Pit Bull Attacks Tiny Dog In New York City; Should Pit Bulls Be Kept As Pets …

A vicious dog attack at East 10th and Broadway (just a block away from the HuffPost office!) was caught on camera this week. In the video a pit bull can be seen with his jaw latched onto a tiny (Pekingnese?)dog. The pit bull’s owner punches at his dog’s head while the other dog owner screams in horror:

The video will likely be used by pit bull-haters to say the canines are dangerous animals that shouldn’t be kept as pets. Just last week, for example, two men in Harlem were arrested when their pit bull attacked and seriously hurt a 7-year-old girl.

Denver enacted a ban on pit bulls in 1987 and as of 2010, the city had executed 3,497 of the dogs. (See a very sad photo series the dead dogs here.)

Of course, pit bull advocates will argue that it’s not pit bulls that are the problem. The breed, they say, is actually gentle (see video below). The problem lies with pit bull owners who mistreat the pups. Buried in a great pit bull thread on The Dish, a reader writes:

I have been following this discussion thread with interest and the comparison to guns by this reader leads me to wonder if anyone has brought up the role that gangs/criminals play in the perpetuation of the “pit bull myth”. Gang members, felons and parolees will often use pit bulls as replacements for actual weapons. Many have police records, obviously, and if they are caught with a gun or knife they’ll have to do time. So instead, they get themselves a pit bull. For them, it’s an ideal replacement. Walking around with a pit goes a long way to intimidate folks – and it’s legal.

Also, dog-fighting. Last week, the NYPD arrested a Bronx man, and are searching for another man, on charges of animal cruelty in connection with an alleged pit bull fighting operation inside an apartment building basement. From CBS:

Raul Sanchez was arrested and inside the building authorities recovered a loaded .25-caliber handgun, 22 crude wooden cages, multiple pet carriers, dog treadmills, harnesses and muzzles, syringes, cash and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.

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[VIA Gothamist]

Pit bull mix bites don’t convince Larimer Humane Society to target breeds

2 pit bull mix larimer county.jpgMore photos below.Denver’s continuing pit bull ban remains a controversy lightning rod, with lovers of the breed putting blame for problems on owners even as critics see this type of dog as inherently dangerous. Now, two biting incidents involving pit-bull mixes in Larimer County (one dog is seen here) have revved up the debate again — but despite the hubbub, the Larimer Humane Society remains against breed-specific bans.

As reported by 7News, Andrea Martin was gardening in her yard on June 1 when she was attacked by a pair of pit bull mixes owned by separate individuals but running loose together. She sustained a nasty series of wounds on one leg in the process.

This situation was even more frustrating for Martin after she learned that Phil Phelan, who also lives in her neighborhood, was bitten in the leg by what are suspected to be the same dog or dogs a few days earlier, on May 29. In an interview with 7News, he expressed his belief that the animals should have been dealt with earlier, implying that if local authorities had been quicker to respond, Martin might not have suffered her injury.

pit bull mix dog bite.jpgMartin’s bite wounds.Stephanie Ashley, spokeswoman for the Larimer Humane Society, begs to differ with Phelan’s characterization of her agency’s efforts.

“Our animal protection and control responded immediately” to the Phelan bite, she says. “But they were unable to make contact with the owner. We can’t just go into a home and take a dog, and the dog wasn’t out or at large at any time we came by. And they went back every day and kept calling.”

Officers had better luck after the Martin bite. “We were immediately able to identify and make contact with the owners and both dogs on June 1,” she says, “and that’s when the citations were issued for the owners.”

As for how quickly officers acted in each case, Ashley says, “The call about the first bite came in at 7:15 p.m. on May 29, and we were on the scene by 7:49 p.m., and tried to make contact with the owners every day after that. And after receiving the second call at 2:40 p.m. on June 1, we were on the scene by 2:52 and made contact with each owner, and issued citations, at that time.”

One of the dogs, whose owners lived on the street where the bites occurred and had a history of prior bites and escapes, was taken into custody on a ten-day bite quarantine. The second dog, whose record didn’t match that of the other animal, was given a similar ten-day confinement mandate but was allowed to remain at the owner’s home.

