2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Child with Life-Threatening Injuries from Dog Attack Dies in Jacksonville

life-threatening injuries, pit bull mix
Jaelah Smith, 6, died after suffering life-threatening injuries from a dog attack.

Child Did Not Survive
UPDATE: 07/18/18: Family members confirmed late Tuesday that 6-year old Jaelah Smith died after suffering life-threatening injuries from a dog attack Sunday morning. She was attacked in the neck by a pit bull-mix her family had been dog sitting while its owner was away on vacation. The dog did not belong to her family. Jaelah had been on life support systems since the attack at Wolfson Children's Hospital. She is survived by her two siblings, ages 7 and 9-years old.

"Unfortunately my princess is no longer with us. I would like for you guys to keep my family in your prayers." - Devin Holcomb, the child's father

More than one dog was in the home at the time of the attack. Authorities removed a second dog, a young rottweiler, from the home Sunday as well. The Florida Department of Children and Families is also investigating the attack, reports News4Jax. The owner of the pit bull-mix has not been identified. It is also unknown how long the little girl's family had been pet sitting the dog. Jaelah Smith is the 220th child killed by a pit bull since 1980, when the pit bull problem began to emerge.


07/17/18: Child Remains on Life Support
Today a child nearly killed by a dog Sunday was identified as 6-year old Jaelah Smith. A pit bull-mix her family was watching for friends attacked her in the neck. She was unresponsive when Fire-Rescue arrived. Jaelah was transported to Memorial Hospital in a "severe life-threatening" condition, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. She was later transferred to Wolfson Children's Hospital. Jaelah's 7 and 9-year old siblings were not harmed in the attack.

The Florida Times Union helped explain (potentially) news footage taken Sunday that shows a young rottweiler dog being seized by authorities. The Times spoke to neighbor Mattie Hightower, who said her granddaughter called 911 after the attack and "helped scrub blood" off the driveway after emergency personnel rushed Jaelah away. Hightower also said the child's mother, Sheree Smith, is a good mother and "keeps her own dog, a rottweiler, in a cage when necessary."

It is fairly routine for authorities to seize all dogs in a home after an extreme attack. The Times also spoke to Emily Patterson-Kane, an American Veterinary Medical Association animal welfare scientist. She described a classic pit bull attack, "amplify rapidly and cannot be easily de-escalated" and "it doesn't take much for things to go wrong," but refused to attribute these breed-specific attack characteristics to them. It is a distortion that all breeds attack in this manner.

07/16/18: Child Suffers Critical Injuries
Jacksonville, FL - Police confirm that a 6-year old girl suffered life-threatening injuries after being attacked in the neck by a pit bull-mix. On Sunday at 10:17 am, police responded to the 2700 block of Herrick Drive. The child was unresponsive at the scene. Jacksonville Fire-Rescue immediately transported the child to a local hospital. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office issued a statement Sunday stating that the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit is handling the investigation.

"Possible trauma red. Patient is not breathing. Patient attacked on the neck from dog." - Webcastify. Jacksonville Fire Audio Archives, July 15, 2018

Multiple dogs were in the home at the time. The attacking dog was not a family pet, states the release. The child's family had been dog sitting the pit bull-mix for someone who was away on vacation. There were other children and a parent in the home at the time of the attack. No information was provided Sunday about how many other dogs were in the home. Jacksonville Animal Services confiscated at least one dog from the home and placed it into quarantine.

This attack follows a deadly dog mauling in south Florida back in May. Liana Valino, 9-months old, was attacked and killed by a family pit bull while under the care of her paternal grandmother at her father's home. The grandmother told a Spanish-speaking 911 translator, "My son's dog killed the 9-month-old girl. I locked the dog in the bathroom and the baby is dead in the living room." The father owned three pit bulls, all related. The culprit was the male offspring, about 3 or 4 years old.

Both attacks involve multi-dog households, a person "watching" the attacking dog other than its owner and a devastating attack on a child. In the Jacksonville case, it is unknown if the child had previous experience with the dog. It is also unknown how long the family had been dog sitting. In cases of fatal dog maulings, all of these factors heighten the risk of an attack and children are the primary victims. As of Monday early afternoon, the condition of the Jacksonville child is unknown.


pit bull not quarantined life-threatening injuries

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Florida Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
06/07/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Infant Killed by Pit Bull While Under Care of Grandmother
08/23/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Elderly Man Killed by Dogs in Jacksonville, Florida


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.

Why Breed Matters in Service Dogs and Why Pit Bull Service Dogs are a Bad Idea

pit bull service dogs are a bad idea

DogsBite.org - After Delta Air Lines issued a new policy on June 20, limiting emotional support dogs to one per person and banning pit bulls as service and support dogs, we reviewed top service dog organizations and their selected breed types. These dog breeds are overwhelmingly Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, Labrador-golden mixes and standard poodles. Primarily, pit bull "breed advocate" groups, one who failed miserably, are pushing "pit bull service dogs."

Accreditation by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is the highest standard of accreditation for service dog organizations. We selected portions of website statements from accredited groups and candidates of ADI accreditation about why breed choice matters in service dog work. We also selected informational statements from other sources that explain why pit bulls, guarding and protection breeds are poor choices for service dogs, especially psychiatric service dogs.

Common Themes About Pit Bull Service Dogs

  1. Decide what is more important to you -- having a service dog to help you, or having a particular breed because you want to be a breed advocate.
  2. Guarding, protection and fighting breeds are poor choices because many handlers with disabilities are not able to physically restrain them.
  3. Pit bulls do not show temperament until adulthood, about the age of two. If one year in training has already been invested and that dog "defaults" to its hereditary breed traits -- dog aggression -- it becomes unusable.
  4. Pit bulls and bully breeds create a social barrier instead of a neutral bridge between a disabled person and the community. Getting a service dog is supposed to be about making your life easier not more difficult.

What truly lies at the heart of Delta's new policy, however, is reflected in their statement: "untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk." Tia Torres of Pit Bulls and Parolees addresses this on her adoption page in clear terms. Torres will not adopt one of her pit bulls to an individual "if your plans are to make it a service dog." Torres does not want her dogs placed into a situation that the dog may be unqualified for.

We will not adopt our dog to you, if your plans are to make it a "service dog". With too many people fraudulently obtaining "service dog vests" or fake "service dog trainers", we do not want our dog put into a situation that he/she may not be qualified for. - Adoption Process, Villalobos Rescue Center

Torres issuing this condition in July 2017 speaks volumes about the number of her fans hoping to abuse loopholes in the ADA and Air Carrier Access Act for breed advocacy purposes. Delta's new policy is aimed directly at these types, as well as the narcissistic types, such as Kimberly Ferrell of Silverton, whose registered service dog, a "bull terrier-mix," attacked three people in one year and the owner of an emotional support pit bull in Killeen that attacked two people in nine days.

