A pit bull mix is blamed in an attack on a 1-year-old Bunnell girl who ended up with deep bite punctures and gashes on her face Thursday as she played in her front yard Thursday.
The incident took place in Western Flagler County, on Lancewood Street in the Mondex, also known as Daytona North, in early evening. The girl had been playing in her grandmother’s front yard, under her grandmother’s supervision.
Robin Hartsfield, the girl’s 44-year-old grandmother, witnessed the incident. She told a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy that a dark brown pit bull mix weighing about 60 lbs. walked on
to her property on Lancewood Street. The pit bull at first appeared to be friendly, harmless. The grandmother petted the dog.
Suddenly, it attacked the girl on her face, then ran off.
Deputies observed that the girl “had sustained a puncture and laceration approximately 1” long on the right side of her nose near her eye, multiple punctures to the right side and top of her head and punctures on her right cheek. Deputy Gomez applied pressure to the wound on her nose/eye area and was able to stop the bleeding.”
The deputies had met the girl’s mother, 21-year-old Leah Ternet, and Hartsfield at the Country Store on County Road 305, where they had taken the girl so they could use the store’s phone to call for help. Both women told deputies that they had not seen this dog before and that they did not know where the dog had come from or ran off to, according to an incident report.
Flagler County Fire Rescue 51 arrived on scene and transported the girl and her mother to Florida Hospital Flagler for treatment. Animal control was notified, responded and issued a Be-On-The-Lookout for the dog in the area. Several deputies canvassed the area for the dog, but could not locate it.
“We came into contact with several citizens in the neighborhood surrounding 1134 Lancewood St. and they advised that they had not seen the dog in question,” a deputy reported. “Animal control advised that they would return in the morning to set traps to attempt to capture the dog.”
There have been several violent dog attacks, disproportionately involving pit bulls, in the area in the past two years. A Mondex woman reported being attacked by five pit bulls in May 2013. A pit bull attacked two children in a van, twice, as they waited for their mother at Second Chance Rescue in Bunnell last March. And in April, a pit bull that bhad been flagged for attacking and killing three dogs a week earlier attacked a cop in April in Ormond Beach.
Each attack triggers a debate about the nature of pit bulls, their distinctions, if any, from other dog breeds, and their owners’ responsibilities in raising well-tempered–or violent–dogs.
The Truth says
I wish this young child the very best in her recovery from this attack. I am always heartbroken when seeing things like this. When you have a young child like a 1 year old, it’s always best to keep them away from animals particularly animals you don’t know at all. Young children can act very erratic and many times dogs (and cats) don’t know how to react. Anything could have sparked this and since the dog ran away afterwards it could have very well been the dog feeling as though it had to defend itself. I’m not blaming anyone here, just simply stating that it isn’t always the dogs fault.
That’s preposterous. The dog entered the child’s yard and attacked him. I fail to see how this is not the dog’s fault. These dogs have the power to kill, and that alone makes them dangerous. The fact that they do it with such regularity makes them useless in my book.
Debbie Bell says
It is never the dog’s fault as dogs do not have morals and don’t control any aspect of their lives: not heritage/ instinct, not management.
It is the fault of the bully people: breeders and buyers, the pit mongers that these dogs, bred to attack and kill each other 1) for no reason and 2) without first trying to avoid a conflict/without warning, are polluting our communities.
Since a normally social animal, the dog, was so mutated, all other species are in danger when a pit goes pit bull.
The traits 1 and 2 are essential in winning dog fights. The pit men don’t hope their digs will feel like fighting over a rawhide, they know their well bred game pits will fight simply because the are aware of the “opponent”.
This attack was therefore ” good” pit bull behavior. Before pits, we never had victim dogs killed on sidewalks and we never had home invasion dog murders. These are the work of mutant dogs specifically created to do the job of “seek and destroy”.
Proof that pits are different? All USA dog fighters all choose pits.
Had this dog’s owner chosen to acquire a beagle, it would have hunted rabbits, not dog sized humans.
Wow. We need to put down the pits. No matter what “set him off”, we have no need for “dogs ” that attack more like lions. The killing/attacks on smaller dogs and babies in a kill-for-sport attack is unprecedented in “the wild”. The fighting breeds of “dogs” are a HUMAN CREATION via selective breeding for dog fighting. Why do we let these creatures exist? This is a sick human problem.
Kill the dog immediately.
It’s always the same story with these dangerous animals. Pit bull are vicious & very dangerous, they should be exterminated for safety.
