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Requiem for a Pit Bull

Written by PETA | March 31, 2008

The popular daytime court show Cristina’s Court is up for an Emmy nomination for a fantastic episode entitled “Requiem for a Pit bull,” in which Judge Cristina Perez stands up for the rights of these much-misunderstood animals during a case in which a man is accused of shooting and killing his neighbor’s pit bull, Capone, after the dog wandered into his yard.

Tragic as the story is, it’s an important reminder not to leave animals unsupervised under any circumstances (even if you don’t happen to have gun-happy neighbors), and the show highlights the urgent need for legislation to protect these dogs, who are systematically abused and mistreated because of the “macho” image they’ve been given in the popular media.

You can learn more about the episode here.


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  • sickofitall says:

    First of all “DC” the Staffordshire Terrier was originally bred for working and companionship. They were even known as the “Nanny Dog” for their love of the children they were devoutly loyal to. So shove your nonsensical b.s. where the sun don’t shine. They were then brought to North America and bred for larger size (as the American Staffordshire Terrier) and again used for working dogs and COMPANIONSHIP. Bulldogs were of course used to fight and for baiting, but is that really the dogs prerogative–of course it isn’t. HUMANS have turned this loving and devoted breed into a media scapegoat and it is disgusting. I have close friends who have had Lab mixes nearly rip their faces off, so the argument against breed is pointless. I was actually walking my female (spayed) American Staffordshire Terrier tonight and she was completely calm and collected when two Spaniels were losing their minds, snarling, growling and lunging at her. She did not react! These breeds are fundamentally sound and have amazingly level-headed dispositions… if they are raised by a person with a functioning brain in their head, who knows how to handle a breed with the drive, and determination to please their owners, that characterizes these dogs. BSL will never work, period. Just like any other law doesn’t work to thwart those in society who refuse to act with the slightest bit of common sense and decency. Enough of the war on the bully breeds, it is complete and utter bu!!$#!t.

  • ridebmx says:

    ITS THE OWNER NOT THE DOG REMEMBER THAT FREE PIT BULL BAN IN CANADA! I have 2 and they are the most loving beautiful boys big sucks, im not in a gang or use them for that reason the government misunderstands these animals and puts bad labels on them like “thug dogs”! media one to talk when they use poor animals for commercials and all that pitbulls are not the only animals that are used for protection dogs as people think they are…its the person who has the dog not the dog itself, So please think of what I said about that.

  • Lindsey says:

    “It’s the easy way out; instead of focusing on human beings and their irresponsibility, just blame the dog.” I would like to ban closed minded sheep.I bet you all watch Fox news too huh? “Peta – People for the ethical treatment of animals” Maybe we should change it to “Petsa- People for the ethical treatment of some animals”

  • Luke Thomas says:

    Both Florida and Hawaii have proposed dangerous dogbreed specific legislationsnot based on any kind of sentiment but due to the horrendous amount of dog attacks mostly against children. The 1 offender is the Pit bull. New York City Police Department 1996 to 2006 dog breeds shot by police 75 PITBULLS 10 ROTTWEILLER 4 GERMAN SHEPHERD 14 MIXEDOTHER BREEDS SOURCE NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT Surely these facts speak out louder than “beliefs” or based on one’s personal pet. Sorry thugs and violent criminals use pitties to guard their crack houses and the police get attacked. Look at the stats yourself. And yes I 100 support dangerous dog legislationit WILL curtail dog fighting and a dog that has been neutered WILL BE 5 times LESS LIKELY to bite. I am now petitioning Home Owners’ insurance companies to RAISE THEIR PREMIUMS on people who do not have their dog neuteredspayed due to dog bite issues these companies must pay for the damages.

  • Luke Thomas says:

    Pit bulls are used by gangs and drug dealers to guard their CRACK HOUSESit’s true. Oftentimes they are used as instruments of violence. Many people LIKE pit bulls because they are INTIMIDATING. Their very presence brings fear for obvious reasons of all the reports we hear in the news of children getting their scalps ripped out and swallowed by these dogs. I have multiple news articles that can prove it. Pitbulls are popular among thugs and violent criminals due to they are symbols of power and aggression. And the police are often attacked by them. That is why MiamiDade inacted a pitbull ban. Due to the escalation of violence and pit bull attacksmany countiesand Statesare proposing dangerous dog and breed specific legislations. Also law enforcement finds dog fighting completely out of control and state felony laws are laughed at by dog fighters they makes hundreds of thousands of dollars per fight and distribute cocaine and illegal weapons in such ringswhich will be used in Armed Robberies. Pit bulls are the dog of choice for all dog fighting due to their tenacity to fight to the death I’ve seen photos of dead dogs with skulls even eyeballs fully exposed and they still are fighting. Pit bullsdopegunsfighting Violent criminals and hip hop music put these dogs in such a league and is outrageously epidemic dog fighting so the only thing left is BSL. Believe it or notthey work. Miami Dade considering how huge the city is has very very little dog fighting. Without the ban it would be common place like Chicago or New York which is the dog fighting capitol of the world. I know a lot of people will hate everything I’m writing but every word of it is TRUE and FACT.

  • Mona Dowie says:

    Any dog can be a dangerous dog. All domestic dogs were originally bred for a purpose usually a purpose that was well served by a dog’s natural defenses ie agression speed strength. They are not toys they aren’t decorations they are not programable automatons. People would be wise to respect that real life is not a Disney movie and just because your dog loves you doesn’t mean that it loves other dogs or people as well. And just because your dog is little it is not harmless. Responsible dog owners know this they take precautions to protect others and their dog too. Our pit bull is the best pet we have ever had. She is devoted protective playful and goofy. She is NEVER outside unsupervised. She is ALWAYS on a leash. It amazes me how often people have freaked out because of her breed or behaved like complete idiots when attempting to approach her. Despite our efforts to educate others there are always those who won’t hear it. I have to be a better dog owner in order to compensate for the jerks that think the laws of nature don’t apply to them. I have no more right to allow my dog to bite a stupid person than that man had a right to shoot someone else’s dog.

  • Karen says:

    Antigone1000 you are correct but why is everyone ignoring how stupid Judith was acting towards Cochran here?

  • Karen says:

    Maya I agree about about the dog safety suggestions you had. I also think that there should be a certain time that the dog owner can get away with the dog escaping like for example the dog got loose twice in one year and 3 years later it got loose again. I think the owner should get away with it in situations like that.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    DC Much as you would like to think you can you cannot just take a gun and shoot a trespasser human or otherwise. Even if someone is breaking into your house you can’t necessarily kill them. Soyou might want to doublecheck the laws where you live before you go taking a shot at anybody on your property.

  • DC says:

    You can’t just leap to the defense of this dog unfortunately. The pit bull was bred as a huntingfighting dog. People first associate pit bulls as dangerous not as a cute pets. If I saw a pitbull in my backyard and I had another dog or small children I would’ve got my gun and shot it too. The law would obviously been on the home owners side because stray dogs can be very dangerous in any circumstance running in front of cars for instance. Unfortunately this dog is dead because of negligent owners. Everyone should train their dogs properly introduce their dogs to their neighbours if possible and take action on all reasonable complaints.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Hi Antigone I agree that the guy is probably a whack job and I obviously can’t trust what he said. I guess his case is a wash. My one real emphasis is this pit bulls may not always be aggressive but they will always have dangerous jaw power. Judge Judy has many pit bull cases. She said it best these dogs are not teacup poodles. IF a pit bull bites the results can be disasterous or deadly. You said it perfectly Antigone. We can’t know what they will do. The nicest pit bull in the world can still get startled or run in front of a car. It’s perfectly natural normal behavior for any cat or dog. The results for both dog and human can be disasterous. No responsible dog owner on this planet allows their dog to run around like this guy did. Dog and cat owners can’t just “love” their companions they must also take responsibility and not let them run loose. Any animal including pit bulls can get hit by cars attacked by wildlife poisoned lost or injured. And that guy would have no one but himself to blame. No disrespect intended friend. Peace.

  • Angie says:

    I watched that episode and became very angry with the neighbor. It appeared to me that the bad neighbor had an issue with the neighbor and that the dog became a casualty of that problem. I’ve noticed that sometimes pets become casualties of angry lunatics. That guy would have shot his neighbor’s dog if it were a lab poodle or a pit bull. That neighbor had a lot of animousity for his neighbor. This happens far too often. There should not be an issue with pit bulls or boxers or any other dogs. Many times people’s pets are a reflection of themselves. Mean people tend to have mean pets! If you have pets consider their personalities. My dog is goofy and very happy. My male cat is a little overweight he’s an emotional eater. My female cat is very nerotic and hyper. All of them reflect different aspects of my personality. They even look like me!

