Parents are facing criminal prosecution in some cases when their dogs injure their children. Melissa Fields and her boyfriend, Steve Durbin, of Trenton, Ohio, are co-owners of the female dog that attacked their son on Aug. 10. Both are charged with failure to confine a vicious dog, failure to license the dog and failure to obtain liability insurance. The 1-year-old boy suffered serious injuries to his face and head.
I do not know the details of this particular incident but am pleased to know that, when circumstances warrant it, prosecutors are willing to file charges against parents whose dogs injure their children. We know that children are the primary victims of vicious dogs. We also know that when a child is killed a dog, it is almost always a dog that belonged to his parents. (See the data for the first 9 months of 2010, on the home page of dogbitelaw.com.) Clearly there are people who put their taste for dogs (particularly the more aggressive types) over the welfare of their children. This has to stop.