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Mon, Oct 29 | By Matt Van Hoven | 355

In the U.S., over 4 million dogs are euthanized each year. But some rescues won't let their small dogs be adopted by families with children. We first heard of this story in the Ellen Degeneres case – when the Mutts and Moms rescue t… more ›

Year of the Dog, Age of the Kid
198 results

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Terry F.
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Terry F.
5 years ago

I have to agree with most others here - this needs to be decided on case-by-case. I've seen very small children be very gentle with small dogs.

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Wendie
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Wendie
5 years ago

I too think that this should be decided on a case by case basis. Heck, I've met many family they they shouldn't have a dog until the kid is like 12 no matter what size the dog! And then other families that even a small breed dog would do fine in the busy home.

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Tammy37
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Tammy37
5 years ago

it should be on a case by case reasoning

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Charleshjr
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Charleshjr
5 years ago

I know that this does happen in a few shelters in our area, it should be evaluated on each family,

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Sheryl  S.
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Sheryl S.
5 years ago

I really think this needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis. I think that imposing an absolute "age limit" will prevent a lot of pets from going into potentially loving families. And lets be honest, what is the alternative? I think that if the parents think it is ok then they should be able to adopt.

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Jodi S.
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Jodi S.
5 years ago

It really depends on the dog and the child in question. Some small dogs come into rescue after living with children and doing well, so they'll probably be fine with little kids. A dog that is nippy or nervous definitely wouldn't be a great choice. I'm frequently more concerned about the parents' interaction with the child during the adoption process. If they're willing to correct the child for being too rough with the dog, things have a higher chance of working out well than a family who lets the baby do mostly whatever they want.

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Oldmaidcatwoman
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Oldmaidcatwoman
5 years ago

I'm not sure how a rescue could make a determination in the short amount of time they have to evaluate, but I think it does depend on the individual child and not the age.

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Mary P.
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Mary P.
6 years ago

should be a case by case analysis. Some kids are more mature than others & more responsible as well.

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Linda W.
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Linda W.
6 years ago

The very small dog is fragile and kids are hard on dogs. I like to see a dog about the size of a beagle with kids. Still smallish but big enough to take a bit of rough housing. The little, little dog is not the one being put down in the shelters unless it fails temparament tests or is in a shleter that just isn't doing their job as far as adoptions go. I have done adoptions in two different shelters in my area and I could adopt out more very small dogs.

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Teresa K.
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Teresa K.
6 years ago

I think each family and each dog should be screened individually and not a blanket rule given.

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Gene M.
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Gene M.
6 years ago

I Rescue, and it seems small kids and dogs do not go together. The main problem is, most kids are out of control. They are loud and do not respect their parents. They treat the dog bad, and then it is returned if you are lucky. If not it is tortured and then bites, and its the dogs fault.

No I keep my fosters, until a responsible owner comes along. Kids crying wanting my dogs doesn't phase me, they need to learn they can't have everything they want.

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collyn f.
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collyn f.
6 years ago

the kids need to learn early no matter what that dogs have feeling and they should not do anything to hurt them. parents need to be responsible!!!

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marlyn p.
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marlyn p.
6 years ago

OH and if you are going to get a dog, get a sturdy one that will stand up the the little ones. Teach the kiddo not to pull the tail, sit on the pup, poke him in the eye.

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marlyn p.
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marlyn p.
6 years ago

Why is this an issue? Responsible parents and responsible pet owners. Period.

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Shirley B.
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Shirley B.
6 years ago

I believe in age limits on children. NO PARENT can watch a child and dog every waking minute. It is better to err on the side of safety. Little children do not understand the danger. Until the day dogs can talk, it is our responsibility to keep dogs and children safe. Both dogs and children can be very unpredictable.

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maria s.
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maria s.
6 years ago

yes kids should be allowd. i hear more stories about the big dogs bititng children. its the parents choice. if theyh adopt a dog when they have a child then they should keep full eye on the child, and make sure nothing happens.

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Louise P.
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Louise P.
6 years ago

I don't think shelters should have a set rule about not placing small dogs in homes with small children. I think it is up to the shelter to find a good fit for the dogs and up to the parents to let the shelter know the family situation. Some small dogs like children and visa versa. Its also up to the parents to teach the children how to treat animals.

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Jenn
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Jenn
6 years ago

It depends on the child and the parents to be responsible.

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Tami T.
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Tami T.
6 years ago

I do think some dogs are at risk when placed with kids.

