These stories just kill me to write. They all seem to follow one of a couple of templates. They all seem so avoidable. I just hope people notice how these things happen.
From the stories that have come out, here is the data that is evident (based on news sources):
1) A three year old boy,Tony Evans, Jr. was mauled to death by a pit bull last night
2) The young boy was apparently roaming around at 9 pm last night without supervision
3) The boy wandered into the neighbor's yard, was attacked by a 'pit bull' that was kept chained up to their carport.
4) It appears that the owner of the dogs will not be charged because they violated no city ordinances because the dog was confined on their property at the time of the attack.
5) Neighbor Isaac Stuckly who lives down the street also owns a 'pit bull' and says he does so for safety reasons. The zip code where this attack occurred has 13% of its population living below the poverty line -- which is higher than the national average. These two things combined lead me to believe this may not have been the safest neighborhood in the world.
6) The story has been picked up already by Fox News -- even though they, and every other national media outlet, failed to picked up the most recent fatal dog attack that was the result of two non-pit bull-type dogs.
I'll post more on the story when updates occur. It's a sad story -- but one that represents a fair number of the fatal dog attacks that happen.A nearly identical attack happened in Alaska earlier this year with a young, unsupervised child that was killed by a chained Husky. An unsupervised child with a chained dog is a recipe for disaster...which is exactly what this is.
If we could get past making this a breed issue, maybe we could get to the heart of why these types of attacks happen and prevent them from happening. Let's hope.
Update: The media was finally able to interview the owner and the victim's family of the dog. It sounds like the boy was left unsupervised for quite a length of time prior to the attack. I think the dog's owner's, Shannon Reason, quote about the dog is pretty telling. Reasons said he got the dog to be a guard dog and kept him chained to the carport and was never allowed to roam. "Believe me, this was not pet," he said. "I've had more stuff stolen from this driveway. You wouldn't believe it. The dog worked because it scared people away."
Dogs make for crummy security guards because they have no ability to detect the difference between a good person and a bad one. And ineveitably, they end up taking out a good person, or young child. This is a horrible incident, but we should realize it for what it is. It's a compete failure in our social structure that allows people in neighborhoods to be victims of crimes. That because they are victims, get dogs that that train to be aggressive so they will no longer be victims of crimes. Unfortunately, in this case, the dog created a new victim in the way of a small child that roamed up to the aggressive dog and was killed.