HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It happened in plain view. In May a Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center security camera captured a white pit bull attacking a 3-year-old boy.
The incident happened in the spring in the office of a Pet Resource Center manager. “It is extremely irresponsible,” Tamar Barry of Rescue Me Tampa said.
The video shows the boy playing with a ball in Volunteer Coordinator Christine O’Dell’s office. A white pit bull named Georgie, picked up as a stray just the previous day, lays nearby.
The ball bounces near the dog. The child runs toward it. At this point, the dog attacks, biting the boy’s arm. The dog went for the boy’s face.
The PRC had previously adopted Georgie to a 19-year-old convicted felon who hunts hogs with dogs.
“If the truth was told it would show what bad judgment she has,” Barry said.
Bad judgment seems to run rampant at the PTC.
Georgie was adopted in April. County records show that days later his owner ordered the dog attack a friend. The attack left puncture wounds on the friend’s arm.
“He’d obviously been taught to be aggressive on command,” Barry said.
The PRC then picked up Georgie in May as a stray. “He was very, very thin and he had like cuts all over his face,” Barry said.
The owner admitted to a county investigator the dog was lost during an illegal hog hunt in the woods. He agreed to surrender the animal.
O’Dell’s account of what happened the next day goes like this. “Georgie was laying in the dog bed in the volunteer office. Child came in room and when the child ran past the dog, the dog jumped up knocking the child down, biting his arm and then went for his face,” she said.
She never mentioned she and the child were playing with a ball in the room.
The county claims it placed Georgie in the office because he was stressed in the kennel.
Barry charges the Pet Resource Center failed this dog when it adopted him out to the felon. It failed him again by placing a stressed animal in an office with a small child playing with a ball, she said.
The child escaped serious injury.
Volunteers at the shelter have shared with Target 8 that they adored Georgie. Barry said several rescues expressed an interest in taking him, but she says they were going to have to sign a letter of dangerous propensity, which she calls a death sentence.
As he was led to the euth room, they say staff and volunteers alike hugged him goodbye. The dog was destroyed.
“To just kill him because the volunteer coordinator made a very, very bad decision, that’s not right. It’s not fair to anyone,” Barry said.
The PRC has since stacked kitty condos up against the glass window of O’Dell’s office, blocking the security camera. What goes on inside is no longer in plain view.