Unpopular Opinion: Animals Shouldn’t Be Put Down For Attacking Humans


Illustration by Jayden Barns

Ari Matias Perez, Co-Editor in Chief, Co-News Editor

Every year thousands upon thousands of animals are euthanized due to attacking and more specifically, biting humans.  In California, the law states that if a dog must be euthanized when the dog has rabies, the dog has bitten at least two people in the past, or the dog has seriously bitten one person but had been raised to fight or was trained as an attack dog.  Although it is necessary to have repercussions for these attacks, the heaviest sentence should not fall onto the animal.  Instead, I believe all consequences should fall solely on the owner of the animal.  

It has been proven time and time again that dogs are not inherently vicious.  Most times, they are either trained to fight or are so traumatized that they resort to violent behavior.  In both cases, humans are at fault.  If these people would have been responsible dog owners, there would be no need to euthanize the dog.  A lot of dog owners, especially owners of bigger dog breeds, actually tend to want “vicious looking” dogs.  They go out of their way to make their dog more aggressive such as clipped ears and other body modifications, solely for aesthetic purposes.  Not only does this harm the dog, but it furthers the idea that these types of dogs are in fact “vicious animals.” 

It is also worth noting that the euthanization law for biting humans does not apply for dog on dog attacks.  If we really cared about getting rid of “threats to society,” we would also take these attacks into account.  These laws are made for human convenience while at the same time ridding the owner of any true repercussions.  

One could argue that humans are at fault at a much larger scale.  Many times when an animal in the wild attacks a human, they are euthanized.  In some states it is the law to euthanize animals if they attack humans even if they survive.  After the attack, the animal is hunted and killed.

What many fail to realize is that we are intruding on the animal’s personal space and home.  Animals can not understand that humans go into their home for pleasure.  We should understand the risk we put ourselves in when we go into the domain of wild animals.  

Many animal attack survivors recognize this and do not blame the animal for the attack.  Nic Pratick, an avid grizzly bear advocate, was attacked by a grizzly bear in Cody, Wyoming, in 2013.  As he was being transported to the hospital he pleaded with officials to not take lethal action against the bear.  He later stated in an interview in National Geographic that he believed it was not the bear’s fault and she was only trying to protect her cubs.  

Euthanization for attacking humans not only harms animals but is unfair.  We should take accountability for our own decisions and responsibility towards the well being of our pets.  This type of behavior is deflective upon the fact that these attacks are an outcome of human ignorance.