Enough is enough.

When I heard the story of a 3-year-old boy mauled to death by two neighborhood pit bulls I was literally sick to my stomach. The mom threw herself on top of the child when the pit bulls came under the fence and into their backyard. Witnesses say she fought with everything she had to stop the savage attack on her little child, but she only ended up critically wounded herself. When Carteret police showed up they opened fire on the animals.

You know the story by now. Aziz Ahmed and his mother were airlifted to a hospital. The little boy could not be saved. His life over at 3. And if relatives and neighbors have it right it never had to happen.

It’s being reported the victim family had talked to the owner of the pit bulls on more than one occasion about them being too aggressive and that they were a problem. Story has it the dogs’ owner laughed it off. A neighbor reportedly said these dogs were always wandering the streets loose and that children weren’t allowed to play outside because of them. If these stories are proven true, the Middlesex County Prosecutor needs to criminally charge this person with whatever can stick.

We already know the dogs were unregistered. I would think negligent homicide charges are in order. If this person proves so irresponsible as to allow pit bulls to routinely roam the neighborhood and not take his new neighbors concerns for the safety of her family seriously then there needs to be as many years in prison as possible. This was nothing less than an unattended weapon and reckless indifference toward human life.

You pit bull owners who like to pretend this breed is harmless always point out it’s not the dog; it’s the owners. Then put your money where your mouth is and join me in calling for the most severe punishment possible for the owner. Yes, the investigation needs to be thorough. Yes, they must have their day in court. But if the evidence shows the stories of irresponsibility and disregard are true, we cannot ignore it. A message must be sent to all owners of this breed that you’re on notice.

Secure your animal.

This breed has killed more Americans than any other. By far. From 2005 to 2017, dogs killed 433 Americans and 284 of those deaths were by pit bulls. That's over 65% attributed to a breed which makes up less than 7% of the nation's dog population.

In 2017 alone, there were 39 fatal dog attacks in this country. That year, pit bulls accounted for 74% of them. That's seven times greater than the next closest breed.

Pit bulls don’t bite the most. But they kill the most. This is the breed responsible for hundreds of human deaths.

If you own one and you don’t like what you’re reading, you should know I own one, too, in the form of a mixed breed. So I understand you love your dog and you think it would never hurt anyone. Most won’t. But some will. And many have snapped after years of perfect behavior. Some turned on owners who did everything right. Love and care for your dog, but never deny its potential for harm.

Years in prison for the owner of the dogs that killed this 3-year-old boy will be a good reminder.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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