Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pit bull attack spurs call for quick action

From IndyStar.com

A mother is asking Hancock County officials to take action against the owners of a pit bull that attacked her 7-year-old daughter while she was riding her bicycle on the sidewalk near her home Friday.
Sarah Brown said the 7-month-old pit bull that bit her daughter, Rachel, had chased her at least six times before, but the dog's owners refused to keep it leashed when it was outside.
 The dog bit Rachel's buttocks. She was treated at a hospital and released.
The dog was confiscated by animal-control officers and will be held for 10 days, as workers observe its temperament.
The dog was not vaccinated and also will be tested for rabies.

Middle-Schoolers Out Joyriding, Suspected of Firing Flare that Torched Home, Killed 13 Dogs

By Chad Garrison, Riverfront Times

They were out joyriding in a red Dodge Charger when two kids from East St. Louis -- ages 12 and 13 -- allegedly stopped by a home in rural East Carondelet, Illinois, and fired a flare.

The device caught a shed on fire with the flames quickly moving on to the home. Inside were 13 dogs -- a dozen miniature pinschers and one pit bull. The husband and wife who owned the home said they treated the pets like children.

"When you can't have children, yeah, they really are. They're all I had," Rhonda Tutor told KMOV yesterday.

It took the all-volunteer firefighter crew hours to control the blaze at which point all the animals trapped inside were dead. The middle-schoolers were found nearby and placed in custody.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Injured fighting dogs abandoned

By Shara Hamby, The Highline Times

Two pit bulls were found in the 13600 block of 18th Avenue South. Both dogs were severely injured and bleeding profusely. They appeared to be fighting dogs. Animal control came and took custody of both dogs. Witnesses saw a vehicle drop off one of the dogs but were not able to get a plate number.

Police shoot, kill pit bull after attack on woman

By Elisha Anderson, Free Press

Police shot and killed a pitbull in Westland on Sunday after it attacked a woman in the area of Palmer and Merriman around 10:30 p.m., Lt. Mike Matich said.
The woman was taken to the hospital, he said. Police did not know her condition this morning.
A second pit bull -- also involved in the attack -- got away and is still on the loose, Matich said.
If anybody sees that dog, Westland Police ask you to call them.

Update November 7, 2010 8:09am - The following article is by Leanne Rogers, Observer & Eccentric:
Owner faces trial over pit bulls' attack

A Westland man has been ordered to stand trial on charges that his pit bulls attacked and injured a local woman.
On Oct. 28, Geoffrey Moore, 37, waived his preliminary examination in Westland 18th District Court on two charges of dangerous animals causing serious injury, a four-year felony. The charge comes under state law which defines a dangerous animal as one that bites or attacks a person or causes death to another dog.Moore was one of three Wayne County residents recently charged with felonies stemming from attacks reported by dogs that they owned.
In the Aug. 29 incident, two pit bulls owned by Moore, were reported to have attacked a Westland woman, 39, as she walked on Dorsey at Oceana. The woman received approximately 52 stitches to repair injuries to her upper arm.
The woman told police she walked past the home on Oceana where the dogs were staying and heard growling and barking. She quickly walked away but the female pit bulls followed.
A neighbor assisted the woman and the dogs fled. One returned home and was found by police when they arrived. That dog was described as being aggressive with the officers and was shot at the scene. The second dog wasn't located until the following day, held in rabies quarantine for 10 days at the Michigan Humane Society and then euthanized.
Free on $5,000 personal bond, Moore is scheduled for Wayne County Circuit Court arraignment on Nov. 11.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Officer Shoots Pit Bull after Large Fight in Brookneal


A Brookneal Police officer shot and killed a pit bull Saturday night while trying to control a large fight that broke out.
Officer Scott Earhart responded to a fight at the intersection of Willow Lane and Southeast Street. When he arrived, Officer Earhart says there was a large crowd of people yelling and making threatening gestures.
With the assistance of his canine "Ice" Officer Earhart began breaking up the fight between two men, Quamine Whitlow of Newport News and Eric Black of Brookneal. Whitlow attempted to run from the scene, but was caught by Officer Earhart's canine "Ice".
The fight between Whitlow and Black continued as Officer Earhart attempted to arrest the men. Once the fight was under control, Officer Earhart attempted to bring both men into custody, but then, Jennifer D. Carwile of Gladys, released her pit bull on Officer Earhart's and his canine.
Carwile's pit bill attacked "Ice" and Officer Earhart. " He tried to stop the pit bull, but the dog would not stop attacking "Ice. Officer Earhart then shot and killed the pit bull.
"Ice" is ok, but has cuts and bruises on his back and side.
The Campbell County Sheriff's, Campbell County Animal Control, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, Halifax County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police all responded to assist.
Officer Earhart's canine "Ice" was transported to Corbin Vets Office in Charlotte Court House, VA for treatment. The dog is recovering at home, and barring any complications should return to full-duty by the end of the week.
Eric Black and Quamine Whitlow were charged with Assault and Battery.
Jennifer Dawn Carwile was charged with Felony Assault on a Police Officer and Felony Assault on a Police Dog.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Prosecutor needs more info on alleged dog beating case

By Mary Kate Malone, South Bend Tribune

The St. Joseph County prosecutor says he does not yet have enough evidence to charge anyone with the alleged beating of a pit bull Aug. 4 near Washington High School.

Prosecutor Michael Dvorak has asked South Bend police for additional information, he said. Such requests are not uncommon from the prosecutor's office.

According to police, a pit bull named Bootsie was beaten to death with baseball bats at a house in the 5000 block of Greenleaf Lane.

Police said they found the dog barely breathing beneath blankets in the backyard, and a freshly dug grave nearby.

The dog had to be put down because of the

severity of its injuries, according to Animal Control officials.

But Dvorak said initial police reports did not contain enough evidence to implicate anyone beyond a reasonable doubt in the incident.

Police reports indicated up to seven people were home at the time. Police at the scene said a 14-year-old admitted to the crime.

The teen also told police the pit bull had turned vicious and bit him several times on the leg. The teen was not detained by the Juvenile Justice Center, but it is not clear why.

A 40-year-old man was also home at the time, but he later told a reporter he slept through the incident. He said he struck the dog a few times with the leg of a table "out of self-defense" and then put the dog in the backyard and fell asleep.

He said the incident was "uncalled for" and he wished he had been awake to stop it. But he emphasized the dog had turned violent.

The Tribune is not naming the man because he has not been charged with a crime.

Update October 2, 2010 9:14am - The following article is from South Bend Tribune:

South Bend man charged in beating of pit bull

The St. Joseph County prosecutor filed charges Friday against Gerald McKinley, 40, of South Bend, in connection with the Aug. 4 beating of a pit bull at a home in the 5000 block of Greenleaf Street.

The charges followed an investigation by South Bend police and the results of a necropsy performed Sept. 17, according to a news release.

McKinley has been charged with mutilating an animal, a Class D felony, and animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor.

His bond was set at $1,000, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

According to police, the pit bull named Bootsie was beaten to death with baseball bats. They found the dog barely breathing beneath blankets in the backyard, and a freshly dug grave nearby.

The dog had to be put down because of the severity of his injuries, according to Animal Control officials.

Update October 19, 2010 2:29pm - The following article is from South Bend Tribune:

Gerald McKinney, the South Bend man charged with beating a pit bull in his back yard, was arraigned in court Tuesday.

McKinney, 40, was charged in connection with the beating of a pit bull dog, "Bootsie," behind a home on Greenleaf Lane in August. Police were alerted to the beating after neighbors called to report that it sounded like someone was beating a dog.

Police reportedly found the dog, still alive, buried in a shallow grave. The animal was later put down.

McKinney is scheduled to appear in court for an initial hearing on Oct. 26. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Woman charged for beating cat with rake

From The Times Leader

A woman is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday on charges she injured a cat with a metal rake. Jessica Pachucki, 23, of North Meade Street, Wilkes-Barre, was charged with two counts of cruelty to animals by the SPCA of Luzerne County.
The charges were filed with District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 5.
According to the criminal complaint:
Robert Kennedy, of Logan Street, reported that a woman on North Meade Street beat his 13-year old cat with a metal rake on July 30.
Kennedy took his cat to a veterinarian and learned the feline suffered a fractured leg that required amputation and puncture wounds, the criminal complaint says.
Kennedy had the cat euthanized at the SPCA.
Pachucki called the SPCA and admitted she struck the cat with a rake. She claimed she was attempting to keep the cat away from her dog, a pit bull, the criminal complaint says.
A witness told an animal control officer, according to the criminal complaint, that she witnessed Pachucki beating the cat with a rake, and that the pit bull was tied to a dog house, about 30 to 40 feet away from the cat.
The preliminary hearing is scheduled on Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre Central Court.

