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They don't need pit bulls
The dog also bit a 3-year-old child at the home of its owner, Kathy Daubs, on Woodlawn Drive in Mattoon in May 2014. O'Brien also noted the recent report that the dog was running loose, which led to authorities' efforts to have it euthanized.
"My concern is about public safety," O'Brien said. "How do I know it's not going to escape again? How do I know if there's not going to be another child that suffers the consequences?"
About a week after the most recent incident, Coles County animal shelter officials deemed it dangerous. That meant it could only be returned to Daubs if she followed certain conditions, including keeping the dog confined and muzzled.
In court Tuesday, Daubs said she kept the dog muzzled after it was returned to her. She said it was also confined to her home but got out of her yard on April 30 because someone moved a piece of fencing, which she since repaired.
The dog's running loose led the Coles County State's Attorney's Office to file the petition seeking the vicious dog designation and euthanization.
Assistant State's Attorney Jesse Danley said the two incidents showed a "pattern," as both times young children were bitten in the face.
"The fear is this dog goes for the cheek next time and gets a kid by the throat," he said.
During the most recent incident, the dog was on a leash but managed to get away from Daubs and bite the child, Danley added. Noting the dog's recent escape from Daubs' yard, he said euthanization was the only guarantee it wouldn't bite another child.
"Unfortunately, Ms. Daubs can't handle this dog," Danley said. "A pit bull with the capability to kill someone doesn't belong in her custody."
The more recent incident also took place near Daubs' house, when the dog bit a child on a bicycle. Daubs claimed the child got too close to her and the dog but other accounts indicated they were separated.
With the 2014 incident, Daubs claimed she pulled the dog by its collar when it jumped on the child and thought the child was injured by being hit by the dog's head. There was evidence of puncture wounds and other indications of a bite, however.
Journal Gazette & Times-Courrier
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