2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Elderly Woman Found Dead After Dog Attack in a Central Valley Apartment in Las Vegas

Elderly woman killed by pit bull las vegas
An elderly woman was found dead after being mauled by a family pit bull in Las Vegas.

Rescue Pit Bull
UPDATE 08/10/22: Family members said "Buck," a rescue pit bull of five or six years, "would never intentionally hurt her," referring to 89-year old Joan Caffiel.1 On Tuesday morning, Buck suddenly attacked and killed Caffiel. "I don't know what happened, but that is totally not like Buck at all," the victim's grandson, Peyton Faircloth, told reporters. Faircloth said his grandmother suffered from dementia. At the time of the attack, she was being watched by a hired caretaker.

"We had Buck for about five, six years. There was not a mean bone in that dog's body. That dog would sleep with us in our bed every single night. And he 'loved' grandma. Very, very protective of grandma ... He would never intentionally hurt her. He probably was trying to protect her from somebody or something." - Peyton Faircloth

Faircloth lived in the apartment with Caffiel, but was away when the fatal attack occurred. Faircloth erroneously claimed that Buck must have been "trying to protect her from somebody or something," in an effort to explain the deadly attack. Protect her from what? The caretaker? Also, why would a dog that was an alleged "guard dog" for the grandma, kill the grandma? The family, also called the fatal attack a "freak accident," a term first coined by a pit bull owner in 1985.

When Wally Roberts saw the mangled body of Deborah Pernell, he knew instantly that she had been killed in her bed by his pit bull terrier, Napoleon. "Debbie`s body was all chewed up," Roberts recalled. "Her entire face had been chewed away. Her scalp was gone. Napoleon was standing beside the bed. He was covered with blood … the dog's owner insists that the killing was "a freak accident." - Leon Daniel. United Press International, 1985

There will not be criminal charges in connection to Caffiel's death, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. Because the victim, was also dog's owner, according to police. The City of Las Vegas supplied an image of "Buck," after the dog had been detained by authorities. Buck's muzzle is seen covered in blood, an image that is far removed from the casual Buck seen wearing sunglasses on a bed lying near the victim that was supplied to news organizations by Peyton.

KLAS spoke to the hired caretaker, Gelena Kelly, who began helping full-time as Caffiel's dementia worsened. On Tuesday morning, she left Caffiel with Buck in the bedroom as she went to the kitchen. "I heard like a strange noise," Kelly said. I returned to the bedroom and saw Buck attacking Caffiel. "He had her by the neck and was dragging her body into the second room," she said. Kelly stayed in the second bedroom, too "terrified to come out" and began yelling at Buck.

"At that point, he was pretty much eating her alive," Kelly said. "The room was a bloodbath, oh my God," Kelly said. "His whole head was full of blood already." Kelly called Peyton Faircloth and 911 right away. When first responders arrived at the home, the damage was already done. Caffiel was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities took "bloody Buck" into custody. The pit bull continues to be on a legal hold at The Animal Foundation. The family does not want the dog euthanized.

Elder woman killed by dog las vegas

The attacking rescue pit bull, named "Buck" seen with a bloody muzzle after being detained.

08/09/22: Woman Killed by Dog
Las Vegas, NV - An elderly woman is dead after being attacked by a dog, according to a statement from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Officers were dispatched to an apartment building at the intersection of Pennwood Avenue and Luke Werner Road at about 9:43 am Tuesday. The dog was located at a nearby home and taken into custody by animal control. The apartment building is located across the street from the baseball field of Clark High School.

The victim, identified as 89-year old Joan Caffiel, of Las Vegas, by the Clark County Coroner's Office, was found in an upstairs unit, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Journal also spoke to Jayme Graver, a neighbor who has lived in the complex for two years. Graver was aware of a larger, older pit bull that roamed the area unleashed. "I pick my dog up just to be safe," she said. The elderly victim, along with a man that lived with her, moved in last year, Graver said.

Evening updates include the dog being broadly identified as a "terrier breed," by The Animal Foundation, a nonprofit that contracts with Clark County for sheltering services. In 2019, The Animal Foundation adopted out a mastiff-mix that killed its owner, Susan Sweeney, 58, three days later. A "terrier breed" isn't a mastiff-type, American bulldog or American bully. A "terrier breed" involved in a fatal dog attack is habitually a pit bull terrier with a deliberately disguised name.

Clark County, Nevada

Over the 16-year period between 2005 and 2020, there were eight recorded dog bite fatalities in Clark County, Nevada. Clark County shares the position as the fourth leading county for fatal dog maulings in the U.S. with three other counties: Maricopa County, Arizona; Cook County, Illinois; and San Bernardino County, California. The top two counties, each with 10 fatal dog attacks during the period, are Harris County, Texas (Houston) and Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit).

