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Man's best friend or worst nightmare

Published May 28. 2011 09:00AM

The recent rash of dog attacks has led me to this conclusion.

The owners of dangerous dogs that attack people need to be heavily fined, and in a hurry.

Specifically those dog owners who allow their vicious animals to run loose that aren't licensed or leashed.

Such measures are necessary in light of a series of dog attacks that have occurred in the area in recent months.

In fact, several articles have appeared in our publication about incidents where dogs have attacked humans, chickens, and other dogs.

I have nothing against people who own dogs; that is, until I read about instances such as these that makes my blood boil.

I just have a hard time understanding how incidents like these occur.

In my mind, if you choose to buy a dog, it is your responsibility to care for it.

That means making sure it is on a leash, cleaning up after it, and ensuring no harm to anything it comes into contact with.

It's called accountability, quite frankly.

As human beings, we shouldn't have to worry about being attacked by dogs.

Picture the poor postal worker walking up the steps to the front porch of a house, only to be greeted by a dog that lunges, ready to strike.

Or a runner who partakes in a harmless jog, only to be chased and possibly bitten because a dog gets loose and chases in pursuit.

Lord forbid an innocent child happens to be playing outside when a dog comes into contact with it, which could lead to a possible catastrophe.

With some research, I learned that a survey conducted over a decade ago determined there were 4.7 million dog bite victims annually in our country.

A more recent study showed that 1,000 Americans per day are treated in emergency rooms as a result of dog bites.

In 2010, there were 34 fatal dog attacks in our country. Most of the victims who receive medical attention are children, half of whom are bitten in the face.

Between 1965 and 2005, 16 people were killed by dogs in Pennsylvania, which currently ranks fourth in the nation for the highest number of pit bull attacks.

In recent years, the dogs responsible for the majority of homicides are pit bulls and Rottweilers, according to

To be fair, any dog may attack depending on how it's raised and trained.

And, just because its breed may be considered to be potentially dangerous, that doesn't mean all dogs act in this fashion.

While this piece may very well strike a chord with dog owners, that certainly isn't the intention of this column.

Nor does it attempt to villainize this particular animal species, as not all dogs behave in this manner.

My opinions on this matter are not geared toward those dog owners who take good care of their dogs.

I personally know family members and friends who know how to handle their dogs accordingly.

So, my message to dog owners is simply that proper care and some common sense can go a long way.

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