Pit Bull Puppies, A Toddler & Injuries: The Debate Continues

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A newspaper report out of East Texas probably isn't going to do wonders for changing the vicious image normally associated with pit bulls. From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

Police and animal control officers continue an investigation Tuesday into an attack involving the child, who suffered major injuries after the Monday mauling by four pit bull dogs...

[The mother of the child] was at the residence visiting with a friend and allowed the daughter to go in the backyard without supervision. She added her daughter had been around the dogs before.

Investigators found the dogs to be approximately three months old, 15 to 20 pounds each...
So pit bull puppies got a hold of a 3-year-old girl and caused serious injuries. The extent of those injuries were not known this afternoon, according the Telegraph article, and an officer with the Longview Police Department, the investigating agency, has not returned phone calls from Hair Balls.

Tragic as this whole thing is, we hope the pit bull doesn't take the blame on this one. Pit bull and other dog attacks happen all over the place, but when it happens, or anything happens, in East Texas, you know there's something more to the story.

We looked for someone who might share, or oppose, our opinion and we found Dr. Anna McBride, a veterinarian at Houston's Beechnut Animal Clinic. McBride adopted a 18-month-old pit bull a little more than a year ago.

"I'm pregnant with my first child, and I'm not going to get rid of my dog," Mcbride tells Hair Balls. "I've trained her well enough, and she's around my 3-year-old niece all the time."

McBride took in her pit bull after the previous owner brought the dog to the clinic with an infection that would cost about $1,000 to fix. The owner left to "go get the money," but then he never came back. If McBride had taken the dog to a shelter, it "more than likely would have resulted in euthanasia," she says. 

She is referring to a Houston SPCA policy to not adopt out pit bulls, something we've written about before. Despite her love of the pit bull breed, it's a policy that McBride supports.

"We've seen pit bulls multiple times [at the clinic], and you always wonder if they were used for fighting because they have scars and they're coming in for a dogfight wound," she says. "If the SPCA adopted these dogs out, or if I had turned my own dog in and she was adopted out, she may have become a fighting dog. They're a powerful breed, and when they bite, they bite hard."

Still, don't be so fast to blame the pit.

"I've worked here for almost two years, and there's only been a handful [of pit bulls] I've had to muzzle," McBride says. "It's not really because I'm scared of the dog, it's because the dog isn't vaccinated and I don't want to go get rabies shots."

She adds, "I more afraid of a chihuahua biting me than I am of a pit bull, and almost everybody at this clinic will agree with that."

So there you have it. Some say the dogs can't be blamed, and this incident offers more proof that in East Texas, even puppies and toddlers can lead to disastrous results.

If we hear anything back from the Longview Police Department, we will be sure to update the story.


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