Why Breed Choice Matters

This section highlights why breed choice matters in service work. We start with a quote from ADI that explains why a service dog should not be protective. Handi-Dogs Inc., next explains a fact about pit bulls that few, if any, animal shelters explain to an adopter: "Pit types can be genetically dog aggressive, and this may not show in the dog's temperament until it becomes an adult." Handi-Dogs also reminds that genetic breed characteristics cannot be "trained out" of a pit bull.

Assistance Dogs International - Protection/Working Breeds

An Assistance Dogs job is to make a disabled individual more able, not to protect them. The dog's presence is a natural deterrent. Because disabled people take their Assistance Dogs into public places and many are not able to physically restrain their dogs, the Assistance Dog must be safe for the public. Many dogs, especially working breeds, will sense their owner's disability and their vulnerability. These dogs can learn on their own to protect at inappropriate times. This can be compounded by an individual who doesn't recognize that they are unconsciously encouraging this behavior.

Handi-Dogs, Inc - Accredited by ADI

Pit Bull types (American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pit mixes) are not recommended for service dog training for several reasons: 1). Terrier breeds can difficult to train for service work if the dog has the typical independent terrier temperament. Do not assume that the dog you choose will be the exception; 2). Pit types can be genetically dog aggressive, and this may not show in the dog's temperament until it becomes an adult. If this develops after you have invested a year in training, you will not be able to use the dog in public; 3). You are training a service dog to help make your life easier, not more difficult by facing municipal breed specific legislation, breed bans in rental housing, additional insurance costs, and public access challenges.

Training a service dog will require a commitment of time, energy, and money. All dogs are individuals, but do not assume that the individual dog you choose will be the exception to genetic breed characteristics, or that you can just "train it out of him." Choosing a breed with the genetic temperament for service work will greatly affect your success. You must decide what is more important to you -- having a service dog to help you, or having a particular breed because you like the way they look / had one as a child / want to be a breed advocate.

Clear Path for Veterans - Candidacy for ADI
BREED RESTRICTIONS FOR SERVICE DOG PLACEMENT AND TRAINING
Not all breeds are recommended for service dog training. Bully breeds or mixes can be a social barrier in providing a neutral bridge between the Veteran and the community. Bully breeds include but may not be limited to: American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Bulldog and Bull Mastiff. Clear Path does not take a stance against bully breeds; however, these breeds are not recommended for our owner/trainer service dog program.

International Association of Assistance Dog Partners - IAADP

Breeds classified as Guard Dogs, Flock Guardians or Fighting Dogs have aggression related breed traits that are particularly worrisome. Assistance dog partners who do not have previous experience handling a dog with a strong Protection drive, a fierce Territorial instinct or a hereditary dog aggression problem should not attempt a partnership with one of these breeds. Those who do choose to work with one of these breeds must respect the darker side of its nature, learn how to avoid triggering it and never ignore the potential for a misunderstanding. Occasionally one hears of a Doberman or German Shepherd or a Rottweiler that seems to lack the normal hereditary breed traits that earned such dogs the reputation of being formidable guard dogs. But atypical specimens like that are extremely difficult to find, nor do they come with a lifetime guarantee. Realistically, your odds on a pup from those breeds growing up to be an adult that lacks his breed's guard dog instinct is very slim. Hereditary breed traits should always be considered part of the package when making a breed choice.1

Service Dog Society - Information Source

Do not choose breeds like Huskies, Rottweilers, Bull Breeds, or other breeds that are notoriously hard to train. You want to set yourself up for success. Successfully training a service dog is hard enough. It's crucial that you find a breed that matches your ability level to help stack the odds in your favor...

If you're looking for a psychiatric prospect that narrows down your options quite a bit. You don't want any breed prone to developing protective instincts (think German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Livestock Guardians, and other breeds known for their protective nature). The trouble with protective breeds is that often that instinct doesn't kick in until the dog has matured. Therefore, you could put around 2 years of training into a dog just to have an otherwise amazing service dog in training become extremely protective and subsequently have to be washed out. You'd end up losing two years of time and money and gain a lot of heartbreak. It simply isn't worth the risk.

"Breed Advocacy" and Pit Bull Service Dogs

This section is an extension of the "psychiatric prospect" aspect and highlights a real world example of a group's attempt to train rescue pit bulls for psychiatric service dog work. In their own words, they describe why pit bulls are unsuitable as psychiatric service dogs due to "reflecting the symptoms of their handler's PTSD." They also note that "the longer the team spends together, the more the dog's training would 'unravel' and revert to the genetic disposition of the dog."

Pit Bulls 4 Patriots was launched in 2011 as a specialty group only training rescued pit bulls to help military vets with PTSD. However, in less than a year, their pilot program fully broke down due to problems with the pit bull breed. By 2012, the group resurfaced under the name, Hounds 4 Heroes, specializing in only using rescued greyhounds to help military vets with PTSD. Both sites are now offline, but we captured their "explanation" before they shut down Pit Bulls 4 Patriots.

What began as a "breed advocacy" service dog stunt in 2011, ended in near disaster. The pit bulls "sensitivity" puts them at risk of becoming "unbalanced by constantly reflecting the symptoms of their handler's PTSD," they determined. Because most of their dogs "washed out," the group was then stuck with pit bulls they could not adopt out. "The founders' home became filled with dogs and we were thus unable to take in new service dog candidates to train," states the group.

On the dog side we learned a lot from the very capable, loving and loyal pit bull terrier type dogs in our program. It became apparent that this is perhaps more difficult for the dog than any other type of service because of the extreme emotional/energy state of the handler with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We have found that over a period of time the dogs' sensitivity, which is normally a wonderful trait, puts them at risk of becoming unbalanced by constantly reflecting the symptoms of their handler's PTSD. We became clear that we need dogs who are able to provide calm in any situation rather than matching the handler's feelings. Also, it is critical that PTSD service dogs can adapt and recover quickly from stress, and to be resilient enough to do that again and again.

All service dog programs have washouts -- really great dogs who need to be diverted to a different path. A great deal of time, energy and money went into finding new situations for our wonderful pit bull terrier "washouts". The founders' home became filled with dogs and we were thus unable to take in new service dog candidates to train. We realized our program needs to work with dogs for whom we can quickly and easily find a permanent home or a foster home when need be. - Pit Bulls 4 Patriots, captured January 5, 2012 (www.pitbulls4patriots.org)

The founders provided more information after they started Hounds 4 Heroes. Blogger Craven Desires captured these statements in a 2015 post. While working with greyhounds, the trainers discovered they did "not have to train over any strong genetically bred instincts and drives (such as protection/guarding, being territorial, herding, dog aggression, or hunting)" and that the genetic instincts and drive the dog defaults to (fighting breed vs. greyhound) is a critical matter of safety.

