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Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: 22-Year Old Woman Dies in 'Grisly Mauling' by Her Own Pit Bulls

Bethany Lynn Stephens killed by her pit bulls
Bethany Lynn Stephens, 22, was brutally attacked and killed by her own pit bulls.

Press Conference
Goochland County, VA - On Friday, Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew gave a press conference about a 22-year old woman who was mauled to death by her own pit bulls. Deputies discovered Bethany Lynn Stephens Thursday night near the 2200 block of Manakin Road. Agnew is shaken during the conference and states: "It was an absolutely grisly mauling. In my 40 years of law enforcement, I've never seen anything quite like it. Hope I never see anything like it again."

Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew
About 8:18 pm last night, a father called the office saying that he believed his daughter had been located in the woods and had suffered some kind of trauma and was very concerned about her, but not sure of her condition at the time and asked us to come. Dispatched deputies arrived about 10 to 12 minutes later and discovered the body of a white female in the woods off of the 2200 block of Manakin Road. The female had suffered severe trauma and was being, for the lack of a better term, guarded by two very large brindle color pit bull dogs, who were very reluctant to be caught.
      Deputies spent about an hour, hour-in-a-half, along with Goochland Animal Control, in attempt to catch these dogs. Meanwhile, as we were attempting to capture them, we were able to survey the scene and what we observed was, to put it quite frankly, grisly. There were various articles of clothing, underclothing scattered about the area, not far from the body and torn into small pieces. There were patches of blood. It was very clear that the woman in the woods had suffered very severe injuries consistent with being mauled by these dogs.
      We called Henrico Animal Control for assistance, as they had tranquilizer guns, but we were able to catch the dogs before Henrico arrived. Once the dogs were under control, we called Goochland Fire and Rescue who came and put up lights for us because it was a very dark, remote area. It was very difficult to see. They brought crash trucks, set up lights. We collected about 60 pieces of evidence. Took numerous photographs and after about eight hours, about 5:00 am this morning, we were able to end and have the body transported to the medical examiner. - Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew
During the press conference, Sheriff Agnew also read the preliminary autopsy results from the medical examiner. The results show a classic pit bull attack resulting in death: 1.) Pit bulls execute the killing bite, "the first traumatic injury to her was to her throat," Agnew stated. 2.) Pit bulls take the victim to the ground, "she was taken to the ground," Agnew stated and 3.) Pit bulls complete the kill, "then mauled her to death." The medical examiner added, "this was not a homicide."
It appears the attack was a violent attack initiated by the victim's dogs while the victim was out for a walk with the dogs. The victim had defensive wounds on her hands and arms trying to keep the dogs away from her, which would be consistent with being attacked while she was still alive. It appears that the first traumatic injury to her was to her throat and face area. It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness and the dogs then mauled her to death. There were no strangulation marks. The victim had puncture wounds in the skull and this was not a homicide. - Medical examiner
Sheriff Agnew also answered questions during the press conference. "It was a very unpleasant night for all of us. Having told you that, I would be glad to answer any questions," Agnew said. The first question was, "Are these her dogs?" Sheriff Agnew responded, "These were her dogs. And I don't have a history of the dogs, I don't know their backgrounds, but they would be dogs you'd suspect would be bred for fighting, just in looking at them. They were big, strong, powerful dogs."

We learned from comments that Tonks and Pacman were the names of Bethany's pit bulls. Commenter Brookland Lloyd states the dogs were littermates and grew up together. "These two dogs were her life, and she would have given hers to protect them," Lloyd wrote. "It's a tragedy and a hard loss. Bethany was a great person, and worked hard to advocate for pit bulls," she wrote. Lloyd states this after learning of Bethany's "grisly mauling" death by these same pit bulls.

Bethany Stephens seen with pit bull that killed her
Bethany Stephens seen with pit bull that killed her

Some of Bethany's Facebook Likes include, Tia Torres' Villalobos Rescue Center -- a nonprofit that brings in over $4 million dollars annually and has not filed their federally required 990 tax forms for three consecutive years -- Pit Bulls and Parolees, Stop Pit Bull Bans (Ban the Deed Not the Breed), American Bully World and at least two XXL "extreme" designer pit bull breeders, Reaper Bulls XL, XXL & Extreme Bully Style Pit Bulls and Phantom Rolls XXL Bully Pits.

facebook likes, woman killed by her pit bulls

Rumor-Mongering Follows Press Conference

Shortly after Sheriff Agnew gave the press conference, some of the victim's friends -- who are pit bull advocates -- began publicly stating that Sheriff Agnew and the medical examiner's office are lying about her death. This type of bullheaded denial and rumor-mongering is characteristic after a pit bull advocate like Bethany Stephens is killed in an "absolutely grisly mauling" by her own pit bulls. Notably, homicide was ruled out right away; toxicology remains the only unknown factor.
After pit bull advocate Darla Napora and her unborn child were horrifically killed by her pet pit bull in 2011, rumors claimed "she fell from a ladder."
One of these friends is Barbara Norris, who blindly told media outlets, "I wasn't able to see the body, so I can't tell you if it was a blunt force or if it was a mauling." This legal role is for experts: investigators and forensic pathologists at a medical examiner's office who perform medical autopsies. Norris will likely never see her body either. Fatal attacks inflicted by pit bulls nearly always result in a closed casket due to the gruesome facial, head and neck injuries they inflict.

Another denier who spoke to the media is Dr. Amy Learn, a local veterinarian. Despite knowing the medical examiner's findings, including "this is not a homicide," Learn asks, "Was there somebody else there? Were they being attacked by somebody, were they trying to defend themselves and their owner from somebody else, from a wild animal?" Dogs kill an American about every 11 days. They kill more people annually in the U.S. than bears, sharks, cougars and coyotes combined.

Since November 4, pit bulls alone have killed five people in savage maulings: David Baber, 65 (Hamlet, NC), Tracy Cornelius, 46 (Guntersville, AL), Emily Colvin, 24 (Section, AL) and Dorothy Ford, 77 (Alsip, IL). The fatal pit bull mauling of Ford occurred just three days before Bethany's death. "If I go through the rest of my career without seeing something like this, that would be a good thing," Deputy Chief Shawn Schuldt of the Alsip Police Department said after Ford's attack.
"In my 40 years of law enforcement, I've never seen anything quite like it. Hope I never see anything like it again." - Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew
This is partly why jurisdictions in over 40 countries have enacted breed-specific laws. Appellate courts across the U.S. have been weighing in on the unique "savageness and unpredictability" of pit bull attacks since the 1980s, along with their selection for gameness, a "continuing tenacity and tendency to attack repeatedly for the purpose of killing." The macabre injuries pit bulls inflict are shocking, but not surprising. These injuries are a well-documented attribute of the breed.
"pit bull dogs are unique in their "savageness and unpredictability" (Hearn v. City of Overland 1989) "Pit bulls also possess the quality of gameness ... which can be described as the propensity to catch and maul an attacked victim unrelentingly until death occurs, or as the continuing tenacity and tendency to attack repeatedly for the purpose of killing. It is clear that the unquantifiable, unpredictable aggressiveness and gameness of Pit Bulls make them uniquely dangerous ... Pit bulls will have these instincts and phenotypical characteristics; most significantly, such characteristics can be latent and may appear without warning or provocation" (Vanater v. Village of South Point 1989) "The physical characteristics of pit bulls, the historic use of the dogs as fighters, and the increasing number of unprovoked and unexplained attacks on people has caused the pit bull to be perceived as presenting a threat of danger, warranting a legislative response" (State of Ohio v. Robinson 1989) "the American Pit Bull Terrier breed possesses inherent characteristics of aggression, strength, viciousness and unpredictability not found in any other breeds of dog ... A pit bull in the grip of such a fighting frenzy will not respond to attempts to deter its attack. Such frenzies can occur at any time and for no apparent reason" (Garcia v. Village of Tijeras 1988) "the pit bull bites to kill without signal" (Starkey v. Township of Chester 1986)
Finally, Animal behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova explains the disproportionate response (high arousal and aggressivitiy in a safe environment) in breeds selected for killing. "It’s also not realistic to pretend that impulsive aggression is not pathological. The environments (the fighting pit, the baited bull, the escaping slave) for which these behaviors were selected as an adaptive response are so extreme that in fact there is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life."

