Dangerous dogs…or people?

My husband was out walking our Bloodhound, Lucy, when two dogs from a home near a public trail charged off their property and attacked Lucy.  He managed to get hold of one, and Lucy was holding off the other, when some cops appeared and hauled off the attacking dogs and got them put away in the house.

It turns out that the cops were there to investigate the woman living in the home, who seems to be mentally ill.  She has had several complaints lodged against her for other reasons, and had just had a fight with her boyfriend, which is why the police were at the address.  She claims that her dogs are always in the house, never loose.  Well, they were loose enough to attack last night!

The officers asked my husband if he’d like to file a complaint against the dogs.  He hesitated and said no, because he didn’t want to see the dogs suffer.  He believed that the problem (as is usually the case) was with the owner. Why should the dogs be torn away from their home and put in a shelter, and possibly put down, because their owner was irresponsible and nuts?

I think we will file a complaint, though, to try to save the next unsuspecting person walking their dog on the trail from danger. But I think the underlying question is a good one: why do our animals have to pay the consequences of human irresponsibility? Maybe the jurisdictions considering breed-specific legislation against “dangerous” breeds should instead be persuaded that it’s the OWNERS who should be tested and licensed, not the dogs. From now on, when I sign petitions and join protests against BSL, I’m going to suggest this alternative.

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