Six-year old Zainabou Drame suffered such severe injuries during a savage attack by two Pit Bulls on June 4 that her jaw was almost completely ripped off and her tongue had to be removed. The attack occurred while she was playing in front of her home in Cincinnati, Ohio. The child remains in critical condition in Cincinnati Children's Hospital after being placed in a medically induced coma, WLWT reports.
Authorities say they are “cautiously optimistic” that she will recover.
Rich Jaffe of Local 12 wrote on June 9, that, “When Police Lieutenant Colonel Jim Whalen briefed the members of the Law and Public Safety Committee about last week’s pit bull attack on 6-year-old Zainabou Drame, you could hear him trying to keep his voice from cracking.”
The little girl’s injuries were so damaging to her face and throat that she was choking on her own blood, Whalen told Rich Jaffe that a veteran officer had to turn her on her side and reach in and hold the carotid artery together to keep her from bleeding out.
A prayer vigil was held on Monday night, where friends and family prayed for Zainabou’s recovery and also for the safety of all West Side Children, according to WLWT.
Zainabou was innocently playing with her older brother, Moustapha, 9, when the two Pit Bulls escaped from a neighbor’s yard and attacked her.
Reportedly they first grabbed her shorts and then attacked her legs and continued to bite her until she fell to the ground. Then they began attacking her face. At one point, the dogs grabbed her by her jaw and dragged her body along the sidewalk, reports the Daily Mail.
Zainabou’s mother, Tanina, heard the screams and her son calling for help for his sister. She rang out and desperately tried to stop the dogs by beating them with a baseball bat, but the dogs would not stop ripping at the girl’s face and throat.
Both pit bulls belonged to Zainabou’s neighbor, Zonate Irby. He also reportedly had a third pit bull which was not involved in the brutal mauling. The third dog is alive and currently in the custody of SPCA of Cincinnati, according to Hollywood Life.com.
Police told WCPO that they were able to distract the dogs and get them away from the child before shooting them.
Cincinnati Police Officer Kyle Strunk explained, “I saw the brown dog, which was the bigger of the two dogs and he had the girl’s head in his mouth. He was slinging it around, thrashing his head back and forth with her in his mouth.”
Reports indicate that there is speculation that the dogs may have been used to protect a drug operation. The dogs’ owner, Zentae Irby, and his mother were both reportedly arrested on drug-related charges, according to Local 12.
WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE CINCINNATI LIFTED ITS BAN ON PIT BULLS?
City Council members are reportedly now discussing what has happened since the city’s ban on Pit Bulls was lifted in May 2012, at the urging of advocates against breed-specific legislation (BSL).
“The city of Cincinnati still has a ban on vicious dogs. Now, a vicious dog is defined as one that has been trained for fighting, is kept for fighting or “without provocation has inflicted severe injury on a person.” In May 2012, it dropped the clause which also included “a dog commonly defined as a pit bull,” Cincinati.com explains.
Local 12 reports that members of the Law and Public Safety Committee are now looking for ways to make the vicious dog laws easier to enforce and to enhance or add provisions regarding owner responsibility. They will also be looking at options at the state level.
“Local 12 also learned about two more pit bull attacks over the weekend,” reports Rick Jaffe. Police reportedly shot and killed a Pit Bull being used to attack people, and on Sunday police shot and killed a pit bull that was running toward children playing and then turned on officers after he was first tazed.”
“That's four dead pit bulls in this city in less than a week,” Jaffe states.
WHAT IS THE AFFECT ON ANIMAL SHELTERS?
“Today’s local pounds are filled with pit bulls,” John Faherty of Cincinati.com, wrote on August 5, 2013, “It has been nearly 15 months since Cincinnati repealed its ban on pit bulls...So people can own pits – and they can also get rid of them.”
“At the end of July, at the Sharonville facility, SPCA President and CEO Harold Dates identified 62 of the 90 available animals as appearing to be possibly pit bulls or pit bull mix.
“The results were similar in the SPCA facility in Northside on a recent visit, when 41 of the 48 dogs up for adoption appeared to be pit bull breeds, which have a fairly distinct look.”