SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A fight among three family dogs Saturday morning ended up sending a teenager and her grandmother to the hospital after they tried to end the spat, police said.

Capt. Jim Ryan said police were called to 26 Avenue B in the Kendall Park section of the township at 8:45 a.m. on a report of two people being injured by two of their pets.

The two dogs, a pit bull and a boxer, were fighting with a third family dog, a pug, when a 13-year-old girl stepped in to try and end the fight.

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The girl suffered puncture wounds to her on her thigh, Ryan said.

The girl’s grandmother, 59, then stepped in to help and suffered “significant” wounds to her head.

Kendall Park First Aid transported both females to St. Peters University Hospital in New Brunswick where they were both admitted for treatment, Ryan said.

The town’s Animal Control Officer responded to the scene and took the pit bull and boxer into custody.

The pug, which was uninjured in the fight, remained in the home, Ryan said.

Ryan said he does not believe that the family wants the dogs back and that he would have to check to see what may become of them after the incident.

Pit bulls have developed a reputation as being aggressive and quick to attack other dogs or even their owners.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) issued the following position statement on the breed:

Today’s pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head.  When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800s, people turned instead to fighting their dogs against each other. These larger, slower bull-baiting dogs were crossed with smaller, quicker terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog for fighting other dogs.

Some pit bulls were selected and bred for their fighting ability. That means that they may be more likely than other breeds to fight with dogs. It doesn’t mean that they can’t be around other dogs or that they’re unpredictably aggressive.  Other pit bulls were specifically bred for work and companionship. These dogs have long been popular family pets, noted for their gentleness, affection and loyalty. And even those pit bulls bred to fight other animals were not prone to aggressiveness toward people. Dogs used for fighting needed to be routinely handled by people; therefore aggression toward people was not tolerated. Any dog that behaved aggressively toward a person was culled, or killed, to avoid passing on such an undesirable trait. Research on pet dogs confirms that dog aggressive dogs are no more likely to direct aggression toward people than dogs that aren’t aggressive to other dogs.

It is likely that that the vast majority of pit bull type dogs in our communities today are the result of random breeding—two dogs being mated without  regard to the behavioral traits being passed on to their offspring.  The result of random breeding is a population of dogs with a wide range of behavioral predispositions. For this reason it is important to evaluate and treat each dog, no matter its breed, as an individual.