Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Rebecca Hardy was fatally attacked by a pit bull. The manner of death was ruled suicide.
Minor Charges Filed
UPDATE 02/10/16: The owners of two dogs that fatally attacked Rebecca Hardy, 22, in Port Huron last year will be charged with having unlicensed dogs. The primary attacker, a pit bull, mutilated her face and severed her carotid artery. Now Andrew Scott Miller and Jessica Rae Johnson each face this misdemeanor, which carries a 90-day sentence and/or a $500 fine. The charges were authorized Wednesday, St. Clair County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Steve Guilliat said.
On December 3, Hardy climbed part way over the couple's poorly maintained fence and was pulled into the backyard by the male pit bull that latched onto her leg, a witness states in the police report. The dog then viciously attacked her face and neck. Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic later ruled the manner of death suicide. Dragovic said the investigation showed that Hardy knew the dogs were dangerous and that her climbing the fence was a "purposeful act."
Just days ago we learned more details about this attack when the Times Herald published parts of the Port Huron police report. Part of the information learned was the name of the pit bull, "King," likely short for "Kingsley," as seen on Johnson's Facebook page. In this horrific, gruesome and surreal fatal pit bull mauling that made national headlines, we finally now also have images of the dogs. The second photo of King shows the dog curled up in an infant seat in the couple's home.
02/05/16: Redacted Police Report
Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Times Herald obtained a copy of the Port Huron Police report on the death of Rebecca Hardy. She was brutally attacked and killed by a pit bull on December 3. The dog ripped out her throat, chewed off her ears and tore into her face, including ripping out an eye and part of her nose, according to the report. The dog severed her carotid artery and broke her cervical spine, states the report. Injuries common in fatal pit bull attacks.
The police report reveals information that we and many others have long sought: Who, if anyone, actually saw Hardy climb the fence? According to the police report, a witness did. At least he saw her part way climb the fence. The pit bull intervened by latching onto her leg and pulling her fully into the unnamed owner's backyard. This yard became her graveyard after a horrific, violent pit bull attack. Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic ruled the manner of death suicide.
"(Name redacted) states he did observe a white female, that was later identified as HARDY to be at the fence of his neighbors (redacted) and (redacted) property. (Redacted) states that he did observe the brown Pit Bull and the white Husky to be outside barking at HARDY as she was at the fence. (Redacted) states that he then observed HARDY to climb the fence and have one leg over the fence onto (redacted) and (redacted) property.The last words her boyfriend, who has a child with Hardy, ever said to her was, "Get out."
"(Redacted) states that as HARDY was on the fence, the brown Pit Bull, named King, grabbed HARDY by the leg area and pulled her on the ground," according to the police report on the fatal mauling of the 22-year-old Port Huron woman. - The Times Herald, February 4, 2016
12/10/15: Victim Had Knowledge of Danger
A report from CBS Detroit cleared up some questions about the horrific mauling death of Rebecca Hardy. It seems her death was "suicide by pit bull attack." Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic had earlier called the dogs "attack dogs," but offered no explanation as to how he knew this. CBS Detroit states: "Dragovic said an investigation revealed that Hardy knew her neighbor’s dogs were dangerous and, in the past, had gone to great lengths to avoid them."
"It’s akin to someone jumping into a cage with tigers or lions at a zoo." - Oakland County ME Ljubisa DragovicDragovic also left no doubt about how Hardy entered the yard. "She did climb the fence over and enter that space,” Dragovic said. “She did not get through a gate or through the front door of the house -- and that clearly is a purposeful act." The manner of death (how the death arose) was not accidental as it most commonly is in fatal dog attacks. Hardy's death was ruled suicide because of her purposeful act of climbing into the yard with knowledge that these dogs were dangerous.
Appalling New Reality
It is no longer necessary to go to a major zoo to commit suicide by a horrific lion or bear mauling. A person can accomplish this same goal in a residential neighborhood at a home that keeps dangerous pit bulls fenced outside. This is a terribly sad reality and speaks volumes about the regularly crappy fences used by pit bull owners that are literally the only barrier between life and death. "Suicide by dog attack" is a manner of death ruling that we hope to never hear again.
12/09/15: Previous Suicide Attempt
The Detroit Free Press reports that Hardy had attempted suicide in the past and that she had recently been kicked out of her house. Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic said, "These were attack dogs. These were vicious dogs in an enclosed space. She obviously was aware of that, because she climbed over the fence to subject herself to this threat." In previous media reports, Port Huron Police have not stated if the dogs had a history of aggression.
