Sunday, October 11, 2009
Plainfield Animal Control Officer died after being knocked to the ground by a pit bull.
Officer Theresa Foss
Plainfield, CT - An incident that raises questions regarding what defines a "fatal dog attack" recently occurred in Connecticut. On September 29, Plainfield Animal Control Officer Theresa Foss was hospitalized with a head injury after being knocked to the ground by a pit bull. Foss had responded to a call of an aggressive dog that had trapped a family in their home. A resident of the home, Ron Roberts, shot the dog several times after it attacked Foss, causing the dog to flee.
News articles were quick to point out the loose pit bull, named Buddy, had not bitten Officer Foss. The owner of the dog, David Coombs, told reporters "he had no idea" the trouble Buddy had caused when the dog returned to his home at 180 Moosup Pond Road the following morning. Though news reports emphasized that the dog had not torn Foss' flesh, Coombs took the unusual step of shooting Buddy to death then burying the animal in Canterbury, about 4 miles away.1
Local authorities did not attempt to locate the buried dog, because the incident did not involve a bite.2 A bite would have required a rabies test.Up until Foss' death on October 8, she remained hospitalized at Yale-New Haven Hospital with a serious head injury. While it could have been an error on his part, Charles Gagne, of Gagne-Piechowski Funeral Home, said that Foss' death was unrelated to the dog. This appears to be impossible, as Foss never left the hospital after the attack. State Animal Control Officer Linda Wenner later told reporters that Foss "died of organ failure," begging the question as to why?
Two Heart Attack Victims in 10-Day Period
Foss' death comes during the same 10-day period when two people suffered a heart attack following a terrifying "pit bull incident," thus highlighting the graveness of "non bite" pit bull injuries.
- On October 2, 70-year old Mary Garcia of Adams County, Colorado was attacked by two dogs, a pit bull-mastiff mix and boxer-pit bull mix, when she stepped outside to lock her car doors. Garcia suffered serious bite injuries in the attack, but the immediate threat was a heart attack that struck after the incident.
- On October 11, 56-year old Timothy Neimeyer of Indianapolis hopped a fence to stop a fight between his pit bull and a neighbor's dog. The pit bull broke its chain and jumped a fence to attack the dog. While trying to stop the fight, Neimeyer went into cardiac arrest. His condition is listed as "grave" in news reports.
2For all we know, Buddy could have been shipped across state lines to live with a friend or relative of Coombs.
09/09/09: Elderly Woman Suffers Broken Hip and Crushed Wrist After Pit Bull Attack
06/08/09: Pit Bull Drags Adult Owner into Oncoming Train, Killing Her
03/06/09: Dog Aggression Equals Human Injury, Bullets and Dead Family Dogs
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| 10/12/2009 9:35 AM |
Organ failure happens to patients maintained on a ventilator for long periods of time. Ms. Foss's time last known well was just prior to her interaction with this pit bull. To say that the death is not connected to the injury is a very strange statement. Recent news accounts state Ms. Foss died in the line of duty.
Heart attacks frequently occur with stress, physical of emotional.
| 10/12/2009 10:10 AM |
"Animal Control Officer Theresa Foss, 48, suffered severe head trauma while responding to reports of a loose pit bull on Sept. 29. Police said the dog lunged at Foss and may have caused her to fall...
Foss was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital, where she died from complications of her injury on Oct. 8."
| 10/12/2009 2:58 PM |
In fact, the witness to the Indy attack did say the owners pit bull was biting the owner just prior to the owner having a heart attack:
"Hatten was standing in the alley when the dogs began fighting and tried to help out. He says the pit bull turned against his owner."
"The dog was like, he was biting him and so I got the dog's attention to come to the other side, away from him, and that is when the dog started chasing me over the fence," Hatten said
| 10/12/2009 3:07 PM |
We noticed that, but IMPD said otherwise. More information may be coming out soon.
"He came out and got between the dog and tried to break it up, was not bitten, but in the process, it appears that he had a heart attack, went into cardiac arrest," said IMPD Sgt. Matt Mount."
| 10/12/2009 8:34 PM |
I don't believe for one instant the man shot the dog. I'm sure it's being harbored elsewhere. I hope he winds up with more serious charges than he has so far and that they correct the error in stating the woman's death was unrelated to the dog attack when it clearly was.
| 10/12/2009 10:29 PM |
"An Indianapolis man who broke a fight between his pit bull and a neighbor's Doberman was in critical condition Monday night. Timothy Niemeyer, 56, was at Wishard Memorial Hospital after suffering an apparent heart attack while breaking up the dog fight in the 500 block of North Oakland Avenue on Sunday afternoon, police and hospital spokesmen said."
| 10/12/2009 11:13 PM |
I have such a problem with all of the initial news coverage of pitbulls attacking, mauling and killing... and then there is little follow up. I encourage folks to email the news writers of online articles to follow up on their stories so they can tell the WHOLE story. The affects on victims, their families... it's such a shame there is one night of impact and then.... NOTHING. It's so strange to me that owning these dogs as PETS has continued for so long.
| 10/13/2009 1:21 AM |
I GUARANTEE YOU THAT BUDDY IS NOT BURIED IN CANTERBURY!
This pit bull owner "took action" to avoid his dog being detected as the attacker. So he zoomed his dog out of town. In the meanwhile, authorities traced the dog to him only to arrive at the highly questionable excuse, "Well I already killed and buried him." TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE! And totally a shame that authorities did not attempt to locate this dog as a dedicated city employee was KILLED by this animal.
| 10/14/2009 2:20 AM |
Wow. These monsters are starting to kill without even biting!! They are killers and those people know it! RIP officer! I think that owner should be put in jail for this! His dog killed an officer!!
| 10/14/2009 9:32 AM |
This post speaks to the immense "power" of a pit bull. Just a few days ago, a 180 pound male owner of two pit bulls could not stop his leashed dogs from attacking another dog; the dogs dragged him up a concrete hill:
"The owner of the dogs couldn't control them and got dragged up the hill! They were so strong they pulled off his shirt by dragging him along the concrete, all while trying to get to my dog. The officer also said he'd fax a copy of the report to the dog control officer and advised me to take my dog to the vet."
Back in June, a pit bull pulled itself and its owner, 32-year old Vida Silver, into an oncoming train killing them both:
How do you stop a pit bull when it's activated? YOU DON'T.
| 10/17/2009 7:11 PM |
The Indianapolis incident may be fatal:
"A relative of a man who suffered a heart attack breaking up a dog fight said he was on life support with little chance of survival. Barbra Ball, the mother-in-law of Timothy Niemeyer, 56, said his brain function has ceased and he was surviving only with a respirator. “The doctors and nurses said they don’t know how long he can last,” Ball said."
| 10/22/2009 2:27 AM |
Dont forget the Pit Bull who "pulled Momma into the train" earlier this year!
Pits are currently displacing other breeds from the 30-100lb weight categories in Canine Weight Pulling Competitions, just like they displaced other breeds from dog fighting.
Special Licenses, containment infrastructures and insurance please!!!!
| 12/31/2009 10:18 PM |
More "non bite" injury:
October 28, 2009 -- "A police officer broke his arm fighting off an attack by a pit bull on the Northwestside. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Sgt. Ronald Brezik shattered his forearm near the wrist after he was attacked at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 4000 block of North Vinewood Avenue."