Monday, May 31, 2010

Pit bull no match for would-be adopter

After her 15-year-old German shepherd died, Donna Horn of Duluth searched the Twin Ports for another dog to adopt.
Eight days ago, Horn chose what she thought was the perfect pet.
“She wanted to rescue one,” said Horn’s daughter, Jeannie Ball. At Superior’s Animal Rescue Federation she found 4-month-old Lexi, a white American Staffordshire terrier — also known as a pit bull. Lexi sat in her cage calmly winking at Horn.
Horn and her daughter took the dog for a walk, and Horn filled out an application. The petite woman in her 70s indicated that relatives would help exercise the dog. She has a fenced-in backyard and a home to share. Puppy classes were mentioned. Ball called her mother’s home ideal.
“It’s what anyone would want for any dog,” she said.
But the adoption was denied. They were offered other dogs, but not Lexi.
Horn “just wasn’t the right fit for the dog,” said Sheila Love, manager at Superior’s ARF. American Staffordshire Terriers have specific needs, she said, and they need someone physically capable of meeting them.
Animal shelter managers defend their right to deny animal adoptions when the pet doesn’t fit the prospective owner.
MAKING A MATCH
“We take a lot into consideration” before placing a pet in a home, said Mike Licari, director of the Friends of Animals Humane Society in Cloquet.
The Cloquet society has an intensive pre-adoption process similar to ARF’s, including a three-page application. Licari said the society denies adoptions several times a month. There is also a wait of at least a day before an adoption is approved.
“The goal for us here at our shelter is to find a good match,” Licari said, which sometimes means making tough decisions.
Ball said they were told that Horn was too old to adopt the pit bull, but Love disputed that.
“It had nothing to do with her age,” the shelter manager said. “Even the youngest, most energetic person who jogs every day — if it is not in the best interest of the animal, we’re not going to place them.”
The pit bull pup is expected to grow into a 60-pound dog with a high energy level and a need for lots of interaction, Love said.
“They have to have a job, they have to be stimulated,” she said. A fenced yard isn’t enough, she said.
Experience has shown Love that expecting family members to help doesn’t work out; they stop helping when the newness wears off. Lack of exercise can lead to bad habits, bad behaviors and a return trip to the shelter.
“We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone,” Love said. “All decisions are based on the welfare of the animal.”
The result for Horn was sharp disappointment, her daughter said. “My mom chose her; the dog chose her,” Ball said.
Another applicant interested in adopting the puppy also was turned down, Love said. The woman had young children and worked nights, also not an ideal situation for Lexi.
A trip to the shelter last week revealed that the puppy had been adopted, two days after Horn’s application was denied.
“I wish we had that problem with all our animals — three good homes,” ARF board member Jay Johnson said.
ARF still has four pit bulls among the 48 cats and 12 dogs awaiting adoption at the shelter. All four are young, strong, high-energy dogs capable of taking their owners for a walk instead of the other way around, Johnson said.
He credits the shelter’s screening process for the low animal return rate at ARF.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH
Two other area shelters take a different approach.
At Animal Allies of Duluth and the Humane Society of Douglas County, the adoption process focuses on what people expect from their new pet. All dogs and cats are profiled by personality when they come to the shelter, said Animal Allies director Linda Baumgarth.
Potential adopters fill out a Meet Your Match survey. It includes questions on whether the adopter wants a dog that is laid-back or playful, if they are willing to train the animal, and how many hours a day the dog or cat will be home alone. Using the answers, shelter staff can direct people to animals that would be a good fit for their lifestyle.
“We don’t screen; we work to find a match,” Baumgarth said. “It’s more about education.”
Adoptions are seldom denied, she said, unless the adopter is planning to break a city ordinance — such as keeping the dog outdoors all the time within city limits, which is prohibited.
“We don’t want to knowingly place an animal into a home where it won’t succeed,” she said.
But education and follow-up calls can help adopters ease into pet ownership, even if it didn’t appear to be an ideal match.
“People are coming and trying to do the right thing,” Baumgarth said. “It’s important for us to help them.”
At the Humane Society of Douglas County, an older woman recently adopted a high-energy German shepherd. Staff at the shelter said they helped her find a way to control the dog for walks through the use of a “gentle leader,” a device that makes pulling uncomfortable for the dog. Adoptions are rarely denied, according to shelter staff.
Baumgarth said five years ago the Duluth shelter used an intensive screening process similar to ARF’s. With adoptions at an all-time low, they looked for a way to improve the number. The shelter adopted the Meet Your Match program in 2008. Although the process is not perfect, Baumgarth said, it helps potential pet owners narrow their focus and get to know the animals better without putting them on the defensive.
Education is one of the keys to a successful adoption, according to shelter staff throughout the area. If you have a particular breed in mind, do some research to make sure it will be a good fit for your life, many said. They also suggested that potential adopters know the adoption guidelines and process at a shelter before stopping by. Not every pet is the perfect fit, and not every application process is the same, they said.

Duluth News Tribune

Pit bull attacks owners, sending one to hospital

A pit bull attacks its owners sending a woman to the hospital and injuring a man.
Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer says the pit bull attacked the couple around 6 p.m. Monday at their home on Skeels Ave. in the Town of Washington on Eau Claire's south side. He says there appears to be no reason the dog attacked them.
The woman was taken to the hospital for wounds to her arms. The man had injuries to his stomach and chest but refused medical treatment.
The sheriff says the pit bull is now at the Eau Claire County Humane Association being evaluated.

WEAU 

Update June 1, 2010 2:03pm - WEAU reports that the dog has been euthanized.
Eau Claire County Humane Association director Lauren Evans says, "The dog was euthanized because of the severity of the incident, the details leading up to why it happened or how it happened and also the severity of the injuries. It just seemed like the best thing to do."
Evans says animal bites happen every day but if it breaks the skin, the animal is usually put on quarantine so it can be monitored for a few days. She says whether the animal will be euthanized depends on each situation.

Sentencing due over child's death

A man who kept an illegal dangerous dog which killed his four-year-old nephew will be sentenced on Tuesday.
John-Paul Massey suffered multiple injuries when he was savaged by the family pet at his grandmother's home in Liverpool last November.
The boy's uncle, 21-year-old Christian Foulkes, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates' Court last month to two counts of possession of a dangerous dog and one count of breeding a dangerous dog.
John-Paul was staying at his uncle's home in Ash Grove, Wavertree, Liverpool, when he was killed in the early hours of November 29.
The dog, a two-year-old white male pitbull called Uno, also attacked his grandmother Helen Foulkes, 63, as she tried to protect the youngster.
Foulkes, who had joined the Army just weeks earlier, also admitted owning a pitbull bitch, named Lita, which was being looked after by John-Paul's father.
District Judge Richard Clancy has warned him that his convictions were "extremely serious" and he faces jail.
He will be sentenced at Liverpool Magistrates' Court from 1.45pm.

UK Press Association 

Update June 1, 2010 12:24pm - BBC News reports that John-Paul's grandmother, Helen Foulkes, was charged by police, on Monday, with keeping a dangerous dog.
She is due to appear before magistrates in Liverpool on 10 June.

Update June 1, 2010 7:54pm - The Daily Star reports that Christian Foulkes has been sentenced to four months imprisonment.
Speaking at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court where John-Paul’s heartbroken mum Angela McGlynn sobbed uncontrollably, Judge Miriam Shelby told Foulkes he only had himself to blame.
She said: “I know you are aware of your own culpability and the events of that night will stay with you for the rest of your life.
“But it is clear that this case was entirely the result of your negligence.”
Mark Ellis, defending, begged the court for leniency because Foulkes’ girlfriend is due to give birth to their second child on July 8.
He said: “The consequences of this offence will live with this defendant for ever. That is his punishment.
“He has lived in a cavern of guilt, a nightmare of epic proportions.”
Speaking outside court, Mr Ellis said: “My client has taken today’s sentence on the chin and hopes that he will serve as an example to others.”
Foulkes, of Wavertree, Liverpool, was also banned from keeping dogs for life.

