Should Dog Owner Be Held Responsible for Mauling?

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Playing Man Charged with Murder after His Dogs Mauled Girl to Death

If a dog harms or kills someone, should the animal's owner be held responsible? The Doctors welcome Veterinarian Dr. Arvid Edward to discuss.

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The panel discusses the case of a dog owner who was charged with second-degree murder after his dogs mauled and killed a 9-year-old girl. Dr. Edward explains when dogs are in a pack, like in this case, they can often become more aggressive. Dr. Edward says an attack like this could have been prevented had the premise been secured. He says most often these types of attacks are due to an owner being negligent, irresponsible or being uninformed. He also feels these dogs should not have been able to roam free in the man's backyard without being supervised. "You never know what is going to happen," he says.

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He does feel the owner should be charged with second-degree murder, noting the owner was aware his dogs were aggressive and also knew his fencing was not stable.

The Doctors ask Dr. Edward is a dog's aggression can be suppressed. He feels the best approach for an aggressive dog is to place the animal in an appropriate environment for that specific dog's personality. He notes a switch can flip in an aggressive dog and they can be "very unpredictable." He says it's not usually possible to "love away" a dog's aggression.

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