Don’t adopt out aggressive dogs

I must preface this letter by saying that my family appreciates those who work to prevent animal cruelty and we do not advocate mistreatment of animals in any way. We do not take issue with the care and adoption of homeless animals; in fact, we adopted a shelter dog. Our issue is with the placement of aggressive dogs into the general public.

A dog displaying aggression toward people, especially children, should not be available for adoption. Dogs should be rehabilitated until no signs of aggression toward humans is evident before being considered eligible for adoption. Although this is a difficult task, with public safety in mind, it is a necessary one.

When searching for a dog to adopt online or from an animal shelter, you will notice that aggression issues are denoted by icons and/or outlined in the detailed animal description. For example, I recently read the description of a 55 pound Husky available for adoption locally that included the warning, “Unfortunately, this beautiful boy cannot be trusted around small children or other animals.” The icons with his picture recommend no cats, no dogs, and no kids in the adopting home. While I appreciate that aggression warnings are posted, the idea that this dog is considered ready for adoption is preposterous.

I acknowledge that serious dog maulings do not occur every day. Deaths due to dog attacks are extremely rare. In 2012, in the U.S., 37 verifiable fatalities due to dog attacks. No. 14 was our 2-year-old son Jack. My own beautiful boy. My precious one who wandered into our neighbor’s yard and was attacked by two mixed breed dogs so quickly and viciously that my husband could not save him.

Obviously, dog attacks are seldom predictable. If they were, Jack would be in my arms today. However, keeping human-aggressive dogs from being placed in the general public can only serve to help prevent more dog attacks from occurring.

I ask animal lovers, pet owners, and those who care for and protect animals, please take my words into consideration. Research the animal rehabilitation and adoption process. Please make informed and educated decisions concerning pet adoption. One person’s death is too many.

April D. Redin

St. Marys