From MayzieMomma: I’m Angry

I should let you know that this isn’t a typical “Mayzie” post. But it’s important and I hope you’ll understand.

Last week, a 2 year old child in Texas lost his life when he was attacked by one of 30+ dogs that were chained in a back yard.

I am heartbroken. And I am also very angry.

I am angry that this baby was left to wander outside alone.

I am angry that, unsupervised, he encountered a dog that spent its life outside on a chain, unsocialized.

I am angry that this child’s life ended because of neglect (both of the child and of the dog).

I am angry that the media has made this out to be a DOG issue and not an irresponsible human issue.

I am angry that, once again, the DOG will be blamed.

And I want to know why. Why do we blame the dog when this is obviously a human failure on all counts?

As adults, it is OUR responsibility to protect those in our care. Whether it be a child or an animal. And yet, both suffer so often and so needlessly because of our shortcomings.

As I’ve mentioned before, dogs are individuals. There are some that are born with such solid temperaments that they will be friendly and safe no matter their background. By the same token, there are others that are simply born with a screw loose and even the most loving, caring, responsible owners can’t handle them.

And then there are all those in the middle. All those that depend on US to teach them how to function in human society. Dogs are not people. They operate by their own set of canine rules and have their own language. It falls squarely on our shoulders to socialize them and to teach them what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to our world. And it is to their great credit that, when properly and lovingly taught, they so willingly comply with rules that must seem more than a little odd to them.

Yet, when a tragedy like this happens, it is all too convenient to lay the blame on the dog, rather than hold the mirror up to ourselves and ask how WE failed this dog, how WE failed this child.

WE are the ones with the (supposedly) big brains and we need to learn how to use them.

Sadly, there are other ramifications of this tragic event. Texas currently prohibits cities from enacting BSL (Breed Specific Legislation). However, there is a lawyer who is trying to get a bill passed which would make owning a pit bull or pit bull mix in Texas a third degree felony. It’s not surprising since BSL is almost always a knee-jerk reaction to a highly emotional event. It bypasses facts in favor of what many believe to be a quick fix. However, the fact is that BSL has NOT worked to reduce dog bites in any city or country it has been enacted in. For example, the United Kingdom is in the process of repealing its Dangerous Dogs Act which bans pit bull-type dogs because the law has not worked. On the contrary, visits to the hospital from dog bites have risen 66% in the last ten years and dog bites overall have risen 43% in the last five years. The only proven and time-tested way to reduce dog bites is educating owners and putting tough laws into effect that hold owners of aggressive dogs of any breed accountable – and then enforcing those laws. The FACT is that when you legislate dogs, you legislate the wrong end of the leash.

For the life of me, I just don’t get why people can’t understand this.

Your voice matters. If you are in Texas, please contact Senator Kevin Eltife and Representative Chuck Hopson as soon as possible and voice your opposition to breed specific legislation. (They are the legislators who are receiving the ban proposal.) If you are not in Texas, please help spread the word by sharing or tweeting this post. As this list of banned dogs in the U.S. proves, BSL is not limited to pit bull-type dogs. It is a slippery slope that may start there but rarely ends there. It has the potential to affect all of us. That’s why it’s so important to stand together and remind our legislators and city governments that we expect them to enact laws based on facts – not emotion.

And as individuals, we must demand more from ourselves and others when it comes to our dogs. Lives  (human and canine) literally depend on it.

*******

Additional Resources

Stop BSL: The Facts About BSL
Love-a-Bull: Help Circulate Petition to Stop BSL in Texas (scroll to bottom)
KC Dog Blog: Information on the UK’s Failed Dangerous Dog Act
Best Friends: Calgary Dog Attacks Fall to Lowest Level in 25 Years – without BSL!
Game Dog Guardian: Dept of Justice’s Ruling on the ADA and BSL
National Canine Research Council: Causes Behind Dog Bite Fatalities in Texas

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53 Comments

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53 responses to “From MayzieMomma: I’m Angry

  1. We completely agree with everything you say – we hate the way humans blame dogs who have no voice.
    Last week we were watching a programme on TV in the UK which told us that no rescued pitbulls would ever be rehomed – the law says they must be put to sleep!!!!!!!!!
    We had watched the police and animal rescue break into a house to take a neglected pitbull, who it has to be said, looked the gentlest of creatures.
    His failing was that the ‘wrong’ kind of human owned him for all the wrong reasons.
    We were outraged that the law should have encompass all pitbulls and not look at individual dogs.
    It reallys is discrimination. So we fully support your post.
    We are also angry to read Puddles post today – what on earth is going on?
    xxxx

  2. We subscribe to your blog, Mayzie, and get it every time you post in our email, so we read them even if we don’t get a chance to come over and comment much right now. For THIS, we had to come as your people are so right and this is such an important subject. Grammy feels the same way, and we will be retweeting and also linking from our Facebook page. Thanks for writing a post that is so clear and concise as to WHO IS the problem, and it’s NOT the dogs!!!

