2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Dogs Attack Two People, Killing One, in Separate Attacks in West Memphis

Sam Sullivan, 56-years old, died after being attacked by a pack of dogs near a scrapyard.

Multiple Attacks
West Memphis, AR – A man died and a woman was seriously injured by a pack of dogs in two separate attacks in West Memphis. The first attack occurred on November 8. Officers found a man lying in a ditch covered in bite wounds around 1:00 am near a scrapyard in the 100 block of South 19th Street. Sam Sullivan was transported to a local hospital then transferred to Regional One Trauma Center, where he died of complications related to the dog attack on November 21.

Sullivan’s fiancé, Emma Willis, told WREG that “five dogs were on him for twenty minutes, and nobody would help him.” She described his injuries (presumably degloving injuries), as appearing as though “someone skinned him.” Willis added, she’d “never seen anything like that before.” The second attack occurred on November 16, also around 1:00 am. Police were called to the same location after reports that a woman was attacked by a pack of dogs while riding her bicycle.

The woman sustained severe injuries to her ankle, including portions missing, and bite wounds on her arm, according to police. She was also taken to Regional One Trauma Center. Her condition is unknown. A police report stated that animal control was contacted after the second attack, “but did not come to the scene at that time.” On November 29, nearly two weeks later, 14 dogs were taken into custody by animal control. Willis could not understand why the dogs weren’t seized sooner.

The dog pack, four adult dogs and 10 puppies, belong to a man residing at 121 South 19th Street, a property described in media reports as both an abandoned home and a scrapyard. Kerry Facello, Animal Service Director for West Memphis, said the dogs’ owner has been cooperative so far and claims the dogs were only protecting his property. Given the delayed seizure of the dogs -- 3 weeks after the first attack – it may not be possible to prove which dogs attacked Sullivan.

WMC published the police incident report that was written after the November 8 attack. According to the report, “Sullivan advised he was walking past 121 South 19th Street and was attacked by multiple dogs. I observed at the residence multiple dogs standing by the open gate of the residence.” Through dispatch, “animal control was contacted, and they advised a follow-up with the owner at 121 South 19th Street, will be conducted in the morning,” states the report.

Facello did investigate the first attack, which resulted in Sullivan’s death, but stated it was still unclear where the attack occurred. “If someone approaches or trespasses on that property and a dog bites, then it’s very difficult to blame that dog,” she said. Yet, Sullivan was found by police “lying in a puddle of water in a ditch,” which should be a public area. Certainly, the second victim, who was attacked while riding her bicycle down the street, involved an off-property attack.

scrapyard dogs attack

One of the adult dogs seized from the scrapyard on South 19th Street in West Memphis.

scrapyard dogs attack

Timeline of the multiple attacks near the scrapyard on South 19th Street in West Memphis.

Related articles:
07/12/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Dogs Fatally Attack Man in McCreary County
04/18/16: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Pit Bulls Kill Man in Jefferson County, Arkansas

DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2022 - Act Now to Ensure that Our Research is Not Silenced

Giving Tuesday 2022
Join us on Facebook for DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2022.

Giving Tuesday Challenge 2022
DogsBite.org - Giving Tuesday is November 29. This year, our iconic little girl, who has been part of our website for 15 years and is our social media profile image, has a critical message to share with our supporters. That urgent message is: “We need your help. Hugely,” she says. “We’ve been under strain for the past 18 months as a well-funded opposition group continues to use the federal civil litigation process against us, effectively to silence our dog bite fatality research," she says.

This year’s campaign discusses lawsuits involving three cities being sued over their pit bull bans that our nonprofit has been roped into as a non-party. This is all because our comprehensive and authoritative database of U.S. fatal dog maulings threatens powerful entities that defend pit bulls. Part of the cost of our research is defending against parties who do not like it. The burden of our advocacy is high. We are a small nonprofit too, having only one paid staff member.

Since May 2021, we have responded to three similar non-party subpoenas, each over 300 pages, that demanded our underlying data for the years 2005 to 2019. Last month, the founder had to sit for a deposition, enduring nearly 6 hours of questioning. This is despite being a non-party; our nonprofit has no direct involvement in these lawsuits. Again, the burden of our advocacy is high, as is the cost of defending our research against well-funded entities that want it silenced.

On Giving Tuesday, you can join us in defending our national research by making a donation. Your gift can be stretched too! Meta is matching up to $7 million when you sign up to donate monthly.

How Does the Match Work?

This year’s match by Meta is about helping nonprofits raise money long-term. This is a shift from how Meta historically matched one-time donations on Giving Tuesday. Right now, when you sign up to donate monthly on the Facebook platform, Meta will match 100% of your donation (up to $100 per donation) after you make your second monthly donation. The match period lasts until the $7 million runs out. To be eligible, you must sign up to donate monthly between now and Dec. 31.

