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Born...Help me out here. I'm not a parent -- don't know if you are -- but you seem to be concentrating on the dog and the responsibilities of the dog owners. I agree that having a pit bull as a pet is somewhat akin to having a cottonmouth as a pet. BUT, don't parents have the responsibility to make sure their children are safe? Isn't that the PRIMARY duty of parents -- to look after them and ensure their well-being by not allowing them to wander off and not know where they are? Sure, it's a big job, but it's important. It's the parent's child, nobody else's. In this case, the child paid the ultimate price for the lack of parental supervision. The parents will grieve for the remainder of their lives because of that lack of supervision and blaming the owner of the dog -- or the dog himself will not change the fact that the child would be safe today if he'd not been out of the house or a fenced yard. I agree with you in that I hope some good can come from this tragedy, but a lot of that good must be the realization by parents that they MUST be ever vigilent when it comes to the protection of their children -- especially those so young that reason does not work with them. No one can trust that a child just out of the toddler stage will act in his own best interests. They act pretty much on instinct. If they see something pretty, they want to grab it and perhaps put it into their mouths. They see a pretty day and they go exploring never thinking -- indeed unable at their young age to think of the possible consequenses.
Do you job Victoria Animal Control officials - you have to make the dog owner responsible for what his/her dog does - don't neglect the community; take a little drive around the town and you'll see dogs chained in many of the town's backyards; when you don't do your job you are just as responsible as the dog owner.
They can now do DNA tests on animals, which is a good way to prove what animal did the damage.
Keep calling the police. Get your neighbors to call the police. They have to document every call. What you are wanting to do is prove a pattern. Try and get video, dated pictures...whatever you can get to prove that these dogs are out of their pen.After what just happened, police officers should start to take this more seriously, and if they don't, all I can say is shame on them.You really do not have to just take this kind of thing. There is not a law anywhere that prevents you from defending yourself against a pack of dangerous dogs. Just make sure you are prepared and have what it takes (in your hands) to do the job.
And Kash is right, dogs disappear all the time. They get out of their fence, decide to go hunting and then just lose their way home. Happens all the time. Hey, if the owners don't want their dogs to run away, they should build a good enough fence to contain them, right?
Big- country dogs disappear all the time if ya catch my drift.I still enjoy how some think their dogs running loose is not their responsibility. If you can't maintain a proper fence, you should not have dogs. Chained dogs should be considered abuse.
This all sounds great from a legal stand point...but from a reality view...unless you have an ample amount of money...nothing can be none. I wrote a letter to the vicad almost 2 years ago that this was going to happen out here. I live about a mile away from this recent tragedy. My idiot neighbor has about 5 dogs...a couple are pit or mixed pit breed...and a fence that I could step over...I witnessed them rip my cat apart in my own yard...I chased them back to where I saw them jump over the fence...the vet bill was over $1300 and my cat died 2 days later...I called the sheriffs dept that night and they did nothing because I was the only witness...which wasnt good enough for them...I took the vet bill to the neighbor...he called the deputies on me...and I was told if I went back there I would be arrested for trespassing...legal advisers told me I could sue and probably win...but it would cost me lawyer fees...and there is no way they could MAKE him pay.Just 2 days ago I had to run the same dogs off my neighbors yard because they had her cat up on her vehicle...I talked with her and she says they are terrified (her and another neighbor, elderly women)...and dont even go outside anymore.....again...I have stated that I was told by the deputies that I have called out here a few times...that nothing can be done until SOMEONE is actually hurt.
I used to have a Rotty, and a chow-chow mix. Both dogs were inside a 5-ft. pen and when we had company, the dogs were also chained away from the gates, just in case. Thinking back, I should have also had a lock on the gates.My question about whether the dogs were penned properly, and with those kinds of dogs, also locked in a gated fence, goes back to how I felt about my dogs. We also had a trampoline inside our fence, and it wasn't to keep the trampoline from escaping, but was to keep the neighbors kids out. If I had had a swimming pool, again, not to keep the swimming pool safe, but to keep others out.I feel that someone that has those kinds of dogs, has a responsibility to not only keep their pets contained, but also to keep kids, who cannot read or understand the danger that is inside, out. Even though someone lives in the country, safeguards should be put in place because you never know who may be wandering by and not realize the dangers inside that fence. If someone goes through the trouble of actually climbing up and over a locked, gated, fence, then I guess they are on their own, but small children cannot possible know or understand why they should not go through a gate that is not locked.
