Friday, September 21, 2012

This story makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and it makes me think

This story comes from Akron Ohio. It has all the classic details of a pit bull attack. Children playing in the street, a lovely September evening in a residential neighborhood with well kept lawns and homes. And "SOMEHOW" a pit bull gets loose.

Most of the children were able to jump on top of cars to avoid the pit bull but a six year old wasn't lucky. Unable to climb to safety, he was bitten on his head, legs and buttocks. A 911 caller is quoted "There's a pit bull biting people. Please hurry. It just bit a baby. Just get somebody out here please. This dog is gonna kill somebody." This part makes me cry. The Norman Rockwell vision of childhood has children outside after dinner, playing ball, talking to friends, riding bikes, parents sitting on porches or cutting grass. This is not an expectation in pit bull intensive neighborhoods.

But cheer up, all is not lost. And this part, I'm a bit ashamed to admit, makes me laugh. Horrified neighbors called the police and one caller explains that the dog owners are out in the street trying to gain control of the dog. It is not going well for them. "If they don't get hit by traffic, or the pedestrians don't beat the hell out of them, the dog is gonna kill them while they are fighting."

The final tally for the injured is three. The six year old was transported to Akron City Hospital by a neighborhood resident, his condition is listed as serious. The pit bull owner's 14 year old son and 35 year old girlfriend, who tried to gain control of the dog were both bitten and transported to local hospitals for treatment. The dog owner, Andre Brown has felony conviction and a 20 year criminal history. Brown arrived at the scene and according to the video simply took his dog in the house and refused to surrender the mauler. Please keep in mind that his own son and his girlfriend were on their way to local hospitals and this individual's only concern is his dog. I hope the girlfriend keeps this in mind. Since Brown has refused to surrender the dog a court order must be obtained before this clearly vicious dog can be removed from the neighborhood. Brown was cited for allowing his dog to run loose but I don't think the residents of Dietz Avenue can take much comfort in this.

Here is where I start to think. How many breed specific advocates make comments after these attacks? "I have a pit bull that would just lick you to death. All my neighbors just love him, he plays with all the neighborhood children." Contrast this with the 911 caller "If they don't get hit by traffic, or the pedestrians don't beat the hell out of them, the dog is gonna kill them while they are fighting." If the pedestrians don't beat the hell out of them.... these neighbors clearly do NOT love this dog, or the owners.

Akron has just announced changes in procedures for Animal Control due to this outrageous attack.