Dog attack: Think about the victims

This week’s dog attack that injured two Minot women has brought out the usual arguments surrounding pitbulls, largely on social media sites. Most of the postings we’ve read miss the point entirely.

Joni Moen was walking her dog along 23rd Avenue Southwest on Tuesday when a dog described in a Minot Police Department report as a pitbull ran from a nearby garage and attacked Moen’s small dog. Moen was bitten on the hand while attempting to stop the attack. Nancy Tofteland, whose son, Colin, owns the dog, was also bitten on her calf when she tried to help stop the attack, causing deep lacerations, according to police reports. Another neighbor ran to the scene with an aluminum bat and helped fend off the attacking dog. The dog’s owner, Colin Tofteland, was cited for vicious animals declared a nuisance. Colin Tofteland does not live in Minot, but was visiting his mother. The dog has been quarantined.

Most of the chatter about the case has been focused on the attacking dog, with arguments ranging from how pitbulls are unfairly singled out as being vicious to the attack being the fault of the dog’s owner, not the dog. But very few comments we’ve seen even mention the two women bitten.

Let’s get back to reality here, folks. Two women were bitten by a dog. It doesn’t matter if the offending dog is a pitbull or a German shephard or a golden retriever. It doesn’t matter if pitbulls are unfairly singled out; this is not the time for that argument. Stick to the facts of this particular incident: The dog in question viciously attacked another dog and injured two humans in the process. That’s what matters, and we hope those discussing this incident on social media sites and in the community remember that. Both owner and dog must be held accountable.