I think it's more that people just don't understand that pets are still wild animals at heart. Even the friendliest pet dog can turn into a vicious beast if a baby messes with his food bowl. Parents think their pets couldn't possibly hurt anyone, but animals aren't as good at reading intent as we'd like to think they are. When my daughter starts pulling on the cat's tail, he just sees someone attacking him and not a baby who doesn't know better.
I agree. I read a headline about a family dog dragging a newborn who was a premie out of the house and into the yard. The poor baby was injured severely. These stories really upset me and break my heart.
I know people love their pets but I wish they would put the safety of their babies first. I just don't understand.
Yeah, that just about broke my heart too, reading that article. It wasn't like the baby was neglected, either; the mom put him in his crib long enough to answer the phone and the dog pulled him out and ran outside. So many people just don't realize that pets see a baby as a noisy, smelly intruder on their territory (or in the case of the giant snake, an easy meal). I don't think that means anyone should get rid of their pets, but at least take some time to get them used to the idea of a baby and by all means keep pets separated from the baby when you're not around to supervise directly.
When we brought Caitlin home from the hospital, we made it a rule that our two cats were not ever allowed to sleep in her room, even with us there to watch them. Once she was older, we lightened up to no cats in the crib, ever, not even when she's not in the crib with them. The cats now know they're not allowed in the crib when she's in there and they either hightail it out of the room or get thrown out. Even still, when they're in a wild mood they go outside immediately. Cats are really unpredictable when they start fighting and if Cait tried to break them up herself I'm afraid they'll turn on her.