1 pit bull mix larimer county.jpgThe second of the dogs whose owners were cited.“In the second case, the victim [Martin] was unable to determine whether it was one of the dogs that bit her or both,” Ashley points out. “So we’re erring on the side of being as safe as possible, but assuming that the first dog” — the one that also injured Phelan — “bit in that case, too.”

Have such incidents convinced Larimer Humane Society that pit bulls, or pit bull mixes, are so liable to harm others that they should be outlawed in the area? Nope. Ashley describes the organization’s stance like so: “The Larimer Humane Society does not support legislation that’s aimed at banning ownership of dogs based solely on their breed.”

She adds that “as an organization, we understand that while most dogs don’t bite, any dog may bite given any number of circumstances regardless of breed. So we support legislation that reflects that fact and really holds pet owners responsible for the actions of their pets.”

For more information, Ashley recommends visiting LivingSafelyWithDogs.org.

Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.

More from our News archive: “Leaked: photos of pit bulls killed due to Denver ban.”

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Video: Pit Bull Bites Pekingese Named "Fluffy"

Here is a frightening video of a pit bull terrier latching onto the paw of what appears to be a Pekingese near East 10th Street and Broadway.

Having lived with a rescue pit for three years (miss you Monty!) we can attest that pit bulls are no less affectionate and kind than our sister’s bichon. Still, dogs are dogs, and big-dog-on-little-dog fights are why they keep those two dog runs separate at Tompkins Square (we’ve spent many an afternoon with an ice cream cone thinking about this). And no, pit bulls cannot “lock their jaws,” idiot.

Here’s some positive pit bull PR:

Two Men Arrested After Pit Bull Mauls Seven-Year-Old Harlem Girl

(Nicole Kucera/Shutterstock)
A seven-year-old girl is in stable condition after being attacked by a pit bull in the hallway of a Harlem apartment building yesterday. Tatiana Quinones, accompanied by her older brother, had just emerged from an elevator around 3:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem when the dog pounced on her. Ryan Brown, a 21-year-old neighbor, heard screams and burst from his apartment to help the dog’s owner pry the hound’s mouth off of Tatiana’s arm. “As the guy was opening the mouth I was easing the girl’s arm out of his mouth,” Brown tells NY1. “The wound was really bad, she had blood leaking everywhere.”

“The dog jumped on her to get the ice,” neighbor Tonya James tells the Daily News. “The girl was screaming.” Quinones was rushed the hospital, where she received stitches on her left arm. She also sustained “large scratches across her neck,” according to NBC New York. But her mother says the second grader remained calm during the ordeal: “She’s really brave. She didn’t cry. All she’s worried about is how is she going to do her homework.”

According to NY1, the dog was on a leash at the time and accompanied by Vincent Evans, who’s been charged with reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration and acting in a manner injurious to a child. Apparently the dog belongs to Evans and his brother, Gary Evans, who was also charged with a violation for having the pit bull in the public housing project—pit bulls and 24 other breeds, including Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers, were banned by the NYCHA in 2009.

The dog, whom the Daily News identifies as “Big Blue,” was taken by Animal Care Control for evaluation, and another pit bull owned by Evans was also confiscated. The News also scored a striking photo of the smirking Evans brothers under arrest.

Speak Out: Are Pit Bulls a Problem?

Oh – and as to my own opinion on “pit bull type” dogs:

I love them, and have had nothing but positive experiences with all that I have ever encountered. One of my dogs is classified as a pit mix. We adopted him from BHS at the age of 4, and he had come to them from another shelter. We hose him not because of his looks, but rather because of the impression he made on us when we went to the shelter looking to adopt a dog. Despite his history of mistreatment and neglect, he was the most eager-to-please, affectionate and laid-back dog we met there. He immediately got along with our other dog (a ridgeback mix) and 14 y/o cat, and has never shown an ounce of unprovoked aggression towards another living creature.

He is now ten, and is the long-suffering playmate of my 3 y/o daughter. He has tolerated having his nails painted pink, will wear fairy wings and princess crowns, and is especially talented at chasing the monsters out of her closet or from underneath her bed. In fact, he has been her constant loving companion since birth; her first word at 8 months was not, to my dismay, “mommy”, but “puppy”!

Despite his advanced years, graying face and arthritic joints, he is most happy when surrounded by little people loving on him and playing with him. I am so fortunate to own my home; not only would it break my heart if I had to rehome him, it would absolutely devastate my daughter.