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Rover, Junior Aren't Always a Good Match

March 30, 1997

This is in response to "When Push Comes to Bite," the informative article on pets and children by Shari Roan published on March 16. Roan's article teaches people that children and dogs are not always the perfect match.

Having been involved in animal rescue, I can say the number of dogs that end up being rescued due to problem interactions with children is astounding. It is for this reason that so many private rescue groups in the Los Angeles area do not adopt to families with children under a certain age, often 5 years old.

Most rescue people are vehemently opposed to giving a puppy to a family with toddlers. This is for the protection of the child as well as the puppy. It does not hold true that Rover and baby will grow up together, and while a 3-year-old is briefly a tad bigger than an 8-week-old golden retriever, in six months this pup is 75 pounds and knocking the toddler down. Often the pup and child are not well supervised, and even the gentlest pooch can have his limits at having his tailed pulled one time too many.

Often the parents see the solution to be giving the dog away. Thus it is no wonder that according to the National Humane Society, the average dog in the United States has five homes by the age of 7.

ELLIE PODWAY

Pasadena

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