Pit bulls have a reputation for being vicious and unpredictable. These dogs are generally considered a dangerous breed.
Recently, two dogs attacked a 52-year-old Waukesha woman. Both dogs involved in the vicious attacks were pit bulls, one male and one female. The dog which was considered to be the main aggressor, a two-year-old male pit bull, was shot during the incident. The other dog, a seven-year-old female pit bull, was tranquilized and has been in quarantine for the past two weeks.
The attack occurred when the woman, who is the mother-in-law of the owner of the two pit bulls, tried to put one of the dogs in the crate. The other dog then attacked her. A neighbor, who heard screams for help came to the rescue, but was also attacked by the vicious dogs.
Currently, under Wisconsin law, the dog can be returned to its owner and there is no way to prevent that from happening. However, because of obvious safety concerns from neighbors about the release of the seven-year-old quarantined pit bull, officials most likely will require its owner to comply with taking preventative steps so that another such dog attack will not occur. Specifically, under the city ordinance where the dog owner lives, vicious animals must always be secured by the owner and securely muzzled and restrained.
The owner of the dog is responsible for the personal injuries caused by both of her dogs, along with penalties from the city. In addition, under Wisconsin law, if the dog's owner agrees to restrain and muzzle the dog, and somehow the dog bites again, the owner will be responsible to pay double the damages.
Although this type of mauling by a dog in this area has been rare, even one such occurrence is too much. Perhaps it is time for Wisconsin to consider restricting pit bulls and other such dangerous breeds. Even still, any animal can bite and no law would be able to prevent that. Once an animal has bitten, then maybe as a public safety measure, legislation could be adopted to focus on more severe consequences for owners of such vicious animals.
Source: WaukeshaPatch, "Humane Official: Biting Animals Ordinance Would Be Positive Outcome of Sad Situation," Amy Gilgenbach, 15 July 2011