Mother Lies to Protect Pit Bull Who Bit Child

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Sunday, two-year-old Gabrielle Looney was bitten on the face by her mother's boyfriend's pit bull. The couple took the injured little girl to the hospital, where her mother did the unthinkable.  She lied to doctors and police about what happened to protect the dog.

"She tried to say that this injury to her child occurred from a stray," says Des Moines Police Sergeant Jim Butler, "And that's not something that sits too well for me. First and foremost we all love our pets but we have to take care of our children first before the family pet."

The dog, a two-year-old named Bowser, was seized by the city. It does not appear to be licensed or vaccinated.

"I will more than likely deem the dog dangerous vs. vicious or high risk because the dog according to the code did bite once at or above the shoulders of a human being," Sgt. Butler says.

Bowser's owner, John Houston, says he just moved in with his girlfriend and her daughters a couple of weeks ago, and Bowser and Gabrielle seemed to get along just fine.  "They were always like best friends," Houston says, "She's a baby, messy eater, drops crumbs so he's always sticking around her, stuff like that. They play together. She tries to ride his back all the time. Stuff like that."

But on Sunday, Houston says, Gabrielle tried to kiss Bowser on the nose and he snapped at her. "Truthfully, I really don't know what he was thinking. I know that he understood that he was wrong," Houston says,  "He ran into the corner and laid down, like with his ears down. He knew he was in trouble."

Houston admits he and his girlfriend lied to police and hospital staff about what happened to protect Bowser, and only came clean when they found out Gabrielle would have to go through a series of painful rabies shots if the dog that bit her was not identified. "After they told us the procedures, after all that then it was like, 'yeah, we have to. It's the right thing to do,'" Houston says, "I was going to end up putting him into the shelter anyway that night. Because it's like you can't trust it. If it happens once there's a possibility where it can happen again. And the kids are more important."

While Houston says he doesn't want Bowser anymore, he also says he doesn't want Bowser to be put down.  "That's my best friend," he says, "I've been through everything with him."

Because the mother lied to police they say she could face charges for filing a false report and interference with official acts.


  • Key City Pit Bulls

    Reading the story made me cringe. It tells you they were very irresponsible pet owners to begin with.

    1) not licensed or vaccinated
    2) they let the kid “ride his back all the time”
    3) they let her kiss the dogs face
    4) who wants to bet poor Bowser was NOT neutered! **Intact male dogs are responsible for 86% of fatal dog attacks**

    But blame the dog and get rid if it because you “didn’t know what he was thinking”… that’s cool, too….

    • Mary Ann Redfern

      Nah it bit her because it is a freaking pit bull. Poor child needs removing from this home by child protection. They’ll just get another mauler.

      • KtHadley

        Did you know that a man was attacked by a chocolate lab in City Park this week? A chocolate lab – are those notably aggressive breeds? You can’t judge a breed. But what use is it trying to even explain this to you – you’ve already made your ignorant mind up.

        In reference to the story, yes the dog should be seized and most dogs in general shouldn’t be around children – dogs are unpredictable and children often can’t read the signs of a dogs temperament. Without constant supervision these things can happen (with any breed), but if the mother was trying to protect the dog it’s obvious she is at fault for not watching her child.

      • Tony Solesky

        KTHadley people are attacked by dogs all of the time to the tune of 4.5 million a year in the USA. If they are serious enough like when Pit bulls attack ,they are reported. What was the name of the person attacked by the lab, What is the Police report number? Did the lab owner blame it on a Pit bull? Very vague. I call BS for now.

      • soregonian

        Nevada Ames addressed that issue. Once again, pit bull bites out-numbered Labrador’s.
        “Even with these restrictions, pit bulls are the #1 biting breed in Des Moines by a substantial margin. Labradors come in second. While there are many more labradors in the city than pit bulls, the number of reported labrador bites is much lower than pit bulls.
        Meanwhile, cities that simply don’t allow pit bulls report that pit bull bites have virtually disappeared:”

        Makes a good case for BSL.

      • Mstarpro

        I invite you to educate yourself on dog bites Mary Ann. There are more people bitten by smaller breeds than Pit Bulls…they just don’t make the news.

      • soregonian

        MSTARPO: When a small dog mauls, rips the face off of a child, rips it’s throat out and leaves it for dead… BELKIEVE ME, It WILL make the news. It’s just that it rarely happens. Now pit bulls are a different story. So far this year on an average of about every 2 weeks, someone is KILLED by pit bulls… not Chihuahuas, not Pomeranians… PIT BULLS! Yes, all dogs bite but pit bulls maim and kill, even those raised in a loving family environment.

      • Randy Graven

        ENGLISH bulldogs were bred to take down bulls. Pit bulls were bred to throw in a pit with another dog and fight to the death so that the spectators could bet on them. And anyone who claims otherwise is either ignorant or a lying POS. I had two neighbors who bred and fought them . Both were members of RDOI(Responsible Dog Owners of Iowa) and they both were always bragging about their inbreeding programs and their dogfights. Whose eyes are you people trying to pull the wool over? Any breed can have a bad dog, but breeds that are conceived to kill other dogs or people should be strictly controlled. I personally have known some pitbulls that were nice dogs, but even those couldn’t be allowed around any strange dogs. You might be able to BS somebody that hasn’t been around them but not me.

      • Jessie.