Update July 1, 2010 9:37am - The following article is by Mike Hornby, The Independent:

Woman banned over dog that killed grandson

A woman was given a suspended jail sentence today after being convicted of keeping an illegal dog which killed her grandson.
Four-year-old John-Paul Massey suffered multiple injuries when he was savaged by the pitbull, Uno, at Helen Foulkes's home in Liverpool last November.
Foulkes, 63, admitted one charge of keeping a dangerous dog at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.
She was given a four-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, along with a supervision order, and also banned from owning a dog again.
Her son, John-Paul's uncle Christian Foulkes, 21, pleaded guilty to owning the animal and was jailed for four months in June.
Sentencing the grandmother today, bench chairman Ian Lomax told Foulkes: "Here we have an extreme example of what a dangerous dog can do when they are deemed unsuitable to be kept as domestic pets.
"I don't need to remind you of the consequences. It is as extreme as you can get - the death of your grandson.
"You will have to live with that for the rest of your life.
"No purpose will be served by you serving an immediate custodial sentence."
Foulkes, of Ash Grove, Wavertree, Liverpool, was supported today by several relatives, including her daughter and John-Paul's mother, Angela McGlynn.
On the night the youngster was killed, November 29, he was staying at the home of his grandmother and uncle.
Uno, a two-year-old white male pitbull, had been left in Foulkes's care when her son joined the Army. Another pitbull-type dog, a bitch called Lita, was given to John-Paul's father to look after.
The family considered the grandmother was unable to look after both dogs, the court previously heard.
The little boy had woken up at around midnight and said he was hungry so his grandmother went to get him a packet of crisps.
By the time she returned John-Paul was already asleep again so she opened the crisps to give them to the dog.
But as she did, Uno pounced at John-Paul. She tried to force the dog off her grandson and was attacked herself as a result.
Prosecutors have described Uno as a "powerful dog" and said police had to distract the animal before ambulance staff were able to enter the house and treat John-Paul and his grandmother.
It was later decided by police to destroy Uno and it took two bullets to kill the dog.
Lita died when she was knocked down by a car a day after John-Paul was killed.
A post-mortem examination found that, at the time of her death, she was pregnant with 11 pups sired by Uno.

Update November 30, 2010 12:15pm - The following article is from BBC News:
 
Memorial service for dog attack boy John Paul Massey 

A memorial service has been held to mark a year since a four-year-old boy was savaged to death by his uncle's dog

John Paul Massey was killed by the pitbull at his grandmother's home in Wavertree, Liverpool last November.
His mother, Angela McGlynn, attended the ceremony at St Anne's RC church earlier.
The young boy's uncle, Christian Foulkes, was jailed for four months for owning and breeding a dangerous dog.
As the schoolboy was attacked by the dog, his grandmother, Helen Foulkes, 63, sought to save him but without success. She was treated for minor injuries in hospital.
Shortly after his death - the second fatal dog attack in Merseyside in less than three years - there was a call for laws on dangerous dogs to be tightened and harsher punishments to be served to those who break them.
Merseyside Police are currently under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after the force admitted it did not take action after receiving a report of dog breeding at the house when John Paul died.
Speaking to the BBC in April, his mother, Ms McGlynn paid tribute to her son calling him a "proper little chatterbox".
"He was funny, he was mischievous and he was always up to something, he had his own little sayings.
"He was amazing, he was very demanding, people would have to stop and talk to him no matter where you went."
'Could turn' She called for new laws that would ensure dogs were muzzled when playing with children under the age of 12.
"Your pet dog could just turn and I don't want anyone to go through what we have gone through."
She said the dog had played with children on numerous occasions without any problems.
"But nobody knows what a dog is thinking, no-one knows what's going in their head, you have to be careful."
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 bans the breeding, sale or exchange of four kinds of dogs: pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, the dogo Argentinos and the fila brasileiros.
Owners can be imprisoned for a maximum of two years if their dog injures someone.

Child bitten in face by dog

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -  A 2 ½ year old child is being treated at Kosair Children's Hospital after being mauled by a dog at a relative's home.
Metro Police and EMS were called to 2800 block of South 6th Street around 4:40 p.m. The boy was bitten in the face. There is no word on his condition.
The child was mauled by a pit bull mixed breed, a dog that Dwight Mitchell, a Louisville Metro Police spokesperson, says was a family pet of the child's grandmother.
"They come here, and from what I'm understanding, it was familiar," said Mitchell. "It's one of those unfortunate situations that it turned tragic."
The boy was rushed to Kosair with a police escort. The dog is in the custody of Metro Animal Services.

Deputy shoots pit bull threatening his partner

ROCK CREEK, Ore. – A deputy shot a pit bull dog that he said lunged at his fellow deputy in the Rock Creek area Sunday, authorities said.
The deputies were responding to a complaint about vicious dogs loose in the 18900 block of NW Shadow Lane around 6 a.m. A neighbor called for help because three pit bulls were in her yard and would not let her out of her home. She told deputies that the dogs belonged to her neighbor.
A deputy who responded to the complaint said he recognized one of the dogs as a pit bull that had tried to bite him just a week earlier.
The deputies said they contacted the dogs’ owner and she came outside, but made no effort to control her dogs and one of the pit bulls began advancing on them.
“Once the dog displayed behavior that indicated he was going to attack one of the deputies, another deputy shot the dog. The pit bull reeled momentarily but resumed his advance on the deputy. The second deputy fired again and this time the dog ran off and was corralled by his owners,” said Sgt. David Thompson with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
The dog was taken to Dove Lewis Animal Hospital in Portland and was listed in stable condition.
The owner of the dog was cited for keeping a dangerous dog and the two other pit bulls were returned home.

KGW

Update May 31, 2010 5:53pm - The Portlander reports that the incident in which the deputy referred to, in which he was almost bitten a week earlier, occurred at the owners home while he was taking a burglary report.
The owner had taken control of the dog in that incident.

Portland Police shoot and kill a pit bull who mauled two

A pit bull who mauled two men was shot and killed by Portland Police Monday morning.

After getting information that two people had been bitten by a pit bull, police arrived on scene and fired a shot at the dog at one of the victim's requests, said. Sgt. Greg Stewart of Portland Police.

The dog left after the first shot, and police pursued it, but the dog turned on the officer who chasing it. The pit bull was shot again, a lethal blast, according to investigators.

One of the victims was transported to an area hospital with injuries. The other victim suffered puncture wounds, but didn't need treatment.

This incident is still under investigation.

KOIN 

Update May 31, 2010 11:43am - KPTV is reporting that the victim that wasn't transported is a woman.
Officers responding to numerous 911 calls found the dog on top of the man mauling him.
The man yelled for police to shoot the dog.
The dog is described as "believed to be a pit bull or pit bull mix".

Update May 31, 2010 12:05pm - KGW reports that Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Greg Stewart said the male victim suffered "severe injuries that could be life-threatening".

Update May 31, 2010 12:11pm - My Central Oregon states: "Police say the man is at a hospital with severe but not life-threatening injuries".

Woman Attacked By Dogs

A woman is recovering from dog bites on her arms and legs after deputies said five Pit Bulls attacked her just outside her Spencer home Monday morning.
Deputies said Mary Wolf had just gotten out of her vehicle at her house on Woodhollow Road when the dogs attacked her.
She got back in her car, and couldn't call for help.
About an hour later, deputies said a neighbor noticed her in her car and they called 911.
Wolf was taken to Midwest City Regional Hospital. Deputies said she was given stitches.
A neighbor owns the dogs.
Deputies said that neighbor has agreed to euthanize them.
Deputies will now determine whether or not to file any charges.

KOCO

Update May 31, 2010 11:20am - KFDA reports that Ms. Wolf is 46-years old.

Update May 31, 2010 5:40pm - KSBI reports that Ms. Wolf noticed some neighborhood dogs in her yard and went outside to greet them. Once outside, she was attacked.

Update June 2, 2010 7:49am - KFOR describes Ms. Wolf as "still shaken up" over the attack.
"Literally, I thought 'If I fall down, I'm a goner,'" Wolf said.
The dogs are said to all be about 8-months old.
Neighbors say they have been complaining about the dogs for a year after they or their animals were attacked.
"Just about everybody down here has had to deal with them at one time or another," Bill Newton said. "They're bold. They come right up in the yard. I've lost two cats and a little dog to them."
An animal control officer picked up the dogs to be checked for rabies and euthanized.

Update June 21, 2010 9:54am - The following article is from KSBI:

D.A. Files Charges in Dog Attack Case

The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office has formally filed charges in an incident where the victim was attacked by a group of pit bulls.

The D.A.'s Office has filed a charge of failure to restrain a dangerous dog against Ulonda Jackson, whose dogs attacked a woman on May 31, 2010 in the 5100 block of Woodhollow Road.

The victim was attacked by the dogs in front of her house and was able to get away by finding shelter from the attack in her vehicle, where she screamed for help.

