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Posted on Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Police: 4-year-old Milan boy hospitalized after dog bites him in face

By John Counts


A 4-year-old Milan boy and his father were taken to the hospital Monday afternoon after a dog bit the boy in the face and the father on the arm, police said.

Neither had life-threatening injuries.

Milan police were dispatched to a home in the 300 block of Ann Marie Street after receiving a report that a boy had been bitten in the face by a dog, said Milan police Chief Gerard Scherlinck.

The boy's family was watching the dog, described as a pit bull/boxer mix, for relatives.

“The 4-year-old ... went to embrace or kiss the dog and got bit in the face,” Scherlinck said.

The boy’s father, who is in his 30s, intervened and was bitten on his arm.

The dog was turned over to the Monroe County Animal Control, Scherlinck said.

The boy remained in the hospital Monday night with facial injuries. Police did not know his medical status Tuesday.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Merritt Clifton

Sat, Sep 7, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

With the risk of putting one's face close to any dog's face acknowledged, some breeds are much more likely to respond by inflicting a disfiguring facial bite than others. Of the 4,384 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 2,776 (63%) were pit bulls; 536 were Rottweilers; 3,536 were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes. Of the 514 human fatalities, 261 were killed by pit bulls; 84 were killed by Rottweilers; 384 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds. Of the 2,484 people who were disfigured, 1,652 (66%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 314 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,063 (83%) were disfigured by molosser breeds. Pit bulls--exclusive of their use in dogfighting--also inflict about 10 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class. Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are less than 6% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

Merritt Clifton

Sat, Sep 7, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

Putting one's face close to a dog's face, especially a dog one does not know very well, is a threat. To a dog, or to almost any animal, this means "I'm going to eat you." The consequence is frequently a disfiguring facial bite. When dogs approach each other, they sniff butts first -- a much less menacing means of establishing trust, at least from a dog's perspective. Not putting one's face close to a dog's face was heavily emphasized in "Dog Bite Prevention Week" literature from 1961 until the 1990s, but this advice then disappeared as animal shelter promotional literature began making more & more use of photos of people and dogs making facial contact.

Pretty Gritty

Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

It' the owners fault. Dirtballs are attracted to pit bulls because they are a powerful breed. The average pit bull owner is 8x more likely to be a convicted felon than other dog owners. Thats the short and long of it.


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

Parent's fault, not the dog. You don't let a child go eye to eye with an unfamiliar animal, that's jst common sense. I feel sad for the owners of the pet and terrible for the dog itself. I think it's wrong that animals are automatically murdered when something like this happens.


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.

You don't have to worry about a [domesticated] cat biting anyone's face off. Just sayin'.


Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 3:48 a.m.

Yes, you do! Cat's do bite. Further, infection wise, a cat's bite and a cat's scratch is worse than a dogs.

Jaloney Caldwell

Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 12:53 a.m. Free Community Event to Support & Prevent Victims of Pitbull Attacks. You don't have to be a victm, you just have to have a heart. EVERYONE IS WELCOME. Help us spread the word! Fliers to print out on the website in English and Espanol. Free LIVE MUSIC, free off street parking, free moonwalk bounce tent and slide for kids, free games and Halloween related activities, indoor and outdoor activities with comfortable seating, speakers, business booths, food and refreshments on site, speakers include surgeon, lawyer, 2 former pitbull owners, parents of victims including fatalities, people that have had their pets mauled, surgeon, and a lawyer. EVERYONE is welcome. Support victims, learn, enjoy the free activites.. Candlelight vigil at dusk. Google the blog (Walk for Victims of Pitbulls)and find them on facebook too. There is no walking involved this year.. just lots of fun. Churches can sponsor a victims trip to the event. Everyone is welcome. Police security on site, no dogs allowed at event.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

This one time when I was like 13 I was walking home from school. A grown man tried to get me to come home with him in his car. We should probably ban men since the proportion of me committing sex crimes is much higher then women who commit sex crimes. BAN MEN!!! Sound ridiculous when you say it this way.


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 12:11 a.m.

