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Boy’s death may not have been caused by dogs

Evidence has emerged that the death of 12-year-old Nicholas Faibush at his San Francisco home may not have been caused by his mother’s two Pit Bulls attacking him. Although the dogs had undoubtedly mauled the boy, police have now said that his death may have taken place prior to being bitten by the dogs.

As reported previously, the boy’s mother said she had been so concerned about one of the dogs that she shut her son in the basement to protect him.

Maureen Faibish said she ordered Nicholas to stay in the basement while she ran some errands on June 3, the day he was attacked by one or both of the dogs. She said she was worried about the male dog, Rex, who was acting very possessively because the female, Ella, was in heat.

"I put him down there, with a shovel on the door," Faibish told the San Francisco Chronicle. "And I told him: ‘Stay down there until I come back.’ Typical Nicky, he wouldn't listen to me."

Nicholas apparently found a way to open the basement door and was attacked by one or both of the dogs.

Faibish said she felt compelled to call the local media to defend herself against widespread public outrage directed at families with children who own pit bulls.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom formed a task force to assess what the city and county could do to protect the public from these kinds of dog attacks. The task force provided incorrect data when it reported back to the City Council, indicating that BSL was the best way to tackle the problem. Following on from this, a bill - SB 861 – has been brought forward to enact BSL within the city and county of San Francisco.

Now the anti-BSL organisation the American Canine Foundation (ACF) are targeting councillors on the city assembly and at the California State Senate to prevent a law being passed that will penalise the majority of responsible dog owners for what is, after all, an isolated, tragic incident and that no matter how well intentioned, BSL would not have prevented this situation from happening.

The ACF have sent a memo to all Senate councillors and have urged dog owners to write to individual councillors to voice their opposition to BSL, but also to indicate their support for sensible, non-breed specific laws which will penalise bad owners rather than all dogs of a particular breed or type.

Police investigations into the latest twist in the Faibish death are continuing, but ACF are calling for all progress on the Bill BS 861 to be halted until the full facts surrounding Nicholas’s tragic death are known.