Update July 7, 2010 12:47am - The following article is by Ken Raymond, The Oklahoman:
 
Oklahoma County woman charged in dog attack

The owner of several dogs that attacked an Oklahoma County woman in May could face up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Ulonda Jackson, 48, was charged June 24 with a misdemeanor count of failure to restrain a dangerous dog.
On May 31, several pit bull-mix dogs escaped from Jackson's property at 4509 Northern Hills Road, according to an affidavit filed with the charge.
Mary Wolf, 48, was bitten and clawed by four dogs outside her home on nearby Woodhollow Road before taking shelter in her Jeep. She was trapped about 20 minutes before a neighbor summoned help.
"I'm going to have some pretty big scars on my legs,” Wolf said recently. "But I'm OK. No infection or anything.”
An Oklahoma County deputy recognized some of the dogs from a previous attack less than a month earlier, the affidavit states.
On May 3, three dogs bit a 7-year-old boy, who needed stitches on his head and arm, the affidavit states. Jackson, the owner, was warned that she could not allow the dogs to roam freely and said she would get rid of them.
She didn't. After Wolf was attacked, four of the dogs were euthanized at the Midwest City Animal Shelter.
Jackson could not be reached for comment.

Pit bull attacks dog walker

A BRITISH woman and her Japanese Akita have been attacked and badly bitten by a roaming pitbull terrier in Didim.

Jackie Doswell was walking her nine-year-old dog Jake along Marina Road when the dark brown pitbull dog burst out of nowhere and began attacking them on Monday night.

Jackie suffered several bite wounds, along with her Jake, before a British man living alongside the road, beat off the pitbull with bricks. A vet was called and the dog was captured.

Jackie underwent emergency surgery for her bites and is now on a course of anti-rabies jabs, while her pet dog was kept in overnight at a vet’s before being released on Tuesday.

Jackie’s husband George said: “She was walking along the road with Jake before it went dark and this pitbull came out of nowhere and started attacking them.

“It was a very frightening experience and could have been worse if no-one had come to their aid.”

He said: “Jackie is under medication but psychologically it has shaken her up and she is having nightmares. Obviously, if it had been a child, the incident could have been far more serious.

“I am very angry about this because the vet believes the pitbull was not a street dog, but well looked after. Thankfully, it is now caught and off the streets.”

He said the incident had been reported to Altinkum police.

Altinkum Voices

Girl suffers serious facial injuries in pit bull attack

Police were called to Hanemill Court in Bellinge, Northampton, shortly after 7pm yesterday.

At the scene officers discovered both the girl and her step-father had been attacked by the pet.

Duty Inspector Karl Sturman said: "At 7.13pm on Sunday, May 30 police were called to a report of a dog attack at an address in Hanemill Court.

"The family pet, a large American bull dog, had attacked a five-year-old girl. She suffered serious facial injuries.

"The injured girl's step-father also suffered injuries to his arm where he had grappled with the dog.

"Both were conveyed to hospital by ambulance for treatment."

He added the dog had been contained by police at the scene and would be put down today.

The girl is not thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 

Update May 31, 2010 10:14am - ThaIndian.com has identified the girl as Tanisha Hall.

Tanisha is described by neighbors as a "bouncy and happy five year old".

There is currently no update on Tanisha's condition.

The dog has been euthanized.
It is unknown what, if anything, triggered the attack.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Boy Suffers From Dog Bite

A Panama City Beach boy is sent to the hospital after he is bitten in the face by a dog.
Bay County sheriff’s officials confirmed the incident happened around 12:30 Saturday afternoon at 5603 Pine Tree Road in Panama City Beach.
The boy, ten-year-old Matthew Haris, was riding over to his friend’s house to grab a toy, when he says his friend’s dog starting attacking him.
The boxer, pit bull mix bit Matthew in the face. A neighbor heard the commotion and rushed over to help.
They were able to pull the dog off of Matthew and get his wounds cleaned as best as they could.  The boy was taken to the hospital to get 19 stitches.
Matthew’s father says he was shocked when he first saw his child.
“When I got there, the couple of grown ups that were there were really frantic. Matthew seemed pretty calm, holding the towel on his face,” Matthew’s father Thomas Haris said. “I think he was pretty much in shock really.”
Jim Crosby, division manager at the Bay County Animal Control, says the dog is currently being quarantined by the owner at the home.  The animal control is still investigating to determine if the dog should be declared dangerous or not.

WMBB

Flint woman's dog attacked by pit bull

FLINT, Michigan — A Flint woman was walking her rat terrier on May 28 when it was attacked by a pit bull, according to police.

The woman said she was walking on the sidewalk along E. Hamilton Avenue, when the pit bull dog approached and attacked the rat terrier, police said.

The pit bull comes from a house on Broadway Boulevard, and the woman said she has knocked on the door several times, but has gotten no response from the owner, according to reports.

It will cost about $1,000 to place the necessary pins in the rat terrier's leg, police said.
 

Officers kill two pit bulls after boy attacked in Elgin

Elgin police officers shot and killed two loose pit bull dogs Friday afternoon after one reportedly bit a child and both threatened the responding officers themselves.
The incident occurred at 4:23 p.m. Friday at Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave. in Elgin.
Officers had already been tracking reports of two stray dogs on the near east side of the city when the dogs were spotted approaching the park, Elgin police Sgt. Dennis Hood said.
According to the report, a 9-year-old boy was bitten by one of the dogs. When one of the responding officers moved forward to interrupt the attack, the dog then turned from the boy and lunged toward the officer, who shot it.
The second dog then began circling the officers and lunged toward the second officer, who then shot it.
The boy was treated for minor injuries at the hospital and released, Hood said.
The owner of the two dogs was later identified but was nowhere near the dogs throughout the incident, Hood added.
The police report did not describe how many other people were in the park at the time.
The dogs' owner has been cooperating with police's ongoing investigation into whether any ordinances were violated, Hood said. No charges had been filed as of Sunday.

Daily Herald 

Update May 31, 2010 11:46pm - The Courier-News reports that the owner of the dogs, Sonia Torres, was cited for dog at large and dog with no tag ordinance violations, according to police.
Torres had left her house to pick up her kids and upon her return found the gates to the dog's cages open and a hole in her fence, police reports said.
The dogs were named Kobe and Gracie.
The following is a related article by Katie Anderson of The Courier-News:

Elgin police forced to shoot two pit bulls
Elgin's hotly debated new animal control ordinance goes into effect today. It follows on the heels of a Memorial Day weekend pit bull incident that is likely to open debate again on breed-specific bans in the city.
Two pit bulls were reported wandering about 4 p.m. Friday in downtown Elgin. According to police, the animals made their way to the water and playground equipment at Festival Park on the city's South Grove Avenue riverfront. There one of the dogs bit a 9-year-old boy and both dogs reportedly charged at Elgin police, prompting the officers to shoot both dogs, according to police reports.
The dogs' owner, Sonia Torres, of 154 S. Porter St. in Elgin, was cited for dog at large and dog with no tag ordinance violations, police said.
Torres, a mother of four, said she understands the citations but believes police used excessive force in subduing her family's pets, Gracie and Kobe. Torres had left her house to pick up her kids and upon her return found the gates to the dog's cages open and a hole in her fence, police reports said.
Torres was out searching for her dogs in the area around her home during the time when the dogs were shot.
Police received a report of two pit bulls loose in the area of Gifford Place and Villa Street just before 4 p.m. Friday, a police report said. Another call to police reported the dogs, a tan and white pit bull and a chocolate brindle pit bull, moving toward the riverfront a short time later.
"The dogs ended up down near Festival Park and there were probably about 150 people down there," said Elgin police officer John Demmin.
"We had two seasoned officers down there, one was a K-9 officer. They found the dogs were laying there panting pretty hard," Demmin said.
Officer Marshall Kite retrieved a bottle of water, a leash and a bowl from his vehicle and tried to give the dogs water while officer Todd Pavoris tried to approach the dogs, a police report said.
As the officers worked, two small children exited the water park area of Festival Park near where the dogs were lying, police said. The officers told the children to leave the area but as the kids moved away one of the pit bulls reportedly bit one of the children on his left forearm and wrapped its claws around the child's back, a police report said.
"Officer Pavoris sees this and charges at the pit bull," Demmin said.
The pit bull that was biting the child reportedly then turned and charged at Pavoris. Pavoris shot the dog twice in the side, according to police reports. "At that time," Demmin said, "the chocolate brindle charged at officer Kite."
Kite fired one shot into the dog's head, Demmin said.
The 9-year-old suffered a minor bite wound and scratches to his back, was treated at a local hospital and released later that day, police reports said.
The dogs were taken to Dundee Animal Shelter and police began to search for their owner, Demmin said.
Torres was located and identified her dogs at the animal hospital. The chocolate brindle had died on the way to the veterinarian and other was euthanized, a police report said.
Kobe and Gracie
The pit bulls killed Friday were not a problem in their Channing Street neighborhood, according to statements taken by police from Torres' neighbors.The Torres family kept 1-year-old Gracie and 1 1/2-year-old Kobe in separate cages inside of a fenced-in yard, according to Torres, and confirmed by police reports.
Torres said they were always friendly and loving toward children.
"They too had personality and were just like we have heard plenty of people say, like family members," she said.
Torres and her children were still dealing with the loss of their family pets over the weekend and questioned over and over again how Gracie and Kobe could have gotten loose and wandered a mile from home.
"I'm just not sure how they'd get from here to there," Torres said. "I think someone took them, tried to steal them, and then couldn't handle them and let them go. They wouldn't ever go by the water. They are afraid of water," Torres said.
At the time of the incident, Torres had left her house, and when she returned the gates to the dogs' cages were open and there was a hole in her fence, police reports said.
Torres was out searching for her dogs at the time they were shot.
Torres said she is sorry for the little boy who was injured by one of her animals but believes the officers who shot the dogs went overboard.
"I think it was animal cruelty," Torres said. "Gracie was so small you could have just sat on her."
Torres said Friday's incident is an example of the way people across the city stereotype pit bulls. She is afraid the incident will further what she calls "a bad rap" for the breed.
'Looking for the public's input'
Elgin City Councilman John Prigge was previously in favor of breed-specific regulations that would clamp down on pit bull owners in the city. In light of the dog bite and subsequent shooting, Prigge said Monday that he would look to Elgin residents for guidance on his next move."This is going to be a case where the public's input is going to determine where we're going to go," he said. "It sickens me, it just sickens me, that this attack happened in downtown at one of our best attractions in Festival Park."
Prigge said he had been contacted by three Elgin residents over the weekend encouraging him to "do something," about the pit bulls in Elgin. He indicated Monday that he would urge fellow councilmen to take a proactive stance on the issue.
"If we value downtown and our parks and if we value safety in downtown then this is something we're going to have to come at head on," Prigge said.
"I'm so happy that we're not dealing with a dismemberment or a death or anything else close to being that serious, but this should be taken as us dodging a very local bullet -- that's exactly what this is," he said.
Council member Dave Kaptain said Monday he hoped his fellow councilmen resist a knee-jerk reaction to the incident and give the city's brand-new animal ordinance a chance to work. Kaptain was a strong opponent to breed-specific bans last March.
"The ordinance takes effect tomorrow," Kaptain said Monday. "I don't like the idea of amending what we haven't tried yet."
Kaptain believes the new ordinance would have helped alleviate some of the circumstances that led up the Friday's incident and he cautions that it could take time for the ordinance's full effect to be felt across the city.
"If this had been a Rottweiler would I feel the same absolutely," Kaptain said. "We need to make owners be more responsible for their animals."