"higher then women" THEN is mainly an adverb, often used to situate actions in time. For example, you wake up in the morning and then have breakfast. THAN is a conjunction used mainly in making comparisons e.g., "My breakfast is better than yours" Other THAN that your comparison doesn't fly!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 6:19 p.m.

Interesting that many here get away with blaming the victim. That is usually not allowed. Even when it's obvious that if a victim had not been speeding,drinking, texting,_____ fill in the blank.


Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 3:47 a.m.

Nice try at getting all comments that disagree with you eliminated, jcj.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 5:39 p.m.

After reading all these posts what I come away with is that no dog can be trusted to not bite or become aggressive, no matter the breed, size, age, disposition, personality, whatever. So, if you can never trust ANY dog - why would you want to have own one? And why would anyone let any dog be around any child as it sounds like all dogs are unpredictable by nature. And something the puzzles me is that Pit owners defend their dogs by saying ANY dog could potentially bite, it's not the breed, but in the same breath say, "but not my pit because he's the sweetest, best dog I've ever owned." It's contradictory. Another argument coming through in favor of the Pit, by pit owners, is that they are only aggressive if raised that way. I can't believe for a minute that all the unprovoked pit-type dog attacks have been by those raised to be aggressive. I am more inclined to believe these dogs were raised, many from puppyhood, as a loving, trusted, member of the family. You just never know until it happens. My son's friend recently had his sweet, loveable pit put down after he bit the neighbor. This was shortly after bringing home a newborn baby. The friend said the baby had nothing to do with the biting. Whatever…I'm just glad it wasn't the baby that was bit. Most of the dogs I have met have been sweet, affectionate, loveable creatures. Most all I would trust to not bite. So, what am I to believe? All dogs could bite so never let your guard down and for sure never let your kids play with a dog? That's not very comforting.


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

Like having a swimming pool? That's absurd. When was the last time a swimming pool broke its chain to attack someone? When did a swimming pool ever jump a fence to attack a next-door neighbor who was peacefully digging in her garden, as a pit did a couple years back in Dearborn Heights? When's the last time a swimming pool jumped out the window of a moving car to attack a little dog being walked down the street on a leash?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

Actually, there are some dogs you can trust. It is just that there are a lot of otherwise good dogs who, when threatened, react. That is normal dog behavior and is part of their nature. That combined with the fact that many children engage in behavior that is normal to them but threatening to dogs results in bites. Most bites are not serious. It is like having a swimming pool. A child is just going to approach a swimming pool and the swimming pool's nature involves drowning children who approach it improperly. Parents must supervise children around swimming pools. Swimming pools, like dogs, are really fun things to have though. It would be just as stupid to ban a certain breed of dog as it would be to ban swimming pools.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

We own five dogs. We rescue/foster dogs. We have had dozens of dogs come though our house including, pit bulls, pit mixes, mastifs, great pyrs, and many, many large and small mixes. Yes, dogs of all types, can and do bite. I have had several bites. I have been hospitalized for an infected dog bite. I have had a facial bite from a dog that I could stick my tongue though. This has always been due to me trying to break up a fight between two dogs that are not familiar with each other. Never has one of my pitbul fosters or the one I own bitten me (not saying that it could not happen). I have learned the hard way that bringing an unfamiliar dog into an unfamiliar situation with unfamiliar people requires acclimation to gain familiarity and comfort. I Feel bad for all involved, yes, including the child and the dog. I am able to have empathy for all involved. Before anyone says we care more about dogs than people, I am an RN, I care for people everyday, my wife is a teacher, she educates children everyday. Our pitbull is one of the most well-behaved, gentle, fun loving dogs we have ever had, and we have had a lot of dogs. We can take him anywhere (no, we don't just let him run free). He camps, kayaks, plays frissbee, canoes with kids, GASP!!!, in public areas, with other people and dogs around!!!! One of my mixes I would not do this with because of his fear of unfamiliar people, especially men, since he was beaten by the man who owned him before us. My point is that no dog of any type should just be approached by people unfamiliar with him/her and it is our responsibility as the more intelligent beings to know and respect this. We love our pit-bull, always will, he is wonderful. JCJ, don't offer me one of your pills either, I wouldn't take anything from you.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

I have never killed a dog. But I don't give strangers a ride.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

I would not accept a ride home on a cold night from you. I am sure with your myopic view of dogs you would have already ened the life of any dog that came near you anyway. That of course would be to save mankind from it's bloodthirstyness.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

Not even the wet scared dog I found? Sounds like you are too far gone to save anyway.

