Article Comment 

Pit-bull owner cited for child attack


Carmen K. Sisson


The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.


A dog attacked a child Friday afternoon in Columbus, sending him to the hospital and prompting area law enforcement officials to take a closer look at the city''s leash laws and vicious-dog ordinance.  


Interim Columbus Police Chief Selvain McQueen said at approximately 4:12 p.m., a 10-year-old was riding near the intersection of 13th Avenue and Fourth Street South when he was knocked from his bike by a dog described as a "pit-bull mix."  


Witnesses told police that after the child fell to the ground, the dog continued to attack, "going for his face and neck." The dog fled back to its house when a bystander threw a 40-ounce beer at it.  


Police cited dog owner LaTracy Williams, 30, of 1224 Fouth St. S., for having a nuisance dog, allowing the dog to run free and having no vaccination tag or identification for the animal. The dog was taken to the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society for a 10-day observation hold.  


The child was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, where he was treated for bite wounds and released.  


McQueen said all dogs within the city limits are required to be confined to a house or pen and adhere to local leash laws. In addition, owners of pit bull and Rottweiler breeds -- whether kept inside or outside -- must register their dog with the Animal Control Office at the Columbus Police Department. By state law, all dogs must also have a rabies vaccination and tag.  


The fines for failure to register a pit bull or Rottweiler are $10 for a first offense, $20 for a second offense and $40 for a third offense. The fines for having no proof of vaccination are $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense and $75 for a third offense.  


He said while the department and its three animal control officers work hard to make sure the laws are enforced, he intends to start cracking down harder on dog owners who fail to comply.  


"We are looking into these issues," McQueen said. "It would be a real smart thing for citizens to make sure dogs ... are in compliance." 


Oktibbeha County is looking into creating a vicious-dog ordinance, following the Aug. 13 attack of two children by five pit bulls and last summer''s mauling of five cows.  


Citizens are expected to attend a Sept. 5 meeting by the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors to request action.  





Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.



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Reader Comments

Article Comment tuttie commented at 8/23/2011 11:23:00 AM:

this is a major promblem. columbus, they walk the street all day with these dangerous dogs. these fines are too low when you have potential dangers to the public. when will the police dept. do the right thing and check these peploe more when they pass and see these dogs out. maybe when a life is lost we will react.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 8/23/2011 4:48:00 PM:

The fines are a joke. They should start out at $100 first offense, $500 for second, and $1000 for third offense, and the fourth offense puts you in jail.

There should also be an "attack fine" if your dog(s) are found responsible for an attack. The fine should be something that really gets your attention. In addition, those with dangerous breeds should have to carry insurance to pay for the medical treatment of those your dog might attack.

An even better step would be to outlaw ALL Rotts, Pitts, and any hybrid of these from the city PERIOD.


Article Comment leyden commented at 8/23/2011 5:09:00 PM:

These fines are such a joke! Also I believe the law for owning a pit bull is the pen in suppose to be inclosed all the way around including the top and with #10 gauge chain link wire. At least when I worked at the humane soc. a few years ago that was the requirement was to even adopt one. This discouraged alot of the rif raf from getting one. Also you had to be 18 years old to even walk one around on a leash. Why do so many children have to be killed or brutally chewed up because of these laws that the local police seem to ignore?


Article Comment [email protected] commented at 8/24/2011 2:25:00 PM:

Not only should the fines be higher, but the dog should be put to sleep after one bite. The owners should be charged with a felony on the first offense.


Article Comment oneswhodisagrees commented at 8/24/2011 9:13:00 PM:

I have owned several of these so called vicious dogs throughout my life! I have never had any problem with them except they think they are lap dogs and will jump in anyone's lap who comes along. I do agree with checking out the people who own them because I strongly believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with the breed but there is a lot wrong with people and their morals! I have had a pitbull who weighed 60 pounds, a small dog about 10 punds and two cats all at the same time and all inside animals and have NEVER had a single problem with them getting along! I do abide by all laws and do believe that everyone should but as I said before these dogs are no more vicious than any other dog unless someone makes them that way. I will never say they aren't strong but none of mine have ever known or been taught to know how strong they can be. They are family pets and part of the family! We wouldn't have it any other way!


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 8/25/2011 6:18:00 AM:

onewho: do you have any idea how many times those same words have been said by pit bull owners just before the dog mauled the neighbors kids, their own kids, or their grandchildren?


Article Comment eiskalt commented at 8/25/2011 10:05:00 AM:

Blame the DEED, not the BREED. The problem is people back-yard breeding poor personalities in dogs. I think most dog attacks would be stopped if all dogs where required to be spayed/neutered at 6 weeks of age and only people who are licensed could breed. You have these idiotic "breeders" who don't think about genetics, personalities and other traits and just breed so they can make money. In turn you get idiot dog owners and idiot dogs with horrible genetics and it just keeps going. Want to stop the dog attacks, don't ban breeds, ban the flippin idiots who breed poor dogs.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 8/25/2011 12:38:00 PM:

Actually, the problem is the breed has the worst bite of all breeds, and the tendency to hang on rather than bite and let go.

And then there is the whole "I got a pit therefore I'm a badazz" mentality found with people who own dangerous breeds. If you don't believe it, look at their pose with the dog. It's that same stupid look found with gangsta rappers.