  • fillysunray says:

    there was a dog I’m not sure if he was a pit bull and his owner called the police and said that his dog had attacked him and was now running loose on the streets and he was scared someone might get injured. So the police all went out and searched the area and found the dog and chased it shooting it over and over again with tasers only the dog eventually died. later they found that the owner was a dog abuser who had repeatedly beaten his pets…

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Maya It’s impossible to know with ANY dog or human for that matter IF a bad thing will happen. You cannot assume the worst and act accordinglyyou must act based on the existing facts. I disagree that this boy was a bad ownerin fact I think he did a great job raising what seemed to be a welladjusted dog that was good with both animals AND people. You have no way of knowing that this dog even growled. The man who killed him said so but he needs a reason to justify the killing doesn’t he? Do you know for sure he didn’t lure this dog on his property intentionally?? It is clear from what he himself states on the 911 call that he killed this dog because he had gotten loose several times. The number of times was disputed by the dog’s family if you recall. Consider the source before you accept what he says…

  • Darcy in AZ says:

    As I read some of these post I am astonished at those people that believe just because a dog is a pitbull he will tear another animal to shreds. I have a 120 pound pitbull. yes true fullbreed pitthe vet tells me is a pullerbred pit. When he scuffles with my 35 pound sharpei mix my pit usually gets the worst of ithe does NOT tear to shreds!! He does not because he is a lover at heart. And that is how he has been raised.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    There are no bad dogs just really bad people that have dogs and teach them badly. Dogs look at us to guide them the right way but there are really some terrible terrible owners if you must use that word. Our dogs are such a God send. They can hardly wait for my husband to get home so they can all cuddle. Peace! Be sure to watch Oprah today she will be talking about puppy mills.

  • ioanna says:

    …sorry it didn’t came out right

  • ioanna says:

    I wasn’t talkin about this particular video but in general

  • PitBulllover says:

    I have 3 wonderful dogs a yorkie a bischon and a PIT BULL!! My pit bull is the best dog I have ever had! She is obediant loyal and so sweet!! I hate when I see people buying them to look like they are tough and look like a fricking loser..these dogs are wonderful and their bad rep is not because of them it is because of horrible people. I love my Pit bull!!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    I completely agree that the raging maniac should have called AC and it was cold blooded for him to kill an animal. However he was more than generous asking the dog’s owner to restrain his dog after it had been loose again and again and again. The gun man’s little dog could have been out on the guy’s property the next time and the pit bull could have killed it. Not just pit bulls but any large dog has prey instincts and plus they are ANIMALS and it’s impossible to know when that bad thing will happen. This pit bull was a huge public hazard. There was a 16 year old in New Hampshire animal rights activist by the way who swerved to avoid a squirrel and was killed when he hit a telephone pole. This can happen with loose dogs. I acutally saw a rottweiler kill a kitten. The dog’s owner was nototrious for not keeping the dog restrained. How would you feel if that happened to your pet? All I’m saying is not enough blame is being put on the dog’s owner. The dog got loose over and over again he didn’t give a shit about his dog or public safety. Personally I would not have killed the dog but I may have drove it to AC myself the first few times after that the dog would be found a new home several states away by yours truly.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Antigone 1000 Is absolutely right. Get angry use a gun? NO WAY….. He killed because he was angry. Peace!

  • Holly says:

    Antigone is right.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Ionna Maybe you didn’t actually watch the case but the dog wasn’t trying to attack anyone. This man intentionally killed this dog because he was angry that he had gotten loose a couple of times. Once this guy went into his house there was no threat. For him to come out again and shoot the dog was coldblooded. Period. There is no defense for what he did. He should have called the ACO not taken matters into his own hands. I would like to see if any criminal charges could be brought against him.

