There was a horrible, tragic mauling of a six year old in Texas on Friday. The child was killed by what has been described as a one year old pit bull that was his favorite pet. Several news reports have quoted people as saying that that the dog had never "snapped" before this one instance, in which the dog is reported to have jumped from the floor without warning to bite into the child's neck. There were no adults present when this happened.
Of course, anything is possible. I could probably snap and bite into someone's neck, although it is highly unlikely. So whenever I hear stories of dogs doing the same thing I try to dig a little deeper, like this reporter did in the Dallas Morning News:
"Neighbors said that Scott's family had moved in only about four months ago, but that their dogs had already become a nuisance. One neighbor, Rudy Lopez, said he saw a woman beating one of the dogs with a shovel a few weeks ago after it was involved in a fight with another dog."
Of course, I don't know what happened or if any of the comments reflect the truth about these dogs. But it goes without saying that letting your dogs run loose or requiring that neighbors beat them off with a shovel...doesn't reflect well on the owner's responsibility or supervision of these animals.