei has been proved to be wrong. Yes,the wrinkles in Shar Pei is a genetic or hereditary disorder, which most of the learned and responsible Shar Pei breeders are keeping in
forefront of their minds while breeding their dogs. Selective breeding is hereby necessary and we have noticed that wrinkles in shar pei are gradually decreasing... this is undoubtedly a developmental process in the breed.

Researchers at "Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona" - UAB have come up with the mystery about heavy Wrinkles of Shar Pei dogs revealed! The scientists discovered the origin of dermal mucinosis (broad clinical and histologic category of diseases) that is present in the breed and haas been genetically passed no to the progenitors from dams and sires on breeding. This is a hereditary health disorder, which is responsible for the characteristic wrinkles in Shar Pei, according to the scientists

Lluís Ferrer, Maria José Docampo, Giordana Zanna, Anna Bassols and Dolors Fondevila from the UAB, Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. A report of this discovery on the mystery of Shar Pei wrinkles was published in the journals Veterinary Dermatology and Journal of Heredity.

So this was something that most people have been wondering about. Let us now delve deeper into Shar Pei temperament and character trait.

Very recently a lawsuit has been filed against a Shar Pei named "Winston" at Tenafly court, where the Municipal Court judge had to make decision on whether a Shar Pei — a dog whose Birchwood Place neighbors claim "terrorizes the neighborhood" — is vicious, potentially dangerous or neither, after an attack on a 10-pound toy poodle named Ricky on Oct. 30, 2010, sadly resulting to death of the victim. Frankel, the owner of the toy poodle (Ricky) said while he was cleaning up leaves on his yard, the Shar-Pei "came bolting out of nowhere and attacked my dog." Frankel said that he was able to separate the dogs and could pick up his dog Ricky to protect it, but the Shar Pei somehow squirmed out of his hands attacked again. He separated the two dogs the second time as well and secured the leash of the Shar-Pei while the poodle sought protection underneath a parked car.

Gina A. Calogero, the attorney representing Thomas Frankel said that if Winston - the Shar Pei is declared vicious by the courts, the dog could be humanely destroyed.
If the dog is considered as potentially dangerous, then his owner owner Domini Sheets would have to take necessary precautionary measures to protect the public including muzzling the dog and posting warning signs at her home. Now most of us have a question. What does these terms ("Viciousness" and "potentially dangerous") mean according to law and how according to the Law these characters are different? Why should a dog be killed ("humanely destroyed") if at all he is proved to be vicious? Is this a solution? The Municipal Court Judge Allen M. Bell adjourned the case until January 19, 2010. Hope the next hearing would determine the Shar Pei Winston to be potentially dangerous and NOT Vicious.

This issue has stigmatized the breed in general. It is an appeal not to consider Shar Pei as a dangerous breed, just because Winston has attacked Ricky to death. It is important to know what went wrong in Winston's mind at that point of time when he attacked Ricky. Winston has been impounded at the county’s animal shelter in Teterboro following the Oct. 30, 2010 attack on Ricky - the toy poodle. Impounding Winston is nothing but a mental torture on the dog, and he should be released immediately and returned to Sheet, his owner. It is to remember that winston is not human and cannot realize why he has been kept away from his owner. Hence impounding him is again an unwise act on part of the legal officers. Ricky's death is undoubtedly a shocking issue, but impounding Winston and "humanely destroyed" him cannot mitigate Frankel's pain. I think Winston is the SIN; Sheets is the SINNER. If anybody should be sued, its not the dog but his owner for being so irresponsible towards her pet. Sheets should be held responsible for not putting Winston to proper training session and for her incapability of handling a pet safely. Such attacks are dangerous for both, the one who attacks and for the one who is attacked.

Here's the character traits of Shar Pei


Shar Pei is a very loyal breed. He is quite intelligent. In fact more intelligent than many other dog breeds. He is very active, playful, brave and dominant. His dominant nature sometimes drives his attack instincts, which should be kept controlled through proper training and good amount of exercise. The Shar-Pei, being dominant, requires confident handlers and owners. If you too mild and soft by nature, in the dog's eyes, your Shar Pei will try to take over as the alfa member, which will break the pack balance. They are not always unfriendly to the strangers. The Shar-Pei is easy-going, independent and a clam breed, and devoted towards his pack members. They are good watchdogs. Due to its dominant nature Shar Pei cannot be easily mixed with other breeds of milder characters. It is the owners' responsibility to socialize their Shar Pei to the proper degree.

Winston has turned out to be a victim of his own dominating nature. May be unplanned breeding program of Winston's breeder has resulted progenitors like Winston. It is not necessary that Winston's siblings will be of same nature, but chances are there that Winston's attacking tendency is a breeding fault. Impounding Winston and humanely destroying him will be an unwise act. Please think twice... and thrice.

One more thing... Frankel said Wednesday he was relieved the dog remained impounded and was not in the neighborhood. Frankel, being a dog lover you cannot say that. Impounding Winston is a torture towards him. I can feel your pain of loosing your kid Ricky, but still you cannot be revealed for torturing Winston. He is not a human, he is the sin not the sinner.

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