When living with someone who has fluctuating weak energy and leadership skills, such as anyone with a psychiatric disorder, a dog will revert to its genetically bred instincts and/or to default behaviors learned in puppyhood. Skilled training can override weaknesses in temperament and high-drive instinctual behaviors, but our PTSD handlers will not be able to maintain training over the top of these things. The longer the team spends together, the more the dog's training would "unravel" and revert to the genetic predisposition of the dog. Examples of this would be an unbalanced German shepherd who falls back inappropriately to his instinct to guard and bite when threatened, or a herding dog who neurotically begins nipping at the feet and heels of anything that moves around his person. - Hounds 4 Heroes, captured February 12, 2015 (www.h4htb.org)

Breeds Chosen by Accredited Organizations

This section highlights dog breeds most often selected by ADI accredited organizations. There certainly are a number of other breeds that can be trained to perform service dog tasks, the priorities being: easy to train, enjoys working, even temperament that will last the dog's life time, low arousal, low prey drive, good problem solving skills, and if the dog should ever "default" to its hereditary breed traits and disposition, both must be safe for the handler and the public.

America's VetDogs - Accredited by ADI
Guide Dog Foundation dogs learn how to lead a person in a straight line, find and follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles (both on the ground and overhead), and stop at changes in elevation, such as curbs and stairs. They are also trained to be extremely well behaved when in public places. We use Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador/Golden crosses. Standard Poodles are available for individuals or their immediate family member's with documented allergies.

Southeast Guide Dogs - Accredited by ADI

These working dogs are smart, fit, and highly trained, like elite athletes prepared for the challenge. Through cutting-edge genetics and breeding, innovative puppy education, positive home experiences, and expert training, we're creating healthier, stronger, more intelligent dogs that love people, love to learn, and live to please. Through our advanced pedigrees of Labradors, golden retrievers, and goldadors, we're changing the world, one extraordinary dog at a time.

Warrior Canine Connection - Accredited by ADI
Warrior Canine Connection's (WCC) dogs are Golden and Labrador Retrievers specially bred for health, temperament and longevity. The WCC Director of Dog Programs researches at least 12 generations of each dog's pedigree to obtain an accurate picture of his or her genetic potential to become a successful service dog for a wounded Warrior.

Guide Dog Foundation - Accredited by ADI
The dogs we breed at the Foundation have a success rate for guide and service dog work that is well over twice that of dogs donated as puppies by breeders or from a shelter. By breeding our own dogs, we have a proven history that goes back many generations to assess a dog's temperament, health, and overall suitability for guide and service work ... Our breeding colony has over 100 dogs, the majority of which are Labrador Retrievers. The other breeds we use include: Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles, Lab/Golden crosses.

Autism Service Dogs - Accredited by ADI
ADS dogs are of the highest quality, with optimal health, temperament, maturity and adaptability. The types of dogs trained are Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and some Standard Poodles (specifically for families with allergies).

COPE Service Dogs - Accredited by ADI
For the most part, COPE has trained Golden Retrievers, but has also worked with Labrador Retrievers, Standard Poodles and Barbets. The breeding and training program reinforces desired traits in a service dog, including work ethic, low arousal, low prey drive and good problem solving skills.

Pacific Assistance Dogs - Accredited by ADI
Our Service Dogs usually need to be of a larger, solid build, and are often Labrador Retrievers or Golden Retrievers ... Our Hearing Dogs are usually smaller breed dogs (under 40 pounds), but occasionally we will train a smaller Labrador or Golden Retriever if the dog has a suitable temperament.

Summary

There is a reason why the public correlates Labradors and goldens with service dogs; they are the two most popular breeds used in service dog work. There is a reason why the public is distrustful when being told, "My pit bull is a service dog." Because only "breed advocate" owners and groups push pit bull service dogs, whether the dog is trained or not. Whereas the goal of a legitimate service dog training group is to produce amazing, productive and safe dogs for the truly disabled.

The level of honesty shown by legitimate service dog training organizations about breed suitability cannot be emphasized enough either. Shelters and adoption groups rarely, if ever, explain to a potential adopter that temperament in pit bulls may not show until the dog reaches adulthood, about the age of two. It is no surprise that the most common age of an unwanted pit bull in the shelter system is 1.5 to 2-years old, according to multiple shelter surveys by Animals 24-7.2

"When Ruben gets upset, the dog gets upset." - Stalking victim Deborah Farmer

Finally, we selected two videos for contrast. The first demonstrates how an alleged pit bull service dog and its owner respond to a conflict on a crowded New York subway -- the pit bull attacks. Trained service dogs are impervious to conflict and seek to calm their handler or help their handler navigate away from threats. After Ruben Roncallo was arrested and charged for the subway attack, he was re-arrested on a stalking charge, where he used his dog to harass a woman.3

The second video demonstrates a goldendoodle passing a Public Access Test. Certification of passing this test is not required by the government under the ADA or Air Carrier Access Act, but passing it is required to meet the minimum training standards of the IAADP and is a benchmark for service dog training groups and those who are self-training their service dogs. The 9.5 minute video shows just how high of a standard these dogs are held to when working out in public.

1While the ADI discourages the use of protection breeds as service dogs, the IAADP strictly prohibits protection trained or aggressive dogs: "IAADP Policy Prohibiting the Enrollment of Protection Trained or Aggressive dogs - Any dog who is protection trained, attack trained or one who exhibits aggressive behavior in violation of our Minimum Training Standards for Public Access is NOT eligible for enrollment as an Assistance Dog in IAADP, or renewal, no matter what disability related tasks or alerts the dog is said to perform. If an IAADP Partner member's dog later displays aggressive behavior and cannot be rehabilitated within a reasonable time period, ethically, that dog should be retired as unfit for duty outside the home, as the dog does not qualify as an assistance dog under our Minimum Training Standards for Public Access. Non aggressive barking as a trained behavior will be acceptable in appropriate situations." (An older post addresses this as well: 7-Year Old Boy Killed by Trained Protection Dog)
2Merritt Clifton, "Obsessed about pit bulls?," Animals 24-7, September 10, 2014 (www.animals24-7.org)
1The subway attack by Ruben Roncallo's fake service pit bull and his arrest occurred in late April. At that time, Roncallo had 311 complaints lodged against him. As of June 7, Roncallo continues to flaunt his fake service pit bull in a transportation venue and as of July 3, in a restaurant as well. Both are violations of the ADA. This is a known attack dog. Any business can kick out this dog because it poses a "direct threat" to their employees and patrons.

