"Charles Lawson, who co-owns the business, said the dogs were guarding the shop and belong to his partner."
Dogs SHOULD NOT be used to guard shops like this. Watchdog...fine...GUARD DOG, no. There are too many loopholes regarding attacks in shops by guard dogs. It is public property...it is a place where people will be. Regardless of breed, it shouldn't be done. At the very least, put the dogs on a tether while they are there or something.
Some people are just plain stupid.
ETA: http://mas.scripps.com/MCA/2007/02/14/15pit2_o.jpg That is one of the Pits that attacked the man. That dog is not just a guard dog.. I am not one to judge scars on dogs, since mine have their own...but that dog does not look like a well-treated pet. It is much too thin as well.
And I bet you anything...nobody even payed attention to the condition the dogs were in either.
With it being an auto repair shop, it made me think of one of those places that have lots adjacent with cars and stuff and that the dogs would be guarding that area? As the "partner" said he didnt know how they got out (i.e. they werent suppose to).
Personally, I don't think those types of places are suitable for an animal, especially a lose one (I know many 'junkyard' dogs are left unchained, but fenced in the area).
Regardless...there was something behind these dogs, they didn't just up and attack because they felt like it, and it doesn't seem the man attacked provoked them. That picture holds some evidence in itself, IMO.
We have two guard dogs at our repair shop. They are kept contained and away from the customers when the shop is open. It is not public property. It is our property. Kind of a touchy subject :). The shop owners obviously should have contained the dogs as any owner should. What a horrible thing for the injured man and the dogs to go through because of idiot owners.
Keep in mind, you may 'own' the 'property', but, it is open to the public. And there have been cases, where people have threatened shop owners, and guard dogs have attacked...and the dog has ended up being put to sleep. Ironic, but unfortunately, it happens. Somehow, some criminals get away with their crimes when they are injured as a result.
This is why I am not a fan of guard dogs in shops. Watchdogs, no problem there. We take dogs to our shop with us all the time, but we have other things in there as well.
The justice system does not always agree with the truth. For the protection of my animals, I choose not to use them as guard dogs, and they are locked away when in the shop with us. And we live in a fairly safe little town, but it doesn't come without crime, no place does.
My main point...this dog does not look like a guard dog. It looks like an abused dog that was used for fighting. It looks malnourished. It looks pitiful. And it looks like it would've much rather been in a warm dog bed than 'guarding' a body shop for some scummy owner.
If they aren't...then there is no such thing as justice when an animal is involved.
TBH, I am cmopletely sick and tired of seeing owners not being prosecuted because of the dog's breed. It's wrong, it is getting no one anywhere at all, and it's discriminatory to say the very least. I'm exhausted with the things being said about these breeds, and exhausted with owners of them who have no idea what they are doing.
I have a hard time replying sanely to many of the news stories like this anymore.