Ways to Participate

You can donate directly to our Facebook campaign by giving a one-time or monthly gift. Facebook also encourages people to start their own fundraiser for a nonprofit. On Tuesday morning, you can start a fundraiser for DogsBite.org by using one of our campaign graphics. You can also create a campaign "In Memory" of a special person or pet or use one of our graphics to create a theme. Then share it on your Timeline and tell your friends why it is important to act on Giving Tuesday.

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Help us reach our goal of $8,000 for DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2022!

Giving Tuesday 2022

DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2022 - Don't Let Them Silence our Research.

The cities include: Council Bluffs, Iowa, who recently won their case (Danker v. The City of Council Bluffs, Iowa 1:20-cv-16). Keota, Iowa, whose case is active (Droll v. City of Keota, Iowa 4:20-cv-00088) and Williston, North Dakota, whose case is active (Suckley v. The City of Williston, North Dakota 21-cv-00012). These lawsuits are being financed by one entity.

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11/29/21: DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2021 - Help us Turn the Wheels of Justice...
11/30/20: DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2020 - Rising Above & Beyond During COVID-19

A Serious Discussion In South Africa After Multiple Children Killed by Pit Bulls

Discussion on the pros and cons of pit bull banning after multiple children are killed by pit bulls in South Africa in under two weeks. A third child is killed by a pit bull just after this episode aired.

Discussion in South Africa
Here in North America, we need to be having this discussion openly, given the amount of attacks by pit bulls. Clearly, these discussions have been had in countries where pit bulls have been banned and excluded from entering the country. Numerous voices were heard during this one hour program -- the panel discussion starts at 25:45.

What is not covered in this discussion is that pit bulls are overwhelmingly the most likely dogs to attack livestock and other domestic pets.

"If we have to put in place such drastic measures for a so-called pet, a ‘domestic pet,’ to not be a danger to humans, then this should not be a pet." - Panelist Bangilizwe

South Africa recently suffered a spate of pit bulls slaughtering and maiming children. In some cases there's been a vigilante response from the community, especially in cases where Animal Control or the police did not adequately respond to the threat that pit bulls guilty of a deathly mauling, posed to the rest of the community.

A common thread in the discussion is how pit bulls are seen as a form of protection dog. Yet, there is no discussion of how they are any better at protection work than a dog bred and trained to perform such duties or proof they were ever trained at all. Is that just what the owners believe without providing any actual demonstration of fitness to that purpose? Apparently, South Africa has a high crime rate and that's the oft-cited reason for such a high amount of pit bull ownership. Clearly, they're cheap and accessible due to over-breeding.

If we're going to have these discussions, we need to ask the hard questions, too.

For all the areas uncoverable by an hour-long show, it's a program we are unlikely to see any time soon in North America.

Recent Deaths: Three children have been killed by pit bulls in under two weeks in South Africa: an 8-year old boy in Bloemfontein; a 3-year old boy in Free State, and a 15-month old boy in Eastern Cape. That pit bull, according to its owner, had killed two dogs previously.

Sizwe Kupelo of the Sizwe Kupelo Foundation created a petition calling on the South African government to ban the breed after a 10-year old boy was killed by two family pit bulls in September in Nelson Mandela Bay. The petition has received over 125,000 signatures so far.

2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Girl Mauled to Death by Dog in Washington County, Arkansas

baby killed by dog in washington county arkansas
On November 3, a baby girl was mauled to death by a dog in Springdale, Arkansas.

Toddler Killed by Dog
Springdale, AR - On November 4, KNWA reported that a toddler was killed by a dog in the Nob Hill area in Springdale. The attack occurred on November 3 in the early afternoon in the 20,000 block of Ballerina Road. The baby's body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime lab for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, according to the Washington County Coroner’s Office. The dog involved in the deadly attack was taken into custody and quarantined, according to authorities.

On November 4, the Washington County Prosecutor's Office said the dog will continue to be held at a secure location until the investigation determines the cause of death and whether or not a crime has been committed. KNWA contacted the Washington County Sheriff's Office for more details, but were told that no other information is releasable at this time. The child's name was not released. The breed of dog involved was not released. The investigation is (was) ongoing.

Unconfirmed comments on social media said the victim was a baby girl, a little over 1-year old. Authorities have not released the gender or age of the victim. One person, apparently a family member, who also resides in the 20,000 block of Ballerina Road, stated in comments, "Do you really think they believed the baby was at risk?" She also stated the dog "was an outside pet," and indicated the dog was a pit bull. Both she and her son previously or currently own a pit bull.

Related articles:
11/12/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Avoca Woman Killed in Dog Attack Six Weeks Ago in Arkansas
01/15/21: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: 9-Year Old Boy Killed by Two Pit Bulls in Faulkner County...