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Child transported to hospital after being bitten by family dog

Tuesday, July 11, a Ferndale family’s 9-year-old boy was petting his recently adopted pet dog when, reportedly without warning, the boy was bitten by the dog according to Ferndale Police Lieutenant Bill Hatchett. The boy received puncture wounds around his face and was transported to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center for treatment.

The dog was picked up by animal control officers and quarantined at the Whatcom Humane Society.

The family had adopted a dog on July 9th from the Whatcom Humane Society. Hatchett described the dog as a 7-year-old pitbull mix.

Whatcom Humane Society (WHS) Executive Director Laura Clark said in an email the dog’s previous owner had stated the dog had nipped at small child who grabbed his tail. According to Clark, “due to the dog’s breed and the fact that he had exhibited behavior issues in his prior home,” 2 animal care staff at WHS conducted a behavior evaluation which the dog passed. Clark said, “while in our care, staff and volunteers noted he was a friendly, social dog” but noted in the assessment, “he was anxious and should not be placed in a home where he would be left along for long periods of time.”

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WHS also conducted a physical examination which reveal the dog “most likely suffered arthritis in his hips and back legs.” It was recommended the dog be given supplements or medication to help with the pain of this condition.

Clark said, “It is standard policy that all dogs and cats at the Whatcom Humane Society are given a physical examination and temperament/behavior assessment prior to being made available for adoption. The results of both the physical examination and temperament evaluation are included in the animals information write-up that is located on their kennel for the public to review.”

The dog is currently held at WHS in bite quarantine. “Due to the severity of the bite and the dog’s history, he will be humanely euthanized at the end of the quarantine period,” according to Clark.

Hatchett said there are no charges pending. Clark said the WHS has offered assistance to the family.

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  1. Tammy Pearce Tammy Pearce July 13, 2017

    I feel horrible for the poor innocent little boy and I hope he will not have any permanent scarring both physically and emotionally. But WHS and Laura Clark need to be held accountable. They KNEW this dog nipped a child before, regardless of the circumstances. This was a warning sign, yet they chose to over look it and conduct their own tests, that obviously were not accurate. This poor dog was in pain, and I don’t know anyone who is in pain who isn’t on edge. Now this poor dog will be put to death for WHS negligence. WHS need to be responsible for this child’s medical and if needed, mental health care. I also do not think this dog should be killed, he should be placed in a home with adults who are familiar with this kind of behavior. Everyone but WHS suffers, so wrong!

    • Concerned Citizen for Safer Neighbourhoods Concerned Citizen for Safer Neighbourhoods July 15, 2017

      These dogs aren’t surrendered because Family is moving etc.. Most of the time it’s due to biting, mauling, attacking innocent pets/children etc.
      These dogs should NEVER have been allowed to breed once Dog Fighting and Bull Baiting was stopped. Genetics are/will ALWAYS be passed along regardless of how many “varieties” have been added/diluted to these dogs.
      What sole purpose do they provide that NO other more stable, secure Registered AKC breeds of dogs offer???

      NONE!! Their original SOLE PURPOSE was to genetically engineer the “strongest, fearless, pain intolerant, heaviest bone and muscle dog” to be able to grab/latch on, hold an adult bull to allow the Butcher/Farmer etc to insert the nose ring. During the same time period late 1800’s in England they were popular with the Dog Fighting Rings. When the Sport of Dog Fighting became illegal these dogs SHOULD have been destroyed went “underground” to continue dog fighting.
      Today, they still possess those same traits their original ancestors did. ANYONE,Shelter, Rescue should ALL be 100% responsible for damages done to the victims.
      With all of the information readily available there’s ZERO excuses for these dogs to be in homes/communities or anywhere else especially where children reside.
      Sharks swim in the Ocean and when there are Shark sightings swimmers are warned/told to get out of the water..What’s the difference with these Pits/Pit Mixes?? NONE.. Sharks swim in water-Pits/Pit Mixes land..Both offer equal destruction/horrific damages when they attack.

