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Dogs and cats are so relaxed, just seeming to roll with the breeze. We all love them and expect some very clear behaviors from them. Spending vast amounts of time training, reinforcing and testing, so what happens when a good dog is said to have attacked a child.
We have all seen the stories this week and remarkably the families involve do not want to euthanize the pet. So what are our priorities and where can we make a difference in the lives of children and pets. Is the pet always bad; are children tempting faith or worse yet do we look the over way?
Having a pet is a great responsibility for everyone involved. Should there not be enough time to provide adequate care, training and reinforcement do not get a pet or re-home them now. Our pets are not vicious or mean they are just pets. It is our responsibility to oversee the situation and make the necessary corrections for our pets. While it is frequently said, if the dog bites it’s gone, that is not the case in to many cases. A bite is a symptom of something more; perhaps a young dog is immature and uneducated in how to remove itself from a bad situation (dogs fault – no). Children are naturally curious and are in some cases (ages three and under) a little clumsy. Sometimes a pet that is older and perhaps has some health issues will accidently get stepped on or fallen on. Sometimes a small child will take a toy or food from the pet; which will create an adversarial situation.
Owners must take the initiative and make some strong and necessary decisions. Perhaps this is not the right pet for a growing family; perhaps there is no room for a pet in this household right now or perhaps there is a strong need for more training and education for dog/cat and people. Yes, cats can have some of these same behaviors. Each of us needs to take a close look at our own situation and decide what the best path is for all. Be a good pet steward and know the situation. www.humanesociety.org

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