Related articles:
04/28/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull-Mix Kills Female Owner in Upper Macungie Township
09/01/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bulls Kill Woman, Injure Son in Conifer, Colorado
08/25/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Pit Bull Kills 25-Year Old in Spartanburg County, SC
12/20/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Portage Man Mauled to Death by Pet Pit Bull on Christmas Day
08/17/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: 23-Year Old 'Dog Rescuer' Mauled to Death by Own Dogs 05/05/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog

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Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Mauled to Death by Her Pet Pit Bull in Alsip, Illinois

dorothy ford killed by pet pit bull
Dorothy Ford, 77-years old, was mauled to death by her pit bull in Alsip, a suburb of Chicago.

Pit Bull Kills Owner
Alsip, IL - A 77-year old woman is dead after being brutally attacked by her own pit bull, Alsip police said. Officers were dispatched to 11604 S. Komensky Monday afternoon for a report of a woman being attacked in her backyard. Police were forced to shoot and kill the aggressive pit bull. Police tried to render the woman aid, but it was too late. She was pronounced dead at the scene. A young man, who had been walking his own dog nearby, saw the attack and called police.
"I looked and then she's back on the floor, still getting attacked by a dog. I called the cops and they came and they helped. - Resident Ross
Police said the pit bull was a 6-year old family pet. The victim resided in the home where the attack occurred. Police described the attack as horrendous. "It was pretty horrific," Deputy Chief Shawn Schuldt of the Alsip Police Department said. "If I go through the rest of my career without seeing something like this, that would be a good thing. I feel extremely bad for the family and we offer them our condolences." Schuldt added that the pit bull was well fed and well cared for.

Police said there were no signs of mistreatment of the dog or previous complaints by neighbors about the dog acting out aggressively. This was an important statement for Alsip Police to make; it shows they are aware of this issue and how pit bull advocates notoriously blame a fatal pit bull attack on the dog being "mistreated." The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office did not release the victim's identity Monday, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. An autopsy is expected Tuesday.

Pit bull kills owner in alsip, illinois, dorothy ford
map iconView the Google Map: Illinois Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
11/11/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: 21-Year Old Man Dies After Dog Attack in Quincy, Illinois
05/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 5-Year Old Boy Fatally Attacked by Pit Bull in Chicago
11/12/14: Video: Two Mothers Share Their Tragic Stories of Losing a Child in Family Dog Attack
04/29/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Girl Killed by Family Pit Bulls in Bloomington

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Retired Doctor Dies After Being Knocked to the Pavement by a Pit Bull in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

william deneke died after dog attack
Dr. William Deneke, 70, died after suffering fatal brain injuries from a dog attack.

Obituary Notice
Pine Bluff, AR - Today we learned about a retired doctor who died of brain injuries suffered in a dog attack. "Dr. Bill Deneke had retired a couple of years ago from his practice in Pine Bluff, Ark. He was walking his dog, as he usually did, when he was attacked by a pit bull that knocked him to the pavement, striking his head and cracking his skull. He was rushed to the hospital, underwent surgery and passed away yesterday," states a post at the Anglican Church of the Resurrection.

Dr. William Deneke was 70-years old. He died Friday, December 8, 2017 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. On Sunday, a person left a message at The Pine Bluff Commercial's Facebook page. "Why has there been no mention of Dr. Deneke of Pine Bluff being killed in a pit bull attack. Does someone important own the dog?" Chip Marrin asked. We are trying to track down more information about his death now. It does not appear that Deneke ever regained consciousness after the attack.
The City of Pine Bluff declares pit bulls "dangerous" and requires registration, sterilization, secure confinement and liability insurance.
Earlier this year, we wrote about a family who filed a lawsuit against three dog owners in Toledo after 89-year old Shirley Wright died after being knocked to the ground by a pit bull. Wright died on June 8 due to "gastrointestinal hemorrhage, deceased was knocked down by neighbor’s dog," the Lucas County Coroner determined. The manner of death was ruled accidental. Wright's injuries resulting in death technically falls under "struck by dog," not death due to dog bite injuries.

Other cases we have written about previously that could qualify as "struck by dog" deaths include a 33-year old letter carrier who died after a rottweiler ambushed him, causing him to fall and suffer a fatal head injury. The attack occurred in 2010 in Oceanside, California. In 2009, Plainfield Animal Control Officer Theresa Foss was hospitalized with a head injury after being knocked to the ground by an aggressive pit bull on September 29. She died while hospitalized on October 8.

map iconView the Google Map: Arkansas Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
11/02/17: Family Files Lawsuit After Toledo Woman Dies of Injuries After Being Knocked...
06/13/10: Oceanside Letter Carrier Dies After 'Non Bite' Injury from Rottweiler
10/11/09: 'Non Bite' Pit Bull Injury Leads to Death of Plainfield AC Officer

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Kill 24-Year Old Woman in Jackson County, Alabama

pit bulls kill woman in Section, alabama
Pit bulls kill Emily Mae Colvin, 24, and injure another in Section, Alabama.

Tribute Video and Fund
UPDATE 12/09/17: Our hearts ache for Emily's husband and family. A tribute video has been created for Emily Colvin's Funeral Fund. "Emily Mae Colvin was a bright light that shined onto this dark and stormy world. She was only 24 years old. She was a loving wife, devoted daughter, thoughtful sister, caring aunt, and beloved friend." On December 7, she was struck down by five vicious pit bulls belonging to her neighbor. The sheriff has vowed to seek criminal charges.

She'd only been married to Eric for about two years. The tribute video has many photos of their lovely wedding. "All who knew and love her are shocked and devastated because of this tragedy. She was married to Eric a little over 2 years. They were eternally devoted to each other and were looking forward to starting a family together. Eric was a loving husband who put Emily's needs before his. Emily's death will test his will and faith to its limits," states the GoFundMe page.

12/07/17: Pit Bulls Kill Woman
Section, AL - Authorities confirmed that a pack of pit bulls killed a 24-year old woman and injured another Thursday morning. 24-year old Emily Mae Colvin was discovered dead on arrival, deputies said. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about 9:00 am about a dog attack at County Road 121 in Section. A deputy shot and killed one of the dogs due to its aggression. Another woman was also injured. She was treated for her injuries and released.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies, Scottsboro Animal Control and Section Police confiscated four dogs from the property. All five dogs were described as pit bulls by authorities. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said they had never received a call about these particular dogs before and that Colvin was familiar with them. The second victim was not identified by police nor was the block area of County Road 121 where the attack occurred. Deputies continue to investigate.
One neighbor who would not go on camera said the dogs "never used to snarl, bark or nothing … if anything they would lick you to death."
WAAY reports that all five dogs belonged to Colvin's neighbor. A friend of Colvin's was talking to her on the phone and came to aid her when she heard the dogs attacking, Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips said. The dogs then attacked her too. She was taken to a hospital with leg and arm injuries. "Dogs can run loose, but still the owner is responsible for the damages that they do," Phillips said. "So we will be seeking charges here in this case, probably in the March grand jury."

