Do not adopt aggressive dogs

I’m writing in regard to aggressive dogs. My plea goes out to dog owners and handlers, breeders, shelters, the ASPCA, animal lovers and to anyone else involved in the care and protection of dogs.

I am asking you please do not place aggressive dogs into homes. Any dog that exhibits food guarding behaviors and/or is aggressive toward any person or animal should not be adopted out. Although deaths due to dog maulings are rare, they do occur. Victims of dog maulings are most often children and elderly people. Tragically, my family has first-hand knowledge regarding dog attacks.

On June 13, 2012, my 27-month-old son was killed by two mixed breed dogs that were in the care of our neighbor. Jack was playing outside with his cousins and sister aged 16 years, 9 years and 8 years when he crossed our driveway into the neighbor’s yard. The other kids immediately alerted my husband, but my husband could not reach my Jack in time. The attack occurred so quickly that, although it was a warm June day, Jack’s popsicle had not melted.

It has been suggested the dogs were exhibiting food aggression because of the popsicle. It has even been suggested to me the dogs may have been trying to play with Jack. These suggestions are entirely false. When someone enters the yard of an aggressive and/or territorial dog, the dog views that person as a threat. Often times, because of their small size, children and small animals may be viewed by a dog as prey. These are the reasons my baby died.

I must add my neighbor, who was not at home at the time of the attack, did not know the dogs were so aggressive. His yard is surrounded by an underground fence designed to keep the dogs in his yard and, to my knowledge, the dogs had never left the yard. Unfortunately, however, these fences do not prevent animals or people from entering the yard.

Today I am pleading, please do not allow aggressive dogs to be adopted out. Dog maulings are preventable. Please take this information into consideration. An aggressive dog that presents a danger to people or to other animals should not be placed up for adoption.

Our pain and grief are indescribable. Our lives are forever changed and the void left can never be filled. No other family should ever see the things that we’ve seen. No other family should ever, ever experience such an inexplicably horrific tragedy.

April D. Redin

St. Marys