I can appreciate all the issues relating to aggressive dogs, and my comments do not negate the physical injuries that a child suffered which is the reason for the current force for a new law on dog bites. However, there are two sides to every coin. One, dog attacks are horribly publicized and the media frenzy over this and specific breeds are not completely accurate. Many dog attacks happen when a dog is restrained either with a leash, behind a fence, or on a line. Children also need to be taught that even the most well behaved dog can be frightened and feel threatened by children lunging at them. I have two service dogs that support me physically, and they are friendly but have been exposed to children running up to them trying to pet them. Not only are my dogs identified as service dogs and with signs saying not to pet, but I am surprised at how at events parents let their children run about without supervision. When I stop the children from petting my dog who is working, the children often want to know if they are mean dogs. No, they are not. Children need to be taught about proper dog handling and how to approach animals. Animals can become frightened, feel threatened, or could be protecting something such as litter of puppies which happened in one case where a dog was abandoned. Furthermore, a law that simply holds all people responsible for dog bites when the dog has never been aggressive and is restrained when a bite happens is not looking at the entire situation. Of course, it is horrible when a dog bite happens and injuries can be challenging.
We already have issues with the extreme ignorance regarding breeds because of inaccurate reporting of the facts regarding pit bulls and other breeds. This causes many people to be unable to access reasonable housing, causes insurance companies to raise rates if you have specific breeds, and has created the dog of the decade to be afraid of. There are some people who are homeless because they refuse to give up their dog and cannot obtain housing due to the breed. The animal human bond can be a powerful thing and all some people have. In many cases, breeding, how a dog is treated, and how responsible an owner is can contribute to the breed issues faced in many areas.
(Very dangerous dog.)
People also need to pay attention to the yellow ribbons when they see dogs and know this means that the dog needs more space. This does not mean it is aggressive but that it may have social anxiety or other challenges that require you give the dog more space.
Overall, the statistics used to look at dog attacks and dog bites are misleading. Most attacks happen when a dog has been threatened and has been restrained. Children need to be taught not to run up to any animal, and dog body language needs to be taught to help educate people on how the dog is feeling when being approached. Many dogs are shy and do not want to be pet. We need to be the voices for animals and stop knee jerk reactions that happen when a horrific event happens.