My Photo


follow us in feedly

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Best Of KC Dog Blog

Become a Fan

« National Pit Bull Awareness Day, 2009 | Main | County Leaders to Tom Skeldon, the Status Quo is Unacceptable »

October 29, 2009



Another factor overlooked in such cases is the high percentage of Pit Bulldogs kept by those in the lower socio-economic groups. Perhaps the impoverished and disaffected feel empowered by ownership of what the media has served up as "the devil's lapdog".


The biggest thing covered up by this newspaper's hyperbole was the babysitter's, (and perhaps the parent's) negligence. 4 blocks away? This could just as easily have been a story about a kid being run over by a car or killed by a pedophile.

And ambroidering this story with 5 references to a "pitbull" in a 6 paragraph story says more about the lack of skill by the so-called reporter than the actual story. There is no reference to any fact checking anywhere.

Breed has nothing to do with it. And the owner was probably following most leash laws - in his own yard, secured. Not having a fence around a tied-up dog, not socialing a dog with the family, human incompetence, not allowing unwanted litters - all of those things weigh much more heavily in this story than trying to use racism to blame the dog.


following up on Dan's point: how many toddlers DO die in traffic accidents, etc, due to babysitter neglect (let alone the ones that die from parental neglect/abuse)???. But of course, for our craven media, it's all about the dog, not the people.

Brent Toellner

Dan, I couldn't agree more. At least one media source even reported that the boy crawled INTO the dog house. A non-aggressive, but poorly socialized dog would easily crawl into a dog house to "hide" from a potential predator - -and if the child really did climb into the dog house, would have certainly felt threatened by it and bitten. But NONE of that is getting the press. And several have left out altogether that the attack happened four blocks from the sitters home -- only reporting that it happened at a "neighbor's" house.

This one hasn't really been widely publicized nationally yet. I think the obvious neglegence in this one is keeping the national media folks away.

Josh Gowans

"The link between income/education level and how people care for dogs continues to be overlooked when it comes to these stories -- and how many of these attacks could be prevented through educating people on better was to contain their dogs (and watch their children)." The animal welfare industry has historically done a poor job of reaching under-served and impoverished pet owing population, resulting in the 'incident-penalty' model that normally blames the wrong factor (typically the breed of dog). Until resources are shifted to help reach and educate people in need, these types of incidents (both the attack and the way it was reported) will continue.


Another tragic story that was highly preventable from multiple angles, KID NOT ROAMING 4 BLOCKS FROM HOME (what happened to child neglect laws?), DOG NOT TETHERED AS THEIR PRIMARY FORM OF CONTAINMENT (need more laws here especially in super low income areas).

With all the above said, I am not writing on this topic but on the topic of the ignorance of bloggers who write for these types of stories. The line you always see is these types of attacks never happen from, insert breed here. First and foremost, this is such a dangerous statement. Because, yes other breeds are attacking with severity, but they don't believe it because mass media leaves this information out. Second, how many, insert breed here, are abused, abandoned and neglected as often as pit bull type of dogs? The answer is zero. Any person in the shelter world could easily verify this statement. Third, how many, insert breed here, are on tie outs for their entire lives? The answer is a lot less for every other breed than a pit bull. Again, any person who looks around can verify this statement. I have yet to see a Lab tied out as its' primary form of containment. I just wish the ignorance would stop and the full picture would be portrayed...


Carianne, come visit me if you want to see Labs tied out. ALL large dog breeds get tied out. Whose ignorance are you referencing?


EmilyS, I am referencing my own ignorance as stated in my write-up, "I have yet to see a Lab tied out as its' primary form of containment". Maybe I should have written it is a lot less likely for a Lab to be tied out as its' primary form of containment. I have yet to see a Lab in the inner city tied out, again this is my own ignorance...


due to the lack of ignorance of a television reporter this story was screwed up! how could one say that the baby wondered 4blocks when the accident was only one house over from where they were? and another the babys were not in the care of the babysitter their mother was there at the time of the incident, yes she was asleep but being a mother of two toddlers myself i admit to waking up to my kids awake themselves. and how would this reporter know that the baby climed into the dog house; if someone had seen him do it wouldnt you think that he would still be w us; that the wittness who seen him "chase the dog into the house or wonder four blocks away would have gotten the child out of the situation he was in!!? so befor you post your info on the website you should make sure that your info is correct! you might want to find out the real story b4 you post any more BS!!!


Although I understand the frustration with the initial report, maybe it's best not to take it out on the messenger?

If there is a way to find a responsible journalistic outlet who employs and uses the skills of professional reporters, that actually verifies the "facts" they report, and refrains from embroidering their stories with unsubtantiated hyperbole to titallate their viewers/readers and increase sales, please enlighten the rest of us. We seem to be truly low on our supply of those.

Until then we are at the mercy of stations and newspapers who hold themselves out as professionals and who act as such, and their reports are reflected here. The posting on this blog was certainly not the widest distribution - that was reserved for the viewers of the television broadcast (hundreds, thousands? Dozens?) where it went without all these new "facts". The nice thing about this forum is when such journalistic baby-food is posted, most of us are far too skeptical to accept what we read without knowing that there is an agenda coloring the story. For example, a 6 paragraph story with the word "pitbull" written 5 times and nothing to indicate even the barest of fact checking. This blog takes pap like that to task. And as such is a valuable service. How do you work against someone who has 24x7 access to your audience to promote a message of hate, intolerance, and racism, unless you know what they are saying?

One of the big pluses of posting the info here is that it reaches such a wide and critical audience. You get to people who understand that the dog is the last thing to be focused on, and you get folks such as Allison who apparently knows more of the story and wants to share it. Thank you for that.

Btw - assuming all these new "facts" are accurate, the stuff about whether it was 4 blocks or next door, whether there was a witness or not, what race the dog is; all of this still belongs in the category of distraction. It still seems to boil down to the parent or babysitter's negligence.


I'm glad you could understand Alison's post. I'm still scratching my head over it.

Brent Toellner


I'm not sure what your beef is -- but everything from my article is sourced from the original news sources. If your complaint is that the news media isn't much for accuracy, then no argument from me -- heck, that's half the point of this blog.

However, it does appear as if there was one witness to the attack -- the victim's 3 year old brother. Now, how we'll ever know what the real story is with a) a 3 year old as our only witness and b) the media covering it -- but thus far, the information is what it is.


A babysitter and/or daycare provider is 100% responsible for the safety of the children. Yes, some unavoidable accidents do occur w/ toddlers.

However, a toddler and a 3 year old leaving the house alone, is in and of itself gross negligence on the part of the babysitter, who should be in the company of the children AT ALL TIMES they are in her care, period. That is what the babysitter is paid for.

As someone pointed out above, it is no big surprise that a child is dead. It would have been no big surprise if a child was kidnapped, molested, or murdered. It would have been no big surprise if a child fell into a well, or a pond, or a ravine, or plain lost.

The words Pit Bull are completely irrelevant in this story, imo. A child left in a babysitter's care that wanders off, is extremely dangerous, regardless of how far the child wanders.

PAMM - People Against Misinformed Media

I think Allison's beef was with the reports posted on the newspapers website?

Was the dog female? Could have been the momma dog...

This is just sickeningly heartbreaking...

The comments to this entry are closed.