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Dog responsibilities

Posted: December 15, 2009 10:13 p.m.
Updated: December 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Thank you to Lauren Grilli for reminding us the responsibilities and etiquette people need to approach dogs in her Dec. 1 letter to the editor (“A lesson in canine etiquette”).  

There are some other responsibilities the pet owner has. Pet owners are responsible for their pet’s behavior. If their pet is prone to attack, they must control the animal so it does not inflict harm to people or other dogs.  

This concept was absent in the article “Dog allegedly shot, young girl present” (Nov. 29). The article reported the following incident: A 6-year-old girl held the leash of a pit bull under the supervision of her godmother. The pit bull got away and attacked a sheriff’s deputy and the deputy shot the attacking dog.

The owner has responsibility for the dog’s behavior and neglected to provide safety to a person in the vicinity. The girl’s father said the girl was given the leash for the pit bull and “she couldn’t hold onto the dog and the dog started going up to the (deputy).”

Fortunately, the deputy had a gun and was able to stop the dog before being maimed and attacked.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Allen was quoted in The Signal, referring to the danger of the attacking dog: “It’s a good way to get into the hospital ... especially with a dog the size of a pit bull.”

As an owner of a dog, I would never give the leash of my dog to a 6-year-old unless that child could fully control the dog in all situations.

I have been in the situation where my dog has been attacked while I was walking it on a leash. One of my children who has serious medical issues, approached a dog on a leash to pet it and was deeply bitten in the groin and had to be seen by a doctor.

Owners, take responsibility for your dogs.

If your dog has attacked, then you do not have control of the dog. You need to act upon it — give up the dog, put it to sleep, do not let it near other people, don’t let a 6-year-old hold its leash and take the blame yourself when your dog attacks (and gets shot).


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