Saturday, April 26, 2008
ADA, OK - On October 16, 2007, a 65-year-old Pontotoc County woman was mauled to death by a pack of pit bull-mix dogs. Two others who came to her aid were also attacked, according to sheriff Joe Glover. He said Rosalie Bivins was checking her mail in front of her residence on County Road 1480 when five to seven dogs began their vicious attack.
A rural mail carrier that happened on the scene found Bivins lying in road yelling for help. When the postal worker exited his vehicle, the dogs turned the attack on him and he was forced to re-enter his vehicle. The postal worker then drove to a neighbor’s house to ask for help. The neighbor, Dearl Newby, grabbed a gun and the two good Samaritans rushed to the scene.
When they arrived, another man, who had fought with the dogs, had bite marks on his arm and leg. After Newby fired his shotgun and killed one of the attacking dogs, the rest fled. Bivins died before emergency personnel arrived on the scene. Some of the dogs were later shot and their bodies will be forwarded to the state Health Department to be examined for rabies.
Neighbor's Talk About the Attack
Dearl Newby can't can't forget the image of his neighbor Rosalie Bivins lying in the middle of the gravel road in front of her mailbox, being mauled by a pack of six dogs. He said, "I used to drive trucks, and I've run up on a lot of wrecks. This right here, to look at, was the worst. She was just white as a sheet."
Newby was one of three neighbors who came to Bivins' aid after a mail carrier came upon the grisly scene. Bivins was still alive when the mail carrier found her and she asked him for help. When the mail carrier arrived at Newby's house breathless and rattled, Newby grabbed a shotgun and headed for his truck.
After Newby ended the attack on Bivins with a shotgun blast, Bivins' son-in-law, Bruce Hatton, shot and killed the remaining five dogs as they fled into the wooded areas that surround the home. A sixth dog was shot and killed by a neighbor the next day. All six dogs tested negative for rabies.
Most of Newby's neighbors know him as the guy who tools around his place in a white golf cart. But Newby is more on guard than ever now -- a shotgun is strapped to the golf cart, and a leather belt and a gun holster keep a pistol handy. Between the threat of wild hogs and attacking dogs, Newby is taking few chances.
Who owned the dogs is still at question. Hatton, says he occasionally fed them, but did not own them. Neighbors in the area say the dogs belonged to Hatton, who used them to hunt feral hogs.
Hog hunters often use pit bull terriers because they aren't deterred by the hogs' size and are strong enough to hold the hog until their masters can shoot it.Another neighbor, Kirby Tilley, had known Bivins for 30 years. The attack that led to her death hit him hard. Tilley also intervened during the attack and tried to get the dogs off of Bivins. "It's a hard time for my wife,” Tilley said. "It's a hard time for me. I keep wondering if I might could have saved her."
The Tilleys invited Bivins up for lunch the day she was mauled by dogs at her mailbox. Bivins, also known as "Grannie Rose,” declined the invitation. Tilley was on his way to Bivins house to pick up something to take to town when he came upon her body surrounded by dogs.
"I thought it was a mannequin. You know how people put those out for Halloween," Tilley said. He tried hollering and kicking at the dogs, but I thought if he fell down, he'd be in the same position as Rosie. Rosalie Bivins died in the middle of the road. There was no mail in the mailbox she was checking.
Her family has not talked publicly about her death.
09/22/08: Oklahoma: One State's Struggle with a Breed-Specific Prohibition
09/17/08: Hog Dog Rodeos: Pit Bulls Killing Pigs for Sport
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| 5/01/2008 4:13 PM |
The point about pit bulls and hog hunters is an understated point in this article. Hog hunters are rampant breeders of pit bulls, (although a vast majority of hunters resent this being called "hunting.") The trend is to breed larger and more aggressive pits, frequently with presa canario lines. Any breeding that doesn’t result in dogs with an immediate bite and hold sufficient to capture hogs that weigh hundreds of pounds is considered worthless. Sellers make no distinction when selling as either hog dogs or pets.
Mr. Newby is smart to follow the lead of ranchers and keep side arms and shotguns at hand. This problem will only get worse until Fish & Game/Conservation departments admit they’re part of the problem.