Legislature must protect victims of dog attacks

By Irene Solesky
7:30 a.m. EST, January 10, 2014

Dog bites are tracked by the health department because they are injurious and can cause death. Dog bites and mauling by law are a public welfare concern that has nothing to with dog owners’ rights and everything to do with dog owners’ responsibilities. When a bite or mauling incident occurs, humans instinctively seek help from first responders and physicians, not humane groups and veterinary doctors.

The standards pertaining to dog bites are set forth by law in Maryland Health General Article 18-217. It is not the place of animal advocates to be the architects of public safety policy but rather to apply their vocation for animal welfare, to establish and guide dog owners on how best to meet their responsibilities as required by public safety officials…

Read full letter at the Baltimore Sun

Making rescued pit bulls pets is an unnatural selection

By Tony Solesky
2:55 p.m. EST, November 14, 2013

I fully support liberating any animal from abuse. It does not follow however, that rescued animals — pit bulls in particular — should be pushed as companion pets by shelters and rescue organizations.

Terry Douglass of Baltimore became the 25th dog bite related fatality nationally this year when she was mauled to death by her own pit bull on Nov. 1. In the days since her passing there have been three more of these gruesome deaths, according to DogBites.org. Nearly all of the 28 people killed by dogs — 15 of them children ranging in ages from 14 months to 7 years — were killed by pit bulls.

My wife Irene and I have spent the last six years of our lives advocating for dog bite and mauling victims. In 2007, our then 10-year-old son, Dominic, and his 9-year-old playmate, Scotty, were mauled by a neighbor’s pit bull in an alley behind our Towson home. Dominic was critically wounded, suffering a femoral artery tear when he and two other children attempted to assist Scotty…

Read full editorial at the Baltimore Sun