Later in the day, Sheriff Phillips clarified an earlier statement. This is the first time these dogs have attacked a human, he told WHNT, but it’s not the first complaint on record for the animals. "We received a call back sometime ago, maybe these dogs and the victim’s dog had killed llamas that were in a pasture nearby. That’s the only complaint we have ever had on them," Phillips said. The owner of the dogs could a face charge of negligent homicide, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

Second Fatal Pit Bull Mauling

This is the second fatal pit bull mauling in northeast Alabama in a matter of days. On November 29, about 50 miles away in Guntersville, a pack of pit bulls killed 46-year old Tracy Cornelius and severely injured another woman who had been walking along Jason Road. The four dogs first attacked the woman. Cornelius intervened to help save her and the dogs turned on her. Cornelius was pronounced dead at the scene. The other woman was airlifted to a hospital in Huntsville.

home on county road 121 pit bulls kill woman

Always Release Photographs

We specifically posted this Tweet to call out the irrationality of it. There is an ongoing investigation in which Sheriff Phillips has vowed to seek criminal charges. Thus, there are 100 reasons to allow these dogs to be photographed by the media. Sheriff Phillips himself should have released photographs already so that members of the community who may have seen these dogs loose and behaving aggressively can identify them and provide testimony against the dogs' owner.

In our baseline reporting requirements, the #2 item is releasing identification photographs. Alone, police can rarely know the history of dogs involved in fatal attacks because many incidents go unreported. Yet, criminal charges greatly hinge on knowing this history. There may have been an incident a year earlier involving a neighbor that moved away. Without photographs released, that person will never have the chance to say, "That was the same dog that chased me last year."

map iconView the Google Map: Alabama Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
12/06/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Dogs Kill Woman, Injure Another in Guntersville
10/05/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Autauga County Woman Killed by Family Dogs
07/01/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills 5-Year Old Boy in St. Clair County, Alabama

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Dogs Kill Woman, Seriously Injure Another in Guntersville

Pack of dogs kills woman in Guntersville
A pack of dogs killed one woman and seriously injured another in near Guntersville.

Released from Hospital
UPDATE 12/06/17: The surviving victim in a vicious dog attack that killed Tracy Cornelius, 46, was released from the hospital after a weeklong stay. Family members said she was bitten 10 times by the pack dogs and underwent surgery due to her injuries. Cornelius' family members said that Valeria Hinojosa was out for a walk on Jason Road on November 29 when the four dogs attacked her. When Cornelius came out of her home to help Hinojosa, the dogs began attacking her.
Family members said Tracy "died a hero trying to save someone else."
Cornelius' own dog rushed out to protect her, according to family members. Cornelius' dog died from injuries it suffered in the attack. The four attacking dogs, all pit bulls, mauled and killed Cornelius, mauled and killed her dog and injured Hinojosa so badly she had to be airlifted to a hospital in Huntsville. The owner of the attacking dogs, who lives two doors down from Cornelius, is related to her. The Marshall County Sheriff's Office said the dogs will likely be euthanized.

The pursuit of criminal charges, if at all, likely hinges on Hinojosa and her family. Sheriff Scott Walls has already said the case is difficult because, "everybody is related and everybody knows everybody," but Hinojosa's family may feel different now. In all of this, it seems the dogs' owner was nowhere to be found during the attack. Cornelius lost her life trying to rescue Hinojosa. Authorities confiscated the four pit bulls plus three others that were on the owner's property.

11/30/17: More Details Released
More details have been released about a pack of dogs attack that left one woman dead and another hospitalized Wednesday. Tracy Lynn Cornelius, 46-years old, was killed in the attack. The attack occurred on the property of Cornelius' relative, who lives two doors down from her on Jason Road. The surviving victim, Valeria Hinojosa, was Cornelius' friend. After the attack, seven pit bulls were confiscated or killed by authorities; all but one of the dogs belongs to Cornelius' relative.
"The problem with this is, everybody is related and everybody knows everybody. They are friends." - Sheriff Scott Walls
Four dogs were involved in the attack; the others were captured for precaution, Sheriff Scott Walls said. The white pit bull-mix mentioned in earlier news reports, which roamed the area for hours after the attack, was eventually shot and killed by law enforcement. Another dog died somehow at the scene before police and deputies arrived (possibly the victim of the dog fight reported earlier). At least one of the dogs involved in the attack was on a leash too, according to Sheriff Walls.

No charges have been filed against the dogs' owner, who commenters claim is Cornelius' brother. In Marshall County there is no leash law ordinance or requirements for fencing. The case involving two dog attack victims will likely go to a grand jury in January to decide what charges, if any, the dogs' owner could face, Sheriff Walls said. The injuries suffered by Hinojosa appear to be very severe; a news report yesterday indicated that she was airlifted to a hospital in Huntsville.

11/29/17: Woman Killed by Dogs
Guntersville, AL - A woman is dead and another is hospitalized with serious injuries after being attacked by four dogs Wednesday morning, Marshall County authorities said. Tracy Patterson Cornelius, 46, was killed by the dogs on Jason Road, just off Alabama 79 South at about 8:00 am, Sheriff Scott Walls stated in a new release. Authorities seized three of the dogs; the fourth dog, a white pit bull-mix, was captured by Marshall County Animal Control about seven hours later.
"At this time, we have determined that (four) dogs have mauled two women. How it began is still under investigation." - Sheriff Scott Walls
Sheriff Walls said the women apparently knew the dogs. "Evidently, the ladies were trying to break up a fight between the dogs, and that’s how it got started," Walls said. "Of course, from there it just got out of hand quickly. Just a terrible situation," he said. Authorities said there were no previous reports involving these dogs. Sheriff's officials are conducting interviews with neighbors to learn more about the dogs' history. No other descriptive details were released about the four dogs.

Subsequent news reports identified the surviving victim as Valeria Hinojosa. Her nephew, Hernan Torres, told WAFF that Hinojosa was out for her morning walk when the dogs attacked. Torres said the dogs were known to be aggressive and to chase people. Other unidentified neighbors told WAFF the dogs have terrified people in the area for at least the last year. The WAFF video shows a ramshackle home, possibly belonging to the dogs' owner, which appears totally uninhabitable.

pack of dogs kill woman in guntersville alabama
map iconView the Google Map: Alabama Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:

10/05/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Autauga County Woman Killed by Family Dogs
07/01/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills 5-Year Old Boy in St. Clair County, Alabama

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Dogs Kill 8-Year Old Boy, Injure Another in South Carolina

dogs attack kill child in gaffney
Korbin seen with his friend Caleb, who tried to save him from the attacking dogs.

Neighbor Carried Gun
UPDATE 12/05/17: On Tuesday a resident of Daniel Morgan Road, who lives next door to the owner of the dogs that killed an 8-year old boy and injured another, spoke about the history of the dogs. Donald Blanton said that he and his wife have had problems with the dogs for years. "When I was cutting my grass I carried a gun to make sure the dogs didn’t come at me," he said. "When I was outside I just carried a stick with me to make sure the dogs didn’t come at me."
"I was always terrified the dogs would get out and come over and maybe hurt one of the children." - Donald Blanton, who resides next door to the dogs' owner
Blanton said he has contacted the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office in the past, which directed him to animal control. Despite many calls about the dogs, Blanton said that animal control only came out once to pick up one of the dogs. Then they returned that dog to its owner. Blanton said his neighbor also had problems with the dogs and voiced them to animal control. “The dogs kept going over there getting into (the neighbor’s) fence and killing his chickens and ducks," he said.

No criminal charges have been filed and none are expected to be, despite the dogs escaping their property and attacking two children and killing one. As Blanton tells WYFF, "I really think something should be done. Instead of just sweeping it under the rug." Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller said there were no reports of the dogs "being vicious," which translates into no previous reports to animal control of a person being attacked and bitten by any of the dogs.

On Thursday, family and friends will gather to celebrate Korbin's life. Korbin Williams, 8-years old, was a student at Northwest Elementary School. A superhero is expected to attend his funeral service as well. John Buckland, who portrays Batman, is driving his "Hopemobile" from West Virginia to attend the funeral to honor Korbin and Caleb, his 8-year old friend who tried to save him from the dogs. Buckland will drive Caleb in his tricked out Batmobile to attend Korbin's funeral.

