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Should I call the "authorities" ??

This is the first time in my entire life I have considered contacting "authorities" over what someone has said online. A woman in a group I am in on face book, with first and last name and identifying info (this is not a troll, she has lots of photos, friends, and her alma mater etc.) posted that her small child was (I assume viciously) attacked by her dog and this put him out of commission for several weeks but... she still has the dog, considers it her best friend because the dog did not kill her child, and thinks the important bit is that her son who is either 2 or 3 from photos, "learned not to tease dogs". I wondered immediately if authorities were aware if they would feel the same way about keeping the dog and the child in the home together? And, I actually really dislike protective services, they seem to make so many mistakes. But, then again, keeping a vicious dog and what appears to be a 2 or 3 year old (from her profile) together seems like asking for another tragedy. Don't know what to do. Don't know what to do.. Don't know what to do!!?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:37 AM on Sep. 21, 2013 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (25)
  • You can always initiate a call about your concerns, explaining the context and why you are worried. They will determine how to proceed. You can lay it out the way you did here--that you feel ambivalent about "reporting" and you aren't clear about whether or not it's appropriate or warranted, but that based on what the mother disclosed about the situation you felt tremendous misgivings about the situation and wanted to behave responsibly in light of your feelings, thus your decision to call and "hand it off." It's not that you're seeking a specific outcome; I'm sure you just want whatever is appropriate to be done, but you want to be true to your misgivings and concerns.

    Some friends ended up having their black lab put down (they LOVED him & had him before having kids, he'd always been great with their baby) after he attacked a neighbor's new puppy. Their reasoning: they could never be sure & simply couldn't take that chance.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:05 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • Emily, er doctors and nurses are mandated reporters. If the kid almost died then cys has already been called.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 1:09 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • I don't understand why I need proof when I have proof she said that?

    Because proof that she said that is proof of nothing. I can sit here and tell you that the sky is purple and my grass is growing sideways and mating with a tree to make a new shrub - doesn't make it true. I could sit here and say that my ex-husband pays child support and sees the kids twice a month - also doesn't make it true. I can say anything I want online. And so can she. You need proof because the standard is that you need to back up your claims because otherwise you could be simply wasting resources because you don't like someone.

    If her child was that badly injured, the the doctors and/or nurses reported it. And "out of commission" can really mean anything in this context. Her kid could have just been scared and clung to her, thus being "out of commission." You disagree with her - fine. But you have no grounds to report her.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:06 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • I work in healthcare and I promise you that if the child presented at the ER with injuries sustained from a dog attack the authorities were contacted. As stated above this is a mandated report event.

    As a disclaimer, if a child present with a little nip injury that isn't extensive that may NOT be reported. Things like that do happen. However, the injuries she's describing go well beyond that.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 8:43 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • I can't see how if the child was hurt enough to have to go to the ER, that the authorities are not already involved. You can't just waltz a kid into an ER with serious dog bites without at least animal control, if not CPS getting a call. I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes, but it sure sounds fishy that the dog would not be removed from the home after a serious attack.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 12:59 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • If the injuries were bad enough and he was out of commission for weeks, the authorities are already involved. She's probably seeking sympathy.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 1:07 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • It's a tough call. I guess what would help me in that situation is to think about what would happen if you said or did nothing and then something happened to the child, and on the other hand what would happen if you said something and it turns out the dog isn't a danger anymore. I don't know if that makes sense, but you just have to decide what you can live with easier. I would assume they would investigate your concerns before they decide what to do and I doubt the ER would have notified anyone.

    Answer by Emily357 at 1:08 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • She very likely could have made up or exaggerated her story to prove her point. She may have a screw loose, but as earlier stated, dog attacks treated in ER's will be reported. I'd let it be.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 1:26 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • I agree with the others. If her child was seen by the ER doc or any doctor for that matter, it would be reported. Our dog bit my husband hand when he was playing with him. It was an accident. They were playing with the ball and dh's finger got in the way, but it was enough he needed 3 stitches. The hospital still called animal control and they were sent out for whatever reason to investigate, and to make sure our pooch had a license and all his shots. But in any case, the police will still tell you to call CPS, the CPS will get the officer to come with them, 'just in case' to check things out.

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 1:39 AM on Sep. 21, 2013

  • You can try but I don't know if there is anything they can/will do.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 12:39 AM on Sep. 21, 2013