Funeral services were held today for 3-week-old, Tarilyn Luciana Bowles. You may recall that the baby was attacked and killed by a pit bull, the pet of a family friend, as the newborn slept in her car seat. It has been reported that the family friend, believing that the dog was outside, set the car seat with the sleeping infant on the floor and stepped away. When the mother of the baby girl walked in, she saw her baby being mauled by the dog.
What that baby had to endure is horrific. A mother witnessing an attack on her baby, unimaginable. Unfortunately, this story highlights the fact that dogs are unpredictable and may attack at any time without provocation. In fact, news reports indicate that the family had raised the dog since it was a puppy and it had never exhibited violent tendencies prior to this attack. I'll say it again, dogs are unpredictable.
I would not be surprised if there were cries for a pit bull ban in response to this tragedy. However, I am not a fan of a ban. City ordinances addressing dangerous animals should not simply ban a specific breed or group of breeds. Rather, they should attempt to prevent attacks by all dogs and address the needs of the victims who often incur costly medical expenses in the treatment of their injuries. Placing limits on the number of dogs kept in one house is helpful in avoiding pack mentality. Requiring specific methods of tethering may help avoid dogs getting free and may limit the number of attacks. However, until it is required that all dog owners carry insurance to compensate victims for injuries caused when their dog attacks, victims will never be fully protected.