Local News

Recent story on dog attack prompts frustration among dog owners

Bully Breeds Debate

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A recent story about a dog attack drew compassion for the victim, but also criticism for the way it was reported.

An Evergreen family's 70-pound American bulldog attacked a 1-year-old. The child was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.

Jackie Cotton started Souther Colorado Pitbull Advocacy group. She said bully breeds get a bad rap.  She describes her pit bull Candy as sweet and calm. She said too often, Candy's "bully breed" counterparts get the wrong type of attention.

"There can be 10 dog bites but the pit bulls are the ones that make the news," said Cotton. "All dogs bite."

Cotton started the advocacy group because she felt bully breed dog owners and their pets are ostracized.

"There are nice families that own these dogs and I just don't know. I think it's wrong," said Cotton.

A neighbor said the dog that attacked the 1-year-old in Evergreen was trouble.

"You have an aggressive dog, you're asking for trouble," said the neighbor.

Linda Brennen owns Canine Coach. She is one of only a few trainers throughout Colorado certified to teach classes for parents to train dogs around children. Brennen does not support breed-specific legislation or discrimination against bully breeds.

"I know there is a lot of talk of breed being involved in bites, especially when it's one of the bully breeds. Breed (is) a factor that's not very important (in) deciding whether a dog is going to bite or not. All dogs bite or have the potential to bite," said Brennen.

Brennen said people are almost always to blame for dog bites.

"Dogs bite because they are uncomfortable. Because they have been backed into a corner. Oftentimes, (the) bite (is) because we don't recognize the body language leading up to the bite," said Brennen.

The American bulldog involved in the attack in Evergreen was taken to an animal shelter where it will be observed for 10 days for any signs of rabies. A decision about whether the dog will be put down will be made after that.

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