        So I guess since I let my kids kiss my pit bull and ride her back, I am a irresponsible parent as well? Hummm…funny I had my pit bull since she was 5 weeks old, her and my children grew up together, and guess what, my now 4 year old, has pulled her ears, tail, jumped on her, hit her, and my PIT BULL….just went about her business ignoring my child, my dog would play with my children including hide n seek, tag, you ignorant people can bash the breed all you want, it is not THE DOG, it is the OWNER….my Pit Bull was the best dog I had ever owned, I had a Jack Russel, a Lab, and a some other breed bite my children and my PIT BULL never did, she was raised to be friendly and loving…she was my sons service dog for emotional therapeutic dog….I blame the owner of this dog for not letting this dog be sociable towards humans….something ALL BREEDS needs….socialize with humans and other animals. So go ahead and bash this breed, your opinion will NEVER stop me from owning one….it’s the ONLY breed I will own. People need to do their research before judging.

      • Tony Solesky

        Jessie here is the problem on the one hand you say it is the way they are raised and on the other you say the Pit Bull is the best dog you ever owned. If you were bitten by the other breeds you talk about, aren’t you the bad owner you are talking about. Also you let your kids punch the dog and it just goes about it’s business but others say never leave kids unsupervised when a Pit Bull bites, mauls and kills. I don;t know what you think the usual circumstances are behind a Pit bull attack or any dog attack from any breed but if you are wise enough to know that all dogs can bite, than is certainly not responsible to take that chance with a Pit bull. I would never take advice from someone that has proclaimed what you have proclaimed. In the end pit bulls kill more people, pets and livestock than all other dog breeds combined. Responsible and educated animal lovers don;t own pit bulls.

    • Harve Morgan

      Making those excuses. Quoting stats from a gun for hire lobby group for pit bulls too. I guess you have never seen all those photo ops of kids with pits, huh? What about the ‘nanny’ dog that you talk about with pit bulls, huh? The irresponsibility lies with the myths and propaganda that is distributed by those who claim to ‘rescue’ and love the breed.

    • Beth Ann Tedder

      That’s no pit…or it is only partially pit. Doesn’t matter what breed, the dog needs to go. But not to another home or a shelter that will rehome it with another possible victim. You are absulutely right on all the rest of your observations. For them to even consider lying is so irresponsible. The only reason they came clean is because they thought they would have to pay $25,000 for the rabies series.

      • Sandy Miller

        I have been bitten and needed to have rabies shots and they were only $5,000 so your figure of $25,000 seems a bit excessive. I also was not completely truthful about the bite incident because everyone is so quick to jump on the “kill” bandwagon assuming that when an animal bites it is because it surely must be vicious. Not true. In many cases it is because the person did not correctly assess the situation or the animal’s behavior and any warning signals the animal may be giving. This is why children should always be supervised around pets. It is not fair or realistic to expect animals to tolerate any kind of ill treatment children may dish out not knowing any better. No one expects to be a statistic and many of these animals are set up to fail. They allow their children to pull on the tails and ears, invade the space, take food from and tease the family pets. Even the best behaved and more tolerant pets can have an off day and react and when they do all the blame is placed upon the animal. Unfortunately, these adults made several poor decisions that will likely cost the dog it’s life and could leave the child with permanent damage.

      • Izzy Clabaugh

        You seriously have no idea what you are talking about. If someone shoved their face all up in your business, you would probably freak out. This is an animal, not a toy that is defective and can just be thrown out. Next time you get upset at someone for popping your personal bubble, maybe you should just be euthenized.

    • Lynn Fredenburgh

      I also read that the boyfriend had moved with the dog into the house two weeks ago, so it was a new situation for dog and family members. To allow the child to sit on the dog and to disrespect its space is asking for disaster. The dog was probably startled from sleep. No child should be in the face of any dog, ever.

  • Mary Ann Redfern

    Yep, that’s a pit owner for you. First and foremost, protect the image of violent pit bulls. No surprise here. Poor child. Child protection should intervene here.

      • Tony Solesky

        Actually Izzy, without select breeding, each time, every time, there is no such thing as a domestic dogs. Domestic dogs are not some population of wild beagles and poodles and all of the other breeds that we throw a net over and tame. Domestic dogs, are dogs that man has bred in captivity to a specific regime, to achieve specific outcomes. So different are they from the original form, that they are identified as different breeds. What makes a dog capable of being a pet to be socialized in the first place, is it’s breeding. This is why, you cannot socialize wild animals to be pets. Pit bulls are not fairing well like other breeds at being kept as companion dogs because the breed and bloodline was not developed for that purpose. Therefore, they are not a suitable domestic companion pets just as wild animals that may actually be less dangerous, are not suitable as pets. Breeding is exactly why when exposed to the norms and ill educated humans that some dogs are safe and appropriate. Your plan is like saying rather than we move the nuclear facility to an area that makes the most sense lets just give everyone radioactive resistant suits and hazardous materials training. In normal areas of life when something presents a hazard to the average man we remove it , not expect everyone to become the dog whisperer. Any dog that perceives a child as a threat should be euthanize from the bloodline yesterday.

  • Kit

    Not a fan of the breed, but don’t let kids ride dogs. Also, moms-focus on your kids and ditch the boyfriends. You’re being ridiculous.

  • Mary Ann Redfern

    Pit bulls maul, maim and kill. That’s what pit bulls DO. Why is anyone EVER surprised that pit bulls DO this? It’s what they were BRED to do over 200 years ago in England. And they’ve been mauling, maiming and killing ever since without letup.

