From left: Aliyah Balquier, pit bull wound, fence corner, Mark Langan (NHS).
Aliyah's Story Unfolds
UPDATE 05/22/09: The Omaha World-Herald reports, "The dog, named Stix, pushed against the fence, which leaned with his weight. He stuck his head over and latched onto Aliyah's arm. The neighbor had to punch Stix repeatedly to get him to let go." WOWT has a slightly different story, and a video that depicts Aliyah, her injuries, the fenced area and a brief message by Mark Langan, the vice president of field operations for the Nebraska Humane Society (NHS).
Last year, after a pit bull "suddenly" latched on to 11-month old Charlotte Blevins' scalp, ripping part of it off, her mother Wendy Blevins played a key role in the City of Omaha adopting a proactive dog ordinance that combined anti-tethering for all dogs and mandatory muzzling and liability insurance for pit bulls. Langan and the NHS strongly opposed the pit bull aspects of the law. On May 29, Langan will lead a seminar at the National Animal Control Association conference titled:
"Preventing a Pit Bull Ban -- Omaha's Story -- Mark Langan"
In many cities, the animal control agency (which is often the local or county humane society) is the number #1 impediment to passing a pit bull law. We've tracked extensive instances of this at DogsBite.org, as well as directors of these agencies voicing deliberate distortions about pit bulls to "protect" the breed (See: pit bull apologist, Carol Jones). After the fatal attack of Iokepa Liptak, the Hawaiian Humane Society went as far as hiding the breed of the offending dog.
05/21/09: Pit Bull Owner Owner Cited
La Vista, NE - A 6-year old girl suffered a brutal bite to her arm from a red nosed pit bull Wednesday night. The injury will reportedly require the services of a plastic surgeon, and may require skin grafts. Just before the attack, three little girls had been tossing a ball in their backyard. The ball got away and landed next to the neighbor's fence. When 6-year old Aliyah reached for the ball, the dog named Stix hopped up, leaned on the fence and bit her.
The owner of the dog, 36-year old Michael Rodriguez, was cited for harboring a dangerous animal and for not having his dog vaccinated. La Vista has a dangerous dog ordinance; but its penalties only apply if the attack was "unprovoked." This may be difficult to prove in this instance. A similar attack occurred in Louisville in February 2007. A pit bull leaped above the fence, tore a boy's ear off, and landed back on its own side (never leaving its own property).
Who wants to live next door to a pit bull?
05/12/09: Survey Conducted: The Preference of Living Next Door to a Pit Bull
05/11/09: Animal Agency, PSPCA, Distorts History of 25-Year Old Pit Bull Problem
06/28/08: Coverage of the Omaha Pit Bull Attack - DogsBite.org