Sunday, August 26, 2001

Illinois: South Side tot hurt in pit bull mauling; owner Gregory Joseph given a ticket

ILLINOIS -- A 2 1/2-year-old boy was mauled and severely injured by a pit bull Friday in the second dog attack against an Englewood child in three days.

Tyshawn Cherry was playing with his older brother and three sisters in his front yard in the 1400 block of West 73rd Place about 10:20 a.m. when an adult pit bull squeezed through a gap in the chain-link fence, said family members and neighbors who saw the attack.

"The dog pushed him down, started biting his hair off, then started scratching his face," said Christine Cherry, 11, the boy's sister. "Then he bit his leg and started pulling him everywhere. Everybody was saying, `Get it off of him, get it off of him.' But they couldn't get it off."

Robert Langston, 55, was sitting on his porch next door and ran into the yard after hearing the children screaming. Another neighbor handed Langston an iron pipe, which he used to beat the dog.

Langston said it didn't appear the children had provoked the dog.

Tyshawn was freed from the dog, witnesses said, when a man who lives on the same block jumped over the fence, pried the dog's teeth from the boy's head and threw the dog over the fence.

The toddler was taken to Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was listed in serious condition Friday afternoon, a hospital spokesman said.

The man who pried the dog off the boy, Gregory Joseph, 26, was cited for failing to restrain and license a dog, said Sgt. John Brundage of the Englewood District.

Animal control officers never found the dog, which had run toward Joseph's house. Neighbors said they saw Joseph take off his shirt, wrap it around the bloody dog, and then put the dog in a green SUV that was driven away from his house.

(Chicago Tribune - August 25, 2001)

Tuesday, August 7, 2001

Rhode Island: City of Pawtucket requires pit bull owners to get insurance

RHODE ISLAND — Pawtucket city leaders are requiring owners of pit bull breeds and Rottweilers to get insurance for their pets.

An amendment to the city's dog ordinance passed by the city council earlier this month mandates owners purchase $25,000 in liability insurance for each dog.

The law applies to pit bulls of mixed breed, or those identified as American pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers or American Staffordshire terriers.

There have been several pit bull attacks in Pawtucket in the past year, including incidents last summer when a Chihuahua was killed, and a woman, mail carrier and elderly man were attacked.

Last month, a pit bull was shot dead in Foster after it gnawed through a screen window and attacked a golden retriever.

Nationwide, pit bulls are blamed for 66 of the 238 cases between 1979 and 1998 in which people suffered fatal dog bites, according to a study published last year in the journal Veterinary Medicine Today.

Rottweilers were blamed in 39 fatal dog-bite cases, the study said.

(Insurance Times - August 7, 2001)