Two Sides to Every Story about “Animal Attacks”

Editor’s note: While the article, “There are two sides to every story about ‘animal attacks’” from the Bradenton Herald starts out talking about children who threw rocks at an alligator that later had to be shot because it became “aggressive” thanks to the incitation by the children, I’m excerpting this article in the middle right at the crux of the editorialist’s argument because it’s so very important that people teach their children, as the writer says, to respect animals.   And as we’ve seen in the last few days with the so-called “pit bull” that gnawed his owner’s toes off to save his life, there are two sides to every story, and often the media tells a false version.   So it’s nice to see the media get it right for once, that it’s not the animal’s fault if it attacks in self-defense, though the animal often pays for its “attack” with its life regardless.   (Also note in this story the false-claim complaint — and I also wrote about false-claim complaints this week in this post and the terrible damage they can cause — made against an owner of a Chihuahua that cost its owner a lot of money and could’ve cost the Chihuahua its life.)

From the Bradenton Herald:

…Teach your children to respect animals.

That means not throwing things at them, or kicking them, or pulling their ears or tails. Or even barking at them.

Last week while I was walking one of the Adopt-a-Bull dogs from the Animal Services downtown facility, I met a man while Cherry and I were resting on a bench in the shade at City Hall.

He was there to transact some business, judging by the clipboard of paperwork he carried, but he came to meet Cherry, who was doing her best impression of a frog, with her back legs stretched out.

We started talking about pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs, and he was totally sympathetic to the bad rap pit bulls get as being mean or dangerous.

He was sympathetic because one time he had a Chihuahua that was falsely accused of biting a child.

The dog had been tormented by the neighbor kids, who used to throw stuff at her. One day a pet sitter failed to leash the dog and let her out in the back yard, where she promptly ran next door to give the kids a piece of her mind.

One of the kids claimed the dog bit her, and the parents called Animal Services. The man and his wife had to spend hard-earned money to bail the dog out of “jail,” and after that it was a constant worry that she would be accused again.

The dog was quarantined despite the fact that the child had no bite on her leg where she claimed the dog attacked her. Not a scratch.

There are two sides to every story, and whether it’s a gator or a Chihuahua, unfortunately the animal cannot speak up in its own defense…


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