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Give vicious dog owners 'consequences'

petnews
June 30th, 2004, 11:39 PM
By TAMMY MARLOWE, STAFF REPORTER

Owners whose dogs savagely attack children should be held accountable for not taking proper care of their potentially dangerous weapon, says a leading national safety organization. A story in yesterday's Winnipeg Sun about a North End woman charged under the city's pound bylaw because her dog's biting of a young boy caught the attention of Emile Therien, president of the Canada Safety Council.

JUDGE TO DECIDE

Heidi Leroy has been charged with biting/pursuing/wounding a human after her Rottweiler, Buddy, bit the boy. The dog, who was unlicensed, attacked eight-year-old Teddy Bailey two weeks ago as the child played in her yard.

The city's Animal Services branch has applied to have Buddy destroyed. A judge will decide whether the dog is a public threat.

Therien estimated about 500,000 people across the country are bitten by dogs every year. He said owners are usually subject to "insignificant penalties" like small fines or destruction orders, but the punishments don't compare to the emotional and physical scars bite victims have to endure.

Therien wants to see criminal negligence charges brought against reckless owners.

"The whole issue of dog bites is a very, very serious issue. It's about time these irresponsible dog owners face real consequences," Therien said from his Ottawa office. "This is a very serious concern."

The Winnipeg Humane Society also supports the idea that dog owners -- especially those with bigger breeds like Rottweilers -- are responsible for teaching their pets to behave.

"It is a big responsibility to have any dog, but particularly to have a larger breed dog that does have the capability to do serious damage if they aren't well-trained and well-controlled," said executive director Vicki Burns. "We're always stressing to people, 'You've got to train your dog so you know your dog is going to have the proper respect for people.'"

LavenderRott
July 1st, 2004, 01:57 AM
It is a big responsibility to have any dog, but particularly to have a larger breed dog that does have the capability to do serious damage if they aren't well-trained and well-controlled," said executive director Vicki Burns. "We're always stressing to people, 'You've got to train your dog so you know your dog is going to have the proper respect for people.'"

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is an owner's responsibility to make sure that your dog, no matter what the size, is socialized, trained, fed, and vetted! If you are unable to do these things, then you must realize that there can and often will be consequences. I have no problem with laws that address this. I do have problems with laws that condemn dogs that have been properly taken care of as well as dogs that have been chained in the backyard and occasionally thrown a can of food.

sammiec
July 1st, 2004, 08:34 AM
It does seem a littel unfair that well mannered dogs that are tagged and trained are placed in the same class as the abandoned and abused dogs that are untrained and vicisious. I know it's not the dogs fault that they have been put into that situation... owners should be held accountable for the bite, but to the same degree? I would be pretty upset if (God forbid) my dog bit someone and I was charged and the punk down the road got off after his untrained, untagged and ill mannered dog bit a child. This has kinda turned into a rant I think.... :p ...

mastifflover
July 12th, 2004, 04:19 PM
I don't have a problem with taking responsibility for my dog if people would take responsibility for their children. I have seen more dogs in there own backyards where kids torment them and then wonder why the dog bit them and there parents want the dog put down.Because there little angel would never do that, how would they know there kid probably sits in front of an xbox or a tv all the time. I am a large breed owner and my dog is well trained, doesn't bark or lunge or jump up and for the most part could care less about meeting anyone. When I take my dog out I deal with ignorant people who make derogatory comments about my dog or his size and we usually ignore them but when some idiot with a kid who lets there kid come running at my dog screaming in that high pitched whiney voice and wonder why there kid gets bit. Duh!! But if my dog were to bite that kid my dog would be at fault not fair. There is also people that own large dogs that are responsible and we dont like being lumped together with those that are not.