should I contact CPS? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-01-2003, 01:01 AM
 
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We were in a similar situation. I live in TX and when our dog bit, the ER didn't really care how it happened, they just wanted to make sure he had his shots.

We got a basset hound from the pound while I was pg with our dd. He was an older puppy, about 6 months old. I have grown up with several bassets and really wanted another one and saw him advertised in the paper for the pound.

Anyway, he was a really sweet dog to us, very loyal, never bit etc, but when I brought dd home from the hospital, he was pissed, literally he looked at me and peed on the floor when he saw her. But he never bothered her until she could walk.

One day she was about 14-15 months old, she was walking across the room to me, and the dog was about 20 feet away from her. Completely unprovoked, I saw him literally fly across the room at her, and aim for her face, growling and barking. He scratched up her cheek, and we rushed her to the ER, I was afraid he damaged her eye. Thankfully, it was just her cheek. He was thrown outside for the night, and the next day went to my parents' home until we placed him in a training program. We put him in a two week intensive program, he lived there for 2 weeks of training. Then we came and took several lessons with him and he came home.

She had never abused him, hurt him, pulled on him or anything. We had taught her from the very beginning how to be nice to him. When we first got him, he was emaciated, and I think he had wild streak in him from living out on his own (my husband had seen him wondering a field before we found him at the pound).

After the training, he was a well behaved dog and left her alone. We thought it was a one time incident and really loved him and wanted to keep him and thought training had fixed the problem. I was wrong! About 3-4 months later, the same thing happened. It was the scariest moment in my life, I couldn't get to her fast enough and pull that dog off of her. Thankfully, she had another scratched cheek, and nothing else. At that point, my parents came over and picked him up that night, and he stayed with them until we found him a home that with an older couple that have no grandchildren. He is now a happy dog, who likes to herd cattle.

Anyway, what we learned later was that training will usually not help an aggressive dog. And they should probably be put down. I just didn't have the heart back then to do it to him, I should have and feel guilty for not putting him down.

We now have a wonderful female black labrador. We got her as a puppy when dd was not quite 2 yrs old. Dd is now almost 4 and they are the best of friends.

But I would definitely be calling CPS on that woman. For the dog to have attacked that many times and she still has it in the home is very frightening. I feel guilty for not getting rid of the dog the first time instead of sending him to training.
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Old 07-01-2003, 01:24 AM
 
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Originally posted by Elphaba
[B]So, knowing what you know, would you call CPS on your own sister in this situation? [B]

YES...ASAP

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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Old 07-01-2003, 01:49 AM
 
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I think children should come before dogs, no matter what. If my child got bitten by my dog and it turned out she had tied it to a table leg and kicked it repeatedly, I would still get rid of the dog.

I don't think this woman is fit to own any dog. Any breed of dog can become violent or unsuitable for children if not raised and trained properly.
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Old 07-01-2003, 02:42 PM
 
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I'm sorry for you. I can't imagine how conflicted it must make you feel to be put in this situation by your sister. That being said, I think you should call. Now.
What exactly are you waiting for your father to do? Would he go to your sisters house and remove the dog? Would she let him? I mean no disrespect, I am just wondering exactly what he will be able to do? Your sister doesn't sound like she takes to advice very well.
I am disgusted that animal control would not do anything. Disgusted.
Please do call CPS.
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Old 07-01-2003, 03:42 PM
 
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why you feel guilty for not putting him down if he is now in an environment where he is happy and productive herding cattle?

It seems you had a good outcome in the end though the road there was bad ??
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Old 07-01-2003, 04:26 PM
 
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This is a really hard thread for me b/c I would give the dog a chance. Ok, similar situation, we had a friend whose 5 y.o. tried to grab a fresh dog bone away from their pet Husky and got bit in the face for it. First and only sign of aggression EVER. Big discussion in our little community of friends. Mom decided to keep the dog as her son had been warned numerous times NOT to disturb the dog while eating, etc. Several years later...never had any more problems w/a loving dog and his best friend.