      • oregonian

        Sorry Jackson, not true. Unless you are counting the other dangerous dogs like Rottweilers, Mastiffs and other “gripping” dogs, Pit Bulls are the number 1 killers and maimers. A heeler is bred to heel, a retriever bred to retrieve, rat terrier will hunt terriers. Pit Bulls were bred to take down bulls. They were bred to be fierce, aggressive killers.
        The statistics don’t support your statement when you look at dog bite statistics for fatal and near fatal attacks. And THAT’S what we’re talking about here… not the little nips on the ankle from the occasional wild Chihuahua

      • Tony Solesky

        Jackson, is it your belief that because other dogs do it , it is ok??? Or is that just something you say to minimize the fact that Pit bull lead the pack. They should investigate any breed from Poodle to pit that does it and they should first start with those that it constantly and as a way of life. I am in full support of banning any dogs that kill not defending them.

    • Mstarpro

      NO MARY ANN, that’s NOT what pit bulls do! Again, PLEASE educate yourself about the breed, and try finding some resources other than the news media sensationalism on dog bites!

      DOGS bite period! ALL DOGS! They BITE because humans treat them as people rather than animals and are either not responsible or educated enough to own/care for the breed they get! Bringing an “animal” into your home, ANY TYPE of animal requires the person to become educated about that animal, it’s needs, it’s behavior characteristics and provide them with those needs! Our society humanizes dogs, therefore miss many warning signs that the animals give off.

      I hope and pray you are not a pet owner!

      • Tony Solesky

        If you are educated about dogs, you know that they are called different breeds because they are completely different as the result of a intentional effort by man to morph them through selective breeding. Behavior in a domestic dog is mostly and certainly consistently realized, through breeding. if someone were to educate themselves to what it takes to keep certain breeds, they would know immediately know that many breeds are not conducive to being pets by virtue of the inordinate effort one has to make and educate themselves to be able to keep them. Yes, people can educate themselves to deal with Lions and killer whales also. Pit Bulls are dangerous dogs- the most dangerous dogs for all the reasons you mentioned. Safe dog breeds are safe for all of the reasons you mentioned with regard to lack of education because the fact is most people are uneducated about dogs and breeders bred their bloodlines to be user friendly so to speak. The truly educated would not take on a Pit bull because of what they know. NOT THE REVERSE

      • Lynn Fredenburgh

        I am pretty well educated in animal behavior, as I have raised and rescued animals my entire life. The last 30 years I have rescued pits and pit mixes and have never had an incident. My dogs, children, fosters and friends, and the numerous wounded animals trotting in and out of the house were all supervised and taught to respect each other. The dogs all became loved family members. There are well over 5 million pitbulls and pit mixes owned and loved by families, working on farms, acting as service dogs, therapy dogs and even members of law enforcement. How many pitbulls have you read of this year? Certainly not 5 million. 3 million? 1 million? 500? Not even 1/2 of 1%. Hardly enough to base a stereotype on. I am very sorry for your son’s circumstances. To be attacked by a dog is a horrific event, but any large dog can do great damage. The onus is on the owner,not the dog. The owner is responsible for the dog’s behavior and care, just as we are responsible for our children’s raising and care. Most pitbulls are lovers, not fighters. Michael Vick demonstrated this when law enforcement found hundreds of dead dogs buried on his property. He “trained” that many unsuccessfully to get a viable stable of 51.

      • Tony Solesky

        I have an extensive background with dogs as well. You give a testimonials which argues the specific problem of Pit bulls, into the general population of dogs as a whole that have no issues. It is a fact that most all cars that are recalled with faulty airbags will never reveal their defect but that does not justify the defects happening to any number of people. The reason is because the standard is not 6 people are OK to die and 120 inured. The standard is, it should not happen at all. You do not appear to be educated on the issue but rather an animal advocacy person that confuses that kind of thinking with education and/or a true understanding or vocation for public safety. Stereotyped, how is a Golden retriever stereotyped? How is a Fox Hound Stereotyped. How is a dog named Pit Bull stereotyped. That is a oxymoron. Further there are NO ZERO, U.S. Police agencies using Pit Bulls for actual Police work. There have been a few small agencies that the humane groups have tried PR stunts saying there are Police trained Pit Bulls seeing active service but none are deployed.. Service Dogs?????? A true Service dog, just as with real Police agencies, are specially bred dogs from about 6 to 7 breeds solely, EVER. They cost about 50,000 dollars to train. Police agencies and People that provide real Americans with Disabilities Act protection under the law, do not even suggest or have the time to deal with dogs outside of the 7 most proven breeds. You are talking about therapy dogs, which requires no zero training and is a bogus designation for a petting animal that animal kooks pass off on the unwitting public that believes these are specialized and trained animals. Next comes the equally bogus emotional support dog, also needing No ZERO special training but oddly is protected under the ADA. People who pull these stunts are in the low barrel with those that impersonate war veterans and fake a disability to get a handicapped sticker for their car. People need to know about these fakers and these animal lovers that think they know how to treat the nature out of an animal. You are dangerous situation looking for a place to happen. BOYCOTT the ASPCA and the HUMANE SOCIETY until they start do give real education about animals and pet keeping. As far as my son being mauled. That is not how I learned about dogs. It was because of my background with dogs I was able to cope with and debate and bring understanding to the genial public that formerly thought that animal advocates meant animal experts in public safety. Relying on that group is about as crazy as calling a home builder when your house is on fire. Dog safety has nothing to do with dog advocacy. Case in point all you have offered is a testimonial of your unverifiable experience and no solution. Ban the Breed end the deed.

