Dog attack puts media focus on family

Emma Cranford, 4, with mom Elizabeth. - Tracy Holmes photo
Emma Cranford, 4, with mom Elizabeth.
— image credit: Tracy Holmes photo

The story of a White Rock girl who was attacked by a pit bull last week has sparked a flurry of media and public interest.

Elizabeth Cranford said her daughter, Emma, was featured in a late-night TV news broadcast Monday night – just hours after Peace Arch News first told her family’s story online – and she started getting requests for more television and radio interviews at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

While a bit overwhelming, the attention to the issue “is what I wanted,” Cranford said Wednesday.

“I want to fight to the end on this.”

Emma, 4, has taken the attention in stride.

“I just tell her we’re doing this because we don’t want any other boys and girls to get bitten,” Cranford said.

Emma needed nearly 40 stitches Aug. 23, after a pit bull took “a chunk” out of her neck that afternoon. The blue-eyed youngster, who loves to dance and colour, was at a family gathering at the time, and was walking past the dog when it growled, then attacked.

The day before, the dog had shown no sign of aggression when Emma sat beside it reading at her uncle’s Cliff Avenue home, Cranford said.

Cranford and her husband, Mike, told PAN the incident changed their opinion of pit bulls, and moved them to call for a ban on the breed, as has been done in Ontario and elsewhere.

They plan to take the appeal to White Rock City Hall, but said spreading the word through media was the first step.

She is optimistic the goal can be reached.

“I’m a positive person, I have faith,” she said. “I hope something good comes out of this.”

The ban suggestion quickly sparked debate amongst online commenters, with opponents largely objecting to the idea that the problem is inherently the breed.


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