Should These Dogs Die?


This photo was taken four days before Bella was brutally killed by two other dogs one block from her house.

I’ve trained puppies and dogs, rescued puppies and dogs, loved puppies and dogs, and owned pups and dogs for a number of years. Yet rarely in any of my training sessions or experience with even my own dogs have I ever found all the qualities in one puppy or dog that Bella possessed.

At only 4 months she had went through my private training class where she had mastered: coming, sitting, downing, and staying. She already received her AKC Star Puppy Certificate, had been attending pet therapy group sessions where she was a born natural (melted right in everyone’s arms), and the tragic night of her death she would have been attending her first advanced training session to work toward her AKC Canine Good Citizen Award.

Bella was more than just another puppy, she was a young girl’s pet and best friend, a family member, and played a big part of healing in this society. She was soft, cuddly, adorable, intelligent, playful, friendly, and loving toward all people and animals. She didn’t have an aggressive bone in her body. To die a tragic death at the hands of two bigger bully dogs was senseless and disheartening.

I commend her owner, Madison Godley. At just 14 years old, she is very responsible. In fact, she is one of the most responsible teenagers I know. She always kept Bella on a leash, fed/watered her, bathed her, trained her, rewarded and disciplined her appropriately, and even walked 60 miles this summer with her for an event to prevent abuse/bullying and cancer. Madison and Bella were a great team and won two 1st Place Certificates for the Paws for Healing Walk-a-Thon for getting the most pledges and walking the most miles.

Being a responsible dog owner is an important task, as well as a tough one, I know. Yet, Madison did an exceptional job with Bella, even at her young age. It’s sad that she is the one who has to suffer and pay, while these other dog owners who acted irresponsibly are just slapped with a ticket when they let their vicious dogs out unleashed and they brutally attacked and killed Bella. It could be a child next time.

There are leash laws in this city that require all dogs to be on a leash. If a dog is unleashed and doesn’t hurt anyone or another dog, then yes, give the owner a ticket. But my goodness, if a dog is attacked and killed, shouldn’t this dog or dogs be put down before it does even more damage and takes more lives? Please comment and tell us your thoughts.

*We are hosting an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Event in Bella’s Memory on Saturday, September 28, 2013. Please visit for more information. Thank you!


Lisa Freeman

CEO Abuse Bites, Author, Speaker, AKC Evaluator, Dog Trainer and Certified Pet Therapist

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