Related articles:
06/23/18: Delta Bans Pit Bull-Type Dogs as Service, Support Animals in the Cabin
01/25/18: Delta Tightens Reins on Untrained 'Support' Dogs in the Aircraft Cabin
07/14/17: Delta Passenger is Severely Attacked by an Unrestrained Emotional Support Dog

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: 'Rampaging Attack,' Dog Attacks Two, Killing One, in Arcata, California

rampaging attack, kills man in arcata
Rampaging attack by pet dog leaves one adult dead, another injured in Arcata.

Shelter Updates Cover Photo
UPDATE 07/02/18: At 2:00 pm Central time today, we saw that the Humboldt County Animal Shelter updated their Facebook Cover photo to a pit bull mascot about 15 hours earlier. On June 27, Andre Hale, the shelter’s manager, "would only characterize [the attacking dog] as a “mixed-breed" to the Lost Coast Outpost. Since this time, Reporter Kym Kemp has been told the dog is a pit bull-mix and commenter Rusty at Words Worth wrote, "the grandson said it's a pit bull."

The actions of Hale, whether deliberate or not, remind us how some shelter directors in the past have deliberately interfered with national dog bite fatality statistics, while simultaneously promoting and owning the pit bull breed. The "mixed-breed" label combined with the timing of this photograph chosen as the shelter's new Cover image, celebrating their "longest canine resident," Rocky, is at best nauseating. Thus far, the Arcata Police Department has not released any breed information.

The last known fatal pit bull attack in Humboldt County was the 1989 death of Garrett East.

after rampaging attack, shelter promotes pit bull


06/29/18: Man Dies After Rampaging Attack
Arcata, CA - The Humboldt County Coroner's Office issued a press release Friday stating that a man died of his injuries after being attacked by a dog earlier this week. The attack was inflicted on June 25, 2018 in Arcata. The coroner identified the victim as 91-year old Donald Steele. The cause of death was determined to be consistent with injuries from a dog attack. The manner of death was ruled accidental. The Arcata Police Department is investigating his mauling death.

Date: 6/29/2018 Prepared by: S. Karges

Case Number: APD 18-1744 / HCSO 201803181 Subject: Dog attack victim dies of injuries The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim of a fatal dog attack on June 25, 2018 in Arcata as 91-year-old Donald Steele. Steele’s cause of death has been determined to be from injuries consistent with a dog attack. His manner of death has been determined as accidental.

Humboldt County Animal Control took possession of the dog following the incident. The dog was euthanized June 28 following orders from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services. The dog tested negative for rabies.

The Arcata Police Department is investigating this incident. All inquiries related to this case should be directed to the Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428.

The attack was first reported on June 27 by the Lost Coast Outpost, which described it as a "rampaging attack on two people Monday morning at the Town & Country Mobile Villa off Giuntoli Lane in Arcata." The violent attack occurred in the 4900 block of Sierra Way, inside the park, just before 11:00 am. The multiple mauling caused a large response from police and paramedics. The Outpost cites the dispatcher's log of the call, "someone needs medical, just kept screaming hurry."

The dog attacked two people. One of the victims suffered "critical" injuries and the other suffered "moderate" injuries, reports the Outpost. Both victims were adults and one of the victim's was the dog's owner, according to Lt. Bart Silvers of the Arcata Police Department. The animal was confiscated and taken to the Humboldt County Animal Shelter. At the local Redheaded Blackbelt website, reporter Kym Kemp states the dog's owner is the girlfriend of Donald Steele's son.

Guest: Why did people say earlier that it was the pit bull owner's girlfriend and a neighbor that tried to intervene?

Kym Kemp: I don’t know why they said that but I spoke to Arcata Police and my understanding is that the girlfriend of Mr. Steele’s son was bitten and then Mr. Steel was bitten.

Guest: So pretty close. Somehow I got the impression the girlfriend got the worst of it.

Sharon: Kym do we know the breed of the dog?...

Kym Kemp: I was told it was a pit bull mix.

--snip--

Pat Passalaqua: Where does it say it was a pit bull?

Kym Kemp: It doesn’t. However, I spoke with people who told me this was a pit bull mix.


rampaging attack pit bull-mix

rampaging attack pit bull arcata


Related articles:
01/04/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Boy Killed by His Sister's Three Pit Bulls in Yuba County
12/17/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Gridley Woman Mauled To Death by Her Two Pet Pit Bulls


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.

Delta Bans Pit Bull-Type Dogs as Service, Support Animals in the Cabin and Limits Support Animals to One Per Person

Delta bans pit bull-type dogs as service, support dogs
Starting on July 10, Delta bans pit bull-type dogs as service and support animals.

Delta's News Release
Atlanta, GA - On June 20, Delta Air Lines announced increase restrictions on service and support animals. The restrictions include limiting each passenger to one emotional support animal per flight and prohibiting pit bull-type dogs as service or support animals. "These updates, which come as the peak summer travel season is underway, are the direct result of growing safety concerns following recent incidents in which several employees were bitten," states the Delta news release.

This announcement follows Delta's "enhanced requirements" for passengers flying with service and emotional support animals (ESA) that went into effect in March. The new policy requires that passengers traveling with an ESA or psychiatric service animal must submit a signed Veterinary Health Form (proof of rabies and distemper vaccinations) and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form. Passengers with service animals must also provide proof of immunizations.

Both policy changes came after an alleged "support" dog repeatedly attacked a passenger in the face in June 2017. It was an escalating violent attack. The dog's owner could not stop his dog from mauling the victim, nor did the owner heed to multiple warnings the victim asked before the attack, "Is this dog going to bite me?" The victim was trapped in a window seat. The 50-pound dog was on its owner's lap seated next to him. Last year, we issued a special report about this attack.

The March enhanced policy also came after an 84 percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals since 2016, including urination, defecation and biting, states the news release. Currently, public comment is being taken by the Department of Transportation (through July 9) to determine the "appropriate definition of a service animal" and ways to reduce the likelihood that passengers will falsely claim that their pets are service and support animals.

Delta Bans Pit Bull-Type Dogs as Service, Support Animals

Delta's June 20 announcement, which prohibits pit bull-type dogs as service or support animals, is due to "growing safety concerns" after two employees were bitten by a passenger’s emotional support animal last week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- which is based in Atlanta along with Delta -- provided more details. Apparently, a passenger attempted to board a plane in Atlanta with not one, but two alleged emotional support pit bulls. Two Delta crew members were bitten.

The incident occurred in Atlanta during boarding of a flight to Tokyo Narita, and one employee was medically treated on site, according to the airline. The passenger with two pit bulls was removed from the flight.

