DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2021 - Help us Turn the Wheels of Justice Forward

Giving Tuesday Challenge 2021
Join us on Facebook for DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2021.

Giving Tuesday Challenge 2021
DogsBite.org - Giving Tuesday, November 30, is already here. This year we are fundraising on how DogsBite.org and our supporters help turn the Wheels of Justice. These wheels turn slowly, but they do turn. Never doubt that raising your voice doesn't make an impact. This year's campaign highlights how DogsBite and our supporters find their own approach to advocating. The more of us contributing, even in our own small way, helps turn the mighty Wheels of Justice.

We highlight over two dozen examples, including two deep investigations by DogsBite.org after serious criminal charges were brought against two pit bull activists in Ohio for fraud and animal abuse; sobering comments from a former open intake shelter whistleblower; letters to city council members and candidates;  editorials to local papers; and advocacy on social media platforms by advocates Anita Child, Bonny Lee, Carol Miller, Julie Wall, Lucy Muir, Tina Pounds and others.

Our campaign also reminds supporters that we are here to help you with your advocacy efforts. "Do you need help writing your letter to legislators? We are here to help! Do you need statistical information for your letter or Facebook post? We are here to help! Do you need help writing a victim's impact statement? We can help!" You can also advocate by making a donation to DogsBite on Tuesday so that we can continue to help turn, ever so slightly, the Wheels of Justice.

Finally, it is also important to call out the second part of the statement, the Wheels of Justice turn slowly, "but grind exceedingly fine." So, even though justice may not be done quickly, when it finally happens the punishment is grim. Remember Luke Westerman - The Great Con? After nearly three years, he finally pleaded guilty to 19 felonies. For the rest of Westerman's natural life he will have to make monthly payments to pay off the $1.1 million dollar restitution amount.

How Does the Match Work?

This year, Facebook is matching $8 million. The first $2 million is matched 100% and will last less than a minute. For the remaining $6 million, Facebook will match 10%, ensuring that the match lasts longer. If you donate within the first 30 minutes, your gift could be matched by 10%. The speed is part of the challenge! Thousands of nonprofits are competing for these match dollars. Facebook donations all day long on GivingTuesday are FREE of transaction fees as well.

Ways to Participate

You can donate directly to our Facebook campaign. Facebook also encourages people to start their own fundraiser for a nonprofit. On Monday evening or 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 GivingTuesday.

Ways to Give

Many of our blog readers are already monthly or annual donors. Thank you so much to all of you! Giving Tuesday is always a giving day to attract new people to our cause and to invite casual readers of the blog to support our cause on this global giving day. There are also many ways to give to DogsBite. You can give a one-time gift or a re-occurring gift through PayPal, you can give to our ongoing GoFundMe charity page and you can give to our PayPal Giving Fund page.

Help us reach our goal of $8,000 for DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2021!

Giving Tuesday Challenge 2021

DogsBite's Giving Tuesday Challenge 2021 - Help us Turn the Wheels of Justice Forward

Related articles:
11/30/20: DogsBite's GivingTuesday Challenge 2020 - Rising Above & Beyond During COVID-19
05/05/20: Nonprofit Announces GoFundMe Charity Campaign on New Global Day of Giving
12/03/19: GivingTuesday has Arrived! Please Donate During December to Support our Work

2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Boy Killed by Dogs Being Fostered at Grandfather's Home in Doña Ana County, New Mexico

dogs being fostered killed boy - Avery Jackson Dunphy
Avery Dunphy, 6, was mauled to death by dogs being fostered by his grandparents.

Dogs Kill Boy
Mesilla, NM - On Tuesday, it was reported that a 6-year boy was mauled to death by one or more dogs. Deputies were called to a home in the 500 block of Fort Fillmore Road around 9:45 am after reports that a small child had been attacked by a dog. When they arrived, they found the boy severely injured. The child was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in El Paso, where he died. The boy apparently was able to enter into a pen that was housing six dogs -- all six dogs were euthanized.

The attack occurred at the boy's grandparents' home. According to a police report, the boy and his grandfather were playing outside when his grandfather stepped away for about 10 minutes, reports the Las Cruces Sun News. The grandfather told police he was called inside by some men working on his house. Shortly afterward, the boy's mother and grandmother realized the boy had gotten into the dogs' pen. The dogs were all being fostered, according to the police report.

