Ellwood child bitten by dog
By Eric Poole, Calkins Media
Published: Monday, June 30, 2008 9:39 PM EDT
ELLWOOD CITY, PENNSYLVANIA — A 2-year-old Ellwood City child was treated at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Wednesday after being bitten in the face by a dog.
Ellwood City police said the child, who was not identified, was bitten by a dog described as a chow/pit bull mixed breed around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at a home along the 300 block of Pittsburgh Circle.
The child was in the home of a family friend, who owned the dog, at the time. The dog’s owner also has not been named.
After being bitten, police said the child was taken to Ellwood City Hospital and then to Children’s Hospital.
The bite opened a cut about 2 inches long and requiring 20 stitches to close, police said.
Ellwood City police chief of operations Richard McDonald said the dog had been quarantined, although it wasn’t clear whether its owner still had the animal, or if it was being held by the borough’s animal control officer, Rochelle Wawrzynski.
Any time a child is around an animal, even a friendly dog, parents should take precautions, said Dr. Cindy Maro, a veterinarian at the Ellwood Animal Hospital on Lawrence Avenue.
Maro said parents need to know exactly what kind of temperament a dog has before exposing it to a small child and watch the interaction to ensure the child doesn’t accidentally do something to provoke the dog.
“I think it’s a great idea to have a dog evaluated by an animal behaviorist before you have a toddler around it,” she said.
Last Wednesday’s biting incident involved a mixed-breed dog that is part chow and part pit bull, which both have reputations for attacking people.
Maro said it isn’t fair to characterize an entire breed on the actions of a few dogs. But she acknowledged that chows, for one, tend to be protective of their owners and homes.
“They certainly will try to guard the families,” Maro said.
Ellwood City police said the injured child’s mother called the dog aggressive and that she thought it might have bitten someone on a previous occasion.
Wawrzynski said the dog is being quarantined at the home of its owner, who was issued a citation for not having a dog license. No other charges will be filed, she said, because the reports by the child's mother about other biting incidents turned out to be false.
The animal won't be designated as a vicious dog, Wawrzynski said.
Eric Poole can be reached online at epoole@....
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