      • Mary Ann Redfern

        I stand by my brief comment. It’s what pit bulls DO, and they do it often. Anything with teeth can bite, even YOU. Pit bulls do not simply bit. Pit bulls grab, grip and do not let go until their victim is dead or they are somehow forced to let go. This results in massive injuries or death to their victims. Period. End of conversation with YOU.

      • Mary Ann Redfern

        Pit bulls were bred specifically to fight each other in pits over 200 years ago in England. No, YOU get educated regarding genetics. I have two wonderful dogs that I take very good care of, but the best thing of all is that I do not have to fear that they will maim or kill someone. My education does not come from the news media. If you own a pit bull, good luck.

      • Tony Solesky

        I love it when pit bull advocates attempt to educate the general public. Please tell me, for the benefit of everyone, what I am uneducated about. I see you have strong beliefs and are unnerved by the specter of having to reconsider the issue, more than I see anything that refutes those of us that defend victims -Pet, people and livestock of these dangerous Pit bull breeds.

      • soregonian

        And herein lies an example of the sociopathic traits of pit bull owners. On the one hand, we have a parent of a victim of horrible pit bull attacks that is trying to warn others to PREVENT FURTHER INJURIES TO CHILDREN.
        Then we have Izzy, who wants to stand up for the type of dog doing the most killing and maiming.
        And she wants to know how Tony sleeps??
        I gotta ask you the same question, Izzy… How do YOU sleep at night knowing there are many children who WILL die from being attacked by this breed you are defending and pushing on society?

  • wftfan

    I feel sorry for the children of Pit Bull Owners. Not all but there are a lot of them that put the dogs rights ahead of the childrens rights. It is scary. At least they are getting rid of the mauler..hope they don
    ‘t get another Pit Bull.

  • Mary Ann Redfern

    And I’ve been physically threatened by pit bull owners on threads enough to realize that their owners are no better than their dogs, most of them anyway.

    • Lynn Fredenburgh

      You know better than that. There are very few pitbull owners that actually respond to you on these threads, so you have no idea what “most” pitbull owners are like. Most of us are family people, and educated enough to carry on a discussion without reverting to personal attacks. I will say, you are trying when you go off on your unrelated tangents, but I have not seen nearly the venom expressed at you as that which you have dispensed. Perhaps you are a career victim?

      • Mary Ann Redfern

        One more time, animal hoarder. Me, vicious? Hah! I can tell you of posts by pit lovers that would make your hair stand on end if you are even close to normal. Recently a pit lover told Jeff Borchardt, whose young son, Daxton, was killed by two family pit bulls that, “We should play kickball with your son’s head since he’s dead and won’t need it any more, lol.” I repeat: I’M vicious???

      • Mary Ann Redfern

        Just this past weekend, a pit lover posted my physical address and told me I would not be living much longer. I was forced to report him to Facebook and my address and the comment were removed. I have been called names by pit lovers that I cannot repeat here without fear of the comment being deleted. About a week ago a pit lover called me a f…ing c..t. Got it? And there has been worse than that. Don’t tell ME I am vicious. Maybe you are waaaaaay out on that farm of yours and are not aware of what your pit buddies are doing to victims’ advocates OR maybe you just think we deserve it, farmer.

      • Tony Solesky

        In any circumstance where people disagree those with the most venom are those that think that discourse and debate is a personal attack on them. This is far more common among Pit bull owners if you actually read the content than people that are anti Pit bull. People that are anti Pit bull have experienced directly being a victim. Even people that are pro gun, drugs or drinking show empathy for those people that oppose them when it comes to the families and people that have been victimized by guns, drunk driving and a life of drugs. Animal advocates and anti Pit bull victims advocates may all have kooks among them, , as does any large. The big difference is pit advocates definitely have more than their fair share of wacky – kooks that simply have no understanding that a human is a human and a dog is nothing close.

  • Fataah Ewe'

    Well, it’s a pit bull. What they do. People think, erroneously, it’s a nanny dog; many pictures on HuffPost wi children and pits. Parents were misled. Happens a lot, being misled, horrific attacks on children. Children risked, (for what?) children suffer, sometimes grievously. People need to revisit normal dog breeds, not dogs bred to fight and attack.

  • Holly Johnson

    Who said take the kid from the family? Really. Bit extreme, don’t you think. Sure. Let’s hurt this girl some more, right? Some people should really think before they type the dumb things that pop into their head. I’ve heard of things like this happening before by other breeds. Was the dog sleeping and startled by her kiss? I’m sure we don’t have the entire story. I’m also not a fan of pitbulls and I’ve heard other families say they never thought they’d be a statistic. They loved and trusted their pittbull. It’s sad and I love all anaimals, but I would never own a pit if I had a young child.

    • lee77

      @Holly Johnson: The children should be removed from the mother because the mother has proven she cares more for her boyfriend and his “dawg” than she does her children. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have lied. Presumably, the children have a father somewhere and the children could be removed and placed with the father’s family — unless they are also pit bull owners — or other non-dog-owning family members. If those two children stay with this negligent, irresponsible mother, they likely won’t make it to adulthood.

  • Maria

    Before you start saying pitbulls are evil and vicious, get to know one. Also, research before you PATHETICALLY try and talk down on the breed. Do you even know what the most vicious breeds are? No, you don’t, because you choose to believe the media and the stereotype of this dog. The most vicious breeds are the small yappy dogs. I will PROUDLY be owning pitbulls in the near future.