Delta said when the new policy takes effect it will no longer accept "pit bull type dogs" as service or support animals. - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The tipping point of the ban involved a passenger abusing the loophole in the Air Carrier Access Act that allows emotional support animals (ESA) in aircraft cabins if the passenger has a recognized mental health-related disability. Many of those gaming the system with ESAs claim to have a disabling mental health condition. Numerous for-profit entities, like Certapet.com, offer private online assessment for a fee to obtain an ESA letter from a mental health professional.

Gaining an ESA letter from a mental health professional can begin by taking a 5-minute online quiz. We answered "rarely", "no" and "never" to the key questions and still qualified as a "good candidate." The next step is to purchase the ESA letter ($149 to $199) and a $25 review by a mental health professional, who screens a longer online assessment test. CertaPet.com promises: No pet fees or a security deposit in housing, no airline fees and the letter lasts one full year. - DogsBite.org, July 14, 2017

Delta clarified the pit bull ban even further to People. "We must err on the side of safety. Most recently, two Delta employees were bit by a pit bull traveling as a support animal last week. We struggled with the decision to expand the ban to service animals, knowing that some customers have legitimate needs, but we have determined that untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk," Delta said in a statement to People.

Airlines are Not Subject to the Americans with Disability Act

In the frequently asked questions about service animals and the ADA, the FAQ points out that airlines fall under the Air Carrier Access Act. Question 37 asks, "Do commercial airlines have to comply with the ADA?" The answer: "No. The Air Carrier Access Act is the Federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities in air travel. For information or to file a complaint, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation, Aviation Consumer Protection Division..."

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) is entirely different than the ADA because it is specific to air travel, where safety standards are several orders of magnitude greater than they are on the ground. Delta was correct in stating that "untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk." Under the ACAA, the prohibition of pit bulls is apparently legal, as a safety standard, (§382.117) and Delta is free to "err on the side of safety."

(f) You are never required to accommodate certain unusual service animals (e.g., snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders) as service animals in the cabin. With respect to all other animals, including unusual or exotic animals that are presented as service animals (e.g., miniature horses, pigs, monkeys), as a carrier you must determine whether any factors preclude their traveling in the cabin as service animals (e.g., whether the animal is too large or heavy to be accommodated in the cabin, whether the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, whether it would cause a significant disruption of cabin service, whether it would be prohibited from entering a foreign country that is the flight's destination). If no such factors preclude the animal from traveling in the cabin... - The Air Carrier Access Act

The Fall Out from "Celebrities" and "Animal Groups"

First, one must consider that neither celebrities nor animal groups have any expertise in aviation safety. Neither have expertise in human safety either. To state this more concretely, aviation safety experts make policy decisions for what is safe -- and when to err on the side of safety -- during aircraft takeoff, landing and while the plane is traveling over 500 miles per hour at 30,000 feet in the air. Air travel has the highest standard of safety in transportation available to the public.

So, Shorty Rossi, an actor who appeared on the now defunct series Pit Boss, complaining to Delta on social media is childish. Rossi is not an aviation safety expert. In fact, Rossi only cares about himself and his pit bull. Delta takes responsibility for the safety of ALL of their passengers and employees for every single flight, where zero margin of error is allowed -- a mighty undertaking. Delta has more than 15,000 daily departures and over 180 million passengers annually.

In the over 400 comments on Rossi's post, one pit bull owner, Lorraine Weiss, states, "This was Delta's response to my email. Seriously?" No doubt Weiss was taking instructions from Rossi. That was the point of his post. Rossi wanted to create a fury in his base of pit bull supporters and direct them to contact information of Delta officials. Delta handled Weiss' complaint with grace, stating that they had worked with their Advisory Board on Disabilities to develop the new policy.

Hello Lorraine, RE: Case 01211022 Thank you for sharing this information and the photo of your dogs however, we have worked with our Advisory Board on Disabilities to develop this more detailed policy. Pit bull type dogs tend to not behave as well in small spaces and we feel not allowing them is in the best interest of our customers and employees. And unfortunately, there have been at least two instances where a pit bull bit another passenger and our crew member and safety is our first priority. Again, thank you for writing and know that I will share your feedback with those that make these policies. - Delta Air Lines

On June 21, the president of the ASPCA, Matt Bershadker, an avid pit bull supporter, chimed in as well. The sole mission of the ASPCA is "to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States." The ASPCA has no mission relevant to human safety and certainly no expertise in aviation safety. So Bershadker's fraudulent claim that Delta's pit bull ban "spreads false and life-threatening stereotypes" is about as hollow as a drum, given the source.

While pit bull advocacy and propaganda is free to rage "on the ground," it has limitations in commercial air travel space. In fact, it stops when you enter one of Delta's aircrafts starting on July 10. Delta aviation safety experts have determined that "untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk" to their passengers and crew members. Delta no longer accepts them in the cabin nor do they accept them traveling in cargo.


Delta bans pit bull type dogs
Some of the dog breeds most often categorized as pit bull-type dogs affected by Delta's ban.


On June 23, 2018, commenter Gaius Marius indicated he was a witness on the flight from Atlanta to Tokyo when the Delta flight attendant was attacked in the face by a "support" pit bull. The comment was left on a June 22 Washington Post article that interviewed players of the pit bull lobby. This attack, in part, led to Delta's policy of banning pit bulls as service and support dogs.

Commenter Gaius Marius:

I was on a Delta flight from Atlanta to Tokyo last thursday in which a flight attendant was bitten *in the face* by a medium sized pit bull-style dog (I'm not an expert on dog breeds) just before departure. While we were all settling down in our seats I heard a bark and a commotion towards the rear of the plane, followed by a flight attendant running past my seat with a bloody napkin or handkerchief held to her face. In a few moments the dog's owner was escorted up the opposite aisle while she clasped the dog's muzzle in one hand, and then both were sent off the plane. She had a smaller second dog, also unmuzzled, that was walked off the flight by another airline agent. According to the flight attendants I later talked to, the flight attendant was also taken off the flight to the nearest hospital.

The flight was delayed by ~1-hour as we waited for a replacement flight attendant to be located, but that's not important. What is important is the question: why is an airline allowing fairly dangerous animals to be on board a crowded airplane for a long duration (in this case, 11-hour) flight without at least being muzzled? In such situations most dogs can feel threatened and become aggressive and unpredictable. Would you like to sit next to a pit bull for even a short flight under these conditions? To make matters worse, the woman was allowed to bring not one but *two* unmuzzled dogs. This is *crazy*.

I can understand that many people have anxiety issues and that comfort animals can mitigate this. But not at the expense of the safety of others on board. Flying is stressful enough (and I have a basic fear of flying, though Martinis allow me to cope) without having to worry about your face being ripped off by someone's "comfort pit bull".

