As I turned around, to my trepidation, about 50 feet away, I saw one of the most dangerous dog breeds in the world barreling toward me and my miniature schnauzer, Schultz. I feared for both our lives.

Unable to pick up Schultz in time, I watched in horror as he was unknowingly attacked and bitten. This isn’t the first time this particular dog has attacked and bitten another dog in our quiet Seminole neighborhood.

This marks at least the third documented dog bite incident in a four-year period. Required common sense safety precautions seem like a no-brainer by now. Per Florida statutes, the Pinellas County Animal Services escalation process is based on the severity and number of severe dog bite incidents by a particular dog. The repercussions range from informational documents for appropriate pet care to citations. The county agency cannot mandate a dog to wear a muzzle or be contained to their yard, or any other safety precaution of significance to prevent a future attack. Safety mandates such as these must be filed through an injunction.

For the most part, if a dog “only” bites and doesn’t severely injure or kill another dog, they can continue terrorizing neighborhoods throughout their lifetime without consequences. It would be interesting if I chased my neighbors up and down our streets and bit them like a vampire until I drew blood. I am fairly certain the police would appear before the blood dried and I would be quickly ushered to the nearest precinct.

Unfortunately, our beloved pets haven’t risen to a higher status. Should they? I am pretty sure my miniature schnauzer’s IQ is higher than mine and he is certainly more loyal and forgiving than I’ll ever be. Maybe we should have our pets make and enforce the rules themselves. Or maybe we should be more like our pets. I am pretty sure Schultz forgot about the incident the day after it happened. And it is time I did, too.

Laura Starman, Seminole