Weslaco, TX 5-year-old killed in pit bull attack

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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:54 pm

Hidalgo County 5-year-old killed in pit bull attack



Associated Press



WESLACO — A 5-year-old boy has been mauled to death by a pit bull at the home where he was staying with relatives, said Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino.



The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Rosa Trevino told The Monitor in McAllen for today's editions that the condition of the child's body suggested there was no way emergency responders could have saved his life.



Sheriff's deputies were investigating at the home north of Weslaco late into the night on Wednesday. The sheriff said deputies must determine whether the dog had been confined and how the boy came into contact with the animal.



Sheriff Trevino declined to identify the boy pending notification of his mother, who lives and works in Washington state. The boy's father lives in Mexico.



The sheriff said the boy had been living with his aunt and uncle after Child Protective Services placed him with them. The circumstances of that placement were not immediately known.



Luis Palomo, 20, said he was down the street playing football with friends when the trouble began. He said the victim was at home with a baby sitter when one of two pit bulls at the house began running around the front yard, getting a second pit bull inside the home riled up.



He said that the baby sitter and boy were inside the house with the second dog and were scared, so he tried to intervene. While he managed to distract the dogs temporarily, the boy wandered out the back door and one of the dogs grabbed him by the torso and dragged him.



Palomo said that the dog locked its jaws around the boy's neck.



http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/met ... 45661.html

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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:55 pm

A quote from one of the investigating officers:



"These types of accidents can be prevented," Justice of the Peace Treviño said, cautioning the public about owning pit bulls.



"No one needs to keep these types of dogs," she said. "These dogs turn on you."



http://www.themonitor.com/articles/kill ... north.html




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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 3:59 pm

Fatal mauling reignites debate over pit bulls
June 20, 2008 - 12:04AM
Sara Perkins



WESLACO -- Hidden behind the tidy garden shed, far away from the picnic bench and playhouse in the wide, well-kempt yard, was Greco's den.



The 1 1/2-year-old pit bull, described by his owners as sweet and submissive, lived here under a roof of wooden pallets and played with the children of the house.



Until he killed Pablo.



Wednesday night, according to witnesses, Greco flew into a frenzied rage stoked by a passing dog and tackled 5-year-old Pablo Lopez, fatally mauling him in a powerful attack.



Thursday afternoon, Greco was Jekyll once again, wagging hopefully at a visitor to his quarantine kennel at the Palm Valley Animal Center, a private, nonprofit animal welfare agency in Edinburg. But the bloody wounds along the right side of his face and leg from a sheriff's deputy's shotgun blast were painful reminders that Hyde lurked within.



Lovers and loathers of the pit bull alike can play the attack in slow motion the next day and point to the warning signs and mistakes.



Pablo toddling out the door alone. Greco the dog, agitated by another animal. The den and the chain. The leap and the bite, the powerful jaw clamped down on the boy's neck. The screams.



Pit bulls are large, powerful, energetic dogs bred in the 1800s to fight other dogs. Since then, they have developed a reputation as hair-trigger fighters and guard dogs.

But owners say they can be loving companions.



Cyndee Kendrick, a teacher and animal obedience trainer in Edinburg, said her pit bull lives happily with four other dogs and is docile around small children.



"We have an 18-month-old grandchild who rides on his back," she said.



Kendrick and other pit bull fans say chaining the dog was the worst mistake made by Pablo's aunt and uncle, with whom he lived.



Chaining any animal makes it territorial rather than pack-oriented, Kendrick said.



"They say, ‘This is my territory - don't come near it,'" she explained.



"You never tie up a pit bull," said Jay Sheppard, a Mission pit bull breeder. "If you do ... when you get home you need to let that dog off the leash and make sure it can exercise and socialize."



Pit bull owners may be training their dogs to be aggressive without realizing it by playing games like tug-of-war, Kendrick said. Any game that encourages pit bulls to clamp their jaws and hang on mimics the aggression conditioning the dogs receive when they are trained for fighting.



Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said he has seen such training in action but that pit bulls also have an inherently dangerous temperament.



"Two weeks ago we responded to a call, and a pit bull attempted to attack one of my deputies and we shot him," the sheriff said Thursday. "Certainly that was not the first pit bull we'd shot, and it wouldn't be the last. Pit bulls are bred to attack and to kill."



"Now, I'm a dog lover and I've owned dogs all my life. But pit bulls are a different breed," he said. "If you had seen the injuries on this child and the manner of the attack, I think it's obvious the dog was trying to kill this child."



The board at the Palm Valley Animal Center, Hidalgo County's only open animal shelter, agrees and refuses to offer pit bulls for adoption, although many come through the back doors in the custody of animal control agencies and private owners.



"The thing about pit bulls (is that) the majority of them are probably fine," said Dr. Steve Bentsen, a veterinarian who serves on the shelter's board. "But it's hard to know which ones are fine."



