Dogs Euthanized Following Attack - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/16/05

Dogs Euthanized Following Attack

One of the dogs. One of the dogs.
Some of the girl's wounds. Some of the girl's wounds.

A vicious pit bull attack in Effingham County last month has left a little girl physically and emotionally scarred. Now a judge has ordered that all four dogs be put to sleep.

They are called dangerous dogs for a reason. The ten-year-old has the scars and bite marks to prove it.

Tracy Smith, director of animal control for Effingham County, loves puppies. "They are sweet and cuddly and a pleasure to be around," she told us.

But not all of them. Smith sees the good dogs and the bad ones.

Just last month, four pit bulls were quarantined because one ripped the girl off her bike and the other three jumped on top her her, mauling, biting and causing serious physical and emotional harm.

"I truly believe it's all in the training and how they are treated as a puppy," said Smith.

Of the four dogs in question, two are adults and two are six-month-old puppies. All four pit bulls will be put to sleep today.

"I don't think there should be any chance for those dogs to hurt someone else," Judge Preston Exley told us.

Judge Exley says the pictures of the damage done to the girl speak loud and clear. "I looked at three or four, that was enough."

He says he gave the owners a chance to save the dogs and pay a $15,000 surety bond. Instead, they turned the dogs in and he ordered them to be euthanized.

"I feel terrible for the little girl," he said. "Hopefully she will get over it, if she ever will."

"It's very sad," said Smith.

Smith would rather be adopting dogs out than putting them to sleep. She says in this case, there was no other choice.

"As you can see, they are not very friendly, and when you walk up them, they are coming at you," she said of the dogs in question. "It is our responsibility to protect the public from these animals."

The four dogs were destroyed this morning at 10:30am.

Animal control says they are very careful about the dogs they adopt out and they have several good dogs who need homes.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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