Doña Ana County sheriff's deputies said that two dogs, both described as large, had blood on their heads after the incident. According to the police report, the boy suffered severe wounds from the dogs, including injuries to his neck and chest. How the boy was able to enter into the caged area was not released. The child's name was not released. The breeds of dogs involved in the child's death were not released. The agency that owned the dogs being fostered was not released either.

Thus, it is unknown if the county animal services "public agency" -- Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley -- owned these dogs.1

On November 28, KVIA News identified the boy as 6-year old Avery Jackson Dunphy. The celebration of life for Avery was held at Real Life Church in Las Cruces. The Las Cruces Fire Department was present, as well as other emergency personnel. Family members said his death was preventable, and that his "life needs to be celebrated and not to have died in vain." The breeds of dogs involved have not been disclosed by the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office.


dogs being fostered killed boy

Home on Fort Fillmore Road where boy was killed by dogs being fostered by his grandparents.

dogs being fostered killed boy - Avery Jackson Dunphy

A celebration of life was held for Avery Jackson Dunphy at Real Life Church in Las Cruces.

1Given the immediate euthanasia of all six dogs and failure by the sheriff's office to release more baseline information, it seems possible. See ASCMV's "About Us" and "Foster Program" information.

Related articles:
05/30/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: New Mexico Dog Owner Charged with Tampering after Death
01/16/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Pack of Dogs on Tribal Land at Taos Pueble


Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Houston Police Suspect 48-Year Old Woman Mauled to Death by Her Own Dogs

Victim Called Pit Bull a "Cane Corso" and "Bandog" on Social Media

houston police suspect fatal dog attack
Images from the victim's social media pages also identified this dog a "red nose" pit bull.

Dog Mauling Suspected
Houston, TX - A 48-year old woman was discovered dead in the yard of her home at 12410 Rockampton Drive last Friday at 10:50 am. The victim was identified by Houston Police as Tiffany L. Frangione. Homicide detectives W. Huff, J. Nguyen and J. Wallschlaeger reported that patrol officers responded to a call of a deceased person at the residence and found Frangione in the backyard. "She had suffered puncture wounds to her neck," according to a release by police.

The preliminary investigation indicated that Frangione let her dogs out into the backyard and they began fence fighting with the neighbor's dogs. It is suspected that Frangione attempted to intervene and was possibly attacked and killed by her own two dogs. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has ruled the death accidental and listed the cause as “blunt force trauma of the neck with penetrating injuries and mechanical asphyxia," reported the Houston Chronicle.

Though police have not released the breeds of dogs involved, KHOU reported them to be a female "Alaskan husky-mix"1 and a male "cane corso-mix." That information may have come from Frangione's Facebook page, where she mislabeled her own dog while trying to unload some puppies. The male dog, as seen on the owner's Facebook page, is predominantly pit bull. This dog is not predominantly cane corso (mastiff), as is evident in the UKC and Italian breed standards.

As we have stated in numerous previous posts, a designer "XL" pit bull, or large pit bull, has become the de facto standard for many pit bulls, thanks to the unhinged and unmoderated "American bully" breeding community. Just being a large pit bull, in no way means the dog is not predominantly pit bull. This case bears resemblance to the 2019 mauling death of Morgan Crayton, 31, who was killed by her pit bull that Hampton police identified as a "92-pound pit bull."

Instagram Page

The male dog at issue, "Rachirius Maximus," has its own Instagram page as well. This dog was born on January 13, 2018. The Instagram handle is @rachiriusthebandog, which is nothing more than a pit bull-mastiff mix. A "bandog" has nothing to do with a pure bred mastiff, including a pure bred cane corso. This large red-nose pit bull-mix may very well be the product of a pit bull-mastiff breeding, but that does not change the fact that the dog is predominantly pit bull, not a mastiff.

The Instagram page also indicates that "Rachirius Maximus" had issues with the neighbor's dogs and the fencing, hashtags #rednosebaby #meanneighbors and #alliwanttodoisplay There is no "mastiff" or "cane corso" hashtag present. Another post shows "Rachirius Maximus" lying down by the wooden fence. "Not Happy With My Human... She Made The Neighbors Fix The Fence!! No longer can see Thru," states Frangione. Hashtags #fenceissues and #imuptosomething.

