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He Said, She Said, Dog Loses

There are two victims here
By Julia Lane, April 2010, Updated June 2021

To read the original story, it seems pretty cut and dried. A jogger in Mercer County, Kentucky, passed by a dog on a tie out. The dog got loose and attacked her, requiring plastic surgery. Animal control takes the dog away to be quarantined then euthanized.

But if you read the comments, you'll find several different perspectives. For example, the mother-in-law of the dog's owner claims the dog has a sweet temperament (her name is Angel, after all), she is only occasionally tied out in the yard, the jogger was on private property, and lastly, the supposed "attack" was actually a few scratches to the woman's face. No bites. Nothing requiring plastic surgery.

The jogger's grandmother also comments, reiterating that her granddaughter does indeed require extensive surgery. The reporter of the story even jumps in, responding to criticism that he didn't get his facts straight. He says his source was the sheriff's department, based on its police reports and witness statements.

Some readers claim the newspaper is just trying to sell more papers by sensationalizing a “dog-bites-(wo)man” story. Others blame the jogger for being greedy and “sue happy.”

Regardless of the truth and any of the parties’ ulterior motives, Angel the dog dies through no fault of her own. How is that justice?
 

 Image: Shutterstock

Julia Lane owns Spot On K9 Sports, a training facility in the Chicago area, and offers online dog-sport coaching. She is the author of several travel books, and her byline has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets & Writers and elsewhere.