    • Tammy Pearce Tammy Pearce July 15, 2017

      I have a very good friend who works at WHS, the child sustained “superficial injuries”, but as usual people read Pit Bull G and again the breed is being demonized. Its unconfirmed, but my friend was told by others at WHS the family didn’t add that they had minors on their application. The dog is still alive and has 5 more days to go until euthanized. Friend said this dog is so sweet and gentle. All animals are capable of turning on us, I know 2 labs that are vicious, and I know three people who were brutally attacked by a cat. I love all animals and like humans need to be judged on an individual bases.

      • Shea Rodriguez Shea Rodriguez July 16, 2017

        What part of this dog has bitten 2 children is hard to understand. There are millions of perfectly suitable dogs for family pets being euthanized every year to make way for these maulers with a history of biting to be “rehabilitated” and pushed back onto the unsuspecting adopters. This dog should have been euthanized after its first bite. It’s a dog! An animal that has been given “rights.”

      • Nicholas valentine Nicholas valentine July 17, 2017

        Fact : Pit Bulls kill people . Fact : Labradores do not kill people .

  2. M Fox M Fox July 13, 2017

    Whatcom Humane Society here in Bellingham is a good organization and It appears they did everything right in this situation. Dogs are animals and can be unpredictable. Pit Bulls are known to have their own issues. Personally I would never own a Pit Bull because when something goes wrong it’s usually very wrong. I just wouldn’t sign up for that kind of liability. There are plenty of breeds of dogs that are a better choice for a family dog. I hope this young boy heals up quick and put this incident behind him. If you watch any of the court TV shows and there is a case of a dog bite about 90% of the time a Pit Bull is involved. Even the judges comment about it.

    • ANONYMOUS ANONYMOUS July 13, 2017

      I have a pit bull and she has never shown aggression, everyone is fast to blame the breed. When I was 6 years old I was bit by a dog on my face and had to get reconstruction surgery, it was not by a pit bull it was done by a lab. Usually a dog bite is provoked as well whether on purpose or an accident… mine was an accident.

    • Anon Anon July 13, 2017

      You’re seriously misinformed if you think that pit bulls as a breed have ant more “issues” than any other breed. Did you know that up until they gained noteriety as fighting dogs (due to their intelligence and loyalty and eagerness to please their owners, not due to any inherent aggression, by the way – fighting dogs are trained through abuse and starvation, they aren’t born fighting dogs, and many have been rehabilitated and rehomed after being rescued, so even a past as a fighting dog in an individual level does not necessarily mean that a dog is not fit to be a pet to the right owner), they were primarily used and known as nanny dogs? Yep. Those big scary pit bulls with their issues used to be THE go-to family dog. Pit bulls, typically, are wonderful with children, and don’t have any more inherent issues than any other breed. Chihuahuas and Jack Russell terriers are FAR more categorically aggressive than pit bulls are, but pit bulls have a reputation (by no fault of their own) that gets perpetuated every time a story like this goes around. This is an unfortunate situation and I feel bad for the boy but the blame and fault here is and should be on the humane society for allowing this dog to be adopted into a family that was clearly not a good fit, and on the parents for adopting a dog that had a history of problems with children and/or not teaching their child how to properly interact with a dog so as not to get bit. The fault here is not on the dog or the breed as a whole; it was a set of negligent and avoidable circumstances that unfortunately are only going to perpetuate the idea that pit bulls are somehow more dangerous than any other breed. Let’s not go pointing fingers where they don’t belong, please.

      • Sandra Dee Sandra Dee July 13, 2017

        When a chihuahua nips you may need a band aid.When a pit mauls,you need life-flight.Sometimes you will need a body bag.And they were NEVER known as nanny

      • KR Stone KR Stone July 13, 2017

        Pit bulls were never nanny dogs. Never. That is a myth perpetrated by pit bull people in order to soften the reputation of the dogs with the general public.

