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Toledo, OH - It was recently reported that a pit bull running loose in a Central Toledo yard delayed firefighters from entering a burning home Friday morning. When firefighters arrived on scene, they immediately called for the dog warden as they "improvised" to corner the dog. Firefighters had to use tools to get the dog away from the front door, and, eventually, they had to spray the pit bull with a fire extinguisher to keep it from charging at emergency workers.
As DogsBite.org has reported before, dangerous pit bulls "suspend" firefighters and emergency workers from rescuing victims at emergency scenes, as these vital workers are often not equipped to deal with the animal. Such responders may be forced to wait in their vehicles until authorities arrive to contain the dog. Meanwhile, critical moments of a victim's life tick away. One of the most poignant examples of this occurred in the death of Tina Marie Canterbury.
Summary: After two family pit bulls owned by Canterbury severely attacked her, the dogs attacked her 21-year old son Cody Canterbury, who had tried to help her. In the 911 phone call, a second son told the dispatcher regarding the arriving ambulance: "We can't get to my mom and my brother just went out there and they attacked him too. They don't need to get out of the ambulance or the dogs will try to get them, too." A family friend at the home then shot at the dogs with a 9mm handgun, but the dogs survived. When a Clay County officer arrived on the scene, the dogs attempted to attack him too before the officer shot one of the pit bulls killing it. By the time authorities reached Canterbury she was dead.
Minutes and moments count when it comes to saving people's lives. Back in October, the Omaha Fire Department developed a new training program to help firefighters deal with dangerous dogs at rescue scenes. Four months later, they were called to a pit bull attack in progress. In the end, it took three firefighters to place a catch pole loop around the dog's neck. The struggle was so intense, the metal pole was bent and the pit bull strangled itself to death in the noose.
03/25/09: Pit Bulls Continue to Interfere with Firefighting Efforts
02/18/09: Pit Bull Bends Metal Catch Pole Before Strangling Self to Death in Noose
10/31/08: Omaha Firefighters Receive Dangerous Pit Bull Training
10/15/07: 2007 Fatality: Tina Marie Canterbury Killed by Her Two Red Nosed Pit Bulls