Pit Bull "Just Snapped"
Vancouver, WA - 20 miles north of Happy Valley, where a 7-year old was attacked by a pit bull last week, is Vancouver, Washington. On Saturday, an 11-year old was attacked by a pit bull that was being walked by it's owner, Mark Robinson. Elena Allison told reporters, "We asked (Robinson) if we could pet Presley. The dog was being really nice to all of us for about 10 minutes and then he just snapped." Elena's parents took her to the hospital where doctors used 26 stitches to sew her upper lip back on.
At the time of the attack, the pit bull was leashed.
Elena's mother, Heike Allison, said Robinson had been supervising Presley and was holding him on a leash when the attack happened. Because of that, she said she doesn't buy the notion that pit bulls only behave the way they're trained to. "It's not so much that pit bulls are bad," said Allison, "But why risk it? Why risk having your child, or a neighbor's child get bitten like that and having to get twenty-six stitches? It just doesn't make sense," she said.
This is exactly the question: Why risk it?
From left: Elena Allison, Heike Allison, Leroy Pena
Allison added that she thinks the breed should at least be required to wear muzzles in residential areas. She said she plans to start a neighborhood petition to encourage her home-owners association to place restrictions on residents who own pit bulls, or ban the the breed altogether. Allison's neighbor, Leroy Pena supports the idea. Three of his kids were with Elena when she was attacked and he said the way the dog acted afterward was especially bizarre.
"Seeing the dog go from being happy-go-lucky, then to biting her, then going back to wagging its tail and being happy again? That freaked me out," said Pena.
Since the attack, Elena has had to use a straw when she drinks, and the sixth grader will miss playing a flute solo at her school's band concert next month. But Elena, an avid dog lover, said the hardest part of recovering from her injuries is knowing they were caused by one of her favorite animals. Now she has a warning for those who think certain dogs, including pit bulls, would never bite. "It could happen to anybody," she said.
It appears Elena's mother has left a comment at the news story.
"As the mother of this child we are sadden this dog is now going to be euthanized. I still don't believe the dog is at fault. However, given the horrific injuries this breed can and does inflict on it's victims which includes death, a simple muzzle while the dog is in public and exposed to children would have saved both my daughter's face and this dog's life. Both the dog's owner and my child will be forever changed by this experience and it could have been prevented. As far as all dog bites go, I asked the plastic surgeon treating her which breed does he see his patients being bitten by the most and he told us, pit bulls number 1."
In addition to the attack in Happy Valley last week, on November 11, it was reported that a pit bull attacked two people (in separate attacks) on the same day in nearby McMinnville, Oregon.
11/21/08: Pit Bull Attack Stopped by 4 Men and Police Gunfire in Oregon
09/28/08: Pittsburg Girl Recovering Well After August Pit Bull Attack