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    Judith If you are going to use only name calling in your pseudopoetry and not answer or debate the issue at hand then invariably you will be discounted. What you think about the issue at hand is much more interesting than calling me names. Call me names fine but say something with substance while your at it. You trivialize a very important and tragic situation. Perhaps you’ve never been attacked by a dog and have no frame of reference. Fair enough. Maybe you enjoy being a human sheep and feel comfortable completely entrusting your safety in a flawed and corrupt government. Enjoy your peace while it lasts.

  • Nick says:

    I love her irresponsible gun owner hets boom lowered on him great. Hopes she wins the Emmy she deserves it.

  • ioanna says:

    Hi Judith I don’t think Cochran meant it that way.He just said that the man had no other way to defend himself and his dog.He just said it a little more aggressive than he should.I stronglly dissagree with malltreating animals eather in any way but when a dogor anyone is trying to attack you or someone you love what would you do?

  • HannaBanana says:

    Thanks Maya My Mom’s love for animals is definately why I also love animals. My Dad finally ‘gave in’ to her request to make the living room into a rescue bird aviary…she has it all set up for them all her adorable rescue birds who were given up after they started plucking their feathers. Well…guess whose feathers are starting to grow back after a little TLC? Also…the Pit never bothers the birds…they chase her actually! People just need to be taught to love and respect animals despite how they are negatively stereotyped like the Pit Bulls…I recently adopted a few rescue rats and I absolutely LOVE those sweet creatures! And I’ve been able to change people’s negative opinion’s about them completely around once they got the chance to ‘hang out’ with my little guys… I thank God every single day that we PETA and other organizations like it to educate people…

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Face it Cochran You live to shoot your guns at anything. You and Bushblood brothers Peace!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    HannaBanana what a beautiful story!! Your mom sounds like a total saint. How lucky for that wonderful pit doggie! Also you make such a great point these people who are so careless have they ever seen a dog hit by a car with a broken spine? I have and it’s extremely tragic. Often they can’t be saved and suffer excruciating pain. And often at a young age! After I adopted from the shelter my cat escaped once. I freaked out and beefed up the precautions in our house tenfold. If I had a dog I would be at least as protective there are a thousand bad things that can happen to cats and dogs! You’re also right about pits some of the most well behaved dogs I’ve ever seen were pits unfortunately they are often bought for the wrong reasons status etc. And it’s refelcted in how the dog is kept. Best wishes to you and mom and the 3 beautiful critters!!

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Love you much Ana! I so hope you are right about a little ray of sunshine. The animals really need it. Judith

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    Judith you are so well spoken. Are you part of the militant arm of Buddhism? What exactly was the man with the dachshund supposed to do when a pit bull comes into his yard and threatens him and his dog? Run and Hide? Call the police? I think it is a horrible tragedy that this poor dog was killed but I do not think the gun owner is the criminal. He is the unfortunate victim of an irresponsible dog owner. The pit bull was only doing what it was bred to do. Despite what seemed to be a loving caring home this dog still felt compelled to threaten a wiener dog and a neighbor.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    First of all there are a thousand variations of what is referred to as a “pit bull” so there is no way to classify those dogs as being of a certain type. They are simply dogs no better or worse than any other. I had a shepherdlab cross that was extremely dogaggressive and I had a rottie that got along with all animals. It is up to the owner to take the proper precautions with their pets and I think this boy did. The dog happened to get out. So what?? The dog did nothing wrong and the man had no justification in killing him. Just another example of what happens when you pair a large gun with a very small penis.

  • HannaBanana says:

    Maya I agree. The Pit my mom rescued was found wandering the streets of Joliet IL…not the safest of locations…and the dog was horribly torn up…and just had puppies! My mom saved her life showed her love…and now she’s the sweetest dog ever! And also in my Mom’s home are are chow and a boxer…and there has never been an encounter. People who talk negative smack about Pits never owned or loved one. My opinion.

  • Ana says:

    Judith Love you!!! I am really impressed with Perez having the courage to speak up for the murdered pit bull on national tv. There is a ray of sunshine yet!!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Kelly that was very well said!! Let’s all look at reality here all of us can agree it’s not the pit bull’s fault. It’s the fault of the owners. And I feel sorry for the dogs but every law abiding citizen has the right to have their private property be free of trespassers be it dogs or people. In my opinion there should be zero tolerance. Anyone who owns a dog should have 2 free dog escapes and that’s it. After that they should be forced to pay for a fence for everyone in the neighborhood and they should be required to be monitored for five years. If the dog keeps getting loose the punishments become more severe. There may be problems with that solution but it’s all I can think of if people want the right to own these dogs. Quite honestly if I were running a town dog owners would be required to have extremely secure fencing neighborhood watches and immediate action if the dog escaped. And there are no easy solutions here so let’s not tear each other’s faces off okay?