This could only be suicide if Hardy had crystal clear knowledge of the dogs' vicious propensities. The entire suicide theory hinges on it.A toxicology report is still pending. However, Dragovic also said, "If (drugs or alcohol) were a factor in general behavior, it still does not eliminate the purposeful act of climbing into the dangerous area." Again, assuming that Hardy knew it was dangerous and that the dogs would attack her. Her fiancé, Matt Grattan, said, "I, in no way, shape or form believe that she was looking to hurt herself on that day. She had a little girl ... She wanted us to be a family," Grattan said.
Information Based on Witnesses
The Detroit News reports that the manner of Rebecca Hardy’s death (suicide) "was determined based on information given to police by witnesses during the investigation,” Port Huron Police Captain Jeff Baker said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. We know so far that one witness was a neighbor that came to her aid and beat the male pit bull with a two-by-four. Another witness is the dogs' owner who was alerted to the attack by the neighbor and also intervened to help.
"It's a sad story, but these are the facts." - Oakland County ME Ljubisa DragovicBy late afternoon, The Times Herald had updated their earlier breaking news story to include these details and more. Dragovic told The Herald, "She climbed the fence and jumped in and basically subjected herself to the attacks, which constitutes a purposeful act." The Herald also reported that police turned over a request of charges for the dogs' owner, which is a very strong indicator that these dogs indeed have a history of vicious acts. The investigation continues.
12/09/15: Mauling Death Ruled Suicide?
In a breaking news update, the Oakland County Medical Examiner's office has ruled the death of 22-year old Rebecca Hardy a suicide. Of the 400 plus fatal dog attacks we have reviewed at DogsBite.org over the last 8-years, we have never seen an ME office rule the manner of death a suicide. Every now and again, somewhere in the world, a person will enter into a lion's pen at a zoo to commit suicide. Entering into a residential yard with two dogs is hardly comparable.
Why would Hardy assume these dogs would kill her? She had a pit bull in her own household, according to family Facebook photo albums.1 Two days after her death, her fiancé posted publicly defending the breed stating, "its not the breed its the people that teach them.i know countless pitbulls that would never hurt a fly." [sic] In the wake of her death, her mother also defended the pit bull breed. "It’s all how you raise them," Terresa-Jesse Engel told the Huron Daily Tribune.
12/07/15: Dogs Euthanized After Attack
Two adult dogs, a male pit bull and female pit bull-husky mix,2 and one puppy were euthanized Friday after the mauling death of a 22-year old woman. Both adult dogs were involved in the vicious attack that killed Rebecca Hardy on December 3, according to Port Huron Police Captain Jeff Baker. The owner of the two dogs and four pit bull-husky mix puppies gave consent for the animals to be euthanized after the attack, according to St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon.
The euthanizations were carried out by St. Clair County Animal Control. Both adult pit bulls and one puppy were euthanized before the owner submitted a letter rescinding the consent Friday afternoon through a lawyer, Donnellon said. "At that point, we stopped and returned the three puppies to the lawyer," he said. Regardless of the letter, neither of the adults would have been returned to the owner. "We would have sought a court order to move forward," Donnellon said.
Apparently, "foster-based only" Michigan Animal Crew rescue was hoping to rehome them all.
12/05/15: Barefoot in December Theory
The facts leading up to the mauling death of Rebecca Hardy remain sketchy, but several have been confirmed. There was an argument between Hardy and her fiancé. Then in December in Michigan, Hardy left the couple's home barefoot, according to new details from the WXYZ video. The video also shows the fence Hardy climbed over, where a pit bull and pit bull-husky mix3 were contained and barking at her. As soon as Hardy got over the fence, the pit bull attacked her.
The dog latched onto her neck and ripped out most of it. The pit bull also attacked her face. "A dog that is that vicious, it almost ate her head right off," her step-father said. "Ate her ears off, tore the esophagus right out of her throat, her jugular vein. To have a dog like that in a city like this?" he asked. Hardy's mother, Terresa-Jesse Engel, added, "It was murderous. It was criminal and evil." A neighbor who witnessed the attack had to beat the pit bull with a two-by-four to free Hardy.
