Since a pit bull attacked a Riverhead animal control officer in October and was slated to be put down, a debate has emerged between residents on pit bulls as both express their strong opinions on whether or not the breed gets a bad rap.
Riverhead Town animal control officer Jessica Eibs-Stankaitis was mauled by a pit bull and badly injured last month. Last week, the Riverhead town board said she did plan to return to work.
Eibs-Stankaitis was mauled by a pit bull while on duty at the Riverhead Town animal shelter, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said.
The ACO, who suffered lacerations to her face, had undetermined damage to her hip, Hegermiller said. "That's where the dog latched on. It wouldn't let go."
Animal shelter staff had no clue the dog would attack. "They thought it was a good dog," Hegermiller said. The dog, he added, was found on Wading River-Manor Road in a crate, on the side of the road. The male pit bull had been at the town animal shelter for a few days.
"She was walking back to the kennel and the dog just attacked her out of nowhere," Hegermiller said. "She was very fortunate the dog didn't latch onto her neck."
Trying to get the dog off Eibs-Stankaitis wasn't easy, Hegermiller said. "It bad," he said. "It was a battle."
First, he said, after Eibs-Stankaitis screamed for help, a kennel attendant tried to use a snare pole on the animal's hind leg. "It didn't work," Hegermiller said. "Jessica, with the dog still hanging on her hip, was able to get something around its head and break it free."
The dog, the police chief said, was kept in confinement at the town animal shelter and was slated to be put down in ten days.
What do you think about pit bulls? Do you think they are a danger to residents -- or, do you think they suffer from public misconception and an unfair rap that leads to the dogs being put down?
Patch wants to hear from you. Do you have a pit bull? Describe your experience with the dogs in the comments section.