Thursday, May 1, 2008
UPDATE 4/30/08: A female pit bull terrier that attacked Hannah Shreves has been euthanized. Charges may be filed against the dog’s owner. Hannah was scheduled to be released from a Morgantown hospital on Tuesday night, says Becky Oreskovich, who witnessed the attack.
Oreskovich and her husband, Dr. Jason Oreskovich, a family medicine specialist in Morgantown, live next door to the Shreves. Their son Christopher and Hannah are best friends -- the two had been playing together when the attack happened. Both Becky and Hannah's mother Ann had raced after the screams that day.
Becky says she knows a few things about pit bulls, "You’ve got to choke them or beat them to get them off somebody." This is what her and Ann tried to do. Fortunately, after Ann punched the dog, it let go. Becky snatched up Hannah and headed up the hill. Ann was behind her and suffered bites from the dog as he chased her back to the house.
How you can help Hannah
Monetary donations can be made at any Wesbanco location or mailed to:
P.O. Box 178
Paden City, WV 26159
04/29/08: Hannah Shreves, 3-Years Old
Fairmont, WV - Just after arriving home from church, Ann Shreves, the mother of Hannah heard the unmistakable shrill screams from her child. Terrified, she ran toward them, but little did she know she would find her daughter, who had just stepped outside to play, being flung around by a savage pit bull.
Down the hill, about 75 yards and beyond a row of pine trees, a neighbor had just let his pit bull outside to get some exercise. He had the dog tied to a 20-foot rope, but the rope was anchored only by the weight of the man's foot. The large, white pit bull, dragging the long rope behind it, took off after Hannah, biting her face, arms and legs
"It just took chunks out of her," said Lois Stern, Hannah's grandmother. "It threw her in the air and started chewing on her."Ann watched in horror as her daughter was being attacked. The pit bull owner came up the hill, got on his hands and knees and screamed at the dog to stop. Ann and Becky tried to wrestle away the dog from Hannah, prompting the beast to turn on Ann. The family's two mixed breed dogs, a Lab mix and a German Shepherd mix, ended up being saviors. Their barking somehow stopped the attack.
Both Ann and Hannah were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital. Ann received several stitches on her arm and buttocks, but Hannah had to have reconstructive plastic surgery on her face in addition to dozens of other stitches. "Her right arm was pretty much mauled," Ann said. "Her left leg has chunks out of it. At least two chunks the size of a golf ball." Future surgeries are expected.
The dog, a female estimated to be between 70 and 90 pounds, was taken into custody by animal control and will be observed for ten days before being euthanized, said Duane Hawkinberry, Marion County animal control officer. He said the pit bull owners are sorry -- They never expected it.
Apparently these pit bull owners don't have a TV, have never read a newspaper, and have never talked to a single human being about the type of dog they own.Ann's husband and Hannah's father, Andy, was away at work during the attack. He said he wished he had been alerted there was a pit bull living nearby. He said he knows how dangerous they can be. Officer Hawkinberry said he has seen many pit bull bites during his 12-year career in animal control. He shared some choice words about the breed:
"In my own opinion, I think all pit bulls should be outlawed. They are born to kill. I just feel they should be outlawed, or there should be strict guidelines."Hannah does not look like her picture anymore. The Shreves family will never be the same. The dime a dozen pit bull owner, who claims to be unaware of the breed's danger, may face a small monetary fine. If this person is a renter and does not own a homeowners insurance policy that covers pit bulls, the Shreves may have to pay the medical costs.
The tragedy that has befallen the Shreves is hardly freakish. Pit bulls have been annihilating human beings and animals for over 20 years. Most animal organizations sit on the sidelines and watch. Pit bull and other lobbying groups pump the same old messages into the ears of public policy makers: "It's all in how you raise the dog."
Like Hannah's father, the vast majority of Americans know the truth: pit bulls are unpredictable and have a horrifying bite. These animals do not belong in our neighborhoods -- they do not belong in farming communities near livestock either. The only way to protect future Hannah's from being created is to regulate now.
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| 4/29/2008 2:38 PM |
At least these animal control officers are catching on. Check out this video from yet another incident where the boyfriend's pit bulls attack the girlfriend and listen to what that officer says.
| 4/30/2008 12:01 PM |
To Jersey...amazing link! Finally, a dog warden who isn't an idiot! He lays it on the line....that pit bull owners all think these dogs are sweet pets, and some may be....but by the time the dogs reach 11/2 years old or so, they want to do what they have been created to do....grab things, and shake them until they are dead.
