BY RICHARD WATTS, TIMES COLONIST
VICTORIA — A 16-day-old baby girl is in hospital recovering from injuries she received when she was mauled by the family dog.
The dog, a pitbull-Rottweiler cross bred and 17-year family pet, has been destroyed.
Saanich police continue to investigate. The dog owners may face a charge of criminal negligence.
Police said in a press release they received a call in the early morning hours Sunday about a baby girl being mauled by the family dog in the Glanford area.
The child was taken to Victoria General Hospital where she remained Sunday evening with non-life-threatening injuries to her face. Police speculated she may later require plastic surgery.
The family agreed to have the animal euthanized after considering the seriousness of the incident.
Barbara Watt, president of the Victoria City Kennel Club, was appalled at the notion of crossing-breeding a Rottweiler with a pitbull.
“Perish the thought,” said Watt. “People who cross breeds like that probably have no idea what they are bringing into the world.”
“If you take a dog with the weight of a pitbull and particularly when you cross it with something like a Rottweiler you have a very powerful animal,” she said in an interview.
She said all dogs, even something tiny like a Chihuahua, can bite. And no dog, whatever the breed, should ever be allowed near a child without supervision.
Also, Watt said dogs get jealous of the attention that gets lavished on a new baby or a child. So a family must be extra careful if it has had a dog since it was a puppy and then bring in a human child.
“They have to be very careful of how they introduce those two,” she said.
Watt said one of the things making pitbulls unpredictable is the lack of established breeding patterns.
Kennel clubs have refused to recognize them as an established breed. Amateur breeders have selected and promoted the animals for their fighting prowess.
So it’s very unlikely anyone breeding a pitbull has a good notion of their animal’s pedigree or its background ancestry. It’s opposite to what happens when someone takes on a purebred, recognized breed from a reputable dog breeder.
Such animals grow physically to an expected size and their temperaments are reasonably predictable, said Watt.
Furthermore, a reputable breeder will often support and stand behind an animal and help a new owner become accustomed to their pet. Good breeders are mindful of the well-being of the dogs to which they have some connection.
“And very often you will have to wait for the puppy of your choice and even that is a good sign because it demonstrates the breeder isn’t breeding too frequently,” she said.