    • Lesley Karen Luscombe

      37 Americans killed by dogs so far this year 2014.

      Pit Bulls killed TWENTY FOUR OF THEM. Of the 24, TWELVE were innocent children.

      Not ONE person was killed by a small yappy dog. Notable here is how much Pit Bull owners refer to other people’s DECENT choice of pet dog as ‘small yappers’, as though they were not ‘real dogs’.

      It takes a special kind of stupid to claim that small dogs are more dangerous than Pit Bulls. A special kind of ignorance that compares a Band-Aid to a body-bag. A special kind of idiocy that confuses a goldfish to a shark.

      Say no more.

    • lee77

      Maria: That is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. A person does not have to “get to know” an animal or person who is clearly dangerous to know they are dangerous. For example, I’ve never gotten to know any Islamic terrorists, but I have sense enough to know they’re dangerous!

      If a “small yappy dog” bites, a person ends up with nothing more than minor cuts and scratches and you can kick the little demon hard enough to kill it. Kicking a pit bull is equivalent to kicking a tank. Just today, three people in Fall River, Mass., were sent to the hospital after being attacked and seriously injured by pit bulls. Thirty-nine humans in the US have been murdered by dogs so far this year and pit bulls killed 29 of them and pits and their mixes were likely involved in the deaths of three people killed by packs of dogs. How many have been killed by small, yappy dogs?

      A lot of people who “proudly” owned pit bulls are now pushing up daisies in the graveyard because they were attacked and torn to pieces by their sweet, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly “pitties.”

    • Harve Morgan

      The media doesn’t make pits attack, the media doesn’t identify the attacking dog, the media reports because pits are doing the damage, and that makes news. I hope you wear your headlines proudly when something happens with your pits.

    • Suzanne

      Will you be proud when your newly acquired pit bull attacks someone or kills somebody’s normal dog, too? Or, would you be like so many other proud pit bull owners and abscond with the dog, chew and screw style, never to be seen again while they mop up the blood and pay all the medical bills? You can guess where my money would be. Get to know the dogs? I have. Have you?

    • soregonian

      Maria: The people commenting on this article HAVE met pit bulls. They have been attacked by them. They have lost their pets to them and some, horrific as it is, have friends whose children have been killed by pit bulls. There is a lady who’s name I recognize posting here. She is a friend of a man who lost his 18 month old baby when 2 very friendly FAMILY pets pit bulls) decided “for some reason”, to attack and kill a little baby they had known for his whole life.
      That’s why they’re commenting here.

    • Tony Solesky

      Marie, It is you that has jumped to conclusions. Most people have met pit bulls and been attacked because of it. As a result they have done the research to see where their incident falls in the statistics. What they have found is that Pit bulls, bite, maim, disfigure, injure and kill more people , pets and livestock than all other breeds combined. Additionally most all media reports are directly from the Police,report. So I believe your beef is with them. And of the two issues understanding people or Pit Bulls people are more important so the proper question to ask is of people like you. Do you know a victim? Have you ever visited one in a Trauma center or funeral. Do you know how well researched they are and naturally become as anyone does after such an event, be it , DWI or Cancer or drowning. Of course these victims have the facts, the stats and the real world experience. Ironically you don’t

    • Mary Ann Redfern

      Yes, we TOTALLY understand. You are one of those people who will “go to your grave” owning pit bulls. Lucky you.

  • Lesley Karen Luscombe

    This mother MUST be prosecuted. NO good mother puts a dog before a child, and she did just that right from the very first moment she brought her precious child into contact with that Pit Bull. It behests every parent to educate themselves about the risk of any type of dog in a family household, and there is NO dog more riskier to children than a Pit Bull dog. 12 American children have been killed by them this year alone, to say nothing of the umpteen innocent children whose faces have been mutilated beyond any hope of recovery; their lives altered forever, and often by parental risk-taking on their behalf.

    As for putting this child-biter into a dog shelter and trying to rehome it…. please, give the world a break. ALL dogs from ALL breeds that attack kill other dogs, that attack or kill a human being, MUST BE EUTHANISED. Public safety absolutely must come first. Toleration of dangerous dogs is a disgrace, rehoming them is a wilful act of negligence that could end the life of a child that does not possess adult knowledge and foresight or hindsight, a child that trustingly places EVERYTHING in the hands of its parents and all that live around that child in any given neighbourhood. Equally, one must understand that these types of dogs can and DO kill healthy human adults – their power is immense, and their unwillingness to let go once they start an attack, is a terrible thing to behold.

    Euthanize it, please. And prosecute both the adults involved here – they were BOTH in on this act of deviant suppression of the truth and the pursuance of the justice system.

    All good wishes and hopes for the poor little girl caught up in this morass of parental wickedness, adult deviancy and a dog representing a breed that should NEVER be considered a ‘pet’ in the first place.

    • texas

      “ALL dogs from ALL breeds that attack kill other dogs, that attack or kill a human being, MUST BE EUTHANISED.” Better line up your cockerspaniels, chows, chihuahuas, poms and terriers. I’ve personally witnessed more bites from these smaller breeds than large breeds. People need to start reporting every nip and every bite from every breed. No dog should be left alone with a child, no matter the breed.

