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In and Out of Media Focus: Dog Bites

It has happened here in Wisconsin and it happens elsewhere, too: after a vicious incident or two of dog bites, the media focuses attention on the problem. And then that attention fades and many people forget about the issue until the media refocuses on it.

That very phenomenon is taking place in South Carolina, where the media is suddenly refocused on dog bites after two recent pit bull attacks on children.

Experts there are saying the problem with that breed rests mainly with the people who own the dogs and how they train them and treat them.

A dog behavior expert for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told The State, a leading South Carolina newspaper, that if the animals have been taught to be aggressive, or have been neglected, they can become dangerous.

He said the focus shouldn't be on the breeds of dogs nearly as much as it should be on the behavior of owners. After all, it is the owners who are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their animals.

In the two dog bite cases there, a 10-year-old girl was attacked outside a home and a 13-year-old boy was attacked while walking with a friend. Both children are recovering from their injuries, according to The State.

The boy's injuries were to his face, legs and an arm.

The location of the girl's injuries wasn't reported, though the newspaper did state that a deputy sheriff shot and killed the dog while it was attacking the girl.

Resource: The State: "Local dog attacks put focus on pit bulls": January 15, 2011

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