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Dog Bites & Attacks - Some Dog Owners Need a Reality Check


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11/15/2012
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Before I delve into my rant about dog owners, let me say that I love pets. I have a cat and have had dogs in my life. I believe that pets are an important part of our households. However, dogs can cause serious injury to people, especially children. So here's my rant:

Earlier in the year, as I waited to pick up my son from school, I saw a man who was delivering Chinese restaurant ads to all the houses on the block across the street from the entrance of the school. He was at the doorstep of a home, just about to leave the ad when all of the sudden, a large black dog barreled out of the door and started attacking him. The man ran to the next door step, trying to get away, but to no avail. The dog chased him to the next doorstep and continued the attack.

Within a minute or so, the dog owner came out and pulled the dog back and into the house. By this time, the man delivering the ad was shaken up; his pants leg had been torn from thigh to ankle. He was wearing jeans and underneath the jeans, he had thermal clothing on. Had he not been wearing the thermal clothing, the dog would have gotten to skin.

After the dog owner secured the dog, he came back out to the man and apologized. By this time, I walked over to offer aid. The dog owner kept saying that this was the first time his dog had ever done anything like that and that he couldn't understand what had happened. I offered aid to the man and told the dog owner that since his house was across the street from an elementary school, that he should consider a muzzle, especially when children are present. I also stressed that he should be sure to lock his screen door, so the dog couldn't just barrel out.

We moved from this neighborhood a few months later and I'm relieved because my son doesn't have to walk in front of the dog owner's house anymore. But I wonder if the dog has, since then, attacked anyone else.

What occurs to me is that this dog owner was genuine when he said that this was the first time his dog had ever done anything like that, and that's what is troubling. By now, I'm sure this dog owner is being responsible and has his dog secured. But this event solidified something for me - dog owners with normally well behaved and nonviolent dogs may one day, out of the blue, be dealing with a serious situation where their dog attacked a person or a child.

That's why it is so important for dog owners to be smart and just follow the law. In Pennsylvania, dogs must be leashed or confined to the owner's property. In addition, local municipalities have leash laws as well. For instance, in Philadelphia, dogs must be on a leash no more than 6 feet in length. Put simply, dog bites and attacks can be prevented by properly securing dogs.

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Category: Dog Bite Cases


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