Update June 15, 2010 2:47pm - The following article is by Harry Hitzeman, Daily Herald:

Elgin pit bull owner fined $3,000 after skipping court

A 31-year-old Elgin woman whose two pit bulls escaped from her yard last month and bit a boy at Festival Park before being shot by police failed to appear in court today to face charges she unlawfully let her dogs run loose.
As a result, Sonia Torres was fined the maximum amount $750 for each of four citations issued after the incident, for a total of $3,000. She could have been fined as little as $50 for each ticket had she appeared in court.
Under state law, Torres, of the 100 block of South Porter Street, now has 30 days to ask the judge to wipe out the fine and schedule a makeup court date.
"As of Tuesday, she has convictions entered against her, four of those for $750 (each)," Elgin City Prosecutor Stephen Tousey said.
Torres could not immediately be reached for comment.
Police shot her pit bulls about 4:45 p.m. May 28, in front of more than 100 people near a fountain on the north end of Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., after one of them bit a 9-year-old boy's hand.
The dogs later were euthanized and Torres was issued tickets on each animal for dog at large and failure to get rabies inoculations. She has not been charged criminally.
Elgin Deputy Police Chief Cecil Smith said last week the department conducted an internal investigation and concluded the shootings were justified.
Smith said two officers, one of them a canine officer, initially tried provide the dogs with water to distract them and worked to secure nooses around their necks. The dogs grew aggressive, leading the officers to open fire, Smith said.

Is ownership of pit bulls worth the risk?

In light of the many pit bull attacks that have occurred, especially the most recent incident in our own back yard -- specifically Columbus -- I thought the subject of responsibility of ownership should be addressed.
First and most importantly, it must be established the pit bull is classified as a vicious breed. What this means is that legislation has labeled this breed as such because this type of dog has maimed and killed so many people. Many states have established pit bull bans and enacted many restrictions pertaining to the ownership of pit bulls because of the instinctive vicious nature of these animals.
During a three-year period between 2006 and 2008, it has been documented that pit-bull-type animals have accounted for 59 percent of fatal dog attacks, killing 52 Americans. Families bringing these types of dogs into their homes should seriously consider these statistics because it could literally mean life or death for a member of their family and/or friends. Many who own pit bulls as pets argue their dogs were raised in a loving and nurturing home, insisting their dogs are as harmless as a babies. However, this is what most owners truly believed before their harmless dogs unmercifully attacked innocent victims. Is ownership worth the risk of bringing a potentially dangerous animal into your home?
The difference in this type of breed compared to other types of dogs is when pit bulls do bite, they do not let go, and this is an instinctive biological fact specific to this type of animal. No person can be 100 percent sure of what will trigger an attack, but one fact that has been proven is that when an attack does occur, this breed is relentless and will not stop until its victim is dead or somehow forces are able to incapacitate the dog. The ability to stop an attack is another frightening issue as well because the pit bull is known for its ability to finish a fight, continuing on broken legs or even stumps until its intended target is dead. Any breed of dog will bite if provoked, however, the difference between a more docile breed is it will more than likely bite once and usually the bitten area will be a leg or a hand, not intentionally the neck as the pit bull targets.
Many states, including Ohio, are taking a stand for victims and future victims and have banned the ability to own the pit-bull-type breed. A few Ohio cities now are enforcing the breed-specific laws. Some of those who have banned pit bulls include Bexley, Cincinnati, Reynoldsburg and Wooster. These are only a few of the many cities in Ohio that have decided it is not worth the risk of having this vicious breed in their communities.
Breed-specific (pit bull) laws consistently are upheld in both federal and state courts. Community leaders should actively investigate liability issues they might face if pit bull attacks were to occur in their cities and strive to enforce strict regulations regarding ownership of this type of animal.
Summer is quickly approaching, and children will be outside enjoying themselves more. Can we as a community be certain the pit bull danger is not a threat if our city does not impose a pit bull ban? Sexual predators are required to register as offenders so parents are aware of the potential dangers lurking in their neighborhoods. At the very least, pit-bull owners should be required to publicly register their dogs to make the community aware of this potential life-threatening danger as well.

Zanesville Times-Recorder

* From 2006 to 2009, 52 Americans were killed by Pit Bull-type dogs.
From 2006 to 2009, more than 5 MILLION Pit Bull-type dogs did not attack anyone or anything.
From 2006 to 2009, MILLIONS of children and adults living in a home with Pit Bull-type dogs were NOT attacked or killed.
From 2006 to 2009, 108 American CHILDREN were killed when left by their parent/caretaker in hot cars.
From 2006 to 2009, 155 American citizens were killed by lightning strikes.
In 2006 alone, 18,573 American citizens were killed by people, intentionally.
In 2006 alone, 121,599 Americans were killed in "accidents", including 20,823 in falls; 43,664 in motor vehicle-related incidences; and 27,531 in accidental poisonings.
In 2007 alone, 1,760 American CHILDREN were killed by their own family members.

Is ownership of Pit Bulls worth the risk?
You can make that decision for yourself, but not for me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

3-year-old Lincoln girl suffers minor injuries from pitbull

A 3-year-old girl was bit by a pitbull and sent to the hospital Saturday afternoon.
The bite took place at the dog owner's home near North Third Street and Candlewood Lane. The dog bit her above an eye just after 2:30 p.m.
The victim was taken to BryanLGH Medical Center West with a laceration of an inch to an inch-and-a-half in length. The injury was relatively minor, according to Lincoln police.
Lincoln Police Sgt. Michon Morrow said animal control came to assess the situation, but no citations were issued.

Journal Star

Little Dog Mauled To Death By Oakland Pitbulls

A small dog was mauled to death Saturday in a savage pit bull attack in Oakland, police said.It happened early Saturday afternoon in West Oakland near 31st and Market Streets.
Two pit bulls escaped from a fenced yard, according to police. One of them attacked a third dog being walked along the sidewalk.
It took extraordinary measures to stop the dog fight according to Oakland Police officer Michael Arsanis.
"A good samaritan drove by and also punched and kicked the pitbull,” said Arsanis. “But that wasn't effective, so the good samaritan went back to his car, retrieved a car jack, hit the pitbull over the head, knocked the pitbull unconscious, and that finally stopped the attack, but unfortunately the smaller dog died.
"No people were injured in the melee and animal control officers took the pitbull blamed for the attack into custody.
There was no word on whether the animal would be euthanized.
The second pit bull ran away after the attack and has not been found.

