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« Stoking fear and hysteria in Aurora | Main | Nailed it »

March 02, 2014

Comments

Cheryl Huerta

Hi Brent,
It seems odd to say 'thanks' for news such as this but I will anyhow. I penned a message to go with the link to your blog today and am posting it around hoping that people will read it who work in the animal welfare community and will decide that enough is enough and it's time to work harder to reduce these horrific tragedies. This is NOT a problem that can't be solved for sure but it's going to take some proactive action on the part of the animal welfare and legislative community to solve the problem.

Here's the message I sent along with the link to this blog:
I really hope that these tragedies as outlined in Brent Toellner's blog, KC DOG Blog, will serve as yet another glaring example why responsible dog ownership is so critically important. Sadly it appears to me that every single one of the deaths reported here were 100% preventable and avoidable and would never have happened if the human's, the owners, involved with each dog would have been much more responsible as a pet owner. I don't know how many more stories like this it will take to wake people up to the fact that dog's are not inherently vicious but become so when mishandled by humans who are either poor dog owners or don't have sufficient knowledge about canine behavior and how to read dogs.

Adding tragedy upon tragedy is the misconception by so many that when dogs attack and kill humans the only answer is simply to first of all kill the dog and then make a law in that community or state or country to ban ownership of all dogs that are or looks like they might be the breed of the dog that killed the human. Dog bans, in spite of all of the misinformation that is released by the governing bodies who implement them, do not reduce dog bites in a community but only reduce dog bites by the breed that is banned. Many communities with breed bans will report that their community is now safer but statistics reveal that the community is only safer from bites by the dogs that have been banned and that typically dog bites by other kinds of dogs increase.

There are NO dangerous dog breeds. There are large dogs. There are powerful dogs. There are dogs with a strong prey drive. There are dogs that aren't particularly kid friendly. There are dogs that are not well socialized. There are dogs that are untrained and who lack humane discipline that are out of control behavior-wise. But none are inherently dangerous because of their genetic make-up. There are however irresponsible and/or incapable dog owners who do not own a dog with due diligence but who take on a dog without really taking the time and effort to become educated about how to be a responsible dog owner and/or canine behavior and how to read canine body language. This is what needs to be the target of our concern and also of legislation; dog owners.

Dog owners in any community need to have easy access to spay/neuter services that are affordable, they need to have easy access to dog training classes that are affordable and most of all they need to be exposed to information that will at the very least peak their interest in learning how to be the best dog owner, and therefore dog owning neighbor, they possibly can regardless of their income bracket and/or living situation. Any animal shelter, public or private, worth it's salt should truly be making this a priority as a use of their time, their efforts and their budget. If more people spayed and neutered their pets less pets would end up in the shelter. If more people learned more about their dogs and how to help their dogs be safe around all other living things less pets would end up in the shelter. So to me it's a no brainer that this would be something that any shelter anywhere would benefit from highly and would find to be well worth the time, effort and money to implement. It is fairly obvious to me that it makes a whole lot more sense to plug the hole in the dike in order to lessen the steady stream of pets in need flooding into shelters or the judicial system as opposed to just running around with hands in the air complaining about it being too much...too many dogs...too many cats...not enough money...not enough responsible pet owners and not being able to save enough animals.

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