Now...my GrandMIL had a evil little animal that sounds like your sister's dog. Just evil. Jealous mean little animal that snaps your knuckles as you walk. Leapt off the couch and nipped my 18 mos old in the face. I created a family scene and said I never wanted my son to go over there unless the animal was crated or penned in another room. OH HOW CRUEL and overprotective was I. Big family problem until just last week when... the dog died!

So....speaking as a dog lover...it sounds like the dog has proven itself be its repetitive behavior to be unfit to live w/children. I think that's a fairly excitable breed anyway and perhaps the family just did a "poor" job of socializing them together. When my son was about a year, he walked over to our giant German Shep. and poked her in the eye. She moved her head. He did it again. She opened her mouth (still laying onthe floor), took the pointer finger in her mouth and bit down softly enough it didn't even leave a mark. He started to poke her again, shook his head and petted her instead. After 2.5 years together, there's total love and respect with all of our pets.

So... speaking as the MOST resistant person to this decision, I'd say yes, call family services. Animal control can't enter a private home and kidnap an animal. Family services can offer some advice backed up by enforcement.
Poor dog. It's really not its fault. But, the situation is what it is. Maybe an older couple could adopt it. SPCA could help w/that.

GOOD LUCK What a horrid situation.
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Old 07-01-2003, 08:56 PM
 
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I didn't read all the posts, but it's my understanding that ANY dog who bites more than one time must be destroyed (I live in the DFW area and all the larger cities have the same policy). Here's a link to the Plano website. It should have info on animal control http://www.planotx.org/ctystaff.html. I too am an animal lover and we own what some consider to be an aggressive dog (blue heeler) but if she EVER bit one of our children on the face my dh would be after his rifle in a heartbeat. No dog is worth a child's life. Call yesterday!
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Old 07-02-2003, 12:48 AM
 
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Maybe you could let your sister know by email that you think the situation is so serious you feel the need to try and force the issue and see no other alternative than calling the child services. I'm guessing she'll guess it's you anyway if you call without telling her and it sounds like you aren't on the best of terms anyway. I don't know - but could you demand the dog be destroyed to ensure your niece's safety "or else"? I hate threats but also think she has a right to know what you are planning and a chance to avert it - as I don't think she's "abusing" her child - the dog just needs to go and homelife will be healthy - right? I can tell you from personal experience that it happens that when child services gets involved things do not always get better - so I myself have to be convinced that having a child removed will be absolutely better than the current situation. I understand that if she doesn't get rid of the dog - what other choice do you have?
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Old 07-02-2003, 01:35 AM
 
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Originally posted by momea
I don't think she's "abusing" her child - the dog just needs to go and homelife will be healthy - right? I can tell you from personal experience that it happens that when child services gets involved things do not always get better
The parents are not abusing that child? Scuse me but allowing the child to be repeatedly bitten and hospitalized IS abuse. I am very much surprised that CPS has not been called by the hospital in this situation. I think the authorities are as a negligent as the parents here. That child is not safe in that home and I doubt she's safe with parents who do not see how they are endangering their own child. If they did not see that the dog needed to go after THE SECOND TIME IT HAPPENED then they are incapable of sound judgement regarding the welfare of that child.

What was your experience with CPS?

Denny
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Old 07-02-2003, 02:41 AM
 
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Scuse me but allowing the child to be repeatedly bitten and hospitalized IS abuse.
Yes, and so is lying to the doctor about the cause of the injuries. And getting rid of the dog, giving that child a brief moment of hope, only to bring the dog back and ruin everything.
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Old 07-02-2003, 07:24 AM
 
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How are you feeling about everything, Elphaba? Have you made any decisions?
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Old 07-02-2003, 04:09 PM
 
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I would so definately call CPS. I mean, this is endangering the child, plain and simple.

