Children should be taught better

Published 1:29 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Even the most ardent dog lovers would run screaming from an animal with teeth bared ready to pounce. Pet owners who have had dogs since childhood have occasionally felt the pain of a dog bite.

But sometimes that bite isn’t really the dog’s fault. The animal was frightened or tormented and was acting in self-defense.

That may have been the case in Florida where a Lab mix named Padi bit a child on the ear.

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Some reports say the dog, normally known as a gentle animal, lunged at the child. But others say the child went after the dog at a pet clinic, followed the dog into a corner and wouldn’t let the animal alone, even though the dog tried to get away.

How often have we heard parents joke about the children “terrorizing” the cat or the dog, as if that was an amusing antic?

But in Florida it didn’t matter who was a fault. The state has a mandatory euthanasia law that the circumstance is irrelevant if the wound is severe.

That meant Padi would have to be put down. That is until judge stepped in and called the law unconstitutional because there are no guidelines for animal control agents to use to determine what is severe.

The judge was right. Why punish an innocent animal because of the action of a child or adult? Why punish the owner who would be heartbroken to lose a beloved pet that had never shown any aggression before?

But the biggest question is why do parents not teach their children respect for all, including animals? Then the case of Padi probably wouldn’t have happened.