Related articles:
01/25/18: Delta Tightens Reins on Untrained 'Support' Dogs in the Aircraft Cabin
07/14/17: The Friendly Skies Fade After a Delta Passenger is Severely Attacked by an Unrestrained 'Emotional Support Dog'

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Back-to-Back Dogo Argentino Attacks, One Fatal, Both with Similar Circumstances and Victims

huntingtown Dogo argentino breeder
A for sale add on the victim's fiance's Facebook page, posted September 3, 2017.

Victim Did Not Survive
UPDATE 06/21/18: Police confirm the Huntingtown dog attack victim has died. Jenna Sutphin, 28, was savagely attacked by a Dogo argentino about 7:15 am this morning. She was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition with bite injuries to the back of her head and neck. Earlier today, it was reported that her family was "preparing for the worst." Sutphin and her fiance, Jason Hammer, who is a Prince George's County Correctional Center K-9 handler, breed and sell Dogo argentinos.

The attack unfolded in front of the couple's home, which overlooks Route 4. A driver traveling along Route 4 called 911 about 7:00 am after seeing an animal attacking something, reports WTOP. When the trouper arrived at the overgrown area near the highway, the dog was still actively attacking her. The trouper shot the dog causing it to flee. The driver who called in this attack and this trouper will forever live with the memories of seeing a gladiator dog destroying a woman.

The attacking dog, named Rocky, was the male counterpart of the couple's breeding pair. The animal had been living with the couple for about four years. At the time of the attack, her fiance Hammer was at a "training session with his new K-9 partner," reports WTOP. Hammer had recently undergone a 16-week training program with his malinois-shepherd mix. Sutphin was also employed by Prince George's County, working as an aide for the county attorney since May 2016.


jenna sutphin killed by dogo argentino


06/21/18: Woman Airlifted after Dog Attack
Huntingtown, MD - Earlier today, a savage attack by a Dogo argentino left one if its owners -- a 28-year old female -- in critical condition. She was airlifted to Washington MedStar Hospital Center to undergo treatment. Initially, very few details were released about the attack. We were only able to locate the dog's owners on Facebook through a photograph. The victim was later identified as Jenna Rae Sutphin. She and her fiance breed and sell Dogo argentinos openly on Facebook.

"At about 7:15 a.m. this morning, a trooper from the Prince Frederick Barrack responded to the unit-block of Cherry Hill Road and Route 4 in Huntingtown, Maryland, after receiving an animal complaint from motorists passing by the area. Upon his arrival to the scene, the trooper found the dog actively engaged in the attack in an overgrown area near the highway, adjacent to the front yard of the victim’s home. Police believe the dog is owned by the victim’s fiance." - Maryland State Police news release, June 21, 2018

Police shot and killed the animal to prevent it from harming anyone else, states a press release issued by the Maryland State Police. Sources who responded to the scene said that the woman was bitten in the back of the head and neck, and that her family is preparing for the worst, reports WTOP. According to Sutphin's fiance's Facebook page, he is a law enforcement officer. This vicious attack comes on the heels of a very similar attack in Fairfield, California one week ago.

Fairfield Dogo Argentino Breeder Attack

Last Thursday, a 29-year old female was airlifted to the Bay Area for treatment of life-threatening injuries after a Dogo argentino brutally attacked her. The attack occurred in the 1600 block of Kentucky Street. "I thought he had killed her because she had stopped screaming for a little while," neighbor and witness Yolanda Kendrick said. “I really thought he had done killed her.” Police shot and killed that dog too. There were reportedly up to 20 other Dogos at the home.

Authorities confiscated all of the dogs. It is unknown what their status is at this time. There may be no additional news reports about this attack.

The victim's husband operates a Bay Area Dogo argentino kennel named, Dogos Del Gran Patron. Since the near fatal attack of his wife, he has removed the kennel's Instagram page. He also continues to publish "solid white" photos to his Facebook profile. "Solid white" is another expression for the Dogo. This may or may not be some type of social media signal to other Dogo breeders. Commenters at this rescue group report his wife lost at least one arm in the attack.

Both attacks involve the spouses of Dogo argentino breeders. Both women will suffer lifelong permanent injuries before the age of 30. The Fairfield victim has two young children. The stakes are quite high when breeding a ferocious fighting breed that is banned in multiple countries. Like the South African boerboel, Dogo argentino population numbers in the United States are low. However, these back-to-back horrific attacks show that their population numbers are rising.

As explained in the South African boerboel post -- which also involved one of the breeder's own dogs attacking -- the Dogo argentino is one of several "reinvented" ancient gladiator breeds used for the purposes of guarding and fighting (combat dogs). It is generally agreed upon that the Dogo is a "reconstitution" of an extinct gladiator breed created by crossing the Cordoba fighting dog with mastiffs and old white bull terriers. Learn more about Dogo argentinos at Daxton's Friends.

Dogo argentino is the result of a breeding program started by Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez and his brother Agustin in the 1920's. Inspired by the legends of the mighty Alaunt and the working Viejo Perro de Pelea Cordobés ... Developed from old white Bull Terriers, Cordoba Fighting Dogs, English Pointers, Deutsche Dogges, French Mastiffs, Spanish Mastiffs ... this white mastiff also found a place for itself in the world of dogfighting, where it gained notoriety as a fearless and tireless pit fighter. Molosserdogs.com, 2011

We also discussed in the boerboel post, "Who worships, breeds or owns boerboels?" The same question can be posed about the Dogo argentino. In the two recent vicious attacks, both involved seemingly "macho" male owners, who are also breeders with young wives that have now been forever damaged by their own Dogo. No one can claim ignorance about a dog's heritage when the conversation turns to destructive gladiator combat breeds, like the boerboel and Dogo argentino.


Dogo argentino kennel bay area

dogo argentino attack

Related articles:
05/17/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: South African Boerboel Breeder Killed by One of Her Gladiator...
03/24/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: 8-Month Old Baby Killed by Family Pit Bull in Calvert County

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Infant Mauled to Death by Babysitter's Dog in Georgia

Paige Bradley, killed by babysitters dog
Paige Bradley, 5-months old, was killed by her babysitter's dog in Forest Park.

No Charges Warranted
UPDATE 06/15/18: There will be no charges after a 5-month old baby was mauled to death by a family dog while she was sleeping. Investigators concluded that no unlawful or neglectful act was committed. In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 10, about 2:55 am, police received a 911 call from a "frantic" caller who was "not able to communicate the nature of their emergency," according to a news release issued by the Clayton County Police Department on June 14.

Upon arrival, responding officers discovered that the family dog (German Shepherd) had mauled a 5-month-old female to death. According to the family of the child, she was placed in a bed to sleep and left in the care of her mother’s roommate while her mother left the home for a few hours. When the mother returned, she discovered that her roommate had fallen asleep in another area of the home and when they went to check on the welfare of the baby, it was discovered that the baby had been mauled to death in the bedroom where she had been placed to sleep.