12/04/17: Off Property Fatal Dog Attack
New details have been released after three dogs mauled an 8-year old boy to death and injured another boy on Friday in Gaffney. Korbin Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. Two of the dogs were shot to death by arriving deputies. The third dog was shot and killed by a neighbor Saturday morning, Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller said. All three canines were sent to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to test for rabies, Sheriff Mueller said.

The three dogs belonged to Korbin's neighbor, Mueller said. Korbin's mother had been caring for the animals while the neighbor was out of town. Korbin and his mother had been to the home earlier that day to feed the dogs. Mueller believes the dogs escaped the neighbor's yard by crawling under the fence. The dogs attacked Korbin and his friend on the roadway across from his home. His friend managed to escape and alert his mother and another neighbor to the attack.

It is unknown how long Korbin and his mother had been caring for the dogs. Mueller did not name the identity of the dogs' owner, but did say he will be presenting their findings to the Solicitor’s Office to determine whether the case warrants any criminal charges. Mueller described the three animals as "mixed-breed dogs." In the Cherokee County Sheriff Dispatch archived recording of December 1, the dispatcher described the dogs as, "Two pit bulls and one German shepherd."

12/02/17: Dogs Kill Child, Injure Another
Gaffney, SC - An 8-year old boy is dead and another suffered injuries after being attacked by multiple dogs on Friday afternoon. The two children were walking down the road from one home to another in the 300 block of Daniel Morgan School Road when the dogs attacked, Major Richard Turner of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said. Deputies located two dogs at a nearby home suspected in the attack. The dogs became aggressive and deputies fired on them, Turner said.
A third dog was also involved in the attack. It fled the scene and is not in our custody at this time, Turner said during a press conference.
Deputies responded to a call about 4:15 pm reporting that dogs were assaulting a child. When deputies arrived at the scene, two of the dogs were inside a fenced-in area. Police are currently trying to identify the dogs' owners. The Cherokee County coroner and investigators are at the scene investigating the fatal attack. The second child apparently only suffered minor injuries. A description of the dogs has not been released, but they are believed to be neighborhood dogs.

Coroner Identifies Boy

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler identified the child as Korbin Michael Williams who attended Northwest Elementary, reports The Gaffney Ledger. "Korbin sustained multiple bites over his body by the dogs while the other boy was bitten once on the leg," Fowler said. "While the dogs were still attacking young Korbin, his friend ran to his nearby home for help. The friend’s mother and a neighbor rushed to Korbin and called 9-1-1." Korbin was pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy conducted Saturday revealed Korbin died from blood loss due to puncture wounds inflicted by the dogs, coroner Fowler said.
"This is an absolute tragedy," Fowler continued. "The boy was familiar with the dogs having cared for them by feeding and playing with them daily. He had just fed them on Friday minutes before the attack occurred." The search for the third dog was ongoing as of Friday evening, Major Richard Turner said. Deputies shot and killed the other two dogs after they behaved aggressively toward them. As of Friday evening, investigators have still not spoken to the dogs' owner, Turner said.

BroadCastify Audio Stream

BroadCastify offers live and archived recordings of public safety audio streams across the country. Late Friday we analyzed the archived stream from Cherokee County Sheriff Dispatch from December 1, (4:17 pm to 4:47 pm). At 2:20 into the archive, it states, "Dog is attacking a child 301 Daniel Morgan School Road." At 6:58 it states, "Child is breathing, he's unconscious, 8-year old male, all the dogs have been [shooed off] at this time. Two pit bulls and one German shepherd."
Cherokee County Sheriff Dispatch Stream - December 1, (4:17 pm to 4:47 pm)

This indicates that a 9-1-1 call came in describing the three attacking dogs as two pit bulls and one German shepherd. People do not usually confuse pit bulls with German shepherds. The sheriff's office has still not released any breed information, which greatly fuels online rumors. Deputies shot and killed two of the dogs at the scene. Yet, Major Richard Turner has stated multiple times to the media that breed information is unknown; this was true regarding the still at large dog too.

The death of a child from a vicious dog mauling is horrific for every community and for every first responder who arrives at the scene. Yet when one of the attacking dogs is still roaming at large, it is unfathomable not to release a description of the dog (such as its coloring and size), along with any suspected breed information. Animal control usually picks up the carcasses of the shot dogs quickly too. So breed information is known, but is not being released for whatever reason.

Korbin Michael Williams killed by dogs

Related articles:
01/19/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Kill Child, Critically Injure Another Child in Atlanta
03/05/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills Child, Injures Another in Lumberton, North Carolina
08/25/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Pit Bull Kills 25-Year Old in Spartanburg County

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Man Dies in North Philadelphia After Being Attacked by Four Pit Bulls

man dies after pit bull attack north philadelphia
Locations of three violent pit bull attacks in North Philadelphia since January.

Man Dies After Attack
Philadelphia, PA - A man is dead after being attacked by four pit bulls on Thanksgiving Day in the Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia. The attack occurred just before 9 pm in the 1300 block of West Pike Street in the backyard of a home. Police shot and killed one of the pit bulls; the others fled back into the owner's home. The unidentified man was transported to Temple University Hospital with critical injuries, reports WPVI-TV. He was pronounced dead at 10:18 pm.

Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told NBC10, "He was covered in dirt and mud. So, they couldn't even tell or estimate his age at this time." Janet Walke, who lives nearby, said that just moments earlier she had given the man a plate of food. "I just fed him. I gave him a plate of food," she said. Though it remains unclear why the victim was in the pit bull owner's backyard, police said the victim knew the dogs' owner. Police suspect a medical condition contributed to the man's death.

This attack mirrors the February 25 attack in the Olney section of Philadelphia just a few miles away. Police responded to a call of a vicious dog in the 5300 block of Rising Sun Avenue. When officers arrived, they found a 21-year old man unresponsive in his apartment with bite injuries to his face. The victim's 8-month old pit bull was found in the room covered in blood. The man was taken to Einstein Medical Center where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
The male victim was never identified. Police suspected he suffered a "medical trauma" as well. The cause of death was never released.
A month earlier, in the Germantown section of North Philadelphia, also just a few miles away, an unidentified 96-year old woman apparently survived a vicious attack by two pit bulls. Police said the woman was found unresponsive with dog bite injuries to her face, head, neck and arms in the 5800 block of Brush Road. She was taken to Einstein Medical Center in "extremely critical condition," news reports state. Witnesses said the side of her face was left "unrecognizable."

Regarding the most recent attack, police shot and killed one of the pit bulls, which indicates the dogs were actively attacking the man. Being found "covered in dirt and mud" is not uncommon after a vicious dog mauling, particularly when it involves multiple dogs. Studies in medical journals consistently report wounds heavily contaminated with dirt, gravel and debris. The dogs pull the victim to the ground and physically drag them through the dirt while biting and tearing off flesh.

Related articles:
05/17/17: South African Boerboel Suspected in Breeder's Death in Asheville, North Carolina

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Adopted Out Pit Bull Attacks, Kills Elderly Woman in Virginia Beach

Pit Bull Attacks Woman Same Day as Adopted Out

pit bull adopted out by Forever Home Rehabilitation kills woman
Margaret Colvin died after being brutally attacked by a pit bull adopted hours earlier.

Misdemeanor Charges
UPDATE 11/17/17: Five months after a woman was brutally killed by a pit bull her daughter had acquired from a rescue group hours earlier that day, authorities filed charges. Jamie Cochran, the 33-year old owner of Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, has been charged with 10 misdemeanors for importing animals without a veterinary inspection certificate, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. More charges may follow once the investigation is complete.

