West Point, MS, Friday, December 6, 2013: The West Point Police Department is investigating a pit bulldog attack that left a 3 year-old child injured. At about 5:00 pm Thursday evening police were dispatched to a residence on Clay Street in West Point. Dispatchers reported that a pit bull had attacked a child. When officers arrived the injured child had already been transported to the hospital by a person who was on the scene.
Although injured the dog still showed signs of aggression and was immediately killed by responding officers. The “Pit” was chained in close proximity to the house where the attack occurred but the conditions of the animal’s restraints were in clear violation of the city’s ordinances governing how these dogs are to be contained.
An initial investigation into the circumstances surrounding this attack has revealed that numerous adults were present at the residence. The mother of the child was not home and it’s unclear who was supposed to be supervising the child. At some point the child went outside unsupervised and was attacked. The adults at the residence were alerted to the attack by neighbors who either heard or saw the dog with the child.
It was reported to the police that someone struck the dog with a bat and pulled the child away after injuring the animal. The child suffered bite wounds to the head, shoulders and lower extremities. There were numerous deep lacerations that required immediate medical attention but the injuries are not considered life threatening.
Chief Brinkley of the West Point Police Department says, “Over the past year the City of West Point and the Police Department has done much to educate the public about the dangers of these animals. The city code declares the following breeds of dog to be vicious animals: (1) Rottweiler, (2) Pit Bull, (3) any mixed cross-bred German Shepherd and (4) Chow.
There have been several press campaigns to advise citizens how these dogs are supposed to be kept. The city ordinance has been published twice and the animal control officer has taken steps to ensure compliance. People who own these animals knowingly put themselves, their families and their neighbors at risk. This is a public safety issue and since educating the public is not a coverall solution to correcting this hazard we are compelled to prosecute those responsible for injuries as a result of these attacks.
We need the public’s assistance. People who have these breed of dogs in their neighborhoods are asked to call City Hall or the Police Department and report their location so our Animal Control Officer can inspect these locations to ensure that they are in compliance with the law.”
At this point in the investigation it’s unclear if the owner of the dog even lives at the residence where the attack occurred. The Department of Human Services has been notified and the police department is consulting with the District Attorney’s office. Criminal charges, possibly felony, will be filed as a result of this attack. This incident is still under investigation and anyone with any information is encouraged to call the West Point Police Department.