Frangione also posted about the background of this dog on August 28, 2018. "I Came to the United States With My Two Brothers All The Way From Dubai. I Was Brought to Silently Guard A Sheiks Compound. But Found Myself Conflicted Between the job I was Hired To Do and My Loving Kind Nature. I Chose to Leave My Past Of High Profile Bodyguard Duties and and start my New Life Loving and Protecting My New Masters." [sic] Hashtags #dubaiborn #rednosebaby.

Owner-Directed Fatal Attacks

Over the 16-year period of 2005 through 2020, at least 568 Americans were killed by dogs. 81 of those deaths involved an owner-directed attack, when a dog killed its primary caretaker. Pit bulls were responsible for 62% of these deaths. The combination of large molosser breeds -- pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs, the types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds -- were responsible for 79% of these owner-directed fatal attacks.

houston police suspect fatal dog attack

Home on Rockampton Drive where woman was believed to be killed by her own two dogs.

1It is also unclear why the other dog -- which has a full black mask and ears that do not resemble husky ears -- is being called a husky-mix, as opposed to a type of shepherd-mix.

Join Texas Dog Bite Victims' Advocacy - Join our Texas email list to stay informed

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google State Map: Texas Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Related articles:
06/01/21: 2020 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - Discussion Notes
06/10/20: Pit Bull Described as 'Mild-Mannered' Brutally Kills Female Owner in Nova Scotia
09/30/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Her Own Pit Bull in Virginia


Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

Model Letter: Advocate Writes to Candidates for Virginia Governor Outlining Poor Civil and Criminal Dog Bite Laws

Model letter to Candidates for Virginia Governor
This model letter shows that average citizens can still impact candidates and elected officials.

Richmond, VA - Back in late September, dog bite victims' advocate Bonny Lee sent a compelling letter to the candidates running for Virginia Governor, Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe. Lee is part of a loose coalition of Virginia citizens (the dog safety committee) who have been attacked by loose dogs or have had their own domestic pets or livestock killed by dogs. Lee has been active in legislative issues in Virginia for a number of years, as one can tell by her well-crafted letter.

Lee comments on the poor civil dog bite laws in the state. Virginia still adheres to the ancient "one bite" rule. Virginia also follows another ancient and inhumane doctrine, called the "contributory negligence" rule, states DogBiteLaw.com. "It says that a person who is even one percent responsible for an accident has no legal right whatsoever to recover compensation for medical bills or anything else. There are only 4 states in the USA that follow this terrible, 18th century rule."

Lee states in the first paragraph of the letter how lacking the criminal dog bite laws are in Virginia as well. It is virtually impossible to obtain a felony conviction against dog owners or rescuers after a vicious attack, including after the horrific mauling death of a person, states the letter. Taken together, the civil and criminal dog bite laws in Virginia place the rights of vicious dogs and their owners over the rights and safety of human beings, the Commonwealth's citizens, states the letter.

In the second bullet point, Lee questions why the Animal Law Unit of the Attorney General's office, a unit that exists to protect animals, has any role in the consideration of human protection. Lee also addressed this issue in a Letter to the Editor back in November 2020 (The rights of human victims of dangerous dogs or their domestic pets is not within the purview of the Animal Law Unit, yet that unit must approve any legislation designed to protect humans and their pets, Lee states.)

Lee's final bullet point dives into some of the outrageous bills that have recently been presented to the General Assembly concerning dangerous dog legislation. "Such as sending dogs deemed dangerous out to other states as long as they didn't border Virginia, or moving dangerous dog hearings to any jurisdiction in the state, forcing victims and attorneys and animal control to travel long distances, a cynical attempt to virtually shut down dangerous dog hearings," states the letter.

Become Active in State Legislation

Lee's letter spells out where the problems are in Virginia state law and who she stands with, the undersigners of the letter. This is a grassroots effort -- there are no paid lobbyists or businesses, such as a nonprofit 501(c)3 or (c)4. This is how change begins. Many people write in and ask us, "How can I get involved?" By doing exactly as Lee has done. Become active in state legislation by contacting elected officials and candidates, as well as by submitting letters to your local paper.


