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Child Loses A Hand


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One bite from and dog with that amount of strength can do enormous damage to a hand, hands have very little coverage over nerves and tendons, the child would have likely pulled her hand away which would have also caused more damage, certainly doesn't mean the dog is dangerous or mauled her.

The dog might have just grabbed at movement before realising what it was, still don't see how the dog is at fault.

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IMO it would take a powerful bite to remove a hand, even a small one. There is bone there.

The way I see it is it is no longer relevant who is at fault. Putting the dog down will not give the child a new hand. But if the owners think the dog might do it again that is another story.

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Sorry but I agree, if that were my dog I would be ensuring dog were PTS on my own time and with me there after a lovely day of fun.

I don't know how I could live with the even remote possibility that dog could do it again, and how would I ensure they are safe? Some dropkick could throw poison over the fence or worse. I would probably be ordered to have them in a concrete floored run at very least, and that would be a huge financial outlay, stuffed if you're renting.

And could you look at that dog the same after? I think personally I would struggle and rehoming would not be an option for me.

Awful for everyone and even without assigning fault or blame, that isn't a dog I could ever enjoy living with again, and that would be just cruel.

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Sorry but I agree, if that were my dog I would be ensuring dog were PTS on my own time and with me there after a lovely day of fun.

I don't know how I could live with the even remote possibility that dog could do it again, and how would I ensure they are safe? Some dropkick could throw poison over the fence or worse. I would probably be ordered to have them in a concrete floored run at very least, and that would be a huge financial outlay, stuffed if you're renting.

And could you look at that dog the same after? I think personally I would struggle and rehoming would not be an option for me.

Awful for everyone and even without assigning fault or blame, that isn't a dog I could ever enjoy living with again, and that would be just cruel.

It seems there were three dogs there - which one do you put to sleep?

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IMO it would take a powerful bite to remove a hand, even a small one. There is bone there.

The way I see it is it is no longer relevant who is at fault. Putting the dog down will not give the child a new hand. But if the owners think the dog might do it again that is another story.

But the dog didn't bite her hand off? She was bitten by the dog, it caused damage that resulted in doctors having to remove her hand. If major tendons, nerves or blood vessels were severed and surgery to repair them failed, removing the whole hand is really the only option (and for a child, a lot less painful than going through multiple surgeries and rehab to try to save it).

“Council is working with police to investigate circumstances in which an eight-year-old girl was taken to John Hunter Hospital after an Alaskan Malamute bit her right arm just above the wrist at about 3pm (on Saturday),”
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IMO it would take a powerful bite to remove a hand, even a small one. There is bone there.

The way I see it is it is no longer relevant who is at fault. Putting the dog down will not give the child a new hand. But if the owners think the dog might do it again that is another story.

I don't think the dog actually bit the hand off. I think it couldn't be saved and was removed later. No way in hell I'd be putting my dog to sleep for what could quite possibly have just been a split second lunge after something appeared under the fence. I'm shocked at those that would. Obviously we don't know the dog involved and whether aggression was a worry previously. That would obviously change my opinion.

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IMO it would take a powerful bite to remove a hand, even a small one. There is bone there.

The way I see it is it is no longer relevant who is at fault. Putting the dog down will not give the child a new hand. But if the owners think the dog might do it again that is another story.

The dog didn't actually remove her hand as I understand it. The hand had to be removed at hospital, so the dog didn't sever bone or anything.

Snap teekay/Maddy just saw your posts.

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You know, a few years back on this forum I'd have analysed and debated about what happened with the best of them.

Now I just think its a tragedy. For the child, her family and the owners of the dogs. Their lives will never be the same.

And the other kids who witnessed it. They'll be traumatised too. crying.gif

me too. it is an awful incident for everyone involved. it is also a reminder that in this life terrible things happen..they are called accidents and i believe that this was an accident as in a totally unforeseen occurrence.

h

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I have 2 dogs, and I love them dearly

but if they are capable of this type of aggression, I am sorry, its just not safe

Regardless, if I have them locked up or whatever.

I do not want to be responsible for the severe injury to a child like this.

sometimes, things happen, a child may not make the best judgement, but your dog should not react in that way. If it does, it should not be in suburbia.

Many severe dog bites particularly involving children often occur with dogs assumed to be bullet proof causing the dog owner to lack supervision in child/dog interactions and this bullet proof dog suddenly bites out of character usually from a child doing something stupid with the dog. In most cases when a dog is known to be of aggressive tendency, the dog owner is extra vigilant with the dog and human interaction, so in actual fact, less actively aggressive dogs cause biting incidents than the assumed bullet proof dog who bites out of character. The point is, any dog can bite particularly children who don't easily read the body language of a dog that adults read. Would any of us here stick our hand under the fence with a dog showing territorialism? Of course not, but this poor little girl did?

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My hope is that the kids have now had it shown them that dogs can be dangerous .That they should NOT go poking around other folks' property , and that not everything can be fixed.it makes me sad , so many kids ( and young adults ) lack life experience . I know- many have way more than their share :( :( .Dogs are all seen as cute & fluffy ..respect for others, and their possessions is often lacking ... So very sad for everyone . The dogs were possibly carrying on behind that fence ... who knows how stirred up they were? :(

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The dogs were possibly carrying on behind that fence

I would be hard pressed to believe there were not carrying on behind the fence and were more than likely not enjoying the attention from the kids. It's quite possible the victim or friends were teasing the dogs firing them up more.......kids often do that on my side fence albeit there are no gaps for little hands to protrude into my yard for the dogs to make contact, but it's not uncommon for kids to wind up dogs behind fences and think it's good fun.