      • Tony Solesky

        If the law said that when a dog bites it is euthanize, I would support such a law. It would protect the 2/3 of Americans that do not own dogs and force dog owners that are so sure their dogs won’t bite to be far more vigilant and careful. This would surely have the affect of lower dog bites and people choosing less dangerous breeds. That would lessen demand for dogs and cut the population problem down. Then we would find out just how much privately funded groups like the ASPCA and the Humane Society and animal rescues are behind and benefiting financially from the cottage rescue (mill) industry. At a tune of about 58 billion per year.

  • lee77

    This isn’t the first time pit bull owners have lied to protect their land sharks. A few months ago, a man in California lied and said his toddler had been bitten by a “stray,” to protect his pit bull. A couple in Oregon a couple years back were attacked by their own pit bull and when they went to the emergency room, claimed they had been attacked by a cougar. In Florida back in 2011, two pit bulls “got loose” attacked an elderly Vietnam veteran, ripping off one arm, almost ripping off the other and one of the maulers got the man’s entire head in its hellhole-mouth and chomped down and when EMTs arrived, the man’s brain was hanging out — he died few days later. When deputies questioned the pit bull owners — a woman and her 24-year-old son — they claimed they had shot the dogs and thrown their bodies into the swamp, when all the time, they were hiding the two blood-covered 4-legged demons inside the house, waiting for it to get dark so they could sneak them out of the house to safety.

    In this particular case, child protective services needs to remove both those children from this worthless mother because she obviously cares more for her boyfriend and his “dawg” than she does for her daughters. Such mothers aren’t fit to raise a rat, let alone a child and the district attorney needs to prosecute both the mother and boyfriend for lying to law enforcement and child endangerment.

  • Suzanne

    How many children, adults, pets, livestock and wildlife must be attacked, mauled, maimed and/or killed before we get serious about public safety and restricting ownership of fighting breeds? Let’s put a number on it so we can have a clear view of when, exactly, we’ll stop sacrificing people and animals in the name of dog ownership. Pit bulls were never created to be companion animals, they aren’t good at it and they’ll continue to fail at our peril. So, when will we stop the insanity? FWIW, I’m ready right now.

  • Tony Solesky

    Key City Pit Bulls, I agree with you in the irresponsibility part because it starts not with owning such a breed in the first place, The other statistics you site are just the end of the trail. Responsibility actually follows this kind of thinking.
    ! 4.5 to 5 million people are bitten by dogs each year,children 12 and under and the elderly are the most at risk to be bitten by a dog. Those bitten by a dog are at greatest risk to serious, disfigurement and death when the attacking dog is a pit bull. When people choose a dog that is bred for certain traits like a rabbit dog but choose not to use it that way and keep it as a pet, as is the case of most dog owners. Where the goal is pet keeping how could it be considered responsible since any dog can bite to keep such a dog breed as a pet in the first place. This means that these dogs have no value for the purpose they were bred as dog fighting is illegal unlike rabbit hunting and they do not outshine other dogs that are not used for their breeding but kept only as pets. At best just like drugs that are illegal, Pit bulls are merely the paraphernalia of illegal dog fighting and should be banned.

    • PMcGee

      That’s such an ignorant and unnecessary comment. I doubt that you know her or what kind of mother she is. Nor do you know the entire story enough to make the judgmental calls you feel entitled to. She’s a fine mother and an accident happened.

      • Mary Ann Redfern

        Fine mothers do not lie to emergency personnel and police about the way in which an “accident” happened to protect a vicious, mauling “dog”. Also, choosing to own a dog bred for fighting other dogs in pits and known for their vicious and aggressive natures and keeping such “dog” in the same home as one’s child is negligent on the face of it. No mother who loves her children will deliberately risk their lives and limbs in such an irresponsible and unloving way.


        What accident???????????????????????? Anyone who doesn’t know the risk to children from pit bulls does not possess an adequate mental capacity to properly raise, care for and protect a child.
        Being ignorant is one thing, however the fact that this pit worshipper lied about how her child received her facial mauling means the b!t[h is aware of the pit bull having a reputation.


    • PMcGee

      They should intervene for what reason though? Because an accident happened? Get real. Accidents happen all the time! Child reaches for stove, gets too close to the stairs and takes a tumble, slams fingers in doors… That stuff happens when parents look away for just a few seconds and it doesn’t make for bad parents. It’s life. You should really stop being so hateful and ignorant. Hope those aren’t qualities that a super superior, awesome person like yourself passed on to any offspring.

      • soregonian

        I understand this is a horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with this family as this little girl tries to heal. Where the Mom got in trouble is that she LIED to authorities causing potential danger to her child. She did this so that the pit bull could continue to live with the child that it bit. That is definite endangerment. I pray this Mom makes the right decisions.

      • Tony Solesky

        There is no dispute on either side that any dog can bite. When one considers this as fact for everyone not just others, that should affect their choice of dog. A accident is defined as something that despite ones best efforts to avoid a bad outcome it happens anyway. This cannot be described as an accident. Ii is more rightfully called and inevitability. and /or an unfortunate and avoidable incident.

  • Karen White

    I don’t believe for one minute they were going to give up the dog “anyway” like the owner says in this article or they would not have lied about it. I believe they intended to keep that dog and never tell a soul what it had done. Was the child questioned and did they instruct the child to lie too?? Would love to know what the description of the dog was they lied about; the stray. They probably said it was a stray lab or collie.

