Parents Encouraged To Be Cautious With Babies Near Dogs, Even Family Pets

UPDATED: Wednesday December 11, 2013 7:12 PM

Two dogs are in custody at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, and investigators are looking into how they were able to kill a four month old girl.

Many of the animals adopted from the Franklin County dog shelter become part of a family. The dog warden says the incident on Lake Shore Drive on Tuesday serves as an important reminder for every dog owner.

“Don't ever fully trust an animal with a small child,” said Joe Rock, Franklin County Dog Warden.

A parent and dog owner himself, Rock says it has nothing to do with the friendliness of the dog, the size, or the breed.

“Babies, infants are awkward to a lot of dogs. A lot of dogs haven't seen them before. They move differently than we do. They make different sounds. It's important to realize that,” said Rock.

The breed of the dog doesn't matter in terms of how they'll respond to a baby. There are certain things every parent can do to prepare their animal.

“You should always try to get the pet trained ahead of time. Try to off limit areas that you don't want the pet to be in. They should be trained before the baby comes into the house,” said Rock.

Other tips include, introducing the dog to the baby's scent by bringing a blanket from hospital. Get your animal used to baby sounds by playing recordings. Discourage your pet from jumping on the baby crib or changing tables.

Rock says the extra training may take time, even long after the baby is born - but it's well worth it.

“It's just important to one to know your dog. And, I want to emphasize again, never think that you know your dog well enough that it will never harm anything, ” added Rock.
As for the death of the baby girl on Tuesday, police say they will refer the case to prosecutors to decide if any charges should be filed.

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