Aug 14, 2003 Pit bull launches devastating attack, consumes girl's thumb

Romeoville - An eight year old girl was attacked by a neighbor's pit bull.  The pit bull took out a large chunk of her nect and her thumb was bitten off.

When first responders could not find the girl's thumb, they took the pit bull to the hospital where the girl had been taken.

As the hospital had no means to euthanize the pit bull, police shot it in the hospital parking lot so surgeons could retrieve the thumb.

Surgeons at two different hospitals were unable to reattach her thumb.

Police decided not to file charges agains Bernie Shuberth, the pit bull's owner.

Read more:
Journal Gazette & Times-courier
Chicago Tribune

May 07, 2003 Rockford Dog Attacks Down; Pit Bull Incidents Up

 Officials May Require Local Dogs to be Microchipped

Rockford - In the wake of high-profile dog attacks in Rockford, a study of Winnebago county animal services dog bite records show that pit bulls are far and away the biggest canine offender.
The number of reported attacks is down slightly from last year - 150 bite reports for the first four months in 2002 against 146 bite reports during the same time this year, according to a Rockford Register Star review of available records.

But pit bull bites are on the rise as the breed's population, probably mostly unregistered animals, continues to increase locally.
That has Rockford aldermen calling for steep fines and others calling for local dogs to be microchipped.

Gary Longanecker, interim director of Winnebago County Animal Services said that his office has handled 36 percent more pit bull attacks this year.

From 2002 through April 2003, Winnebago County Animal Services recorded 692 dog-bite reports.  Of those reports, 144, or 21 percent, involved pit bulls.  German shepherds were a distant second, making up 12 percent of the bite reports.

Rockford Register Star, Rockford IL, May 07, 2003, p. 1

Jan 12, 2003 Pit bull mixes attack two joggers, killing one and seriously injuring the other

River Forest-Pit bull mixes attacked two women who were jogging in Dan Ryan Woods in separate attacks.  The pit bulls seriously mauled 46 year old Mary Murphy-Smith and killed 48 year old Anna Cieslewicz.  The pit bulls attacked the responding police officers in the forest preserve, and the police killed them.

The owners were never found. describes how Anna's Law, which was named for Anna Cieslewicz, and was supposed to honor Cieslewicz by enacting protections for people from dangerous dogs, ended up a pet population control law.

Read more:
CBS Evening News

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