The family advised detectives that the dog had been around the baby since the baby’s birth had never shown any signs of aggression toward the baby or anyone else in the home. The dog was removed from the home by Clayton County Animal Control officers on the night of the incident and has since been surrendered by his owner to Animal Control and euthanized.

At the conclusion of the investigation, it was determined that no unlawful or neglectful act had been committed by anyone in the home and no charges were filed. - Clayton County Police Department, June 14, 2018

The release clears up the conflicting date of death being reported by different news outlets, and more importantly (in our minds) clears up where the baby lived. Earlier, we reported that the child was visiting the babysitter's home, which is one of our 33 parameters in collecting dog bite fatality data. However, the Clayton County Police Department confirms the baby lived at the home on Watts Road with her mother and her mother's roommate, who is also a longtime family friend.

On Thursday, the baby's mother, T'erika George, spoke to WSB-TV. Struggling through emotions, she gave a slightly different version of the timeline. What is clear in her voice is her immense grief for the loss of her baby. "I told her I’m so sorry because I always take you with me," George said. When asked by the reporter, "What do you think happened?" George replied, "I can't even say. I just gave it to God and I told him to figure this all out for me." Our hearts go out to this mother.


06/14/18: Baby Killed by Family Dog
Forest Park, GA - An infant is dead after being mauled to death by a dog. The deadly attack occurred Tuesday at a home on Watts Road in Forest Park. At the time of the attack, the baby was under the care of a babysitter, her mother's roommate. The mother told police she left her daughter with her roommate for a few hours. When she returned, she found her infant dead and the roommate asleep. Clayton County authorities seized the roommate's German shepherd.

There is conflicting information about the date of the baby's death -- Sunday or Tuesday and whether the baby lived at home on Watts Road.

After WSB-TV updated their article, "roommate" was dropped and the babysitter became a "longtime friend" of the child's mother, T'erika George. According to police, this male friend was watching the baby that night. He put the baby down to sleep on a bed in one room then he fell asleep in another room. About 3:00 am, someone called police saying a German shepherd had killed a baby. According to George, baby Paige had been around this particular dog her whole life.

"He ate by us, he slept by us, he followed us and sometimes I had her in her car seat and he would go over and check on her and walk away. I never heard of anything like this," George told WSB-TV. No criminal charges have been filed so far and animal control already euthanized the dog, police said. The family has set up a GoFundMe page. "All proceeds go toward the funeral arrangements for Paige. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers," states the fundraiser.

The death of baby Paige while under her babysitter's care marks the fourth infant, 8-months old or younger, attacked and killed by a family dog this year, 31% of all dog bite fatality victims.

Baby Paige Bradly killed by babysitter's dog

Related articles:
06/18/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Infant Killed by Pit Bull While Under Care of Grandmother...
05/07/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Killed by Family Dog While Under Her Grandmother's Care
04/11/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Wolf Hybrid Kills 8-Day Old Baby Girl 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.

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Infant Killed by Family Pit Bull While Under Care of Grandmother in Miramar, Florida

pit bull kills baby in miramar
Liana Valino, 9-months old, was killed by a family pit bull in Miramar, Florida.

911 Call Released
UPDATE 06/07/18: On May 30, a baby was mauled to death by a family pit bull in the 2400 block of Kingston Drive. Liana Valino, 9-months old, was pronounced dead at the scene. Media footage showed an investigator removing the infant from the home wrapped in a red blanket. On Wednesday, the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death was accidental. The family had owned the pit bull for 3 or 4 years. The family also had two other pit bulls, both related.

Miramar police also released the 911 call made by the baby's grandmother. At the time of the attack, Liana was under her care. The grandmother told a Spanish-speaking 911 translator, “My son’s dog killed the 8-month-old girl,” she said. “I locked the dog in the bathroom and the baby is dead in the living room.” The dispatcher tells the grandmother that paramedics and police are on the way. The frantic grandmother responded, “The baby’s on the floor, dead, in the living room.”

The grandmother was babysitting the 9-month old in a household with three adult pit bulls that belonged to her son. What could go wrong?

Authorities confiscated all three pit bulls after the attack. None of which had a history of reported attacks in Broward County, according to Stefanie Chicko, assistant director of the county’s animal care division. As of Wednesday, the attacking dog was turned over to the county, reports the Sun Sentinel. It is unclear what occurred to the family's two remaining pit bulls -- neither of them participated in the attack. So far, the baby Liana's funeral fund has reached over $14,500.

Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, who is currently looking into the city's reported dog bites and dangerous dog designations to evaluate if there is a problem, told the Sun Sentinel, “It’s just a heartbreaking story for any family to endure." Messam also addresses the fact that this baby was killed by a family pet and states, “it begs the question, would an ordinance have prevented what happened?” The only ordinance that could have prevented this deadly attack is a pit bull ban.


05/31/18: Pit Bulls Bring Tragedy
On Wednesday, a 9-month old baby girl was mauled to death by a family pit bull while under the care of her paternal grandmother in Miramar, Florida. Liana Valino was pronounced dead at the scene. The child's mother, Brenda Villasin, told reporters that her daughter lived with her, but she often dropped her off at her grandmother's home when she didn't attend daycare. The grandmother's household had three pit bulls, all related, a mother and her two adult offspring.

The culprit was one of the offspring, a male pit bull about 3 or 4 years old. Broward County Animal Control officers confiscated all three dogs.

The death of Liana falls under multiple attack scenarios that our nonprofit tracks. Liana was visiting her grandmother's home when she was killed by the pit bull. Liana was also under the care of her grandmother at the time -- the owner of the three pit bulls (technically) was away. From 2005 to 2017, 27% (116) of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the fatal attack occurred. Pit bulls inflicted 73% (85) of these deaths.

A statement by Miramar Police Officer Yessenia Diaz describes what happened: "The child was in a bedroom, in a bouncy chair, and the grandmother was with the child" when the dog attacked. What preceded this is less clear, though USA Today and Buzzfeed report the grandmother was bringing the pit bull back from a walk, when it overpowered her and "went directly into the room where the child was bouncing and attacked her." Buzzfeed attributed that statement to Diaz.

The family had raised the dog since it was a puppy. Of the 284 fatal attacks inflicted pit bulls from 2005 to 2017, 52% (149) involved killing a family or household member. Right now, two families after separate attacks are mourning the loss of a child after a family pit bull attack. Last week, 6-year old Gauge Eckenrode was killed by a "rescued pit bull" that had belonged to his family for several years. The boy's father could only stop the attack by stabbing the pit bull multiple times.


