The Virginian Pilot reported this morning that a 7 month old baby was viciously attacked by a pit bull at his babysitter’s home. According to reports, the pit bull attacked the baby at around 7:40 a.m. this morning. The boy suffered severe facial and neck injuries and was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where he is listed in critical condition, according to a news release from Newport News police.
The dog, which belonged to the babysitter, was surrendered to animal control officers and euthanized. The dog, a neutered male not quite two years old, will be tested for rabies. However, the dog’s rabies vaccination was current and the dog had no previous history with Animal Services, the police news release said. Dog owners often do not realize their pet’s have violent tendencies until something like this happens. People tend to forget that all dogs can become vicious without warning.
It is important that parents and caregivers recognize the risk of leaving children unattended around animals. According to DogsBite.org, 23 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2008. Pit bull type dogs were responsible for 65% (15). Pit bulls make up approximately 2-9% of the U.S. dog population.