Gee, what a cowinkidink.


Article Comment eiskalt commented at 8/25/2011 2:21:00 PM:

**Correction on my last post. I meant to put "6 months" not weeks.**

To think during WWI and WWII, pit bull terriers where considered to be the best dog breed. They where admired and adored. They where all over American posters, families owned them and they didn't have this "vicious, eat your face off stigma".

"The dog was bred first to bait bulls and bears.[3] When baiting bulls was deemed inhumane, ratting (a sport where a number of rats were placed in a pit for a specified time with the dog) and dog fighting became more popular. The APBT was used in both sports, and its prevalence in being put in pits with rats led to "pit" being added to its name.[4] With time, the dogs became more commonly domesticated due to their loyalty, loving and gentle nature with their owners.[5] In America, farmers and ranchers used their APBTs for protection, as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and to drive livestock.[6] The dog was used during World War I and World War II as a way of delivering messages on the battlefield.[5]
Once a popular family dog in the United States (such as the kids' pet dog in the Our Gang comedies), the American Pit Bull Terrier's popularity began to decline following World War II in favor of other breeds." -

Once again, poor breeding and people trying to take on the "badazz" mentality has ruined the bloodline and the great reputation these dogs once had. You still can find great APBT's that would never harm a human or another animal, but unfortunately you would never hear about it anyway because the media FEEDS off of the bad rep pit bulls get. If you made the APBT an extinct dog, these "rappers" and dog fighting a-holes would find another breed to ruin. I know there are "bad" pit bulls, but once again, it 99.9% of the time falls upon the owner and their stupidity for not knowing how to responsibly own and train a dog. I have known of labs and golden retrievers attacking people, but do you hear about those dog attacks? Nope. But like I said, most of these "pit bull" attacks are not even true APBT. They are Staffordshire bull terriers or American Staffordshire terriers and in some cases, I have personally known of people mistaking a BOXER, yes a BOXER as a pit bull. Too many people mislabel dog attacks as a pit bull and even when it ends up being another breed of dog, the media won't change it because pit bull attacks are what get views.


Article Comment oneswhodisagrees commented at 8/25/2011 7:48:00 PM:

Actually they don't have the worst bite, roscoe. You should research Irish Wolfhounds "the largest breed of dog" they have the potential to kill with one bite and not just maul you but you don't hear about these dogs becase as eiskalt has said people don't breed these dogs to be mean. I can take a chihauhau and make it meaner than any pit bull you will come across. That and a fiest is the only kind of dog that has ever bitten me.

Eiskalt-I totally agree with you! I had a pit bull in the past that had never had a litter of puppies and I rescued a kitten and this dog started producing milk and nursed the kitten back to health. At this time there was a lot in the news about pit bull bites and all this same mess. There was an animal control officer at that time who heard what my pit had done and wanted to run that story in the paper... BUT as you can imagine - the "papaer" didn't want that story! It's such a shame that the only thing you can read and hear about in the news is bad incidents. I honestly know how I feel about this issue and people who don't know really don't have a place to comment! The good dogs far out weigh the bad ones but you won't hear about the ones who save peoples lives and the ones who are nannys to peoples children... In my opinion, there are no bad dogs just bad owners and NO dog deserves to be put down just because of the breed!!!

If german shepards were such nice dogs do you really think they would be the ones chosen to be police dogs! Everyone should have to go through a process, just like buying a gun, to be able to own a dog of any kind. If you can't treat a dog right then you can't treat a kid right so you have no place having either!


Article Comment oneswhodisagrees commented at 8/25/2011 8:18:00 PM:

bottom line, all I am trying to say is that I don't disagree with the laws or this article. I just disagree with the fact that these laws are strcitly for these types of dogs. All dogs should be on a leash and have their vaccinations regardless of what kind of dog it it! that is what it means to be a dog owner!


Article Comment eiskalt commented at 8/25/2011 11:25:00 PM:

I agree One. I am glad they are putting a law in place for registering and vaccinating your dog, but it should NOT be restricted to just APBT or Rottweilers. That is unfair and if they are going to make a law about registering/vaccinating your dog in the city, it needs to be mandated for ALL DOG BREEDS. Funny how racists Columbus still is, even against dog breeds. If it was against a specific human race, you would be seeing all sorts of hell for just one race being "fined".


Article Comment eiskalt commented at 8/25/2011 11:40:00 PM:

Also, I dare everyone to take this little quiz. I bet you 99% of you will get the breed wrong. I am fairly decent with my dog breeds and I got it wrong twice before getting the right dog. So once again, this is why I say "pit bull" attacks are usually mislabeled. Hell dog owners think the have a pit bull a lot of the time and it ends up being some mix or a staffordshire, etc.


Article Comment roscoe p. coltrain commented at 8/26/2011 6:54:00 PM:

And how many Irish Wolfhounds have killed/mauled children in this country?

And your argument about a chihuahua is a joke. I don't care how mean it is it can't do damage. It certainly can't rip a child's face off or disfigure it.

The fact is, and remains so, of all dogs commonly found in this country, they lead the pack in severity of attack, most damage done, and deaths.

You can lipstick that pig all you want: it's still a pig.


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