      • Concerned Citizen for Safer Neighbourhoods Concerned Citizen for Safer Neighbourhoods July 15, 2017

        Every time some Pit Lover tries to use “The Nanny Dog” line I want to strap them down in a chair and make them see ALL the FACTS regarding these dogs and the lies that were told about these dogs being “Nanny Dogs” to try and help relax the known truths about these dogs as Shelters were euthanising more of this breed than any others which led to a “re-branding” of these maulers.
        These dogs are SO different than any other breed..They’re GENETICALLY bred to NOT show outward signs of impending attack. They don’t “wag ” their tails happily only when ready to attack to “surprise” opponent.. Heavily muscled jaws that tighten around the jaw hinge to prevent it from opening/losing grip on victim. Pain receptors are triggered into a “pleasure sensation” allowing further strengths to be used in attack..ONLY known Breed of dog that requires a “break stick” to wedge it between it’s jaws to pry dogs mouth open.. They don’t bite and let go, they grab, hold and firmly shake head from side to side..Their grip/bite doesn’t freely release until the victim is lifeless, not moving, dead.. Even it’s bone structure and head is so heavy it’s almost impenetrable which is why a 2×4 could be broken over its head and dog still holds victim. Yes..I guess the Media, Insurance Companies, Law Enforcement, Historians, Drs/Pediatricians and MANY more people DON’T know their facts or truths about these Bully Breeds.. The “Nanny Dog”Myth was from 1 Author who wrote a book..Wow..I’m sure glad your knowledge is so broad based!!

  3. Summer Summer July 13, 2017

    WHS Knew that this dog was in pain and needed recomended medicine. They used poor judgment that lead to a child being seriously hurt and a innocent dog to be murdered. They actually blamed the dog; And plan to murder him! Really..did he somehow sign those papers? If he could of done that….”I would like a nice forever home. Please..I have some issues and need a home to fit my needs.”

    • Sandra Dee Sandra Dee July 13, 2017

      They don’t plan to MURDER,they plan to euthanize.This animal should not be allowed in any home in any neighborhood.Human beings and their safety still comes first.

      • Spencer Spencer July 14, 2017

        My PITBULL came from a rescue organization and she WAS a fighting dog. She now lives with a mini Australian shepherd and has kids around her all the time. We would trust her with children over our aussie ANY day. There are ignorant people in this world like you Sandra Dee that assume this “breed” is horrible and should be banned everywhere. They are loving and caring dogs. If I had a child and my dog bit them in the face they were more than likely doing something wrong to piss the dog off and just because their bite is bigger and stronger than a toddler they are automatically assumed to be trying to kill the kid. It truly is sad. I agree that humans safety comes first but I dont believe this dog should be euthanized because it wasnt properly taken care of by its owners. That dog is THEIR responsibility just as much as their child is their responsibility.

      • momofthree momofthree July 17, 2017

        Spencer, you sound exactly like all of the other pit bull owners that are shocked when their beloved pibble bites someone’s face off or eats their cat. “He’s never done anything like that before!”

        If either of my dogs bit a child, provoked or not, and any sort of blood was drawn, the dog would be put down. I probably won’t have this issue as a researched my labs bloodlines extensively and the other dog weighs 10 pounds and is very sweet.

        Statistics are not on your side.

  4. Sandra Dee Sandra Dee July 13, 2017

    No charges pending,but i do hope this family gets a lawyer.This was no kind of dog to go home with children.Until these shelters get real about the animals in their care this will keep happening.By the way Pitbulls were NEVER known as nanny dogs,that is breed propaganda from the 70’s.And yes,they are born aggressive it’s known as genetics.Looks like some folks need to start doing some homework,starting with the humane society.