Man, two children bitten by dog in Va. Beach neighborhood

By Angela Bohon, WVEC

Investigators say a dog attacked three people, including two children. 11-year-old Arika Castano saw a plastic surgeon Friday about the injuries to her hand, knee and hip.
She says she was riding her bike with her younger brother in the Ocean Lakes section of Va. Beach when a pit bull went after them.
She says Ethan was thrown from his bike and the dog got on top of him and started biting.
Arika ran at the dog, hoping it would be scared off, but it turned on her.
"I was just thinking of a way, how could I escape, how could I get away," she said. "Each time I would run away, he would be like biting another piece of me off and it would hurt really bad."
Investigators say the dog had escaped from its back yard and had already bitten a 40-year-old man on the arm.
Neighbor and nurse Deborah Sanchez heard the childrens' screams and went to see if she could help.
"I opened the gate. I grabbed her and pulled her in. I slammed the door in the dog's face as he was lunging," she stated.
Sanchez says she’s never seen the dog attack before.
"I have been in their home. They are a loving Christian family and that dog was all in my face, kissing me and very affectionate," she recalled.
The dog’s owner, Monica Springfield, wasn’t home at the time. She’s been cited for having a nuisance animal.
The dog remains at Animal Control.

Cops Nab Pit Bull Suspected in Pet Attacks

By Bob Connors, Monica Buchanan and Leanne Gendreau, NBC Connecticut

Police think they have captured a pit bull that has been roaming the streets of Ansonia and attacked two family pets.
To capture the dogs, police set up traps and increased presence in the area.
Ansonia police set up a cage in the Howard Avenue area and captured a white, male pit bull with brown markings and no collar.
Police believe this is the same one responsible for two attacks on family dogs animals in the same area of town.
In both cases, the family dog was on its owner's property when it was attacked.
Ron Craft said his dog, Bogart, was attacked last week and underwent emergency surgery for bites and puncture wounds on his leg and neck.
The dog was taken to the Ansonia Animal Hospital, where it is being held and the Ansonia Animal Control Officer is trying to determine if this is the same dog.


Update August 27, 2010 12:44pm - The following article is by Lauren Garrison, New Haven Register:
Ansonia cops capture 1 of 3 roaming pit bulls

Police say they have captured one of three pit bulls that have been seen roaming on the west side of town.

The dog, a white pit bull with brown markings, was caught Thursday evening in a cage set by police in the area of Howard Avenue. It is now being held at the Ansonia Animal Hospital, police said.

The animal control officer is trying to determine if the dog captured is the same one responsible for recent attacks on two domestic dogs on the west side of town.

The owner of one of the dogs attacked, Johnny Millan of 27 Bassett St., said his dog, a male pit bull/ bull mastiff mix named John Gotti, had suffered an injury to his ear. He was scheduled to be released from the vet today, Millan said.

The owner of the other dog attacked couldn’t be reached.

Police have been searching for three pit bulls roaming in the areas of Franklin Street, Maple Street, Olson Drive, North Westwood Road, Riverside Drive and Pershing Drive. All the dogs are described as white with brown markings.

Police said the dogs appear to be out more during the evening and early morning hours. There have been no reports of the dogs attacking humans.

The Police Department has issued disposal orders for all three dogs, but police said a process must be followed before it’s determined if the dogs will be put down.

Anyone who spots a roaming dog is asked to contact police immediately at 203-735-1885.

Teen Arrested After Boyfriend's Dog Dragged


18-Year-Old Charged With Animal Cruelty

A Maury County woman has been charged with animal cruelty after dragging a dog behind her car last week.
Jessica Nicole McNabb
A witness told police that on Aug. 21, Jessica McNabb, 18, tied a rope around the neck of a golden retriever, then tied it to the back of her car and dragged the dog down Sheepneck Road in Mount Pleasant. The witness said McNabb then let her pit bull attack the injured retriever.
Police told Columbia Daily Herald that the golden retriever belongs to Travis Hanvy and that McNabb and Hanvy had been in a relationship.
McNabb was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor. She was released after posting a $2,500 bond. The dog survived the abuse and was treated for its injuries.

Mansfield-area woman, boy, hurt when dogs attack

From Herald Democrat

Johnson County authorities say a woman saved her 3-year-old nephew by lying on him as pit bulls attacked them outside her house near Mansfield. Sheriff Bob Alford says the boy was severely hurt in Thursday's attack and was transported to a Fort Worth hospital. The woman was also taken to a hospital. Investigators on Friday declined to release names of the victims or further details on their injuries.
Authorities say the woman and the boy managed to get into her house before rescue personnel arrived. Alford says arriving deputies also were attacked by the dogs, who lived at the woman's residence, and killed one of the animals.

Mom Of Boy Gnawed By Puppy Given Early Release

From NBC 4i Columbus

An Ohio woman whose young son's foot was mauled by the family's pit bull puppy has been freed from prison more than a year early. The judge in Toledo who released 27-year-old Martina Jennings on Thursday put her under house arrest for 30 days and placed her in a community control program for three years.
Jennings served about two years and nine months of a four-year sentence for child endangering.
She must perform 20 hours of community service, take parenting classes and not keep dogs around her children.
Jennings' then 4-year-old son had his foot amputated after it was chewed on by the dog in February 2007.
The county dog warden said the boy had no feeling in his legs because of spina bifida and didn't know the puppy was biting him.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pit bull jumps through window, chases woman

By Dave Phillips, Daily Tribune

No injuries were reported after a pit bull jumped through a window and chased a woman who was walking her dog outside in White Lake Township.

The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 800 block of Farnsworth Street, when the dog pushed a window or window screen out and jumped through the hole, according to White Lake Police Lt. Ed Harris.

A neighbor who saw the dog chasing the woman led the victim inside to safety before the dog could reach her.

Two officers were dispatched to the scene, and the pit bull ran toward one of the officers very aggressively, Harris said. The officer fired two shots, scaring the dog, which retreated into its owner’s yard before being taken away by animal control officers.

Police issued “several” violations to the owner of the dog, including one for harboring a dangerous animal, Harris said. The pit bull is being held pending further investigation.

The neighbor who assisted the woman told police that the dog is a “constant problem” in the neighborhood, often chasing walkers and joggers.

“Fortunately, no one was injured, and that’s the main thing,” Harris said. “The woman was scared, obviously, and won’t soon forget it.”

Pit bull stolen from Lancaster Township home

By Cindy Stauffer, Lancaster Online

The Wood family thinks they know how you took Titan.They think you first spied the 5-month-old puppy playing out front of their Lancaster Township home.
They think you waited until they went to work Wednesday.
Then they think you went around to the back of their home where Titan was attached to a dog line, unsnapped him and took him.
A short time later, somebody thought they saw you walking the dog through the Woods' Hawthorne Ridge neighborhood, off New Danville Pike. Later Wednesday, somebody else thought they saw you with the dog on Manor Street in Lancaster.
Josh Wood, 32, is looking for you.
Wood's son, who will turn 3 Friday, can't understand what happened to his puppy. He regularly goes outside and calls Titan's name from the back porch where the dog liked to lie.
Wood's wife, Febe, has cried over the loss of the dog who was, Wood said, "the friendliest, calmest dog I ever met in my life."
"It's horrible," Wood said. "We feel horrible."
The Woods, who live in the 200 block of Kentshire Drive and also have a 1-year-old daughter, bought Titan about three months ago, paying $800 for the dog, which is a purebred, blue, pit bull.
"I have owned them before," Wood said of the breed. "They're good family dogs, who have gotten a bad rap."
Wood and his wife keep the dog outside during the day if the weather is nice. They have a deck and a shaded area. Wood comes home from his job as a real estate salesman at lunchtime to feed the dog.
But when he came home Wednesday, Titan was not there. Thinking his wife had put the dog inside, fearing rain, he checked Titan's crate in the house. The dog wasn't there either.
During the day, Titan isn't visible from the family's front yard and he's not a barker. He also is not an escaper. His line broke recently and the puppy waited on the deck for a family member to find him. And Wood replaced the line with one suitable for a 200-pound dog.
That's why Wood thinks someone had seen the dog, and went looking for him.
"I think someone was watching us," he said "They had to know he was there."
Since the theft, which is being investigated by Manheim Township Police, Wood has posted messages about it on Facebook. He also posted fliers around his neighborhood and on Manor Street, where a family friend thought he saw the dog.
"I can't believe someone would do this," Wood said. "I know the dogs are valuable and he's not fixed. Someone could steal him and breed him and sell the pups.
"It's tough but I know a lot of people, all around, and I have everyone looking."
Titan is bluish-gray and weighs about 40 pounds. He has a white stomach and a white patch of fur on his front, right paw.
Anyone with information about the dog is asked to call Manheim Township Police at 569-6401.

Update August 29, 2010 8:20pm - The following article is by Taylor Bundy, Lancaster Online:

Reward set for dog's safe return

More people join the search for a Lancaster Township family's missing purebred pit bull.