Steve Wolfe says
Law Enforcement had to use a country store phone to get help? ………
Once again, pit bulls on the loose. Lock up the owners and destroy the attacking dogs. Maybe that will get the attention of such dumb ass irresponsible owners. On par with leaving a loaded gun within reach of a toddler.
[The mother of the child went to the Country Store to call 911, and was met there by deputies.–FL]
Linda Hoffman says
There was also a pit bull attack on a five year old boy visiting his grandmother on Flagler Beach, in April.
Knows it all says
Oh not a precious harmless Pit bull. No way.
Steve Wolfe says
Isn’t it amazing, yet predictable, how pit lovers come to the defense every time pits are loose and bite the dickens out of someone? Of course pits are not the number 1 biter. That would be golden retrievers, not because they are more tempermental, but by sheer numbers of family pets. While there are many triggers of defensive behaviors by pets there still is more danger when a pit is triggered. Their temperment is extra edgy through breeding, as is their extreme bite strength and viciousness. There’s a reason why Michael Vick was found using pits in fights for money. I think it has gone far enough, and there’s ample stats to show the reason pits should be feared and dealt with differently. But let’s not let the real culprits off the hook here. Pit owners and breeders should be held accountable, and the penalties for letting pits loose and/or training pits to attack should be increased exponentially. The pain inflicted by pit attacks often fade, but the consequences to their masters should last a long, long time. We’re talking about warm-blooded weapons. So get involved and contact legislators. Write, call, engage. It’s your government. Make them serve our interests.
There is never a pit bull attack in Miami-Dade, oh yeah pit bulls are illegal there!
ted bundy says
exactly and they use to be the worst in the state..
Someone Else says
You are confidently asserting that this dog, which has not been identified or captured yet was a pit bull mix, does this mean you have some special inside knowledge you can share with us regarding what other breeds are in the mix? Shouldn’t these get some blame as well?
I hope this poor child recovers quickly. However, if she moved too quickly or erratically this may have caused the dog to react. Not saying it is a good thing but this is how dogs react. I have 2 Chihuahuas and if my grandchildren are jumping around and acting crazy they will go after them. Obviously not the same as a larger dog but they are animals just the same.
Steve Wolfe says
The report is of an assertion that it was a pit mix. The behavior is consistent with many other incidents involving pits. If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck we say it’s a duck. Sad but true. Everyone knows of pits that are sweet and loving, but even those merit extra caution. When I have put my face right in a friendly pit’s face to get more familiar, it is with knowledge and recognition of the breed’s volatility. When I wrestle with a pit, it doesn’t last long, because even their friendly biting is more forceful. We have to be realistic about these dogs. Some guns are attractive, but still deadly in the worst case.
Yeah. We know it’s a pit. How?. The damage. Their style of attacking is unrivaled, unless you have a shark in a front yard. That would so suck. If any other dog could fight like a pit you’d find poodle fighting rings.
Pitbulls have been illegal in Miami for many years. No attacks. This breed, although not all are vicious, is very powerful. People need to understand the strength of this animal. Compare it to a wild cat. Make it illegal to have them unless the dog is well bred, goes through extensive training, and the owner must apply for a license to have them. Then and only then will we be able to control these dog attacks. The unethical breeding involving this breed is what is causing these incidences. I love it when someone on facebook posts pictures of pitbulls in the 40’s and 50’s and says it was the babysitter dog. LOL… What a joke. If you believe that TODAY’S pitbull is the babysitter dog, you are in for a treat. That was 70 years ago people. Todays pitbull is most commonly inbred. People think they can just throw 2 dogs together and that’s it. Well, when breeding dogs you need to breed two dogs with mild temperaments to get puppies with good temperaments. When you breed 2 aggressive or “mean” dogs, guess what you get people. So you go to the humane society or the pound and pick up this CUTE pit puppy. Not knowing its past, its parents past etc… Then you introduce it to children and your grandparents….. The dog can be trained, but the personality traits are in its genes…. Eventually, as any animal can snap, it WILL snap. Like an elephant in a circus that goes haywire or a tiger that’s been living in captivity…. Sigfried and Roy…… If you don’t know the history of the Pit DO NOT GET IT!!! PLain and simple.
Breeder for 20+ years.
Canine Theology Graduate
Animal Behaviorist Professional
Max Awesomeness says
Countdown until the dog is placed under quarantine for a few days and the owners get a fine that they’ll ignore. That’s how we roll in flagler county, no repercussions whatsoever for a dog bite.
ted bundy says
i hope you people know that flagler county has the ability to outlaw this breed whenever it wants, just like miami-dade has done..pressure your elected officials to ghet it done NOW..or quit complaining when the breed attacks and kills children and pets..got it!!!!