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Betty B.
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Betty B.
6 years ago

It depends on how the parents have raised their child. I do believe that a very small dog is in jeopardy of being hurt by a toddler not intentionally but just because toddlers are all over the place. I can understand why rescue groups would not want to adopt out small breeds to a family with a small child or children. I also know that kids from 4 & up can be very responsible with animals. It's much easier if the child grows up with animals and is taught how to treat them from a young age. I would not eant to adopt out a small breed to a family of a child under the age 4 or 5 that has never had a dog or any pets.

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LadySephiroth
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LadySephiroth
6 years ago

It depends on the child and should be handled on a case-by-case basis.

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Felicia
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Felicia
6 years ago

it should be case by case

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Charmedone92
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Charmedone92
6 years ago

I disagree and think that it depends on the maturity and needs of the child.

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christina m.
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christina m.
6 years ago

I don't think it's the size of the dog so much as the maturity of the kid. Any pet needs supervision around children.

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Beaglemutz
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Beaglemutz
6 years ago

Any situation should be considered on its own merit. Dogs and kids go together. I would not overgeneralize.

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dana R.
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dana R.
6 years ago

Each situation does need to be evaluated on a case by cases basis. However most educated parents know that tiny dogs are not ideal for situations involving family with small kids.

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Lisa
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Lisa
6 years ago

I think each situation has to be evaluated individually. At first glance, it would seem that an 11 and 12 year old are old enough for a small dog. They do have special needs because of their size - they are easily injured.

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Janicevarley
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Janicevarley
6 years ago

This should definitely depend on the home. It's like putting out breed restrictions. Don't discriminate against ALL pit bulls because one attacks. And don't discriminate against ALL children because one is careless. Isn't that why you are required to get acquainted with a pet prior to adoption? Maybe there just needs to be more supervision by the shelter when families and potential pets interact. Also, it's not really the children's fault...like an owner can raise a dog to be an attacker, a parent can raise a child to be responsible. There are too many pets in shelters to impose restrictions like this.

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betty p.
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betty p.
6 years ago

Usually our shelter does not get in too many small dogs. However on the kittens, we do have a policy. Kids under 5 years, no kitten under 5 months. Here is why. One year several small kittens were being returned at different times, months, etc. all injured or dead. All had been squeezed, stepped on, dropped and all had kids in the family under 5 years. So we made the policy.

Now we can also tell you we will consider some families with kids under 5 years for kittens under 5 months. But it is a case by case thing. And yes, we have denied folks for the smaller kittens.

So yes, I can see this for the smaller dogs but I think most kids over the age of 8 can understand what they can and can not do with the dogs. Just my opinion.

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George P.
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George P.
6 years ago

I have to agree with Betty P. on this. I was at PetSmart the other day and this little girl maybe 5 years old was walking around carrying this little puppy. I found out the puppy was only 6 weeks old (too young to be away from its mom), it was a chihuahua. While talking to them, the puppy got jumpy and the little girl squeezed the puppy and the puppy cried out. Mom took the puppy from the little girl and told her not to do that again. That she had already told her too many times that she should remember it.

Needs to be an age limit, but I think 7 to 14 year old kids might be okay. But then again, wasn't it a 15 year old who put the hampster in the dryer.

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Jessica R.
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Jessica R.
6 years ago

I think it should be case by case

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Getta S.
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Getta S.
6 years ago

This can be a tough call.I think it depends on the child and the parent/s.I believe if a child walks in to the shelter totally out of control and misbehaved then "NO!" if the parents cannot control that child in public then what is that child like at home ? A child comes in and is good,well behaved and the parent is at that child's side explaining how to pet a dog,telling the child to ask permission to pet an animal,etc.,then I say yes.

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Margene  W.
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Margene W.
6 years ago

I think it has to be done on a case by case basis-just depending on the dog and children.I think alot of adoption shelters,in their efforts to protect the animals misses out on a lot of really good adoptions.Just make them have a waiting period so it won't be an impluse adoption.

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Ed D.
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Ed D.
6 years ago

Yeah, it depends so much on the dog and the kids. Children aren't born knowing how to handle animals, and dogs see children as different from adults - in the way they move, the sounds they make, everything. Some dogs freak out at this, some just love the kids up.

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danielle t.
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danielle t.
6 years ago

WELL IF A FAMILY WANTS A SMALL DOG THEY WILL PROBABLY GET ONE REGARDLESS IF IT IS AT A SHELTER OR SOMEWHERE ELSE...SO POSSIBLY SUGGESTING OR EDUCATING THEM WOULD BE A BETTER OPTION. THE PARENTS ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN HOW TO TREAT ANY NEW PET. (KIDS HAVE HAMPSTERS...SO I DONT GET THE RATIONAL HERE)

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PackLeader1
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PackLeader1
6 years ago

Its not the size of the dog that matters, it the stability of the dogs mind.