To Josh Wood, family is priceless.

So it makes sense that he plans to offer a $500 reward for one missing family member, a 5-month-old blue pit bull named Titan.
Wood believes the dog was stolen from his Lancaster Township home last Wednesday.
He also believes that whoever took the dog, which was leashed in his yard, did so with the intention of selling the purebred, which Wood and his family purchased three months ago for $800.
Wood, who lives in the 200 block of Kentshire Drive off New Danville Pike, discovered a typed note and $100 in cash taped to the door of his home Friday morning. The money was in 20 $5 bills, and the note claimed that whoever found the dog was too "attached to him already" to give him back. Police now have that $100, he said Sunday.
Now, after days spent tacking up posters and alerting friends, family, local media and police, Wood has decided to offer a $500 reward in hopes that the money will convince anyone who intended to sell his dog to return him instead.
Wood said he hopes the new posters that he put up Saturday — which note the reward amount, unlike earlier notices he posted last week — will encourage anyone with his dog or with information to come forward.
"I think if someone sees (the poster) and they actually have the dog, that might entice them to bring (Titan) back," Wood said about the reward.
Wood posted on his Facebook page Saturday that he would offer the reward and is accepting donations.
He said Sunday night that he had collected $200 in donations from neighbors, friends and family, and more money is on the way.
"I'll pay it out of my pocket regardless," Wood said about whether he receives the remaining $300 in donations.
Amy Risko, owner of Two Pups Pastries on Williamsburg Road, said that her bakery has chipped in by handing out fliers, hanging posters and  donating $50 to the reward fund.
"It's been a blessing," Wood said of the bakery's help.
Risko said the business is "trying to be the middleman" for people who have information about the dog orwould like to return Titan without going to the police.
"I think a lot of people are scared, and either they have information on the dog or they're worried they might get in trouble," Risko said.
Manheim Township Police Department is investigating the case as a theft. Sgt. Tom Rudzinski was unable to comment further Sunday on the case.
Rudzinski encourages anyone who would like to provide information to call the police department's anonymous tipline at 569-2816 or the police department at 569-6401.
Wood said he received a call regarding a found pit bull, but the dog was female.
And last week, Wood said he heard several reports of a dog similar to Titan's description being seen on Manor Street in Lancaster.
Risko said she and other volunteers had been to the area to distribute fliers and are "hoping somebody might have seen (Titan) at some point."
Wood said he does not want to press charges, and that if somebody decides to turn in his dog it would be with "no questions asked."
Risko said she would agree to meet in public with anyone who wants to return Titan.
Employees at Two Pups Pastries encourage anyone with information on Titan to call the bakery at 381-5649 or Wood at 989-3060.
"I don't want people to be scared of the police about it," Wood said. "I'm beyond the emotion of being upset and angry about it. At this point, I just want the dog back."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mobile police now say dogs that attacked ponies were not pit bulls

By David Ferrara, Press-Register

A pack of dogs that attacked two miniature ponies owned by the Mobile Police Department were multiple mixed-breeds, not pit bulls, police said this afternoon.An officer on patrol heard yelping and found the ponies, Woggie and Little Joe, being attacked by at least six dogs at about 1:50 a.m. Tuesday morning just outside the department's barn at 1251 Virginia Street, according to police spokesman Christopher Levy.
The ponies were taken to a Highland Animal Hospital in Daphne, where they later died, according to Sgt. Eddie Carr, who heads the department's Mounted Unit.
Police caught three of the dogs, which were later euthanized, and set traps to catch the others.
The responding officer originally described the dogs as pit bulls, and police initially reported the incident as a pit bull attack.  However, a veterinarian who euthanized the dogs later said they were "very aggressive" mixed-breeds, according to Levy.
For much of the past year, aggressive dogs have killed at least eight cats kept around the stables, Carr said. Officers who work in the Mounted Unit have tried to keep the dogs away in the past.
Police believe that someone owns the dogs, and the owners could face criminal charges. Investigators were looking into tips this afternoon, Levy said.
Many in the department's Mounted Unit had become attached to the ponies, which stood no taller than 28 inches, Carr said.
"We considered them officers, because they became our friends," Carr said.
Little Joe, a 2-year-old named for Deputy Chief Joe Kennedy, and Woggie, a 3-year-old, were purchased for a minimal price about two years ago, Carr said. They ate only about 50-pounds of feed a month, and cost little to maintain.
Police had plans to use the ponies to help pull children with disabilities through a Mardi Gras parade next year, Carr added.
"We took good care of them," Carr said. "They were here for the public -- the kids especially. We were proud of these two fellas."


From News Telegram

A young girl was scratched by a pit bull in the area of Frankfort and Pratt streets this morning, according to police. Police Officers Domenic LaPosta and Steven McBride managed to contain the dogs after a lengthy chase bringing them to the intersection of South Street and Electric Avenue .

Above, the dogs are shown moments before being caught by Animal Control Officer Susan Kowaleski. They were captured near an office building at 360 Electric Ave.

Fitchburg Police Sgt. Glenn C. Fossa said that the girl, who was walking along Causeway Street around 9:40 a.m., suffered a cut on her arm that measured about one-quarter of an inch. Because the dogs have been caught and examined, the victim will not have to get a rabies shot, according to Sgt. Fossa.

Ms. Kowaleski characterized the two dogs as unregistered, and the female was believed to be “in heat,” a possible a motivator in the attack.

Sheriff: Dogs attack, kill 7-year-old boy

From News Tribune

Dogs attacked and caused the death of a 7-year-old boy this morning in a rural area between Varna and Wenona, according to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and coroner.
The sheriff’s department received a 911 call at about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday “advising of a dog attack at the Eric Shanklin Farm, approximately 2 miles northeast of Varna,” according to the report.
“Jason T. Walter, 7, was outside the rural residence when he was attacked by a number of dogs. Family members found him lying in the driveway outside the residence and called 911,” according to the report. Marshall County Coroner Dave Lenz pronounced Walter dead ‘a short time later.”
“Four dogs, three pit bulls and a mixed breed, owned by other residents on the property were captured and taken to the Marshall County veterinary clinic to be euthanized and taken to Galesburg for further investigation,” according to the sheriff’s department’s initial report.
The sheriff’s department was assisted by Wenona Ambulance, Varna Fire and Ambulance and Lifeflight. State police and Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and the coroner continue to investigate.

Update August 25, 2010 2:36pm - The following article is from CBS Chicago:
4 Dogs Attack, Kill Boy Visiting Central Ill. Farm

A 7-year-old boy was attacked and killed by dogs on a central Illinois farm that he was visiting Wednesday with his mother, authorities said.

Jason Walter of LaSalle was alone when he was attacked and died in the driveway of a farm outside Varna, about 30 miles northeast of Peoria, Marshall County Sheriff Rob Russell said.

The dogs, three pit bulls and a mixed breed owned by people who lived on the property, were captured and euthanized, Russell said. No charges have been filed, and there is no legal requirement to keep dogs on leashes, he said. The dogs' bodies will undergo testing for rabies.

"It was an emotional scene," Russell said. "Obviously, it's a tragedy."

The boy's mother was dating a man who lived on the farm and the boy was heading to the car to leave when the dogs attacked, the sheriff said.

An emergency helicopter was called to transport the boy to the hospital. Coroner David Lenz Jr. said a doctor aboard the helicopter pronounced the child dead

An autopsy is planned, and the death remains under investigation.

The boy was a second-grader at Northwest School in LaSalle, said Superintendent Dan Marenda. Social workers and counselors will be available Thursday at the school to help students and teachers deal with the tragedy, Marenda said.

Public asked to share opinions on animal ordinance

By Lana Mini, Advisor & Source

Sterling Heights administrators are examining dog ordinances from municipalities around the country to determine if the city should change the way its handles its own animal laws.

The city will soon host public workshops where residents will be asked to voice their ideas.

"The date will be sometime in September, and we are asking people to come and share their opinions, and any knowledge they may have on the issue," Sterling Heights Community Relations Director Steve Guitar said.

The issue regarding vicious dogs stems from incidents that occurred earlier in the year in which two people were attacked on two different occasions by unleashed pit bulls that escaped from their backyards. In one incident, a pack of four pit bulls, which have since been euthanized, attacked a Warren man while he was riding his bike. In the second attack, two pit bulls repeatedly bit a woman and her two dogs on her own property.

Research and public input will help administrators decide if any animal ordinance changes should occur, Guitar said.

Cathy Kovak, who is recovering from the attack on her and her dogs in June, said she trusts the city will make the right decision to keep residents safe.

"We have been looking at model ordinances not only in Michigan, but throughout the country on this," Guitar said.

Some cities have outright banned the ownership of pit bulls and other breeds they consider "vicious." Other towns banned the breed only if animal control officials can prove a dog is actually a pit bull and not a different type of similar-looking terrier.

Some communities have banned bringing pit bulls into the community, yet grandfathered in dogs that already live in the city.

