Over the weekend, 2 year old Isaiah Aguilar was tragically killed by his neighbor's dog.
Accoring to the reports, the 2 year old toddler was playing in the yard with a balloon when the wind blew the balloon away from him and into the neighbor's yard. The boy went through a "hole" in the fence to get the balloon and approached one of two dogs (reported by the media as "pit bulls") that was chained in the yard of the home (based on the images in this news report, there is every reason to believe the dogs lived their lives on these chains) The boy got within the range of the chain and was bitten multiple times by the dog.
According to the boy's sister, the owner of the dog's saw the incident and came to the door, but when they saw what was happening, just shook their head and walked back inside. The dog's owners were apparently relatives of the victim and according to the victim's parents, knew the dogs were vicious because they had "raised them to be that way".
The boy's parents came back outside when they heard the commotion and called for help, but the boy died at the hospital (which was 20 miles away).
The story has been picked up in about a dozen media outlets. The small community of Sabinal, with a population of 1500 people, has a poverty rate of more than 30% -- more than double the national average.
This is yet another example of why people/places/news sources that focus on the breed of dog involved are completely misplaced in their interpretation of these very rare, tragic events. First of all, it's absolutely NOT ok for people to own incredibly aggressive dogs. And chaining dogs has a known impact on the psyche of a dog and will help cause it to aggress. It is also not ok for parents to leave their toddlers out unsupervised. There are a host of things that young toddlers can get into if left unattended. And it's impossible to ignore that tragedies like this one seem to be a symptom of much large social issues than being actual dog issues. We must continue to focus on all of the circumstances surrounding these events if we hope to prevent them. This event was caused by a series of human-created circumstances -- and should be treated as such.
This is a horrible incident and my thoughts and prayers go out to the Aguilar family.