There is just too much risk in adopting out a pit bull, he said, especially when there are too many adoptable dogs at the shelter for the number of people looking for pets. Palm Valley euthanizes hundreds of animals per week.



Bentsen said he vividly remembers watching two well-cared-for pet pit bulls break a truck window in their haste to rip apart a smaller dog outside a clinic. The creatures ignored five men working to separate them.



"It seems to be a switch that flips in them," he said. "Many (pit bulls) are quite lovable. Until you've seen one of these pit bull frenzies, you don't understand the problem."



"The fact is that some of them are unstable."



____

Sara Perkins covers Mission, western Hidalgo County, Starr County and general assignments for The Monitor. You can reach her at (956) 683-4472.


http://www.themonitor.com/news/pit_1340 ... greco.html



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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 4:00 pm

No charges expected in deadly pit bull attack

06/20/2008

Associated Press



The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office won't pursue charges against the owner of a pit bull that mauled the man's 5-year-old nephew to death, authorities said.



Investigators said they found no signs of negligence.



"The more we investigate, the more we believe it was just a tragic accident," Sheriff Lupe

Trevino told The Monitor in McAllen for its Wednesday editions. "We'll package our

investigation with my recommendation that no warrants be issued nor charges be filed."



Witnesses said that the pit bull, Greco, flew into a rage at a dog that was walking past the family's house Wednesday night and then tackled Pablo Lopez as he walked out the back door. Witnesses said the dog tore at the boy's torso and neck, quickly killing him.



"He never does this," said Pablo's uncle, Isaac Hernandez, the pit bull's owner. "All the time the dog is real nice, but this is the first time and the last time, too."



Authorities also seized another dog the family owns that is part pit bull.



"I hate them. I don't want to see no more pit bulls in my life," he said. "I thought they would protect me and my family."



Hernandez and his wife had been caring for five children, including Pablo, at the family's home north of Weslaco.



Pablo had been in their care for eight months. The boy's custodial guardian was actually his grandmother, who lives in the same home with them.



Family members and neighbors had said the boy's last name was Hernandez, but his surname on official documents is Lopez.



http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent ... NNFO1.html


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Postby cheekymunkee » June 20th, 2008, 4:06 pm

Witness Recalls Dog Attacking Boy
Thursday , June 19, 2008 Posted: 05:51 PM


PitBullAttackLatest_5pm.flv

Five-year-old killed



NEAR WESLACO - Hidalgo County deputies are investigating a vicious dog attack that claimed the life of a 5-year-old boy.



They tell us they expect to rule the death of Pablo Hernandez an accident. But the case is still ongoing.



The boy lived with his aunt and uncle. The family's pit bull attacked him last night at their home near Weslaco.



Witnesses have given different reports of the events leading up to the attack. There are still conflicting reports about whether the dogs were chained.



Beto Garcia was one of the witnesses. He lives down the street from the family. He tells NEWSCHANNEL 5 another dog provoked the pit bull.



"The dog that was walking through there made this dog mad, provoked it. So when the dog couldn't get the dog at the street, he came and jumped on the kid," says Garcia.



He tells us it happened very fast.



The pit bull and another of the family's dogs were quarantined at the Palm Valley Animal Shelter in Edinburg. They're expected to remain there for at least the next ten days or until the investigation wraps up.



Meanwhile, the 5-year-old's family is still struggling with the ordeal. The boy's uncle, Isaac Nieto, tells us how sorry he is about what happened.



He says they've had the dog for a year and a half. He tells us the 5-year-old would feed and bathe the animal.



Nieto adds the pit bull was meant to provide the family protection.



"We don't have lights on the street. We don't have cops, so I need to protect my family," he explains.



Pit bulls are known as a fighting breed. NEWSCHANNEL 5 spoke to a local veterinarian to get more information about them.



Dr. Sherry Mitchell works with Mission Veterinary Hospital. She tells us some pit bulls always need muzzles and others are friendly. But she says ultimately it's all in how the dog is raised.



"Were they raised to protect an environment? Were they raised to fight? We see a lot of fighting dogs down here too. And unfortunately that's the nature of the beast," she says.



Dr. Mitchell compared a pit bull's bite to getting your arm stuck in a car door. She says once they lock their jaw on something, it's hard to get them off.



http://www.newschannel5.tv/2008/6/19/99 ... acking-Boy

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Postby Tiger » June 20th, 2008, 10:04 pm

Redirected aggression - and a small child. How horrible. Why was no one out there WITH the child when he was in the yard with the dog? I love my dogs and they love children, but I would never, ever, even for one minute leave a child alone with one of my dogs. Not even with Player the Border Collie. EVER.

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Postby KJS » June 21st, 2008, 3:38 pm

Palomo said that the dog locked its jaws around the boy's neck


She says once they lock their jaw on something, it's hard to get them off.


So here we seem to have an owner and a trained Vet who know nothing about anatomy or cranial bone structure ...I have searched and searched on my dogs and can not sind a single place to fit a key for these supposed "locking" jaws thay have :?
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