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How would you know if your dog is capable of doing this?

My dog is great with people, but as far as I know I've never had someone jump in my yard or under my fence, how does anyone know how their dog would react?

As for the child. My 2 year old knows to ask to pat dogs and never go near one without an adult.... But kids are kids, put them with other kids, they are excited and don't listen...

It's just a horrible accident. I don't believe anyone is at fault

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I 100% agree with Teebs. A terrible accident.

For those suggesting owners should know if their dogs are capable of something like this- how do you suggest they find that out?

You don't know until the dog bites. The epic failure of a police dog is one albeit trained to bite doesn't bite at it's first live deployment. Realistically, you can have an educated guess that a dog showing strong territorialism is likely to bite to employ extra vigilant management, however a relative calm dog generally good with people, can't really be predicted.

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Such a terrible accident.

I just chatted with my 7 year old about this just now. She said "wow, that is so silly, I would never do that even with a dog I know" She then said "does she get a silver or gold hand?" Now granted, my daughter is pretty dog savvy but she indicated that this was common sense not the extra education we give her about dogs

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A tad OT but I learned 2 weeks ago that even the best "trained" child will go against all that they know when in the company of another. We were at our house next door and my 4 year old who doesn't even leave the area around the house (has been ingrained in him since he could walk) was playing with his 5 year old cousin. A few minutes later my brother walked around the side of the house (we were just around the corner) to play with the boys and they were gone. He found them up the road heading to our other house, cars had driven past them. It is a dirt road with windy corners. My son said he knows he couldn't leave the house but his cousin wanted to play Lego. I have never been more shocked and scared in my life so don't ever think "my kids know better and they wouldn't touch a strange dog". That one moment can have devastating consequences, I was incredibly lucky the poor little girl wasn't

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I do agree it was an accident that wasn't really anyone's fault and I don't think the dog should be put down (if they even know which of the three dogs it was) necessarily, but I think it's naive to rely on kids being educated not to do what this child apparently did. Like casowner says even kids who have been told do things they shouldn't, and there are people out there who would never have talked about this kind of stuff with their kids. My parents weren't animal people, neither grew up with dogs, no one in my family had dogs, we never had dogs growing up, I doubt it would ever have occurred to them to say "don't ever reach your hand under a gap in a fence if there's a dog there coz it might bite you", yes, we knew dogs could bite, we knew not to pat roaming dogs and to stay calm and not run and scream if you saw one but I just don't think it would have occurred to them that the fence situation would even come up.

Regarding how you would know whether your dog would bite under these circumstances, I also think it would be naive to say your dog never would but I think you can get a reasonable idea of they would likely react based on other things such as

Their bite inhibition if they accidentally make contact with human skin during rough play or fighting with another dog

How they interact with people they haven't come across before like children, older people, disabled people, babies etc

How they respond to being grabbed unexpectedly by a person when they are in an aroused state (eg reacting to another dog - do they transfer aggression to the human)

How they respond to small animals and especially novel animals when out and especially when on their territory (ie in their yard)

How they respond to people passing their fences and coming to the house

I can't think of others right now but do people not think you can get some read on how your dog might react to a hand under the fence without it actually happening?

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I don't really think so. My dogs would likely chase or possibly kill a stray cat in their yard but that doesn't mean I think they'd bite a hand coming through the fence. They've also both never really been in a serious fight or made contact with their teeth on a human so I have nothing to go on there.

One of mine will bark at people walking past the house but is the friendlier of the two with people and other dogs and is a guarding breed so it's just how he is. I honestly don't see how you could predict something like this unless you had seen signs of aggression toward people previously :shrug: there are too many variables IMO.

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Having a malamute, and knowing their prey drive, I am certain that this wasn't an act of malice. I think the dog has seen something moving through the gap at the fence and grabbed it. The dog wasn't to know that it was in fact attached to a child.

There's been a lot of comments on the news articles I've seen that people are claiming malamutes are aggressive and should have to be in a secure yard and have a muzzle on. Wait up a damn minute! Malamutes are not, by nature, aggressive to humans. And a dog should be able to enjoy its own (secure, I agree) backyard without a muzzle. Just because they're big and 'look like a wolf', they are not related to a wolf. A human aggressive malamute is not the norm. They love people.

Just yesterday, I was sitting in the sunshine in the backyard, when my mal saw someone out the front. He ran to the fence to check him out (as he does), and this guy approached the fence, whistling at my dog and was about to slip his fingers through the fence to touch him! Oh yes, he's big and cute and fluffy, but you are a stranger, and my dog doesn't know you. My dog was at that point standing there calmly, and I got up to ask what the guy wanted, and as soon as he started to talk, my boy was standing on his hind legs barking at him. I shouldn't have to put a sign on my fence stating the obvious - don't touch my dog. He's behind a secure fence that he can't get out of. I am certain he wouldn't have bitten, because he could see it was a person standing in front of him - unlike the mal who bit the child.

It's a crappy situation, at the end of the day, a child has lost her hand. But let's not forget that the owner of the dogs did have a secure yard that the dogs couldn't escape, and probably never considered the possibility that someone might try to stick a body part into their yard. Safety around dogs is something that should be drummed into kids from an early age, and someone should have been supervising the child when this happened. But I don't think the dog deserves to die as a result. Had the dog escaped and done damage to someone, my opinion would be totally different. But the facts as it stands are that a kid has 'trespassed' if you will, and been bitten as a result.

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