  3. Oh grrr! That stuff makes me so mad! You are right! Blame the human, not the dog. And what was up with that kid wandering around anyway? What a tragedy.

    Mango Momma

  4. The humans who set up that situation should be facing stiff charges. It’s a horrible story and banning pit bulls is just another form of scapegoating – something that some humans are all too willing to do. We agree with you 100%. Human behavior is what needs to change.

    I don’t care what kind of dogs you’ve got in the yard. That many dogs chained up are a problem. Dogs and a two year old are something that have to be watched carefully in most situations. Toddlers are very likely to do something that will be interpreted by a dog as a threat so you certainly don’t allow them to get near any dog who who doesn’t think of that child as his own, and even then the situation bears watching. One of 30+ chained dogs isn’t going to be that sort of of family dog no matter what the breed.

  5. I must admit, that I do not know about this sad case, and I even live in Texas……..butt, my initial reaction is that having THIRTY dogs chained in an area cannot be good on many levels. And then these ‘supposed’ owners had a toddler? I agree with Lola…….almost ANY breed of dog times 30, chained and unruly, can lead to such a horrible outcome.

    Thanks fur da heads up……we will use the contact info to express our opinion.

    MinnaK

  6. Pip

    I agree completely and will contact the Senator. This story makes me SICK!!

    Your pal,Pip

  7. Hear, hear MayzieMom. This type of story should make us all angry. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

    30 dogs?! We know that 30 dogs tied to chains aren’t “pets.” These dogs were being primed for something and that poor child payed for it with his or her life. Now, people who treat animals with respect and love may have to pay with their animals’ lives because some fool wants to institute BSL instead of looking at the underlying issues of the case. Not fair. Not fair at all.

    Judge each animal individually, and recognize neglect – both human and animal.

  8. Morning Mayzie Mom….mom has always said there are not bad dogs just bad, stupid humans. Puppies ARE NOT BORN mean they are born to mean people!!! Too many humans get dogs because it is fashionable. Mom thinks there should be more investigation involved with peoples before they can adopt any pet.

    We had a similar incident in NC last week A 7 year old child was staying with his G-ma. She owned several mixed pit bulls. They were chained too the child got too close. He survived…they interview the G-ma and she says well I told him not to go near the dogs….JUST ANOTHER ADULT passing the buck and 200% irresponsible. I don’t know how this can be changed but it seems the course of action in each case is to punish the dogs because they cannot defend themselves.

    Mayzie give your sweet Mama a hug from us.
    Madi and Mom

  9. What a heartbreaking, horrible story… especially because the entire thing was preventable. Nothing will ever change as long as “we” blame dogs instead of blaming irresponsible owners and neglectful parents. Why let them off the hook by placing the blame on the dogs?? It’s absolutely insane. Thanks for such a heartfelt and important post.

  10. Stories like this break my heart and make me angry as well. My heart is breaking for the family of the toddler but also for the dog(s) involved in the this horrific event. 30 dogs chained in a back yard???? That in itself is a crime. Human failure, on so many levels, is to blame. Thanks for sharing this with us and thanks for being an advocate for change.

    Janelle and Maggie Mae

  11. KB

    I could not agree with you more strongly. It is our job, as dog guardians, to teach our dogs to function in our society or to control our dogs so that they don’t hurt anyone. And, it is the job of humans to keep children safe around dogs. So, this is almost entirely a human issue… the dogs should not be blamed.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I don’t blame you for being angry. I am too.

  12. Oh Mayzie, that is a horrible thing to happen to such a small child. I agree with you completely, where were the parents? Why was this child left ALONE to encounter a dog? Where I am from in the country, many people get dogs and just put them on a chain, I work hard to explain to all my little siblings that this is not ok.

    Like I have said in my posts BSL is shit. I hate having it in Ontario and I hope to god it doesn’t pass in Texas. I wish more people would teach their kids about dogs even at worst just to stay away from them without a parent near by. I also work hard to teach my siblings about dog safety as well as teaching our dogs about human safety. I would never leave a small child with our yorkie, one or the other would get hurt. It may be out of curiousity or fear and niether outcome would be good.