  • kelly says:

    Pit bull owners lose all credibility when they say that pits can attack people’s pets. If that man did not have a gun the small dog would have been ripped to shreds. That is going on all over this country. Pets are getting attacked and killed in their own homes by pit bulls. Ledy Van Kavage of the ASPCA says that pit bulls should be allowed to kill other pets. No wonder the dog fighters and breeders love her! All she cares about is pit bulls not other dogs that are dying terrible deaths.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    Cochran Do the animals that you hunt a huge favor take your gun shove it up your ass and pull the trigger. Peace!!! Marisela Great post!

  • Marisela says:

    He should have been bitten in the ass. This mther fcker should go to hell. He should suffer all his life for killing this innocent pitbull. Not all pitbulls are harmful. If you train it to harm it will harm if not it won’t. He is just an example of ignorant fucks in this world that don’t care about animals suffering. I would have stopped him if I was his neighbor. Cold blooded bastard he was not touched by the look on the dogs eyes at all. He dumps it near construction? My Gd if that was my dog that man would have deserved a big beating he would have been paralyzed for good. Heck he would have needed a machine to live. That stupid fuck. This story sure did touch my heart with anger. I am very angry at this person he should have been sued so much he would be left with nothing.

  • HannaBanana says:

    My mom rescued a pit bull and she’s the best dog ever! I keep trying to steal her from my Mom…but so luck. Judge Perez is my hero.

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    Who exactly misunderstands pit bulls? I doubt the owner of the dog was thinking how good the dog could hold on to a rope swing when he bought it. I am sure he knew exactly what he was getting. I am thankful that the dachshund is safe though. This is certainly not the dog’s fault but he is the one that is punished. Culpability lies with the owner of the pit bull for buying the dog in the first place. How very sad. The second amendment is in place so that we may be able to defend our families and homes. If a gun owner is forced to take such action it should not be a joyful occasion rather the lesser of two evils. If the pit bull had mauled or killed the gun owner or the dachshund the story would be even more tragic. Hence the lesser of two evils. Still a very sad story.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Thank you for not villinizing the guy who shot the dog. I don’t agree with shooting the dog and I certainly don’t agree with his hunting and fishing but I’ve had similar problems! My neighbor’s pit bull rotweiller and brown lab have all come onto my porch and tried to attack me the dogs have attacked strays I was trying to rescue and have chased kids in the neighborhood. It’s not the dogs’ fault but the dogs run in front of my car forcing me to slam on the brakes all the time and almost get hit from behind by other cars! I spoke to our neighbor at least 12 times over the course of about 4 years and she refuses to fix the situation. Even if dogs aren’t agressive here’s the problem 1. Large dogs especially pit bulls can kill and mutilate people. Even if the dog is just startled the end result is the same. Dogs running in front of cars and chasing cats into the road is extremely dangerous. They are animals. We can’t say “oh they’re not aggressive” It does not matter there are a million reasons why dogs running loose are a hazard. If a dog gets loose once or twice by accident that’s understandable. Over and over over the period of several years unacceptable!! If something bad happens to a dog that is loose multiple times IT IS THE OWNER’S FAULT!

  • Cali says:

    This is so sad to me. I have a pit bull named Frankie and he is the sweetest most gentle dog I have ever owned. I cannot imagine anyone hurting these animals as a form of recreation. I just pray that people take the time to learn about the breed instead of jumping to conclusions because of some bad owners.

  • Reginald King says:

    My dogs were labled as dangerous because one neifghbor in the neighborhood dont like them so th animal shelter is trying to charge me and my family over 2600 dollars to get them back and it is unfair

  • lynda downie says:

    Yeah pit bulls often pay with their lives for the carelessness of their ‘owner’.

  • Courtney says:

    Judge Christina is now my personal hero. She put that sorry excuse for man in his place! I loved how she said that she hopes the police are listening to what she’s saying because she thinks he’s a loose cannon etc. Finally some little justice for pit bulls!