Monday, October 6, 2008
Honolulu, HI - In light of the recent fatality of 2-month old Iokepa Liptak by the family's dog in Waianea, we draw your attention not only to the Hawaiian Humane Society's apparent cover up of the breed by labeling the dog a "mixed breed," instead of a pit bull-mix, but to other island animal agencies as well. There seems to be a trend in the area of labeling pit bulls as "mixed breeds."
In 2004, Truston Liddle, 17-months old, was killed by a "mixed breed" chained dog on the island of Kauai. We did not find any news articles that designated the dog as a pit bull-mix. The Kauai Human Society may have successfully masked the true breed in this case. This perhaps was done in direct response to the number of island children afflicted by pit bulls in the years leading up to the tragedy.
Dog Kills Toddler in Rural KauaiLater in the article, Rhoades says, "The most aggressive dogs are un-neutered, male dogs that are kept on a chain for most of their lives, she added, noting that the dog that attacked Liddle is a male mixed-breed dog." The writers of the article, Anthony Sommer and Rosemarie Bernardo, fill out the larger picture by including other island attacks that ended in severe injury and death.
A neighbor's dog attacked and killed a 17-month-old Moloaa boy Saturday afternoon, according to Kauai police. Police said the child, Truston Liddle, suffered severe injuries to the head, neck and chest about 5 p.m. Saturday. He died in the emergency room at Wilcox Memorial Hospital...
Acting Kauai Police Chief Clayton Arinaga said yesterday the dog -- a mixed breed weighing 40 to 50 pounds -- belonged to the boy's next-door neighbor, and there is no fence between the two homes. The area is rural and most residents have small farms. Police said they did not even have an exact street address for the boy's home as of yesterday...
The dog was seized by a Kauai Humane Society animal control officer and is being held at the humane society shelter in Puhi. Becky Rhoades, executive director of the Kauai Humane Society, said she was not allowing access to the dog. "He's a very stressed dog," she said yesterday...
- Jan. 31, 2004: Nine-year-old Ikaika Rhine, of Waianae, was attacked by what was described to be a pit bull. He suffered serious injuries to his head, neck, arms and legs. The dog's owner was issued a dangerous-dog citation.
- Jan. 27, 2003: Five-year-old Trevor Sifton, of Kihei, Maui, was attacked by a male, mixed-breed pit bull that had leaped over a fence. Trevor suffered multiple bites to his arm, calf and face. The dog was euthanized.
- July 23, 2002: A 2-year-old boy was mauled by a pit bull at his baby sitter's home in Pukalani, Maui, and suffered bites to his neck, head and face. The dog had been tied to a tree, and the boy was playing nearby. The 6-year-old male dog was euthanized.
- July 30, 2001: Six-year-old Alex Pyle, of Makawao, Maui, was mauled by a male Akita in his neighbor's yard. He suffered wounds to his head, cheek and arms. A lethal injection was administered to the dog days after the attack.
- June 9, 2001: Eighteen-month-old Tyran Moniz-Hilderbrand was attacked and killed by a pit bull in the Hawaiian Acres subdivision in Puna. Tyran's father killed the animal with a pickax, and the toddler's mother suffered from wounds to her arms and legs.
10/06/08: 2008 Fatality: Infant Dies After Being Mauled in Waianea
09/30/08: 2008 Fatality: 5-Year Old Girl Killed by Pet Pit Bull in Simi Valley
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| 10/06/2008 3:13 PM |
I have noticed too that it is rare to find pictures of the dogs that attacked. A lot of newpaper articles have just a picture of a dog of the breed mentioned in the article. It's like we are not allowed to know what these killers look like. As if their identities have to be protected till they had their day in court?
Even if a dog is nervous it doesn't take long to make a few photo's. They could sell them to journalists and make some money for the shelter....
| 10/06/2008 3:39 PM |
Most of the time there are not criminal charges (no day in court ever comes). Suspected criminals and convicted criminals have mug shots; sometimes dogs declared "dangerous" do as well to help warn a community of it's presence. But when a dog kills someone, it does seem rare to see a photograph of the animal. In some ways this is understandable, in other ways it makes no sense at all. The image of the dog, however, is separate to the factual breed knowledge. Hiding the breed information is unacceptable. If a German shepherd killed a child, you better believe that breed would be named and would be done so immediately. The only breed that actively gets suppressed by animal agencies appears to be pit bull type dogs.
There are many examples of cases "still being investigated" where detailed descriptions of the breed are given. Here's just a few:
2008 Fatality: Great-Grandmother Killed by Family Dogs
The 11-year-old female golden-retriever mix is named Sammy, and the 6-year-old male Australian-shepherd mix is called Seth. The dogs are currently being held in separate cages at Brevard County Animal Services while the investigation continues.
2008 Fatality: Justin Mozer Killed by Jack Russell Terrier
A family dog mauled a 6-week old baby to death yesterday. Witnesses told police that Justin Mozer was sleeping in a bedroom when the family's Jack Russell terrier attacked him. Officials have not released whether the baby was sleeping in a crib.
2008 Fatality: Tulsa Infant Killed by Labrador
In a developing story, it appears another family dog has attacked and killed an infant. In this instance, the victim was a 2-month-old baby in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police said the infant was mauled by a young Labrador this morning. The child died at the scene. Initial details were scant as officers continued their investigation.