Mr. Ypsilanti

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

Nothing like getting the Pit Bull owners association fired up.


Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 3:41 a.m.

Nothing like getting the anti-pit bull crowd screaming misinformation, either.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

I was attacked by a German Shepard when I was young, my fault of course. The dog was in it's yard when I thought it would be a good idea to tease it. You could imagine the look on my face when the dog jumped the 4' chain linked fence. I got bit on the back and on the calf while running away, I had to jump on a car to escape.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

ALL canines of ALL breeds are likely to bit a child that puts its face into theirs. Adults shouldl know better and control the situation. The scenario described is a KNOWN casue of dog bites. People who have or agree to care for an animal should become educated on basic training and behaviors. The humans are suppose dto be in control and have resoning abilities, NOT the animals! Educate yourself:


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Pit bulls should go the way of the Corvair.

Eduard Copely

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:23 a.m.

Parents need to be continually vigilant about what their toddlers are doing or getting into.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

As do dog owners!

Jon Anonnon

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

20 dead by dog attack so far in 2013. Pit bull type dogs killed nineteen of them. Eleven of the nineteen dead are children. Stars indicate people killed by a 'family' pit bull – ones that had been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, 'never showed aggression before', and knew the victim. Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (11): Christian Gormanous - 4 yrs old Isaiah Aguilar - 2 yrs old Ryan Maxwell - 7 yrs old ** Dax Borchardt - 14 mos old ** Monica Laminack - 21 mos old ** Tyler Jett - 7 yrs old Jordyn Arndt - 4 yrs old ** Beau Rutledge - 2 yrs old ** Ayden Evans- 5 yrs old ** Nephi Selu – 6 yrs old ** Arianna Jolee Merrbach – 5 yrs old Adult fatalities by pit bull type (7): Betty Todd - 65 yrs old ** Elsie Grace - 91 yrs old ** Claudia Gallardo - 38 yrs old Pamela Devitt - 63 yrs old Carlton Freeman - 80 yrs old Linda Oliver – 63 yrs old Juan Campos 96 years old (1 non-bite related fatality) James Harding - 62 yrs old - chased into traffic by two attacking pit bulls (1 non-pit type killing) [Rachel Honabarger - 35 yrs old - mauled to death by her own GSD mix] Two of the pit bull type dogs were BULL mastiffs, ie 60% pit-fighting bulldog. 18 of 20 dead were killed directly by pit bull bites, that's 90% dead by pit and 10% dead by 'molosser'. If you count the pit-mix mastiffs as pit bull types which they are, and are 60% pit bull , that's 95% killed directly by pit bull type bites. The man who ran into traffic kept pit bulls himself. He knew perfectly well what the two stranger pit bulls that were were chasing him would do if they caught him, so he preferred to risk a swift death by oncoming car.

Catherine Wright

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

According to the CDC Rottweiler's account for the most fatal dog attacks on humans and combined with pit bull terrier breeds it still only accounts for 60% of the deaths. Not trying to lesson the value of someone's death or attack just trying to show that 90% of deaths by pit is inaccurate. Anyone who owns a strong and powerful breed must train and care for their pets properly. I am a pit owner and I hold myself accountable for her actions. I've never had any type of aggression issues with her except her fondness for chasing squirrels and an occasional field mouse.

Catherine Wright

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

Where are these facts? Google?


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

@Women That's just deaths! Not the number of maimed/injured people. Sheesh!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

More children are killed by their parents then by pitbulls, wheres the out rage?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

Thanks for posting those facts. It seems clear to me that even if pit bulls are more likely to cause fatalities, they are in no way causing enough to even consider banning the breed. 20 fatalities in an entire year is not enough to justify a ban. You would save more lives banning bathtubs!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 2:37 p.m. personal experience IS THAT I OWN ONE!!!!!!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

Swallow Hard. Cause that is the pill I am handing out.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

Jon Thanks for trying to add some facts to the conversation. But pit bull owners are blind to the irreparable harm their animals can, and in many cases do to people. @lisaone Any idea how many parents that have had their children maimed have heard someone say " He's not like that.' ? Way TOO MANY! Wake up!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

Case closed................


