ActiveRainPhotoBloggerContest: What a Pit Bull can do to a child

Mortgage and Lending with Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender CO NMLS2421 : NMLS 264534

My Niece had 9 stiches, and scars that may be around for life.  The doctors do not have an answer as to how long the scars will remain.

The scars are on her face.  They will follow her to every sleep over with her friends, to every class, to every family reunion, and to every job interview she has.  My Niece, Rebecca got the scars because she was brutally attacked by a pit bull in Springfield Oregon.

It was her friend from school whose family has the pit bull as a family pet.  While a huge majority of pit bulls are owned by less than desirable owners, and the pit bulls are themselves abused and attacked, that is not the case here.  This pit bull is owned by a safe, loving, friendly family.  I do not know where they got the pit bull.  Was it from a rescue service?  Did it have special ‘socialization’ training?  I do not know the answers to the questions I have.

I do know that there is much debate about the ‘safeness’ of the pit bull breed, just like there is debate about numerous breeds of larger dogs.  I just read another ActiveRain blog from Florida and learned that some insurance companies are no longer allowing owners of properties to purchase rental insurance if they rent to pet owners with certain breeds of larger dogs. 

Before this attack on my Niece, if I would have read a blog about a pit bull attacking a child, I would have immediately empathized with the family/child, and felt bad for the dog as well.  But I’m not feeling bad for the dog that attacked my Niece.  The required 10 day quarantine has ended and I’m not sure the dog is safe for small children, or anyone else, for that matter.

This unfortunate situation has left me questioning just how safe large dogs are. 

What I’ve learned from this situation is how tenacious my 10 year old Niece Rebecca is.  She wants to be a Veterinarian.  I thought this horrible attack with a large dog gripping the entire left side of her face, with teeth less than an inch from her eye, and a trip to the hospital would change her mind for sure.  Nope.  She still has loyalty to and wants to learn how to best care for our four footed friends.

You go Rebecca!


Posted by



Ellen Adams with Academy Mortgage 


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Comments (15)

Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Ellen,  Yikes,  so sorry about your neice being attacked.  Like many, my assumption is that most problems with th is breed stem from their owners.  Hoping she recovers on all levels.

May 16, 2011 07:58 AM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Sorry to hear about your niece - it's scary when ANY dog bites a child or a person; sometimes it has more to do with the security of the dog, rather than the breed. Hope she heals up well !

May 16, 2011 08:10 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Ellen - My heart goes out to your neice.  I hope her healing comes swiftly.  Sadly, I think the problem with Pit Bulls is the percentage of owners that have had them and used them for less than stellar aspirations.  My concerns is that many of the undesirable traits have been bred into the breed over generations.  When my son was in high school, he was attacked on his way to school by 3 German Shepherds which had broke free of their enclosure.  He was severely mauled, and the wounds took a great deal of time to heal.  These things are never easy to indure. 

May 16, 2011 08:14 AM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Ellen,

These "accidents" always seem to surprise people ( especially the owners who know all to well of their reputation and believe somehow their little puppy will be the exception) That is a lot of bull. These are wonderful loving gentle family dogs one day and the next day they turn in these creatures that turn into ruthless attack dogs out for the kill. It is always the same breed. Over and over we hear similar stories and still these  horrific incidents just seem to happen so unexpectedly ?  The very least that should happen is that this dog be euthanized. Secondly the community should have fines for anyone raising them. And thirdly when any incident like this happens, the parents should file against the owners for damages and disfiguration. That may be the only hope for the future of getting this entire breed relegated to being animals unfit for domestication. They should be classified as a wild and dangerous animal and anyone harboring them in neighborhoods should be treated just as they would be, should they be raising any other wild and dangerous animal.

There was one in our neighborhood that would literally want to attach any other dog nearby. The sellers controlled on a leash but the vile killer instinct of these animals should NOT be allowed where other domestic animlas are present. When I see one, I head another direction as should anyone else. They are not reliable and at any time can turn and without provocation.

May 16, 2011 08:19 AM
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Real Estate

Ellen-so glad to know that your neice is ok for the most part and I hope that her wounds heal quickly. As an animal lover I have such a hard time with this argument. I've met pit bulls that haven't one time so much as growled at a human being then I've met others you can't get within five feet of without them going crazy. Just as we as people hate to be categorized, I hate to categorize them as well but the truth of the matter is that almost 10 out of 10 times that you hear an attack story, a pit bull was behind it. And I just have a hard time believing we all fail to hear the other cases that happen. Obviously, it's an issue with their breed and I hate for every one to have to watch a loved one go through what your neice has gone through before the problem is solved.

May 16, 2011 09:04 AM
Judi Boad

Hi Ellen~

I am sorry for what happened to your niece. My first thoughts are, that I'm glad to hear she is moving forward and working through this tragic event!

I cannot even imagine the horror of what she went through. She is a beautiful girl who will make a difference in the world of Veterinary Medicine!

No matter the breed, if a dog does something like this to any human being, they need to be euthanized. I can only hope that the owners of the dog agree without hesitation!