Prior to killing Margaret Colvin, 90, the pit bull, named Blue, had been returned to Forever Home due to his "reactive" behavior -- aggression and lack of impulse control -- which the rescue was aware of. Tia Walke, the previous adopter, said Blue attacked her adult nephew. She said back then, "I can't control him" and called the experience "very frightening." Before arriving at Forever Home, Blue had been on death row at the New York City municipal shelter for "biting people."
"She saw her mother disemboweled, virtually, and her mother's arm had to be amputated and her mother died." - Irv Blank, Linda Patterson's attorney
Forever Home did not disclose to Colvin's daughter, Linda Patterson, Blue's history of bites and aggression. Just seven hours after the dog arrived at Patterson's home wearing a shock collar, the animal viciously attacked and killed her mother. Three months later, Patterson filed a $5 million dollar lawsuit against Forever Home. Now finally in November, possibly all prosecutors can do is charge Cochran with importing dogs into Virginia without a veterinary inspection certificate.

History of Misdemeanors

Cochran is familiar with misdemeanors. Court records show that in April 2015 -- one month after the Commonwealth found "significant findings of noncompliance" at Forever Home -- Cochran was charged with 17 misdemeanors for inadequate animal care. Her partner Toni Enright was charged with 18 violations of the same nature. All charges were later dismissed. In 2013, Cochran and Enright pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor embezzlement charge, related to a former employer.

Failing to obtain a veterinary inspection certificate after importing a dog from another state is a Class 1 misdemeanor, the highest class in Virginia (§ 3.2-5902. Certificate of veterinary inspection required for importation of certain pet animals; examination; exceptions; penalty). Authorized punishments for conviction of this provision include, "confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both," states the Virginia decode website.
The police investigation into Cochran is "into its very last stages," the city prosecutor said Friday, indicating that more charges may be coming.
Finally, the most uplifting news is that Virginia lawmakers are working on legislation to regulate animal training centers due to the foreseeability of Blue's vicious attack. Just recently, State Senator Bill DeSteph said he was in the process of drafting regulations to ensure this cannot happen again. Hopefully, the legislation will center upon "rehabbers," rescues and training centers that claim to rehabilitate aggressive dogs. Senator DeSteph will introduce the bill next year.

08/24/17: Rescue Center Sued for $5 Million
Nearly three months after a rehomed pit bull brutally attacked and killed a 90-year woman, the victim's daughter has filed a lawsuit against the rescue center. Linda Patterson filed a civil lawsuit for $5 million dollars against Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Virginia Beach. The recently adopted pit bull, named Blue, attacked her elderly mother after Linda removed the dog's shock collar, about seven hours after the dog was delivered to the Patterson home.

Predictably, the lawsuit states the dog had a history of biting before the attack and that the rescue should have known the dog's history. A "trial by jury is demanded," according to the court filing. Prior to mauling and killing Margaret Colvin, the pit bull had been returned to Forever Home due to his "reactive" behavior -- aggression and lack of impulse control. Previous to arriving at Forever Home, Blue had been on death row at New York City Animal Care and Control for "biting people."
The most glaring "foreseeability" of this attack is that Blue was adopted to the Patterson family and required a shock collar as a condition.
The fatally attacking pit bull, with a slew of known aggression issues, was advertised by Forever Home as "playful, affectionate" and "gentle, goofy." Linda had even told Forever Home before agreeing to the adoption that the sole "deal breaker" would be "aggression." Linda did not even understand what the shock collar was for, until it was too late. She had initially thought the collar sent out signals like "sound waves," not blasts of electricity to shock and correct the animal.

In the hours following Colvin's mauling death, Forever Home issued a liability "denial" statement claiming, "none of us could have ever predicted this horrible event." Though drenched in the foreseeability of this violent attack, Forever Home kept issuing denials in its aftermath. Back in July, the rescue tried to end their lease at their Virginia Beach property. It is unknown what has become of the Forever Home operators, Toni Enright and Jamie Cochran, since that time.

06/07/17: Previous Adopter Speaks Out
On May 31, Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (FHRC) adopted out a 1.5 year old male, neutered pit bull named Blue. The dog arrived at the adopter's home wearing a shock collar. Seven hours later, its new owner, Linda Patterson, removed the shock collar. After doing so, the dog quickly attacked and killed Linda's 90-year old mother. WAVY-TV spoke to a woman who adopted Blue on April 22, but returned the pit bull to FHRC two days later due to its aggression.
Linda had told FHRC the one "deal breaker," in the terms of adopting this pit bull, would be "aggression." - Kerry Dougherty, The Virginian-Pilot
Tia Walke said Blue attacked her 26-year old nephew as soon as she let the dog out of its crate. The dog jumped on him, she said. "I had the leash and I was yanking and pulling as hard as I could to get the dog off,” Walke said. In a text message to FHRC she wrote: "I can't control him. And he's scaring me now." Walke described it to WTKR as a "very frightening experience." She quickly returned the dog to FHRC. A month later, the rescue adopted "reactive" Blue to Linda.

In our last update, we explained how "reactivity" and "lack of impulse control" can quickly escalate to dangerous "impulsive aggression," which is how Walke and Linda described both attacks.

FHRC responded to Walke and her nephew's experience by marginalizing the incident down to an "insect bite" and denying any culpability. After the horrific mauling death of Linda's mother, FHRC denied any foreseeability or culpability as well, despite the dog's documented history of aggressive behavior, including being surrendered to NYCACC after biting a child and thereafter multiple rescue groups using "code words" to describe Blue's dangerous "impulsive aggression" behavior.

On top of this, Blue was sent to Linda's home wearing a shock collar. According to a Virginian-Pilot article, FHRC described the collar to Linda as sending a "signal" to the dog by remote control. Linda thought it sent out sound waves, reports The Pilot. It was not until she took the collar off to recharge it that she realized the "signals" were jolts of electricity to shock (and correct) the dog. FHRC is quite literally drowning in foreseeability and culpability, yet they continue to deny both.
By the time rescue workers arrived, the woman's intestines were on the floor ... Her mother's arms were mangled. - Kerry Dougherty, The Virginian-Pilot
The Experts Respond

Multiple experts responded to this fatal dog attack, including pit bull expert Diane Jessup, who wrote on Facebook: "She [Linda] bought a breed she didn't need from a charlatan "trainer" [FHRC] who tried to suppress a dog's true character with shock, who got it from a facility [New York City Animal Care and Control] that didn't have the wherewithal to euthanize a dog that bites family members." Jessup added, "A 'rescue' that sends a dog home with a shock collar on ... Nuff said."

Pennsylvania-based behaviorist Ilana Reisner responded as well. We issue a fair warning to readers who may choke on her outrageous use of jargon terms: "impulsive, disinhibited, affective defensive aggression" and "toggle-switch like" aggression and "impulsive, rage-like aggression." However, Reisner also admits what behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova has long stated about temperament testing. Such tests "cannot prevent or predict explosive, disinhibited aggression."

On this same thread, trainer Victoria Harter states this is the fourth attack she knows about after FHRC adopted out a dog. "This is the 4th dog that FHRC has adopted out that has bitten someone, there could be more. I've also worked with several dogs they have adopted out that are supposedly trained and rehabilitated," Harter writes, "They do not disclose to adopters the history of dogs which is dangerous to the family. I am not at all surprised that this has happened."

Tia Walke returned blue to FHRC after it attacked her nephew

06/03/17: A 'Foreseeable' Attack
After reviewing a wealth of information, it is clear that a violent, unpredictable attack by this dog was "foreseeable." We hope the Patterson family sues Virginia Beach-based Forever-Homes Sanctuary, Inc., also known as Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (FHRC), after the dog killed a woman just hours after the rescue rehomed it. FHRC is a reckless dangerous dog rescue that has been "saving" death row dogs for years and is no stranger to legal troubles.