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

My fault...I read that totally wrong. I now see it was a non-fatality. I still love mine, regardless. He's not like that. Period.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:57 a.m.

Ok...who determined that last paragraph. Did the man who risked the "swift death" come back and tell you his story?


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 7:12 a.m.

It's not like dog nature and dog behaviors are a big mystery deserving "big thoughts." Nope, it's people ignoring WHAT IS KNOWN about dogs which create the majority of incidents like this one. People's actions have consequences. Go figure. National Geographic Channel, "Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Milan is the reality TV show to watch. Sadly, the final show was last September but it's still in re-runs. One man, dealing successfully with scores of human and canine behavioral problems. It can be done - just do it.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:10 a.m.

People that own pit bulls are like streakers. They want the attention they get from owning one.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

@jcj "Baloney!"


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

I really understand how horrific it is that ANYONE is attacked by a dog. I was attacked by someone's family pet when I was 18 and I still bear a wee bit of a scar on my leg. I was on my bicycle, stationary; petting this white, large, shepherd, who was seemingly friendly. When I started to pedal, he attacked. Thank God for new Levi jeans...they saved my leg. Anyway, my point is, it's not just pit bulls who attack. I'd like to see other "stories". It just seems that these are the ones that make headlines.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

Lisaone I did say what I will. And if it would not be removed I would say more. Just let me say dog owners in general around this town are the MOST self centered, myopic people I have ever come across.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

Really? And who are these people....I own one, I don't need the "attention".. I just love my dog. I got him, not even knowing he was a pit, off of Craigslist. He was 9 months old, in a crate, un-neutered, with a family with tons of kids, who didn't have time for him. He has turned out to be the best dog I have ever owned. Say what you will.

buvda fray

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:05 a.m.

It's pit bull news groundhog day! Here we go --- how many of these do we hear every time this ugly story reappears?-- Sweetest little dog - afraid of people - never harm a fly - mine is different - it's a mix, not the official pit bull terrier - critics don't understand dogs - it's the way you raise them - don't hate the breed - only mistreated dogs bite - my neighbor's cousin's friend's wife's so and so heard about a little 4 ounce miniature yapper lapdog that inhaled an entire battalion of championship wrestlers only spitting out the bones but pit bulls are real nice - be responsible and blame someone dumber than the dog - you don't know how to tell dog bite numbers right 'cause them pits is sweeter'n honey boo boo and I'd know cuz I got her inishils tattood on my ankle - etc etc etc etc etc. Just ban the ridiculous mutts and all the square head lookalikes and any vicious dog regardless of breed, lineage, or zip code. In the meantime, they should be treated as loaded weapons and legislated and licensed as such.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

Ever been around one? Huh, huh?

Quincy Engebretsen-Ebeler

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

When I was a kid I was bit in the face by a COLLIE! So much for sweet Lassie.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

I got a 2 year old yellow lab from a shelter, turned out to be the meanest dog I ever owned, she has since passed. My next dog, a 1 year old pitbull came from a rescue, the sweetest dog I ever owned, she is now 10 and lives with her sisters, two cats.


Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 3:33 a.m.

@jcj - It's called "responsibility."


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:10 a.m.

@jcj I said mean, not deadly. She never attacked anyone, she would get moody and would let you know about it.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 6:45 a.m.

Because adopting a pet means you commit yourself to caring for that animal to the best of your ability unless they prove to be too dangerous to do so or you know that doing so is absolutely not in their best interest. Mean doesn't necessarily = dangerous, especially if kids aren't involved. And, "meanest" is subjective.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:05 a.m.

Why would you keep " the meanest dog" you ever owned?


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

Mans Best Friend! Baloney!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:13 a.m.

@KMHall How much experience do you have in dealing with Pits?