Elder woman killed by dog las vegas

The male pit bull, a rescue named "Buck," that killed Joan Caffiel, an elderly family member.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google State Map: Nevada Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.
1The victim's last name is being spelled in two different ways, Joan Cafflel and Joan Caffiel.

Related articles:
04/27/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Girl Mauled to Death by Rottweiler in Henderson, Nevada
04/11/19: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pair of Adopted Male Pit Bulls Kill 62-Year Old Henderson Man

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.

2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Dog Attacks and Kills Owner, a 62-Year Old Man, in Castaic, California

castaic man killed by mastiff-type dog
Robert Stevens, 62, died after being attacked by a family dog in Castaic, California.

Breed Information Released
UPDATE 08/09/22: On Monday, officials with Los Angeles Animal Care and Control released the dog breed information after the fatal attack. Despite information from dispatch audio files stating the dog is a pit bull, Don Belton, a spokesperson for Animal Care and Control, said the dog is a "rottweiler mastiff." It is unclear who made the 911 call, but this was a family dog attack inside the owner's home. Thus, someone in the home made the 911 call and incorrectly identified the breed?

Also, a rottweiler is already a mastiff-type -- it's one of the many molosser breeds that includes all mastiffs and bully breeds. So, labeling this dog a "rottweiler mastiff" is akin to labeling a Labrador retriever, a "Labrador retriever-retriever mix" or a bullmastiff, a "bullmastiff-mastiff mix." It's redundant for unknown reasons, unless the coat color deviates so significantly from a rottweiler's black with rich tan markings in certain areas, that this dog lacks any clear rottweiler appearance.

Finally, the canine is also being described as a "rescued" cane corso, which in southern California indicates a mastiff-mix of many possible varieties, not an Italian cane corso. "It was an unprovoked attack on one of the owners," said Detective Scott Matlock, an investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. "There was a married couple and they actually rescued the dog five years ago," he said. The investigation is being treated as an "accidental death," Matlock said.

08/07/22: Owner-Directed Fatal Attack
Castaic, CA - On Friday, a 62-year old man was attacked and killed by a family dog in Castaic, Sgt. Clark, of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, said. Castaic is an unincorporated community in northwest Los Angeles County. Around 4:10 pm, first responders received reports of a dog attack in progress in the 31000 block of Gelding Road. The man was identified as Robert Stevens, 62, of Castaic, according to officials with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

“The family dog attacked a male in his house. He did not survive from his wounds.” - Sgt. Clark, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station

Audio dispatch log files from the Los Angeles County Sheriff, Fire and Aircraft - Santa Clarita Valley channel on Broadcastify.com report the attacking dog was a pit bull. "Bit by a pit bull. Unknown status. Fire and animal control is en route," states the dispatcher at 9:00 minutes. "We're on scene … states that her husband is currently being attacked by the dog right now in the house. Can you let sheriff know? Possibly a pit bull," states a responder at about 14 minutes.

Around 16 minutes, the dispatcher repeats the call information. 31000 block of "Gelding Road, cross of Royal in Castaic. Male 60. Bit by pit bull. Unknown status. Fire, animal control en route for Fire. [Male] is currently being attacked by this pit bull … Additional responders over to Gelding and Royal," she states. At 25 minutes, a responder replies, "Dog is contained in the backyard right now." No breed information was released by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

A report from The Signal states this was an owner-directed fatal attack. Lt. Dan Wolanski, watch commander for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, confirmed the dog killed its owner.

Castaic man killed by mastiff-type dog

The fatal dog attack occurred Friday in the 31000 block of Gelding Road in Castaic, California.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: California Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.
1Audio file has been truncated to remove empty space-time and unrelated cases.

Related articles:
12/30/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: 26-Year Old Woman Killed by Dogs in Her East Valinda...

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.

2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Killed by Dogs While Walking in Residential Neighborhood in Selma, California

Officers confiscate at least four dogs after the animals killed a man in a Selma neighborhood.

Bulldog Kennel Identified
UPDATE 08/01/22: The breeder of these mongrel English bulldogs has been located. It's "painfully" clear that Selma police are standing outside of the same residence that dominates the "Four Brothers Bulldog Kennel" Instagram and TikTok pages. Owner claims his dogs are AKC registered English bulldogs. Victor Carranza also claims he is "preserving the true essence, structure and temperament of the English bulldog," which apparently, includes killing people.

Four Brothers Bulldog Kennels

Four Brothers Bulldog Kennel is located at the same residence where the dogs were seized.