In a 2012 article, The Virginian-Pilot describes the two founders, Toni Enright and Jamie Cochran and the birth of their operation that saves "misunderstood" dogs. Enright said the two met while working at Owl Creek Veterinary Hospital in Virginia Beach: "It was chaos," Enright said about their beginnings. "Our dogs didn't get along. They were tearing stuff up," she said. "Another one kept biting me. And my pit -- he was the kind that was going to wind up in the newspaper one day."
The two self-describe as "disciples of Cesar Millan" and that his "pack-based philosophies struck a chord." - The Virginian-Pilot, July 1, 2012
Back then, the duo operated out of Knotts Island, North Carolina and lived in a double-wide overflowing with dog beds, crates, supplies and a mob of dogs. Enright described the trailer as a "ghetto." The gist of the 2012 story is that after The Lexus Project, a New York-based legal group, persuaded a judge to release a 5-time biter, named Alchemy, the dog was sent to the pair. But before reaching their rescue "ghetto," the dog attacked one of The Lexus Project attorneys.

Also at that time, Enright and Cochran where charged with felony embezzlement after their former employer, Owl Creek, claimed the pair outfitted their rescue with dog supplies taken from the clinic, reports The Pilot. We do not know the results of those felony charges. One does not need to in order to understand the "mentally ill mindset" of two young women bent on "saving" dangerous dogs from humane euthanasia through their "self-proclaimed" talents of magical rehabilitation.1

In March 2015, after the rescue moved to Virginia Beach, the Commonwealth of Virginia notified Cochran of "significant findings of noncompliance," including failing to obtain emergency medical treatment for a dog and transferring an unsterilized dog to a "private business" that breeds dogs.

History of Killer Rescue Dog

On Wednesday, the Patterson family adopted a male pit bull from FHRC, named Blue, for $20 after responding to a Craigslist advertisement. Previously, Blue had been a death row dog. Last December, Pennsylvania-based Animals Can't Talk Rescue (ACT) "pulled" Blue from New York City Animal Care and Control. The dog was on death row for biting people. A fundraiser states Blue, who needed "socialization and impulse control," would be sent to FHRC if funds were raised.
Manhattan Center
My name is BLUE. My Animal ID # is A1098430. I am a male white and brown pit bull mix. The shelter thinks I am about 1 YEAR. I came in the shelter as a STRAY on 12/02/2016 from NY 10029, owner surrender reason stated was BITEPEOPLE.
In addition to Blue needing "socialization and impulse control" training, the fundraiser by ACT states Blue "has been through a lot. His behavior -- too -- was cause for concern. He seems to react badly to loud noises and sudden movements." The fundraiser attempted to raise $10,000 in order for Blue and Lexie, another dog pulled from death row in New York City, to be trained and housed by FHRC. In this online effort, they fell dismally short, raising only $10 after 71 shares.2

On February 4, ACT delivered Blue to FHRC after a "whole bunch of donations." In an April 21 update, they state, "He will be ready for adoption in about a month." Apparently, the FHRC gals (Cesar Millan disciples) needed four months to "rehabilitate" Blue, including the heavy use of shock collar training. Just days later, we see Enright, Cochran and two other FHRC devotees walking a pack of 16 large dogs down a residential street, as if posing for a Reality TV show.

Forever Home Rehabilitation Center

The Fatal Pit Bull Attack

On May 31, just hours after Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center delivered Blue, shock collar and all, to the Patterson home, Blue explodes with impulsive aggression. The victim's daughter, Linda, told The Pilot she was in the backyard with the dog, when she removed the shock and canvas collars. At that time, she also realized she had been locked out of the house. She knocked and called out to her mother, but she had fallen in her room and could not get up.

Linda took a hammer and smashed a window pane to get back inside her home. She was on her way to her mother's room when Blue rushed by her and pounced on her mother, which Linda described as initially being playful. Seconds later, Blue began mauling her mother's arms, abdomen and thighs. Linda swung the hammer at the dog -- other news outlets report she banged the dog with a skillet -- to no avail. Then the dog turned on Linda, biting her in the upper arm.
"I’ve had animals all my life and I have never seen an animal act like that. It was horrible," Linda said. "I’ll never forget that sight." - The victim's daughter
13News Now reports the elderly woman underwent multiple surgeries Wednesday night, including an arm being amputated. She died of her injuries Thursday morning. Attempts to explain the pit bull's explosive unpredictable aggression range from the elderly victim shouting at the dog, "Get the heck off me," which might have riled the dog up, according to Linda, to the dog only ceasing its brutal attack after the victim, who was being horrifically mauled, "stopped screaming and crying."

As animal behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova has explained in the past, selecting for impulsive aggression, as dogfighters did, created an utterly disproportionate response: "It’s also not realistic to pretend that impulsive aggression is not pathological. The environments (the fighting pit, the baited bull, the escaping slave) for which these behaviors were selected as an adaptive response are so extreme that in fact there is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life."

Rescue Denies Foreseeability

This brutal mauling death shows just how disproportionate this pit bull's response was, which allegedly began as "play" and turned into a catastrophic mauling claiming two victims. Blue was advertised to the Patterson family as "playful, affectionate" and "gentle, goofy." Yet all three animal groups, FHRC, ACT and NYCACC, knew the dog had been on death row for biting people and had "impulse control" and "bad reactions" (or reactivity) -- often code for "impulsive aggression."
Dogfighters specifically selected for reactivity that quickly escalates to "impulsive aggression," which is exactly how Linda described the attack.
Yet, the most glaring "foreseeability" of this attack is that a dog, allegedly rehabilitated by FHRC, was adopted to the Patterson family and required a shock collar as a condition. This type of dog should not be adopted to anyone, but an experienced trainer who desires a constant "project dog" with continuous management. Linda did not seem to have any experience with shock collars, as evidence by the fact that she took it off because she thought the collar "seemed to be tight."

No matter how the dice is rolled, Blue was a problematic pit bull -- far beyond the help of any narcissistic "disciples of Cesar Millan," who live in a Reality TV fantasy of their own making. The Patterson family should feel lied to because they were lied to by this rescue. We hope the victim's family sues FHRC into oblivion, forcing them to stop all rescue operations for good. In fact, they should sue the whole chain of them, including ACT and NYCACC, as each lent a helping hand.
Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center's Denial Statement
We send out our deepest condolences to the Patterson family who adopted Blue. Blue went through our 3 month board and train program, and was a favorite amongst all of the staff members and volunteers. Blue loved other dogs, and didn't know a stranger. He never showed any aggression while at our training facility, and passed his final evaluation with flying colors before being adopted out to the Patterson family. Trainers spent yesterday morning checking over Blue's new home and going over training with Blue's new owner. There were 2 other dogs in Blue's new home, who Blue immediately bonded with. We do not know what events transpired in the moments before this tragedy occurred with Blue's owners mother, and none of us could have ever predicted this horrible event. We are devastated for the Patterson family and our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

As noted by our commenter, K-Hart, "These rescuers need to be held liable" for their "mauler peddling ads." Such ads regularly use "code words" for aggression to hide this behavior from the public and greatly minimize -- if not totally erase -- any mention of aggression. There is no such thing as "proof of rehabilitation" either, especially in the area of "impulsive aggression," by self-appointed experts, whose claim to fame is self-described as "disciples of Cesar Millan."

