Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Pit Bulls, Breed That Killed Topeka 2-Year-Old, Most Common Type at Helping Hands Humane Society

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Pit Bulls, Breed That Killed Topeka 2-Year-Old, Most Common Type at Helping Hands Humane Society

Article excerpt

Pit bull breeds -- the type of dog Topeka Police said Monday attacked and killed a 2-year-old -- are the most common dogs to become homeless, humane society officials said.

The dogs make up 40 of the 160 dogs at Helping Hands Humane Society, more than any other breed. The numbers change from year to year, but executive director Deb Malick said pit bull and pit bull mixes have always been popular in Topeka.

"That's not going to change, so we try to really help the community in picking the right ones for adoptions," she said.

On Saturday, Piper Dunbar, 2, was found dead in the yard of a home in the 800 block of S.E. Carnahan. Investigators believe two pit bulls attacked the girl, police spokeswoman Amy McCarter said. The Animal Control Unit seized both dogs, but charges had not been filed Monday afternoon.

The dogs belonged to a family friend staying at the home, McCarter said.

Similar dogs created chaos in central Topeka more than a year ago.

In early August 2015, two vicious dogs attacked at least three people in Chesney Park. The dogs bit Caleb Davis, 11, who escaped to the top of some monkey bars, his aunt, Rochelle Davis, said at the time. They also bit two men, ages 21 and 33, who tried to intervene before one dog was shot and both were captured by Topeka police.

During the attack, a witness saw a number of children seeking refuge on playground equipment, and a grown man trapped on a picnic table as the two dogs circled the area. At one point, a dog had pinned someone down.

The Topeka Capital-Journal requested dog bite statistics for the past year and an interview with an animal control officer, but that information was not immediately available. McCarter said city ordinance no longer requires pit bulls to be registered separately from other breeds, so it's unknown how many such dogs are owned in the city.

The humane society's top priority is to prevent aggressive dogs from being in situations where violent attacks on people are possible, Malick said. …

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