  5. Merritt Clifton Merritt Clifton July 13, 2017

    No amount of socialization or loving care can change the basic behavioral traits for which dog types have been bred for centuries, including pit bulls, who are so named because their primary purpose has for more than 400 years been fighting in pits. Former hunting beagles & hounds, ex-racing greyhounds, reservation dogs, & street dogs from the developing world all tend to range from under-socialized to completely unused to having any human contact, yet are practically never dangerous (unless rabid), & if they bite at all, deliver a warning nip, then retreat. Pit bulls, on the other hand, tend to be dangerous no matter how well they are socialized, and in a lifetime of being around dogs & shelter work, I have yet to see any authentic, tangible or statistical evidence that a physically mature dog who displays dangerous traits ever really becomes safe, with any amount of love and training. On the contrary, my log of nearly 5,000 fatal & disfiguring attacks in the U.S. & Canada since 1982 includes mostly attacks by dogs who were well-socialized household pets, quite the opposite from under-socialized or un-socialized dogs who run away from people. 55% of the fatal attacks and 74% of the disfiguring attacks have been by pit bulls, who were only 1% of the dog population when I started and are still only 5%. Socialization did not overcome these pit bulls’ tendencies toward hyper-reactivity, a grip-and-shake bite mode (as opposed to the warning nip), an abnormally heightened “prey drive”, and resistance to being called off or otherwise dissuaded from continuing an attack, once launched. All of these are breed-specific characteristics, innate to pit bulls, immutable to “rehabilitation” and “remedial” training because they are NOT defects resulting from bad upbringing at all. Rather, they are the very traits of “gameness” that have been prized for centuries by pit bull breeders.

  6. Jess Jess July 13, 2017

    I have a pitbull who is the sweetest dog I have ever had-over golden retrievers even. He is snuggly, obedient, and loves all other dogs and people. He is currently also in training to be a therapy and rehabilitation dog. I am deeply saddened by people’s bullying of the Pit breed here. It sounds like it was a very false judgement of the dogs character and potential health hazards. He must have been in pain, scared or provoked to lash out in such a way. Especially given that he was in a brand new home. The family chose to take him home. He must have been deemed safe to be taken to a new home as well. It’s not his fault that humans made the mistake of misinterpreting his behavior, medical issues, past, etc. Pit bulls are not all aggressive. Compassion and true understanding CAN make a difference. They were known as nanny dogs. In fact, what most people ignore is that in popular tv shows of the past-including “Little rascals” for example, the family dog is a pit bull! They were a popularized family dog that has only recently been bullied and labeled as aggressive. I am deeply sorry for the pain this child and family is going though, but at the same time, if anyone knows of an organization or rescue that would be willing to TRULY re-evaluate and rehabilitate this dog- preventing it from being put down due to human mistakes-please speak up!! Don’t bully a breed!!!

    • Lisa Lisa July 20, 2017

      yep. They are hypocrites one and all.

  7. Jess Jess July 13, 2017

    Cesar Millan:
    “But when I hear people talk, I realize that they’re complicating this by dividing the world of dogs into breeds and then projecting characteristics onto them. And that is never more true than when you hear the words “pit bull.”
    I’m here to tell you, though, that a pit bull is no more likely to unpredictably attack than any other breed. That’s a fact. To say that a pit is a natural-born killer is nothing more than stereotyping.

    We don’t have a problem with the breed — we have a problem with education. And until we change people’s attitudes, pit bulls are going to have problems. There are more pit bulls in shelters than any other breed, they’re less likely to be adopted, and they’re far more likely to be euthanized.”

    • Lisa Lisa July 20, 2017

      GOOD. Spay/ neuter/ euthanize into oblivion.

  8. Sarah Sarah July 14, 2017

    This pisses me off, now the dog will be punished, the child will live with a fear of dogs, and the breed will be demonized. All because they didn’t care to listen to the previous owners and take the precautions they should have. This dog has arthritis, so is in pain daily…that makes dogs grumpy, the dog has been known to nip at children….WHY WAS THIS DOG IN A HOME WITH CHILDREN? WHS screwed up here, they need to be held accountable, they seriously let this dog down. They were told he didn’t like children, they knew he was in pain, but completely ignored all of that and let him go to a home with a child. I really hope this little boy heals quickly from his physical injuries as well as his emotional ones. My heart goes out to that child, and my heart breaks for this dog who has been let down by people his whole life, and will now be murdered because of it. Everyone who was suppose to love him and make sure he was properly cared for, turned their backs on him….now he will pay for that. This is sad and disgusting.

  9. Leon Leon July 14, 2017

    Sue the pants off the humane society they know full well pit bulls are dangerous…no different then giving a child a loaded gun

    • Beck Beck July 14, 2017

      That is a bit of stretch there Leon.

      • Lisa Lisa July 20, 2017

        no, it is entirely accurate.

  10. Page Williams Page Williams July 14, 2017

    1) In Houston, where I live, pit bulls are at the top of the domestic animal attack Top Ten – tho personally I have met more sweet pit bulls than aggressive – and our animal control releases unknown number of feral cats thru Trap/Neuter/Re-abandon although domestic SHORT hair felines are #3 on Top Ten and domestic MEDIUM hair cats are #10 on Top Ten.
    2) Why would parents of a young child adopt a middle-age dog capable of killing their child??
    3) Humane Society should have not adopted dog to family with child due to history.

  11. Jess Jess July 14, 2017

    Keiser Sose-
    Have you ever been a pitbull parent? If not, what makes you entitled enough to make such assumptions? Is there not anything more productive to spend a day doing than bullying a dog breed and the people who have the human decency to give them the loving homes they absolutely deserve as a LIVING BEING.

    • Lisa Lisa July 20, 2017

      First, get a life. If Keiser Sose could be a pit bull “parent” he would be a bitch, and have 4 legs, or a dog. I love animals, more than almost any and every human I know, but we ARE HUMAN, they are ANIMAL, and we are not their ”parents” nor can we be, yet, anyway. Stop anthropormorphising, it does animals a huge disservice. I did rescue pits, OWN pits, and was given pits. I am sorry for ANY person I inadvertently put in harms way, and would euthanize any pit that I was given. They are not safe. Through no fault of their own, it IS a total abomination of IN-HUMANE creation by man (and some women) but that is NOT relevant any more. They are ALWAYS nice, until they aren’t. It is ALWAYS a shock when the pit does what pits do, KILL. It should NOT be a shock, it is what it is. They need to be spayed/neuthered/ euthanized into oblivion. It would be the kindest and most humane end for them ALL. THEY can not change what they are, any more than a human can ”love it out of them”.

  12. Lisa Lisa July 15, 2017

    So it was perfectly OK for this shelter to knowingly adopt out a dog who attacked a human prior?
    What horrible people!

    • Lisa Lisa July 20, 2017

      exactly. Anyone who supports that is clearly several sandwiches short of a picnic.

  13. Balmy Jones (nom de guerre) Balmy Jones (nom de guerre) July 15, 2017

    Humane society dopes… re-homing a known vicious (previous bites) dog… a pit bull for gosh sake!…
    what could go wrong?
    Next mauling victim!

  14. momofthree momofthree July 17, 2017

    Keiser, Suzanne was killed in NC not SC. It was my hometown and that dog was a well-raised, purposely bred Am.Bull/pit mix. She got it from a local couple that needed to rehome the “big baby” because he was being scary with the smaller dog in the household.

    She left behind a disabled daughter that had to be institutionalized. Suzanne’s facebook page was FULL of pro-pit fluff pieces along with a lot of Pit Bulls and Parolees stuff.

    That dog actually was pulled off her in the beginning of the attack, and she might have survived, but he broke THROUGH the bathroom door and ripped her throat out. It was like being hunted by a velociraptor.

    Its crazy that people only believe what they want to about pit bulls. They need to be spayed and neutered into extinction and they should NEVER be adopted out of shelters or rescues.

    • Lisa Lisa July 20, 2017

      THEY NEED TO BE SPAYED /NEUTERED, & EUTHANIZED INTO OBLIVION. and I used to rescue them. I know better now. They all need to be deaded. Period.

  15. jody zizzi jody zizzi July 17, 2017

    You have spoken so well on this thread, that I thought I would see if you are on Fb. Is that not a pit bull, or pit mix on your fb page?

    • Joe Mamma Joe Mamma July 20, 2017

      LOL, I’m pretty sure he is not the real Keyser Soze (a character from the Usual Suspects). So whose fb page are you looking at?

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