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Female Pit Bull Released to Husband of Mauling Victim

Greg Napora picked up six-year-old Tazi late yesterday afternoon.

Greg Napora, whose pregnant wife was by one of their pet pit bulls Thursday, was reunited with the other family pit bull late Monday afternoon.

Officials said yesterday the six-year-old female pit, Tazi, in the fatal mauling of 32-year-old Darla Napora by an unneutered two-year-old male named Gunner.

The victim died of blood loss and shock from dog bites, show.

Scott Delucchi, spokesman for the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA, said that his organization wanted to be sure that Tazi wasn’t dangerous before returning her to her owner.

“We needed to know that the second dog was not involved in the attack before we decided to return it to its owner,” Delucchi said. “We also wanted to hear that the owner wanted the dog back.”

The Humane Society learned early on, soon after his wife’s death, that Greg Napora wanted Tazi back.

After medical examiners and odontologists - bite experts - used teeth impressions taken from both dogs to show in preliminary autopsy results that only the male pit bull was involved in the attack, and after Tazi had been observed for signs of aggression, the Humane Society had to give the dog back to her owner, Delucchi said.

“We had to rely on these outside experts,” he said, “and the husband who came home, he saw his one dog over his wife, said the other dog (Tazi) was not even in the same room but was cowering in the corner in a different room. Whether she wasn’t in there from the beginning of the attack, that’s inconclusive.”

That information, along with the Humane Society’s own observations and investigation, which included checking for signs that the dogs had been abused, that they had been taken on regular vet trips, that they were registered in San Mateo County, and checking with neighbors for any indication that the dogs were neglected, led to Tazi’s release.  

Delucchi said that some of Napora’s neighbors in Pacifica's Vallemar District called the Humane Society after the dog’s release to say they were uncomfortable with the dog’s release, and were concerned the dog wasn’t safe.

“But I also think of someone who loses his wife, unborn child and other dog in one day,” Delucchi said. “So maybe that second dog is all he’s got. So, we’re trying to think out it that way. I’m asking people to be compassionate.”

Nevertheless, he understands neighbors’ concerns, Delucchi said.

“You can never predict future behavior (of dogs),” he said. “We cannot say for sure we know what a dog will do. We can only judge the grounds for holding a dog; we had no legal authority.”

Thursday’s incident has reignited the debate over whether pit bulls ought to be banned and whether the breed is inherently dangerous, a debate seen now on Pacifica Patch’s comment boards and elsewhere. When asked to weigh in, Delucchi said his organization sees the problem primarily lying with the owner.  

“We see so many wonderful pit bulls,” he said. “People here at work have them, we adopt them out, we see them become search and rescue dogs, pet assistance therapy animals that enter schools and libraries, so many wonderful ones. We also see them end up with the wrong people and do bad things. If it wasn’t pit bulls, people would do something awful to another breed, it’s a people problem.”

Still, an ill-treated pit bull is very dangerous indeed, he said.

“Nobody can deny that pit bulls are physiologically built differently,” he said. “The jaws are aligned differently, they do more damage, but we also know that all dogs bite.”

One thing pit bull owners can do to make sure their dog is safer is to get it neutered,” Delucchi said.

“Neutering makes it safer, it does, it’s one of those things that nobody can really deny,” he said. “A dog that is not neutered produces testosterone.”

More testosterone, he said, usually equals more aggression.

Also, Delucchi advises pet owners to observe their animals for changes in behavior. If the changes seem negative or even odd, correct them immediately, or see a vet.

If your dog used to greet visitors at the door, for instance, but now puts his tail between his legs and hides from visitors, it could be a bad sign. Problems like these don’t just work themselves out, Delucchi said.

The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA offers an incentive program for pit bull owners to get their pets neutered; the organization will actually pay the owner $10 for the procedure. There’s also a mobile neuter clinic that travels around San Mateo County at which owners can drop their pets off in the morning for a free procedure.

For more information on spay and neuter programs provided by the Peninsula Humane Society, including the mobile neuter clinic that visits several parts of San Mateo County, go to the Humane Society’s website.

To follow news about Pacifica and surrounding areas and stay up on local events, visit Pacifica Patch on Facebook and "like" us here. Follow us on Twitter here, too.

mindymayhem October 19, 2011 at 06:54 PM
My vet says that pit bulls are her favorite subjects because of their temperament, and studies have confirmed that their temperament is better than even golden retrievers! So when you hear about these dogs attacking people, don't jump to conclusions - look at the facts. You will find that almost every one of these dogs that attacks someone is an unneutered male, and most of them are frequently chained in their yards and lacking in exercise.
mindymayhem October 19, 2011 at 06:59 PM
I know firsthand as an owner that lack of exercise drives these animals insane. If you have a yard, that is NOT exercise! Dogs need to be walked, and intelligent dogs need to be challengened. For pit bulls, walking is not enough. They need to run, and I do not advocate dog parks because of other irresponsible/uneducated owners. I cannot stress enough that these are high-energy dogs that will react poorly if not given proper exercise! They have also been bred for dog aggression, let's be honest with ourselves, so early and frequent socialization and neutering (to reduce production of testosterone) is essential. If you do not have an active lifestyle, a young pit bull is NOT FOR YOU, but an older (4 years+) pit can still make a great pet for you and I promise, their affection and sense of humor makes them ideal. However, you WILL face regular, daily ignorance and negativity from other people, I can promise you that, and it will be next to impossible to travel by plane with your pet. You also need to keep in mind that you may be forced to move and that there are places you won't be able to do so, with a pit bull. Sad, but very true. And shelters are overrun with these animals, so don't kid yourself by thinking your dog will find a good home if you leave him off! There are MILLIONS of pit bulls with responsible owners who have never hurt anyone or anything and never will. And even those that do can typically be rehabilitated - although they are rarely given the chance.
mindymayhem October 19, 2011 at 07:12 PM
I live in sunny California and I recommend all pit bull owners who can afford to do so move here. City after city around the country are considering banning these dogs, and that means almost certain death for your beloved pet! It is against California's state Constitution to ban a breed of dogs. I live in Huntington Beach, there is a dog beach here, and I see other pit bulls with their owners every single day! I also have moved to a dog-friendly community with a lot of dog owners, and my dog is very much beloved, here. Paradise!
Pipa October 29, 2011 at 07:04 PM
If you have a dog that is aggressive, you have a responsibility to yourself and others..regardless of the breed. Every animal is different and we can't predict their instincts--we can however, recognize signs of aggression and train the dog on how to behave, as well as not put them or yourself in a risky situation. Just like humans, dogs have different behaviors and personalities. The death of a pregnant wife is tragic, by any means, even more so at the hand of a once beloved animal. So history doesn't repeat itself, I would rethink owning another dog...regardless of the breed. Just my opinion.
Charles December 18, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Stray Pit Bull saves woman and child from attacker (A must read)! http://www.piaberrend.org/stray-pit-bull-saves-woman-child-from-attacker/

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