Sheriff's Department: Show calf attacked by pit bull

Thursday, June 26, 2008

According to a report from the Saline County Sheriff's Department, a calf belonging to a youngster who was raising it for show was attacked and severely injured by a pit bull Wednesday morning, June 25.

The boy's father, John Sprigg of Nelson, said Thursday, June 26, that the calf is still alive, but far from recovered.

"We're giving her 5 ccs of penicillin, but she's not eating. She's trying to drink water, though, so I take that as a good sign," he said.

The calf's right ear was badly damaged and both the left and ride side of the animal's face and nose had severe lacerations, according to the incident report.

Sprigg's daughter discovered the injured calf Wednesday morning when she arrived to feed the injured calf and two others.

When sheriff's deputies arrived, they observed pit bulls in the area, one of which had blood around its mouth, under the chin and all over the chest area.

According to the report, the owner of the dog said he would take it to a Sedalia veterinarian and have it put down and bring appropriate proof to the Saline County Justice Facility for verification.

Sprigg said this was not the first incident involving the dogs. Several days ago, one of them allegedly jumped up on his son, but did not attack. Sprigg said he learned of the incident in a phone call from the dog's owner, who said he would put the dog on a chain.

The incident report said the dog had apparently broken the chain during the night and was running loose when the attack took place.

The report was referred to the Prosecuting Attorney's office; at press time, no charges had been filed.

Contact Kathy Fairchild at

marshallhealth@socket.net

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  • Pit bull dogs are an abomination. Not only are nasty antisocial traits bred into them, but also you have to wonder about the people who want to have them. What kind of sick ego gratification is it that makes them want a dog breed that is prone to attack and kill. So many of them say it's not the dogs that are bad it's the owners. I say that is pit bullsh--t. Notgvnasht is dead on right.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 11:41 PM
  • I am so sad to hear this had to happen to the boy's show calf. I hope she is doing better for you. My heart goes to the daughter who discovered the incident.

    I am so thankful that the attack was not on the boy.

    I don't know what the answer is to the pit bull problem, but the history sure is getting nasty. You could say the owners are even in danger even if thy deny their dog would not behave in that way.

    Have there been attacks by other breds of dogs?

    -- Posted by nougatocity on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 6:59 AM
  • So sorry about your calf. I hope it survives.

    It is sad that your calf and the poor dog have to suffer because of an irresponsible owner. Owners of this kind make it harder for owners like myself, responsible. Our dogs are not left chained up in the yard. They are socialized, obedience trained, many are therapy dogs.

    Society also needs to realize that many, many breeds of dogs have very strong prey drives(which Pit Bulls have) and can and will attack and sometimes kill livestock, deer, cats, rodents and also other dogs. That in no way means the dogs are a threat to society. That you need to lock up your children! Pit Bulls and alot of other prey driven dogs LOVE people!

    There is a drastic difference between human and animal aggression. I personally do not believe the poor calf was hurt out of aggression. More likely prey drive and the excitement of the chase. Seriously they were used in bull baiting years ago.

    As a Pit Bull owner with a 4yro dd and other dogs in the house, I have never had any problems. But I have seen her prey drive at work! She keeps the yard free from cats, birds, rabbits, squirrels,and the like! Well she has the help of my Husky mix.

    It truly bothers me that people judge my dog by the actions of others.

    First they came for the Pit Bulls

    and they banned them and killed them

    their owners cried out in horror but I did not object

    because I did not own pit bulls.

    Then they came for the Rottweilers

    and they banned them and muzzled them

    their owners cried out in protest but I did not object

    because I did not own Rottweilers.

    Today they have come for my dogs

    and they will ban them and take them from me

    as I cry out in outrage and anger no one objects

    because they do not own my dogs.

    -- Posted by pitbull4me on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 9:52 AM
  • The breed isn't the problem. This could have happened with any large breed dog that wasn't raised around children, or livestock. All dogs have a kill instinct, you just don't see it in most. I have a friend that had to rehome their labrador retriever for killing goats and chickens. Not a pit bull. The statement "eliminate the entire breed from the planet" is either ignorance or fear.

    And I don't agree that this was a bad owner. It sounds like a really unfortunate incident. The owner had the dog chained but it sounded like that was because of the jumping incident, which seems like a logical solution if this isn't an indoor dog. The dog's owner seemed plenty responsible to me. Contacted the child's parent even though the child wasn't harmed, chained the dog, and lastly without sure proof his dog was responsible for attacking the calf offered to have the dog put down. It's more than a bad owner would do. I think I would need proof before I put down one of my dogs. Maybe test the blood?

    -- Posted by Injesstice on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 11:13 AM
  • Attacking livestock is classic behavior for pit bulls. Before their dog fighting history, pit bulls were bred for bull baiting exhibitions. The extraordinary drive to attack, bite, and inflict maximum injury is the hallmark of this breed. A pit bull should never be trusted not to revert to this instinct.

