Comments on the dilemma in the December issue: Dealing with dogs that bite

01 Jan 2019

Donald, M.

In Practice Image

In the dilemma discussed in the December issue of In Practice, Simon Coghlan described a scenario where you are working as a veterinarian in an animal shelter. The senior vet tells you about a dog that was surrendered to the shelter after it escaped from its yard and, without provocation, attacked a person, causing them a laceration that required stitches. A staff member at the shelter has offered to rehome the aggressive dog, as they live in the country and have a fenced yard. They believe the dog is owed a second chance. However, the senior vet disagrees saying: ‘Such dogs do not deserve to be in the community. They are a menace and should be destroyed’ (IP, December 2018, vol 40, pp 470-471). Is it morally right for you to kill the dog?