Recently, a friend of mine and I were discussing an event that happened last year to one of my students (I'm a kindergarten teacher).
One morning, he came in with a bite mark on his arm. It didn't look like a human bite mark so I asked him what happened and he said that their dog bit him. I called his mother, who was very haughty about it. She said that her five year old boy accidentally stepped on their American Staffordshire Terrier and the dog reared up and bit the child. "He was just defending himself," she told me in a haughty voice, like 'how dare you accuse my dog of anything less than perfection'. I told her that the bite needed to be looked at by a doctor and she insisted that the child was "milking it". The principle called DFACS but they didn't do anything but insist on seeing the dog's rabies records. They told them to take the child to a doctor, who cleaned and bandaged the wound.
About a month later, the child showed me a bite on his hand, once again from the dog. No skin was broken but there was a bruise and some bite marks. I called the parents and the mother got huffy again. I politely told her that she shouldn't have a dog around that was aggressive around children. "Who are you to tell me what to do? Do you hate dogs?" I told her that I have dogs and I have children and I would never have a dog that I couldn't trust with my kids. "The dog was here first. I had him long before I had a child." I was floored! I couldn't believe that she was letting her dog hurt her child because the dog was there first! I called DFACS again and they didn't even go out to the house because the skin wasn't broken and they already checked the records. They called animal control but, aside from suggesting they keep him locked up, they couldn't forcibly take the dog. I don't know if that is actually the law or they just didn't want to do anything.
A few weeks later, three days before the end of the school year, he limped into class crying. He lifted up his shirt and showed me a huge bite on his side, bruised black and STILL FREAKING BLEEDING! He had been trying to avoid the dog but his mother was sick and she insisted that he feed him. He was holding the dog bowl full of food and was trying to sat it down. The dog was jumping on him and he couldn't get to wherever the dog bowl was supposed to go. The dog finally got frustrated and bit the hell out of his side. He showed his mother and she refused to do anything about it. She just said that he should have fed the dog faster. That was it. I called DFACS and told them what was going on. A social worker came and got him a took him to the hospital. Later I get an irate phone call from the mother, basically telling me I was a heartless bitch that needed to mind my own business. I am a mandated reporter so it is my business and the child was hurt. It is abusive to let that dog continue to hurt that child. The child had to have five stitches.
They took the child into foster care and one of the things the parents had to do to get him back was get rid of the dog. They let him stay with a friend until they got the child back and then brought the freaking dog back home. DFACS found out that the dog was still there after an unannounced visit. They tried to convince them that it was a different dog but, since he was chipped and DFACS had the ID number from his chip, a call to animal control confirmed it was the same dog so they took the child again.
I understand loving your dog. I have four dogs that I love very much, but I would never have a dog that I could not trust around a child. That has been a policy in my family since long before my grandmother was even born. Even before I had children, I had a younger sister and nieces and nephews around all the time and we even had a dog put down when I was a teenager because he bit my cousin's son. I understand a provoked attack on an adult (like if the adult is hurting the dog or the family). My collie once bit a man that was trying to break into our neighbor's house and she and my coonhound ran him up a tree and held him until the police got there. They didn't even insist she be quarantined because she had had her shots. That is one thing but an unprovoked attack on a child is where I would draw the line.
I bring this up because the friend I was talking to about this incident's German Shepherd bit her eleven year old last night and she is debating what to do. It was an unprovoked attack by a dog who has become increasingly aggressive the older he gets. I told her that, if she didn't want to put him to sleep, then she needed to find him another home with people that had no children (and disclose his history) but, I wouldn't be able to even trust that, if it were my dog. No rescue will take him and no shelter will rehome him if he has a history of aggression. I understand loving your dog but I could never keep my dog at the expense of my child's safety.
Am I wrong? Am I the only one that feels this way?
Answer by wendythewriter at 8:27 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by NannyB. at 8:29 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by wendythewriter at 8:32 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by winterglow at 8:43 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by LostSoul88 at 8:50 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by cassie_kellison at 9:06 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by missanc at 9:10 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:27 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by QuinnMae at 9:35 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
Answer by feralxat at 9:44 AM on Jun. 6, 2013
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