KTVU

Doggone it!: DA says loneliness led to dognapping

Prosecutors say a 29-year-old man stole two dogs tied up outside a San Mateo Rite-Aid on Wednesday because he lived by himself and was lonely.

At 8:33 p.m. May 26, a woman secured her French bulldog and pitbull mix while she entered the drug store on the 600 block of Concar Drive, said San Mateo police Lt. Mike Brunicardi.

When she returned a few minutes later, the dogs were missing and she called police.

During a search of the area, police reported seeing Devon Michael Murdock walking through an alley in the 1700 block of South Grant Street with two dogs matching the description of the missing animals. Murdock initially said he found the dogs in a nearby backyard but later conceded taking the dogs, according to San Mateo police.

Murdock said he “lived by himself and was lonely,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Murdock is charged with one count of misdemeanor theft by a person with a prior theft conviction. Aside from the latest incident, Murdock has been charged with four other misdemeanors since 2006.

Murdock pleaded not guilty to the theft charge and did not waive his right to a speedy trial. He returns to court June 10 for a pretrial conference and jury trial June 10.

Murdock remains in custody in lieu of $10,000 bail.

The Daily Journal

Girl, 9, mauled while letting out pit bull in Ind.

Authorities say a 9-year-old girl was critically injured after being mauled by a pit bull she was letting outside in Kokomo.

Police said in a statement Savannah R. Gragg was transported by ambulance to Howard Regional Health System following the Saturday afternoon dog attack and was transferred by helicopter to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Police said Savannah was undergoing surgery Saturday.

Investigators said Savannah was opening a door at the home to the let the dog outside when the dog jumped on her, knocking her to the floor. The animal bit her around the neck, and shook her violently.

The child's grandmother witnessed the attack. The dog was to be quarantined at a local animal hospital.

Chicago Tribune 

Update May 30, 2010 8:59pm - WIBC is reporting that authorities say Savannah remains in serious condition after surgery to repair injuries to her neck and trachea.

Update June 3, 2010 6:46pm - The Republic reports that Savannah Gragg has died from her injuries.

Police forced to shoot and kill more vicious dogs

DAYTON — City police officers are killing more “vicious” canines, supporting their suspicions that more dogs are illegally running loose in neighborhoods, attacking people and their pets, than in previous years.

Officers have shot 13 dogs this year — setting a pace to double the 17 dogs shot in 2008 and surge past the 20 shot in 2009, according to the department’s internal investigations reviewed by the Dayton Daily News.

Just last month, police shot and killed six dogs, the most in any month since before 2008.

A majority of the dogs are pit bulls loose in the city’s northwest neighborhoods, which is also where a majority of the city’s homicides, gang violence and drug arrests have occurred since 2008.

State law prohibits pit bulls to be let loose, gives guidelines how they must be restrained and requires owners to obtain liability insurance.

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said pit bulls have a “direct connection with the drug culture.”

The increase of shootings coincides with an uptick of pit bulls destroyed by the county’s Animal Resource Center.

Unclaimed pit bulls are euthanized as per the center’s vicious dog policy. Last year the center euthanized 1,092 pit bulls — three a day and 160 more than in 2008, Director Mark Kumpf said.

Through April, 73 more have been destroyed than this time last year.

Dayton Daily News

Update May 29, 2010 2:09pm - A related report from Dayton Daily News:
There have been 44 Dayton Police Department internal investigations of officers discharging firearms at dogs since 2008, according to a review of police records.
Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing in all cases.
Snap decisions are part of an officer’s job, but when someone’s life is in danger lethal force is the only option, said Lt. Michael Wilhelm whose officers in northwest Dayton have fired on the most dogs in the city.
“If it’s a life-threatening situation destroying the dog is the only option,” he said. “If the dog has already attacked someone and is running loose then we have other options like calling the animal shelter.”
A pack of dogs in January already had Carl Hobbs on the ground, savagely biting his arms and legs when Officer Susan Benge arrived in her police cruiser.
As she radioed for backup in the 2100 block of Litchfield Avenue, James Easterling jumped out of his SUV with a baseball bat, swinging wildly at the four pit bulls and one Rottweiler, video from her police cruiser shows.
Easterling retreated to his SUV after one of the pit bulls bit him in the leg and Benge used her cruiser to separate the dogs from Hobbs. She ended the January ordeal minutes later, shooting two pit bulls and the Rottweiler. One of the pit bulls was later euthanized.
Easterling and Hobbs were treated at local hospitals for severe bite wounds, police said.
The dogs’ owner, Michelle Orrender later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of failing to register or license the dogs, according to court records.
Pit bulls or pit bull mixes are the only breed classified as a vicious dog by the state. They must be confined in a locked pen that has a top, a locked fenced yard or other enclosure that has a top, according to state law.
While off the premises the dogs must be chained or on a leash no longer than six feet.
“We are seeing more and more loose and aggressive dogs,” Wilhelm said. “But we are seeing more packs of dogs, which, to me, seems to make them more aggressive.”
The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, by law, cannot allow pit bull adoptions and last year put down an average of three pit bulls a day, despite the number of dogs available for adoption remaining steady.
This year that number has climbed to 3.5 pit bulls euthanized a day or 421 through April. State law requires all unclaimed, unlicensed pit bulls be killed.
The numbers suggest there are more abandoned dogs running free in the area, but why is somewhat a mystery.
“It’s hard to say if there are more strays or what might be the cause (for the increase),” said Mark Kumpf, the resource center’s director. “But there have been a lot of home foreclosures and pets often get left behind.”
Kumpf, city police and Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said there are no signs pit bulls are being used for illegal fighting, but said they can’t rule out underground dogfighting arenas exist in the area.
“I am not seeing scars on the dogs indicating they are being used for fighting,” Kumpf said. “And I think we’ve done a good job recently getting the message out that dogfighting will not be tolerated here.”
Kumpf backs police officers who shoot aggressive dogs, saying they need to do what is necessary to protect the public.
“I don’t think any officer draws their gun lightly and with malice,” he said. “Police officers have limited tools to deal with an aggressive dog. Dogs don’t respond to put your hands up or get on the ground.”
But Kumpf won’t shoot and neither will his 11 officers.
None of them carry guns, but instead use pepper spray, bite sticks or a “catch stick” to snare an aggressive dog. Tasers are an option but are not designed to shoot at small animals, police said.
About two weeks ago, Kumpf’s counterpart in Clark County, Jimmy Straley, was surrounded by three loose pit bulls and fell down while trying to beat the dogs off with a catch stick.
Straley got back up to run away as a pit bull lunged at his legs. The dog was shot and killed by a police officer before it could strike Straley.
“I’ve been bitten before and so have my officers, but every situation needs to be judged on the circumstances in which they occurred,” Kumpf said.
So what should you do if you encounter an aggressive dog?
“We tell people not to run away because that makes the dog chase you, and don’t ever make eye contact,” Kumpf said. “Retreat slowly and drop something like a bag or umbrella to distract the dog. There’s also training we use to tell people to act like a log. Lie down and cover your vital organs like the back of your neck with your hand and keep your face down. It works.”

Police kill pit bull, arrest man on drug and firearms charges

New Bern police officers avoided a charging pit bull this week to execute a search warrant that resulted in a man’s arrest on drug and firearms charges.
Police said detectives went to the 1317 Hunters Road home of William Earnest McCarter on Thursday with warrants to search the residence. As they went in the side door of the house, the detectives were met by “an aggressive pit bull.”
“Fearing for his safety and that of the other officers at the scene,” a police report said, “the officer shot the dog in the chest area to stop the attack. The dog died at the scene.”
“No one was at home at the time of the incident,” police reported, but a search recovered a weapon, cash, and drug equipment.
 McCarter, 36, returned home a short time later and was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
McCarter was taken to the Craven County jail and was later released on $15,000 bail.

ENC Today

Police shoot pit bull dog on Johnson Park Golf Course

RACINE - Racine police Friday shot and killed a pit bull terrier at the Johnson Park Golf Course.

Around 5 p.m. police responded to a call that two aggressive pit bulls were on the course at 6200 Northwestern Ave. and were preventing golfers from passing, said Racine Police Sgt. Rick Toeller.

When police arrived, one of the dogs appeared about to attack an officer who then shot it. The other dog ran away and was not recovered, Toeller said.

He said the dogs' owners could not be identified.

"They had collars but no tags," he said. "They appeared to be living in the woods a while. They had a den."