Most commonly, pit bulls aren't banned, but laws are strengthened so that sturdy, tall privacy fences are in place and owners receive hefty fines if dogs are caught roaming. Spaying and neutering laws, as recommended by the Humane Society of the United States, could help curb all dogs' urge to roam.

Everything is on the table for city officials to examine.

Kovak said residents who own any animal should be given literature on proper pet care, and asked to sign the documents to prove that they've read them, upon dog license renewal.

The man who was attacked by four pit bulls June 1 said he has varying opinions on the issue.

"I kind of have mixed feelings," James Stempnik, of Warren, said. "If you have four pit bulls, then your backyard better be built like Fort Knox. But on the other hand, would you want these dogs in your neighborhood? That's up to Sterling Heights residents and the paid officials."

A study by HSUS indicated that cities with strict animal ordinances show positive results of fewer animal attacks than cities that ban specific breeds.

Pit bulls are not bred to fight and their natural instinct is loyalty to their owner, according to HSUS. If a dog is trained as a fight or guard dog, and if they are then neglected by their owners, problems can occur, according to HSUS.

"The HSUS is committed to keeping dogs and people safe, and is available and willing to offer advice, educational materials and model legislation to communities interested in decreasing the incidence of dog bites and aggression."

A September 2000 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association detailed dog attack fatalities in the U.S. from 1979 to 1998. "Legislation aimed at punishing the owner of the dog, rather than punishing the dog, is far more effective in reducing the number of dog bites and attacks," according to the AVMA.

Some residents however, want a complete ban specifically on pit bulls. Since the recent attacks, resident Jeff Norgrove has attended several council meetings to voice his concern.

"We need to immediately ban pit bulls and not include a grandfather clause for people who already own pit bulls," Norgrove said. "We have inner city people who bought homes here ... They don't need to bring their pit bulls here. We need to do this before a child is killed."

Guest Speaker: Libby Sherrill, Executive Producer, 'Beyond The Myth,' a Film About Pit Bulls and Breed Discrimination

By Rose Kennedy, Metro Pulse

Libby Sherrill first decided to tackle a film about pit bulls as a grad student at the University of Tennessee. Three years later, her theme has been honed to reveal the perils of breed-specific legislation as carried out in three cities that ban pit bull-type dogs: Denver, Miami, and Cincinnati—along with San Francisco, which requires the animals to be spayed and neutered. Although she wasn’t a pit bull owner herself when the film project began, Sherrill is now. She took a break from producing one last segment for the Sept. 3 screening of Beyond the Myth at the Bijou Theatre to talk about her creative journey.

What’s the film about?

Beyond the Myth explores the contributing factors behind the public’s generalized fear of pit bulls, and examines the conflict between advocates and opponents of breed-specific legislation in four cities. BSL has nothing to do with an owner or dog’s behavior, it’s based entirely on physical characteristics.

Some of the stories you filmed about people having long-time family pets confiscated are very sad. Did you end up feeling any sympathy for the other side, the ones advocating BSL?

No. I’m being honest. I started out with a less biased approach; my aim was to give people on both sides a chance to defend their positions. But as I got further into it, I myself could see no merit in BSL. It doesn’t decrease the number of dangerous dogs in communities, and it doesn’t stop irresponsible people from having dogs and it doesn’t stop dog attacks. Whenever you ban a particular breed, it does nothing to change the behavior of people who are in fact responsible for creating dangerous dogs through training and inhumane treatment. They can always get another dog or another breed.

Can you give an example of a story that really touched you from the film?

Desiree and her dog Coco, who was taken from her backyard by Denver Animal Control. She never got Coco back. Denver enforces their ban more stringently than any place I visited, killing close to 4,000 pit bull-type dogs since 1989. A lot were strays, I’m sure, a lot were owner surrenders, but that also includes confiscations.

Does this film have profit potential?

Its primary purpose is to educate, and its secondary purpose is to make money for my company, and at the very least recoup my expenses. Once that happens, I plan to turn over a lot of the money to non-profits who advocate for pit bulls and fight BSL. I have done so much of the production myself and it can get overwhelming, but knowing that innocent animals and people are suffering helped me get through the difficult times.

Does this issue remind you at all of the Arizona immigration law?

The Arizona immigration law is a good example of profiling, and breed-specific legislation is no different when we look at it as a principle. Laws that stereotype an entire population based on certain characteristics, whether it be with dogs or people, with religion or race, are ineffective at solving our societal problems, and discriminate against the innocent.

What would you tell the average person who is a bit scared of pit bulls and would prefer not to have them in the community?

We have cause to be concerned over any dog in our community because any dog can bite. For me, personally, before I owned two, I didn’t believe pit bulls were all vicious, but I felt on some level there might be something different about them. But they are born dogs just like any other breed. I can see from my own dogs, Fern and Joey, where, because of their tenacity and desire to please people, pit bulls might be more at risk to be used in fights. And just like any other large, smart breed, they would be at a higher risk of this inhumane act by irresponsible people. Instead of fearing them, we should be protecting them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Man tossed dog, beat woman, deputies say

From St. Petersburg Times

Inside his mobile home, Bradley E. Wallace picked up a 60-pound pit bull and threw the dog out of a 10-foot high glass kitchen window at 1 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
A woman inside the home began phoning for help, but Wallace grabbed the phone out of her hands, threw her down, put her in a head lock and punched her in the face with his right fist, several times, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
Two deputies responded to the residence on Glen Oak Avenue in Moon Lake Estates and witnessed Wallace beating the woman, a report states.
Wallace, 30, was arrested and charged with false imprisonment, tampering with a witness, domestic battery and cruelty to animals.
Medical conditions for the woman and the pit bull were not available Tuesday.
Wallace is being held without bail at the Pasco County jail.

Update August 25, 2010 3:20pm - The following article is from The Tampa Tribune:
Dog thrown through window is faring well

The 60-pound pit bull thrown out a window Tuesday during a couple's domestic dispute is doing fine, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.
After being smashed through a glass window and landing on the ground 10 feet below, the dog returned to its owners' home 30 minutes later without any visible injuries, deputies said.
The woman attacked by her husband was not seriously hurt but was bruised and beaten when deputies arrived and found Bradley E. Wallace, 30, atop her in a hallway, authorities said.
From outside the house, they could hear Natalie Ann Wallace, 50, yelling, "Help. He's killing me."
Bradley Wallace was arrested on charges of false imprisonment, tampering with a witness, domestic battery and cruelty to animals. He is being held at the Land O' Lakes Jail with bail set at $6,150.
He told deputies he threw the dog through the window because his wife cares for the dog more than him and he wanted to teach her a lesson, a report states.

Albany Police arrest man in pitbull theft


Albany Police arrested a downstate man, for allegedly stealing two pitbulls.
Officers were called to 131 Clinton Street around 6:45 Monday night. A man there, told them Jamel Forbes, a man that he was familiar with, stole his two pitbull puppies at gunpoint, then ran into 137 Clinton Street.
Police then surrounded that home, but then realized Forbes had gotten out the back door. According to police, they saw him in the backyard, and he took off running, jumping several fences, before police say he kicked in an apartment door at 29 Second Street. Police say there was a 14 year old boy inside the apartment, and Forbes refused to let him leave, then took his cell phone so he couldn't call for help. When police attempted to block off the area, they say Forbes fled again. He was eventually spotted and taken into custody.
While being charged, police say Forbes originally gave a false name, and refused to submit to fingerprinting and photographs, before admitting to being on parole out of New York City. Police say they also found a handcuff key tied to a string that he had hidden inside his mouth.
He was charged with Robbery, Burglary, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Menancing, Unlawful Imprisonment, Obstruction, Criminal Impersonation and Possesion of Contraband in Prison, and was sent to jail without bail.
Both Pit Bulls were found unharmed.  The 14 year boy was also not hurt.

Area Dogs Are Loose And Known To Kill

By Maxine Ridling, News Channel 10

A warning to all area residents today from Animal Control, a pack of dogs is on the loose and have been known to kill. Last Tuesday, Animal Control was dispatched to the 4000 Block of Morning Drive in North Amarillo when an area resident saw 2 dogs attack a pony and several goats.
Robinson immediately called Animal Control however the dogs ran off before they could be caught. Most recently, authorities responded to that same location this weekend on another report of a dog attack. When officials arrived they found 1 pony and 8 goats dead.
"I was sitting in my garden picking black eye peas, when I heard a pony screaming from across my yard," Neighbor Don Robinson said, "I saw other dogs attacking him and I started screaming and running towards him until they ran off."
Animal Control has been patrolling that area and has yet to find any sign of the dogs or the owners. Reports show the dogs look like Rottweiler mix and Pit Bull mix.
If you know any information about this case please call Animal Control immediately, 806-378-3092.

