Pit bull from town’s shelter attacks boy who receives 80 stitches to close wounds

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — According to Mayor Michael Venezia, an 11-year-old boy has been injured by a dog adopted from the Bloomfield Animal Shelter.
“All I know is he got 81 stitches,” Venezia said earlier this week.

In an email, Bloomfield Police Department Director Sam DeMaio confirmed that the dog was a pit bull named Derrick.
The dog, he said, had been found roaming the streets and had been in the shelter for about 10 months.

He was adopted during the week of Oct. 10. The biting incident occurred in Clifton and the dog is currently being housed at the animal control shelter in that city. A magistrate was to decide if the dog is vicious and should be destroyed.

Venezia said he believed the dog was adopted by a couple, that the parents and brother of one of the couple were visiting, and the brother was bitten on Oct. 16.
“The goal right now is to make sure the boy is alright and to help the family,” Venezia said.

The Bloomfield Animal Advisory Board, he said, was hoping to find a sanctuary for the dog. The mayor also said that Township Attorney Michael Parlavecchio had written a letter to the Clifton Board of Health.

In the Oct. 24 letter to John Biegel III, the health officer, Parlavecchio requested the dog’s return to the Bloomfield Animal Shelter.

“As you know, this dog originated in our shelter which is a no-kill shelter,” he said. “The township understands and accepts that it will be explicitly prohibited from again putting this dog out for adoption.”

“They gave us assurance the letter would be given to the judge,” Venezia said.
According to DeMaio, the court hearing was to take place Wednesday, Oct. 26.
“We may send one of our attorney,” Venezia said. “As of right now, it’s unclear.”

The Bloomfield Animal Advisory Board was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, Oct. 25.


12 Responses to "Pit bull from town’s shelter attacks boy who receives 80 stitches to close wounds"

  1. Merritt Clifton   October 28, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    From 1858, when the first U.S. shelter began offering dogs for adoption, to 1988, no dog rehomed from a U.S. shelter is known to have killed anyone. Two fatalities occurred in 1988 and 1989, both involving wolf hybrids. Then there were only three more before intensive promotion of pit bulls for adoption began after the 2007 Michael Vick case. Since 2010, at least 43 dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters have killed people, among them 31 pit bulls, eight bull mastiffs, two Rottweilers, a husky, and a “Lab mix” who may have been part pit bull.

  2. KaD   October 28, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Vicious? It only tried to KILL a kid, nothing vicious about that, right? What idiot even needs to think it’s okay to let this dog live to maul again?

  3. Carol Miller   October 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    The Bloomfield Animal Shelter will be prohibited from placing this pit bull with the public. Expect this dog to transferred to a sanctuary or a rescue. These organizations will then place the dog with the public. This is a very dangerous, and very common game.

  4. Annette   October 28, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    NEW Warning From Pediatricians: “Strong consideration to avoidance of any interaction between pit bull breeds and young children, particularly infants. Pit bull bites were implicated in half of all surgeries performed and over 2.5 times as likely to bite in multiple anatomic locations as compared to other breeds.”   https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305270428_Characteristics_of_1616_Consecutive_Dog_Bite_Injuries_at_a_Single_Institution

    Medical peer-reviewed: Level 1 trauma center dog bite studies from all geographical regions in the U.S. are reporting a higher prevalence of pit bull type dogs injuries than all other breeds of dogs. In many cases, the studies (2009 to 2016) also report that pit bull injuries have a higher severity of injury and require a greater number of operative interventions. http://blog.dogsbite.org/2016/10/report-level-1-trauma-dog-bite-studies-pitbull-highest-prevalence.html

    Pit-bull type dogs are responsible for 95% of severe attacks on people, pets and livestock in breed neutral zones. Please follow for one month. You will be shocked at all the people and pets that are severely maimed or killed by pit bulls.

    Please spend some time witnessing to the victims of pit bull attacks. Most of attacking pit bulls are not from bad owners but naïve owners who did not understand the dangerous pit bull breed traits. From 2005-2016, 252 people killed by pit bull type dogs. http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities.php

    Pit bulls do not lock their jaw but with their ‘gameness’ trait they do not let go until their victims are dead.

    Pit-bulls are dangerous because they have the capability of inflicting life-threatening injuries in a split second. Pit bulls are zero-mistake dogs.

    Two words to prove pit bull type dogs are inherently dangerous a breed specific tool: “BREAK STICK”.

    Does this sound like a normal and safe dog breed to have live in our neighborhoods? Pit Bull Rescue Central recommends ALL pit bull owners to have a “break stick”, a wedge-shaped piece of wood used to pry open a pit bull’s jaw during an attack. “Since pit bulls have a strong fighting background, we recommend that pet owners also have a breaking stick as a precaution, even if they don’t plan to use it in an illegal context. However, please be discreet. Breaking sticks are not something to brag about and the general public might have the wrong impression if you walk around with a stick in your hand. Breaking sticks are not illegal, but they are considered dog fighting paraphernalia in certain states and/or with certain law enforcement agents.” 