  • PMcGee

    So many people spend their day being anonymously hateful over the web.. does a dog bite really call for a child being taken from their families? That seriously makes sense to some of you? It’s sad & scary and very unfortunate but at the same time, it’s life. Accidents happen and I GUARANTEE that there’s a lot more to this story. And I can also GUARANTEE that Gabbys mom does a fine job parenting. Let’s just take away all the kids from all of the families. Might as well! Because I bet that every child will have a second or two where the parent looks the other way and the child gets hurt. Climbs on a chair, falls off. Reaches up on the stove. Gets too close to the stairs and falls. startles a dog and gets bitten.. That type of stuff doesn’t make for bad parenting. Duh? Clearly an awful lot of people need to get their heads of of their a**es.

    • soregonian

      Again… it is not the accident that has this mom in trouble. It is the fact tat she lied to authorities. We all are not perfect. We all make bad decisions. I hope that she will make better decisions, when it comes to her child, in the future.

    • Mary Ann Redfern

      Why are you complaining that WE are being hateful? The mother is the one who was not loving toward her own child. One, she brought a pit bull, known for killing children, into her child’s home and, two, she LIED about what actually happened to her child in order to be able to KEEP the “dog” that bit her child? A normal mother’s reaction would have been to pummel that “dog” into an unrecognizable pulp, NOT try and lie to save its life to maul her child again or maybe kill it next time.

  • Karla Elvis

    HE doesn’t want the danger around, but he’s okay with “relocating the problem to another unsuspecting family”! That dog needs to be put down.. I hope that local authorities act to protect EVERYONE that may come into contact with that animal.

    • Lindsey

      My grandparents Sheltie bit me in the face when I was younger because I put my face in hers – should she have been put down? My other set of grandparents had a black lab that also bit me in the face when I was younger – should he have been put down? My mom’s border collie used to lunge at and bite people if she got irritated with them – should she have been put down?

      They were wonderful family dogs but didn’t like children or people up in their faces provoking them. An otherwise good family dog shouldn’t be euthanized for one accident. It should be trained properly and adopted by people who have experience owning Pitbulls.

      Hopefully you non pitbull dog owners never have to go through a situation like this because I doubt you’d euthanize your “dangerous” family pet. Especially if it was being provoked.

      • soregonian

        What you call “provoked” is what every kid normally does when dogs are around… they try to hug or kiss or perhaps to ride them like i see so many times in those cutsie pics of pit bulls and kids.
        I’ve had dogs, as a child; i’ve had dogs as an adult. All were raised around kids and not one ever bit. If it did, it WOULD be gone. I do have to wonder why you have had such bad luck with dogs??

      • Mary Ann Redfern

        Sounds like your family is not fit to have dogs. I am 61 years of age, have had all kinds of breeds of dogs (NEVER a pit bull) and I have never been bitten, nor my children. Get a canary. Or a hamster. Even if you’re a lousy pet owner, at least those animals can’t badly hurt anyone.

    • Sue

      Yep, gotta say Lindsey, I am 46 years old. Have always had dogs, mostly German Shepherds. One wolf/elkhound cross. We slept with these dogs (my current dog sleeps with us every night). We wrestled with the shepherds, they like to play very physically. I have NEVER been bit, been scratched by a claw, but, never had my skin broken by a dog’s mouth. Shelties are knows to be very poor family dogs. I would say, though, there is something about you that instills distrust and/or fear in dogs for you to have been bit that many times. Either that, or your family’s dogs are being mistreated and not socialized well.

    • Sue

      Oh, I say shelties are poor family dogs because they tend to be ‘one person’ dogs. they, stereotypically, are quite territorial. I believe collies and border collies have the same tendency.
      And yes, if your mother’s border collie routinely lunged and snapped at people, it should have been put down. Or, never allowed around other people.

  • Kennedy

    And the fact you guys saying she should leave her bf because of it? Why? Her bf does a wonderful job with her girls and her girls love him. Just like they loved that dog. The dog was their bestfriend. Gabbi is to this day asking where Bowser is.

    • Mary Ann Redfern

      Hopefully, by the time of this posting, Bowser has gone to the rainbow bridge and Gabby’s mom has learned a hard lesson and will not allow her daughter to be around pit bulls ever again. But I wouldn’t bet the rent.

  • Merritt Clifton

    Of the 5,162 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 3,574 (68%) were pit bulls; 559 were Rottweilers; 4,413 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes. Of the 575 human fatalities, 305 were killed by pit bulls; 88 were killed by Rottweilers; 437 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds. Of the 3,229 people who were disfigured, 2,221 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 329 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,703 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds. Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class. Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are together less than 7% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • Nevada Ames

    As we speak, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa is aggressively lobbying Des Moines to stop regulating pit bulls as inherently risky, despite ample evidence that pit bulls continue to be involved in severe and deadly attacks at a rate that exceeds all other breeds.. What exactly are they objecting to, you ask? A law that requires pit bull owners to license and contain their dogs in escape-proof enclosures and maintain liability insurance.

    Radical, I know.

    Each year, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa receives a substantial amount of funding from a major pit bull lobbying organization, Animal Farm Foundation (“securing equal treatment…for pit bull dogs”). On its website, Animal Farm Foundation explicitly says that it expects ARL of Iowa and other funding recipients to promote pit bulls in a “positive light.” In order words, ARL of Iowa (and many other animal rescue organizations) are acting as paid lobbyists for pit bulls.

