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Calls For Crackdown On Pit Bulls

Three vicious pit bull attacks in the San Francisco area this month have ignited a campaign to change California Law, to allow a crackdown on pit bulls.

CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reports on The Early Show that the series of incidents began three weeks ago, when Nick Faibish, a 12-year-old San Francisco boy, was mauled to death by his family's pit bulls, leaving a scene of horror when police and firefighters arrived.

Many in San Francisco criticized the boy's mother, who left him home alone with the dogs.

Maureen Faibish has since been arrested and charged with felony child endangerment in her son's death. She faces as much as ten years in prison if she's convicted.

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"We are not in the business of vilifying parents, but we are also not in the business of allowing children to be placed in situations where they are killed when it is completely preventable," says San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

The latest attack in the San Francisco area came Wednesday, when Smokey, an 8-month-old pit bull, attacked a neighbor, 8-year-old Annette Rojas. The bites were almost fatal.

"(The wounds were) just a few inches from the carotid artery of her neck. The dog just missed it. It would have killed her," says Dr. Gary Mishkin, an emergency room physician.

Now, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is looking for ways to crackdown on pit bulls, saying, "People like pit bulls, but there's a reason we don't have polar bears or mountain lions in the city."

But, Blackstone points out, the city is limited in how it can control pit bulls, because California law requires that all dog laws apply to all dogs, making action against a single breed impossible.

Pit bull owners say that law is fair, that dogs shouldn't be judged by their breed, but by their behavior.

One pit bull owner asserts, "They all have different personalities, but they're good little dogs."

But, says Blackstone, the string of pit bull attacks this month is making it harder to defend a breed that many now see as dangerously unpredictable.

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