07/31/22: Selma Police Media Release
Selma, CA - A 59-year old man died Sunday after being mauled by dogs. Selma police officers were dispatched to the 3000 block of Goldridge Street at about 1:00 pm Sunday on reports of a man being attacked by several dogs. When officers arrived, one person was trying to separate the dogs from the victim. Offers rendered first aid until paramedics arrived. The man was transported to a hospital, where he died of his injuries, states a release from the Selma Police Department.

At least four dogs -- all of the same bull breed-mix -- were confiscated. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered the dogs escaped from a nearby residence and attacked the victim as he walked through the residential neighborhood. The person who came to the victim's aid was also bitten by one of the dogs, but the injury was minor. Detectives are actively investigating the case. "The owner of the dogs is cooperating with investigators," states the media release.

JRMedia559 was at the scene and filmed as Selma police and an animal control officer confiscated the dogs. Police used bean bag rounds and tasers to subdue the dogs. The animal control officer is seen dragging each dog out to his truck labeled with a Second Chance Animal Shelter logo. One woman screams in the background while watching one dog being struck by a bean bag pellet, then wrestled and hauled away by the animal control officer using a catch pole.

The dogs appear to be a combination of Old English bulldogge and American bully. The Old English bulldogge is a staple breeding component among many American bully breeders. "The American bully breed developed as a natural extension of the American pit bull terrier," according to the United Kennel Club. The breed was "subtly influenced by the infusion of several other breeds, which include the American bulldog, English bulldog, and Olde English bulldogge."

Back in 2012, 30-year old Remedios Romero-Solares was killed by a pack of similar dogs in San Diego County. The owner of those dogs was breeding the animals for sale. Those particular bulldogges were crossed with American bulldogs to increase their size. The shorter Selma dogs show an intense thickness (aka "bulliness"), which is an essential characteristic of the American bully, which comes in four sizes, including the pocket bully (smallest) and XL bully (largest).

Memorial, GoFundMe Created

KFSN reports that a cross and a candle have been set up at the site of the deadly dog attack on Goldridge Street near Balboa. "In Memory of Hutch," is written on the wooden cross. Police have not released the victim's identity. No information has been released about the dogs' owner, except that the individual is "cooperating with investigators." It is unknown if the dogs have a history of getting loose or behaving aggressively. It is unknown if criminal charges are being considered.

Late Monday, we located a GoFundMe for the victim, identified by family as Richard "Hutch" Barry.

fatal Bulldogs kill Selma man, Richard Hutch Barry

Two bull breed-mix dogs being confiscated after killing a man in a Selma neighborhood.

Bulldogs kill Selma man, Richard Hutch Barry

Two bull breed-mix dogs being confiscated after killing a man in a Selma neighborhood.

Bulldogs kill Selma man, Richard Hutch Barry

A memorial cross for the victim, Richard "Hutch" Barry, was place where the attack occurred.

Related articles:
03/21/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Pocket Bully Inflicts Bite to Head, Killing Baby Girl in Illinois
12/07/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: San Diego County Woman Killed by American Bulldog-Mixes

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.

Sebewaing Police Chief Takes Pit Bull 'Lucifer' into Custody; Issues Rare and Inspiring Community Advisement

Police Respond to "Neighborhood Living in Fear" of Vicious Dog

Sebewaing Police Chief seizes pit bull Lucifer
Sebewaing Police Chief Steven Repkie issues Community Advisement after dog seized.

Community Advisement
Sebewaing, MI - On July 29, Sebewaing Police Chief Steven Repkie issued a Community Advisement after a pit bull, named "Lucifer," viciously attacked a child in the face causing severe injuries. "The bite missed her carotid artery by mere centimeters," states the release, and she will need reconstructive surgery. The owner of the dog was arrested on municipal charges, but still did not properly contain his pit bull. "The neighborhood was living in fear of Lucifer," Repkie said.

The neighborhood was "basically being held hostage in their homes, hoping and praying that this dog did not break loose and injure or kill someone," Chief Repkie said. In order to obtain a vicious dog designation in the state of Michigan, there must be two unwarranted bites, "except in extenuating circumstances." Chief Repkie worked with Assistant Huron County Prosecutor Alexander Pahany to achieve this, and thus were able to obtain a court order to seize the animal.

In no surprise to DogsBite.org, as the paperwork for the extenuating circumstances was being completed, "Lucifer" attacked a second person. An order to seize "Lucifer" was signed by the Huron District Court Magistrate on July 28. Chief Repkie and another officer then physically seized the "100 pound beast," he said. "We had to enter the home and catch Lucifer on a snare pole," Chief Repkie said. "To be honest, I’m still sore today from being on the end of the catch pole."

