Studies also show all sorts of benefits for children who live with animals including lower stress levels and have better empathy. People laugh when they ask me if Macy is having a brother or sister and I tell them no she has the animals instead. I can remember someone asking me if I was going to rehome the cat when we had Macy, I was shocked at the question, he is part of the family, there is no way, it didn't even cross my mind! For more info on studies click here
There is some really bad press about sometimes with regards to dog attacks, it is unfair to blame the animal, it is the owner who is at fault. No matter how much you think you can trust an animal you should never leave them unattended, I don't think you can ever trust an animal 100%, ever. And I own the softest, dopiest dog in the world!