Tuesday, April 13, 2010
From left: John-Paul Massey, Uno the pit bull and its owner Christian Foulkes.1
"Dozy Teddy Bear"
UPDATE 04/13/10: Last November, John-Paul Massey was mauled to death by his uncle's pit bull. The fatal attack, committed by a banned breed, caused enormous public outrage in the UK. The dog's owner, Christian Foulkes, was recently charged with possessing a dangerous dog, breeding a dangerous dog and giving a dangerous dog as a gift.2 The boy's mother, Angela McGlynn, told the media that the dog was like "a dozy teddy bear" prior to killing her son.
"Just a few days before, I was dragging it around by the scruff of the neck when it tried to run out into the road and it did nothing. It was just like a dozy teddy bear."It must be noted that McGlynn added the infamous "It was just a freak accident" phrase and that it was "no one's fault," despite the fact that Britain banned pit bull terriers in 1991 specifically to stop these horrible incidents. The boy's grandmother, Helen, suffered extensive injuries trying to stop the attack as well. "She's all scarred on her legs and stomach and arms," McGlynn said. "But the worst thing is she blames herself for still being alive instead of John-Paul."
The death of Massey once again demonstrates the genetic attack trait of the pit bull breed: unpredictable.
12/09/09: Dog Owner, Christian Foulkes Arrested
The BBC reports that the owner of Uno, 21-year old Christian Foulkes, has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. It is important to point out just how newsworthy the death of John-Paul Massey is in the United Kingdom. Google News shows well over 600 articles written about the incident. On the same day his tragic story emerged, Rosie Humphreys was struck down by a pit bull in the U.S. Thus far, only 33 U.S. articles have been written about her.
Unlike in the U.S., citizens and public officials of the United Kingdom are intolerant of these attacks.
12/01/09: Dog Identified as "Banned" Breed
Merseyside Police say that the dog was a "pit bull terrier-type," a breed banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. A criminal investigation has begun. The force has apologized after reports of dog breeding at the home were not followed up. The deadly attack upon John-Paul, which unfolded before his 13-year old brother's eyes, also involved his grandmother being attacked. The owner of the dog is 21-year old Christian Foulkes (pictured), the dead boy's uncle.
11/30/09: "Dogs Bred" at Fatal Attack House
UK - On the same day that DogsBite.org penned the London guide dog post -- who was savagely attacked by a pit bull-mix captured on CCTV -- the BBC reported that a 4-year old was mauled to death by a "pit bull type" dog. John-Paul Massey was killed at a home in Ash Grove, Wavertree, just after midnight, according to the BBC. His grandmother, 63-year old Helen Foulkes, suffered injuries trying to save the child and required hospital treatment.
The "breed of dog" as well as a previous complaint against the dog continues to be under investigation. In February, a person informed police that "dog breeding" was occurring at the residence. Ch Supt Steve Ashley, of Merseyside Police, said they are currently examining why no action was taken. He said that an officer who is an expert on dangerous dogs should have spoken to the caller who was concerned and, if necessary, visited the house to examine the dogs.
In 1991, the United Kingdom passed the Dangerous Dog Act, which bans four fighting breeds: pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos and Fila Brasileiros. The act also covers crossbreeds and any other dogs that appear "to be bred for fighting or to have the characteristics of a type bred for that purpose." The death of Massey patterns the 2007 death of 5-year old Ellie Lawrenson, who was attacked and killed by her uncle's pit bull at the family's Merseyside home.
Related ZUPF video
05/11/10: Mauled boy's uncle pleads guilty over Wavertree death
04/09/10: Uncle charged over dog which killed John Paul Massey
04/01/10: Tragedy mother's danger dog warning
03/31/10: Debate into dangerous dog attacks
12/03/09: Uncle held over fatal dog attack
12/02/09: Dog mauling victim 'lit up lives'
12/01/09: Dog that mauled boy to death was an illegal breed
12/01/09: Breed inquiry into boy death dog
11/30/09: Boy's death leaves community shocked
11/30/09: Four-year-old boy killed by dog
11/30/09: Dangerous dog mauling 'latest in line'
11/27/07: Ellie's death 'unlawful killing'
09/11/07: 'No excuse' for owning banned dog
01/10/07: Police seize 28 pit bull terriers (Merseyside)
01/10/07: Girl killed by pit bull terrier
In related UK news, read how West Midlands Police are grappling with the pit bull problem.
2Prosecutors dropped the manslaughter charge.
02/10/09: UK Toddler Killed by Family Dogs Under Grandmother's Watch
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| 11/30/2009 11:11 PM |
Apparently just "miles" away from Ellie's home...
