Local News

Toddler Mauled, Dog Put Down

Posted March 6, 2007

— A toddler was mauled by a family dog outside her home Tuesday morning.

Jamie Gunter said he saw a commotion outside 512 Trinity Ave. and saw a pit bull with what appeared to be a doll in its mouth. Gunter then determined the dog had attacked a child that lived next door, and he jumped the fence and kicked the dog to get the child out of the animal's mouth.

Jaida Riviera suffered injuries to her head and arms. She was recovering at home Tuesday evening.

Police said the girl was playing with a puppy in her back yard when the 3-year-old pit bull, which was owned by her family, suddenly attacked her. The girl's legs became wrapped in the dog's chains, and she couldn't escape, police said.

The family surrendered the dog to Durham Animal Control officers, and it was immediately put down because it lacked an immunization record.

The dog’s body is being tested for rabies.


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  • Rocknhorse Mar 8, 2007

    You hear so much in the news about pit bulls vs. any other breed b/c these dogs are so much stronger and deadly. They may or may not attack any more often than other breeds, but you can get away from other breeds w/less damage.

    One problem with this breed is that there is a HUGE group (majority maybe?) who buy this breed b/c they WANT the image that the dog represents and then they make the dog live up to the image. Dobermans used to be the same way. Not all, but a lot of people who buy these breeds do so b/c they want a scary dog. Unfortunately these dogs are raised poorly, without knowledge of what the breed needs and those are the one's that make the news. It is sad!

  • allysonlynn Mar 7, 2007

    First of all...............I've noticed the Pit Bull Icon for WRAL...........is generic........like a sunshine or a lightning bolt for the weather. I'd like to replace it with one of my dog........a good dog. Jack was 2 in December......he is loving and innocent. He's 85 lbs, so he can be a bit rough when he plays......but he would NEVER hurt anyone or anything. He loves all children and dogs.....and is especially gentle when its a young/small one of either. He's been with us since he was 5 weeks.....he is treated like family......'cause he is. You can chain and neglect any type of dog and make a bad one.......just don't forget to also avoid any affection or love. It sickens me that Pit Bulls get such a bad rap. It ain't the dogs......its the people who are raising them. So they should be the ones getting lethal injections.

  • kitt Mar 7, 2007

    Y'all bring up some very good points, but you are forgetting one thing... a well-bred pitbull (and that includes GAME-BRED because they are the ONLY well-bred pits) will not, under ANY circumstances attack people. Thirty years ago you never heard of a pitbull attacking people, because, people, it just didn't happen! The reason so many people are being attacked by so-called pitbulls today, is because, simply, they ARE NOT bred right. The REAL dogs of yesteryear were fought, yes, they had to be. A pitbull would not be what he is (or is s'posed to be?) to be today if it wasn't for the dogmen of yesterday. Louis Colby, Howard Heinzel, Earl Tudor, Al Brown, Con Feeley, Floyd Boudreaux... I could go on and on...

    How many people of you out there right now, the ones who supposedly LOVE these dogs have even HEARD of these names? If you don't know the history of the breed, you have NO business owning them. And if you condemn their gladioter past, you know even LESS about them.

  • animallover33 Mar 7, 2007

    I Live in a small town outside of Rocky Mount called Enfield and there are a number of people in my hometown that have pitbull dogs. I love dogs in general, but the breed called pitbull just sends chills down my spine because i have three children and where we live we are surrounded with people that have this particular breed of dog. I personally don't let my kids play outside unattended because I know that people in my neighborhood have this breed of dog. I am very much afraid that this may happen to one of my children, so i feel that parent's pain most definitely. I have an english bulldog mixed and she is very protective of me and my kids, but I still don't trust letting my kids play outside because of pitbulls in my neighborhood. I feel that something should be done in my town about the pitbulls because ALOT of people including young people who I feel don't know what a dangerous breed of dog they have.

  • j-fitty Mar 7, 2007

    And in over 7 years working with animal i have only been bitten twice. A rotti which was sick, my fault on that one, and a yellow lab, which was one of the most aggressive dogs i have ever dealt with, not to mention it was off its own property, it went for my face and luckily i put my arm up in time. Trust me when i say that there are far more bites that arent pitbulls. And in my opinion pits are abused more often that other breeds. Its a shame that people out there would like to see pits become extinct, we arent talking about dinosaurs here, we are talking about a life of a pet.

  • j-fitty Mar 7, 2007

    Its a shame that this had to happen. I feel bad for the little girl. The mother should have been watching the little girl outside playing. I dont understand how its the pitbulls fault. First off if the mother was there it wouldnt of happend point blank. And whos decision was it to bring several pits home and chain them up in the backyard and not take care of them like she was supposed to. I have been working in the animal field for over 7 years. I own a pitbull and i love her like my family. When people ask what i have for animal i tell them i have a pit, american eskimo and a cat, all of them love eachother and have no problems living under the same roof. I have made many people understand what great dogs they are. I walk her in duke park everytime. Some people stay away and some people comment on what a beautiful dog she is. And my dog ends up licking peoples face or running around playing with their family pets. Any dog can bite regardless of breed.

  • Get a clue Mar 7, 2007

    To think that only Pit-bulls are chained in back-yards on short chains without shelter and adequate chain length and size...I'd have to suggest you look in more backyards! - doglover

    Please quote me where I said that I think it's only pit bulls on short chains without shelter. I know it's all types of dogs, but the dog in this story is a pit bull, so that's what my response was in reference too. In my line of work I see it all the time with all sorts of dogs. Usually in backyards owned and unkept by...umm never mind.

  • Tarheeljunior Mar 7, 2007

    I live in an apratment complex in which pit bulls are banned, but a resident upstairs has two. As puppies, they were the sweetest little dogs I have seen in a long time. As they have gotten bigger, they have become aggressive and unresponsive to the owner. They chase out after people even as the owner tries to call them off. I have not seen them attack anyone yet, but then again, they are nowhere near full grown yet. People can defend the breed all they want, and say it is the owner's fault, but then why is there a higher occurance of pit attacks, particularly in cities such as Durham? All dogs can potentially be aggressive (even the 5 pound Yorkie that decided it would try to attack me in elementary school), but pits based on their size and muscle structure are killing machines. A yorkie can't do much more than cause a small tear in someone's clothing. I hate to punish the breed for the actions of some, but regulation of this breed is the only way to eliminate the public threat.

  • latanya512 Mar 7, 2007

    I own a pitbull/boxer mix. My dog is friendly. As the owner, I have the commonsense not to let people my dog does not know around her. When I owned, a toy dog. I did the same. Labs, collies, sheep dogs, have attacked just as easy as a pit. It depends on who is raising the dog. Not the dog. All dogs are territorial. On MSNBC, a detective said he was attacked by a police dog during a raid when he was on his side. People please be careful with any animal you own. Like one of the people said, if you can't get a fence or keep it in your home. Don't chain them up. You should not get a dog. How would you feel chained up all day and night. Unless that is your thing.

  • North Carolina Native Mar 7, 2007

    children shouldn't be left alone with a chained dog no matter the breed.. they are usually so isolated they have no choice but to be mean when someone enters their limited territory. That said no dog should ever be chained if you can't afford a fenced in yard and can't have an indoor dog then you shouldn't get a dog.