The Journal Times

Owner of pit bull that attacked neighbors' pets is sentenced

Sandy Kelley, whose pit bull-mix Barty escaped and attacked her neighbors' dogs in 2009, has been sentenced for animal abuse.
Court records show Kelley was ordered to serve 180 days in the Greene County Jail, a sentence that was suspended if she follows other terms of her sentencing.
She also received two years' probation and was ordered to pay restitution to two neighbors whose dogs were attacked by Barty.
Kelley must pay $457.62 to Sheila Alvarado.
Witnesses said Barty jumped Alvarado's fence, killed a pet Chihuahua and mauled Alvarado's pet Doberman.
Kelley also must pay $282 to neighbor Linda Polley. Witnesses said Barty attacked and injured one of Polley's pet dogs.
The court allowed her to make $20 monthly payments starting July 1 until the restitution is complete.
Other conditions ordered by the court include:
- Kelley must undergo weekly counseling during her probation and follow all counselor recommendations.
- She must allow a Springfield CARE (Castaway Animal Rescue Effort) person to do temperament testing on Kelley's existing dogs, and assess her ability to control them. The dogs will be removed if they have "unacceptable temperament" or if Kelley can't control them.
- If the dogs must be removed, Kelley can own no more than two dogs weighing up to 15 pounds each.
- Those dogs must be contained in her home or backyard, and she must repair her backyard fence within six months to adequately contain them.
Reached by phone Friday, Kelley declined to comment about the sentencing requirements.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department declared Barty a vicious dog, and Kelley's pet was euthanized in January.

News-Leader

Arrest made in theft of pit bull

MUNCIE -- Police recovered a stolen pit bull Thursday when the suspected dog thief showed up drunk at the Muncie Animal Shelter, according to police reports.
Animal shelter employees called police about 4 p.m. when Ira Gaywood Sours, 59, 112 S. Cherry St., showed up, apparently drunk, to reclaim a pit bull that Sours said had run away Wednesday night.Police arrived and discovered that the license plate on the pickup truck Sours arrived in was linked to a report from May 3 concerning the theft of a pit bull.
Sours said he found the dog a couple of weeks ago.
The dog's real owner, however, came to the shelter and identified the pit bull as his own and reclaimed it.
During Sours' arrest, police found pills in his pocket.
He faces preliminary charges of theft, possession of a controlled substance and public intoxication. He was being held in the Delaware County jail on Friday under a $16,000 bond.
According to court records, Sours has been convicted of possession of marijuana in both Hamilton and Delaware counties, driving while intoxicated and public intoxication.

The Star-Press

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dogs attack woman in Fort Lauderdale

A woman was taken to the hospital with minor injuries Friday after being attacked by two pit bulls and a rottweiler in front of a Fort Lauderdale church.
The 44-year-old woman, whose name was not released, was walking along the 1100 block of North Andrews Avenue when the dogs ran out of a nearby yard after a gate had been left open, according to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
People passing through the area saw the woman struggling for help and were able to stop the dogs from attacking further. They brought the dogs back to the yard and closed the gate.
When police arrived, the dogs had been moved inside the house. Det. Kathy Collins, a spokeswoman, said the dogs' owners did not answer the door in an effort to avoid the police.
The victim was taken to the hospital at her request.
Her attack came just one week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Dog Bite Prevention Week. According to the CDC, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and about one in five of those attacks require medical attention.
One-third of dog-bite related fatalities come from pit bulls. While pit bull ownership has been illegal in Miami-Dade County since 1989, Broward has no laws to forbid or control the breed. Florida has had a ban on breed-specific laws since 1990, but state legislators introduced a bill in March that would give all communities the right to regulate dogs based on breed. If the bill passes, cities and counties could require owners of specific breeds to muzzle their dogs or carry insurance.

Miami Herald

23 pit bulls need homes after Surrey rescue

Twenty-three pit bulls are in need of new owners after being rescued in bad shape from a Surrey home.
Most of the dogs, which range in age from two months to three years old, have been in the care of HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society since May 1, shortly after they were recovered by the Surrey SPCA.
Shelagh Begg, the director of HugABull, said Friday that when the dogs were rescued, they were covered in wounds. Five of the puppies were completely bald from mange, a skin condition that can lead to serious infection, she said.
“Left untreated, those five pups wouldn’t have made it another week,” Begg said.
Another dog, named Scarlet, had a wound that had turned gangrenous and her leg had to be amputated.
After being in and out of veterinarian care the last few weeks and being taken in by temporary foster homes, the dogs have transformed from sickly and scared to friendly and energetic, Begg said.
Scarlett, still shy with strangers, is getting around on her three legs. Some of the puppies have adoption applications pending until they are fully recovered from mange and respiratory illnesses.
While Begg doesn’t know the full details of the circumstances from which the dogs were rescued, she said it was likely a breeding operation, and that the injured pit bulls may have been fighting over a shortage of resources and food.
Seventeen of the recovered animals are now in the care of HugABull, five are being adopted out by the rescue group Bully Buddies, and one is with TnT Shar Pei Rescue.
The scale of the rescue is unusual, but Begg said the group often works with the SPCA to find homes for pit bulls.
“Rescue groups like ours and other breed-rescues definitely want to be able to offer our services and get involved so that we can give really good dogs a chance,” she said.
Some of the dogs will attend the Petnership Project Tradeshow and Lecture Series on June 19-20 at the Hellenic Community Centre in Vancouver.
Esther Sarlo, an organizer of the event designed to inform owners about holistic pet care, said an adoptable-pet parade will take place to allow potential owners to look at various breeds they might want to adopt.
All rescue dogs at HugABull society undergo behavioural assessments before being taken on. Pit bull adoption applicants must pass a home check and need to meet the dog in their foster-home environment. According to Begg, they should also be active owners ready for an energetic dog.
Begg said that contrary to popular belief, pit bull owners make up a large community. The breed, she said, is commonly misunderstood due to the few “bad apples” that tend to make headlines.
“A sound, well-tempered pit bull true to their breed is one that loves everybody,” she said. “They are unbelievably tolerant of people. Back in the ‘30s and ‘40s, they were the No. 1 family dog.”
After weeks of veterinarian care for the rescued dogs, the organization is now looking for donations to cover estimated treatment costs of $8000 to $10,000.
More information on the adoptable pit bulls can be found at www.hugabull.com.

The Province

Woman attacked by pitbull in Chalmette

Chalmette - A 51 year-old woman was rushed to the hospital Friday afternoon after she was attacked by a pitbull.

A spokesman with the St. Bernard Sheriff's Department says the woman was visiting a friend in the 300 block of W. Virtue when the dog attacked her. She sustained serious injuries to her chest and face. She was taken to University Hospital in New Orleans.

The dog was removed from the home and taken to the the St. Bernard Animal Shelter. It is unclear if the dog's owner will be cited.

FOX 8 Live 

Update May 28, 2010 9:40pm - NewOrleans.com is reporting that the woman was bitten on the face, chest, and arm.
The victim, whose name wasn't released, was in serious but stable condition after the 4 p.m. attack by a family dog in the home of friend Dawn Hammers at the 300 block of West Virtue St., just west of Paris Road. She required surgery at University Hospital in New Orleans.
The owner of the dog accompanied her friend who was taken by ambulance to the hospital after being mauled.
The pit bull was signed over to the parish animal shelter by the Hammers family after the attack and the animal will be euthanized and tested for rabies.
The women were out front talking when the visitor asked to use a restroom. When she went inside the residence she was attacked by the family's pit bull who was being kept in the rear yard, but found a way to get into the house through a back door.
No charges or citations were filed because the dog was in the yard and the home and hadn't been running free, which is illegal. No one else was injured in the incident.
"It appears this unfortunate attack may have gone on for as long as 10 or more minutes'' as Dawn Hammers attempted unsuccessfully to free her friend from the dog, Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said. He said it wasn't until Hammers reached her husband, who was about five minutes away and rushed home, that he was able to pull the animal from the victim.
The husband said the dog had never attacked a person before but had fought raccoons once.