Shortly before the grisly attack -- police arrived at 4:40 pm -- Hardy left her home barefoot after an argument with her fiancé. We estimate it was about 40 degrees outside.4 Media reports say she lived one or two blocks away from the scene of the attack. Her fiancé said they lived a "few doors down." Hardy did not know anyone who lived at the home. Despite the yard having a gate, Hardy climbed the fence in her bare feet then was fatally attacked by a male pit bull contained inside.
12/04/15: Port Huron Police Statement
Port Huron, MI - Yesterday, just a day after a 4-year old boy was savagely killed by four pit bulls in Detroit, a young woman was flown to a major medical center after a brutal attack involving a pit bull. Port Huron is about 55 miles northeast of Detroit. Family and friends began posting to Facebook late last night that she did not survive her injuries. Port Huron Police confirmed today that Rebecca Hardy, 22, died after suffering severe facial and neck injuries from a dog attack.
At about 4:40 pm Thursday, officers were dispatched to 1721 10th Street for an injured female that had been attacked by dogs. Responding officers found the woman in the backyard of a residence at that location with severe facial and neck injuries. The early investigation indicates that Hardy entered into the fenced-in backyard for an unknown reason. A pit bull in the backyard then viciously attacked her. A second dog believed to be a husky later joined in the deadly attack.
Hardy was transported to a local hospital by EMS then air lifted to Beaumont Hospital, where she died. Both dogs were taken into custody by the Port Huron Police Department's animal control officer and are being quarantined at the St. Clair County Animal Control Center. Port Huron police continue to investigate the victim's death and are working with two medical examiner's offices along with the St. Clair County Prosecutor's Office to determine if any charges are warranted.
An Argument with Fiancé
The Times Herald reached out to her fiancé, Matthew Grattan who made a public status update on his Facebook page last night, announcing Hardy's dog mauling death. Grattan told The Herald the couple had an 18-month old daughter together. "She was full of life, Grattan said. "She loved her daughter with everything." Grattan also said that he is not sure how she ended up in the neighbor's backyard. "Nobody was there, nobody knows what happened and why," Grattan said.
Grattan explained that he and Hardy had an argument at his home a few doors down shortly before the attack. She then left the house, he said. Grattan then speculated that she went down the alleyway behind the 10th Street homes and attempted to cut across the neighbor's backyard to get to 10th Street. After hearing ambulance sirens down the street, Grattan walked over to the scene. Other nearby residents were also shaken by the arrival of multiple first responders.
Witness & Owner Intervened
According to the Port Huron Police Department's statement, a witness attempted to free Hardy while under attack by the pit bull. Not succeeding, the person then went into the home and had the dogs' owner come out to help. As this unfolded, the second dog, later described as a pit bull-husky mix5, also attacked the victim. The owner of the dogs was eventually able to free Hardy from both dogs and give aid to her. Police say the dogs' owner is cooperating fully in their investigation.
Video of Port Huron animal control officers seizing pit bull
Grattan sarcastically comments about his own "vicious" family pit bulls. We've included this to show his "attitude" about pit bulls. The pit bull that killed his fiancée belonged to a neighbor.
2, 3, 5In February 2016, it became clear from the Port Huron Police report that the second adult dog involved in the attack was a "white husky." We are leaving in the earlier media reports of the dog being a "pit bull-husky mix" because that is what was reported at that time. The "pit bull-husky mix" label originated with the dog's owner, according to Port Huron Police Capt. Jeff Baker. "The dog owner said the second dog was a pit bull-husky mix, Baker said." (Beth LaBlanc, "Dogs involved in fatal mauling euthanized," The Times Herald, December 7, 2015).
4According to Weather.com, the temperature high in Port Huron on December 3, 2015 was 44 degrees. By 4:30 pm, we estimate it had fallen by at least 4 degrees. Sunset was at 4:55 pm, 15 minutes after police arrived.
12/03/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Boy Killed by Pit Bulls in Detroit
09/25/15: Detroit Man Suffers Catastrophic Injuries in Violent Pack Attack by Pit Bulls
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| 12/04/2015 7:19 PM |
We noted an extremely disturbing conversation on The Times Herald Facebook thread (https://www.facebook.com/thetimesherald/posts/10153837964807952). She may have been running away from someone -- trying to get help. Instead of getting help, she encountered her own horrific death.
Florence Shreeve why was she in a random backyard. it said she had a fight with her fiancé was she looking for help?