In their Denial Statement and web advertisement, Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center claimed they never saw aggression while at the same time supposedly rehabilitating Blue for behavior problems that are described with "code words" for aggression: “needing socialization" and "lack of impulse control" and bad reactions to "loud noises and sudden movements.” In other words, they claimed to rehabilitate a dog of negative behaviors they now say they never saw.
Simultaneously, their web advertisement describes a practically perfect dog, which required the new adopter to use a shock collar for correction.
The other arrow needs to be shot through city and county funded shelters that release death row dogs with documented aggression to unregulated rescues and rescue transporters en masse across the country. Blue was an owner surrender by the ripe age of 1 after lashing out at a child. By the ripe age of 1.5 years old -- when pit bulls reach sexual maturity and the bite, hold and shake trait typically kicks in -- he unleashed an unbridled attack on an elderly woman, killing her.

forever home rescue and rehabilitation center adopts out pit bull that kills woman

06/01/17: Rehomed Pit Bull Kills
Virginia Beach, VA - A pit bull adopted out by Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center viciously attacked an elderly woman the same day it was adopted. Police said the attack happened Wednesday. Police were dispatched to a home on Bunker Hill Lane in Pembroke Manor about 7:30 pm and found the victim with life-threatening injuries from the dog mauling. She died Thursday morning. Police said the dog is a 1-year old pit bull terrier, weighing 50 pounds.

Investigators said the dog attacked the woman after she fell on the floor (See: fatal pit bull attack of 86-year old Bessie Flowers. Her daughter's pit bulls killed her after she tripped on the dog bed last year). The woman's granddaughter told 13News Now the attack was "gruesome" and lasted about five minutes. She also said the family adopted the pit bull on Wednesday; the day of the attack. The pit bull showed no signs of aggression "until they took the shock collar off," she said.
The web advertisement also states the pit bull is male and that "all dogs will be spay/neutered and up to date on vaccines when adopted."
The granddaughter also shared with 13News Now the web advertisement for the dog: "Good with dogs, Good with older/considerate kids only, Good with adults, Does good in the car, Leash trained, Crate trained, Plays fetch, Likes to play with toys, Obedient, Playful, Affectionate, Eager to please, Intelligent, Even-tempered, Gentle, Goofy." Which is why the dog was wearing a shock collar? The dog is currently in quarantine at the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Liability "Denial" Statement

The Virginia Beach-based rescue group subsequently released a liability "denial" statement to 13News Now that essentially blames the adopting family: "We do not know what events transpired in the moments before this tragedy occurred with Blue's owner's mother, and none of us could have ever predicted this horrible event," it reads in part. The news group reports the Patterson family is considering obtaining an attorney and taking legal action against the rescue organization.

It remains unclear if the rehomed pit bull was delivered to the home with the shock collar or not. What is clear is that in March 2015, Jamie Cochran, the president of Forever-Homes Sanctuary, Inc., was sent a notification letter by the Commonwealth of Virginia after "significant findings of noncompliance" were discovered at the rescue located at 4937 Broad Street. One of them was adopting out a dog unsterilized to a "private business" whose business is BREEDING dogs.

The Virginian-Pilot documented a deeper disturbing history of this rescue group back in 2012.

WVEC tweets adoption advertisement

virginia beach rescue group walking 16 large dogs down residential street
1Several days after publishing, we did look up the embezzlement charges. Virginia Beach Circuit Court records show that both Jamie Cochran and Toni Enright pleaded guilty to the embezzlement charge on May 6, 2013 after the charge was lowered to a misdemeanor.
      Also, General District Court records show that in April 2015 (one month after the Commonwealth found "significant findings of noncompliance" at Forever-Homes Sanctuary, Inc.), Cochran was charged with 7 misdemeanor violations for BRD/GROOM failure to provide care and 10 misdemeanor violations for inadequate animal care. Toni Enright was charged at the same time with 18 misdemeanor violations of the same nature. All of the General District Court charges appear to have been dismissed and were likely related to the failed inspection.

2It was 71 shares as we wrote this update. By the time we finished, it was 170. Obviously, sharing this fundraiser has taken on new meaning since the fatal pit bull attack due to the role it plays in the dog's known behavior.

Related articles:
09/20/16: What's Behind the Click and Bait Web Advertisements of Aggressive Shelter Dogs?
04/29/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Rehomed by Humane Society Kills Newborn Baby
11/18/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Newly Adopted Rottweiler Kills Owner in Madison County...
08/06/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Recently Adopted Out Pit Bull Kills 6-Year Old Boy in...
05/05/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog

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Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies in Palm Beach County After Being Attacked by Family Dogs

lake worth woman dies after dog attack
Grace Walks, 41-years old, died after being attacked by family dogs in Lake Worth.

Report Unveils Fatality
Lake Worth, FL - On November 1, Contact 5 published an investigation into dangerous dogs in Palm Beach County. By examining dog bite records, they discovered there were over 1,700 dog bites in the county last year, but less than 100 dogs on the dangerous dog list. They created an interactive Google Map so that county residents can see where each dangerous dog resides. Through their investigative research, they also uncovered a fatal dog attack in Lake Worth.
"While digging through dog bite data for this story, Contact 5 found a fatal dog attack in Lake Worth which happened earlier this year. Authorities believe two family dogs attacked 41-year-old Grace Walks, a woman who knew the animals and loved them. Walks later died and the dogs were euthanized." - Merris Badcock,, November 1, 2017
After filing a public records request, we received the dog bite report from Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control on November 9 pertaining to Walks' death. The attack occurred on August 27 on the 900 block of Pinto Drive. Walks was pronounced dead at the scene. Walks resided at the home where the attack occurred. One or both family dogs were involved, a 6-year old male American bulldog, named Max, and a 9-year old female pit bull, named Holly.

Walks lived at the home with her father and mother-in-law. Neither was home during the attack. Both dogs were registered to her mother-in-law. A neighbor found her body at 8:15 am inside her fenced-in yard. Both dogs were loose in the area; he tied up Max and called police. The pit bull remained hiding beneath a shed on the property, forcing the animal control officer stand watch to ensure it did not come onto the scene where deputies and the medical examiner were working.

"I then met with Dough Jenkins, Forensic Investigator with the Medical Examiner's Office, and he stated all the wounds he observed were from the dogs, and that she died quickly. The deceased did have a dislocated shoulder but he was unsure whether that was from her fall to the ground or from a dog," states the animal control report. After the body was removed from the scene, and with the help of the mother-in-law, law enforcement was able to load the pit bull into the truck.

The Following Day:
8/28/17 - "I have spoken with Doug Jenkins from the PBC Medical Examiners Office. I advised that both dogs have been euthanized and that we are prepared to assist with anything they need. He stated that he had consulted Dr. Bell, the Chief Medical Examiner, and advised that they do not require anything further from our agency or from the bodies of these dogs. He explained that since both dogs are now deceased and there is no criminal element to this investigation, neither molds of their bite pattern nor additional DNA samples will be necessary. He advised that if the cause of death is determined to be from animal bites, it will be assumed that it was one or both of these dogs who were involved, since there were no other animals and the property was securely fenced. Therefore it is now ok to proceed with rabies testing for both dogs and ok to dispose of the bodies of both dogs." - Capt. David Walesky, Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control
Both dogs tested negative for rabies. As of November 13, the cause of death is pending. We also filed a public records request for this information. What also remains unknown is the time of the dog attack and her death. The mother-in-law told the animal control officer, "she and her husband had been out of town last night." Thus, apparently no one witnessed the attack. We do know that "she died quickly" of the wounds observed by a medical examiner as being inflicted by the dogs.

Why Initially Unreported?

We don't know why local media did not report this case when it occurred. In late August, most southeasterners were focused on Hurricane Harvey, which dropped over 40 inches of rain in parts of Texas and over 50 inches in Houston. Over 400 square miles in Harris County were submerged as the rain poured in from August 25 to 29 and catastrophic flooding occurred. It just so happens, Contact 5 located Walks' death while undertaking their larger investigation into dangerous dogs.

Grace Ready Walks - Fatal dog attack
map iconView the Google Map: Florida Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
05/16/16 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Mauled to Death by Pack of Dogs in Miami-Dade County
03/30/16: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Dogs Savagely Kill Elderly Woman in Miami-Dade 10/02/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Bite Injuries Contribute to Florida Woman's Death

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Found Dead After Suspected Dog Attack in Johnson County, Arkansas

Sharon Lindemann found dead after dog attack
Sharon Lindemann, 75, was discovered dead on her driveway in Hartman, Arkansas.

