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After second local attack in one month, NBC 15 investigates the pit bull stigma

(image: WPMI) After second local pit bull attack, NBC 15 investigates the pit bull stigma

Within the past few weeks, there have been two dramatic pit bull incidents resulting in multiple injuries.

The breed is controversial, and people feel very strongly on either side of the topic.

Today, we spoke with an expert who told us about animal behavior. Dr. John Bentley with Bel Air Animal Hospital said 99% of pit bulls who come into his office are docile, and just “big puppies.” but in that breed or mixes of that breed, there are one or two percent that come in aggressive, because they are territorial and feel like their space has been invaded.

Bentley said all breeds are susceptible to aggression if triggered in an anxiety-causing environment.

In the dog bite case Thursday night, we’ve been told a smaller dog was in the home that was typically kept separate from the larger dog.

Bentley said small dog large dog situations can be dangerous for smaller dogs. And if a pet owner tries to break up an animal fight, that pet may lash out in that moment of aggression.

He suggests either getting away from the situation if you are fearful, or putting a soaking wet mop in the dog’s face to shock them and distract them from the aggressive situation.

We also spoke with firefighters who have had to go to dramatic lengths in recent weeks, one firefighter riding a firetruck and pulling a man to safety off the top of his car to save him from a pitbull, and then yesterday, pulling the female victim to safety through her window.

Stephen Millhouse, Mobile Fire public information officer for Mobile Fire, said it’s part of the job to assess the situation. “Patient care is first,” said Millhouse.

More coming up at 5 and 6 on NBC 15 News.

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