Jan 30, 2014 McClean County euthanizes pit bulls that killed Kara Hartrich

It has been almost 2 weeks since four year old Kara Hartrich was killed.  No major city outlets have picked up the story in Chicago or St. Louis.  No national news outlets have reported this story.  But there is an update.

The owners of the dogs relinquished ownership of the pit bulls allowing McClean county animal control to humanely euthanize them after a ten day rabies hold.  All three pit bulls were put down.  Two intact males were determined to have participated in the attack, but it could not be determined whether the female also participated.

No charges will be brought because an investigation turned up no documented history of attacks.

CINewsNow reported in a news report that they had to submit a Freedom of Information request to obtain information about this pit bull attack.  This is a common necessity when reporting on pit bull attacks in Illinois.  In 2011, the Rockford Star filed a freedom of information request with animal control to get verification that the dogs that killed their owner, Tonia C. Parks, were pit bulls.  In both cases, updated versions of the story deleted the mention of the freedom of information request.

CINewsNow, news reported that Kara's death was the second death due to pit bulls within a year (presumably in Illinois).  They are wrong. Kara is the third child killed by a pit bull in Illinois within 10 months.  On March 3, 2013, Ryan Maxwell was killed in Galesburg, IL.  And just over a month before Kara was killed, Jah'Niyah White was killed by her grandfather's pit bull in Chicago on December 8, 2013.

CINewsNow's report uses 90 words to incorrectly report on the pit bull mauling deaths  in Illinois and then proceeds to use 290 words to explain that pit bulls are great! And then they quote the Peoria County Animal Control director as saying that Kara, who was supervised in her own home, simply "was in the wrong circumstances at the wrong time."

The reporting in Illinois is so inadequate that a fatal pit bull attack barely makes the news, and serious pit bull attacks that end with a police shooting in a suburban residential neighborhood do not make it into the news at all.

Fatal attacks and non-fatal maiming attacks by pit bulls are skyrocketing in recent years, not just in Illinois, but across North America. But, without adequate reporting in Illinois, residents are are unaware of the dangers pit bull pose and are especially vulnerable.

With the escalation of pit bull attacks, people who have experienced serious attacks or lost a loved one to an attack are beginning to speak out about the dangers, some of them owned the pit bulls that attacked or killed.  People are beginning to realize that even well-raised pit bulls launch unprovoked, serious or lethal attacks.

Two 501(c)3 foundations have been formed by families whose child was killed by a pit bull in 2013.  Their goals are to educate and change laws regarding pit bulls and other dangerous dogs.

The Baby Beau foundation was founded by the mother of Beau Rutlege.  His family owned a pit bull named Kissy Face for 8 years.  Kissy Face was part of the family as the Rutlege's first child was born and grew.  In an instant, Beau Rutlege was killed by the family pet.

Daxton's Friends has been formed by the family of Daxton Borchart.  His story is here.

Bite Back For Kids, third 501(c)3 is being formed by the parent of a surviving victim.

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Related posts:
Jan 18, 2014 Bloomington family pit bull kills four year old Kara Hartrich
Dec 8, 2013 Chicago Fatal Pit Bull Attack: 2 year old Jah'Niyah White
Mar 03, 2013 Galesburg Pit Bulls Kill 7 year old Ryan Maxwell
Sep 11, 2013 Bloomington pit bull commits two separate attacks on people
Oct 25, 2012 Boomington couple attacked by pit bulls, hospitalized with very serious injuries
Aug 16, 2012 Man Killed By Own Pit Bulls In Englewood

Unreported Illinois attacks that have been uncovered.