WTVM 5/9/14 Editorial: Proper training, socialization of dogs is a necessity

(WTVM) - The untimely and gruesome death of Katie Morrison of Smiths Station, Alabama is a lesson in how quickly a seemingly normal situation can explode into tragedy.

Morrison was meeting some pit bulls of a friend, preparing for when she would dog sit them later, when playtime suddenly became a mauling.

In fact, Katie was nearly scalped in the deadly attack.

A grand jury will ultimately determine what, if any, charges are filed. But Katie's death should serve as an example to all of us pet owners to examine our own responsibilities when it comes to the animals we keep.

Proper training and socialization for all dogs is the responsibility of every owner. It's not a suggestion.

It's an obligation we owe each other and our dogs.

It's been said that the owner of a poorly trained dog is no different than a gun owner who fails to secure a deadly weapon around children.

Some pit bulls are vicious... so are some poodles... so are some Chihuahuas. The point is, we should not indict any particular breed of dogs.

But it must be every dog owner's responsibility to train their animals properly and to limit, or even prohibit, their exposure to people if they cannot guarantee the dog will behave properly.

Accidents happen, and so does negligence.

That's why no owner and no neighbor should ignore a pattern of attacks or vicious behavior by any dog.

Report problem animals to animal control and never allow yourself or your children to mingle with dogs you do not know or cannot trust.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.