Pit Bull Attacks Children After One Day With Family

(NECN: Lauren Collins) - Within one day of getting a pit bull on Craigslist, Manchester Police says the dog attacked two children.

Everyone connected with the incident, parents, police and the local shelter are upset not only because kids were hurt, but because they're worried how this incident will feed what they say is an ill conceived stereotype. They say any dog could have just as easily been involved.

Cousins Kameron Hallstrom and Shawna Innie have grown up around pit bulls - the historically loyal dogs constant companions in the yard they share in Manchester, New Hampshire. 

Their family says Saturday's attack was unprovoked:

Kameron needed ten stitches on his face and surgical glue on his ear. Shawna suffered puncture wounds to her arm.  The 80-pound dog had only been in the home a day.

Both mothers are thankful their kids will be ok.

The case for the breed hasn't fared as well, which, they say gets bad rap in the debate over nature versus nurture, or lack thereof.

Innie has tried to contact the previous owner - who gave her the dog without documentation or rabies records after she and her husband spent several hours with it.  He has yet to call her or police:

Manchester's animal control officer says pit bulls are strong dogs, but not typically aggressive:

The dog now awaits its fate at the Manchester animal shelter - where 15 other pit-bulls -- many abandoned, most misunderstood -- are up for adoption in a tightly controlled process:

Innie says she hopes to get another pit bull . . . Someday.

 Pit bull Myths
 Pit Bull Facts
Pit bulls are a specific breed of dog.
 Several breeds of dogs (and mixes) fall into the category of pit bull, including:
American Staffordshire Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Pit bulls are mean, aggressive, and scary.While any dog can become aggressive and mean if it is mistreated, with the proper socialization and training, pit bulls can be as loving and loyal as many other types of dogs.
Pit bulls often suddenly snap without reason
 Most dogs will exhibit warning signs, such as a quick movement or a growl, before resorting to using teeth. Pit bulls, like all other types of dogs, do not suddenly snap without reason.
 Pit bulls bite more than any other breed. There is no system in place to track statistics on dog bites and attacks accurately in the U.S., and many incidents are never reported.
 Pit bulls are inherently aggressive and more likely to attack their owners and other people. Pit bulls, like any other dogs, do not exhibit
aggressive behavior without reason or
provocation. If a dog reacts aggressively, it Is
usually the result of:
-improper handling
-lack of socialization or training
-misreading the dog's behavior.
 Pit bulls do not make good family dogs, and should not have contact with children Despite what some people believe, pit bulls actually make great pets for families. In tests done by the American Temperament
Test Society, pit bulls were generally less aggressive when faced with confrontational situations that produced negative reactions out of many other stereotypically "friendly" dog breeds, such as beagles and poodles. Early in the 20th century, pit bulls were actually the No. 1 family dog.
 Pit bulls are inherently "animal aggressive," and "human aggressive." While many pit bulls are trained to be "animal aggressive," this does not mean they are also "human aggressive." These behaviors are completely separate and can be adjusted through proper socialization and training.
 Pit bulls have worse temperaments than other dogs. In a recent study of 122. dog breeds by the American Temperament Testing Society, pit bulls had a passing rate of 83.9%. That was
better than miniature poodles (76.5%), beagles (80.3%) and collies (79,4%).
 Pit bulls have more bite force in pounds per square inch than any other animal. There is no factual research to support this claim. However, there is research that refutes this myth. Dr. Brady Barr of National Geographic
conducted a study on animal bites. The force of bite (in pounds of bite pressure) in the test subjects were:

Crocodiles: 2,500 lbs.
Hyenas: 1,000 Ibs.
Snapping turtles: 1,000 Ibs.
Lions: 600 lbs.
White sharks; 600 lbs.
Domestic dogs: 320 lbs. (on average*) Humans: 120 lbs.

* A German shepherd dog, American pit bull terrier and Rottweiler were tested using a bite sleeve equipped with a specialized computer instrument. The American pit bull terrier had the least amount of pressure of the three dogs tested,
 Pit bulls have "locking jaws," meaning that their jaws cannot be pried apart once they bite down. In some cases, this myth even goes so far as to say that a pit bull's jaw cannot even be pulled apart if the dog is killed.The pit bull's jaw structure is no different from the jaw structure of any other dog breed. No such locking mechanism exists.
Pit bulls do not feel pain. This is also untrue. A pit bull's nervous system is the same as that of any other dog. Historically, dogs that would tolerate or ignore discomfort and pain and finish the task they were required to perform were the dogs that were bred and the type of dogs breeders strove to produce. This is the trait of "gameness" that so many breed fanciers speak of, which may be defined as "The desire to continue on and/or complete a task despite pain and discomfort."
 A pit bull's brain can sometimes swell to a size that cannot be accommodated by the skull, causing pit bulls to go insane. This myth, which has also been attributed to Dobermans, is completely unfounded and untrue.

(Pit bull Facts vs. Myths from Manchester Animal Shelter)

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