Pit bull attacks young boyAn ILLEGAL PIT BULL was surrendered to the dog wardens over the weekend after it attacked a young child.
The boy was taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s emergency room after the attack that occurred on Sunday in Southampton. The Ministry of Health, Seniors and the Environment told The Royal Gazette last night that an investigation into the incident was under way.
“The ministry can confirm that animal wardens received reports of a dog attack on a child that occurred on Sunday, February 7, in Southampton,” a ministry spokesman said. “The incident has been confirmed, the dog identified as an illegal pit bull and has been surrendered. Investigations are ongoing.”
A hospital spokeswoman confirmed that the victim, believed to be of primary school age, was treated and discharged.
A Bermuda Police Service spokesman said: “We have nothing in our system on this matter.”
The ministry released figures in January 2014 showing that pit bulls were responsible for 141 of the 259 “important complaints” made about dogs in 2012 and 2013.
Of those 141 complaints, 37 involved a pit bull biting or injuring another animal, 20 involved biting or injuring a person and 26 involved chasing or threatening behaviour.
Between January 1 and September 30 last year, the department seized 42 pit bulls and 47 were caught straying or were surrendered to dog wardens. All were destroyed. Anyone with information can contact the Dog Hotline 239-2327.
THIS NEXT ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN FROM THE VIEW POINT OF THE CHILD'S FATHER. IT'S INTERESTING....HE TAKES UP FOR THE PIT OWNER AND DEFLECTS OFF ON THE PEOPLE THAT MAY HAVE SEEN THE ATTACK THAT HE SAYS DIDN'T COME TO HIS SON'S AID. WE ALL KNOW THAT BYSTANDERS ARE OFTEN SCARED "SHITLESS" AT THE THOUGHT OF COMING NEAR A LOOSE PIT THAT'S IN ATTACK MODE. I THINK THE FATHER MAY HAVE BEEN A PIT OWNER AT SOME POINT BECAUSE HE THINKS THE PITS ARE BEING 'SELECTIVELY' SINGLED OUT.
A father told yesterday how his eight-year-old son ran home alone “bloodied” and “terrified” after he was bitten repeatedly by an ILLEGAL PIT BULL that broke free from its tethering in a friend’s garden.
The man said witnesses who claimed to have seen the attack on his little boy in the Rangers area of Southampton on Sunday should be ashamed for not stepping in to help him get home safely.
“It was an unfortunate incident because the dog actually broke loose,” said the 46-year-old, who asked not to be named. “Whether it’s illegal or not is not important. The sad part is the neighbours or whoever witnessed it — my son came home by himself, bloodied and torn. Nobody came with him. The sad part is not the pit bull attack but the fact that not one person assisted him. The owner was securing the dog. By the time he got back, my son was gone.”
The man said the first he knew of the attack was when his son arrived home at about 4.30pm, having fled the friend’s back yard.
“I saw a torn shirt,” said his father. “I saw blood. I saw tears. He was shaking, distraught, the whole nine yards. He’s got blood all over his shirt and it’s ripped from trying to fight the dog off. He was terrified. I wanted to beat the owner, kill the dog, but my main concern was making sure he was OK.”
The dad rushed his son to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital where he was treated for “really bad bites” to his upper arm. He was due to be seen again by a doctor yesterday to ensure infection had not set in.
The dog was surrendered to animal wardens and destroyed on Tuesday. The father told this newspaper he was able to obtain, from a friend, a photograph of the dog after it was killed. He said his son was “relieved” after seeing the image, knowing the creature could not hurt him again. “He has a lot of support around him. We explained to him that these things happen. We showed him the picture of the dog after it was destroyed. I needed to see that dog dead. That was important to me.”
The father insisted he did not want the dog’s owner to be prosecuted and was more angry with bystanders who were willing to give witness statements to the authorities but not step in to comfort his son.
“If they witnessed it in its entirety, like they say they have, why didn’t they come and assist my son? You have an eight-year-old who was terrified, traumatised, blood dripping from his arm, clothes full of soil, scared.
“The owner has come to see my son on several occasions. Also, he has taken care of whatever expenses my son has. It’s an illegal pit bull but I know people have it for different reasons. Some have it because of people breaking into their houses. There’s no reason for them to have an illegal dog for their protection, I understand that. I have had dogs. I’m not concerned about that.”
He said there was a “legal dog” in his neighbourhood that had killed his partner’s cats but wasn’t seized or destroyed, despite complaints to the Department of Environmental Protection. “To me, it’s selective, because if this dog came into a yard and killed a cat, it could do the same to a child."
“What’s the difference? Why is the illegal dog put out? It’s supposed to be preventative but it doesn’t work.”
A police spokesman said officers did respond to reports of the attack on Sunday but the inquiry was being handled by animal wardens. A Ministry of Health, Seniors and Environment spokesman confirmed that the illegal pit bull was “humanely euthanised after it was voluntarily surrendered”.
He added: “Investigations are ongoing. However, prosecution is dependent on a number of factors, including identification of witnesses.”