Saving Neville

In Austin right now there is a dog named Neville, whose life hangs in the balance. An animal shelter, Austin Pets Alive!, is hoping to stop the planned euthanizing of the lab mix. Recently, a family visited this shelter with their 2-year old son. The shelter advised the parents not to set their son on the ground, but the parents did anyway. As the dog played with other dogs, Neville went over to the boy who then reached for the dog, Neville bit the little boy on the face requiring 16 stitches.

The parents are filing suit against the not for profit animal shelter and a municipal court judge has issued an order that the dog be killed. I’m simply outraged over the negligence of the family in regards to the safety of their child. Not only should they have heeded the guidance of the shelter, but they also should have taken responsibility for the safety of their son and used common sense.

The shelter maintains that the dog is not dangerous and never showed aggressive behavior. The dog merely reacted to the little boy who grabbed hold of him. Where does parental supervision come in to play? I wouldn’t want someone to come up and grab me around the neck, not knowing if they’re intending to harm me or not. Parents should know better. I was raised around animals my whole life, having been in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) and I raised my own animals. If I would have ever behaved erratically or spontaneously around animals, I would have been reprimanded and rightfully so.

What about accepting responsibility? There is a tremendous disconnect in our society today. As a parent of a young child, shouldn’t you know better than to set your son down on the ground among playing dogs? After all, the family came to the shelter in hopes to adopt a dog. This is a non-profit agency who connects animals with people for the sole purpose of placing dogs in loving homes, and they are at fault? In my opinion, the responsibility lies with the parents, not with organization.

In Austin community, you can’t miss this story on social media. To date I understand that there are approximately 150,000 people in Austin who have signed the petition to save Neville. I hope the judge finds compassion and a backbone in this case to do the right thing. The real question is, why did Neville bite the kid?

In central Texas there are plenty of people who would take on a dog and would provide it with a good upbringing outside of Travis County if need be. The judge needs to allow this to happen. Neville can be easily relocated. The shelter is fighting through a petition, to save Neville’s life with seven days to go or Neville will be killed. I hope that justice prevails in this case. Most of all I hope that personal responsibility prevails. Day 12 #Write31days

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