Mother lies to protect pit bull who bit her 2-year-old daughter

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On Sunday, two-year-old Gabrielle Looney was bitten on the face by her mother's boyfriend's pit bull. The couple took the injured little girl to the hospital, where her mother did the unthinkable. She lied to doctors and police about what happened to protect the dog.

"She tried to say that this injury to her child occurred from a stray," Des Moines Police Sergeant Jim Butler to WHO-TV. "And that's not something that sits too well for me. First and foremost we all love our pets but we have to take care of our children first before the family pet."

The dog, a two-year-old named Bowser, was seized by the city. It does not appear to be licensed or vaccinated.

"I will more than likely deem the dog dangerous vs. vicious or high risk because the dog according to the code did bite once at or above the shoulders of a human being," Sgt. Butler says.

Bowser's owner, John Houston, says he just moved in with his girlfriend and her daughters a couple of weeks ago, and Bowser and Gabrielle seemed to get along just fine. "They were always like best friends," Houston says, "She's a baby, messy eater, drops crumbs so he's always sticking around her, stuff like that. They play together. She tries to ride his back all the time. Stuff like that."

But on Sunday, Houston says, Gabrielle tried to kiss Bowser on the nose and he snapped at her. "Truthfully, I really don't know what he was thinking. I know that he understood that he was wrong," Houston says, "He ran into the corner and laid down, like with his ears down. He knew he was in trouble."

Houston admits he and his girlfriend lied to police and hospital staff about what happened to protect Bowser, and only came clean when they found out Gabrielle would have to go through a series of painful rabies shots if the dog that bit her was not identified. "After they told us the procedures, after all that then it was like, 'yeah, we have to. It's the right thing to do,'" Houston says, "I was going to end up putting him into the shelter anyway that night. Because it's like you can't trust it. If it happens once there's a possibility where it can happen again. And the kids are more important."

While Houston says he doesn't want Bowser anymore, he also says he doesn't want Bowser to be put down. "That's my best friend," he says, "I've been through everything with him."

Because the mother lied to police they say she could face charges for filing a false report and interference with official acts.

12 comments

    • efesgirl

      You knot head! They let this child climb on the dog’s back…they let her be messy with the food so the dog was always hanging around her…then the dog is finally fed up with things and bites the child? Was the dog supposed to say “Please go away you are bothering me?” Exonerate the dog, re-home him and punish the stupid mother and boyfriend for being lackadaisical and careless!! THIS is THEIR fault – NOT the child’s fault and NOT the dog’s fault.

      • Debbie Bell

        Do you post yiur warning on those countless photos of babies and pits, educating the adults who take those photos?

        Do you point out that “nanny” dog is just advertising, false advertising invented by a pit breeder?

        When bully people mention the ATTS results, do you point out that no children or pets are included un the ATTS, and that this biting dog could probably pass the essentially worthless test?

      • efesgirl

        ANY dog can bite – period.. This does NOT mean that every dog who bites is at fault. Those who believe otherwise are uneducated/stupid. Dogs who have been abused in one way or another ( and this abuse INCLUDES idiot parents who let their children smack/ poke eyes/ climb/pull ears/drop food around etc and so forth) can either turn mean or withdraw and become very submissive. I did not invent the ATTS or set the standards for it, so go complain to someone else about it. Many dogs have been misjudged according to ATTS and killed because of human ignorance/stupidity. I had a friend who, years ago, had two very nice Rottweilers – a male named Bear and a female named Alley. Her 7 yr old son continually pestered Alley and ignored Sue’s repeated warnings about what would happen if he continued – and I was a witness to it. Well, one day Alley finally had enough of this rotten boy and bit him in the face. And, what do you think happened after that? Sue said to her son, ” I TOLD YOU what would happen, and now it’s happened. I hope you have learned your lesson”. Stupid boy got some stitches in his face and did not taunt Alley again.

    • petfriendly2

      They should not have allowed the little girl to climb on the dog or to tease the dog with food. Messy eating invites the dog to clean up. If the little girl had food on her face, of course the dog is going to try to take it when she leans in for a kiss. The dog needs to be placed in a good home, with experienced dog guardians. I certainly would not deem the dog dangerous over this incident. The situation was a perfect set up for a bite.

  • Mary

    This exact same story plays out every week with pit bull people. Their children have no importance compared to a pit bull. Research medical trauma center studies on the severity of pit bull attacks compared to bites by companion breed dogs. Any parent who exposes their child to the presence of a fighting breed dog, whether theirs or someone else’s, places their flesh and blood child to death or severe injury,

    Child welfare must start removing children from houses with pit bulls just as they do with sexual predators…to protect them from possible danger. If sexual predators who are human cannot be trusted for the rest of their lives not to molest again, why do pit bull people think a dumb animal can be?

  • Douglas

    Could have happened with any breed. I have raised my children and grandchildren around dogs and pits have been the best around my kids, family and friends. Just because some are used for fighting should not condemn a whole breed.
    And dogs bite. Shit does happen.

  • Debbie Bell

    If you own a bully dog, understand that when/if your bully dog becomes a good bully dog and attacks, you will be blamed.

    The bully peoole will post that you are scum, that you sell drugs, that you trained your dog to attack.

    Pit bully people cannot be honest and support pit breeding / ownership at the same time. It’s simply not possible.

  • TooRotten

    My God, people are stupid! Allowing a child to ride the dog, letting the dog use the child’s body as a feeding dish because she is messy, AND allowing a small child to grab the face of the dog “to give kisses” is all human error and stupid! Then the owner was going to dump the dog at thenHS to get placed into another home, possibly with children!! Can you say selfish ignorant phucks!

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