There is a lot of blame to go around in this story. We have to educate the public and Ohio needs to change their laws. And uneducated cops that fire their weapons at the drop of the hat need to be stopped.
Vicki Hagler said Sunday evening that police acted inappropriately when they dubbed her dog a pit bull and fatally shot it after the dog bit a 4-year-old boy’s face on Saturday evening.
“I do feel bad about the child. I have been crying all day, but I have a side, too. My kids heard the gun shots,” said Hagler, the mother of four children ranging from 8 to 18. “She was not a pit bull and she was not vicious.”
State law defines pit bulls as vicious, but includes other breeds in that category only if there is a documented history of an individual animal killing or injuring a person or killing another dog.
Hagler’s family said the dog was a mixed breed with strong German Shepherd and hound features.
Chad Young, Hagler’s 15-year-old son, said his family’s 3-year-old dog Hailey was sweet. Before biting the child, Young said Hailey’s worse offense was eating pizza boxes left on the kitchen table overnight.
“She was one of the best dogs you could ever have,” said Young, who was to celebrate his 16th birthday Saturday.
Police said the 4-year-old was being cared for by one of his mother’s friends — a neighbor of Hagler’s family. The child was bit by the dog around 4 pm as he reached for a candy dish inside Hagler’s home at 76 Dover St., according to police. He required 85 to 100 stitches on Saturday evening to close two wounds on his face.
Hagler’s fiance, Bobby West, said the 4-year-old had never been to his house. West said he thought the child must have been “in the dog’s face,” when he was bit.
West wasn’t at home during the incident. He had gone to the store and left Young to watch two of Hagler’s younger children. The family believes the 4-year-old was playing with the younger children in the Hagler’s house.
Young, who was playing basketball outside with friends, heard screaming and saw the 4-year-old on the sidewalk covered in blood. He carried the child to 68 Dover for care and returned to his house. He put the dog in the garage.
After about 15 minutes, West said he returned home and was in the garage holding the dog when police arrived.
Police said the dog was shot after it charged the officers. Young said the dog was calm until the officers fired.
Young said police drew their guns before reaching the backyard.
“It was like they were on a mission,” he said.
Police said a vicious dog complaint would be referred to prosecutors.
“Any time an officer discharges a firearm an internal affairs investigation is conducted,” said Dayton police Lt. Wendy Stiver. “We can not comment until after the investigation is conducted.”
Hagler said she’s always been be leery of pit bulls and would never allow a vicious dog around her kids.
She said she now wonders how many dogs are mislabeled pit bull.
“We trained this dog,” she said. “I’ve got friends jealous of how good my dog is.”