Dog 'extremely aggressive' after attack on 3-year-old girl, SPCA head says

Dog's owners appear in court
Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-15 15:08:25-04

CINCINNATI - The dog turned over to police after an attack on a 3-year-old girl Wednesday is “extremely aggressive” and handlers are using extra precautions, the head of the SPCA told WCPO.

The dog, identified by police as a pit bull, is being held in a special area at the SPCA in Northside.

“A short term view of the dog is that it’s extremely aggressive,”  Harold Dates, President/CEO of SPCA Cincinnati, said Friday.

The dog’s owners, Eddie Butts and Liasha Williams, were in court in the morning. They’re facing charges for removing the dog and leaving the scene of the attack in Elmwood Place.

Butts took off with the dog for the child’s safety, Butts’ attorney said in court.

“I think he did what any sensible person would do," the attorney said.

Dates disagreed.

“If you look at the situation and what transpired, it seems to me it's very irresponsible on the owners’ part to leave an injured child at the scene, put the dog in a car and take off," Dates said.

Protocol calls for the dog to be quarantined for 10 days to see if it has rabies. A court will decide the dog’s fate.

We went to Elmwood Place town hall and found a 1996 ordinance that prohibited owning “vicious” dogs. At the time, all pit bulls were in that category.

A later state laqw removed pit bulls from that category.

 “One specific breed, to ban them or point them out as vicious really doesn't work well,” Dates said. “You have to have a statute that deals with all types of situations and all types of dogs."

The SPCA says it is working with police in their investigation.

Butts and Williams are charged with obstructing official business and tampering with evidence. Both were still jailed in the Justice Center Friday evening. Butts has a $45,000 bond; Williams $22,500.

The 3-year-old victim was taken to Children’s Hospital and spent three hours in surgery for injuries to her legs and groin, police said. She was stable at the hospital.

COLUMN: Stop calling them “pit bull” attacks.