Like · Reply · 6 · 6 hrs
Lori Gill It started out as a domestic arguement, it was on the police scanner.
Like · Reply · 2 · 5 hrs
Destiny Jay Salyers My sister is the owner of these dogs and neither of us knew this young mother. Her dog acted on instinct to protect his family from an intruder, he has never in his short life been in a situation where a panicking stranger came into his yard…
Like · Reply · 8 · 4 hrs
| 12/04/2015 7:52 PM |
That does not mean that the dog had any rights to attack and rip her throat out. This dog is your sisters property and I hope she's sued. Her dog killed a human. A guard dog barks and alerts you when there is danger. What? Is your sister a damn thug and worried about killers on her property?
| 12/04/2015 8:27 PM |
When an attack occurs in a pit bull's backyard, it's "protective" instinct, BUT...When the.dead.victim is a.baby or small kid...sure looks like.it.should NOT.COUNT AS GUARD DOG BEHAVIOR. Does not.the same standard apply when the victim is a.small, unarmed woman? No "protection" system that kills.harmless, helpless, hapless beings that accidentally happen onto a family's yard should be.acceptable, and seem like they should border on illegal use.of.lethal force.
| 12/04/2015 8:48 PM |
Please comment on the Facebook thread if you can -- that is the local paper!
Times Herald Thread
| 12/04/2015 11:22 PM |
Wait, the finance himself had two pits of his own? Does he still have them even after two of the same maulers killed his fiance? I sure hope not, but judging by that Facebook post I doubt it. Seems like a typical nutter. Now I'm worried for the child.
I pray he has them euthanized for the safety of his daughter and everyone else.
| 12/05/2015 11:24 AM |
If I decided to use lethal force against a non threatening person going through my yard the media and the public would be outraged.
A pit bull does the same thing and is being "loyal and protective"
Unless someone owns a trained protection dog, it'd NOT the dogs job to protect its the humans job to protect the dog.
What a crazy world we live in.
| 12/05/2015 3:03 PM |
That fence is ton very tall and the corner of it is in disrepair. Neighors said the dogs routinely jumped the fence. These dogs probably jumped out and grabbed her back into the yard. Pitbulls pull adult victims around like they are tiny rag dolls and this woman would be easy to pull back over the fence. She was tiny. Another murderering dog own gets off scott free IMO
| 12/05/2015 4:05 PM |
THe video shows VERY OBVIOUS curling where the fence is being bent down from obvious repeating jumping. I have a fence like this.. not in this disrepair but a pitbull managed to squeeze through my gate and get into my yard and my gate was not in disrepair like this one. I do have areas on my fence IDENTICAL to the curling on this fence where my now deceased dog that was a jumper would jump. I believe very much that they need to do a lot of investigation of that fence, the plants and the alley as it is obvious the dogs have been jumping and they probably pulled the tiny woman first identified as a child back into their yard.
| 12/05/2015 6:49 PM |
She was running from a domestic violence situation or she was drunk/intoxicated. Or both.
(Not that drinking means you deserve to get mauled to death. I'm just applying Occam's Razor to this hideous event.)
Why did this shitbag pit owner have to be summoned from his house by the bystander who was trying to help?
| 12/05/2015 7:37 PM |
The more I think about it and read other comments I am inclined to believe the dogs drug her into the yard or we are not getting the whole story. Even when I was in my 20's I don't think I could have climbed up and over a chain link fence barefoot.
| 12/05/2015 8:08 PM |
Did the witness see her climb the fence? Even Port Huron Police Lt. Scott Pike said those details are sketchy, so apparently the answer is no. At some point, the neighbor/witness saw the attack and intervened to help. There is no mention if the witness "actually" saw how she got into that yard, which also had a gate.
Becca was small. In fact some witnesses (after the attack) who saw her lying on the ground swore it was the body of a child. Certainly, a pit bull could have pulled her through a gap, assuming there was one. We do not know what part of the fence she allegedly climbed, but news coverage focused on the top left photo. There are two medical examiner's offices reviewing her case, so maybe more will be learned after.
| 12/05/2015 9:46 PM |
Fishy fence climbing story for sure! I doubt she climbed over. Especially bc she was obviously around Pitbulls on a daily basis. Could that be what the fight was about? Worrying about the safety of her daughter with those dogs around? We all know how nutters react when you criticize their sweet harmless beast... BELLIGERENT!
