Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We need more awareness!

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Recently there have been several dog bite related fatalities involving children.  Very tragic and heartbreaking for all involved, family, dogs, the victim, and the community. It is my intention in this blog to raise awareness so that other children and dogs stay safe.

In one of the incidents a 2 year old wandered into the backyard where 29 unhealthy dogs were either tethered or kenneled. Tragically the child did not make it back inside. This accident was completely preventable with proper adult supervision and is extremely disturbing.  Read more here
This situation was unreasonable with inappropriate expectations.  Unsupervised toddler and 29 chained up neglected dogs.

The other situation involved a 5 year old boy who was playing in his backyard when neighbors dogs entered his yard. He was in his own yard! He was at an age that playing alone in his yard should be safe even without an adult right there but...due to faulty containment of the neighbor's dogs it was not. So very tragic for all involved  
This was a reasonable situation for the boy to be in...nothing done wrong here by the boy or family. It is reasonable to expect your child is able to play safely in his own yard.  

So, what can we learn and where can we go from here?
  1. Small children must NEVER have access to chained up dogs! Use child locks on doors to prevent the “explorer” from wandering into danger. Chained up dogs and unsupervised toddlers is a dangerous and potentially deadly combination.
  2. Be familiar and aware of all dogs in your neighborhoods environment.
  3. If there are a large number of dogs in a yard that is next to yours be sure you have a solid enclosure for your child to play in. Don't count on the neighbor's fencing or containment.
  4. Frequently check the perimeter of your own fencing to be sure it is secure if your children will be playing in your yard. Changes in weather along with critters can lead to gaps and other problems with fencing. Be sure your yard is secure from intruders of any kind.
  5. If there are dog's tethered or fenced in a yard next to yours please consider putting up a fence of your own to increase safety.  Dogs living outside as "resident" dogs are not family dogs and do not have the tools to succeed in many situations involving people and children.
  6. Always teach children “BE A TREE” around excitable or unfamiliar dogs. Children must practice this frequently so that it becomes a conditioned response when needed.

    Community awareness, parental education and dog safety education is needed to help decrease dangers and increase harmony and bonds.

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