Animal Action Should Not Distract Us From Self-Analysis

The recent extensively reported incident, which was captured on video, of the tabby cat, Tara, who with great courage and passion saved a toddler, Jeremy, from a savage attack by a dog should not distract attention from some critical self-analysis.

Jeremy and Lara---cat saves boy
Jeremy and Lara—cat saves boy. Photo Universal News and Sport.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

For me, the cat’s behaviour was that of a mother protecting her vulnerable kitten from a predator. I’m sure that that is the correct analysis. Jeremy and Lara have been close buddies since Jeremy’s birth.

Elisa recently reported on the website that the unprovoked attack was by the neighbour’s dog, an eight-month old labrador/chow mix.

I’m sure that we are all very impressed by the behaviour of Lara. She did something a lot of people would be unable to do. But what about the dog?

All the reports are that the dog will be euthanised after a ten-day holding period to check whether he/she has rabies. I suppose this is standard procedure in America after an unprovoked attack. I will be very surprised if the dog has rabies but I will not be at all surprised if the dog is euthanised.

Before I go on, let’s be clear. The dog will not be euthanised. The dog will be killed. I think it’s time to stop using the euphemism “euthanised” which applies to the humane killing of a terminally ill animal.

On the basis that the dog does not have rabies, which is a reasonable presumption, why should we kill the dog? Every domestic animal will behave naturally under the environment in which he or she lives. And the dog’s character is formulated from newborn puppy to adulthood and all that is managed by people. So on both counts there should be some analysis of the behaviour and actions of people in creating and raising a dog that for some apparently unknown reason attacks a 4-year-old toddler. Of course, there may be some inherited traits which make this dog unexpectedly aggressive but once again that is down to people: dog breeding either deliberately or carelessly.

Killing a dog is punishing the dog. If there is to be punishment in this highly unfortunate incident then surely it should be directed at people or at least questions should be asked.

In a post a little while ago I stated that, sometimes, there was not enough focus on what happened to the victims of animal abuse. In this instance the roles are reversed. I want to know what is going to happen to the people involved in raising a dog which becomes dangerous and, in effect, undomesticated. In truth, I know it will be nothing. When a dog, without provocation, attacks a child we should first of all look to ourselves for the reasons why it happened.

What do you think? Should the dog be killed even if he is healthy? The answer is quite possibly, yes, because the problem – a dangerous dog – cannot be unravelled.

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4 thoughts on “Animal Action Should Not Distract Us From Self-Analysis”

  1. I’m not a believer that any animal, especially dogs and cats, are born with “bad character”.
    The only bad characters are humans.
    The dog is merely a puppy and should be well into training at 8 months old if his caretakers are caretaking. He should, also, be under their very watchful eyes.
    I took the time to check out Bakersfield’s animal laws, and it’s clear that the dog caretakers were in violation of their leash law.
    I’m, also, still bothered that the child’s mother took off and abandoned him right after the brief attack.

    • You make some good points, Dee. It hadn’t occurred to me that the dog’s owners may be in breach of state or local leash laws. I just feel that some digging around needs to be done to find out why this dog ended up doing what he did because what he did is totally out of line with being a domesticated animal. He behaved more like a wild dog attacking prey. Something happened to get him to that state and it would be nice to know what it was.

  2. I’d bet my last dollar on it being entirely human. Perhaps a bad experience with children before. Perhaps just living in an abusive home – either way the dog is unstable and it’s not going to be the dog’s fault so one has to assume this dog is probably already a victim.

    Or not. I just do’t understand how dogs work in this kind of situation. What’s their motivation to attack the kid etc.

    But the way the dog went for it means there was no question – he was absolutely sure of what he was trying to do to the child. So why do this to a child on a bike? There must have been a bad experience in the past. A negative association. I can’t imagine he was hunting. It’s actually pretty disturbing.

    And on top of it all – the dog will be killed.

    The dog did something wrong. The dog must die.

    • There is actually quite a lot to discuss when we discusse what happens to this dog. It is almost a failing, once again, of the process of domestication of dogs is occasionally the process throws up these sorts of failings.

      I agree that the dog is already a victim in behaving in an undomesticated way which pretty much puts him on a conveyor belt to extinction because his raison d’être is to be a domestic animal and a companion to humans.

      For whatever reason, and that reason must be linked to humans, this dog has stepped out of line and is doomed unless a miracle happens.


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