Dog Opinion ArtThere have been several accounts of dogs attacking children in the news recently and it is time for someone to stand up and be the voice for these animals. Call me an animal rights activist if you want, but it is not fair for a dog to be euthanized when it has the right to defend itself if it feels threatened.

I feel very strongly about this because someone in my family was ordered to euthanize his dog. His dog was labeled an “aggressive dog” by a neighbor when her dog attacked my family member’s dog. Granted my family member’s dog was an American pit bull, but he was the sweetest, most lovable dog they ever owned.

He was defending himself when her dog attacked him, but because he was an American pit bull, and her dog wasn’t, the city automatically assumed my family member’s dog was the instigator. The city court then ordered my family member’s dog to be euthanized, without having any regards or punishment for the other dog who attacked my family member’s dog. This is an outrage to me!

Now, I understand in some cases, there are some dogs who are truly aggressive and give certain breeds a “bad rep.” But come on, not all dogs of these ‘so called’ aggressive breeds are aggressive, it depends on how they are raised and who raised them.

Someone can have a Labrador or a Golden Retriever who has been abused and beaten, and attack someone just as easily as any other breed. Heck, when I was a little girl, about 7 or so, I was angry at my mom’s cocker spaniel, so I pushed her off the couch and low and behold, she bit me on the cheek. Now was that the dog’s fault? No, it was mine.

Put the shoe, or in this case paw, on the other foot. If you felt threatened, would you just stand there and take it or would you react? Most of us would react.

It’s plain and simple, if one dog attacks the other dog than not only should the other dog pay the price, it’s owner should too.

-Rachel Peel

rlpeel@txwes.edu