Pit bull attacks two-year-old - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Pit bull attacks two-year-old

By Jeanie Powell - bio | email

TONEY, AL (WAFF) - A two-year-old is in the hospital after a dog attack Monday afternoon in Toney. 

The Madison County Animal Control director says the child will likely have a long recovery because the attack was so intense, but at last check, he's in fair condition in pediatric intensive care. As the weather gets warmer, animal control expects their call volume to go up.

"My husband, he stayed up all night worried about that little boy because he's only two," neighbor Catherine Womack told WAFF 48 News, recalling what she and her husband saw coming home from work that made them stop in the middle of the road.

Animal Control Director Mike Fritz says the two-year-old was playing outside with the family's pet pit bull, which was tied to a chain in the yard when the dog attacked.

"Face, arms, and legs is what I understand," Fritz said.

"We saw the lady running down the road with her baby in her arm and he wasn't breathing and his little sister was right beside them," Womack said.

The couple tried to help as paramedics rushed to the home. Womack was told it took five minutes for the mom to get her son loose from the animal.

"The little girl said that they were out there playing and all the sudden the dog pushed her brother down and started biting him in his face," said Womack.

The neighbor tells WAFF 48 News the brown pit bull has attacked other dogs before and often runs loose.

"It's been a real issue since we moved here and we haven't even lived here that long," Amanda Wallace, who also lives nearby, said.

Wallace claims the family's white pit bull also has too much freedom.

"It's chased my little girl, which is 17 months old and we take of three other girls that are three, five, and six, and we can't even go out there, because every time we go out there, the dog wants to run up in the yard and growl at them," Wallace said.

"Just supervise," Fritz stated.  "Small children like to hug and that's all fine and dandy as long as that particular animal is going to allow that and some don't."

Any breed has the potential to be aggressive, but Fritz says the best pets are socialized ones that interact with different people and animals.

"If you're not familiar with an animal stay away from them," Fritz said.  "That's the biggest advice I can give."

Information on this case will be forwarded to the health department, whose job is to contact the owner. The owner is required to either quarantine the animal for a 10 day observation period or have the animal euthanized and sent to the state lab for rabies testing.

Fritz was under the impression the dog will be euthanized.

The child's mother was contacted by phone about his condition and the statements made by her neighbors. She did not wish to comment.

Experts say dogs can bite for the following reasons: fear, surprise, excitement, pain, sickness, or protecting property.

Fritz says to avoid a dog that's eating or with its puppies.

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