05/30/18: Multi-Pit Bull Household
A 9-month old baby girl is dead after being attacked by a family pit bull, police confirmed Wednesday afternoon. The baby was under the care of her grandmother at the time of the deadly attack. There were three dogs in the family's home -- all related. The attacker was a male pit bull, 3 to 4 years old and had been raised by the family since it was a puppy, Miramar Police Officer Yessenia Diaz said. The other two dogs were its sibling and their mother, both pit bulls.

Earlier today, police confirmed the baby was in a bouncy chair in a bedroom when the pit bull attacked her. The Sun Sentinel spoke to Alex Bernal, who is the landlord of the family's home on Kingston Drive. Bernal said they have been renting for about 18 months. "They are excellent tenants," Bernal said. Police are withholding the baby's name until relatives can be informed of her tragic death. "We want to respect their wishes, being that the child was so young," Diaz said.

"She was the best thing to ever happen to me," the baby's mother, Brenda Villasin, said. "We smiled every morning. She was my world."

However, the child's mother, Brenda Villasin, identified her daughter as Liana Villasin to the Miami-Herald and other news agencies. Villasin said she drops her daughter off at her grandmother's home every morning so that she can go to work. "Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks they are going to lose the person they love," Villasin said. Yet, the infant's grandmother had multiple pit bulls in her home, a mother and its two offspring, which is a reckless "babysitting" environment.

After arriving at the scene, Villasin told Local 10 News, "I'm numb right now. I don't feel -- I can't express myself correctly. My emotions are all over the place." Part of this video footage shows an investigator from the medical examiner's office removing the infant from the home wrapped in a red blanket. The footage also shows a woman, presumably the grandmother, being escorted from the home by detectives. The Department of Children and Families is investigating the family.

Finally, in a late afternoon update, WSVN sheds more light on the people living at the Kingston Drive home and their relationship. The ex-husband of Brenda Villasin, who is the baby's father, resides at the home with his mother (the baby's paternal grandmother). Thus, the ex-husband may actually be the owner of the dogs. The ex-husband was not home when one of his pit bulls killed baby Liana. Police have not identified the baby's father or the baby's paternal grandmother.


family pit bull kills baby miramar


05/30/18: Family Dog Kills Baby
Miramar, FL - Miramar Police have confirmed that an 8-month old baby girl is dead after being attacked by a dog. Police responded to 2420 Kingston Drive about 11:30 am. At the time of the attack, the baby was under the care of a female relative, Miramar Police Officer Yessenia Diaz said. There were three dogs in the home (one large seen in video here). The breeds have not yet been identified. Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office investigators were at the scene.

Over the 13-year period of 2005 to 2017, 16% (68) of all dog bite fatalities involved a babysitter, grandparent or relative watching a child, or the dog being "watched" by a person other than its owner when the canine inflicted a deadly attack. Pit bulls carried out 74% (50) of these attacks. In the most recent fatality, the WSVN 7Skyforce chopper shows 32 minutes of raw footage of police and investigators at the scene, where the baby's home is taped off, and media crews setting up.

Afternoon Updates

Miramar Police confirmed the attacking dog is a "spotted brown pit bull" the family has owned for 3 to 4 years. The infant was in a bouncy chair in a bedroom when the deadly attack occurred. The infant was under the care of her grandmother at the time, police said. The family had three dogs in their home on Kingston Drive. Police confirmed that the large dog seen in the backyard by the WSVN 7Skyforce chopper was not the attacker. This continues to be a developing news story.

Local 10 News reports that Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division removed all three dogs from the family's home. "This child is only eight months old," Officer Yessenia Diaz told Local 10. "It is very difficult for the entire department and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the entire family." This infant's death marks the fourth child, 13-months old or younger, killed by a canine this year. In three of these deaths, 75%, the baby was under the care of a babysitter at the time.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Florida Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Police shielding fatal pit bull mauling scene from public and reporters in Miramar

Related articles:
05/07/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Killed by Family Dog While Under Her Grandmother's Care
04/06/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Kills 13-Month Old Baby Girl at Babysitter's Home
03/09/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Wolf Hybrid Kills 8-Day Old Baby Girl 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.

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: 6-Year Old Boy Killed by Rescued Pit Bull in Blair County, Pennsylvania

rescued pit bull kills boy in blair county
Gauge Eckenrode, 6-years old, was killed by a family pit bull in Lakemont.

Rescued Pit Bull
UPDATE 05/26/18: On Saturday, Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross officially identified the 6-year old boy killed Thursday by a family pit bull as Gauge Eckenrode. A fundraiser started by Taylor Crawford on May 24 had already done so. Logan Township Police Chief David Reese confirmed that family members tried to stop the attack by stabbing the dog. Police ultimately killed the dog. The dog was a "rescued pit bull" and had belonged to the family for several years, Reese said.

No other information was released about the pit bull, such as which rescue agency was involved, the dog's gender or spay/neuter status.

The boy's family had two dogs, according to news reports. The attacking pit bull was killed, and the family asked authorities to take away their other dog. The deadly attack occurred inside the family's home, Rick Vaughan said, a spokesman for the family. The child's father was cutting grass when he heard the mother screaming and discovered "the dog on the boy." By stabbing the dog, the father was able to get the animal off the child, but "It was already too late,” Vaughan said.

05/25/18: Family Pit Bull Kills Boy
Lakemont, PA - Blair County Coroner Patty Ross confirmed late Thursday that a 6-year old boy was killed by a family pit bull. The coroner ruled the boy died of blunt force trauma. The attack occurred at a home on Gesser Avenue. The child attended Baker Elementary School. Logan Township Police continue to investigate. Counselors will be available to help students and staff Friday. The child's name is being withheld out of respect for the family's wishes, reports WTAJ.

Rick Vaughan, a friend of the boy's family, said the boy died after the family dog attacked him just before 6:00 pm. Vaughan told the Altoona Mirror the boy's father was cutting grass when he heard the mother screaming and rushed to find "the dog on the boy." Despite the father's actions to get the dog off the child, "It was already too late," Vaughan said. The dog that killed the boy is dead. The family asked police to remove a second dog from their home, reports the Altoona Mirror.

A fundraiser for the little boy's family identifies him as Gauge Allen Eckenrode. He was a "happy little six year old boy who lost his little life to a pit bull attack," states the fundraiser page, created by Taylor Crawford. "We are trying to raise money to help cover all the expenses that this family needs, from medical bills all the way to the funeral expenses." The family "never expected" for anything like this to ever happen, states the page. Gauge had a little sister named Gypsy.


Lakemont boy killed by rescued pit bull

Gauge Allen Eckenrode killed by rescued pit bull
Gauge Allen Eckenrode killed by rescued pit bull

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

Related articles:
11/24/17: Man Dies in North Philadelphia After Being Attacked by Four Pit Bulls on...
04/28/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull-Mix Kills Owner in Upper Macungie Township


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.