You must have read a different article than the one above. There is nothing in the article that says the owner knew the dog was aggressive or that he had ever had a similar problem.Firstly, nobody is perfect. A child slips away in just a momentary distraction. A dog slips out the door or by a gate left open. Things happen. But back to the dog and the owner. An aggressive dog chained to a tree becomes more and more aggressive. What idiot doesn't know that. If you have an aggressive dog you make absolutely sure that dog is behind a secure fence. But nothing is 100 percent secure with an agressive animal and especially one that size. There is a major difference between a dog that will nip if approached and a dog that will all out attack. That owner knew that dog was aggressive. You know your own dog. Never should a dog like that be exposed to the public on or off their property. Those parents will have to live in this nightmare forever. And the dog will be killed because of irresponsible owners who instead of training and socializing and properly containing their dog took the attitude that it was on their property. And just what type of person wants to own something like that? And why have a dog if all your going to do is chain it up? That is just so cruel and for that reason too I'm for punishing the owner to the max.
I think the parents should receive exactly the same punishment as the owner of the dog, as they were equally responsible for this trajedy. In fact if they had done their job to start with there would have been no trajedy.
Sad that the dog will have to be put down, but it could never be trusted again. As much as I love my dogs, I would never keep an aggressive one.