Recent dog attacks in which an infant and a 5-year-old boy suffered personal injuries have raised concerns among some families about keeping their children safe.
In Onslow County, a couple could be facing charges of felony child abuse after their 4-month-old baby’s toes were chewed off by a pit bull on August 30. In another recent incident, a 5-year-old boy from Wilson was attacked by his family’s Rottweiler.
One parent, Ivey Sikorski, says she’s been meticulous about picking out a dog to adopt, searching several places. She says that as a mother and a former victim of a dog attack, she places great importance on finding a gentle dog.
According to animal behaviorist Molly Stone, parents need to take responsibility for the dog from the beginning. She says she tells parents that a relationship between a child and a dog can be very rewarding for both, and that parents need to do most of the work, rather than having the child as the dog’s primary caretaker.
Stone says that parents should search for dogs that are not easily startled, not terribly sensitive about having their bodies handled, don’t mind a hand in their food dish, and don’t mind being around small children.
According to Stone, certain dogs should not be singled out as problems, as any dog, even one that has been a longtime pet, is capable of attacking.