"The tragedy in the early hours was a chilling echo of five-year-old Ellie Lawrenson's death a few miles away in 2007."
| 12/01/2009 3:28 AM |
I see that the Lasting Tribute website has updated its memorial pages to include young John-Paul.
It's a very respectful memorial to him and somewhere to pay tribute.
| 12/01/2009 3:58 PM |
Although breed specific laws in U.K. do not completely "take care" of the pit bull problem, at least the U.K. recognizes the serious differences that result from man-made, selective breedings.
With pro-pit bull lobby groups like AKC, Best Friends, CHAKO, etc., how can it ever happen here?
Answer: Senator's son, daughter, loved-one would have to be attacked.
| 12/01/2009 5:22 PM |
Time after time, police and sheriff departments take the attitude that dog complaints are beneath their notice. Because of this attitude, they are partially responsible for every death and mauling that results in a report not being taken care of in a timely fashion. Whoever made the decision to ignore that call should be FIRED.
| 12/02/2009 2:56 AM |
Don't worry...any minute the UK Pit Bull Apologist league will investigate the breeders who produced two DBRFs just miles apart.
But first they must engage in writing Pit Bull haiku's and stage a breed stigma tu-tu march!
They'll get to it!
| 12/02/2009 10:42 AM |
"THE tragedy has chilling parallels to the savage attack on Ellie Lawrenson, who was mauled to death by a dog on New Year’s Day, 2007. Both John Paul, four, and Ellie, five, were staying with their grandmothers when they were savaged – by dogs belonging to their uncles. The little girl suffered 72 injuries during the attack by the dog, called Reuben. Her grandmother, Jacqueline Simpson, tried to fight off the 74lb dog during the attack and suffered severe arm injuries. The animal was shot dead by a police officer."
| 12/02/2009 10:49 AM |
The real problem is not the legislation, but the unchecked acquisition by disaffected youths of "status dogs"...
These creatures are intended not just to impress, but to intimidate, and to injure. Hence the description used by the police: they call them "weapon dogs", bred for aggression, and trained in a way that amplifies that propensity. It's no urban myth that thousands of trees – in parks in London, Bristol, and Manchester – have been destroyed by pitbulls and the like. The animals are goaded by their owners into frenzied "practice" attacks on the trunks, ripping off the bark, or are made to hang from branches to strengthen their jaws and shoulders...
| 12/03/2009 6:16 AM |
This problem in the UK could easily be resolved by reintroducing a dog licensing system similar to that we had a few decades ago but one that outlawed certain breeds and which was a two tier system, recognising that larger dogs are potentially lethal (so requiring some owner test and qualifications e.g. not having convictions for violence or drug dealing). The system could even pay for its own enforcement through the licence fee since the useless police seem unwilling to defend the citizenry.
| 12/03/2009 9:38 AM |
There is no easy solution to the pitbull problem. If there was it would be introduced in every country in the world. What you need besides legislation is enforcement of the law.
What I would like to know is what happened to the other dogs that were at the house. Their barking drowned out the noise of a nearby highway. So their were more dogs at this house. What happened to them?
| 12/03/2009 4:36 PM |
Yes, there are very easy solutions to the pit bull problem.
In some areas of the country that have laws and regulations (and trained people that enforce them, and aren't connected themselves to dog fighters or dog breeders), pit bull breeders aren't selling dogs at every street corner and dog fighters aren't running rampant. There aren't stray dog problems, there are requirements for proper and humane care of animals, and vicious dogs are dealt with and problems resolved BEFORE death occurs.
No pit bull problems in some parts of the country.
Where there are no rules and laws, and collusion by authorities to protect breeders and dog fighters, you have a pit bull problem. And deaths.
| 12/05/2009 11:56 AM |
"John-Paul should not have died. But to have saved him, and to save the next child in danger of being killed by a dog, we need to admit a few things...
Unless we are all stark raving bonkers, there is no place for a dog like the one that killed John-Paul around children.
There is no place for a dog like that in a family neighbourhood. There is no place for a dog like that in a civilised society.
These dogs are not pets."
| 5/11/2010 4:21 PM |
UPDATE May 11, 2010 - "Foulkes also admitted owning a pit-bull bitch, named Lita, which was being looked after by John Paul's father. The dog was pregnant with 11 pups, sired by Uno, when she died after being knocked down by a car shortly after John Paul was killed. Ms Parsons told the court it was not Lita's first litter of puppies but added: "Mr Foulkes maintains the dogs were kept as family pets and not bred for fighting or commercial gain. "There is no evidence on either dog of their use for fighting." A third dog, named Lucky, had also been kept by Foulkes but was killed by the other two dogs, the prosecutor said."