I know this is a horrible tragedy and maybe something positive will come out of it. If it teaches one person who owns a dangerous dog to take all the proper precautions possible, and it saves a life down the road, then at least something positive came out of it.
Born...I'm not sure about the owner's liability in this particular case. I don't understand why anyone would have a dog like this -- I was lucky enough to survive unscathed when one came after me when I was a kid (31 inch Louisville Slugger upside his head). IF the dog was in an fenced pen it seems to me the owner had done what could be reasonably expected. If the dog was enclosed inside a fence and the boy got inside the fence somehow, the dog was just being a dog. IF the dog was not running loose outside the fence, I could NOT find blame for the owners. It seems to me that parents have as much responsibility to keep their kids under control as dog owners have -- don't let them wander off, keep them in the house or in the yard behind a fence if that's the only way to keep them safe at home. This isn't meant to be a mean attack on greiving parents and I'm sure THEY wish they'd kept a closer eye on their son. In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure the safey of their children.
For example, look at the woman who was sentenced to life in prison because she allowed a molester to babysit her kids. She didn't take proper care to ensure their safety and will be paying the price for the rest of her life.
I still haven't gotten a clear picture of what is, or isn't, the facts.
Question. Were the dogs in an enclosure that totally enclosed them (all 4 sides, or 3 sides if attached to house), with a locking gate...meaning a child could not have gotten in without climbing up and over the fence.?Putting myself into a childs mind that like to hide, those dog houses might have looked like a great place to hide.
And, what owner has each dog on a 10-ft. chain if he doesn't think they are dangerous? Not pointing fingers here, just asking questions and would like some facts from someone who knows.
Your caring nature must be a great help to a family that just lost a child.
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Congratulations on winning the award for Greatest Mornday Morning Quarterback of 2012.
Do you have any idea what it was like for the people that found the child? The people out actually doing the searching? Any idea what it was like to be the dog owner? The parents?
Where were you with all your super duper knowledge and thoughts when all this was happening? Why didn't you bring all your wonderful ideas to the scene when it was all taking place?
Everyone involved in this have paid the Ultimate price from the child and his family to the dog and the dog owner to the first responders and all of the volunteers. I am a family member of one of those volunteers and I can tell you these people will never be the same. They have gone over and over in their minds. What if...... What if they had gone this way or that way or searched over areas that had been searched numerous times. Every time they hear a pack of dogs barking they are taken back. The media and the thoughtless commits are not helping. I know people are curious and concerned I am as well but please let these people grieve. The Sheriff has said to contact his office if you have any worthwhile information. In the mean time I will continue to pray for ALL involved.
What is sad is the fact that, in addition to a child dying, the dog owner could be held liable for a child wandering 1/2 mile away from his home and trespassing on his property. The dogs were contained in an enclosure and individually chained.
And still people keep leaping to conclusions when not all facts are known.
I am curious, in one story on TV the sheriff was interviewed and he said they had looked in that area specifically earlier so the child must have wandered in the yard with the dogs during the night. IF THEY HAD BEEN IN THE SAME PLACE BEFORE AND KNEW THERE WERE AGGRESSIVE DOGS THERE, why didn't they ask the owners to move the dogs for a short time and/or have someone posted in area in the event the child wandered in there? With all the stuff in the news about pit bulls and children getting harmed, that should have at least been a thought. Yes, I realize the dogs were in their own yard, bla bla bla - still it was a 4 year old that was probably scared, loved dogs and just wandered in the yard but was unable to defend himself against dogs that probably saw him as a threat to them. Can not blame dogs - can not blame child, but the child paid the ultimate price.