| 12/05/2015 9:57 PM |
I think the key is the neighbor who witnessed part of the attack and intervened. Barefoot and cyclone fence climbing for someone like her is not plausible. Someone is not telling the truth. Most certainly authorities have underestimated what a pit bull is capable of, which includes latching into her neck (say she leaned over the fence to pet it) and yanking her over that dilapidated fence.
| 12/05/2015 10:37 PM |
After studying the pictures, I highly doubt she jumped the fence. She was barefoot and the ground is muddy, covered with feces. You can see the track ateoubd the inside of the fence were the dogs would pace. She was used to pits, they had two. She likely was upset, distressed, walking by and the dogs came out and stood on hind legs at the fence in front of her. She probably went over to pet them, possible give the pit a kiss when it latched onto her neck and pulled her over the fence.
| 12/06/2015 4:17 PM |
"Good" game-insane gladiator dogs like this one can fight silently, so the attack can be unnoticed by others even nearby.
Perhaps she just got close enough for the pit to grab her and pull her over the sagging fence and into the yard.
| 12/07/2015 12:46 PM |
Just another surreal update:
Donnellon said the two adult dogs and one puppy were euthanized before the owner submitted a letter rescinding the consent Friday afternoon through a lawyer. “At that point, we stopped and returned the three puppies to the lawyer,” Donnellon said. “Regardless of the letter, the adult dogs would not have been returned to him. We would have sought a court order to move forward.”
| 12/09/2015 8:10 AM |
I'm trying to decide if revealing the parentage of these puppies will make them more or less adoptable. I've known some idiot nutters who would really groove on having the offspring of two killer dogs.
Those pups should have been put down. Anyone with a basic knowledge of dog breeding will know that they are likely to be aggressive. I don't know which would be worse: adoption by an ignorant person who doesn't know their past, or does, but doesn't realize how dangerous this makes them, or adoption by a person who does know they are likely to be killers, and wants them anyway. There is no positive scenario here.
RIP Rebecca Hardy
| 12/09/2015 4:49 PM |
Do the nutters even realize that by stating this was a suicide they're straight up saying going near a pit is a death wish? At least there's some truth in that.
Unfortunately, this woman liked pits. Her fiance has two and his family has plenty. I highly doubt she went in that yard expecting the maulers to kill her. And what on earth evidence to they have to even be able to call this suicide? Even if they were pits, most people do not commit suicide by dog.
Also, speaking of the husband, this is like Darla Napora all over again. His wife is killed by these beasts, and he and his family keep defending them and saying they're harmless. I fear for the safety of his daughter.
| 12/09/2015 5:13 PM |
How in the world did they decide that.
Besides as a pit owner and with the rantings of her fiance I would presume she was in the pit bull cult as well. If it was suicide she should have thrown herself into a yard full of Chihuahuas as everyone knows "they bite more". One does not "chum" for pit bulls. How would she have any idea the dogs would kill her?
| 12/09/2015 5:23 PM |
We are going to wait at least 4 more hours before updating -- we expect more details to come out tonight. But apparently she had a history of suicide attempts. The ME's statement does not hold water considering neither of the dogs had ever attacked anyone before and certainly had not been declared "vicious."
| 12/09/2015 7:21 PM |
Unless she left a note declaring "I'm going to climb the fence and get in with a bunch of pit bulls because I KNOW they'll kill me", I say the ME's on crack.
She was killed by the dogs, right? No chance she ran out in front of a car, or shot herself, then climbed over the fence to expire with the intention of feeding the poor starving pitties out of sympathy for their plight? (sarcasm)
| 12/09/2015 9:23 PM |
No one even witnessed her entering the yard. It's all theoretical. What if she dropped her phone or earring over the fence? That makes more sense than suicide by dog. This guy does remind me of Darla Nepora's husband too. I can't believe her mom would defend the dogs after they murdered her daughter. The lack of humanity in Pitbull lovers absolutely sickens me!
| 12/09/2015 10:19 PM |
We updated the post just before your comment -- you may need to refresh your browser to see it. Some elements are starting to make more sense now. What is true, is that many people are unfamiliar with "manner of death" rulings. Nearly all dog bite fatalities are ruled as "accidents," which simply means an unintentional death, but also a violent death. Some advocates get upset by this determination ("But a fatal pit bull attack is 'not' an accident!" they say). This ruling, however, is generally the case because the death is not a homicide, suicide or undetermined. The latest update shows that the ME believes that Hardy's very "act" of "subjecting herself to a dog attack" throws the manner of death ruling into suicide ("She climbed the fence and jumped in and basically subjected herself to the attacks, which constitutes a purposeful act," Dragovic said.). This is all new territory for us as well. But the ME calling this a "purposeful act" that led to her death does make sense in why he is ruling the manner of death a suicide.