    Sorry for the long post but like you these kinds of things just get me riled up!

  13. ARGH! The freakin’ beans! This, the whole freaking thing, from top to bottom, is so easily avoided! It’s just plain ignorance and stupidty on every level! Yeah, and BSL ain’t going to change ignorance and stupidity!

  14. Kristine

    I’m so so so so tired of this. Is it tragic this poor child was killed? Of course. Could it have been prevented? Of course.

    Blaming the dog does not get us anywhere. It does not prevent horrifying incidents like this one from happening again. It does not make children safer. It does not make people better owners. It does nothing but hurt dogs. The dog was also a victim of adult irresponsibility. Why can people not see that?

    I’m tired and angry now too. But I really appreciate you sharing this. I hope you won’t mind if I link to your post. You said it all perfectly. Thanks.

  15. Absolutely it is up to the humans. I love my dogs and they can be sweet loving animals. They are also not at all used to being around small children. If we are out in public and are monitored with respectful children they are fine. But I would never under any circumstance leave then alone with a child. Heck, I don’t like to leave them alone with adults they don’t know well. However, I know this about them and take painstaking steps to ensure everyone’s safety!

    You go Mayzie’s mom!

    Hugs!

    C

  16. Wyatt

    I wish it was illegal to keep a dog on a chain.
    I wish it was illegal to keep 30 dogs in your back yard on a chain.
    Maybe Texas needs to examine it’s animal cruelty laws…

    Wyatt

  17. Very sad for all. I hate it that the dogs have to pay the price for the idiots (to put it mildly) who kept them on chains. Or let them roam freely, that happens too. Yesterday I spent 1/2 hour chasing a gorgeous old yellow lab with collar back to her house. Turns out Rosie (her name) “likes to wander off but always comes home”. Told the human that Rosie was out on a big road and I followed her home to make sure she got there. But that was yesterday and hopefully Rosie will be ok, but I know she will roam again…. ugh!!!!!!

    We once had a tiny 4-lb Maltese who was the most vicious dog ever! Bit me every day but I kept her safe until the day she died. When she died I still had bite marks on my hands from her (hated me, loved my husband).. my other dogs would look at her like she was crazy, but it goes to show even the tiniest dog could be a danger….

  18. AC

    Mayziemom, I’m so impressed by the way you have taken a high-emotion event and presented a different perspective with such clarity. I feel your anger and urgency, yet you’ve written with such rational. If only more humans could approach tragic circumstances like you have.

    I couldn’t agree more. I wish we (humans) had the courage to take some responsibility.

  19. The OP Pack

    Amen to all your words and to all the comments. Horrible story, very irresponsible owners. Very sad on so many levels.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  20. When I made the decision to get a dog, it was so easy and simple… I didn’t realize what getting a dog entailed beyond the basic feeding, training, etc.

    I didn’t realize that I would meet other fabulous dog owners that would become lifelong friends and a great support network for things other than ‘dog’. I didn’t realize how this little being would become such a good buddy and be able to pick me up when no one else could…

    That’s the good…

    I didn’t realize how frustrated I would get over simple things like the neighbours leaving their small dog outside and letting him bark and bark… I didn’t realize how angry I would get over some owners thinking they don’t need to follow the rules and let their ‘friendly’ dogs run free in areas where they should be leashed… I didn’t realize how sad stories like the above would make me… I am always amazed at how stupid people can be…

    Tonight I’ll go home and snuggle with my boys and give them a couple extra cookies and let them know just how lucky we three are…

    Sam and Pippen’s mom

  21. Were charges filed against the parents for child endangerment? Neglect? This story is so upsetting, hough I’m glad you shared it.

  22. We live in Austin and have contacted the Senator about this BSL issue already when I heard about it a few days ago. This story makes me irrate for the same reasons you feel. I hate stuff like this. Its so frustrating sad and makes me angry all at once. Thank you for sharing to get the word out there.

  23. Daisy

    We had a similar case in a nearby town here a few years ago. Same result. Dogs’ fault. Does no one else think having that many dogs is strange? Frustrates us, as well!

    XXXOOO Daisy, kendra & Bella

  24. What about this tragedy do people not get? DOGS ARE DOGS. Dogs are not people.

    Thank you for telling us all about this in an informed way. It’s up to all of us to share.

    That poor child. Those poor dogs.

