considering how many dog breeds there are and what small percentage of all dogs are pit bulls. better to disallow dog ownership when it can’t be done responsibly.
MANCHESTER — Police have deemed a 1-year-old pit bull terrier dangerous and will push for it to be euthanized after it exhibited increasingly aggressive and unpredictable behavior and last week severely bit a child.
The male terrier named Dusty has been quarantined at the Manchester Animal Shelter since the Sept. 1 attack on an 8-year-old boy who lives with his mother in the same Rimmon Street apartment as the dog’s owners, police said.
Jennifer Hickcox, the dog’s owner, said she spoke with an animal control officer Friday morning and expected to meet with him today. She was not sure yet about the dog’s future. Police say Hickcox can either voluntarily surrender the dog to be euthanized or let a court decide.
“Nobody is going to have contact with that dog again,” Police Lt. Maureen Tessier said.
The boy who was bit last week went to the hospital for sutures and treatment of a serious laceration and puncture wounds to his upper arm, Tessier said.
It was the latest of five incidents in which, since March, the pit bull, a non-neutered male, either bit its owners or others who live with them, Tessier said.
Since the prior incidents could be attributed at least in part to “horsing around” or “commotion” in the home, they were handled with in-house quarantines, Tessier said. The dog is up to date on its vaccinations and is properly licensed, she said.
But last week’s attack differed in that it appeared the dog bit the child without provocation, Tessier said. The dog, which was under house quarantine at the time as a result of an Aug. 21 attack on the owner’s 15-year-old daughter, bit the boy when he was in the stairwell of the home.
“The dog is exhibiting behavior that makes him dangerous,” Tessier said Friday. “Based on the history of the dog, it’s gotten progressively worse.”
Manchester Police Animal Control Division intends to pursue a vicious dog complaint and seek a court order to have the dog euthanized if the owner does not agree to voluntarily surrender the dog for euthanasia, Tessier said.
“The dog has proven itself to be unpredictable and even a danger and we don’t want to take that chance anymore,” she added.
A pit bull attack on another dog last March prompted that dog’s owner to ask aldermen to increase fines for vicious dogs, require them to wear muzzles outside and create a public data base to track them. The matter went before the aldermen’s Public Safety Committee where it was tabled.