I hate these stories about pit bulls harming or maiming people or children. And I'll tell you why. But first let's get to this horrific story. A family pit bull reportedly attacked a newborn boy in Burleson, Texas, while the police were at the home responding to a domestic disturbance. The cops had responded to a hang up 911 call, and arrived to find the mother and father of a newborn baby in an argument. The woman and her baby had moved out of the father's house a few days before but she had returned for whatever reason. As both parents were telling the police their version of events, the baby's grandfather put the baby boy in his bedroom. That's when something horrible happened.
Apparently a short time after the grandfather put the baby to bed, he heard a noise and returned to the bedroom to find that the dog had attacked the infant. The baby was rushed to the hospital, but later died. The dog was euthanized by animal control.
It's unfortunate that stories like this make the news when stories about babies who grow peaceably into adults with a pit bull in the home never make the news. And there are many more of them than tragedies like this one. Any animal around a baby is a risk. I know of a neighborhood baby who was also killed by the family dog -- which was NOT a pit bull. But let's face it, a kitten is probably not going to be able to seriously harm a baby (though even a kitten could potentially get a claw in a baby's eye). But a large, strong dog can cause harm even if it does not mean to. This is why animals and babies shouldn't be left alone together.
While I understand why this dog was put down, in an ideal world it wouldn't have been put to death. None of us know why a dog might attack. Did it feel threatened? Was it upset and confused because of all of the stress of that evening? Did the baby look like a toy? Dogs shouldn't be held to the same standard of conduct that humans are, for the simple reason that they're not human. We do not know what they're thinking and feeling. The dog committed a capital offense and was given capital punishment, yet is not an adult. It's not even a child. It's a dog.
But the reality is that each year millions of dogs are euthanized in shelters due to overbreeding. So it is hard to plead for the case of a dog who killed a baby, even if it was unintentional. So many dogs get killed for NO reason at all except that no one wants them anymore.
In an ideal world, this dog wouldn't be put to death. But this isn't an ideal world, and it did show it's capable of being dangerous. Yet all dogs -- and most animals -- are capable of being dangerous. Humans most of all.
Should this pit bull have been euthanized? Do you feel sorry for it?
Image via Stephskardall/Flickr