MINNESOTA — An 8-year-old boy is recovering from an attack that required dozens of stitches.
Aharon Atlas says a large dog bit him in St. Paul last week and city leaders say this encounter should serve as a reminder for parents and dog owners.
|Victim describes being attacked|
Atlas only weighs 90 pounds. His mom says a female dog named Spirit, which weighs 120 pounds, attacked Atlas when he entered the downstairs apartment where the dog lives.
[NOTE: The Crookston Times identifies this dog as a Presa Canario]
|The Presa Canario being housed in quarantine|
Atlas has more than 50 small stitches in his face, but says he feels OK. He had this advice for other kids.
“When you go up to a dog, you always have to be aware of what might happen, so brace yourself,” he said.
Spirit’s owners say she is a gentle dog with kids in their family. They are afraid the dog might be put down when the city finishes its investigation of the incident.
“The dog plays with the baby,” said Sarah Wilhelm, daughter of the dog owner. “The dog will come let me know if the baby is crying.”
Wilhelm said whatever happens, the family wants to avoid putting the dog down.
“It’s about saving her life at this point,” she said. “My mom doesn’t necessarily want her any more, it’s just to the point of saving her life. We don’t want her put down.”
|When trying to offer a defense for your dog's aggressive behavior, |
it's always important to insist the dog loves YOUR kid
The city will keep Spirit in quarantine for 10 days and she may be released back to the family with requirements like micro-chipping, a fenced yard or a muzzle.
“Any dog can have problems. It’s all about being a responsible pet owner,” said Angie Wiese from the City of St. Paul.
Atlas and his mom both say they do not want Spirit to live in their building ever again.
Dog Declared Dangerous after Boy Bitten
Owner has 10 days to appeal order of destruction
ST PAUL, MN — The dog that attacked an 8-year-old boy last Friday in St. Paul has been declared dangerous by the city and is scheduled to be put down unless the owner appeals.
The dog bit Aharon Atlas after he knocked on a neighbor’s apartment door and entered the living room. Atlas needed 50 to 60 stitches on his face, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Police said the dog’s owner told them Spirit had nipped Atlas’ brother but had never bitten anyone before.
The victim’s mother, Kelly Heinl, said the dog had nipped her son, bitten another person and killed at least two cats.
Under St. Paul code, a dog is determined to be a dangerous animal if it has:
- Caused substantial bodily harm to any person on public or private property without provocation
- Engaged in any attack on any person which would indicate danger to personal safety without provocation
- Exhibited unusually aggressive behavior, such as attacking another animal and causing serious injury or death
- Bitten one or more persons on two or more occasions
- Been found to be potentially dangerous and the owner has knowledge of the animal aggressively biting, attacking or endangering humans or domestic animals
- Exhibited fresh wounds, scarring or is seen in a fight, or shows any other characteristics a that would reasonably constitute evidence that the animal has been or will be used to fight another animal.
The animal was impounded on April 22 after it was ordered seized for destruction.The owner has until May 11 to request a hearing to appeal, which would cost $50. If no hearing is requested, the dog will be put down.
(Fox 9 News - April 27, 2011)