Should pit bulls be illegal for people with children?
Should pit bulls really be household pets? Maybe not with children in the house. In yet another gruesome pit bull story, a North Carolina couple is facing felony child abuse charges after a
pit bull chewed off their 4-month-old son's toes, police say.
According to reports, Robie Lynn Jenkins and her boyfriend, Tremayne Spillman, were asleep while Jenkins' infant son was left without any supervision alone with the dog. When Robie awoke, she discovered several of the child's toes were missing, and that the pit bull had chewed them off. Horrifying.
Here are a few other cases that sent shivers down our spines:
- A baby was sleeping in a bed when a pit bull went into the room and attacked the baby, dragging him to the
floor. The baby's father said he came into the room and tried to
get the dog off the baby. When he was unable to free the baby, he shot
- 3-year-old Tony Evans was found dead in front of the doghouse after being attacked by a pit bull. The pit bull was chained to the house, but made its way to the boy.
- 5-year-old Pablo Hernandez was mauled to death by the family pit bull in their backyard. He was dragged around the backyard, suffering major damage to his face, head, and torso, and died shortly after from his injuries.
- 1-year-old Abraham Jonathan Tackett wandered into the neighbor's backyard where several husky mixed breeds were eating. The father found the child as he was being attacked, but could not save him. According to reports, the dog that attacked was protecting his food.
- 2-year-old Holden Jernigan was attacked and killed by the family's pit bull. While under his grandmother's care, he wandered into the backyard, where he was brutally attacked.
- 6-year-old Sabin Jones-Abbott was attacked by the family's new pit bull/boxer mix as he went to feed it. The boy's father found his lifeless body in their home.
- 15-month-old Charlotte Blevins was seriously injured when she and her mom, her mom's friend, and another baby on an afternoon walk were attacked by a pit bull when the dog escaped from its leash.
- 2-year-old Amaya Hess had a pit bull latch onto her head with his mouth for 5 to 8 minutes. The claw end of a hammer was used to open the dog's jaw to release her. Amaya's scalp was missing, her right eye torn out of its socket, and her right ear was torn from the side of her head. After 9 surgeries and 69 days of medically-induced coma, Amaya is facing years of reconstructive surgery. Doctors estimate she'll have somewhere between 30 to 40 surgeries over her lifetime.
Are dogs safe for kids?
We spoke with Colleen Lynn, founder of DogsBite.org, who said some are -- and some aren't. "There are aggressive breeds of dogs, including pit bulls and rottweilers, that I don't think are appropriate to have around children. They don't have a good safety record, and you are definitely taking a chance."
Lynn, who survived a pit bull attack herself a year ago, says even going to someone's house where a pit bull or a dangerous breed lives is an unnecessary risk for your children. "These dogs were bred for violence," she says. "It's in their genes. Even if they have good owners, love is not going to take genetics away. Why take the chance, if it could cost your kid his or her life?"
Of course, some dog owners (particularly pit bull owners) disagree. One mother named Elyse posted the following video of her baby, Max, with her pit bull on YouTube:
Whether you are pro-dog or anti-dog, everyone agrees you should never leave a baby or small child unattended with a dog under any circumstances (even if it's the family pet). For more dog bite prevention tips, click here.
Do you think dogs are dangerous for kids?