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Old 12-11-2012, 06:15 PM
straw straw is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Default 4 Year Old Hospitalized After Being Bitten By a Pit Bull

This happened about half an hour away from me in Nova Scotia... I've included two articles. Both links have videos attached. Here is the original story:

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/girl-4-ho...bull-1.1073959

A four-year-old girl is recovering in hospital after being bitten by a pit bull, but the fate of the dog is still unclear.

Cole Harbour RCMP responded to the call at a home on Arklow Drive shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday.

“Basically what I was told was she bent down to pet it a little and the dog snapped and bit her,” says Martin Geertsema, the girl’s father.

The little girl is now recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery.

“She has some nerve damage to the eyebrow,” says Geertsema. “They don’t know if that nerve will come back. It was basically severed in two locations.”

Geertsema says his daughter was with a family friend while visiting the home in Cole Harbour. The dog was supposed to be locked in a room but it got out.

“It’s not just the dog, it’s also the dog owner who is responsible,” says Geertsema. “Not to say this particular owner was negligent, but this particular breed requires an owner who is knowledgeable about that dog.”

The dog was seized by animal services officers today.

It will be quarantined, observed, and assessed for ten days to determine its risk to the public.

“The family can volunteer their statements and help us with the investigation, but ultimately, it’s the officer that has discretion if charges are going to be laid or not,” says Andrea MacDonald of HRM Animal Services.

Dog owner Natasha Parker was asleep when the incident occurred.

“She sensed fear and it all went downhill from there,” she says. “She nipped her and I feel really horrible about what happened to the little girl. I’m shocked. She would never do that.”

Parker has two American Staffordshire Terrier pit bull crosses and wants her dog, Sausha, back.

“It is really out of the ordinary. My dog has never showed signs of aggression at all. I’m shocked. I feel bad for the little girl. I’m hoping she is doing all right.”

Geertsema wants to see the dog destroyed.

“If you don’t ban the dog itself, there should at least be some mandatory training for the dog owner to be a responsible owner with this particular breed,” he says.

He believes there should be mandatory training for pit bull owners and hopes his daughter’s injuries are taking seriously.

As for Sausha, animal control officers will determine what happens to her.

Parker could be issued a fine for not having the animal licensed with the city, her dog could be deemed dangerous and be placed under a number of conditions, or it could be destroyed.

But those cases are rare, according to animal services.
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After that was published, CTV shamelessly tries to stir of some controversy and debate on whether or not a ban is now appropriate. There is a poll on this page:

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/debate-ov...ntsForm-352092

The debate over pit bulls has been reignited after a four-year-old girl was attacked in Cole Harbour, N.S. on the weekend.

The girl’s father wants to see the dog destroyed, but some dog owners worry the attack is painting pit bulls with the same brush.

Janet Chernin owns a dog daycare. She says the incident should be looked at as a dog issue, and not a breed issue.

A little girl is recovering after being bitten by a pit bull mix on the weekend.

“People forget that Helen Keller’s dog was a pit bull terrier,” says Chernin, who owns an American Bulldog - pit bull mix.

The little girl is recovering in hospital after being bitten by the American Staffordshire Terrier - pit bull mix, but the fate of the dog is still unclear.

Cole Harbour RCMP responded to the call at a home on Arklow Drive shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday.

“Basically what I was told was she bent down to pet it a little and the dog snapped and bit her,” says Martin Geertsema, the girl’s father.

The little girl is now recovering after undergoing surgery.

“She has some nerve damage to the eyebrow,” says Geertsema. “They don’t know if that nerve will come back. It was basically severed in two locations.”

Geertsema says his daughter was with a family friend while visiting the home in Cole Harbour. The dog was supposed to be locked in a room but it got out.

Owner Natasha Parker says it was the first time her dog, Sausha, had bitten anyone.

“I’m shocked. I feel bad for the little girl,” says Parker. “I hope she’s doing alright.”

Today, the girl received a rabies shot as a precaution.

Geertsema says the dog should be destroyed and believes stricter regulations are needed.

“It’s not just the dog, it’s also the dog owner who is responsible,” says Geertsema. “Not to say this particular owner was negligent, but this particular breed requires an owner who is knowledgeable about that dog.”

Coun. Gloria McCluskey isn’t calling for a ban on the breed, but she agrees that mandatory training is needed for pit bull owners.

“It’s a serious situation and it’s time we looked into this,” says McCluskey.

“Some of them are probably lovely dogs, but there’s a history of pit bulls attacking humans and other dogs.”

Animal trainer Susan Jordan says children and dogs can mix, with the right supervision.

“All dogs can bite. Certainly, the bigger the dog, the bigger the mouth, so potentially the greater amount of possible damage that their jaws can do,” says Jordan.

“But it is more about socialization and training than it is about really getting caught in what breed it was.”

Chernin agrees, and believes training should be mandatory for all dog owners – not just owners of pit bulls.

“Children can move very, very quickly and make inappropriate motions to a dog, and a dog can also react very quickly if they feel threatened,” says Chernin.

The dog was seized by animal services officers Monday.

It will be quarantined, observed, and assessed for ten days to determine its risk to the public.

Animal control officers will then decide what happens to Sausha.
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In all honesty, I would love to see mandatory training or a license required to own these dogs (preferably ALL dogs, but pit bulls are a good start), not because I think it's needed for the dogs' sake, but because it would keep a good chunk of idiots out of the breed. If you had to spend time and money doing homework and learning about dogs when you really just wanted a leash ornament to impress your friends or scare the neighbours, you'd probably think twice about getting one. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be possible to enforce a law like that, and if it was, it would only make the irresponsible people migrate to another breed.

MAYBE, just MAYBE, one day John Q. Public will realize this is not a breed issue, but a dog issue. Kids move and act differently than adults, and that can make a dog nervous. No four year old in the world should be expected to pick up on a nervous dog's signals and know it's not ok to pet. This is an issue of leaving a kid unsupervised with a dog. Everyone needs to smarten up and realize that's a recipe for disaster, regardless of breed.
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