    Pit bulls are the only breed of dog that attack, cripple, even kill horses and livestock with predictable frequency, and they are often a topic of concern for farmers, ranchers and riders. Riding groups in California recently pooled resources to offer a reward for information after the flight of a pit bull and owner following yet another attack, 1 of 2 in just one area in a matter of weeks. And just this week, dogsbite.org published a report for riders and livestock owners regarding the incidence of attack by pit bulls. (If your riders association or horse group hasn't downloaded the publication, it is freely available here: http://www.dogsbite.org/newsroom-release-livestock-horse-062308.htm)

    I am thankful the calf survived, and especially thankful the pit bull did not attack a child in this family. One prolific urban legend claims that pit bulls are not human aggressive, but this claim is entirely unsupported by a dreadful statistical reality. While pit bulls comprise a small fraction of canine populations, they are responsible for 60% of all human deaths from dog attacks. Of the 35 fatal dog attacks in 2007, 21 killings were by pit bulls. This breed also holds numerous other statistical distinctions. One report of police shootings noted that pit bulls accounted for 73% of all officer vs. dog engagements.

    During one recent drive through Marshall, I noticed several people walking with an unleashed pit bull near the college, and clearly, the dog had recently whelped a litter. 'Off-the-leash' and 'recently-whelped' are two substantial risk factors for a pit bull attack. This should never be tolerated, but it was flagrant. Within another few blocks to the north, more pit bulls were out loafing on their chains. Chaining a dog is still another risk factor, but these owners are either oblivious or perfectly willing to take that risk with our children. With pit bulls, the warning signs may never exist or go unrecognized. The pit bull that scalped a 15 month old baby in Omaha yesterday was, by accounts from neighbors and even the postman, a good dog. 'Duke' was on a walk with his owner when he slipped out of his collar. The rest is history. (Well, not all the history. Hours later, another pit bull attacked a boy in Omaha. Not long after that, an Omaha police officer was bitten and then shot still another pit bull. Yep, Omaha's got pit bulls, too. Maybe not for long.)

    Hopefully our leaders will lead. The current situation is a perfect setup to provide the next pit bull statistic. A proactive approach is vastly preferable.

    -- Posted by HomeFromCali on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 11:00 PM
  • The sad part is that weeks before the dog was introduced as a harmless pup, perfectly safe around children and animals. Yet last week it jumped up on this young man and ate another neighbors little dog. And it was still around to destroy the young man's calf. Where is the responsibility and humanity? They are all good until something bad happens then it is something else.

    -- Posted by cows4us on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 11:23 PM
  • I feel sorry for the suffering caused by the Pit. It sounds to me like the Pit was raised to be aggressive. I have been around a lot of Pits in my life and they were all just as loving and playful as any other dog. No one that I know that owns or has owned Pits has had trouble with aggressiveness. They are territorial, loyal, protective, and can be trained to be highly aggressive. A Pit in the wrong owners hands is the equivalent of a firearm in the wrong owners hands. Destroying or eradicating this breed would be a sad sad mistake. Maybe stricter regulations or licensed and trained owners would be a better and more humane path. I have met little ankle high terriers that were more aggressive and threatening than any Pit I have known.I feel sorry for the suffering caused by the Pit. It sounds to me like the Pit was raised to be aggressive. I have been around a lot of Pits in my life and they were all just as loving and playful as any other dog. No one that I know that owns or has owned Pits has had trouble with aggressiveness. They are territorial, loyal, protective, and can be trained to be highly aggressive. A Pit in the wrong owners hands is the equivalent of a firearm in the wrong owners hands. Destroying or eradicating this breed would be a sad sad mistake. Maybe stricter regulations or licensed and trained owners would be a better and more humane path. I have met little ankle high terriers that were more aggressive and threatening than any Pit I have known.

    -- Posted by cahman8 on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 10:12 PM
  • I am not an expert on canine behavior, but am an owner of 2 dogs. One a walker coon hound and the other a border collie. I live on a farm with chickens, cats, horses, and cattle. I have watched my own dogs make an attempt to stalk and prey on many different animals-- if they had the strength or capabilities could possibly do harm to them--but are the most docile animals on this earth with my children and my opinion ( and it is just that) is that all dogs have the drive to hunt -- thus animal instincts-- and it is very unfortunate that the target of this pit was the calf-- but would we have objected if it were a squirrel?

    -- Posted by workingmom on Thu, Jul 3, 2008, at 1:06 PM
  • yes lets destroy these dogs then after there are no more pits you can complain about or destroy what breed is next?

    -- Posted by vamperila123 on Fri, Jul 4, 2008, at 9:11 AM
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