The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 23, 2014

Owners should be responsible for the behavior of their dogs

ENID, Okla. — The recent attack of a 74-year-old woman by two dogs in Enid raises the question of responsibility.

Charlene Fields was out in the yard in the 3100 block of West Cherokee when the dogs ran over to attack her, according to police.

One dog was a large pit bull, and the other was a sharpei and pit bull mix. Initially, police had not determined whether the dogs were current on their vaccinations.

No arrests have been made, and no citations have been issued at press time.

We believe owners should be responsible for the behavior of their dogs.

Rather than target specific breeds and their respective sizes, we should emphasize owner responsibilities such as neutering and supervision. Believe it or not, no breed is more dangerous than another, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Identifying risk factors can help positively influence a dog’s behavior. Significant factors include hormones, personality, quality of life, upbringing and the owner’s ability to notice warning signs, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

“Dog bite incidents will decline when all dog owners are given access to critical services such as veterinary care, spaying and neutering resources, training and behavior assistance, and other socialization and health information,” according to the HSUS. “Proactive strategies aimed at preventing bites from happening in the first place — paired with appropriate enforcement-based responses to bite incidents — create a safer, more humane approach to managing dogs in communities.”

Ultimately, owners should be mindful of these conditions and improve them to help eliminate future risk.

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