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Dangerous Dogs: Attacks On The Rise

Some Breeds Have More Problems

Posted: 6:26 pm EDT July 22, 2009Updated: 7:16 pm EDT July 22, 2009

Target 11 investigator Rick Earl combed through data from the Allegheny County Health Department and the State Department of Agriculture and discovered the number of attacks by dogs is on the rise.

He also found out where the most dangerous dogs are and what breeds cause the most problems in area counties.

Dangerous Dogs County By County.

Earle also discovered that the state is taking action to track these dangerous dogs.

Top Breeds Of Dangerous Dogs.

Debbie Fisher was walking her small dog Bella near her home in Jeannette when she was attacked by a pit bull.

Fisher suffered bites in several areas of her body.

She said, “I finally got up here and beat and beat and beat and beat and beat on this to let loose and at that time it had Bella in many places.”

Fisher isn’t the only victim of a dog attack. A boy in Homestead, a woman in North Versailles and the son of a Steeler have all been attacked in recent months.

Officer Ken Ferree said he’s seen a dramatic increase in dog attacks in recent months.

According to the Allegheny County Health Department, dog bites jumped 50 percent from 2007 to 2008.

Target 11 looked through information from the Department of Agriculture and found 404 registered dangerous dogs across the state.

There are 62 dangerous dogs registered in Allegheny County, 21 in Westmoreland, 12 in Butler, 11 in Beaver and six in Washington.

When it comes to breeds causing the most problems in the five county region Target 11 found 42 were pit Bulls, 18 mixed breed, nine German shepherds, four Rottweilers, and four Great Danes.

Dangerous dogs are becoming such a serious issue that Target 11 uncovered new information about how the state plans to deal with them.

Animal control officers said some owners conceal dangerous dogs.

Ferree said, “So now we have a dangerous dog somewhere in a town in the United States and we have no idea and no way to track it.”

So for the first time, owners are now required to have microchips implanted in dangerous dogs.

By waving a scanner around the dog's neck, officers get an identification number used to obtain the dog's record.

Animal Control officer Kathy Hecker said, “It's definitely a step in the right direction. People will transfer them out of state and they need to have a history of past wrongdoing.”

The state has increased the fee to register a dangerous dog to $500 and dangerous dogs are required to be spayed or neutered.

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