Society

2 Pit Bulls Attack Child and Woman in Seattle; Activist Seeks Ban on Fighting Breeds

| by Denise A Justin

Two roaming Pit Bulls attacked and bit a three-year-old girl as she was leaving church with her family in South Seattle, Washington, on Thursday, July 26. The attack occurred about 8:30 p.m., according  to the police report. The dogs then ran about a block and jumped on a 74-year-old woman, knocking her to the ground.  Police are still trying to locate the dogs.

The first attack occurred in the 5500 block of 17th Avenue South as a mother walked out of church with her two daughters. They saw the loose Pit Bulls and the mother attempted to rush her daughter into the car for safety but one Pit Bull jumped up and bit the three-year-old in the face. The second dog bit her on the head, leaving severe puncture wounds. A group of men at the church chased the dogs away, according to nwcn.com.

The Pit Bulls then ran west on W. Lucille Street and jumped on a 74-year-old woman, knocking her down. "Thankfully she wasn't bitten, but as she was knocked to the ground, she hit her head on the pavement and also injured her hand," said Seattle Police Detective Jeff Kappel.

Both Pit Bulls were described as adults. One has a white body and black patches on its face and is wearing a collar. The second Pit Bull is described as all black with a couple of white patches on its face and wearing a blue collar.  

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Paramedics with the Seattle Fire Department rushed both victims to Harborview Medical Center, reports MyNorthwest.com. Animal Control is investigating the incident. Detective Kappel said officers have conducted an extensive search in the area, but so far have not been able to locate the two Pit Bulls and are seeking assistance from the public.

The alarming incident spurred Seattle Animal Activist Ellen Taft to launch a petition to ban Pit Bulls in Seattle, according to a July 29 post on thestranger.com

Taft is a Seattle resident who has crusaded citywide to ban all fighting breeds—not just Pit Bulls.

She is promoting a Change.org petition aimed at the Seattle City Council and Mayor Mike McGinn which urges them to "eliminate all fighting breeds" and asks City Hall for sweeping Pit Bull legislation, according to the post.

Taft’s petition says that fighting breed dogs already in the city should be spayed and neutered, and  new fighting breed dogs should be prohibited outright.  She asks for "safety precautions such as muzzles" when the dogs are in public.

Taft's group, Families and Dogs Against Fighting Breeds, originally created the petition last year, she said, but waited to announce it, "until an attack happened so I could respond instantly."

Taft has circulated a paper petition before, but she expects this one to have more impact because it automatically blasts elected officials with e-mails. "A lot of people out there support my position," she says, "but they throw up their hands because the pro-pit-bull people get all the good press, the attention, and the sympathy. A lot of supporters are afraid to speak out because the pro-pit-bull people use ad hominem arguments and say we should be executed."

Pit Bull critics cite stats that Pit-Bull-type dogs account for most fatal dog attacks, while breed lovers cite their own stats and have responded to her past advocacy campaigns by posing photos of pit bulls with babies, according to the report.

Sources:

http://www.nwcn.com/home/?fId=164120526&fPath=/news/local&fDomain=10212

http://mynorthwest.com/11/713653/Roving-pit-bulls-attack-toddler-elderly-woman-in-South-Seattle

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/07/29/activist-launches-petition-to-ban-pit-bulls-in-seattle