Opinion Brief

When family dogs attack: Are some breeds too risky?

After a Mastiff fatally mauls a toddler in his New York home, many parents insist the "monster dog" should have been kept away from kids

This weekend, a 4-year-old New York City boy, Jayelin Graham, was killed by his stepfather's dog, as the child's mom and brothers, aged 2 and 5, watched helplessly. Neighbors said the dog's owner, Damian Jones, had trained the killer Cane Corso Mastiff and his two other "monster dogs" to be vicious. Jones insisted the dog "was like a big Scooby-Doo," and Jayelin's mother, Saquina (Honey) Jubeark, said the dog had never shown signs of aggression. Was this just a tragic accident, or are some dogs just too dangerous to live in homes with children?

Some breeds just can't be trusted: This tragedy could easily have been prevented, says DogsBite.org. Jones says he wouldn't have kept the dogs in the home if he thought they were dangerous, and Jubeark insists the Cane Corso (named Machete) was "good with kids." Come on. Anyone familiar with these breeds knows that keeping them "in a home with three toddlers is like playing Russian Roulette." 
"2011 fatality: 'Monster dog' kills 4-year-old Brooklyn boy"

The owner should go to jail: "The dogs are not to blame," says Danielle Sullivan at Babble. "They were also victims." Police should arrest Jones for animal abuse, and for endangering the lives of those children. Even if the dog gets put down, the surviving boys should be taken out of this home, and placed in the care of people who will keep them safe.
"Cane Corso Mastiff fatally mauls boy, but dog is not to blame"

Child welfare authorities could have prevented this: Putting a trained attack dog in a home with kids is "beyond irresponsible," says Julie Evans Ryan at The Stir. "It's worse than leaving a loaded gun around, because a dog like that is even more unpredictable." The mom and stepdad can't plead ignorance, but neither can the local Administration for Children's Services. According to neighbors, several people had pleaded with social workers to take the children out of this home. Apparently, there's plenty of blame to go around.
"Cane Corso Mastiff isn't to blame for mauling toddler"

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