Attack Dogs

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

A citation is about all officers can do. For Harriston residents, that's not good enough.

"He's just bit a boy-the rescue squad's taken him to the hospital."

"Every time I go to the mailbox nine times out of 10 he comes out in the road after me if I hadn't took off running I'm sure he would have bit me," Vernon Frazier says.

This is the pit bull in question-looks nice, right? Maybe not.

"They're chasing children and just about anybody who drives up and down 340 and they're attacking them," Dion Bailey says.

"I've had no problem with him. He's never been a vicious dog? No!" Van Whiting, the dog's owner, says.

Not according to neighbors, they've called the animal warden numerous times.

"He's given them two citations but it doesn't seem to amount to a lot," Bailey says.

That's because it doesn't, each citation is only a $25 fine.

"They need to have stiffer penalties to make em wake up and know their dog is vicious," Eckard says.

Once the dog bites someone a court summons can be issued, even then it's hard to have something done.

"The most common problem is we have these pit bulls or any dogs running large it's neighbors against neighbors and we can't get the neighbors to come in and testify," Eckard says.

Today's bite is allegedly the third this week, but other neighbors wouldn't go to court, Dion Bailey's ready to go and could come back with a permanent solution.

"If it was him then he'll have to be put down I don't believe in a dog that bites," Whiting says.

"I'd hate to see somebody have to die before this dog gets contained," Bailey says.

The dog's owner got a citation for letting it run at large. For a citation to be issued the incident must take place off the owner's property. Extended Web Coverage

Dog Attack Statistics

  • 4.7 million dog bites are reported in the U.S. annually

  • 800,000 dog bites require medical attention each year

  • Reported dog bites have increased 37 percent since 1990

  • For every dog bite fatality, there are 670 hospitalizations

  • Children are the most frequent victims

  • Children are most frequently bitten in the face and neck area

  • Boys ages five to nine are bitten most frequently

  • 334,000 dog bites require emergency room visits

  • Dog attacks cost society about $1 billion each year

  • Insurance companies pay about $250 million each year in dog bite case claims

  • State Farm Insurance alone processes more than 14,000 dog bite claims each year

  • More than 7,000 U.S. Postal carriers report being bit by a dog each year

Sources: contributed to this report

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