Manner of death (how the death arose) include:
1. Natural (Disease)
2. Non-Natural (Violent death)
-----2a. Accident (unintentional)
-----2b. Homicide (intentional)
-----2c. Suicide (intentional)
Hardy died a death more horrific than she could have ever imagined. Yet this is a very common killing pattern by pit bulls -- an attack to the neck, severing the jugular and also spinal cord, then attacking the face until there is nothing left but bone. It is a repeated and sustained attack, executing the killing bite over and over again.
| 12/09/2015 11:20 PM |
Does it look like its possible (as in the above comment) from what you know that the dogs pulled this lady into the fence? Its similar to other pit bull attacks I've read in which pit bulls pull their victims into their yards.
Perhaps she did go in the yard with two dogs. She lived with pit bulls, maybe she knew these dogs. Maybe they wagged their tails and looked friendly, or maybe they were fighting, looked to be in some sort of trouble...just thinking of reasons why.
Suicide does not make sense here at all.
| 12/10/2015 8:51 AM |
(1)SCC BOC adopted a county-wide Animal Control & Protection Ordinance.
(2)BOC turned the Enforcement of that Ordinance over to not the Sheriff's dept.
but to Sheriff Donnellon - who enforces on complaints - along with Animal Shelter.
(3) The BOC has not appointed anyone (in accordance with their own AC ordinance)
to patrol the county to see if their ordinance is being observed - nobody is out there educating the county residence on any of the ordinance rules & regulations - Oakland County (which I realize is much larger and wealthier) has 10 full-time and 3 part-time officers patrolling the county on a daily basis; and, all complaints and violations are taken care of on the county level - local cities, villages and townships are not responsible for the manpower and cost of enforcing the Oakland County Ordinance. (4) There is talk of suing the owner of the dogs that caused the death of Ms Hardy - when the BOC is responsible for not having provided for the prevention of such an autrocity.
| 12/10/2015 10:27 AM |
I compiled a list of intelligent comments that counter the sociopaths who think the dogs were just doing their job by killing a trespasser. YIKES!
A guard/protection dog is there to warn its owner of an intruder and nothing more until it receives a command from a human. HUMANS are responsible for assessing the threat level and HUMANS are responsible for determining the appropriate response. DOGS do not get to decide if someone should get the death penalty for trespassing. Anyone who thinks this is what dogs are supposed to do is a damn lunatic.
So let me get this straight- never in your entire life have you stepped one foot on property, public or private, for ANY reason EVER, during adulthood, as a child or will ever in the future, that didn't belong to you... Because according to you, if you did you too should have had your throat ripped out, ears torn off and be six feet under. That's just a "dog doing it's job", right?
Protecting" his owner's property to point of killing a human being should not be part of the instinct or training of any truly safely domesticated dog. Nor should it be a point of pride or grounds for defense for other dog owners to stand on. If this dog could not communicate in a more effective/less lethal way...then he is NOT good dog.
Yes, many dogs have a natural instinct to protect or claim territory. But normal dogs don't maul and kill to carry out that instinctive drive to define territory and claim control over a space. Normal dogs bark, rush, and back away to alert 'trespassers' that hey, this is my place. A few dogs will take it too far and bite, then back off. The behavior shown in this attack - a sustained attack intended to kill, where the animals go for the throat and head, and won't stop the attack even when the victim is clearly not fighting back - that's an extreme, unnatural behavior and the result of controlled breeding for violent attack. It is rare in dogs, but when it does appear, it's almost always in a bulldog breed - a pit bull, a bull mastiff, a presa canario, a fila.. These are breeds which were developed to be bold, relentless attackers of large prey animals like hogs and other bulldogs.
A simple guard dog will not go for the throat or face, they will go for the lower extremities or arms, and a simple one word command by me will immediately make my dog release its bite. Any animal that goes for the throat or face, that is instinct to kill and needs to be destroyed.
The bottom line is if this pit bull would have been a beagle or I could name 300 dog breeds, this person would be alive today. Breed Choice Matters.
