Fourth Death by County Pit Bull in One Year
Offending pit bull picked up a week earlier in Balboa Park in San Diego.1
U.S. Pit Bull Kills
Tijuana - Last Thursday, a 4-year old Tijuana girl was mauled to death by her grandfather's new pit bull. Godofredo Cruz Martinez, 55-years old, said he found the dog in Balboa Park in San Diego a week earlier. He brought the dog home because it seemed "very playful." The pit bull was tied up in the family's yard when it attacked and killed América Viridiana. At the time of the attack, the little girl's mother was not home; she was under the care of her mother's two sisters.
In the wake of her death, the Director of Investigations of the Deputy Justice in Tijuana, Sergio Lagunas Molina, urged those with "pit bull" dogs to take special care with them to avoid causing injury to a person. "They are aggressive by nature," Molina said. Police arrested both sisters, Carla Francisca Cruz Bustamante, 28, and Cristina García, 26. The child's grandfather may also be subject to criminal penalties. A Criminal Judge will make this determination.2
San Diego County Pit Bulls
América's death marks the fourth fatal attack inflicted by a San Diego County pit bull in one year. Last Christmas Eve, 76-year old Emako Mendoza succumbed to the catastrophic injuries inflicted by her neighbor's pit bulls in June of 2011. In March, letter carrier Diane Jansen died due to a hemorrhagic stroke with dog bites as a contributing factor after being attacked by a pit bull on her route. In June, an 8-month old boy was killed by a pet pit bull living in his home.
Despite the trail of bloody deaths left by San Diego County pit bulls in the U.S. and abroad in a single year, as well as dog bite statistics showing that pit bulls are out biting the top most popular dog breed, Labs, by a 2 to 1 ratio, we believe that Dan DeSousa,3 a public information officer for the county Department of Animal Services, will continue being a "mouthpiece" for pit bull owners and breeders and refuse any discussion of a mandatory pit bull sterilization law.
"We are of the opinion that it's not the breed (to blame for an attack), it's the owner of that particular dog," Dan DeSousa, 10News.com, 06/14/12
To better show the contrast of "mouthpiece" Dan DeSousa, who apparently speaks on behalf of the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, we look to the language of San Bernardino County. In 2010, the county enacted a mandatory pit bull sterilization law after the breed inflicted four deaths in five years. San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control helped craft the law to increase public safety and lower the annual euthanizations of pit bulls.
"This ordinance has the objectives of reducing the clear overpopulation of pit bulls in our County, encouraging responsible pet ownership and, most important, reducing the number of vicious attacks on people," said First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who worked with the County’s Animal Care & Control Division to create the ordinance. "In the past five years, four people in San Bernardino County have been killed by this breed, and just this year there have been seven attacks by pit bulls. No other breed has viciously attacked or killed anyone in that time."
Which county would you rather live in?
2DogsBite.org thanks a reader for helping to translate the Spanish articles. Please report errors in comments.
3In the State of California it is legal to regulate dog breeds via spay/neuter laws. Municipalities are prohibited from declaring a particular breed "vicious" or "dangerous." See: San Bernardino County's pit bull brochure.
07/01/12: Pit Bulls Lead 'Bite' Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties
06/19/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Pit Bull Kills Infant in San Diego County
03/09/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Letter Carrier Dies After Pit Bull Attack in Escondido
01/18/12: 2011 Dog Bite Fatality: Victim of Catastrophic Pit Bull Injury Dies on Christmas Eve
02/06/10: Ecuador Joins International Trend: Bans Pit Bulls and Rottweilers as Pets