New Orleans, LA – A gruesome pit bull attack on Wednesday in the New Orleans, Louisiana area resulted in the victim losing both arms, an eye, an ear, and a part of her scalp. Three of the adult dogs attacked 54-year-old Linda Henry in her home where she lived with the dog’s owner, her boyfriend. When Westwego police officers responded to the call, all four adult pit bulls attacked or lunged at them, forcing the officers to shoot them. A litter of puppies was also removed from the home.
As of Thursday, the victim was still reported hospitalized in critical condition.
“It’s the worst dog bite I’ve ever seen in 25 years of police work,” said Westwego Police Chief Dwayne Munch.
It was the second bold attack by pit bulls on unsuspecting victims in only four days. An attack on Sunday, which was captured on surveillance video, showed a pit bull running across an intersection in the Bronx in New York City in order to strike and maul a little girl described in different reports as being age four or age six.
Several nearby men rushed in to pull the dog off the tiny child, and she reportedly survived with only minor injuries.
You can watch that video below, but be warned. It’s disturbing — and not least because the reporter was told that the owner of the dog was ticketed but will be allowed to keep the animal.
The new attacks are certain to awaken the debate about whether pit bulls should be allowed to kept without a special license — or whether they should be kept at all. Pit bulls have recently been responsible for fatal attacks on babies. A two-year-old was killed by a pit bull in Texas in February while its owner allegedly simply stood and watched.
The frightening thing about both of the new attacks is that the pit bulls turned on vulnerable people without any warning.
As usual, the debate breaks out into two groups.
The fact that there are dog attacks every day, but when one pit bull attack happens they get banned, disgusts me.
— Hi my name’s Vodka♡ (@goldandleopards) March 14, 2013
Its always nice when a pitbull attacks your face….#soscary
— Alyssa Mussomeli (@alyssajanaeeee) March 14, 2013
Lulz at pit bull owners feeling discriminated against. Pitbulls are harmless, hence why only 57% of all dog attacks are by pitbulls/mixes
— Dave (@MessyFingers) March 11, 2013
As a long time writer on pet issues, I’ve known some good pit bulls, and I’m always in favor of good pets having secure homes. On the other hand, I have to admit that I would be worried if a pit bull owner moved into my neighborhood.
My gut instinct is to suggest that pit bull ownership should be licensed, but I’m still thinking it over. What do you think should be done about pit bulls?
[pit bull photo courtesy Ildar Sagdejev and Wikipedia Commons]