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:37 a.m.

jcj and hepcat Thank you for hanging in on this crazy comment thread. The arguments in "favor" of pit bulls are baloney indeed. If it were all just a case of the owners being negligent, then the statistics would not be so skewed. Pit bulls are dangerous.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

Pit bulloney !


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 11:41 p.m.

I have done a lot of research on the breeding of dogs after an attack that I was involved in. And yes some people should not be allowed to own any dog. But breeds are bread for different traits. Washtenaw county needs to have better laws in regards to owning breeds like pit bulls. The woman who owned the pit that I was involved in did not even have it up to date on its rabies vaccination, and had not insurance. I am out in over $5000. In bet bills. I hope the boy and his father are okay.


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

Sue her in civil court, get a judgement, then pull a Ronald Goldman on her and garnish every penny she has until the judgement is paid off. I'm sick to death of owners of vicious dogs skipping off on their merry way while victims suffer.

Mark Salke

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

Agree with the comments that this could happen with any breed of dog.

5c0++ H4d13y

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 4 a.m.

Plus all those deadly chiwawa attacks in 2012. #epidemic


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

Agree with the comments that it is more likely to happen with a pit bull.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 11:14 p.m.

Such a sad situation! But many of the comments are based on lack of knowledge, not just of pits, but dogs in general. About the breed-- Pit mixes are bred to serve and to please it's owner. However, because of this innate desire they can be TRAINED to fight or protect. It's a working dog and therefore it's doing it's job. Dog bites happen all the time but, for whatever reason, the press continues to report only these. Now about children and dogs-- Any dog, and I do mean any dog from any breed, may bite if it feels frightened or threatened. It's important for children to learn how to approach dogs...ALL dogs. Great book for little ones..."Tails Are Not For Pulling" by Elizabeth Verdick.


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

Most dogs have to be trained to be aggressive and to bite. Pits have to be trained NOT to bite and be aggressive. This is is the ultimate difference.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

"About the breed-- Pit mixes are bred to serve and to please it's owner." As opposed to other dogs that are bred to be grumpy, displeasing, and other generally undesirable characteristics.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 11:45 p.m.



Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

Why do people blame all of problems with the pit bulls on the owners? The pro pit bull crowd all blame it on the way the breed is raised, but how many times do we hear of the "sweet pit bull that never bit anyone, but suddenly turned"?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.

We often hear that story. What I am not sure about is if we hear that story a lot because it is more dramatic and also since so many people have a bias against pit bulls that they are more willing to read articles about pit bulls attacking people. It could be that the media is more likely to report on pit bull attacks or that people (because of their own biases) are more likely to remember stories about pit bull attacks. It also could be that because pit bulls are very strong dogs, they can do more damage and therefore bites are more severe and therefore bite stories are more dramatic and thus likely to be reported upon. I can say this though, when my sister was bitten severely by a Labrador last year there were no reports of it in the news.

Soft Paw

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:26 p.m.

If you decide to get a pit, don't forget to tell your insurance company. They will appreciate the added protection this wonderful dog provides for your home and give you lower homeowners rates.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

I appreciate your irony, Soft Paw.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

Yes. Be sure to get plenty of liability insurance in case your "wonderful dog" attacks a child.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

This makes me heartsick. I am the proud owner of a pit MIX. He is the sweetest boy, ever. You can't put a label on every single one of them. I understand the fear. I have walked mine around and get mixed reactions. He is black, has cropped ears (I got him this way). Mind you, my neighbor also has one MUCH LARGER than mine whose ears aren't cropped, he is white, has that wide smile that pits do, and people always want to pet him,,,yet he s PURE pit. In this case, people judge our dogs by their "cover" and they couldn't be further off base. For all the "haters" you need some education.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

I would just like to remind everyone that the term "pit bull" is a generalized category for types of dogs. Although there is an American Pit bull terrier, most people use the term "pit bull" for other types of dogs which all share the same physical characteristics ( American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Boxers). This dog could very well be mislabeled for a Pit Bull, if it shared enough physical characteristics. To everyone who read a dog article and is now saying that "pit bulls lead in the number of attacks," you have to understand that the term "Pit Bull" is grouping at least 4 different breeds. Its fine to have your opinions on Pit Bulls (obviously I am against breed discrimination), but at least have some of your facts straight.


Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 3:27 a.m.

@anonymous - I love all the down votes despite the fact that what you are saying is basically true. Readers, try this game: See if you can identify the pit bull. Here's another one: Or this one: Try them, they're fun! The latter explains that it is necessary to do a DNA test to determine if a dog is actually a pit. And here is a site from the ASPCA, an organization that really does know about pit bulls:

Jon Anonnon

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 10:24 a.m.

American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier are pit bulls


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10 p.m.

My brother was bitten in the face many years ago by a collie. It took many stitches to close the wounds; fortunately the surgeon was a good one and he had few scars. Any breed can be dangerous and it's up to the owner to prevent a dog prone to bite away from children.

Dog Guy

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

Nature or nurture? Any breed owner will attack if their breed is slighted.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:16 p.m.

To all of you who think the issue is the pit bull: it's not the breed; any dog a human trains to be mean and attack or to fight especially when feeling threatened will do that. And any dog, no matter how gentle, trained to be mean and fierce or not, might still bite/snarl if he or she feels threatened or invaded. Just wondering how many of you would appreciate a human of any age suddenly running up to you making noises and sticking his or her face in yours? You'd feel invaded and not be happy even though most (but not all of you) know better than to bite. When I was five, our neighbors had a black lab, generally stereotyped as one the most "gentle" breeds. Guess what? Guess what five year old got bit in the face and had to go to the hospital? Luckily the dog only had to be quarantined for three weeks, not given capital punishment for an offense that was not her fault. I really hope this dog's life will be spared and the parents will keep a closer eye on the child while babysitting a dog (or not babysit a dog till the child is older). And for those of you who want to hate on me for blaming the parents, don't waste your time. I'm not blaming the parents. I know you can't keep an eye on a curious playful 4 year old 24/7. Hopefully this was a reminder and not a death sentence for the poor dog and the grief that would follow from its human companions.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 5:05 a.m.

We have a lab puppy and he likes to "nip". Our vet and the tech said it is very normal for the breed and can be an issue even past the age of one. The nipping is really biting. Even though he thinks it is play, it is harmful and dangerous, especially since a lab puppy can grow big, fast. More-so with a small child who is more prone to panicking (the puppy sees their reaction as playing, not panic) instead of taking control. At this point, our sweet lovable lab could be trained either way. It is the responsibility of the owner and parents to make sure it goes the right way and the kids are safe.

Laurie Barrett

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

When he was a kid, my brother was slapping the face of my aunt's beagle, and the dog bit my brother in the face--hard. So there's proof non-pit-type dogs bite. On the other hand, my neighbor's dog attacked me when she and the dog walked by me--it was on a leash--and it was a pitbull. It looked vicious and very scary. I jumped to the side enough that it didn't sink its teeth into my side but it got my shirt and ripped the hem right off (nice shirt dang it). I'm so glad I didn't get bit because it looked like it wanted to bite, clamp on, and jerk. Sad that the dog had that tendency. But I think it's because some people actually take satisfaction in making pits aggressive. I know another pit that is a big baby. It's not the pit's fault it's aggressive, it's the fault of people who make them that way, but since the people are too savage to stop that behavior in themselves, in a way the pit is guilty as charged just for making the aggression available to the sociopaths. Reminds me of guns. I too checked to see if it was a pit soon as I saw "bitten in the face."

Nan Seelman

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

I don't know if pit bulls and pit bull mixes bite more people than other dogs, but they sure are tops in fatal attacks. Fatalities reported in 2012 News organizations have reported 34 fatal dog attacks in the United States in 2012. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (20 attacks).


Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 3:04 a.m. is an extremely biased and unscientific source of information. They have one and only one goal - to ban pitbulls. Any statistic provided by this group is suspect.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

Look at where those attacks were... More than likely in low income areas where these dogs were probably roaming free in packs or simply had terribly educated owners who were probably abusive. I own an 85 lb pitbull and he wouldn't harm a fly... because I trained him well and socialized him with kids and other animals.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

The fact that pit bulls are stronger is part of what makes them more dangerous. Also, the people who died from bee stings and lightening were not injured because someone was keeping bees or thunder storms as pets. Those are just instances of the inherent danger of nature. How many of those horse fatalities were caused by the horse attacking someone? Most if not all of those fatalities were caused by riding accidents in which the horse was not intentionally trying to harm someone.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

No the stats show pitbulls are STRONGER so they cause more damage. Just like bear attacks are minimal,. but when they attack, they are usually lethal.A poodle might hurt, but is not likely to cause great bodily harm to most adults, while a pit bull has the strength to kill. For the record, lets use the statistic of 20 pit bull fatalities in 2012. There were over 50 people killed by bee stings. Over 90 killed by lightening. Horses kill 20 people per year and sharks which everybody seems to fear kill ONE per year.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

Billy, the link that liekkio posted does include "per capita" statistics. The chart says that pit bulls and rottwielers are the two breeds that cause the most bodily harm and deaths. It shows that there are twice as many pitbulls as rottweilers (4.4% and 2.2% of the dog population), yet pit bulls were involved in 4.5 times as many incidents involving bodily harm (2235 attacks by pit bulls and 495 by rottweilers) and 2.9 times as many deaths (233 by pit bulls and 81 by rottweilers). Even accounting for the higher pit bull population, the statistics still show that pit bulls are the most dangerous breed of dog.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.'ve learned the wonderful world of statistics manipulation. Compare "per capita" dog bites and suddenly pitbulls and their mixes aren't even in a top ranking anymore.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

Nan, pit bulls do bite, maim and kill more people than any other breeds. Statistics can be found here:


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

Saw the headline, actually had an open mind, waiting to read it was a Golden Retriever or poodle or something. Nope. It's the training, blah, blah, blah. I'm glad there's no Pit Bulls or mixes anywhere near me.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

I dressed mine up as a poodle once, be afraid, be very afraid!


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

My pit has a banana split disguise, the kids love it.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

"I'm glad there's no Pit Bulls or mixes anywhere near me." Don't be so sure. They sell dog disguises. They allow owners to hide "dangerous" breeds. That poodle could be a doberman in disguise. Google it. The pics are hilarious.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 8:08 p.m.

Knew it would be a pitbull before I read the article. Ban the breed.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

Here we go with the pit bull comments. ANY dog will bite if it feels threatened. People are to blame here, not the dog.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

"People are to blame here, not the dog." You're definitely right, people who keep certain dog breeds in close proximity to children are to blame. The dogs of course are just doing what their instincts tell them.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

@5c That is because only pit bulls make good headlines.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 4:49 a.m.

5c0++... That's probably because of the same reason we don't hear about all of the deadly cat attacks.

5c0++ H4d13y

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 3:55 a.m.

Sure any bread may bite but I don't remember reading about all the deadly chiwawa attacks.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

This is a very sad story. More so because the poor dog will probably be put down now. My partner and I own a dog. We almost never let children near him - for our dog's safety and well-being, not for the child's. We often walk about the city with our dog (he was born in a major city and is well socialized), and more than once we've had screaming children charge our dog in an attempt to pet him/etc. I sometimes wonder if parents might be better served if they kept their children on as tight a leash as we keep our dog. Anyways, as I said, sad story all around - hopefully, these bites weren't terribly serious and the child (and father) have a favorable prognosis.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 4:46 a.m.

My children love to pet and meet any dog they come across. However, they know to first ask the owner or person with the dog if it is okay. And, if they are told no, they know to respect that and why.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

@RN81, The DOG did nothing wrong. The child came at him. The dog does nto know what that child is planning to do. I have seen children think dogs are small ponies and can be ridden, or that their tails are for tugging. Dogs have a survival instinct and when they see somebody or some thing possibly attacking them, they defend themselves. The only animal that should be put down is the father for lack of parenting skills and failure to teach the child how to approach strange animals.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

Moreover, if you see wild, out of control kids, blame the parents. Sorry you are so anti-children.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