Yolo County sheriff seeking dog that bit teen

From The Sacramento Bee

The Yolo County Sheriff's Department's Animal Services Section is attempting to find a dog that bit a juvenile in West Sacramento on Saturday.
A 17-year-old girl was bitten by a dog while walking on the levee gravel road in the area of County Road 22 and Riverbank Road near the Bryte Water Treatment Plant after dark on that day, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.
The dog is described as a pit bull with brown, black and white coloring.
If the dog is not located soon, the victim may have to undergo rabies treatment, the release states.
Anyone having information regarding the attack or knows who owns the dog, should contact Yolo County Sheriff's Department, Animal Services Section at a 24-hour phone, (530) 668-5287, or e-mail animal.bite@yolocounty.org.

Garver to Appear in 'Santa's Dog'

By BWW News Desk, from Talk Movies World

Actress Kathy Garver-best known for playing the older sister, Cissy, on the classic CBS sitcom "Family Affair"- has been signed to co-star in the Christmas movie "Santa's Dog," scheduled for production this fall in San Francisco. In the film, Garver will play Sister Augustus, a nun at an orphanage where a boy named Max is about to face the loneliest Christmas of his life, until he meets a talking dog and embarks on a magical, comical adventure to show he's worthy of being removed from Santa's "naughty" list and placed on the "nice" list instead.

The title role in "Santa's Dog" will be played by Hercules, a pit bull from the popular Animal Planet reality series "Pit Boss." Hercules is owned by the TV show's star, Shorty Rossi, who will provide the voice of Hercules in the movie. Plans call for the TV series to follow Rossi and Hercules behind the scenes during production of the movie. Other casting decisions have not been announced.

Garver has appeared in TV series and movies, narrated audio books and provided character voices for children's animated programs. Until now, she has never played a nun, something she said she has always dreamed of doing.

"I attended Catholic schools as a girl, and I looked up to most of the nuns," Garver said. "At the audition, I imagined myself as one of my teachers, Sister Virginia Mary Anne. She once made me write on the blackboard 'I will not disobey' 50 times."
Inspirational and family-themed projects are not new to Garver. She began her acting career playing a slave girl in the 1956 classic "The Ten Commandments," in which she had two memorable scenes with Charlton Heston. As a teenager, she became a household name after being cast in "Family Affair," which ran on CBS from 1966-1971. In 2009, she received a prestigious Audie Award for her work on an audio book version of the Old Testament, with actors Richard Dreyfuss, Marisa Tomei and Michael York. Recently, she was selected to read the female stories in the audio version of the soon-to-be released book "Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles," edited by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and LeAnn Thieman.

Like so many other characters she has played, Garver describes Sister Augustus in "Santa's Dog" as wise and uplifting, with a never-give-up attitude.

"Sister Augustus always encourages the orphan, Max, even though he has been rejected five times," Garver said. "It's the power of perseverance that I believe in strongly. You always have to believe that something good will happen."

Garver, who was born and raised in Southern California, moved to the Bay Area several years ago, where she currently resides with her husband and son.

"Santa's Dog" is being produced by Zemrak / Pirkle Productions, LLC, a Bay Area company owned by writer/producer Derek Zemrak and Leonard Pirkle, an attorney, writer and producer. The film is slated for release in time for Christmas, 2011.


From Wire Service Canada

On August 29, 2010, an expected crowd of over a thousand concerned citizens will gather at Coronation Park in Toronto to support Bill 60. Introduced by MPP Cheri DiNovo, this Bill calls for the immediate removal of all aspects of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) from the Dog Owners' Liability Act. Bill 60 was aptly named Hershey’s Bill in honour of an abused “pit bull” type dog who later became a St. John Ambulance certified therapy dog working in senior’s homes. Sadly, due to BSL, commonly referred to as the “pit bull” ban, she was forced into retirement.

Taking place on the shores of Lake Ontario, this event will feature music, vendors, speeches, educational material, family activities, canine agility course, and canine good-neighbour certification. We are especially honoured to be joined by world renowned Calgary Director of Animal & Bylaw Services, Bill Bruce who will be presenting his revolutionary Calgary model for Animal Services. Festivities will begin at noon, with a special presentation is planned for 5 p.m., followed by
MPP Cheri DiNovo’s speech. Attendees will then take to the streets for a “Pitties and Pals" march along Queens Quay, bringing further awareness to the plight of Ontario's family pets.

Rui Branco's family pet, Boxer/ American Bulldog mix Brittany, was wrongly identified as a "pit bull" by Brampton Animal Control. Due to this erroneous identification, police were allowed to enter Mr. Branco's home without a warrant and remove the docile Brittany and place her in the care of Brampton AC, who immediately ordered her destruction. Due to public outrage and several rallies, Brittany was finally freed after 97 days, at a cost of over $20,000 to Mr. Branco. This one incident clearly illustrates the problems with this flawed law. Records also show that in 2007 alone, somebody was targeted every three days for owning an "illegal' dog. Many of these were cases of mistaken identity. Attorney General Michael Bryant, the person who introduced the "pit bull" ban, could not identify a "pit bull" from a selection of dog pictures. As there is no such thing as a "pit bull" there are three breeds named: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier- along with 28 other breeds and their mixes that are commonly mistaken for "pit bull" type dogs.

Experts agree that breed bans don't work. The Toronto Humane Society recently released a study showing that BSL has not reduced the number of dog bite incidents in Ontario. Calgary’s model ensures the lowest bite numbers in North America. They have done this without BSL.

A Candlelight vigil, starting at 8pm, will be held at Queen's Park commiserating the destruction of thousands of non-offending dogs who have lost their lives to BSL over the past five years.

For further information on this event, please go to; www.stopk9profiling.com. To schedule a media interview with MPP Cheri DiNovo, please contact her office at 416-325-0244.

Unsupervised pit bull attacks Milwaukee woman and her dog

By Cathy Orosz, FOX 6 Now

Milwaukee neighbors upset with city's handling of pit bull attack aftermath

Neighbors in Milwaukee's Brewers Hill neighborhood are on edge after a pit bull attack. The dog inflicted wounds on a 4-year-old Shepard mix, the woman walking the 4-year-old dog, and two neighbors who tried to help. The pit bull was returned to its owner, and neighbors are worried it could happen again. Now, they're speaking out, because they're not happy with the way the city is handling the entire situation.

On August 20th a Milwaukee woman and her dog were attacked by a pit bull during their regular walk. The unsupervised pit bull roamed the Brewers Hill neighborhood last week Monday, and eventually attacked 4-year-old Shepard mix. The dog owner was bit during the attack, and so were two other neighbors who tried to assist the woman. It took three neighbors to pry the pit bull loose.

The pit bull has been released back to its owner. Residents of the Brewers Hill neighborhood are worried the dog could get loose and attack again. The Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services says the dog is at the owners house in quarantine.

No decision have been made on the dogs future. It could be allowed to stay with its owner. The owner could be told he has to move to a different location or ultimately they could order the dog be put down.

Neighborhood Services says the investigation is ongoing, and don't know when their decision will be made.

Jackson girl, 6, flown to Ann Arbor hospital after being attacked by three pit bulls

By Aaron Aupperlee, Jackson Citizen Patriot

A 6-year-old girl was attacked by three pit bulls this afternoon and flown to the University of Michigan Medical Center with severe wounds.

A helicopter took off from Allegiance Health at 4:53 p.m. The girl’s family said she was responsive and talking but had deep cuts from the dogs.

“They just tore her face and head up,” said Mark Taylor, the girl’s uncle.

Tyah Norris was playing with a friend Monday afternoon at 118 Mantle Ave. when one pit bull jumped on her back and knocked her to the ground, said Devin Osborne, 8, a friend of Tyah. Two other dogs came and attacked the girl’s head.

Osborne ran from the Mantle Avenue home to Tyah’s house at 2618 Ganson St. Charlie Norris, Tyah’s uncle, and Linda Powers, her grandmother, went to the house. Norris hit the dogs in the head with a four-by-four piece of lumber and grabbed Tyah. Powers said she held her granddaughter as they waited for police to arrive.

“Her face is covered in blood. They ripped her ear off,” Powers said. “That poor baby.”

A Blackman Township Department of Public Safety officer took Tyah to Allegiance. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said she is in critical condition at the Ann Arbor hospital.

Powers and Norris had blood on their clothes and bodies from helping Tyah. Family members stood outside the Ganson Street house crying and praying for Tyah. Around 4:45 p.m., they left for Ann Arbor.

The owner of dogs, who lives at 118 Mantle Ave., declined to comment on the incident. The sheriff's office said it has seized the three dogs.

Update August 24, 2010 5:58pm - The following article is by Aaron Aupperlee, Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Jackson girl bit by pit bull to undergo nine hours of surgery, family says

A 6-year-old girl attacked by three pit bulls Monday afternoon will undergo nine hours of surgery tonight at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Surgeons will attempt to repair Tyah Norris’ tear ducts and do plastic surgery to reverse damage done to the child’s head, said Charlie Norris, Tyah’s uncle. Much of Tyah’s family remains at the hospital.

