Attack on toddler reignites pit bull safety debate - KMSP-TV

Attack on toddler reignites pit bull safety debate

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ATLANTA -

Dogs are often called man's best friend, but under certain circumstances, they can turn violent.  Last month, a 2-year-old College Park boy was attacked and killed by his family's pit bull, and that reignited a debate over the safety of the breed.

A study shows that just last year, dogs killed 38 people, and that pit bulls were responsible for more than half of those deaths.  

Pit bulls are known for their fierce stance, muscular build and even for the affection they give.  But in an instant, things can change.  Police say the deadly attack on that 2-year-old child was fast and fatal.  The pit bull had been his family's pet for eight years before he mauled the child.

Aimee Davis founded Pitties in the City, a group that tries to teach pit bull owners the right way to train their dogs.  She says pit bulls are not born killers or aggressors.  She says just like with any other dog breed, the owner creates the behavior.  

Davis says some owners exploit pit bulls as gladiators, possibly owning them for purposes of illegal dog fighting or to protect homes where drugs are being stored.  

While it's not clear what triggered the attack in College Park, Davis says there is a difference between bad dogs and bad owners.

Davis also says children can startle the dogs without meaning to.  

"It's not the dog's fault," she said.  "We create what they are going to become."

Davis believes that any dog which is not properly trained is capable of attacking.  She says owners should never leave children alone with any dog.

Pitties in the City is working with pit bull owners to try and end the cycle of treating them like they are aggressive dogs.  

For more on Pitties in the City, click here for a link to their website!

To learn more about education for pit bull owners, click here!

The Pick-A-Pit Adoption Fair will happen June 8 from 11 am – 3 pm at Chastain Park in Atlanta.  For details on the event, click here!

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