Mayfair, CA - Last week, a Fresno County mail carrier was attacked by four pit bulls. Had Tyler's law been properly enforced, this attack might have been avoided. Tyler's law resulted from a dog attack that killed a 6-year old boy. Tyler Babcock was violently struck down by a pair of pit bulls that had a history of being vicious. Tyler's law was designed to stop dogs from attacking more than once.
Before the loose pit bulls surrounded and attacked the postal carrier, the same dogs were involved in a series of attacks. Earlier in the month, the dogs intimidated a 77-year old woman. A neighbor said she thinks the woman is partially blind. Fortunately, the dogs didn't actually bite her. She had a cane and managed to fend them off. Someone heard her yelling and stepped into help as well.
Fresno police, Fresno County sheriff's deputies, and the SPCA all responded to the incident. Ten days later, the same dogs killed a neighbor's puppy, which brought a deputy and an SPCA officer out to the house. Deputies said the SPCA was ready to seize the dogs until the owner locked himself in the house. Officials never did seize the dangerous dogs. A few days later, the same dogs attacked the postal carrier.
Chrystal Babcock, the mother of Tyler, said history is repeating itself, despite the law she pushed so hard to pass. The same dogs that killed Tyler had caused problems before, but there had been a dispute about who was supposed to take action. Did it fall into the hands of the Sheriff's Department or the SPCA? "My son should've never died," she said. "These situations should be taken care of immediately."
Tyler's law was supposed to resolve issues of jurisdiction. That's why the failure to stop these attacks frustrates Babcock. "Because it shouldn't happen," she said. "Why did we change the laws if they're still not working?" Two of the dogs involved in the mail carrier's attack were euthanized by the SPCA. Investigators can't find the other two. Agencies involved say "low staffing" issues are to blame.
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