Eight people and one Spokane County Sheriff's Office K-9 are recovering from three separate pit bull attacks in the last week.
"I have a slash mark gaping hole in my leg, three stitches, my hand it completely torn up, stitch on the bottom of my wrist," James Betsinger said.
He was one of the five people involved in Wednesday night's attack at an apartment complex near the intersection of Atlantic Street and Lyons Avenue.
"The young gentleman that lives there came running over with a couple bite marks on him, yelling that he needed help and to call 911, he had just been attacked by his dog," neighbor James Betsinger said.
On Monday, Laslo, a sheriff's K-9 had to receive six staples in his leg from an attack during a foot pursuit in the Spokane Valley. The Sheriff's Office said Tuesday, that the deputy did everything he could, but ultimately had to shoot the pit bull.
"I heard 'Control your dog, control your dog' and then pop, pop pop," witness Carl Berens said.
Finally, last Thursday, two people were hospitalized from an attack that police said started when neighborhood kids let two dogs out of a North Spokane backyard.
"His face was torn up, his arm was torn up, he had blood everywhere," Jason Connerly said last Thursday night. Connerly was injured in the attack, but didn't have to be hospitalized.
So how can these incidents be prevented? Jaime McAtee, founder of Rescue 4 All, said it's all about the owner. She said the owner has to teach the dog how to become a proper member of the family by showing them what's acceptable and what isn't.
“That's through positive reinforcement and never a heavy hand,” McAtee said. “It's always love and kindness.”
The saying goes: you can't teach an old dog new tricks. McAtee believes that's not true, but adds it does take time.
“You have to learn the dog before and build a level of trust with them prior to asking them to do something that you don't know how they're going to react," McAtee said.
McAtee said she deals with all types of breeds and adds there are universal warning signs if they're about to bite.
“People don't understand that dogs will give you so many non-verbal cues prior to a bite,” She said. “Like if a dog growls at you that's them saying, hey, I need a minute.”
As to why it's so often pit bulls getting the blame, McAtee said that they're more accessible and often times will end up with people who don't know how to train them properly. She said that other dogs that are pure bred, like German Shepherds and Dobermans, are similar to pit bulls in build and personality, but are expensive. She said pure bred dogs are more likely to end up in a home where training is mandatory.