Woman surrenders pit bull after attack on 8-year-old
September 18, 2012 at 5:36 PM CDT - Updated June 28 at 7:11 AM
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro woman chose to surrender her pit bull to Jonesboro Police Department Animal Control after an attack that injured an eight-year-old boy.
Police said the boy was playing on the porch of a home on Woodrow Street when the pit bull bit him, injuring the lower part of his left leg.
The daughter of the dog owner who did not want to be identified said several children were on the porch when the dog got startled and bit the boy.
The pit bull has been euthanized.
According to police, the attack is the third time the dog bit someone.
JPD Animal Control Officer Ben Wright said the dog bit a solicitor a two weeks ago.Wright said the solicitor suffered minor puncture wounds, but no charges were filed against the owner for the incident.
"It was on its property, and according to the city ordinance there was no charges that we could do other than make sure the dog was vaccinated and quarantined."
The 10-day quarantine ended Friday, September 14. The attack on the eight-year-old happened two days later Monday afternoon when the boy was visiting the dog owner's home.
The first of the three reported incidents happened July 8. According to police, a black pit bull bit two children. A 16-year-old who was bitten in his lower back on the left side told police "he and his brother were walking down the sidewalk when a black pit bull broke loose from his chain and attacked him."
Officer Wright said police were called to a local hospital just before 5 p.m. Monday regarding the most recent incident.
"When I arrived at the E.R. they had just started working on the boy. He had some real bad lacerations, muscle tears to his lower left leg in the front and back."
Maria Martinez, a woman who lives near the dog owner, said she never had any trouble with the pit bull when she visited the dog owner's home.
Several other residents who did not want to be identified said they are glad the dog was euthanized because it has bitten other children, but those incidents were not reported to police.
The owner decided to surrender the pit bull to JPD Animal Control after Officer Wright informed her that due to the extent of the boy's injuries, and repeated violations of a city ordinance regarding securing pets, she would be charged with harboring a vicious animal and tethering.
"The dog was actually on a run line, which in Jonesboro if they're not spayed or neutered you're not allowed to have them tied out anyway," he said. "She was kind of in fear that by keeping the dog next time it could be a lot worse."
Officer Wright did not charge the woman after she surrendered the pit bull.
The eight-year-old got several stitches for an accident Officer Wright said could have been prevented had the dog been fenced in or on a leash.
Officer Wright does not believe the breed of the dog had anything to do with the attacks.
"Truth be known if we were to dig into it we'd probably deem more dogs dangerous that are not pit bulls," he said. "I don't think it had anything to do with a breed. This dog just had something wrong with it."
Officer Wright recommends dog owners post signs to warn people about dogs on their property.