Who is responsible?

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Two women are being questioned on suspicion of manslaughter after a 79-year-old man was fatally injured by an “out-of-control” dog in Liverpool.

Merseyside Police said the dog was destroyed after Clifford Clarke was attacked in Richard Kelly Close, Clubmoor, at 20:40 BST on Saturday.

The women, aged 27 and 28 and from Clubmoor, were arrested after Mr Clarke was found in his garden. A post-mortem examination of his body is taking place.

Police said the dog was out of control when officers arrived at the house and found the injured man in the garden. – BBC Website Sun 26th May

A growing number of children are being sexually abused by other children, say charities.

They say their helplines have seen a big increase in calls from young people who are being abused. Freedom of information figures obtained by the NSPCC say more than 5,000 children were reported to police in England and Wales as abusers over the last three years.

Almost all of those accused of the abuse of other children were boys. Some of those reported were as young as five. More than half of the offences were classified as serious and included rape.

The NSPCC and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation say it is a growing problem. They think that it is partly because of access to online porn becoming easier, with more children owning devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Jenni says her nine-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a boy of the same age. “He aggressively rubbed himself up against her, getting very excited, and telling her what he wanted to do to her in a very graphic way. He had his hands around her neck.” – BBC Website Thu 23rd May

Both these stories are horrific – one because it appears that the man was attacked by the dog under encouragement from the owners and the other story just beggars belief that nine year olds will behave like this. Can we blame the dog or the kids? Yes to a point but there is a much more obvious problem in both stories the owners and parents are not doing their jobs.

Kids and dogs will acts up and do things wrong naturally as we know, but there are ways and means of ensuring you as the person responsible for them have the most control over behaviour and movement. In the same way as most parents do their best and their kids grow up to be good well adjusted citizens, dogs if trained and dealt with properly will be well behaved and obedient. And while I’m usually the first to defend people against the finger of blame being pointed, in both cases it is apparent that the parents are not supervising the kids and the owners are not in control of their animals.

Parents have a responsibility to ensure that kids are given support and attention at all times possible. If children between the ages of 5 and 10 are watching pornography then there is an issue in that house with the usage of internet on PCs, Tablets and phones. There need to be blocks on websites and supervision during internet use to ensure the kids are not viewing violent or sexual content. Mind you there are parents who let their children sit and watch adult films at home and 18-rated video games are bought for the kids on a regular basis and then they wonder why children re-enact the things they see. Of course you’re not going to stop the problem altogether but at least you will have tried to monitor media they watch and are exposed to. We all saw films that weren’t meant for us when we were growing up but not with the regularity you now see in youngsters because of the internet and on-demand TV.

Dog owners that allow their animals to attack and endanger are the ones who should be destroyed and not the dog. There are hundreds of so-called dangerous dogs in the UK but the majority are not a problem to anyone at all – but if you mistreat or don’t control them then it is you the owner who is at fault not the dog. Dogs are animals, many of which evolved to do a job or be a certain way and it is the responsibility of the owner to care and protect the dog both in the home and in society. Legislation won’t necessarily make a difference to these irresponsible owners – in fact many will possibly be given the dog as a pup from a friend so won’t bother with paperwork. It’s the dogs I feel sorry for because they behave in a way that they are expected and encouraged to by their owners and then they are destroyed because of that.

For me these two stories show a creeping irresponsibility in society – and a naivety, or deliberate disregard for the issues involved. We look for someone to blame, but often it is ourselves at fault. We will all make mistakes and sometimes horrible things happen to nice people, but in many cases these types of issues are preventable and should be stopped from happening by being responsible.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned and out of touch, but I believe doing the right thing by your family, children and pets is best for everyone involved as well as wider society. Ignorance and disregard for others will only ever lead to problems.

JD

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