My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Census enumerator’s dog bites a St. Louis man

Alright, now this is just baffling. Did no one really tell this enumerator you can’t have a dog with you? Especially one that’s supposed to be quarantined? This could have been much worse than it was, if the pitbull were just a little angrier or even if the victim had allergies. I really hope this is the case of one person acting out, rather than a reflection of a lack of proper training – the Census should definitely not allow anyone to work with their dogs while they’re out enumerating.

Here’s a video from St. Louis’ Fox 2:

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17 Responses to “Census enumerator’s dog bites a St. Louis man”

  1. CLA Dave Says:

    Re: “Did no one really tell this enumerator you can’t have a dog with you?”

    It shouldn’t have to be told. Common sense says you don’t bring your dog with you when knocking on strangers’ doors. Sheesh!

  2. JAG Says:

    You got that right, Dave! I’m sure the procedures don’t specifically say they can’t take strippers with them door to door…….but I keep waiting by the door and hoping!

  3. Sheri Says:

    The piece didn’t say the dog had been under quarantine prior to bite. Don’t know how it happened that the owner left with the dog but typical practice is that if owner can provide evidence of current rabies vaccine the dog stays home pending any other possible action (e.g. prior history of the animal). If no vaccine records, the dog is impounded and, in many cases, destroyed.

    But yeah, hard to imagine a scenario in which the enumerator remains employed.

  4. Buzz Lightyear Says:

    I hope the St. Louis man is all right.

    Unprofessional and unacceptable.

  5. PM Says:

    Oh! This is simply the non-handheld equivalent to pointing the HHC at the resident and tapping “Does Not Exist”. Without the HHC, we’ve had to do a lot more manually (or mandible-ly, in this case).

    Maybe the enumerator is related to the one in Cal who assaulted a resident. Don’t know the particulars on it, but a contact said that the resident filed with the cops. This work does bring out the angst in people, and it need not. Just read the demeaning ‘tweets’ (more like squeaks) that people post against us- in really poor grammar, no less. If they can raise the energy to use the computer for inane vulgarities, they can surely answer a few questions and be done with it. In our areas, it’s the residences that have the pitbulls, and the residents there are as likely to be hostile as not. I heard that some thug pulled a knife on an enumerator.

    The harm done the resident in this story is regrettable and unnecessary; at the same time, the enumerators face what could be a fortified brothel/meth lab/snuff film studio as well as a bridge party when they knock. As well, some enumerators take their post a little seriously and become aggressive themselves.

    The dynamic of all these unproven diplomats representing us, under severe pressure to perform and get the result or get sacked, to all sorts of folks who could be anyone results in a huge task with many detracting factors. It is simply a built-in risk that Census has to bear as long as we do things in this way. The case of Mr. Sparkman is the prime example of how wrong this job can go, and no, people don’t generally carve their own person and hang themselves, especially in an area where you’re likely to be stopped by gangs of anti-revenuer dope growers or whatever they are. Maybe he complained about something and was ‘resigned’ himself? This is a potentially high-risk job.

    Best wishes to the resident. Pitbulls are an overt symbol of aggression in the first place, and no one seriously should be parading one around in our adventure, sweet as teddybears or not (see the mauling case involving the lawyers in San Francisco, I think it was). I’d feel safer answering the door to an enumerator with a Detonics than with a pitbull. (OOOh- maybe not an enumerator given the hiring criteria, now that you ask… how about with nothing scary. But then, I don’t have a meth lab either…)

  6. anonymous Says:

    CL told us the police dept. would give us name, DOB, number of residents living in a household … Is this true?

    Census info is not an emergency.

  7. what Says:

    Is this post suppose to be actual “reporting”? I see alot of sarcasm and opinion in this post. And the facts aren’t correct. What’s Victor source for saying the dog was “supposed to be quarantined”?
    Wouldn’t a true journalist state the law or policy that the worker is violating?
    And its only his opinion that dogs shouldn’t accompany workers. Maybe its a service dog. Maybe its there for protection.

  8. CLA Dave Says:

    anonymous – I’ve never heard of such a thing. Ask your CL to show you how it’s done.

  9. anonymous Says:

    CLA Dave, doen’t make sense does it? No two LCOs are alike.

  10. JAG Says:

    As I understand the newspaper article that I read, this is a bad case of editing by the tv station. What he was talking about was the quarantine AFTER the dog bit him. The city’s policy allowed the owner to take the dog home and they’ll watch him for 10 days for rabies. There was no indication that the dog was quaratined before the attack.

  11. enumerhater Says:

    Why did you tag this “pit bull”? Where does it say that the dog was a pit bull? The dog shown in the video is most definitely NOT a pit bull. Lazy journalism from the crappy local news segment and this blog.


    Yeah, Petey the pit bull from the Little Rascals was a total symbol of aggression huh? Same thing with old Buster Brown and Helen Keller’s assistance dog. PM, your ignorance of the breed is staggering. The mauling case involving the lawyers in San Francisco? Those dogs were not pit bulls, not even close. Presa Canarios are mastiff descendents, not terriers. Google it, the victim’s name was Diane Whipple, before you start making false statements.

    I’ve been NRFUing it up out there and have been to many houses where pit bulls and other large breeds live and haven’t had a problem. But I got bit by a lap dog at one house and the guy who chased me out of his yard and threatened me had a tiny lap dog yapping at me. Crazy people are much more of a threat to me than any dog has been, so much that it crossed my mind to take my pit bull with me to work for my safety but given what happens other times when we are out in public, I’d never get enough work done because he always attracts a fan club and likes to show off his obedience tricks and get petted by strangers.

  12. what Says:

    In the tv video, the guy that got bit said “she (the police officer?) said the dog would now be quarantined”. So bad editing by the tv station for not clarifying who “she” is, and then malicious editing by this site to make assumptions that the dog is a pit bull, that the dog was previously under quarantine, and anti-dog sediment that dogs can’t assist the census.
    If the $5,000 fine doesn’t work to get our citizens to conform to the law, maybe the dog will.

  13. what Says:

    AND, I still challenge this team of journalists to site the law or policy that “you can’t have a dog with you”.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    A service dog will have an identifiable vest and paperwork. For the past year, there have been enumerators in our area (no names will be given) taking pet dogs (not service dogs) on the job, taking family or significant others on the job or substituting in their place. Last year, some listers had spouses/relatives/friends map spot addresses with hand-held computers (HTC). Some enumerators have spouses/relatives/friends drive them to AA and help them with interviews.

  15. what Says:

    Anonymous and “”"”journalist”"”" ‘victor’, is it a violation of Census policy or law for an enumerator to bring a dog along?

  16. Enumerator anywhere USA Says:

    It certainly would be a violation of Census policy (and likely law) to bring another unbadged human along to help them in their job! I would also expect that, except for a documented service animal, there is a policy (and likely law, punishable by the usual huge fine and prison sentence, as we are constantly reminded) against bringing one’s dog along on the job. Too many liabilities for the CB if the dog bites somebody, or even if the dog poops in their yard and the worker doesn’t clean it up.

  17. what Says:

    There is no law against bringing a pet. If you are census workers, you have violated census policy by making assumptions and false conclusions.