Back in February, a local woman left her two-day-old child on the floor in her home and left the room for a few minutes. During that time, something happened (nobody knows what) and the dog, a young-adult husky, bit the child. The child died, and the neighbors started campaigning for this obviously-dangerous dog to be euthanized. (There had been no previous behavior problems with the dog.)
When the police arrived at the house they found that Nikko, the newest of the family's four dogs, had a broken leg and was in a home-made splint. The mother and/or boyfriend asserted that they had taken the dog to the vet for the broken leg, but nobody could produce any supporting evidence, such as the name of the vet they went to. The dog was taken by animal control and went into limbo while the courts figured out what to do.
I'm not a parent so I don't know these things, but I'm told that the mother should have known not to leave a newborn child completely unattended on the floor. (She has two other children, but she's also 21.) Nobody was charged with anything like negligence or endangerment of a child. Of course she lost her child, a terrible thing to be sure, but it seems like the legal consequences for the humans in this story were pretty light compared to what they could have been.
Not so for the dog. Nikko has been examined by experts in animal behavior who have said that this is not a dangerous dog -- neglected or abused probably, but not dangerous. But until yesterday the several court hearings on his fate have all ended with "dunno, we might still blame and kill the dog; ask again in a few weeks". Yesterday a judge ruled that Nikko would not be killed, but he would also not stay in the local area. Instead, Nikko is going to an animal sanctuary that specializes in dogs that need a little extra care, such as ex-fighting dogs. This seems like a good and proper outcome all around, and I hope Nikko lives out a long and happy life there.
This child was not killed by a dangerous dog; it died from human error. But it's easier to blame the dog. I'm glad the courts saw a solution in this case, and I hope the parents -- who have two children and three dogs remaining -- are more careful in the future.