AP NEWS

Lake Havasu City Police: Second person attacked by a pit bull

May 3, 2019

Animal control officers arrived at Havasu Regional Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon, after receiving reports of an attack by a pit bull. It was the second such attack this week.

According to the Lake Havasu City Police Department, a local man was hospitalized after being bitten. The victim had been attempting to separate his dog from a pit bull at Avalon Park. The case remains active, and officers are attempting to identify the pit bull’s owner.

Although pit bulls have long had a bad reputation, Lake Havasu City Police Sgt. Tom Gray says aggression is not specific to an animal’s breed.

“Every dog has a trigger point, and is capable of attacking and biting,” Gray said. “It is difficult to predict when a dog will attack.”

The Lake Havasu City Police Department has in previous years responded to attacks by Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers and other small breeds of dog, as well as larger breeds such as pit bulls. Because of their size, however, pit bulls have the ability to become far more dangerous when aggressive. Wednesday’s incident follows an attack Sunday, when a 9-year-old Lake Havasu City boy was hospitalized by a pit bull.

Thomas Richardson has served on the Arizona Board of Governors for Trial Lawyers, and works as a personal injury attorney in Phoenix. Dog attacks are a topic in which he is well-versed.

According to Richardson, pit bulls were responsible for more than 64% of all fatal dog attacks throughout the U.S. from 2005 to 2016, with 254 deaths. According to Richardson, the country’s second-most lethal breed of canine was rottweilers, who were responsible for 43 deaths during the same time frame.

Pit bulls’ reputation has suffered in recent years, prompting efforts to enact breed-specific legislation in several states, as well as a 2013 presidential statement on such measures. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals maintains a public policy statement specific to pit bulls on its website:

“All dogs, including pit bulls, are individuals,” the organization said. “Treating them as such; providing them with the care, training and supervision they require; and judging them by their actions and not by their DNA or physical appearance is the best way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36% of American households own at least one dog. Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog, the CDC says, and injuries to children will be more severe. One in five dog bites will require medical attention.

For tips on how to avoid being bitten, visit the CDC’s webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention.