As a pit bull attack in Mamaroneck Sunday sparks questions about the safety of the breed, the incident more accurately reflects “a dog owner problem, not a ‘pit bull’ problem,” a local animal expert said.
“This dog obviously had an owner that was not caring for the dog in a responsible manner,” said Dana Rocco, manager of the New Rochelle Humane Society shelter. “The fault lies there, not with the breed of dog.”
The incident occurred around 7:50 a.m. Sunday on the 400 block of North Barry Avenue where the dog, owned by an acquaintance of the victim, followed the man out of a house before attacking him, according to Mamaroneck Village Police Det. Sandra DiRuzza.
Police, responding to 911 calls, found the man in the middle of the street being bitten by the dog, which did not respond to a bystander’s attempt to stop the attack using a large stick, she said.
Police shot and wounded the dog, which was later euthanized at the owner’s request, DiRuzza said. The victim was treated at a hospital for multiple bite wounds and released.
Rocco, however, said incidents involving pit bulls, formally known as Staffordshire terriers, stem more from the way people train and handle the dogs than the breed itself.
“If the owner were a responsible pet owner, they would have not allowed their dog to be off leash with the opportunity to injure someone,” she said.
“When we focus on the breed of dog and not on the problem itself we lose the opportunity to solve the problem.”
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