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Gracie88
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Gracie88
6 years ago

No small dogs with small kids....they don't realize how hard they squeeze.

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Michele S.
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Michele S.
6 years ago

I think any family who understands the responsibility of taking care of a pet should be allowed to adopt one. Abusers come in all different sizes and I think that if you teach a child the right way to care for a pet when they are young, then that will stay with them for a lifetime.

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Ourstaff
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Ourstaff
7 years ago

I think it always varies from case to case. There are some kids who know more about how to treat pets then adults.
Do any of the shelters offer pet owner classes?
If they are not sure of how the kids will act then take steps to teach them. It would provide a nice service, get the shelter some good pr and might raise a little money. If the family/kids pass they get to adopt.

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Kim W.
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Kim W.
7 years ago

I agree on that it depends on the kid and the size of dog that is best for the family. Either way though if a family wants a certain kind of dog they will get it.

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Sarmaa
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Sarmaa
7 years ago

I have two small dogs, and I really think this depends on the individual animal and the children of the potential adopters. Some dogs (like mine) are totally inappropriate with children - they are afraid of them and bark and growl. On the other hand, there are little dogs who like children - but then the children have to be taken into account. They can be 10 years old and just act inappropriately with the dog vs. a very respectful 8 year old. The other problem is that even if the dog and the children go well together - is it really responsible to place a 3 pound Yorki who could get stepped on/have something dropped on him/her by a child that is well-meaning? I think shelters should take it on a case by case basis...and use the age of the children and the temperament of the dog as a guideline to what is best for everyone.

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Charlotte C.
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Charlotte C.
7 years ago

At our shelter we base it on the dog. If it's a dog that's overly sensitive (like many small dogs) we put child restrictions on them. I think it should be more what's in the best interest of the dog and not what the child might do.

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Dee
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Dee
7 years ago

Many families with small children can offer a wonderful home for pets.

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Karen S.
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Karen S.
7 years ago

There should be no blanket requirements about the ages of the children. Each situation should be evaluated separately.

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Sketch7511
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Sketch7511
7 years ago

I definately think a blanket rule does not work here.
I had an apple domed Chihauhau move in when my oldest daughter was only 3, and I worried she would hurt the tiny pup. The dog loved her and would follow her anywhere, I would find him trying to jump up onto her bed at night and have to close her door to keep him out.
It ended up being an adult who dropped him by accident, and he ended up with a broken leg from it. Accidents happen, and it is not always a child it happens to.

It definately would depend on the child, and the parents teaching the child.

I have a 3 year old son right now who has always been good around animals and respectful. Over Thanksgiving I had company who have 3 large dogs, the smallest being a keeshound, and the dogs were all great with my son. My son decided to reach into the dogs bowl while they were eating and LUCKILY nothing happened (yay for good doggy training), but my son got in serious trouble for not listening and leaving them alone...

It is all about teaching children and animals how to interact with each other properly, and knowing the dog and child you are placing in the same home. If a large breed does not like children or is fearful of them, why put them together. At the same time, if a small dog loves kids, why deny a family who can offer it love and attention and a forever home?

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Makenna
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Makenna
7 years ago

at our shelter we have the right to refuse to anybody. if a small dog was raised with kids or a stray dog comes in they take to our volunteers than we will adopted to family with well minded kids, if we know the dog dont like kids will not place in with kids.

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Spongebrooke
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Spongebrooke
7 years ago

I understand why shelters have age limits like that, but I think it should be dealt with on a case by case basis depending on the dog and the child. Of course, the dogs aren't the only ones who need to be trained. Parents need to be educated about how important it is to teach their children how to properly act around any animal and to give them respect.

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CORIU
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CORIU
7 years ago

I really think it depends on the child. The family and rescue group should go over the possilbe risks to the child and dog before being allowed to adopt.

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LouAnne
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LouAnne
7 years ago

I had no idea that children's ages are considered when placing a small dog in a home. I think it should be left up to the rescue organization to decide. However I'm not sure how the organization will be able to properly assess a child in just one or two encounters. I also think that parents should be monitoring their children's behavior around all pets no matter their size. Children need to be taught to respect others and having pets in the home offers many teaching moments.

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Tammyg
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Tammyg
7 years ago

One of the surest ways to discourage customers from coming to shelters and adopting is to set a bunch of hard fast, rigid rules such as age limits. People need to use common sense when considering whether an animal is a good match for a family with children and vice versa..

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Nurse4u92
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Nurse4u92
7 years ago

kids and animals alike have different personalities. I think it should be decided on a case by case basis.

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