23 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by sexy_and_40
Patch Instagram photo by sexy_and_40

After Attack, IB Woman Wants Pit Bulls Banned from Local Beaches

After Attack, IB Woman Wants Pit Bulls Banned from Local Beaches
An Imperial Beach woman's account of a Dec. 22 pit bull attack on her daughter's poodle mix has fueled a debate over which dogs should be considered dangerous and spawned a petition drive to ban certain breeds from local beaches.

The  online discussion that has ensued since Caesarina Kelley posted her story Dec. 28 on Imperial Beach Patch has caught the attention of community members and a city councilman. 

Kelley says the pre-Christmas incident on the beach just north of Carnation Avenue badly injured her daughter's 4-year-old dog, a "snickerdoodle" named Simon, when a leashed pit bull broke free from its owner and attacked. 

In the wake of the mauling, Kelley has circulated a petition around town to drum up support for banning pit bulls and other specific breeds from the Imperial Beach shoreline. It's an action City Councilman Brian Pat Bilbray says he can't support. 

Bilbray took to his personal Facebook page Jan. 3 to post a message regarding the controversy:

"Just so we are clear, I Will Not legislate morality from my position, I Will Not punish the majority of good responsible dog owners for the actions of a few, and I Will fight anything that tries to target a specific breed by making it harder to license there dog in the city. All it will do is deter people from registering there dog with the city!"

Kelley told 10News that veterinary care for the pet reached several thousand dollars.  She and her daughter were also bitten by the pit bull as they tried to rescue Simon, and were treated at a hospital for cuts and bruises, according to a post in the San Diego Reader. 

"As I picked [the dog] up the pit bull attacked again, grabbed my hands, bit my hands in the attempt to get the dog," Kelley told 10News.

Animal control officers ordered the pit bull's owner to neuter the animal and obtain liability insurance on her homeowner's policy, according to the Reader article. 

10News says Kelley was offered a $100,000 settlement from the dog owner's insurance company, and that she is seeking legal advice.

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