If you take the time to read these tragedies most of the pit bulls came from loving homes that killed. From 2005- 2015, 229 killed by pit bulls. When a consumer product injures and kills that many people, and generates comparable liability history, that product is taken off the market. These families know exactly what breed of dog killed their loved one. http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities.php
| 12/10/2015 10:32 AM |
Mike Ruona posted on WDIV facebook page:
"It was my girlfriends sister that was killed so here's the facts. She was not in someone yard, she was walking down the street and 2 pit bulls jumped the fence in there yard and attacked her. The neighbor has had countless complaints about the dogs getting out of the yard."
| 12/10/2015 10:58 AM |
Thank you for collecting all of that julieveggie! If some readers do not know, the Facebook threads have been filled to the brim with people blaming the victim for trespassing and saying it is perfectly justifiable and legal for a dog to KILL if a person steps onto their property without permission. This illogical and invalid reasoning would include dogs "justifiably and legally" KILLING letter carriers, USP delivery persons, meter readers and more.
| 12/10/2015 12:36 PM |
This incident also exemplifies why pit bulls should never be considered 'guard dogs'. The entire point of a guard dog is to be intimidating and use force as a LAST resort. The entire point of a guard dog is that it can be called off, in an instant. The point of a pit bull is to attack without warning or provocation, and that it continues to attack until it or its target is DEAD. These sets of traits are mutually EX-clusive.
| 12/10/2015 11:50 PM |
How unspeakably awful. An upset woman with a fragile mental health history has easy access to an immediate and irrevocable lethal danger and dies in an unbearably awful way. I hope the owner is prosecuted, though it seems unlikely based on the official comments about how this is sooo different from the toddler killing that same week. Really, though, how different are the attacks? You have literally deadly animals confined to a yard whose fence is purely cosmetic - a vulnerable person comes into proximity and the animals kill them brutally, and slowly, and have to be beaten and shot off the dead/dying victim. The woman's act of placing herself in danger doesn't somehow exculpate the person who made his killers so accessible.
| 12/13/2015 6:47 PM |
I'm very curious as to the effect this ruling will have on other pit attack cases. I guess a lot depends on what the ME meant by the term "attack dogs". Did he call them attack dogs because they were pits, meaning that anyone should assume that pits would do this? Does he have information about these being trained attack dogs? Or do these dogs have a documented history of aggression? I would really love to know exactly what he meant by this.
| 12/22/2015 2:11 AM |
I think Tony Solesky's comment is spot on.. faulty police report made to protect the owners/property owners. This home is only a few houses from the corner so cutting through would not save time. The fence on news video showed obvious curling on the chain link fabric pointing outside the yard, where something had been jumping in the corner. I had a Husky that made the identical type of damage to my chainlink when she jumped. I also have a chain link gate that is not in disrepair like the one on the property and a neighbors pitbull pushed itself between the fence posts and the gate that was latched with no problem at all. They are so strong they simply bend and loosen the cemented posts. I think she was pulled into the yard just like Xavier Strickland was.
| 12/22/2015 2:22 AM |
A journalist has speculated that one of the reasons why the police report is so sketchy and a suicide ruling came about is because the property owner where the dogs lived is a local St. Clair Police Lieutenant. If this were not ruled a suicide, he would be liable in a civil suit and probably would face some lesser property code violations for the broken down chain link fence. http://blogs.theprovince.com/2015/12/15/suicide-by-pit-bull-ruling-raises-a-number-of-questions/
| 12/24/2015 7:50 AM |
In reading comments made about this death on other sites, it truly amazes and horrifies me to see how many people think that this woman should have been killed because she ended up on the wrong side of the property line. First, they discount any possibility that she was pulled over the fence. Then they say she deserved to die in this fashion because she jumped the fence. That the dogs were just doing their job. As if it is right, and should be expected, for our pets to kill a person who comes in our yard. This popular ideology is frightening.
| 6/07/2016 2:15 PM |
Dogs, like swimming pools, are considered an "attractive nuisance"-both fall under torte law. Both must be contained in such a way that a child can't easily get to them. This woman wasn't a child, but whether she climbed the fence or the dogs dragged her in when she went to pet them, the fencing wasn't adaquate. This law is enforced when it comes to swimming pools, but it's not being enforced in regards to dogs. A child shouldn't be able to get close enough to the dog for the dog to bite the child, or touch the child at all.