More so because the dog will be put down??? Never mind the innocent child who has his face forever disfigured, have to go through numerous painful surgeries, and you're worried about the dog!!! This child did nothing wrong. Well trained, healthy, obedient dogs DO NOT just attack.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Any dog of any breed might react when grabbed by a strange, small child. The father was wrong to let the child play with the dog roughly - did they know the dog well, was this the first encounter with the dog the child had had? Was the dog reacting to being grabbed by the father and cries or screams from the child? Any dog of any breed might have reacted in this way.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

"The father was wrong to let the child play with the dog roughly" Probably watching it for a relative who is a prolific defender of the breed and thought it too was totally harmless. I always marvel at the strength with which people defend a dog breed as if there were no other options in the world. You can sugar coat it all you want, but nothing changes the fact that most modern dog breeds are intentional genetic experiments, and some breeds were intentionally bred for things that have dire consequences when aimed at human beings. Why risk it?


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

I agree 100%. If you go to PET FINDER, there is a rating for ALL they get along with children (or not), other pets (or not)...there are plenty more than pit bulls there.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

It does now :(

Laurie Barrett

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

Did the dog have a violent history?


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

This could have happened with any breed of dog. I own a Staffordshire Terrier/Boxer mix and yes, she is dog aggressive. However, she is not people aggressive. Nor would I ever put her in the care of someone who either had young children or was not familiar with how to handle her. Nor would I let her roam free in an unfamiliar environment. Before you punish a particular breed of dog, can we also focus on the owners?


Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 2:59 a.m.

@a2nurse99 - Interesting you mention focusing on the owners. An article I read recently written by a shelter employee mentioned the terrible care so many pitbulls are subjected to. They are beaten, kicked, electrocuted, set up for rape by other dogs, tortured, starved, subjected to harsh weather conditions, left without water, unloved, starved for affection, neglected. This is the type of care so many owners who select pitbulls provide. It is the owners who have given pit bulls the bad reputation because these types of owners choose pit bulls. In my day, such owners often chose Dobermans, who then got a reputation for being aggressive. Staffordshire terriers used to be used in hopsitals to cheer up patients because they were good with people (and still are). They were used as "nursemaids" because they were (and are) good with children. My child once got bitten by a scotts terrier because he tried to hug it. The dog did not know him. It happens.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

My sister was bitten in a nearly identical incident by a GOLDEN RETRIEVER. It's not the breed, it's the individual dog. That being said, I urge others to think deeply before agreeing to take in another person's pet. A new environment can cause extraordinary stress on even the sweetest of animals. Sometimes boarding the animal with professionals is the safest solution for all parties involved. I understand that boarding animals is expensive, but that is the opportunity cost of having a family pet.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

You said "t's not the breed, it's the individual dog." But there is a reason that people that want to protect their property use pitbulls. There are reasons that people use pitbulls for dog fighting. You may find an individual Golden Retriever use in these circumstances but the breed of choice for these people are pitbulls not GOLDEN RETRIEVERS.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

You are SO RIGHT.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

" I urge others to think deeply before agreeing to take in another person's pet." Especially if it's a pit bull. They have a bad reputations for good reason.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

The second I saw "pitbull/boxer mix" in this article, I knew people would comment on how "pit bulls are aggressive and bred for this, blah blah blah". If this was any other type of animal no one would care. Any dog can be trained to be aggressive. Please educate yourself before making ridiculous comments.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

ALS Please educate YOURSELF and read the post near the bottom by Jon Anonnon! Then comment!


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:04 a.m.

Actually Laurie they do not. They have greater DAMAGE when they bite. The breed is stronger than most. There are far more people attacked by bees and mosquitos every year but e do not have bans on them. Why? Because their bites are an annoyance, not deadly. If they caused severe damage, people would be afraid of them as well. The first thing PEOPLE must understand is these are ANIMALS.

Laurie Barrett

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

Actually it's pretty sensible to conclude pits have better than average violence statistics


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

your wrong not all pits or boxers are aggressive! you need to read up on your information.


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

"Any dog can be trained to be aggressive." That's the point, als, pit/boxers don't need the training.