    Roo, Stuart

  25. Hi MayzieMomma,
    I have been reading the comments on the Elgin pug’s blog so I know you must not be feeling too great right now. I am very sorry that so much is happening to you right now. I wish too that Puddle’s momma and Katy could get along. I have always loved their blogs. Puddles and Anakin, Trixie, Josie and Izzy are so adorable. I really hope they work it out. As for your post I will contact those people today. Thank you for sharing this. My only conclusion about why people are reacting this way is that they are corrupt. And the media is their god. I really hate the media. I can’t even begin to imagine the horror of someone trying to take away my dogs just because of their breed. I would leave the state if I had to. Mayzie is such a sweet dog. I love her even though I don’t know her. I am very grateful for yours and her friendship. May God bless you.

    Kim

  26. We totally agree with you. What is someone doing with 30 dogs chained in one yard? Where was everyone at when this child wandered into the yard of chained dogs? Its a very sad case but seems more like neglect was involved by the humans than the dogs being involved. Some people are so stupid and then when something happens, the easiest thing is blame the dog. Gee. I looked at the list of dogs and couldn’t believe the breeds listed. As far as insurance companies…it said State Farm was good….I have State Farm and when I bought this house, one of the first questions the insurance representative asked me is what breed I had! Totally sad story.

  27. I agree with you. It is the adults responsibility to watch after their children. I also agree that dogs shouldn’t be left to live on a chain. That is no kind of life for them to live. 😦

  28. Amber,

    Oh this is SO awful. I hadn’t heard about this but your post is written wonderfully. You are right. It’s a tragic situation from all angles. Thank you for keeping us informed and reminding us to be vigilant in our fight against these types of situations.

    On another note.. yes, I think I’m caught up on the weekend events and am both lost and sad… frustrated… and hopeful that she reconsiders.

    Jill

  29. I totally agree with you Mayzie!! WHY is a baby wondering in the first place? Where are the parents? WHAT are the people having all those dogs chained up too? They both are at fault but mostly the parents!!

    wags
    JAzzi

  30. we agree completely. I normally don’t comment on these types of posts because of the emotion i feel about the subject but I wanted to let you know my thoughts

    Kari
    http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

  31. tank

    Mayzie, I agree with everything you wrote. Seems I’m frequently amazed at the total lack of common sense in people. Hear enough of it and you just get depressed:(

    pees… I couldn’t let her get away with such a hateful rant without at least putting in my two cents. After all, that’s why I blog:) I wonder if she realizes how many people she’s alienated today.

    Tank’s Asst.

  32. I absolutely agree with every word you wrote! Why aren’t the parents being charged with neglect and worse? What is wrong with people that an unattended child wanders off and they don’t notice until he’s mauled to death by a dog? This is just so sad!

  33. Umm… you know which she I meant, right? LOL

  34. Mayzie, I agree with everything you said! Very well said…….everything.

    Your furrend,
    MinnaK

  35. I am heawtbroken when I wead these things..WHAT IS THE MATTEW WIF HOOMANS??????????

    I can’t even talk..I ‘m so angwy
    we agwee wif evewything youw mama says and I want to help anyway I can..Please tell me what else I could do

    I love you and my pittie fwieds and am so scawe d when they get blamed fow hoomans showtcomings and iwwesponsibility..poow little hooman pup, and poow doggies mistweated all theiw lives and then blamed
    sad smoochie kissesASTA

  36. I am just so saddened and horrified each time I hear about these terrible things. I think just being more aware, and trying to speak out against it, might help little by little. Thanks for being such a great advocate and making more people aware.

  37. Unfortunately the only way to fight this ignorance is case by case and word of mouth. Thanks for spreading the word. It’s sad and it sucks and it’s just not right.
    norwood

  38. Dear Lord! What a tragedy on so many levels. IF Texas goes [further] over to the Dark Side and criminalizes pitbulls, what happens to Miss Shelby and her babies and her new siblings? And all the other pitbulls in TX? BSL is outrageous, but it’s going to endure until politicians are persuaded they will pay a political price for supporting it. We have a still weak but growing group in MD called Maryland Votes for Animals that works to present a united voice to legislators regarding animal-related legislation at the state level. I don’t see the Humane Society’s Legislative Fund doing anything on this issue. Whether it’s the Humane Society’s Legislation arm or ALDF or some other group, we need to find and unite behind a national group that can focus pressure on politicians at the national AND state level to protect the innocent, dogs & kids, not the guilty adults. And help educate the public, share strategies, etc.