September 27, 2021

Glenn Youngkin
Candidate for Governor
Post Office Box 3950
Merrifield VA 22116

Dear Mr Youngkin,

There are problems with Virginia Law that place the rights of dogs over the rights and safety of human beings, the Commonwealth’s citizens. It is almost impossible to obtain a felony conviction against the owners or rescuers after a dog attack, regardless of the extent of human injury, including the terrifying death of the individual. The most widely publicized of these was the death of 90-year-old Margaret Colvin of Virginia Beach, who was mauled to death by a so-called rescue dog. It appears to the public, at least, that Mrs. Colvin’s life was worth only a $750 misdemeanor fine.

We are a loose coalition of Virginia citizens (the dog safety committee) who have either been attacked by vicious dogs or have had their own leashed domestic pets or livestock killed before their eyes. Here are issues that concern us:

  • In response to the rising morbidity and mortality from dog attacks, 36 of the 50 United States now have law that apply strict liability to the owners of animals that attack and maim. Virginia is not one of them. We also allow for contributory negligence; that may involve simply getting off of the school bus or being chased into your own yard by a vicious dog. As examples, one of the undersigned spent 27 days in the hospital and another is the parent of a child whose index finger was amputated by a dog. Once more, only misdemeanor fines for the owners, while significant financial, emotional and physical tolls are the victim’s to bear.
  • The Animal Law Unit of the Attorney General's office is involved in approval of proposed changes to the dangerous dog statutes we already have. The unit exists to protect animals. While we recognize the need for this office to fight animal cruelty of all kinds, we do not understand why this office also involves Robin McVoy, the incorporating attorney for Ring Dog Rescue, in consideration of improvements to human protection. Ms. McVoy represented the Animal Law unit of the Attorney General’s office at a meeting intended for victims to tell their stories in Henrico, sponsored by the Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters. Perhaps most hurtful to the citizens present is Ms. McVoy's organization's goal to "rehabilitate the image of the Pit Bull dog,” a direct insult to many present as most but not all had been harmed by that particular breed. Why was this allowed to happen? Likewise, should have Michelle Welch, the director of the Animal Law Unit, a former board member in the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, whose goal is to impose a 90% "save" rate on shelters, regardless of the number of problematic animals that then must be released to the public?
  • In the past, bizarre and incredulous suggestions have been introduced into our General Assembly, such as sending dogs deemed dangerous out to other states as long as they didn't border Virginia, or moving dangerous dog hearings to any jurisdiction in the state, forcing victims and attorneys and animal control to travel long distances, a cynical attempt to virtually shut down dangerous dog hearings. Perhaps the more than 600 Americans killed by dogs since 2005, many of them children and the elderly - - our most vulnerable citizens - - will put a damper on the continued efforts by so-called humane organizations, the driving force behind efforts to "save them all,” regardless of the consequences.

If you are elected, we hope you will carefully consider every aspect of any dangerous dog legislation before signing it.

Sincerely,
Bonny T Lee, RN
Roanoke, VA


Join State Association

We asked Lee if there was advice she wanted to share with other advocates. Lee recommended joining your state animal control association. "I strongly suggest to others interested that they consider joining their state animal control association if their association has an associate or non-officer category," Lee said. "It has helped me tremendously to not only make friends, but also keep up with pending legislation and encourage victims to call and write to their legislators," she said.

During the 2021 legislative cycle, two professionals that Lee came to know during events at her state animal control association went to bat for victims of dangerous dogs. Kathy Strouse, a Board Member for the Virginia Animal Control Association, and Sharon Adams, who chairs the Executive Committee for the Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters, helped Lee's coalition by supporting legislation that helps prevent changes of ownership before a dangerous dog case is adjudicated.

model letter to candidates and Virginia animal control association

In 2018, the Virginia Animal Control Association gave Lee a booth to use at no charge for their annual conference for SCARS Kids (Survivors of Canine Attacks Recognition and Support).

model letter to candidates and Virginia animal control association

Lee, Pam Ashley and Tina Pounds, who survived a vicious pit bull mauling intended for her grandson, had literature at the booth, including materials from SCARS Kids and DogsBite.org.

Related articles:
06/21/21: What Are Pit Bulls Good At? by Guest Writer Boni
05/21/21: Former Owner of Rescue Pit Bull Shares Story After Unprovoked Attack...
01/04/21: Working at an Open Intake Shelter: Deliberate Breed Mislabeling, Aggressive Dogs...