Union City, California Boy Killed After He May Have Tried to Climb on Dog’s Back

By Editor
In Dog Bite Prevention
Jun 20th, 2013
0 Comments
1750 Views

Editor’s note: As we noted several days ago in this post, it is so very important that parents teach their children how to behave around animals, domestic or wild, and the recent tragedy in Union City (see article below) is a perfect example of why.  People need to be educated about not having their canines of any breed around a child unsupervised, and children should be instructed in how to behave around their own animals and others’ animals.  I’m not victim blaming here, but pointing at breeds when there is human error, will not prevent future attacks.

Again, this is not a breed issue folks.  It’s not even a dog issue.  It’s a parenting/caretaker issue.  A child should never try to climb on or ride a dog, whether it’s theirs or someone else’s.  In fact, there are all kinds of advice websites available for parents to teach their children proper interaction with canines.  Here’s an example from the New York Department of Health:

Safe behaviors include:

  • Asking the owner for permission before petting a dog. If the owner grants permission, your child should approach the dog slowly and quietly, let the dog sniff him or her, and then pet the dog’s sides or back gently.
  • Moving slowly around dogs so as not to startle them.
  • Not teasing dogs. Teasing can make dogs angry or frustrated, causing it to bite.
  • Keeping fingers together when feeding a dog a treat so it won’t confuse the hand with the treat.

Unsafe behaviors include:

  • Petting a dog that is playing with a toy because the dog may become defensive if it thinks the child is trying to take it.
  • Trying to pet a dog that is in a car or behind a fence. Most dogs instinctively protect their property and home.
  • Creeping up on or pet a dog that is eating or sleeping since dogs may bite when they are startled or frightened

From the Washington Post:

A 6-year-old San Francisco Bay area boy died after he was attacked by a relative’s dog, authorities said Tuesday.

The dog, described as a pit bull or pit bull mix, bit Nephi Selu of Dixon on top of his head around 11:30 a.m. Monday at his grandparent’s home in Union City, police said.

A relative pulled the dog off the boy, Union City Police Cmdr. Ben Horner said. Emergency crews treated the boy at the scene and took him to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto.

The boy later died from his injuries around 4 p.m. Monday at the hospital.

Family members told investigators the boy was playing with the dog and may have attempted to climb on its back when he was attacked, Horner said…

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