NEW INFORMATION: No charges expected in fatal Wis. pit bull attack

By: Joe Nelson and AP Email
By: Joe Nelson and AP Email

TOWN OF WALWORTH, Wis. (AP) -- The Walworth County sheriff's office says no charges are expected in a pit bull attack that killed a young boy earlier this month.

Sheriff's Capt. Dana Nigbor tells The Janesville Gazette she does not anticipate any criminal charges being filed in the mauling.

The district attorney's office will make a final charging decision. District Attorney Daniel Necci said Friday it was too soon to tell if his office would file charges.

Fourteen-month-old Daxton Borchardt was at his baby sitter's home in the Town of Walworth March 6 when the two were attacked by the woman's pit bulls. The boy was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Funeral services for Dax, as the boy was called, were held last Tuesday in Williams Bay.

The two pit bulls were euthanized.
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A dog attack that killed a 14-month-old toddler is sparking a debate on how similar attacks could be prevented.

The toddler, named Dax, was at his baby sitter, Susan Iwicki's apartment Wednesday in Walworth County when two pit bulls attacked him.

Iwicki called 911, but Dax died less than three hours later.

The attack is reviving a debate about whether pit bulls should be banned in some areas, or if owners should be held accountable.

Some cities have already banned pit bulls, and some insurance companies deny policies to owners of certain breeds.

Rancher, a pit bull mix, was found crossing a highway outside of Menomonie and was taken to the Dunn County Humane Society about four months ago.

Kennel manager Jamie Wagner said pit bulls make up nearly half of their dogs, and it's not easy to find them homes.

"Some (people looking for dogs say), 'Oh my God, that's the cutest dog in the world.'" "And other people completely shy away and bring their children away from the dog and it's really disheartening to see that happen."

Many remain reluctant to embrace them.

"I would never own a pit bull and I wouldn't want to be by neighbors who had a pit bull. I just see their tempers," Karen Root of Eau Claire said.

"They're great family dogs, they're very friendly, very loving, very affectionate," Wagner said.

After attacks like Wednesday's, Wagner said the breed gets unfairly targeted as the problem.

"My niece was bit in the face by a pit bull, and I just don't think that was necessary and she's gonna be suffering with those scars for the rest of her life and I don't think pit bulls should be around," Root said.

"You hear of the pit bull attacks; that's usually because something happened to that specific dog. Whether it was chained in the basement, or chained to a tree, that can really, especially with a sensitive breed, like a pit bull, that can really just drive them insane," Wagner said.

"It's much more a dog owner issue than a dog issue. The owners can have a lot of control over what direction their dogs go, how they behave," Judy Schwarzmeier of Eau Claire said.

"If you get a dog as a puppy, no matter what breed, you wanna get it socialized around kids and other dogs and cats, just so they come in contact with everything and that socialization at an early age really does help a lot," Wagner said.

The Centers for Disease Control did a study in 2000 that showed pit bulls and pit bull mixes accounted for 32 percent of human dog-bite deaths over a 20-year period. But it said the numbers do not mean the breed is more likely to kill.

Wagner said many of those studies misidentify what breed of dog was involved.

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