A 5-year-old girl in Thomasville, Georgia, has died of her injuries after she was reportedly attacked by her family’s pit bulls while she was playing on a trampoline.
Carol Jones, the executive director of the Thomas County Humane Society, missed the point when she responded to this attack by telling people to “be cautious of their family pets. They can turn on you at any time, and it doesn’t matter what kind of dog.” It’s ridiculous to suggest that people be constantly suspicious of Fido when the real reason for this tragedy can be found elsewhere in the article—the part where it says the dogs attacked the child when they “broke free of their chains.”
Leaving dogs chained outside creates a risk of injury for children or anyone else who might wander into the yard. Chained dogs kill more children than do fireworks accidents and falls from trees and playground equipment combined, according to a 2002 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dogs who spend a lot of time alone or chained are more prone to become aggressive and bite, while dogs who are socialized and enjoy life with their human “pack” are generally protective of their guardians without being a danger to the community.
January is “Unchain a Dog” month. Chained dogs everywhere experience stress and confinement that put them in danger of going mad and attacking someone, and many dogs suffer and die every year during winter’s bitter cold and summer’s blistering heat. Please make a promise to all dogs who are trapped at the end of a chain in your neighborhood that you will do something—anything—to help them.
Written by Jeff Mackey