Tyah is in serious condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Three pit bulls attacked Tyah around 3:44 p.m. while she played with a friend in the yard of 118 Mantle Ave. The dogs were in a fenced-in area with Tyah when one knocked her down and the other two joined in on the attack, according to a release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Back at the Norris’ Ganson Street home, Mark Taylor, another uncle of Tyah’s, was cleaning the house. He said he wanted to be helpful and useful and did not want Tyah’s family to worry about anything when they come home. He was encouraged by the news of Tyah’s improving condition.

“It sounds like she’s going to make it,” Taylor said. “That’s all that matters.”

The three dogs were seized by Jackson County Animal Control officers and quarantined at the Jackson County Animal Shelter, the released stated. The attack remains under investigation. The sheriff’s office intends to submit its report to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

No arrests have been made, said sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Kuhl.

Animal Control officers responded to a second and unrelated pit bull attack earlier this afternoon in Parma Township.

A 6-year-old girl was bitten in the face by a chained dog in the 1200 block of Devereaux Road, according to the sheriff’s release. The girl was taken to Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, treated and released with stitches.

The dog has been seized, the release stated. The incident is under investigation and the report will be sent to the prosecutor’s office.

Update August 25, 2010 10:36am - The following article is from WFRV:

Pit bulls to be euthanized after attack on girl, 6

Three pit bulls that attacked and severely wounded a 6-year-old Jackson County girl will be put to sleep.
Tyah Norris
Undersheriff Tom Finco tells the Jackson Citizen Patriot on Wednesday that the dogs' owner gave authorities permission to euthanize the animals.
The dogs were seized Tuesday after Tyah Norris was attacked while playing with a friend. One dog knocked the girl down and the others joined the attack.
The child was in serious condition at an Ann Arbor hospital.
Finco says the dogs were not licensed, but did have their shots.
Another girl was bitten in the face Tuesday in a separate pit bull attack in nearby Parma Township. The newspaper reports she received stitches.
Finco says that dog's owner is quarantining the animal at home for 10 days.

Update August 26, 2010 8:14am - The following article is by Danielle Quisenberry, Jackson Citizen Patriot:

6-year-old attacked by pit bulls needs about 500 stitches; family says girl is recovering

Extensive surgery succeeded in repairing much of the damage done to a 6-year-old girl attacked by three pit bulls Tuesday afternoon.

Tyah Norris has staples and about 500 stitches in her head and face, said her uncle Charley Norris. Doctors at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor repaired her eye muscles and tear ducts, and used an artificial material to patch her scalp.

“She’s going to be fine,” Norris said. “It’s a long road ahead. The most important thing now is her recovery.”

Much of Tyah’s family stayed at the hospital all day Wednesday. Doctors kept her sedated to help with the pain, Norris said. Recovery could take months or years. Tyah will be a first-grader at East Jackson Memorial Elementary School this fall.

Three pit bulls attacked Tyah about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday while she played with a friend in a fenced-in area at 118 Mantle Ave. Initial reports indicate one dog knocked Tyah down and the remaining dogs joined in attacking her, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Tyah initially went to Allegiance Health. From there, she was flown to Ann Arbor, where a hospital spokeswoman said she was in serious condition Wednesday.

An account has been set up at Citizens Bank to help Tyah and her family. Anyone wishing to donate to the Tyah Norris Benefit Fund may do so at any Citizens Bank location.
Jackson County animal control officers seized and quarantined the pit bulls after the attack.

Two of the three are to be euthanized. Undersheriff Tom Finco said their owner, who is entitled to a court hearing, signed off on the euthanizations.

The third dog belongs to a different owner who as of Wednesday afternoon had not agreed to have the animal euthanized, said Steve Hall, county environmental health director, who oversees the animal shelter.

He said the animal will be confined, pursuant to state rabies protocol, for 10 days. If the owner disputes its destruction, the court decides what happens to the dog after a hearing, according to Michigan law.

The dogs were not licensed, which is required, Finco said. They did have their shots, he said.

The 118 Mantle Ave. property violated a Blackman Township ordinance on dog ownership. The township defines a kennel as any lot with three or more dogs that are 4 months old or older, said Jack Koch, the township’s zoning administrator.

Kennels are allowed only in agriculturally zoned areas. Mantle Avenue, just outside the Jackson city limits and near the intersection of Ganson Street and E. Michigan Avenue, is not so zoned, Koch said.

“Without coming out and saying it, you can only have two dogs in Blackman Township,” Koch said.

He suspects there could be several properties in the township in violation.

Norris said news that the dogs would be euthanized came as a small relief.

“If those dogs are put down, then it can’t happen to another kid,” he said.

The attack was one of two reported to the sheriff’s office Tuesday.

In an unrelated incident, a lab-shepherd mix bit a child in the face in the 12000 block of Devereaux Road in Parma Township. The girl received stitches and was released from Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall.

With the owner’s permission, the dog, which also was unlicensed, was euthanized Wednesday, Finco said. Sheriff’s deputies first reported a pit bull was responsible for the attack, but Hall said it was a lab-shepherd mix.

On July 11, a pit bull bit Joe Williams of Jackson as he stood talking to a friend at Grinnell and Union streets. It took about 100 stitches to mend the wounds that wrapped around his forearm, and he had puncture marks on his chest.

The dog in that attack was taken to the county animal shelter and has since been euthanized by court order, Finco said. It also had no license.

Finco said Sheriff Dan Heyns plans to meet with other county and law-enforcement officials to come up with a plan to address pit bulls.

“Hopefully, we can be more proactive than reactive,” Finco said.

That might involve more licensing checks, for example, he said.

Update August 27, 2010 12:12pm - The following article is by Danielle Quisenberry, Jackson Citizen Patriot: 

Owners of pit bulls that attacked 6-year-old girl are charged with felony

The owners of three pit bulls who attacked 6-year-old Tyah Norris on Tuesday have been charged with a felony.

Brian Keith Nace and his girlfriend, Jasmine Jammina Bailey, were arraigned this afternoon on a charge of keeping a dangerous animal that caused serious injury. The crime has a maximum penalty of four years in prison, 500 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine.

The two were arrested and jailed today.

“In my opinion too many people and other animals have been bitten and terrorized. Owning a dog, especially one which has a  proven potential to do great harm, comes with responsibilities,” Prosecutor Hank Zavislak said in a statement.

“We intend to hold the owners fully accountable as provided by law.”

Tyah was at the couple’s home on Tuesday when the pit bulls attacked her. She remains at the University of Michigan Health System’s C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. She had to have more than 500 stitches and has a long recovery ahead of her.

All three of the animals since have been euthanized.

Update September 14, 2010 12:25pm - The following article is by Danielle Quisenberry, Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Woman accused of keeping a pit bull that injured young girl sent to jail for probation violation; girl released from hospital after 2 weeks

Jackson County Circuit Judge John McBain sent a woman accused of keeping a pit bull that seriously injured a 6-year-old girl to 333 days in jail for violating her probation.

Jasmine Bailey, 19, was on probation for larceny from a building on Aug. 24 when her pit bull joined two others, owned by her boyfriend, in attacking Tyah Norris.

McBain said he gave Bailey the harshest possible jail sentence because she was charged with a new felony, and there was evidence presented at a hearing today that she had been drinking. Drinking alcohol is not allowed while on probation.

He called the attack on Tyah the most savage he had ever seen.

Both Bailey and her boyfriend, Brian Nace, 35, were charged with keeping a dangerous animal that caused serious injury, a felony punishable by a maximum of four years in prison, 500 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine.

Their dogs reportedly played “tug of war” with Tyah inside Nace and Bailey’s fenced yard at 118 Mantle Ave. in Blackman Township.

Tyah went to Allegiance Health and was then flown to the University of Michigan Health System’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

She spent at least two weeks in the hospital, underwent surgeries, and has since been discharged.

At the time of the attack, Bailey was home with her dog, Diamond, and her parents, Scooby and Pebbles, which belonged to Nace.

Nace was at work and the dogs were off their chains and running about the back yard. Tyah was warned not to go back there, but did anyway, Bailey earlier said.

All three dogs have been eunthanized with Nace and Bailey’s permission.

Update September 27, 2010 8:44am - The following article is by Danielle Quisenberry, Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Young pit bull victim Tyah Norris is healing but faces long road to recovery

Linda Powers was sitting on the couch in her home on E. Ganson Street last week when her 6-year-old granddaughter, Tyah Norris, took off running toward the kitchen.

"Quit running, please," Powers yelled to the girl, who moments earlier had been quietly coloring on the living room floor. The grandmother's tone was more concerned than harsh.

"If she falls, her head is done," Powers said after the girl disappeared from view.

"That is my world right there, that little girl."