Best regards,

May 16, 2011 12:38 PM
Aunt Betty

Ellen So glad Rebecca is doing good,, I was mortified when I heard about this.. she is such a darling sweet, and beautiful little girl.. and so hope she comes out of this ok, and her scars heal quickly.. and mental state heals , as she grows older,, she is such a brave llittle girl....


love Aunt Betty

May 17, 2011 08:00 AM
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Ellen, my heart aches for you and her. My son was bitten by a neighbor's dog when he was about 6 years old and at age 35, it is prominent on his face. He say's it's his war wound. She is beautiful and with the ability of surgeons today you will barely notice it in a couple of years. She has a story to tell. Thank you for the post.

May 17, 2011 01:46 PM
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Hi Ellen, we are glad Rebecca is okay and hope the scars go away.  These dogs have proven over and over that they can not be trusted.  Why get one in the first place when there are lots of dogs that make great pets and are safe around people.  Try a Collie or a Labrador or our best dog was a Poodle.  Good Luck!

May 18, 2011 02:32 AM
Ellen Wright Adams
Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender - Eugene, OR
LoansByEllen- Licensed in Oregon

Bill:  I thought most problems WERE with the owners too.  But these are good people who always treat their dogs wonderfully.  Thank you Bill for your support.

Carol:  I agree - ANY dog bite, child or adult, is scary.  Thank you for reading.

Myrl:  I think we can all agree that over the generations Pit Bulls have been bred for less than stellar aspirations - that's a great way to put it.  It's wonderful that your son's wounds did heal - gives us hope for Rebecca!  Thank you for sharing your similar story Myrl.

William:  Wew - great response William!!!  You bring up a great point re: euthanization.  And like I commented above, it's a very nice family that owns this dog.  HOWEVER, you said it, it's nearly always this breed when we hear of attacks.  It's my Sister's child, and I'm still waiting/watching to see what kind of action will be taken with the owners.

Margie:  I'm glad you can relate with the difficulty of this situation, being an animal lover, and at the same time, these attacks keep happening over and over.  Thank you for stopping by Margie, and sharing your thoughts.

Judi:  Hello there!  She did go through a lot of trauma, and by the time I got to see her she was smiling, tears had dried up and she seemed (and seems) to be back to her regular wonderful self.  But as we all know traumas and wounds happen on the inside as well as the outside; and that needs to be addressed as well.  I was horrified when the police let the dog out of quarantine and decided not to euthanize it - I was naive enough to believe euthanization would be mandatory in this situation.

Aunt Betty:  Well well, word must be spreading around the family that I blogged about Rebecca!  Thank you for stopping by, I Love you.

Deb:  Great re-frame for your son to call it his war wound; much better than a dog attack!  That's the sad thing; there is not a lot money, not so good insurance, and like I mentioned above - I'm waiting to see what happens as far as actions taken against the family (or not?)  Thank you for your support.

Al and Peggy:  I like it - Poodles for everyone!


I'd like to thank everyone who has taken time and given such thoughtful comments. 

I appreciate the support and the empathy.




May 18, 2011 08:17 AM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

I'm so glad your niece is recovering nicely and hopefully the scars will be minimal. I commend her for continuing on with her dream to be a vet. She proved her loyalty to matter the temperament.

May 18, 2011 02:47 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives


Before I even got the end of the story, I thought to myself, this brave little girl is going to grow up to be a Veterinarian. No matter what's in store for her, she's a strong and beautiful girl and she will implement changes. Perhaps she'll become a great vet, maybe a plastic surgeon, a teacher, a professional speaker, an advocate for human rights, who knows... but one thing is certain. She's a beautiful girl and no scars will hide that truth from anyone who doesn't get to know her.

She has the love and support of her family. She has lived through the pain and the sorrow and has to have an optimistic view of the world and animals, particularly because she aspires to be a Veterinarian.

Her future is going to be bright, I just know it.


May 19, 2011 06:36 AM
Ellen Wright Adams
Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender - Eugene, OR
LoansByEllen- Licensed in Oregon

Celeste:  She really has proven her loyalty to animals, hasn't she?  She's a wonderful little girl.  Thanks for reading the blog Celeste.

Patricia:  What wonderful words and thoughts you've given to Rebecca and our family.  Thank you SO MUCH Patricia, your positive attitude is just beautiful


May 19, 2011 03:03 PM
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

What a beautiful girl and touching story!  From what I gather it sounds like over a week had passed before you took this picture. I can't imagine  how much worse it must have looked at first.  No offense to the family, who I'm sure is traumatized as well, BUT if it was my dog I'd have it euthanized anyway whether it was required or not!  Thanks for sharing your/her story, she truly is a very pretty girl!

May 21, 2011 08:42 AM
Ellen Wright Adams
Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender - Eugene, OR
LoansByEllen- Licensed in Oregon

Brenda:  Yes, about a week had passed from the time of the incident to this photo.  She's really doing well.  Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 

May 24, 2011 06:24 AM

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