Dog Attack Suspected
Johnson County, AR - On October 30, the Johnson County Sheriff's Department responded to a call of a deceased woman on Private Road 2227. Sheriff Larry Jones said the victim had deep gashes on her arms and legs. A family member identified her as Sharon Lindemann, 75-years old. Lindemann lived with her sister at the home near Hartman and west of Clarksville. Her sister arrived home from work that day about 4:15 pm and discovered her dead in their driveway.
"My sister's unconscious in the driveway," she screamed. "I don't know what's wrong, but she's got a big gash in her neck." - 911 call, victim's sister
Her sister, Dawn Garland, believes she was attacked by vicious dogs. She said Lindemann often took a walking stick with her outside for protection against roaming dogs. The county does not have a leash law. In fact, according to Sheriff Jones, the county does not have a dog ordinance at all. Her body was transported to the Arkansas Crime Laboratory for an autopsy. Johnson County Coroner Pam Cogan stated that the victim had bites and injuries consistent with a canine attack.

"When I got there, she was laying in the gravel driveway and had obvious wounds and gashes to her limbs -- mostly from what we could see to her arms, her legs," Coroner Cogan told KATV. "Most of it was to the front of her and the gashes and wounds were consistent with what I would consider to be a canine." While no dog was discovered at the scene, Cogan said she saw paw prints around the body. Neighbors also told her they had seen loose dogs roaming the area.

Cogan has been the Johnson County coroner for the last four years. Thus, she also oversaw the mauling death of 63-year old Frederick Crutchfield in nearby Coal Hill. He was killed by three family pit bulls in February 2015. Coroner Cogan told KATV that Lindemann's death was the most horrific she has ever had to investigate. "Just from the perspective of the amount of pain that the person must have gone through, and it was certainly a lot of injuries to the body," Cogan said.

Arkansas State Crime Lab

The Arkansas State Crime Lab said the cause of death was by "multiple blunt force and penetrating injuries" -- standard language used in fatal dog maulings. "There was penetration all the way down to the bone in some areas," Sheriff Jones said. He added that yesterday, a Hartman farmer shot and killed two vicious pit bulls about two miles from where Lindemann was found. The farmer shot the dogs after they killed his horse. Jones does not know if the attacks are related.
"We got a call from an individual that lives there on Main Street in Hartman that reported his horse had been killed by 2 pit bulls." - Jones
Though it is unclear why, the crime lab's report did not list this as an animal attack. This may be because it was a preliminary report. We certainly hope Sheriff Jones examines the two dead pit bulls and collects their DNA. His reluctance to call this a dog attack -- going against the coroner's expertise -- is a bit baffling. We hope we are not looking at another sheriff who mistakenly believes this may be a large cat attack. There really is too much information available to make this error.

Johnson county woman mauled to death by dogs
Related articles:
03/14/17: Persistent 'Wild Animal' Theory Finally Derailed, Elderly Man Killed by Dogs...
07/18/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 63-Year Old Arkansas Man Killed by Three Pit Bulls 

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: 21-Year Old Man Dies After Dog Attack in Quincy, Illinois

quincy man dies after dog attack, Jamie Owsley
Jamie Owsley, 21, died in February after being bitten in the neck by a family pit bull.

Police Report & Coroner's Findings

UPDATE 11/11/17: In early November, we received the police report of the dog bite case involving Jamie Owsley, 21, of Quincy. Owsley was pronounced dead at 3:38 am on February 26 after arriving at Blessing Hospital. Forensic Pathologist Dr. Denton ruled his cause of death was "penetrating and crushing injuries of the neck, due to a dog attack," states the report. Owsley's death received very little media coverage; no news reports were published after February 27.

The attack occurred at his home at 1005 1/2 Jersey Street. The dog involved was one of three pit bulls belonging to his roommate and cousin Kerry Talburt II. The police report states, "[Talburt] heard some rustling in the living room and heard his dog growling. He got up and went to the living room. He saw his pit bull, Hercules, had his mouth latched onto Owsley's neck. Talburt stated he grabbed the dog and pulled him off, took him into his bedroom, and put him in his kennel."
Talburt did not call 911. He called his grandfather instead. After his grandfather arrived, they took Owsley to the emergency room.
Family members said Owsley had a history of recent seizures. Between 3:00 and 4:00 pm of the previous day, Owsley suffered a seizure at his apartment. It is believed he suffered another one before the pit bull latched onto his neck, crushing his "larynx and hyoid bone" in his neck. Dr. Denton stated in his report, there were no defensive injuries associated with the dog bite neck injuries, "consistent with Mr. Owsley being unresponsive, but alive during the attack," he wrote.
      When [Talburt] looked into the living room, his full-breed male pit bull, Hercules, had his mouth latched on to Owsley's neck. Talburt said he pulled the dog off Owsley's neck and went to take the dog into his room. Talburt said he almost fell in the doorway and smacked the dog against the wall. He then put the dog in the kennel. Kerry stated he believes that is where the blood on the wall came from, when he hit the dog on the wall. - Quincy Police Report
The Roommate and His Pit Bulls

During police interviews, Talburt said he kept three pit bulls in his apartment. He said Hercules, a male blue pit bull, was about 4-years old, Java was about 2-years old and Hoss was about 1.5 years old. "Talburt indicated during the interview that if Java and Hoss were out of their cages, that Hercules would be in his cage because they did not get along," states the report. Talburt said Hercules had bitten three people prior to biting Owsley, including a bite that required stitches.

On March 7, Hercules was put down. But Talburt's troubles were just kicking in. On July 8, Talburt was arrested after allegedly allowing one of his pit bulls to injure a man. Talburt was charged in Adams County Circuit Court with six felonies: home invasion, aggravated battery, reckless conduct, criminal trespass of a residence and two counts of obstructing justice. Police said Talburt got into an altercation with his downstairs neighbor. His dog got loose and bit the man in the face.
      The Quincy Police Department said officers were called to 1005 Jersey on July 8 in response to a report of a 30-year-old man who was bitten in the face by a dog. Police said Talburt had gotten into an altercation with his downstairs neighbor, and Talburt's dog got loose and bit the man.
      Charging documents say Talburt put his thumb in one of the other man's eyes and allowed the pit bull to bite him. They also allege he gave false information to police." - Herald-Whig, September 12, 2017
Kerry D. Talburt II, 21-years old, faces up to 30-years in jail if convicted of the home invasion charge. It is a Class X felony, the most serious felony offense in Illinois short of first-degree murder. If convicted of the other charges, he also faces the possibility of consecutive sentences. In October, Talburt pleaded not guilty to all charges. A jury will hear his case in the future. Adams County Court online records show that Talburt is no stranger to criminal legal proceedings.

pit bull caused death of 21 year old qunicy man

02/27/17: Coroner Releases Name
Quincy, IL - A 21-year old man died after a dog attack early Sunday morning. Adams County Coroner Jim Keller identified the victim as Jamie Owsley of Quincy. Police said that a death investigation was underway. Police said they received a call from the emergency room about a person with a dog bite. The attack occurred at 3:26 am Sunday morning at 1005 Jersey Street, inside the two-story brick home. A Beware of Dog sticker was adhered above the front door.

No other details will be released until the final autopsy results, which could take up to 2-weeks.

1005 Jersey Street, Qunicy, Beware of the Dog Sticker, Kerry Talburt
map iconView the Google Map: Illinois Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
05/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 5-Year Old Boy Fatally Attacked by Pit Bull in Chicago
11/12/14: Video: Two Mothers Share Their Tragic Stories of Losing a Child in Family Dog Attack
04/29/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Girl Killed by Family Pit Bulls in Bloomington

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

Labels: , , , ,

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