    Jed & Abby

    • I know that Florida recently went through the same type of thing. They were trying to get a bill passed that would allow cities to enact BSL. The ASPCA, the Stop BSL organization and others all got the word out and animal lovers across the state bombarded their representatives with their opposition. Luckily, the representatives listened and the bill was defeated. The same type of thing needs to happen here to defeat this outrageous proposal before it gets off the ground.

      And yes – Shelby and her babies were the first ones I thought of when I heard about this. It makes me sick inside to think about it.

  39. Lorenza

    I guess I don’t have anything else to say.
    It was a terrible situation.
    Not fair to blame the dogs.
    Take care
    Kisses and hugs
    Lorenza

  40. miss mayzie’s mama,
    my heart hurts from readin’ this story. what a sad ‘n terrible tragedy for the toddler and those chained doggies. thankies for bringin’ this to our attentions. you are so very right — irresponsible hoomans are to blame, and we need to speak out against their actions and keep educatin’ everybuddy.

    *woof*
    the booker man

  41. I hope your efforts to stop BSL from being passed are successful. Politicians use emotional issues iike this to get elected, stay in office, or have other self-serving motives. The public, and our pets, would be better-served if these poiticians didn’t prey on the ignorant and instead used their power and resources to educate people to be responsibe pet owners.

    Cesar Millan recently toured here in Canada and had to leave Junior behind because the province of Ontario has a ban on Pit Bulls. It was totally ridiculous. None of this breed banning makes sense to me.

  42. the pittie pack

    oh mayzie we has not heard of this befores but we’re getting on the speedy real quick on the internet and will contact all who we have to and get the word out . this CANNOT happen here in texas it CANNOT. whutever would we do?!?!?! oh this makes mommish furry much sad and angry.
    thank you , thank you for bringing thish to ouw attention.

    pibble sugars
    the pittie pack

  43. I also watched the program that Martha and Bailey mentioned and could not believe what I saw. They rescued a dog that had been reported locked in a garage and because it was a pit bull mix had to get the police to help. It turned out that it was a gentle loving dog that was so glad to be rescued. Its fate though was sealed because of its breed. I cried to think that it didnt get a chance of a loving home. People cause these situations not dogs. My son has two rotweilers who are loving, gentle with his two children and no harm to other dogs, but people take one look and say they should be put down. Ignorant evil people need to be taught how to behave. Sorry for the rant but yes I so agree with you on all points. Carol

  44. We agree with you 100%. It makes us so sad when we read in our paper about some ignorant lout wanting to ban a certain breed or just all large dogs cause they don’t like them/ afraid of them. And they use tragedies like the one in Texas to push their agenda.

    People can be so stupid and cruel sometimes and refuse to take responsibility for their part in tragedies like the one in Texas. Much easier to blame the dog, not the idiots who let a child wonder around on it’s on.

  45. We totally agree with you!

    The Road Dogs

  46. You are 100% right. We have an organization-Don’t Mess With Texas Pets. They are active in Austin watching for just these kind of things. There will be many voices heard through them as they attend any sessions and have become a powerful group (which is one reason why we do not have any breed bans in TX) I will also call on my own and spread the word to other Texans who are 100% against breed bans. As I always say, Ban irresponible owners, not breeds. (Asta alerted me to this. We wil make sure these legislators do NOT pass this!)
    Jamie and The Texas Sun Dogs

  47. So well said – I couldn’t agree more! We’ve had a few horrific dog attacks down under too – children maimed – but it was always the fault of the humans – although of course, it was always the dog that payed the price. We even had one case where a stupid boy climbed into thte garden of his neighbour, opened the crate where the dog was resting and climbed in…the boy barely escaped with his life and the dog was ordered to be put down, even though the owner had actually done everything to secure his dog, leaving him locked in a crate, in his own garden….

    Sadly, Pit Bulls (and a few other breeds) are completely banned here in Aus & NZ – and people with Staffies have a really hard time here from social stigmatisation, coz a lot of Joe Public can’t tell the difference. I HATE BSL – it is so, so wrong and as you say, does nothing to address the real problem. And also, as you say, it is a dangerous, slippery slope…where do you draw the line? I’ve heard that Great Danes are banned in certain places – or dogs over a certain weight or size. But then I read a study done in California where they looked at dog bites and found that the most common breed was actually the Golden Retriever!!

    Anyway, I think it’s wonderful you have posted about this and added your voice. I hope they see sense in Texas…

    Hsin-Yi

  48. Kit

    We’re with you 100% on this!
    Thank you for this insightful post!

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