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Letters to the Editor

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Dog attackI am writing in regard to a letter from Andrea Koski that was recently published in your paper. The little girl that was attacked and viciously mauled by a dog in Singletree attends my day care. Back in July, after the attack, the little girl’s mother called me and told me what had happened. I was shocked.I went to see the child a few days later after she had been through hours of surgery. It was hard to hold back tears seeing her little face so badly bruised and scarred. A few weeks later, the mum showed me photos taken at the hospital before surgery.I wept when I saw the photos. This little girl’s face was ripped open. The doctor and the medical team at Vail Valley Medical Center did a wonderful job of putting her back together. The scars are still visible and will probably never completely fade. This little girl has been through another surgery since and will need more surgeries in the future. This child was in her front yard playing when this attack happened. The dog was the next door neighbor’s dog, and the child had played with the dog on previous occasions before the attack. The neighbor has since moved to another home in Singletree and installed a mesh fence and an electrical fence. The latter was in place when this attack happened on this little girl.If you live in the Singletree neighborhood, are you going to feel safe having this dog around your children? This little girl didn’t just get nipped, she had her forehead ripped open, her eyelids ripped and bruising and scratches to her face. She has a scar on her neck, and one can only wonder if her dad had not kicked the dog off, would the attack have been a fatal one.In the past dog attacks that I have read about, people knew they had a dangerous dog but thought that they could somehow contain them. Some of these attacks were fatal.I empathize with this owner that she loves her dog and wishes that this attack never happened, but it did. I have a dog and two cats. If my dog ever attacked a child, heartbroken as I might be to euthanize her, I would be devastated if she killed someone. Sometimes animals, just like humans, are not wired right and something just snaps in them. I believe this dog is not mentally stable. What happens the next time he snaps and someone has wandered into his yard? A child looking for their ball, a Girl Scout selling cookies, etc. Please help to make sure that this dog does not attack again. Next time it could be your child.There will be a mediation coming up soon and a decision will be made whether to release this dog back to its owner. If you feel that this dog should not be released please fax or e-mail Mark Hurlbert at the District Attorney’s Office in Eagle. Fax 328-1016 or e-mail mhurlbert@DA5.org.Jeanette EdmonsonEdwardsThat was a maulingI am writing in response to an article that appeared in the Daily on Nov. 29 about the vicious attack by a neighbor dog on a 2-year-old child. As a friend of the Palmers, and a mother of twin 2-year-olds, I am shocked both by the clear bias in the article towards the dog and its owner, as well as the absence of important facts regarding the attack and blatant inaccuracies in the article, including that the Palmers “could not be reached.” The Palmers were neither contacted about the article nor given an opportunity to comment.This attack is not “alleged.” No one is disputing that Max attacked this child. Using the word “alleged” implies that her injuries may have occurred in some other way. Further, while I certainly feel badly for Ms. Griffin that she may lose her dog, and that she faces prosecution, what is lost in this article is a 2-year-old girl who was badly mauled. Zoie wasn’t “allegedly” bitten in the face. Her face had to be reconstructed in an intense surgery where she nearly lost her life. The photos of her before and after the attack would not be publishable by this newspaper because they are so disturbing. She has since had additional surgery to work on her scars, and will have to endure even more surgeries as her face continues to heal.Ms. Griffin may face $7,000 in fines. The Palmers will suffer much more than that in the years of medical bills that will be incurred as they fight to repair their child both outside and in. Yes, it is sad for Ms. Griffin. Yes, it is regrettable that this dog surprisingly turned on a 2-year-old with no warning. But that does not change what happened, and it does not and should not encourage the Eagle County community or the community of Singletree to think that this dog might not be capable of doing it again. This was not a bite. It was a mauling.It is actually shocking to me, as a taxpayer, that the head of the Humane Society is promoting this dog’s release. I love my dog. If she attacked someone, my husband and I would not hesitate to let her go for the safety of our children and everyone else’s. There is no excuse, none, to make this attack OK. If the dog had previous or current illnesses or injuries, the attack can still never be justified. Dr. Klein is quoted as saying the dog “was only protecting himself,” a statement she is actually not in a position to make since she was not there and does not know what prompted the dog to strike out at Zoie. None of us does.Whatever happened on that day, Max is now a dangerous dog that should not be entrusted back to his owner or any owner. I would plead to the people of Eagle County to please make their voices heard, not just for the Palmers, but also for the safety of all of our children. We need to be sure that the policies of Eagle County Animal Control protect the people of Eagle County not just the animals.Amanda BoydEagleEditor’s note: The use of the term “alleged” simply reflects that there have been no rulings in court about the events and culpability of anyone. America’s legal system operates on the concept of innocent until proven guilty, and the Daily, like any other journalistic organization is obligated to honor that. The reporter indeed call the family for comment for the story. He was unable to leave a message because the voice mail was full.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO


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