Painful lesson: Avoid unfamiliar dogs

When Elijah Silva goes back to school next year and his teacher asks him to write an essay on "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," she may get more than she expected. So far, only a few days into it, Elijah has spent his summer vacation in the hospital. Only hours after getting out of school Wednesday, the 10-year-old boy was mauled by a dog and had to undergo surgery on his elbow and his abdomen.
"His basketball went into the neighbor's yard and he went in to get it, the dog attacked," said his aunt, Cindy Reece.
Cindy's father -- Elijah's grandfather -- was to watch him during the day while she was at work now that school is out, she said.
"He was unloading the groceries away when it happened," she said. "It was just minutes after they got there."
Pit bull attacks
According to Elijah, when he went after the ball, the dog was sleeping, but he woke it up. The pit bull was tied to a cinder block and Elijah said he thought he was out of its range.
"It jumped at me and just pulled the block along," he said.
The dog grazed his leg and foot, then bit at his side.
"I punched it in the jaw and its teeth sort of slid into me," Elijah said.
At that point, Elijah was on the ground. He broke free and ran from the dog, only to have it bite his arm, just at the elbow. He punched again and pulled free -- leaving flesh and skin behind.
"It didn't hurt at first," he said. "Then I started running and the air got in it and it was just like somebody was shooting me."
Deep cuts
"There was just a big hole there in his elbow," said Cindy. "They had to irrigate it and pack it and hope it heals from the inside out."
Cindy said the cut on his ribs was initially thought to be minor, just requiring a few stitches, but exploratory surgery revealed it to be more severe, a deep puncture wound that also required packing.
Wednesday night was spent in surgery and Thursday was spent in a hospital bed with his aunt and his cousin, Dre Silva, 14, helping him out as he needed it.
Three concerns
A little groggy from the painkillers, Elijah had three things worrying him. The first was his perfect attendance record.
"We have a tradition of going to get his report card then going out to eat on report card day," said Cindy. "He was worried about that report card.
Not to worry -- his teacher showed up in person with the report card -- and the perfect attendance pin he promptly put on his hospital gown.
His second concern was baseball. A first basemen for the Black & Blue team, he was scheduled to play for the championship Saturday morning. Elijah knew playing was out of the question, but would he even get to go to the game?"
"We're hoping he can sit in the dugout and coach," Cindy said.
The day after his surgery, Elijah's arm was in a cast, but still had some flexibility and all of his fingers wiggled on command.
"The doctor said there was plenty of movement and that was good," said Cindy. Serious ligament and tendon damage may have been avoided, she said.
Elijah's third concern?
"I don't want them to kill the dog," he said. "Keep him alive."
"It wasn't the dog's fault, it wasn't Elijah's fault, it's just nature," said Cindy. "He knew he wasn't supposed to go in the yard, but he did. He's 10."
'Dangerous' animal
Elijah said he had been warned by the people who owned the property that the dog could be dangerous.
"They said if I didn't know him, I should leave him alone,' said Elijah. "I knew him, but it was back when he was a puppy. I guess he forgot me in all that time."
Cindy said she believes the dog is about a year-and-half-old, which does worry her.
"That cinder block -- that's just weight training to a big dog like that," She said. "He's still got some growing to do."
When Shelbyville animal control was called to the scene, Cindy was told the owners were advised to put the dog in the back yard and tie it more securely. According to the police report filed about the attack, the dog was current on its rabies shots and belonged to the brother of the woman who lived there. Cindy just hopes that will be enough for safety's sake.
"I feel terrible about all of this," said Cindy. "I'm not vindictive -- but I am worried about other children. There are lots of little children in that neighborhood. Elijah's a big 10-year-old -- think of what could happen to someone smaller and younger?"
Pet still in future
Elijah doesn't have a dog of his own, but still wants one, despite the attack.
"Maybe a little dog," said his aunt.
"I want a German shepherd," he said.
What he's not sure about is going back to his "Poppy's" house. Even though he doesn't want the dog destroyed, he's nervous about being near it.
"What if it wants more of me?" Elijah asked.
"What are you going to do about it?" Cindy asked.
"Stay in the house," said Elijah. "Stay in Poppy's yard."

Times-Gazette 

* Painful lesson, indeed.
So animal control told the owner to tie the dog in the back yard more securely.
The dog was tied up in the front yard? To a cinder block? Was there a fence? The owner knew the dog was dangerous. Could that possibly be because the dog is tied up all the time? (Statistics show that a chained/tied dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite).
Pit Bulls are not "yard dogs". They need constant attention and lots of exercise. Out of sight, out of mind does not work with a Pit Bull. It's just a tragedy in the making.
If you are not willing to have your dog live in your house with you, then don't get a dog.
And learn from Elijah's lesson. Do not let your children go into anyone's yard, for any reason, without getting the okay from the owner.
You sound like a good kid, Elijah. Stay strong!

Dog euthanized after biting girl at beach

An 80-pound pit bull was euthanized by its owner after it bit a 7-year-old girl at Brooks Street Beach at 12:42 p.m. May 20, Lt. Jason Kravetz said.

The girl was with her family and friends, all from Whittier. One of them, a 21-year-old, had his pit bull on a leash. The young girl started petting the dog, which allegedly began biting her, leaving lacerations on her face and left arm, Kravetz said. The girl was hospitalized at Mission Children's Hospital for the injuries.

The owner of the dog requested that the dog be euthanized, saying it had bitten another person. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian for the procedure, Kravetz said.

Coastline Pilot

Man Who Let Dogs Loose On A 16-year-old Girl Jailed

Wellington, May 29 NZPA - A man who set his pit bull dogs on a teenage girl who he claimed owed him for cannabis has been jailed.
Peter Thompson, 46, unemployed, was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment yesterday for assaulting a female and owning a dog that attacked a person.
Thompson drove to the 16-year-old's address with his dogs and demanded $50 payment for cannabis he had sold to her, New Plymouth District Court was told.
He then shook her, slammed her into the bonnet of a car and threw her on to the concrete before releasing the dogs from his car and setting them loose on her.
Judge Allan Roberts ordered the destruction of the pit bulls and banned Thompson from owning dogs for 10 years.

Voxy

Mount Holly staff: Don’t ban pit bulls

MOUNT HOLLY – The town senior planner told city council members Monday, May 24, that a proposed plan to ban certain dog breeds would be a “slippery slope” and place undue burden on the city’s police department.
Senior Planner Greg Beal gave a staff presentation on a “breed specific” ordinance that would prevent residents from owning certain types of dogs in the city limits. The council requested the information after a local resident was attacked by a pit bull mix in April.
Beal said the ordinance, while having good intentions, is difficult to enforce and wouldn’t resolve the issue. Any dog can attack a person, he said, and if council members start banning one breed, they’ll end up banning all breeds.
“It becomes a slippery slope,” he said. “The CDC, AKC, Humane Society and ASPCA all oppose this type of legislation and all offer convincing facts to support their reasoning.”
Nationwide, 256 municipalities and counties have adopted a form of breed specific legislation, Beal said.
Gaston County handles animal control issues throughout the county, including Mount Holly. If the city enacted breed specific legislation, it would become Mount Holly’s responsibility to enforce it, Beal said.
That would require hiring at least one animal control officer, and the city would not be guaranteed space at the Gaston County Animal Shelter for confiscated animals.
Beal encouraged council members to talk with Gaston County Animal Control and develop an understanding of the city’s current needs as it relates to dangerous dogs and what the county can do to help.

Carolina Weekly

Pit bull-type dog seized in Bethnal Green drug raid

A DOG, £1,000 in cash and cannabis were seized when cops raided a flat in Cyprus Street, Bethnal Green last Thursday.

Drug paraphernalia was also found at the flat and a 24-year-old man was arrested for possession with intent to supply class B drugs and has been released on police bail.

Officers believe the brown dog they confiscated may be a banned pit bull terrier-type dog and are waiting to find out its exact breed.
East London Advertiser

Charity ponies' pitbull attack horror

PONIES ridden by disabled children have been left traumatised after mindless hooligans terrorised them with pitbull terriers.
Brookwood Farm in Sparvell Road, Knaphill, is home to seven ponies that are docile enough to allow beginners and people with disabilities to safely ride them.
However, the animals have been left shaken from last weekend’s attack and the yard’s stallion is now terrified of any person or dog that approaches him.
Ponies Bred for the Disabled volunteer Emma Wilde said: “Mindless joyriders chased several of our ponies in a car, then they got in via the Recreation Ground and just smashed through the fence.
“One of our prize-winning stallions was chased and ended up cut and tangled in the fencing wire when he broke through a fence.
“Since then he has been charging relentlessly up and down the field and will not settle. He has clearly been traumatised by this and we cannot get near him at the moment as he is so fearful of humans. This is so unlike him.”
Among the animals is Alicia, a pregnant mare set to deliver her foal in the next few weeks. Volunteers are unsure whether she was also terrorised by the youths but are satisfied, following a veterinary check-up, that she is unharmed.
Sue Clarke, who also volunteers for the charity, said she returned to the farm in the morning to find the fence severed with wire cutters and the ponies bathed in cold sweat.
“One pony went through the wire just to get away from the dogs,” she said.
The ponies have cuts along their bodies, costing the charity £500 in vet bills.
Ms Clarke said: “We’ve contacted the vet about the stallion and he said there’s no point in him coming over because unless we can catch him, he can’t examine him.”
Police community support officers are to step up patrols  to discourage the youths, who are believed to be local, from trying anything else.
Brookwood and Knaphill PCSO Naz Raja said: “What I said to them was I can patrol the area. I changed my shifts on the weekend just gone and I have the code to get into the farm so I can see if anyone is trespassing.”
PCSO Raja did not see anyone behaving suspiciously last weekend but will be continuing to provide an increased presence in the area to prevent similar incidents.
Volunteers have also agreed to allow the police helicopter to land in Brookwood Farm’s fallow fields to help fight crime in the area.
The charity has incurred huge expenses for repairing fences and gates and also faces vet bills for treating the injured and traumatised ponies.
The charity is appealing for extra help. They need anyone with fundraising experience or who can help as an adult volunteer to care for the ponies.
Visit the website at www.poniesbredforthedisabled.com for more information.

