A number of readers wondered what happened to the little boy attacked by a Pit Bull whose story I told in "Troublemakers." The answer is that he had a bite on his cheek. Dog bites are graded one through six—with six as the most serious—and his bite was a one. The adults who intervened on his behalf had to get a bit more medical attention. But the damage, in their case, was also slight. The little boy's father had two stiches in his hand. In some ways, I don't think the severity of the bites matters much, which is why I didn't dwell on it in the story. Clearly, the attack could have been much more serious. If everyone hadn't run to the defense of the boy so quickly, and if the boy's mother hadn't done exactly the right thing (lying down, with her body covering the boy) the boy could easily have been badly injured. The attack was horrifying, even if no one was seriously hurt, and dogs should not be permitted to run free and bite people.
On the other hand, part of the rhetorical arsenal of those who get hysterical about Pit Bulls is to pretend that every dog bite is a medical catastrophe. And that just isn't true. If you look, in fact, at emergency room statistics, you'll see that more people are admitted every year for non-dog bites than dog-bites—which is to say that when you see a Pit Bull, you should worry as much about being bitten by the person holding the leash than the dog on the other end. Janis Bradley's book, which i mentioned in a previous post, is awfully convincing on this point.