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Animal Safety
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Last comment by HMJC 1 year, 12 months ago.

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I was sad to read this article today http://coastalcourier.com/section/41/article/54714/ . I was sad for the child and the animals as well. This could have been prevented. I have had a long abiding love for animals, including the often maligned pit bull. I have been bitten, once severely (never by a pit). I would like to offer some advice when it comes to animals (especially dogs) and hopefully avoid tragedies like this one.

1. NEVER and I mean NEVER, leave a small child alone with an animal. I don't care if Jo-Jo is sweet as he can be and has never been aggressive a day in his life. Children are loud, they wave their arms and make sudden moves. This can startle the most docile dog and cause it to bite.

2. Three dogs together create a pack and the sweetest dog can easily revert to pack mentality. Make sure they are properly supervised. I suspect this is what happened with the 21 month old (not assigning any blame to the child). Most likely, the child's actions was seen as aggressive to one of the dogs and instead of a single bite, the pack mentality took over.

3. Do not stare at a dog. They interpret this as aggression. If you meet a dog you don't know, quickly cut your eyes away and return you gaze to his feet, shoulders, anything but direct eye contact. Turn sideways, always keeping the dog in your line of sight. This makes you appear smaller and less threatening.

4. Even if an owner tells you it's OK to pet the animal (never do so without permission), pet it on the shoulder, never the head. Consider the dog's pov. Here is someone three times or more its size standing over it and about to touch its face. Wouldn't you be a little nervous? Again, careful with the direct eye to eye contact.

5. A growl means back off. No matter what the owner says, the dog is clearly communicating with you. Respect the growl.

6. If you know an attack is coming, DO NOT RUN. Drop to the ground and curl yourself into a ball with your hands locked behind your neck and your face tucked in to your body. Running triggers the prey response. The dog may still bite you but it will be much worse if you run.

7. Owners, properly socialize your dog. Make sure they know and OBEY all the basic commands, including the "release" command. Make sure they get proper exercise. An animal with too much energy and no way to burn it off is a ticking bomb. That is why people come home to find the dog has torn up the couch. But that same couch could easily be a person.

Latest Activity: Mar 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

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Funkentelecky commented on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 13:26 PM

This is a tragic loss that I agree, could have been prevented. And thanks up2 for informative guidance you provided when encountering animals.

up2sumptin commented on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 16:37 PM

They were put down "at the scene" which I read to mean they shot them.

up2sumptin commented on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 16:38 PM

Here is more information


Funkentelecky commented on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 16:58 PM

It just get sadder, and sadder, and sadder as the facts are rolled out.

up2sumptin commented on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 17:13 PM

The news just said "criminal charges are pending."

golfnut31316 commented on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 20:51 PM

Does it really matter how the dogs where put down?

up2sumptin commented on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 23:12 PM

I have heard the child's body was cold when the EMTs got there suggesting there was a significant time laspe between the death of the child and when the call went out for help.

up2sumptin commented on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 23:53 PM

To answer the question about how the dogs were put down; it was done with IV drugs.

timeontarget commented on Friday, Mar 29, 2013 at 06:42 AM

up2 I also love dogs and have had many over the years.

Your advise is spot on.

If you are afraid of a dog it will sense that also.

I once was attacked by a large dog and I didn't lie down but I folded my arms across my chest and turned away from him each time he charged at me.

He finally bit my upper right leg just as the owner came out of the house and called him off.

I don't want to be around pit bulls or dobermans.

Regarding the little girl it is simple a sad story and all of those people coming home from the store and falling asleep "or something" is fishey.

up2sumptin commented on Friday, Mar 29, 2013 at 07:41 AM

I would never advise turning your back on a strange dogs. If a dog is afraid (fear biter), there is a better chance of getting bit by turning your back to him. A stranger triggers the fear/flight response. The Alpha Dog (owner) is not there (or has not established him/herself as the Alpha) to give him reassurance that you're not going to hurt him. That the situation is under control. He is too scared to attack you head on but when you turn your back he thinks, "this is my chance to get him before he gets me." Also, since your back is to the dog, you can't see the attack coming and prepare for it. It is better just to slowly back away, keeping the dog in your line of vision.

mountain commented on Friday, Mar 29, 2013 at 08:46 AM

I have been reading other blogs and it makes me sad how many people are defending the dogs and not saying anything about the death of that little girl.

HMJC commented on Friday, Mar 29, 2013 at 15:15 PM


The loss of life is the tragady however, this is a "human" problem that made those dogs thet way they are. The dogs lives are worth more to me that the pieces of trash that train and abuse animals to be as such. The punishment should be to be put in the ring with the same animals they abused. Terrible situation either way you look at it.

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