    This person demonstrates how to use a break stick on a pit-bull: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfMVH4wY5Pg 

  5. Thomas McCartney   October 28, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    “The pit bull’s unusual breeding history has produced some bizarre behavioral traits, de- scribed by The Economist’s science editor in an article published a few years ago, at the peak of a heated British controversy over dangerous dogs that saw the pit bull banned in England.

    First, the pit bull is quicker to anger than most dogs, probably due to the breed’s unusually high level of the neurotransmitter L-tyrosine.

    Second, pit bulls are frighteningly tenacious; their attacks frequently last for 15 minutes or longer, and nothing—hoses, violent blows or kicks—can easily stop them. That’s because of the third behavioral anomaly: the breed’s remarkable insensitivity to pain.

    Most dogs beaten in a fight will submit the next time they see the victor. Not a defeated pit bull, who will tear into his onetime vanquisher. This, too, has to do with brain chemistry.

    The body releases endorphins as a natural painkiller. Pit bulls seem extra-sensitive to endorphins and may generate higher levels of the chemical than other dogs.

    Endorphins are also addictive: “The dogs may be junkies, seeking pain so they can get the endorphin buzz they crave,” The Economist suggests.”

    Finally, most dogs warn you before they attack, growling or barking to tell you how angry they are—”so they don’t have to fight,” ASPCA advisor and animal geneticist Stephen Zawistowski stresses.

    Not the pit bull, which attacks without warning. Most dogs, too, will bow to signal that they want to frolic. Again, not the pit bull, which may follow an apparently playful bow with a lethal assault.

    In short, contrary to the writings of Vicki Hearne, a well-known essayist on animals who—in a bizarre but emotionally charged confusion—equates breed-specific laws against pit bulls as a kind of “racist propaganda,” the pit bull is a breed apart.


  6. Thomas McCartney   October 28, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    First, second and third we want, need and should demand public safety and personal security.

    Anything that stands in the way of this must be removed, not changed, not modified, not altered but Removed completely.

    To argue in effect for breed neutral legislation that is not preemptive but reactive and dependent on responsible ownership is an oxymoron that has no purpose nor use and will not stand.

    Yes Pit bull ownership going underground due to BSL would be a good thing, through this fact one would rarely encounter the owner or mutant undog and the likelihood of attack from them both would be drastically reduced into obscurity, what can’t access you can’t hurt you.

    Having them hidden in far far smaller numbers in some basement or attic is far preferable to having the current numbers allowed to be owned where the safety of said community would be wholly dependent on the responsibility of pit bull owners when such ownership does not nor has it existed in the last 30+ years.

    To think that if we merely ask and say pretty please and try to inform the pit bull owner of what his responsibilities should be that he will then undertake them is foolish, naive, and dangerous.

    Their numbers will not decline, the pit bull owners will not become responsible and an ever worsening status quo will be the outcome of such viewpoints.

    Most pit bull owners are fully aware of what they own, their history and capability, they just don’t care nor will they.

    This battle is not about semantics, it is about truth, facts and life and death, these are what need to be imparted to the general public so that they understand the reality of what the pit bull type dog is so they can react accordingly, this must be phrased in a stark black and white contrast.

    Playing word games & using PR obfuscation merely distracts the public from the real core safety issue involved, in the immortal words of Joe Friday they need the facts, just the real facts mame.

    The pit nutters minds can’t be changed by facts or anything because they are not rational sentient beings, they are culls and a lost cause.

    But facts will change and direct the silent majority to the reality of the situation and then they will do the rest for us all.

    You can NOT be a responsible Lion owner in a residential suburban context, nor a responsible owner of a tiger, cougar, cobra or wolverine, to try to sell the concept that one can be a responsible pit bull type dog owner is as irrational as any of those options would be in regards to the vast % of pit bull type dogs and there owners.

    Pit bull owners don’t care about your right of freedom to be safe, they don’t care about their obligation to be responsible and don’t recognize the existence of said concept.

    They will never agree to any restriction placed upon them, even a leash law, S/N law or that they undergo a basic training course with their undogs are an anathema to them, how are you going to get them to agree to really serious restrictions like insurance, muzzleing, kenneling, short lease, getting their undogs fixed and chipped, registered with photos, if you believe any of that is possible you are living in a dream world that is a fantasy that will be the death of us all.

    When it comes to pit bull type dog owners you are talking about narcissistic sociopaths who don’t care who don’t feel, to whom you, yours and anyone is expendable whose lives have no purpose nor meaning to pit nutters.

    To think that one can get them to change and accept responsibility and restrictions on their undogs for our betterment is foolish and delusional.

    They don’t even care about their own dogs and consider them disposable, so to think they will agree to these restrictions for their undogs sake is misguided at best.

    Pit bull owners have lost their minds and never had their hearts, the only thing that will work is hard core enforcement of severe BSL unless you want the status quo expounded many times over in blood facts on the pavement.

