From left: Hunter, David Arthur, Tampa General Hospital, Sheriff's spokesperson Debbie Carter.
Dog Owner Lies
UPDATE 03/11/09: TampaBay.com reports that the dog is a 2-year old pit bull-mix named Hunter. The paper also reports that the dog owner had brought the animal over to Mia's home and was present during the attack. Arthur initially left the scene with his dog but returned later after deputies called him. At first he said Mia had thrown dirt in Hunter's face, he later took the statement back.
From his jail cell, Arthur told officials that Hunter loved to play "tug of war" with a giant teddy bear. Hillsborough County investigators said the game may have contributed to the dog's vicious attack. Authorities expect the dog to be euthanized today; bypassing the 10-day quarantine. These actions contrast sharply with Bay County Animal Services, which allotted the dog an undetermined amount of time to "calm down" before being "tested for triggers."
03/11/09: 2-Year Old Bitten on the Head
Hillsborough County, FL - A 2-year old girl was severely bitten on the head by what appears to be pit bull type dog. Please do not confuse this story with the other Florida attack that also occurred on Monday, which also involved a 2-year old girl suddenly attacked by a pit bull-mix. Little Mia Kingsman is currently being treated at Tampa General Hospital for injuries she suffered in the attack. Her condition has been upgraded from critical to serious.
Mia was playing in her yard when a friend arrived with the dog on a chain. Somehow the dog got loose and attacked the girl. Marti Ryan, a spokeswoman for Hillsborough County Animal Services, said investigators are still sorting out how the attack happened. Investigators need to meet with the child's medical personnel and the dog's owner, David Arthur III. Arthur, 38, of Hudson, was not present during the attack but arrived while deputies were investigating.
He was subsequently arrested for a variety of offenses.
Florida Animal Attack Database
On a separate note, The Tampa Tribune Archives and TBO.com have compiled data from newspaper archives dating back nearly 35 years regarding Florida animal attacks. The database, however, only shows 1 fatal dog attack between 2006-2008. DogsBite.org recorded 7 Florida fatalities in this time including: John Brannaman, Shawna Willey, Pablo Fleites, Carshena Benjamin, Mary Bernal, Tina Marie Canterbury and Lorraine May.
03/10/09: Pit Bull Attacks Toddler While Being Baby-Sat in Bay County