Tyah's  head is wrapped in white cloth or gauze that is painful to clean, dress and undress. Beneath it, there is no skin, said her mother and grandmother, who live together with Tyah and Powers' husband and son.

Below the wrapping are obvious pink scars, particularly to her cheek and around her swollen eyes. Some of them may remain forever, her mother said.

Three pit bulls attacked Tyah on Aug. 24 inside a fenced area behind 118 Mantle Ave., a home within Tyah's block and easily accessible through the yards behind her and her family's house. The dogs have since been euthanized and their owners each face a felony charge.

"It was a horrible, horrible sight. I can't stand it every time I think about it," Powers said last week.

The resulting wounds were atrocious by all accounts. Seasoned police and prosecutors seemed struck, even shaken, by the extent of the injuries that are now slowly healing.

Powers still has the pink T-shirt she wore the afternoon of the mauling, when she held Tyah and waited for police. It is covered in dried blood.

"I didn't want no more bites," Tyah said Tuesday of the attack. She had gone to another room and brought the shirt to Powers.

"I know you didn't, Ty," her grandmother responded, speaking softly.

Tyah spent almost three weeks at the University of Michigan Health System's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.

She left Sept. 13 and returns weekly, said her mother, Joyce Norris, 25, as she stood outside their house, watching Tyah closely as she moved about the yard.

The first grader at East Jackson Memorial Elementary School is doing better, but she will not be going back to the classroom anytime soon. First, her head must get better, her mother said.

"There is a long road ahead of pain and procedures and healing," said Tyah's father, Billy Hattey, 26, of Jackson.

Norris said Tyah likely will need three to four more surgeries in the next six months. On Oct. 19, doctors are to take skin from her thigh and use it to repair the skin on her head.

Her thigh will heal, but there might be some discoloring in the skin, said Norris, who does not like the thought of such a procedure.

"That's just another process of pain she has to go through," Norris said.

"I'd rather they use my skin."

Doctors said there is a greater possibility of success with Tyah's own skin, Norris said.

Later, they might have to do further surgery on her face. Doctors already had to repair damage done to her eyes and nose and other features.

The left side of her face is numb and she only can manage a slightly mischievous half-smile.

At night, she has to wear tubes in her nose to keep her airways open. Medical personnel had to stitch her nose after it was torn away and were afraid the passages would shrink, Norris said.

Tyah, who likes to paint and eat macaroni and cheese, talks a lot about what happened, Norris said. She speaks freely to family members, but was hesitant to share with a stranger.

Norris said she asks, "Why did this happen to me?"

"And what do you tell her?" Norris said.

Shortly before the attack, Tyah said Abbie Granger, a 10-year-old who lives at the Mantle Avenue address, invited her into the yard, a space enclosed by a six-foot, wood privacy fence. "Beware" and "no trespassing" signs are pinned to its exterior.

"I thought they were little," Tyah said of the dogs.

"If they told me they were pit bulls, I wouldn't have gone back there."

Abbie and Jasmine Bailey, one of the pit bull owners, have a different version.

They said they cautioned Tyah about going into the back yard and the girl ignored their warnings.

Bailey, 19, has since gone to jail for violating her probation, in part because she was charged with a new felony.

When her dog, Diamond, and its mother and father went after Tyah, Bailey was on probation for a February 2008 larceny offense.

Her boyfriend, Brian Nace, 35, owned the other two dogs, Scooby and Pebbles.

Both he and Bailey are charged with keeping a dangerous animal that caused serious injury, which has a maximum penalty of four years in prison, 500 hours of community services and a $2,000 fine. The two are next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 29.

Both say the dogs were not previously violent.

"They knew them dogs were mean. They had to have," said Powers, who cares for Tyah while her mother works. Norris cleans Leslie schools and is a part-time Burger King manager.

At first, Norris was angry about the attack every time she saw her daughter, scared and hurt.

She said she couldn't imagine a much worse situation than getting that phone call about Tyah. At the time of the attack, Norris was at work in Leslie.

"It was something I wouldn't ever, ever want a parent to feel. It is a horrible feeling," Norris said.

She and Hattey are thankful for Blackman Township Public Safety Officer Randy Hengesbaugh, the first arriving emergency worker.

Thinking an ambulance would not come quickly enough, he took Tyah to Allegiance Health himself, which is not the usual protocol. For this, the family thanks him.

"I think he saved her life," Hattey said.

To prevent future attacks like this, Hattey said he would like to see something done about pit bulls.

There should be stricter licensing rules and felons should not be allowed to have them, he said. "To me, it's like having a gun," Hattey said.

Since Tyah's hospitalization, there has been much community debate about pit bulls and an outpouring of support for Tyah.

Left at the Ganson Street house recently, was a teddy bear with a simple, unsigned note. "God bless. Hope you get better," it said.

Update August 15, 2011 - The following article is by Danielle Salisbury, Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Niece of pit bulls' owner testifies she told attack victim she could not go into fenced yard

An 11-year-old who lived with Brian Nace on Mantle Avenue said Tyah Norris asked her if she could come into the backyard.
“I said, ‘No, because I don’t know you,’” Abbie Granger testified today at Nace’s jury trial.
Nace, 36 and Abbie’s uncle, is charged with keeping dangerous animals that caused serious injury.
He owned two of three pit bulls that attacked Tyah on Aug. 24 inside Nace’s fenced yard. Tyah had extensive injuries and underwent four to five surgeries, her mother testified. Scars remain and other surgeries are in her future, Joyce Norris said.
State law defines a dangerous animal as one that bites or attacks a person. A dangerous animal, however, does not include an animal that bites or attacks a person who is “knowingly trespassing on the property of the animal’s owner,” the law says.
Nace’s lawyer, Christopher Dickerson, argues Tyah was trespassing.
Tyah and her friend Devin Osborne, 9, testified Abbie told them they could go into the yard.
Under cross examination, both children said they didn’t remember what Abbie said.
No one told them they could not go into the space, they said.
Abbie said they followed her into the yard even after she closed the gate behind her. She told them to “get out” and “beware of dog,” she said.
Devin and Tyah wanted to play, she said, and she wanted to take a shower.
Tyah lives a short distance from the Mantle Avenue home and played in the neighborhood. She was not to leave the yard behind and to the side of her grandmother’s home on E. Ganson Street, her mother testified.
Jackson County Animal Control Officer Kathie Chapin said Abbie told her a different story on the day of the attack.
Abbie said she told Tyah, who wanted to see the animals, she could open the gate and look around but could not go into the yard, Chapin said.
Abbie was the final trial witness and the only witness for the defense.
Lawyers are to give closing arguments Tuesday morning.
The last prosecution witness, Jackson County Sheriff’s Detective Timothy Schlundt, testified Nace told him one of the pit bulls, Scooby, previously had been aggressive.
It once bit Nace’s girlfriend in the back, Nace told Schlundt.

Update August 16, 2011 - The following article is by Danielle Salisbury, Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Jurors begin deliberations in dog attack case; lawyers dispute whether 6-year-old victim trespassed

Jurors have begun deliberating in the case of a man accused of keeping the dogs that mauled then 6-year-old Tyah Norris in August 2010.
Brian Nace, the owner of at least two of the three pit bulls that attacked Tyah, is accused of a felony, having dangerous animals that caused serious injury.
The case hinges on whether Tyah trespassed onto Nace's property. His backyard, where the dogs were housed, is surrounded by a six-foot privacy fence. State law says an animal is not dangerous if it attacks or bites someone who knowingly tresspasses onto its owner's property.
"A 6-year-old cannot knowingly trespass," Assistant Prosecutor Jared Hopkins said.
Tyah and her friend, Devin Osborne, 9, testified Nace's niece, who lives with Nace, allowed them into the yard.
Nace's niece said she told Tyah she could not go into the yard. "She was not supposed to be in that back yard," said Nace's lawyer, Christopher Dickerson, who indicated Tyah's caretakers should have kept a better eye on her whereabouts.
Dickerson said Nace did all he could to keep people away from the dogs, which were kept in cages when no one was home. At least one warning sign marked the yard.
Who knows if Tyah, at 6 years old, could read it, Hopkins said. In her mind, she was permitted to enter the yard, he said.
The real culprits are the dogs, which have been euthanized with Nace's permission, Dickerson said.
"Did something bad happen? Yes," Dickerson said. "Is Mr. Nace criminally responsible? No."
Hopkins said Nace could have done more. He could have put a lock on the gate, and gotten rid of the dogs when one of them, according to testimony, earlier bit Nace's girlfriend.

