BSL Debate Begins
Elkhart, IN - On July 16, a 4-year old girl's nose was bitten off by a pit bull in the City of Elkhart. Police say DaMonica Paul was in a neighbor's yard with the neighbor's dog when it attacked. Damonica recently went through an extensive surgery to re-attach the nose at Riley Hospital for Children. According to Pastor Kevin Adams, "Doctors said this is the first time they've ever had a case this serious." After the surgery, doctors say her condition may worsen before it improves.
DaMonica will have another surgery this week and likely several more over the next couple of years. Because of the child's skyrocketing medical expenses, the family is looking for help. A bank fund is expected be set up for DaMonica by the end of the week. The owner of the pit bull, Tracy Crisler, tried to blame the attack on someone else's dog. An investigation, however, showed that her pit bull, Sierra, was the culprit and likely also bit a 15-year-old boy earlier this year.
The DaMonica incident follows the violent February attack involving pit bull owner Scott Sands. At the time, Scott's dog Buddy had been having a barking match through a shared wall with the landlord's dog. Buddy grew so frustrated -- unable to attack the other dog -- that he launched a "redirected" attack onto his owner. Scott nearly lost one of his arms due to the severe injury Buddy inflicted on him. He underwent extensive surgeries and skin grafts to each of his arms.
In response to these attacks and a string of others, city officials are now considering a pit bull law. Elkhart City Council President Rod Roberson recently told the South Bend Tribune, "I would go as far as necessary to ensure our residences are safe. I realize a lot of the fault is the owner's. But what do you tell DaMonica Paul, the 4-year-old that was bit -- 'I'm sorry'? Pit bulls are like a loaded gun, I agree with that. But a loaded gun can't get up and shoot someone."
02/19/09: Elkhart Pit Bull Owner May Suffer Amputation After "Redirected" Attack
06/26/08: Pit Bulls Maul Oregon Man's Face; LifeFlight Helicopter Called
04/19/08: Tonya Potter: "I Can't Look at Myself in the Mirror"