    BSL is the only solution, any breed neutral abstract application of psychology would be doomed to failure.!!!!

  7. Kris King   October 30, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I rescued hundreds of dogs, and ran a special needs sanctuary. This dog needs to be euthanized. There are thousands of dogs being killed every day in this country. The majority are not aggressive. This dog has already proven what he is capable of doing. It is wrong to risk other’s lives for a dog capable of killing. Humanely euthanizing him is the moral, responsible thing to do.

  8. Ron   October 30, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Is there some shortage of pit bulls in shelters that I am not aware of why is this shelter fighting to save this vicious bloodthirsty killing machine who has already proven to be dangerous

  9. Annette   October 30, 2016 at 11:42 am

    This was a Dog bite Level 5: “The dog is extremely dangerous and mutilates. The dog is simply not safe around people. I recommend euthanasia because the quality of life is so poor for dogs that have to live out their lives in solitary confinement”  http://www.dogtalk.com/BiteAssessmentScalesDunbarDTMRoss.pdf

    This is the dog bite expert that created the dog bite assessment scale. Dr. Ian Dunbar is a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and writer. He received his veterinary degree and a Special Honors degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) and a doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at the University of California in Berkeley, where he spent ten years researching olfactory communication, the development of hierarchical social behavior, and aggression in domestic dogs.

  10. J Carter   October 30, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Sad that there appears to be more concern for the dog than the child that the dog hurt, but it’s no surprise that the dog was adopted out by a “No-Kill” shelter.

  11. Teri   October 30, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    The facts of the incident need to be investigated. Calling the dog a “pitbull” unfortunately stops many from considering why the dog attacked. Few attacks are truly unprovoked because most dogs are not mentally ill.
    This dog was recently moved from a long-term kennel situation into a home situation. Was he in the home or outside? Was he given a crate to retreat from the new world when the stresses built up? Was he properly introduced to the new environment and new people? Where were the adults and new owners during the attack? 81 sutures means this was more than one bite. Was anyone watching the new dog interact with the child?

  12. Mom of 11 yr old boy   November 1, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    To all the people who don’t understand how a dog could hurt anyone without warning you have to remember these are animals we are talking about. This dog was in its new home for just 48 hours. To understand what happened it is like someone is right in front of you and they fall and get hurt and you say “I was standing right there !”
    That is what happened.
    We have met the dog 2 days prior outside our home he has on his leash and he came up to us and sniffed us. The night it happened 2 days later I walked into their house first and the storm door closed and I started to talk, then my son walked into the house (living room) at the same time the dog came running toward us. At first I was alarmed but the dog wasn’t barking or growling. By this time my son was standing in front of me …the dog stopped at my sons feet smelled him and then the dog jumped at his throat. He just jumped up and in one big swoop did damage causing him to receive 81 stitches …It was Literally split second We didn’t even realize what had happened until my son started yelling The dog was not barking or growling it was silent Could you imagine what would have happened if we were not there… my son would be dead. If my son was five years younger or 50 pounds lighter he would not have a had a chance. Honestly I don’t know why the dog stopped but I thank God he did.
    I am a dog lover. We have had dogs since I was 7 years old. My last 2 dogs are from rescues so we are aware of dogs and how to greet them.
    We did appear in court on the issue of the outcome of the dog. The Judge was not told exactly what happened and how the dog went for my sons jugular vein. The Town Lawyer for the Shelter requested the dog back and I didn’t protest. The judge asked me if I was ok with this decision and I said If the Shelter wants the responsibility of this dog it will be on their conscience not mine if he hurts someone again and the dog has no chance of harming any of us again, which the judge then said “well said”
    We did not care if the dog was put down or not. We don’t feel like an eye for an eye when it comes to animals We don’t hold the dog responsible we feel that the shelter is to blame. I can’t believe that in the one year this dog resided there that there was not one incident with him? I don’t know why the Shelter wants to jeopardize its reputation for one dog who apparently has a defect, when there are 100’s of loving animals who need a home. Listen you can’t save all of them but should save the animals worth saving. There is no guarantee that this won’t happen again.
    And to all the people who care to know my son is healing well. He will most likely have a scars on his face but he is resilient. He had a big gash down the side of his face from the cheek bone to chin, another 3inch slice under his chin and 4 puncher wounds from the dogs teeth. He just keeps asking us why they adopted such a crazy dog. He doesn’t seem to be afraid of dogs since our whole family has dogs. Now our dog (a boxer) is very protective of my son. Guess dogs understand when their family gets hurt.
    So again this dog was unprovoked. and appears to have some kind of defect and probably not of his doing, but who knows what kind of life it had before the Shelter picked him up and now what kind of life will he have in a sanctuary? So sad.
    People have to stop thinking about their feelings for what is best for this dog and think what kind of life he will have
    Also everyone has a comment about what happened not hearing the whole story
    Remember there are 2 sides.
    Please make a donation to an animal shelter or rescue near you if you would like to help out in this matter, they need our positive energy not negative.
    Mother of 11 year old boy.