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Great article with stats... dog bites

Sheriffmom
November 2nd, 2004, 09:48 PM
Dog-maul inquest wins local support



By KATIE CHALMERS, STAFF REPORTER




Winnipeg animal groups are backing the recommendations of an inquest launched after a four-year-old New Brunswick boy was mauled to death by three Rottweilers last year. The inquest by Dr. Norma C. Guy of the Atlantic Veterinary College includes recommendations for municipalities, doctors, veterinarians and parents on how to better protect children from being bitten or even killed by a dog.

SUDDENLY ATTACKED

James Waddell was alone in the backyard of his home near Saint John when Rottweilers owned by a family friend suddenly attacked the toddler.

"The tragic incident leading up to this report was a wake-up call to all dog owners, animal professionals and parents. It can happen anywhere without warning," said Tim Dack of Winnipeg's Animal Services agency.

In 2003, there were 166 reported dog-bite cases in Winnipeg. German shepherd-crosses were the culprits in 38 of those cases while the second-most prevalent biters were Labrador retriever-crosses.

The victims include kids and several service workers such as postal carriers and meter readers. Yet most dogs involved were known to the victims, Dack said.

There have been 37 reported dog bite cases so far this year. Outside city limits, three-year-old Travis Justin Colomb was fatally mauled by up to six of his grandmother's 15 pet German shepherd-crosses in Nelson House in October, 2003.

The New Brunswick inquest recommendations include socializing a dog before age one, never leaving pre-school-age children alone with a dog and early-age neutering.

The report also urged municipalities to adopt and follow dangerous dog legislation.

The only illegal breed in Winnipeg are pitbulls. When the ban was launched in 1990, those owners who already owned a pitbull were able to keep them.

Today there are only two legal pitbulls left but other unregistered ones still turn up, Dack said.