Pit Bull attack brings up questions about breed and owners.
DURANT, OK – A Pit Bull attack in Durant spurred controversy over the breed of dog and their owners. But even though there can be a negative view of Pit Bulls, most people might be surprised to find that everyone involved in this story and the attack has a Pit Bull themselves.
It happened Wednesday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., Chauncey Nelson was walking I his neighborhood on Northeast 4th Street in Durant when he came across two loose Pit Bulls.
Nelson believes the dogs were riled up by a mower nearby, so he approached the house he believed they came from. But as Nelson went up to the house, to notify the owner the dogs were out, they started barking and then attacked him.
"These were really aggressive, when one got me the other one come charging up at me, they was running a pack,” said Nelson. "It scared me I didn't have time to think.”
Nelson doesn’t think he provoked the dogs, but thinks maybe they thought his approach was an aggressive move. He was able to fight them off his arms, but had many bites and cuts all over his body. Nelson needed 35 stitches total.
Two neighbors across the street saw it all happen. They have two Pit Bulls of their own and at first thought it was their dogs. They said the attacking dogs had never given them trouble before.
“I was close enough to where they could have got me also, I didn't move at all I just stopped and once they started attacking that's when I decided to run,” said one of the witnesses.
Turns out the dogs belonged to Desiree Ellison down the street. She said she was actually trying to give her two Pit Bulls to someone else out of town, because just the day before the younger male dog had attacked her miniature horse.
"It's not like them. And I gave him away the day that he attacked the horse which was three days ago and I had my neighbor babysit her because didn't know if I was going to put her down or not.... It's still my responsibility though,” said Ellison.
And though Nelson said he holds nothing against the two dogs, he has a Pit Bull of his own; he thinks they should have at least been tied up. And as for the owners, he has no hard feelings, just thinks more could have been done.
"I don't hold nothing against them really… I believe they could have raised them a different way. It's not the dog's fault, I believe it's the owner's fault the way they raised them,” said Nelson.
And even after EMS and police arrived, the younger male dog still went after Nelson and that's when police shot and killed the dog.
But Michele Crouse, a certified dog behavior counselor, said a common misconception about Pit Bulls is that they are naturally an aggressive breed.
"They are bred to be not-human aggressive... If you have one that is human aggressive then you need to get some training for that dog because that is not in the breed characteristic at all,” said Crouse, also a pit bull owner. (Michele Crouse just said herself as most all Pit Bull owners say, that they were not bred to be human aggressive yet alot of them are as we see with this attack!)
And though Ellison said her dogs have always been good with people, she knows putting both down was the right thing.
"You know I feel really bad about the whole situation, devastated that my animals did that to somebody because I know they hurt him,” said Ellison.
Animal control did go by Ellison's house on Thursday. She also put down her other dog involved in the attack, a female that she'd had for six years
And Crouse said if you are ever approached by a loose dog or one you might think is aggressive, have a non-threatening posture, don't look them in the eye and remain calm.
She said another trigger can be shouting, waving your arms or running. And because pit bulls are very athletic dogs, they can easily jump over low fences, so it’s important to keep them well contained and train them to be friendly around other people and animals.