Skip to content
New Jersey
Link copied to clipboard

Dog-bites-man story on HBO tonight

EVEN IN HUMAN YEARS, the strange tale of Dr. Robert Taffet's pack of bite-prone dogs is getting old. But come Monday night, millions of people with cable television are going to hear Taffet's story for the first time since he agreed to take part in the HBO documentary "One Nation Under Dog." The documentary, which premieres at 9 p.m., is about America's relationship with dogs and is broken into three chapters — Fear, Loss and Betrayal.

EVEN IN HUMAN YEARS, the strange tale of Dr. Robert Taffet's pack of bite-prone dogs is getting old.

But come Monday night, millions of people with cable television are going to hear Taffet's story for the first time since he agreed to take part in the HBO documentary "One Nation Under Dog." The documentary, which premieres at 9 p.m., is about America's relationship with dogs and is broken into three chapters — Fear, Loss and Betrayal.

Taffet's story is "Fear" and it opens the film. Since 2002, his Rhodesian ridgebacks have bitten several individuals in Haddonfield, where he lives, and in Salem County, where he owns a goat farm. The bites have landed Taffet in courtrooms all over New Jersey, where he's mounted defenses to save them from being euthanized.

"None of my dogs attacked anybody," he said in the film.

Most of Taffet's time in One Nation Under Dog focuses on Claire McVeigh, the 3-year-old girl whose ear was bitten off by his dog Duke at his Salem County farm. After a hearing in Salem County, a judge determined that Duke was merely "potentially dangerous" — not vicious — and spared the dog's life. Duke bit another child in 2011.

Taffet's dogs first landed him in court after an incident in 2002, when Rocky, Duke's father, tore up a doctor's arm in a Haddonfield park. That case wound up in appellate court in Trenton.

Published