Friday, March 13, 2009
UPDATE 03/13/09: Travis Dean Cunningham was sentenced to 11.5 years in prison. After sending an email to the King County Prosecutor's Office, we learned that the defendant faced 5 years for the Possession of a Firearm charge and the Dangerous Dog charge* added a year to that sentence (the DD charge did not stand on its own) making it 6 years total. He then received 5 years for a parole violation for a previous offense that made it illegal for him to possess a gun in the first place.
*It was determined that one of the two dogs was the primary aggressor, so he was only charged with one count of Possession of a Dangerous Dog.
02/10/09: Pit Bull Owner Pleads Guilty
A SeaTac man has pleaded guilty to possessing a dangerous dog after his two pit bulls mauled an elderly woman near her home last year. Prosecutors are recommending more than 11 years in prison for Travis Dean Cunningham, who also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm. "This was a case of dangerous dogs and a dangerous owner," said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg in a press release. Sentencing is set for March 13.
11/07/08: Multiple Charges; 13 Years in Jail
SeaTac, WA - The owner of two pit bulls that mauled an elderly SeaTac woman in September, leaving her with a number of injuries, was charged today with possession of a dangerous dog, a felony crime. Huong Le, 71-years old, was on her way back from walking her granddaughter to a school bus stop when she was attacked by the dogs. She suffered severed ears, a crushed arm and deep, bite wounds from her head to her feet. Her recovery continues.
Prosecutors have also charged the dog owner, Travis Cunningham, 36, with one count of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a stolen firearm. If convicted on all three charges, Cunningham faces almost 13 years in prison. A neighbor who witnessed the attack called 911 and grabbed a pitchfork in an attempt to help Le. When King County sheriff's deputies arrived the animals were still attacking the woman.
The deputies shot and killed the pit bulls.John Makus, who was raised by Le, said she is struggling in her recovery but believes she'll be happy with the news. "You have to give a lot of credit to the detective and the prosecuting attorney for conducting an exhaustive investigation in pursuit of justice," Makus said. "Let this be the shining symbol to dog owners if they don't comply with the laws to keep their animals fenced and muzzled." Makus said he plans to talk with legislators about a statewide breed ban.
09/26/08: Owner of SeaTac Pit Bull Attack Arrested
09/10/08: 2 Pit Bulls Killed After Mauling 71-Year Old SeaTac Woman
09/13/08: Coverage of the Seattle Area Pit Bull Attack and Activism
Please donate to support our work
DogsBite.org is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity organization. Learn more »
| 11/07/2008 8:27 PM |
Keep an eye out for another local pit bull attack.
Police shoot pit bull after it bites someone in Shelton WA.
I saw it on the tv news but it has yet to appear on the news website.
| 11/09/2008 7:37 PM |
Makus now says he wants a statewide ban on pit bulls.
"Is a breed ban unfair? Yes. Is it extreme? Yes. Is it necessary to protect public safety? I think so, Yes," he says.
| 11/10/2008 5:01 AM |
Pulling over and arresting drunk drivers before they have an accident is "unfair" too. Every night thousands of them make it home without killing somebody.
The Dogmen who culled entire litters of pups for not having "The Right Stuff" were also unfair.
| 2/16/2009 6:37 AM |
It is important to keep in mind that the pit perps lengthy sentence has little to do with the womans mauling. The majority of it came from prior felonies and parole violations(gun charges).
We still don't know who bred and sold these Level 5 Maulers....
| 3/14/2009 12:42 PM |
The headline was misleading. This is why we requested clarification from the King County Prosecutor's Office. It is our understanding that had officials not found a felony offense (such as the Gun Charge) to hang the felony Dangerous Dog charge on, the felony DD charge would not have been possible. That said, a different DD charge may have been possible, but it would not have been a FELONY, therefore victim Huong Le would NOT have had access to the Washington State Felony Victim fund. We all know that Cunningham never could have paid for her extremely high medical costs. We imagine -- conservatively -- that these costs have reached $200,000.
If nothing else, this case ought to push King County to illegalize pit bull ownership for convicted felons (make it a 3rd degree felony), and place a substantial penalty on those who break the law. This way, if a similar case occurs, officials can charge the pit bull owner for the combination of felony Pit Bull Ownership and felony Dangerous Dog charge, without the need to hang the DD charge on a separate, unrelated felony charge.
| 3/15/2009 12:15 AM |
King County is where Nathan Winograd (the No Kill salesman) and his associates Claire Davis (formerly of Best Friends) and Kim Sgro (formerly of the Pasado's No Kill shelter who abandoned Katrina pit bulls with a hoarder) are trying to take over and privatize animal control and make it "No Kill."
One of their stated objectives if they succeed is to go into county code and REMOVE ordinances they don't like.
Like dog limits, breeder licensing, leash laws, and dangerous dog laws.
Nathan Winograd, and his dog breeder associated lobbyists, oppose all kinds of animal control law.
He also supports adopting out aggressive dogs.
If No Kill takes over in King County, expect to see dangerous dog laws disappeared, stray pickup and investigations vanish, and animal control laws thrown to the winds.
The attacks and killings will increase by a huge number.
| 3/16/2009 5:35 AM |
How much is the taxpayer on the hook for this incident via victim compensation funds?
How much is the taxpayer on the hook for Pit bulls clogging the animal control system?
The media does a poor job on this issue.
| 3/16/2009 3:38 PM |
nserver: ns51.domaincontrol.com 126.96.36.199
nserver: ns52.domaincontrol.com 188.8.131.52
registrant-street1: 20520 105th Ave SW
| 3/16/2009 4:20 PM |
The website "KCACC Exposed" looks a lot like what the No-Kill Nathan nimrods tried to do in Philly (PACCA). It's just a matter of time before No-Killers take over in King County and announce a "Convicts Help Save Pit Bulls" program. Ed Bok tried that after he was hired in LA -- the program (Pit Bull Training Academy) was placed on hold indefinitely.
Does anyone else find it odd that as soon as a No-Kill shelter director is hired (such as Boks in LA and more recently Douglas Rea in Indianapolis), the first programs they try to implement are about "saving pit bulls?" I guess this is because hundreds of cats and dogs of other breeds do not matter. "Stop the Killing" in reality means, "Stop Killing Pit Bulls," and at the cost of all other animals.
Here's more info on Bok:
1.) Under his leadership, Animal Services' plans to discontinue the spay/neuter coupon program, and he characterized the news as "upsetting," and "not okay at all." (LA has a mandatory sterilization law for all pets). Now why would Bok cancel the coupon program for low income folks?
2.) Boks has stumbled publicly before, most notably in an August 21, 2007 press conference with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the steps of City Hall, when Villaraigosa and he announced that L.A. Animal Services was the number one pet adoption agency in the nation, a claim that was almost immediately debunked, particularly in light of the fact that one of the agencies that outperformed LAAS in adoptions was L.A. County Animal Care and Control.
3.) Boks also came under fire for planning a "Hooters for Nooters" event, ultimately canceled, which would have featured scantily clad female Hooters employees promoting pet sterilization.
4.) Boks has also tangled with the City Council before, including his failed attempt to set up a "Pit Bull Training Academy" which would have employed ex-cons to train and make adoptable some of the city's many homeless Pit Bulls. While the plan might have helped save may dogs' lives, in addition to giving many ex-cons a meaningful new vocation, Boks failed to clear the plan with the City Council, and withstood blistering criticism from several Councilmembers. Plans for the Pit Bull Academy have since been shelved indefinitely.
5.) Let's not forget the "No Vote" of confidence that was delivered to Bok as well (L.A. animal shelter workers turn to City Council in push to oust manager)!