Update August 16, 2011 - The following article is by Danielle Salisbury, Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Jury finds owner of pit bulls guilty for attack on 6-year-old Tyah Norris

A jury convicted Brian Nace today of keeping dangerous animals that caused serious injury to then 6-year-old Tyah Norris in August 2010.
Retired Jackson County Circuit Judge Edward Grant, who has been filling in while the county is short one Circuit judge, is to sentence Nace on Sept. 22.
Jurors arrived at their verdict in less than an hour, at about 10:20 a.m., said Christopher Dickerson, Nace’s lawyer.
Dickerson did not dispute Nace was the owner of the dogs that mauled Tyah or that her injuries were severe. He argued Tyah was trespassing onto Nace’s property, where he kept the dogs in a fenced yard marked with warning signs. According to state law, an animal is not dangerous if it attacks a trespasser.
Tyah and one of her friends testified Nace’s niece, who lived at the house, allowed them into the yard. The niece said she told Tyah not to go into the space.
Assistant Prosecutor Jared Hopkins told the jury a 6-year-old cannot knowingly trespass.
Dickerson said Nace likely will not spend more than nine months in jail for the offense, but he was not certain of this.

Update August 17, 2011 - The following article is from WLNS:

Woman Heads To Trial In Pit bull Attack Case

Just one day after a Jackson County jury convicted her boyfriend, a Jackson woman heads to trial in connection with a brutal pittbull attack.
It's been a year since three pit bulls attacked then 6-year old Tyah Norris. Jasmine Bailey is accused of keeping a dangerous animal that caused serious injury.
On Tuesday a jury convicted her boyfriend Brian Nace on the same charges. Nace will be sentenced next month. He faces up to nine months in jail.

Update August 17, 2011 - The following article is by Danielle Salisbury, Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Animal control officer testifies Jasmine Bailey signed paperwork, said she was owner of one of three pit bulls that attacked Tyah Norris

Hours after her boyfriend, Brian Nace, claimed three dogs that attacked 6-year-old Tyah Norris, Jasmine Bailey informed Animal Control Officer Kathie Chapin she owned one of the pit bulls.
Nace's dogs, Pebbles and Scooby, had had puppies and he allowed Bailey to keep one, Chapin testified this afternoon at Bailey's jury trial. She was recalling a conversation she had with Bailey on Aug. 26, 2010, two days after the attack.
Testimony is to continue Thursday morning. Bailey is charged with keeping a dangerous animal that caused serious injury to Tyah, now 7.
The trial hinges on ownership of the youngest of the three dogs, and Chapin's testimony was critical.
Bailey's lawyer, Michael Dungan, argues Bailey did not own any of the dogs and took responsibility for one of the animals to try to help Nace, 36. A jury convicted him Tuesday of the same felony Bailey faces.
The dogs were not licensed. The only way to determine the owner or owners was to talk to people, Chapin said, answering questions posed by Assistant Prosecutor Jared Hopkins.
Bailey signed three pieces of paper indicating she was the owner of the dog, Diamond, according to documents presented in court and Chapin's testimony.
Diamond and the other two dogs were euthanized shortly after the attack.
When earlier testifying, Chapin did not mention the conversation about the puppies, Dungan pointed out during cross examination.

Update: September 22, 2011 - The following article is by Sherene Tagharobi, from WLIX:

Owners of Vicious Pit Bulls Sentenced

"I feel really bad about what happened to Tyah," said Jasmine Bailey, a 20-year-old Blackman Township woman who owned one of three pitbulls that mauled her six year old neighbor Tyah Norris last August. "I wish I could have did more to prevent that from happening."

Judge Edward Grant sentenced the 20-year-old with a criminal history to 180 days in jail. She was living with her boyfriend Brian Nace when his niece let Tyah into their yard.

"There's apparently nothing to fasten the gate shut so anybody can open up the gate," said Judge Grant.

Nace's attorney argued he has no criminal record and wasn't even home at the time. He said Nace did everything he could to prevent this from happening.

Furthermore, he argued Nace did nothing but own the pitbulls. But for Judge Grant, that was enough given this wasn't the first time they'd bitten someone. The dog had bitten Bailey before.

"And yet the same dog bit you on two prior occasions. I have to take all that into consideration too. It might be a little different if this was the first time the dog ever bit anybody but it's not," said Judge Grant.

Nace will serve 120 days in jail and five years probation. The sentence was difficult for his family friends to bear, but so is what happened to tyah.

"He probably shouldn't have gotten in trouble but you have to take blame for whatever, your own....no matter who's kid you wouldn't want to see them get hurt," said Amy Haught, Nace's family friend.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jared Hopkins hopes the rulings set a precedent for other animal attacks.

"I hope if anything this will put pibtull owners on notice. Especially if your dog has bitten before, do something about it. No kid, no person has to die because someone wants to hang on to a dangerous animal," Hopkins said.

Franklin Lakes veterinarians nurse fatally diseased pit bulls

By Philip Devencentis, Suburban News

Doctors at the Franklin Lakes Animal Hospital are working around the clock in care of a litter of pit bull puppies that were abandoned at the clinic last week.
Eight 8-week-old puppies (four females and four males) were delivered in a plastic tub during the afternoon Thursday, Aug. 19. Since then, three of the puppies had to be euthanized due to severe illness.
Dr. Jill Shiffman, who has been treating the puppies, said Tuesday, Aug. 24, all are stricken with parvovirus, a gastrointestinal disease that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.
Shiffman said the virus is common among puppies and that pit bulls are particularly prone to it. It is spread through contact with infected dogs' feces, she said.
Shiffman said the puppies were dropped in front of the clinic. When the man who delivered them attempted to drive away, she said, he was stopped by one of the clinic's receptionists who had witnessed the delivery.
According to Shiffman, the man told the receptionist he found the puppies on Dakota Trail in Franklin Lakes and that he lived in Paterson.
The man also provided a name and an address; however, Shiffman said, when staff members at the clinic checked the address they found it was not valid.
And then there was what they found inside the plastic tub: information from the Web about the virus.
"It's just really sad to watch," she said. "No matter what you do, they continue to fade away."
Shiffman and her staff have been treating the puppies by keeping them hydrated. There is no direct antiviral medication to treat the disease, she said.
The puppies have been receiving intravenous fluid therapy and blood plasma transfusions, Shiffman said, as well as antibiotics and anti-nausea medication.
Shiffman said on Aug. 24 she expected another puppy to die but that another had looked exceptionally perky that day. It may take as long as two weeks, she said, for the puppies that do survive to make a full recovery. At that time, she said, they likely will be delivered to Oakland's Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge Inc., from which they may be adopted.
Shiffman said the clinic received $65 from a group of local girls who sold lemonade roadside to help the abandoned puppies.
But not everyone has to sell lemonade to help, Shiffman said.
"Be responsible with your animals," she said. "Get your pets spayed, neutered and vaccinated."

Woman, Neighbor Injured Trying To Break Up Dog Fight


Mastiffs Attack Owner, Neighbor Who Tried To Help

A Lantana woman and her neighbor were injured trying to break up a fight between her dogs Tuesday.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control said a woman was in her back yard with her two mastiffs and pit bull when one of the mastiffs started fighting with the pit bull.
As she tried to separate the dogs, she was attacked by the mastiff.
A neighbor witnessed the attack and jumped the fence to help when he was attacked by the other mastiff.
Both victims suffered multiple bites and were transported to JFK Medical Center. Their conditions were not known.
The mastiff that bit the woman was turned over to Animal Care and Control and will be euthanized. It was unclear what would become of the other two dogs.

Pit bull bites 1-year-old in Golden Gate

From Naples Daily News

Collier County Sheriff’s officials confirmed they are responding to a call concerning a pit bull getting out of its cage and biting a one-year-old.
The incident occurred in the 4600 block of 20th Avenue S.W. around 2:51 p.m.
In addition to Sheriff’s deputies, Collier Domestic Animal Services staff is also expected to respond to the scene.
No additional information as to the location of the attack was available.

Update August 24, 2010 7:09pm - The following article is from Naples Daily News:

Pit bull bites 1-year-old in Golden Gate

A Golden Gate pit bull mix puppy was headed to Collier County Domestic Animal Services lockup after she locked her jaw on the hand of a 1-year-old girl Tuesday afternoon, DAS Director Amanda Townsend said.
The girl, Riley Hickman, did not require medical attention, but when the cage the puppy was in during the bite began to come apart, everyone in the apartment at 4316 20th Avenue Southwest fled to a bedroom and called 911, said Hickman's mother, Samantha Nguyen, 21
"The dog bit her and pulled her in through the cage," said Nguyen. "I grabbed a knife and started hitting the dog with it."
The owner of the 8-month-old puppies — there were two in the cage — accused Nguyen of not taking care of her children and letting them play with the dogs through the cage.
"She's trying to be a mom now," said the dogs' owner, Miara Collazo, 20, after two Collier County Sheriff's Office deputies and DAS responded to the scene.
Collazo, who was not in the apartment at the time of the incident, insisted she was not taking her dog to DAS, despite Townsend saying the dog would be need to start a 10-day rabies quarantine within 24 hours.
"They're not going to do anything, because nothing happened," Collazo said of DAS. "My dog is a good girl."