Jackson girl hospitalized after dog attack - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson girl out of hospital 2 weeks after dog attack

Dog bite victim (Source: Family) Dog bite victim (Source: Family)
Dog bite wound (Source: Family) Dog bite wound (Source: Family)
Dog bite victim (Source: Family) Dog bite victim (Source: Family)
According to Officer Colendula Green with Jackson Police, the dog was taken to the City of Jackson Animal Shelter. (Source: Jackson Animal Shelter) According to Officer Colendula Green with Jackson Police, the dog was taken to the City of Jackson Animal Shelter. (Source: Jackson Animal Shelter)
Support for Deuce has grown beyond the Jackson area. This photo comes from Miranda Jo Mcintire in Crossville, TN. Support for Deuce has grown beyond the Jackson area. This photo comes from Miranda Jo Mcintire in Crossville, TN.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A 12-year-old Jackson girl has been released from the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children after being injured in a dog attack two weeks ago.

Kiya West of northeast Jackson was mauled by the next door neighbor's pit bull July 8. She sustained injuries to her leg, chest, abdomen and hand. She had skin graft surgery during her stay at the hospital.

After 10 days in quarantine, the pit bull responsible for severely injuring Kiya was returned to his owner Thursday afternoon. Now that the dog is out of the possession of Animal Control it is considered vicious.

"The owner of the animal has to have it enclosed, has to have a muzzle, leash, some type of restraint if it's off the property. On the property, it must be confined to not have contact with any people," says Jackson Police Commander Duane Odom, who oversees Animal Control.

"We will release it to the owner with certain stipulations. The animal will be fostered out. That's up to the owner," he adds. "Past ten days, (Deuce) has been agreeable so to speak. He's been agreeable. We have not had any indications at this point that he's been aggressive to our people."

Jackson Police Spokesperson Colendula Green said on Friday animal control would "use its discretion" on putting down the 1-year-old dog named Deuce. Although Deuce's owner, Brinda West, indicated two days after the attack that she did not want the dog back, West has since indicated that she wants to reclaim the dog.

On July 8, Kiya West, no relation to the dog owner, went into Brinda West's gated back yard next door. It was then that the dog attacked Kiya.

Kiya West's mother, Javonda Patton, tried to pull the dog off, and Brinda West fired gunshots, also in efforts to remove the dog from the child. Deuce eventually let go, but only after causing a huge gash in Kiya's inner thigh, and more.

"Five to six puncture wounds in her chest and stomach area, also in her hand," said Patton.

During a phone interview Thursday afternoon, Patton contradicted a family member's original story that Kiya had gone into the back yard next door to find a ball. Patton claimed the dog owner's young son brought Kiya into the back yard to pet the dog, and that's when Deuce attacked.

Pit bulls are a polarizing topic for central Mississippi residents with many claiming the breed has gained a bad reputation because of the widespread, illegal fighting of the breed. A lawyer out of Ridgeland, Johnny Givens with Porter & Malouf, explains what a dog owner's rights would be in a case like this. Hypothetically, he says, when someone enters someone else's property they're trespassing, and a dog's purpose is often to guard property.

"You also have in Mississippi what's generally referred to as, you get one bite free. The dog has to have previously shown some type of aggressive behavior toward an individual. On top of that, you have to show that the dog owner knew or should have known of that before you can impose liability on the owner of the dogs," Givens says.

Brinda West explains Deuce has never attacked before.

The City of Jackson says it will not adopt the dog out to anyone other than the owner for liability reasons. If the dog bites again, the owner could be held liable. Violation of the vicious dog ordinance could carry a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

There was a fear that if the dog owner did not take Deuce back, and the city refused to adopt him out to anyone else, Deuce would be put down. The story of Deuce facing euthanization sparked an online frenzy to save the dog's life. A petition was created online by a reader of the story.

One Mississippi resident who signed the petition in support of allowing Deuce to live said the dog was likely simply protecting his own family.

"Deuce doesn't need to be put down for doing what I am sure what the owner got him for not only for a family pet, but for protection," writes the supporter.

"I've been around [pit bulls] for a very long time. They're very good dogs as long as you raise them right. It's all in the raising," claims Amber Snowden, a Brandon resident who also signed the online petition.

Snowden adds she would adopt Deuce if she could. She believes with a little time, the dog would make a great pet.

"I think with rehabilitation and someone working with [Deuce] on a regular basis, I think the dog would be fine," explains Snowden.

Ridgeland Attorney Johnny Givens explained that people who want to adopt a dog that has a history of biting might want to think twice.

"Do you want to keep the dog alive? [What if] it attacks somebody else down the road and possibly kill somebody?" questioned Givens, Attorney with Porter & Malouf.

Many of the supporters hoping to spare the dog's life reached out to the Villalobos Rescue Center, known for its reality television show Pit bulls & Parolees, in New Orleans. The center responded on its Facebook page stating:

"In regards to the Jackson, MS dog Deuce. We are getting bombarded with phone calls, emails and posts. We DO NOT take dogs with a bite history ESPECIALLY a child. This would be a huge liability for us to take on and we could and would NEVER adopt out a dog knowing that he bit someone ESPECIALLY a child. And if you saw her bite wounds, that was no "nip". He BIT HER AND GOOD. I can't say for sure what happened as I don't know all the real facts. But this is not a dog that we would consider taking in for adoption purposes."

Patton says the family owned a pit bull puppy themselves, but gave it up the day Kiya was attacked.

"I am devastated about the whole situation, because it's just a hard thing, having to get the dog up off of my daughter, and I am trying to deal with it," said Patton. "She has a golf ball size hole in her inner thigh. And she also was punctured in the stomach, and in her chest and in the hand."

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