That has been my experience consistently...I am almost 50, and have seen many clueless families adopt pit bulls, believing that they are "just like other dogs". Once the dog reaches sexual maturity...between 1 and 3 years....the dogs behavior often changes, and the owners are totally unprepared for it.
| 4/30/2008 2:49 PM |
Thanks to all who have taken notice of this story and are perpetuating it--this is my cousin's little girl, and it has indeed been devastating for them. Hannah should be released from the hospital today--but when she was told she would be going home, she cried because she was afraid to go home "because that dog might hurt me." I have never been a proponent of the wholesale banning of a breed, but this just happens WAY too often. How many children (and adults) have to be hurt or killed before it becomes important enough to change the laws? I know that statistically, these injuries are "insignificant," but we all know that statistics lie. These injuries are devastating for the victim, their families, and often the dog owner's families as well. It's time to stop talking and take action...
| 4/30/2008 3:04 PM |
It often takes a personal experience for someone to understand how devastating these attacks are. The Shreves may not be able to fully contemplate the devastation for another 6-10 months. The unfolding and long-term ramifications of such an attack (from physical, emotional, financial and legal aspects) really takes time to digest.
Dogsbite.org sends our prayers to Hannah and her family. Please write us back if the family begins a donation fund. We will post it to the site.
| 4/30/2008 6:52 PM |
I'm struck by the pattern of behavior from the article’s description of this pit bull owner who, "got on his hands and knees and screamed at the dog to stop." (Like that will work!)
Pit bull owners are cowards and wimps, plain and simple. Time and time again, the owner’s of pit bulls have the same reaction. Never mind their supposed shock and surprise when the “sweet family pet” attacks, but who typically turns into a bystander, flees the scene, or as in this case, falls to their knees and screams? Always the pit bull owner!
Kudos to the two women who stepped to the dog. And as for the manly pit bull owning dude that went to his knees and screamed? Classic!
Another truly beautiful child mauled because another truly stupid sissy thought he could hide his weakness with a pit bull. As if we needed more proof that, “Cowards Own Them.”
| 4/30/2008 7:51 PM |
Good wishes and prayers for Hannah; may her recovery be speedy and complete.
I agree with the above poster. Real men don't own dogs that maul little girls and old ladies. The visual of yet another macho man pit bull owner, on his knees screaming like a woman for the dog to "stop it!" makes me sick. I know a woman in her 50's, who is all of 5 foot nothing, she can control her 120lb dog with a HAND SIGNAL! She can make that dog stop dead in its tracks, and walk by her side, doing military like turns. It takes brains, patience, and thousands of hours of training to control a big dog like that. THAT is cool....not owning some snarling, panting, dog-killing toddler-mauler that ignores its idiot wimp of an owner. If any of you knew anything about dogs in the first place, you wouldn't own a pit.
Note to macho men......you all look like idiots with your out-of-control pit bulls. Go buy some viagra and get a guinea pig, which hopefully you can figure out how to control.
| 4/30/2008 8:25 PM |
I know Hannah Shreves well--She is my great-niece. She has been raised with dogs in her home, her grandmother's home and her aunt's home. She has been taught to love and respect dogs,and now she has been traumatized by a strange dog that she had never seen before. Hannah is a highly intelligent child who now questions why this dog suddenly attacked her when she was only playing tag with her friend Christopher.
How many more children & adults, family pets, livestock, etc. are we going to lose to these so-called "domestic" animals. There are laws regulating wolves, foxes, coyotes and other predators, why not pit bulls and rottweilers?
| 4/30/2008 9:13 PM |
To answer the question above...because it's not about the children...its all about the money. Dogfighting is big business, breeding and selling dangerous pit bulls is big business. These dogs have become legal weapons. If you are a drug dealer, you can't walk down the street with a gun in your hand, but you can walk down the street with a pit bull. This is like organized crime...huge amounts of money being made by criminals, who have gone to great lengths to protect a tax-free source of income.
This is the for-profit breeder lobby....they really don't care about the dogs, and they sure as hell don't care about kids like Hannah.