Get Surrey

Officer shoots and kills pit bull that attacked man, dog

BEAUMONT - A Beaumont police officer shot and killed a pit bulldog after it attacked a man and his dog.
Police were called to an area near Pecos and 7th Street at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday and found a man holding down an aggressive pit bulldog.
The dog had already bitten the man and his dog.
The officer tried to help the man while waiting on animal control. The pit bull got free and once again tried to attack the man and his dog.
The officer shot and killed the pit bull.

KFDM

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Video: America's Dog - The American Pit Bull Terrier / American Staffordshire Terrier



Pottstown's Blog

Hastings farmer kills pit bull after attack on cow

HASTINGS -- A farmer who feared for the safety of her 4-year-old boy shot and killed a pit bull Thursday, seconds after it stopped attacking one of her cows and started to charge them.
Barbara Secorsky, 41, and her child were feeding their livestock around 7:30 a.m. when they saw the black pit bull attacking one of their cows in a pasture close by.
She ran back inside her home to grab a rifle, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. When she returned to the pasture, the dog had latched onto the cow's chest.
Secorsky shouted at the dog, which released the cow and charged at her and her son, the report said. She shot the dog several times.
The dog belonged to Michael Blanton, 38, a nearby neighbor. He declined to comment.
This isn't the first time Secorsky has had to defend her livestock from Blanton's pit bull.
A St. Johns County Animal Control official said Blanton's dog was involved in an attack against Secorsky's goat earlier this month. Blanton was found guilty in a St. Johns County courtroom two weeks ago and was fined up to $500 for the attack but was still able to keep the dog, said Paul Studivant, division chief of Animal Control.
Blanton will not face charges this time. Secorsky told deputies that she would work out a settlement with Blanton outside the courtroom.
Studivant said that if the dog had not been shot and killed, it would have been confiscated anyway.
"Two attacks in one month deems the animal dangerous," he said.
Animal Control is finding that pit bulls are over-bred in the county and now fill the majority of the county's animal shelters, Studivant said.
"We used to see a lot of these dogs in the rural areas of the county, but we're starting to see them through the city now, too," Studivant said.
Studivant said there is not a common breed among the dangerous dog cases he investigates.
"For every good dog, there is a bad one, too," he said.
According to dogsbite.org, a public education website that releases research on dog attacks, six out of 10 human deaths by dog attacks in the U.S. recorded this year were by pit bulls.

The St. Augustine Record 

Update June 15, 2010 9:59pm - The following article is by Justine Griffin, The St. Augustine Record:

Animal lover pulls together help for family of attacked cow

Debby Smith, a Realtor with Watson Realty on St. Augustine Beach, is an animal lover.
That's why when she read in The Record about a pit bull attacking a cow in Hastings late last month, she knew she had to get involved.
"I remember reading the story and thinking about how terribly tragic the whole situation was," Smith said. "And then I saw [the cow's owner] on the 6 o'clock news. I knew I just had to help any way I could."
Smith sent out a company-wide e-mail the next day to other Realtors in the county requesting their time and donations to help Secorsky's family and her cow. Through her efforts, Smith was able to raise enough money to pay a local veterinarian to treat the cow three days after the attack.
Barbara Secorsky shot and killed a neighbor's pit bull in May after it not only attacked her cow, Fred, but lunged at her 4-year-old son. Although Fred survived the initial attack, Secorsky was forced to put him down Tuesday after an infection spread from the deep wounds on his chest.
"Caring for an animal this big is expensive," Secorsky said. "Debby went above and beyond and I can't thank her enough."
Fred was taking antibiotics three times a day, but the three days the animal went from being attacked to being treated allowed the infection to get under his skin, Secorsky said.
Workers from the Flagler Land Management offered to lend a hand Tuesday morning by digging a hole large enough to bury Fred on Secorky's property. The offered their services for free and brought their own equipment, Secorsky said.
"It's not easy to dig a hole large enough for a cow," said Mitzi Skeen, the district secretary for Flagler Land Management. "Since we're surrounded by the agriculture community out here, we try to help out whenever we can."
Even though Fred was going to be used for meat one day, Secorsky said she couldn't help but get attached to the 1-year-old cow since she spent so much time treating and caring for him these last few weeks.
"He was just the biggest lump of love," Secorsky said. "He just loved to be pet and cared for."
Fred was the only cow Secorsky had on the property. He was valued at $1,500.
A neighbor, Michael Blanton, owned the pit bull and had promised to buy Secorsky another cow. She said that was the agreement they had settled out of court.
Fred wasn't the first animal that Blanton's pit bull had attacked. Secorsky said that the dog had killed her pig, seven rabbits and eight chickens before.
"It's just sad because this whole situation could have been avoided," Smith said. "Maybe if that dog was raised differently both of these animals wouldn't be dead now."
Even though Smith and Secorsky have never met face-to-face, Secorsky said she can't thank her enough.
"There are some great people in this community," she said. "Even though it was a bad outcome, these wonderful people came to give their time and effort."

Pit Bull Attack Leaves Toddler in Critical Condition

A two-year-old boy was in critical condition Thursday night after being attacked by the family "pet".
Police told NBCLA a pit bull grabbed and bite the child in the family backyard in the 1500 block of West Kendall in San Bernardino at 7:15 p.m.
The child was rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center in near death condition.
An eyewitness told an NBCLA contact the child was playing in backyard when the pit just snapped and attacked the boy.
Two dogs were taken from the family home by authorities but we're told only one beast was responsible for the attack.

NBC LA 

Update May 28, 2010 8:20am - The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the boy has died.
Sgt. Travis Walker says the boy died early this morning.
Walker says investigators reported that it appeared to be an unfortunate and tragic accident.
No further information is currently available.

Update May 28, 2010 8:31am - A report by the San Bernardino Sun identifies the boy as Nathan Aguirre.

Update May 28, 2010 9:21am - The Press-Enterprise is reporting that the parents of Nathan left him alone with the dogs, briefly, in the back yard.
Nathan and his father had been playing in the yard for about an hour when the father went inside.
Nathan's mother came out a few moments later to check on him and saw that the dog had him in it's mouth.
She apparently gave a command to the dog and the dog let go of Nathan.
The report states that the family has had this particular dog for about three months.
No criminal charges are contemplated.

Update May 28, 2010 1:53pm - The San Francisco Chronicle, in a report, identifies the parents as Raul Aguirre Ramirez and Kitziha Navarro. Nathan lived with them, an 8-year old brother, and the two dogs.
"We talked to family and neighbors in the area and there had been no previous incidents of aggression at all," San Bernardino police Sgt. Gary Robertson said.
Police have never been called to the house for any kind of problem, he said.
The family has had the year-old male pit bull for about three months. They got him from a person in Muscoy, he said. The other dog was older and bigger but not involved, Robertson said.
There were bowls out for the dogs, both for food and water, and there was food in at least one of the bowls, Robertson said. "We are not seeing any criminal culpability on the part of either parent," he said.

* The dog that attacked the boy was not neutered. Why is this important? Intact male dogs are more likely to bite than "fixed" males. Especially during "mating" season.
I've read many articles regarding this attack and none reported this, so I called the San Bernardino shelter, where the dogs are being held, and asked. It was unknown, to the person that I spoke with, whether or not the female was spayed.
Intact males represent 80% of dogs presented to veterinary behaviorists for dominance aggression, and account for 70% to 76% of all dog bites (AVMA).
The reason I made the call is because now is the heart of the season. Did the parents have the idea of breeding for puppies? While I have my suspicions, I can't honestly say one way or the other -- especially since the information on the female is not available.
None-the-less, it was very poor judgment on the part of the parent to leave a two-year old child alone with the dogs, if even for a "moment".
Infants and toddlers, and for the most part all children, should never be left unsupervised with any dog because, as shown in this case, it is a tragedy in the making.
I once saw a sticker on the back of a truck that was meant to refer to the rules of the road, but can be applied to dog ownership and all walks of life: "An unguarded minute has an accident in it".