Nancy N. says
Defenders of the breed try to claim that it’s not the breed, it’s how people train them. And yet you never see headlines like “Beagle viciously attacks child.”
These comments are scaring me, ban the breed, kill them all, exterminate them because of their genetics. When applied to another human, this kind of speech is very frowned upon. When applied to objects, slippery slope is a common argument.
So you want to give a pit its rights, like a human? Okay, then we’d have a slough of them on death row for murder & manslaughter,or cutting up a baby’s face beyond recognition…and for cruelty to animals (all smaller/weaker). Funny. When a human starts torturing and killing animals, it’s taken very seriously, because these are a precursor behavior that often end up in serial killing, kind of like pit bulls. Wow.
I had a little poodle type dog come out into the road and attack me in Palm Coast. It didn’t hesitate to do it either, he ran up behind me and bit my leg drawing blood. I have walked by the house since and the owner had him on a leash and he was just as vicious trying to get at us. The owner wasn’t an abusive owner as a matter of fact the owner is a retired officer, the dog was just mean. Maybe we should ban small dogs too.
I still find it hard to believe that the grandmother would allow a year old baby near and to pet a large dog that she had never seen before. Personally, I would have picked the baby up and taken her inside as fast as my legs could take me. I have 2 Chihuahuas and as small as they are I do not doubt they would bite which is the reason they are always on a leash when outside. People need to take responsibility for their pets. If they do not want to take care of them and confine them, then put them down or give them away. Very simple.. I hope the baby recovers quickly and the grandmother has learned a lesson.
inna hardison says
So we are basing the identification of a breed entirely on the words of the one witness? FWIT – pits rarely get to the 60 pound mark, but that’s besides the point. This dog could have been anything, but a pit seems to be the most common (and most often not accurately) blamed breed for any attack. largely based on all the reports in the news that were, in turn, based on these id’s made by scared shitless bystanders.
There is a reason the CDC and any other responsible organization no longer uses breed names in their statistics – they learned over the decades that the good majority of cases were identified via hearsay. That’s freaking insane. Most people can’t pick a pit out of a lineup, but we are going to recommend exterminating dogs that look kind of sort of pit like and hope for the best? Really? I urge anyone who’s a proponent of said bans to look at Denver, and actually research their dog attack and dog bite statistics. They are NOT down. As is the case in pretty much any other place that has banned the “breed” (which, btw, is not a breed at all).
Lastly, I’ll throw in that most violent crime occurs in poor areas. We should build humongous walls around every one of those by this logic, you know, to protect the vulnerable. Maybe station some military to keep those people in and everyone else out. District Nine in every town. We’d all feel a shit ton safer then, no?
Ga boy says
I wonder how much the fine would be for an owner who had a Bengal tiger escape and attack someone? That is what it should be for this breed. If pit lovers want to own this breed they should have to obtain a permit, get an inspection from the state and prove they can contain the animal safely, not dirt poor meth heads with nothing more than a rope to tie it up in there grandmothers back yard.
Obama 2014 says
Yet another pit Bull Attack. Little Girl lost her eye.
Flagler County should force permits for these dogs. No permit you lose the dog and get hit with a 158 fine and interest for each day it’s not paid when due. If you don’t pay, a lien goes on your property. In fact in Palm Coast I believe they should be banned. Not enough room and too many kids and old people.
I’m tired of people that can’t handle the responsibly of owning a pet keeping me from walking my dog or going for a run without having a knife or a bat with me. Been attacked by 3 pit bulls on 3 separate instances and one almost killed my dog until I stepped in. If I am attacked again, the dog isn’t going to survive. I will stand my ground.
Also having a dog tied to a tree it’s entire life shouldn’t be allowed. I don’t care how long the chain is.
I don’t wish to get into a debate about the temperament of Pit Bulls and owner responsibility but I do wish to say I never hear of severe attacks like this from labs, cocker spaniels, etc. Do these breeds ever bite? Of course they do if they are cornered or have been poorly trained but I never hear of these seemingly unprovoked attacks which cause severe damage by any other breed than the “dangerous” breeds such as pits and rotties.
just me says
My pit is harmless, all she’ll do is kick you to death.
Derply McDerpenstein says
I have nothing againt pit ownership, under the condition that both the pet and the owner be sterilized.
I wonder who the yo yo is that owns this dog, and will Flagler Live show the person’s name and face on their page no matter what? I challenge you guys to start showing the owner of a bad pit bull, name and face, and I guarantee you the real problem behind the dangerous dog will be exposed. Hint, Michael Vick types of people.