Ironically, as the paperwork was being completed, a second bite report came into the Sebewaing Police regarding Lucifer. When interviewed, the victim, an adult male, said he was riding his skateboard when from out of nowhere, he was attacked by a Pitbull that knocked him to the ground and viciously attacked him, causing significant injuries to his right arm. Fearing for his life and while the dog had his teeth firmly clamped onto his forearm, he was able to take hold of the dogs collar with his left hand and twist the collar to the point that the dog nearly lost consciousness. It then loosened it’s grip and the victim was able to get away. He identified the dog that attacked him as Lucifer.

An order to seize Lucifer was signed by the Huron District Court Magistrate and on Thursday morning, after finding a secure facility to accept Lucifer, Officer Matt Kuhl and myself went to the home to follow the court order and seize the animal. The resident of the home would not or could not bring Lucifer out to Officers. We had to enter the home and catch Lucifer on a snare pole. We then had to wrestle the dog outside and into a cage. Lucifer was taken to a secure facility to be housed pending court proceedings. - Sebewaing Police Chief Community Advisement

Next Repkie gave a "statement from me" that no one could appreciate more than the late Richard Buffalin, a devoted commenter on DogsBite.org, who passed away in January 2022. "I will NOT allow my community to be held hostage by a dog. People should NOT be afraid to walk through their neighborhoods. People should NOT have to sit on their back porch with a gun on the table in fear of being attacked," Repkie said. "I thank God that neither of the victims had been killed."

Additional charges are pending against "Lucifer's" owner, Chief Repkie said in the statement. He checks in on the 5-year old victim's condition frequently, he said, and has offered both Zeus and Apollo, his unit's two police K-9s, for "K9 Therapy" to help the little girl with trauma from the facial attack. He has also spoken with the skateboarder, the second victim, "checking on his condition as well," he said. He closed his Community Advisement with: "Strength and Honor Sebewaing!"

I will NOT allow my community to be held hostage by a dog. People should NOT be afraid to walk through their neighborhoods. People should NOT have to sit on their back porch with a gun on the table in fear of being attacked. I will, as expeditiously as I can, address matters such as this and to the fullest extent of the law, fulfill my duties to the citizens that I serve and enforce the laws of this Village, the State of Michigan and the United States of America.

I thank God that neither of the victims had been killed. I check in on the 5 year old often and I have offered Zeus and Apollo as “K9 Therapy” if needed to help her with the trauma of the attack. I have also spoken with our skateboarder, checking on his condition as well.

So in closing, we have Village leash laws that state, a dog must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet and controlled by a person capable of controlling said animal. Dogs are to be licensed and vaccinated. They are not to be allowed to be at large within the Village and wander through others yards or in the street.

Strength and Honor Sebewaing! - Sebewaing Police Chief Community Advisement


We encourage readers to go through the comments on Chief Repkie's post. One person wrote, "I wish we had this kind of attitude in Caro. Bravo to you, I fear for my safety everyday in Caro, because they are unwilling to fight for the people, and only help the owners keep the dog. Thank you for standing up for your community!" Another called Repkie a "True Blue Hero, and I'm grateful our community has been blessed by having you in charge." DogsBite.org agrees in full!

The father of the little girl also shared a photo of her in the comment section. The father then admitted to being the owner of a pit bull himself, whose dog "has been in training since he was born and will be until the day he dies." No one said the father's pit bull was anything like "Lucifer," but nevertheless, the father had to defend his dog as if someone had. And, "Chihuahuas," the father proclaimed, "are the lead dog for dog bites but you never hear about them in the news."


We wish there were many more Community Advisements like the one issued by Sebewaing Police Chief Steven Repkie. We were moved to tears upon reading it. That is how rare it is for dog mauling victims to feel heard -- to feel there actually are laws that protect them -- even antiquated laws that require two serious bites before a seizure and vicious declaration. Recall the extenuating circumstances; Repkie and the prosecutor had been working hard to avoid the second attack.

"Lucifer" the "100 pound beast," however, beat them to the punch.

That Chief Repkie made it a priority to declare that he "will NOT allow my community to be held hostage by a dog. People should NOT be afraid to walk through their neighborhoods," is another heroic rarity. Victims of dog bites and attacks understand just how much power the owner of one dangerous or intimidating dog has -- he or she yields the power to destroy an entire neighborhood -- and the only response by animal control is, "Nothing we can do about it until it attacks again."

Related articles:
12/16/20: Ann Marie Rogers: Animal Welfare Advocate, Animal Control Officer, Public Safety...
01/16/17: First 3 Minutes After Pit Bull Attack; Police Officer Rescues Victim, Provides Comfort