    Journalists, lawmakers, and the general public rely on animal shelter personnel as a source of trustworthy information about dogs. Clearly, ARL of Iowa cannot be trusted. They quite literally get paid to say it’s all sweetness and light with pit bulls.

    • Nevada Ames

      Even with these restrictions, pit bulls are the #1 biting breed in Des Moines by a substantial margin. Labradors come in second. While there are many more labradors in the city than pit bulls, the number of reported labrador bites is much lower than pit bulls.

      Meanwhile, cities that simply don’t allow pit bulls report that pit bull bites have virtually disappeared:

      “When Ontario banned pit bulls in August 2005, critics said the decision was arbitrary, based on a few dramatic maulings and a sensationalistic press. The campaign was a result of prejudice, not facts, they complained.

      But city data obtained by the Star points to a different possibility: that pit bulls really were the most dangerous kind of dog, in Toronto at least. From 2001 to 2004, pit bulls were more likely to bite people and domestic animals than any other breed, the statistics show.

      In 2004, the last full year before the ban, there were 984 pit bulls licensed in Toronto and 168 reported pit bull bites. That’s more than double the rate of German shepherds, the next most aggressive breed.”

      • Mstarpro

        Please share your stats with us. People are bitten by small dogs way more than Pits or most breeds that make the news. But those dog bites aren’t reported or deemed as dangerous by law enforcement. A bite is a bite and the cause behind the bite is the same no matter what the size of the dog. However, our society ignores the small dog bites and creates prejudices against the larger breeds. Education is the key, especially among law makers, city leaders and law enforcement!

      • Tony Solesky

        There also has to be the question of why with some breeds there is no question. Not one person questions that Labs and Golden’s and Chesapeake s and others retrieve as a matter of instincts achieved through breeding that are so strong, it warranted that these dogs be identified and named for these traits Somehow, when someone aspires to make prolific fighting traits and names these type dog breeds Pit Bulls, dogs designed to be Pit Against each other or placed in a Pit (fighting ring), that have the ability to kill full size bulls, suddenly it is all how you raise them. Lets us all be reminded there is no such thing as a Poodle, a lab or a Pit bull, lest someone conspires to create it through a selective breeding program. Once they get the outcome they want in the dog, they have to still breed it each time every time to get more of them. Otherwise, through natural breeding instincts they become mutts and dilute and eventually loose these instincts. This is why people pay money for pure breed dogs because it takes work, time , effort and collaboration with others dedicated to the same purpose of breed preservation.. You cannot go out in nature and just throw a net over poodle or Pit Bulls and tame them. Breed is to behavior as Pit Bull is to danger. Simply ban the breed and end the Deed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mstarpro

    Unfortunately, MANY pit bulls are bred and owned by the wrong people in our society. Many breeders of pit bulls, specifically in Iowa are either unlicensed, hobby or backyard breeders and not breeding quality dogs. Their main purpose for breeding is profit and intimidation. This places the dogs in the wrong place in society in the beginning. Breed regulation in Iowa would be a start! We have way too many hobby, ignorant, greedy breeders in this state, none of which really produce quality anything! Please don’t blame the dog. It’s bad enough he’ll die because of selfish greed and ignorance.

  • Randy Graven

    if ANY dog bit one of my grandkids seriously it would be instantly dead-don’t care whose dog or what breed it is. It wouldn’t live long enough to be siezed. Dogs that bite humans are unacceptable. And anyone defending those people needs their head examined. What part of being a parent puts a dog before children? And don’t give me that baloney about pit bulls, they were bred to not let go once they bite. That’s a real good trait to have in house pet? What a crock.

    • Jamie

      When I was around 12 or so I had a beagle and one night I went to pet him, not knowing he was asleep, and he got scared and bit my hand, breaking the skin. He was never aggressive before or after this. Should he have been put down? I now currently have a Shih tzu and sometimes while playing she opens and closes her mouth, not trying to bite that is just what she does when she playing, and there has been a couple times where she had accidently bit me. Should she be put down?

  • newzbug

    Pit bull/pitbull is a reference to a certain kinds of dogs with a propensity toward violence; it is not, however a specific breed

  • Dean

    I don’t think this is about a dog as much as it is a pathetic woman protecting her relationship with a live in boyfriend who actually owns the dog. Yeah, the boyfriend’s more important than her child’s health.

  • Gabriel Barros

    Journal of Interpersonal Violence
    Volume 21 Number 12 December 2006

    Ownership of High-Risk (“Vicious”) Dogs as a Marker for Deviant Behaviors

    Implications for Risk Assessment

    “The analysis revealed that owners of HR (high risk) dogs had significantly more criminal convictions and traffic citations in all categories except crimes involving children.”

    “Professionals such as child and adult protection investigators, law enforcement officers, pediatricians and medical practitioners, home visiting professionals, domestic violence investigators, and public health nurses may find it useful to be informed about the breed and specific behaviors of the dogs that share the environment with their clients. First, be aware that the dog breed, ESPECIALLY OWNING A PIT BULL, MAY BE A RISK MARKER.”

  • Matthew Blandin

    Let’s go ahead and compare comments from people when breed isn’t mentioned:

    To when breed is mentioned (read the below comments).

    Simple facts: Dogs shouldn’t be ridden. Children shouldn’t be sticking their face in the face of a dog.

    Any sane, rational person that has common sense regarding dogs knows this. Blaming the breed just means that impressionable people now think it’s okay for children to ride dogs and hug them and put their face in their face, which is only going to result in MORE injuries, not less.

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