We shouldn't assume that they'll just take away your neice, either - a lot of the time, CPS does exactly nothing, and more often, they throw around paperwork and then leave people more or less alone. They could insist that the situation improve "or else" which is something that few other people/agencies can do. Or their very appearance might be enough to scare your sister into getting rid of the darned dog.

It sounds to me like you have exhausted your options already, except really for involving the authorities. CPS has its place, you know - in cases where a child is abused *or endangered* and this one does fit the bill.

Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.

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Old 07-02-2003, 04:50 PM
 
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Old 07-02-2003, 04:51 PM
 
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people are infintely more important than animals, imo. And children should not be sacraficed to the selfish and immature behaviors of other adults. If it was my sister I'd do what I had to to make sure my niece was safe regardless of how my sis reacted.
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Old 07-03-2003, 09:58 AM
 
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Is there anyone else who can approach her about this. Does she belong to a church. Is there a trusted neighbour? A friend she has mentioned often? A doula, midwife, or teacher? A public health nurse, doctor or other professional.

What about her dh? Does he have someone he would respect talking to him about this? You might be able to call or write to this third party and see if they would bring up the seriousness of this situation. Is he doing the insisting on keeping the dog?

What kind of housing do they have. Do the dogs have room to run and roam?

Have they placed other precautionary measures to keep the child segregated from the dog? Maybe something you might not be aware of?

Can you write her a letter - sent snail-mail? Emails are too quick and easy to erase.

Maybe your sister is concerned the dog won't have a good home. What are the choices available to her.

Consider all the factors. Utilize all your options.

For the time being the little girl and the dog are probably being watched better than before. You are a great sister and auntie for looking out for them.

The hospital may have already lodged a complaint. Your sister may respond with appropriate action to that knowledge.
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Old 07-03-2003, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MamaOui
How are you feeling about everything, Elphaba? Have you made any decisions?
I'm wondering, too! Post if you can.
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Old 07-04-2003, 02:03 AM
 
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Originally posted by Last Minute


For the time being the little girl and the dog are probably being watched better than before.
What a dangerous assumption to make.
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Old 07-04-2003, 02:20 AM
 
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I'm guessing the Mom isn't a total idiot
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Old 07-04-2003, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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okay i'm back.
my father has had several tete a tetes with the parents and tells me that they have made drastic changes in how the dogs interact with the family, all 3 dogs not just the one in question. he says he has total confidence that there will not be another incident. and also that i need to butt out (not in those words) and respect my sister's judgment.
the reason i was trying to enlist my parents' support was that i am not there, and i don't have the dates of the bites and other info CPS would need. i didn't feel right about making a report with only second-hand information.
i still think she is wrong to keep the dog but i guess it's not my place to make that decision. not my kid, not my dog, and i don't even have contact with them in a physical sense, so it's sort of stupid for me to get so bent out of shape about it. i guess i just have to hope and pray my niece will stay the hell away from that dog. my sister makes a lot of parenting choices i think are stupid, so i'll just have to file this under that heading. she probably won't speak to me for a year or more since i so harshly told her how irresponsible she was for keeping the dog and the child together and how disgusted i was by that decision. ah, the joys of a dysfunctional family. so now i will be painted as the unreasonable bitch who sticks her nose in everyone else's business.
is there a witness protection program for people who want to hide from their families?
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Old 07-04-2003, 06:36 PM
 
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If there was, it'd be full.
You are right about everything, that should be some consolation.
I hope your neice does not get hurt again.

I do not understand how any parent would make your sister's choice..

But then I don't understand a lot of things.

(((HUGS)))
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Old 07-05-2003, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally posted by Elphaba

is there a witness protection program for people who want to hide from their families?
Oh man, sign me up! I'm ready!

I still think you were and are right to be concerned. I hope your dad's confidence is well-placed, for your niece's sake. You're a good aunt to have been willing to consider calling CPS for her safety.


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