2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Three Relatives Indicted After Woman Killed by Unsecured Dogs in Memphis, Tennessee

Doris Arrington
Doris Arrington, 59, was killed by four unsecured dogs on April 22, 2020 in Memphis.

Woman Killed by Dogs
Memphis, TN - A Shelby County grand jury indicted three people in connection to a fatal dog attack that occurred in April. Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said that Phyllis Jones, 61, her daughter Kimberly Jordan, 40, and Jordan’s son Dedricz Perry, 22, were taken into custody Tuesday by U.S. Marshals. All three face reckless homicide charges for owning the dogs involved in the attack that left Doris Arrington, 59, dead. All three have since bonded out of jail.

The attack occurred about 8:00 am in the 1200 block of Capital Avenue in the New Chicago area. Police were dispatched to the area and found Arrington's body. Authorities said Arrington had severe trauma to her legs and arms. Her cause of death was "massive blood loss." A statement issued by U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller states, "Unsecured dogs were deadly weapons in this horrible crime. I'm pleased that the Marshals Service had a hand in bringing the owners to justice."

After the fatal attack -- that lacked any media coverage in April -- Memphis police located four dogs with blood on their mouths and coats. Multiple complaints had been made to Memphis Animal Services and the Mayor's Action Center prior to the deadly mauling, Weirich's office said. Residents had complained the dogs were aggressive and could escape their enclosure. One man told WREG the dogs previously chased a man up a tree. No breed information was released.

Of the three generation family member defendants, Jordan had two fairly recent photographs of dogs on her Facebook page. The three or four pit bulls are young in the February 2019 photographs. A death date of September 4, 2018 is also seen in the background (the images were not taken before that date). That places the pit bulls at 1 to 2 years old at the time of the attack. Reckless homicide is a Class D felony in Tennessee with a prison sentence of 2 to 12 years.

Dogs that killed Doris Arrington

Three or four young pit bulls seen on Kimberly Jordan's Facebook page in February 2019.

Three relatives indicted after the dogs killed Doris Arrington

Phyllis Jones, 61, Kimberly Jordan, 40, and Dedricz Perry, 22, face reckless homicide charges.

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

Related articles:
07/23/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Mauled to Death by Pack of Dogs in Southwest Memphis
11/21/18: 2010 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Kill Man, Injure Four Others in Memphis


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.

2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Killed by Family Pit Bull While Under the Care of his Great-Grandmother in Akron, Ohio

pit bull kills child in akron
A 7-month old boy is dead after being mauled by a family pit bull in Akron, Ohio.

No Charges Expected
UPDATE 08/11/20: Authorities have still not identified the 7-month old boy mauled to death by a family pit bull last Friday. The child's great-grandmother, 77-years old, was holding the baby when the dog fatally attacked, Akron police said. An ambulance transported the boy to Akron Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The family dog, a 7-year old pit bull, was taken into custody by Summit County Animal Control. Police say that no criminal charges will be filed.

08/08/20: Baby Killed by Family Dog
Akron, OH - A baby boy is dead after being mauled by a pit bull, according to Akron police. At about 3:48 pm Friday, officers were dispatched to a home in the 1300 block of South Hawkins Avenue in West Akron to assist paramedics at the scene. Officers found the baby and the grandmother had been injured by the dog. The child was transported to Akron Children's Hospital, where he died. The grandmother's injuries were minor; she refused treatment at the scene.

The child was under the care of his grandmother when the dog attacked, police said. It is unclear if the child lived at the home or if he was visiting his grandmother's home. No details about the circumstances of the attack were available late Friday. Summit County Animal Control seized the animal. An autopsy will be conducted on the child Saturday, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office. The boy will likely be identified when the cause of death is released.

This child's death by a family pit bull comes after a string of similar deaths this summer. Brice Sanders, 2-years old, was killed by a pit bull while visiting a home in California. Jonah Jellison, 1-year old, was killed by a loose pit bull in Texas. Marley Wilander, 1-year old, was killed by a pit bull during the night while her family attended a July 4th party in Illinois. Scarlett Pereira, 1-year old, was killed by a pit bull while under the care of her grandparents in Rhode Island on July 16.

The other fatal pit bull mauling that occurred in Ohio this year is the death of 4-month old McKenzie Terwell in Dayton, Ohio in January. We expect criminal charges in the coming months. At the time of the baby's death, the mother was asleep on the couch after taking three prescription medications. When the baby's father returned home, he found the infant dead on the floor. Before police arrived, the father told officers he had thrown a Marijuana bong into the kitchen trashcan.

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

Related articles:
01/15/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills 4-Month Old Baby Girl in Dayton, Ohio


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.

Teenager Suffers Critical Injuries, Crushed Trachea, in Violent Pit Bull Attack in Burrow's County, Georgia

joslyn stinchcomb crushed trachea
Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, suffered critical injuries and a crushed trachea in pit bull attack.

Medical Condition Updates
Winder, GA - Last Friday, Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15-years old, was walking in her neighborhood near Bowman Mill Road NE when two pit bulls belonging to a neighbor escaped their owner's property and viciously attacked her. The dogs attacked her head, neck and body; they crushed her trachea, ripped off her scalp and an ear. Joslyn continues to undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries and has been transferred to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where long-term treatment is planned.

Among the horrific injuries she endured, doctors continue to try to reconstruct her badly damaged trachea. Doctors placed a stint in her airway to keep it open, and hopefully allow her to breath through it. Currently, she is able to breath due to having a tracheotomy procedure. The girl's grandmother, Sandra Stinchcomb, who is her legal guardian, and her aunt, Charity Stinchcomb Montgomery, provide regular updates to a Facebook group that our nonprofit has joined.

On August 6, Sandra provided another update. "It has been just over 6 days since Joslyn was attacked. Since then she has been in surgery for nearly 24 hours. The majority of this time has been spent to reconstruct and restore her a viable airway," she said. Sandra also described Joslyn's injuries as being worse than a horror movie. "Nothing I have ever seen, in EMT school or on any horror movie is as disturbing and graphic as seeing what these demons did to Joslyn."

"Then came the pictures of the skull. Nothing could have prepared me for that and no words can describe just how horrific they are. With this, we are being told it could be several months before she will be ready to see if they can try to get skin grafts to take. Right now Paul and I are just broken." - Sandra Stinchcomb, 08/06/2020

The family was originally told the tracheotomy could come out in about a month. However, doctors are unsure now how long it could be. Doctors "are saying it could be months, years, or possibly not ever that her tracheotomy can be removed. They are not certain if she will ever talk again and even if she does, her voice won’t be the same." Sandra asks people to continue to pray for Joslyn’s recovery and pray for her medical teams. This "is so far from being over," she said.

In an earlier update, Charity said that Joslyn will never have hair again. "As we have previously shared, Joslyn’s trachea was crushed and lacerated. She had surgery to repair it but it will take weeks to heal." The dogs "also grabbed her hair hard enough to pull her entire scalp off. She only has a small portion of skin left on her head. At this moment she does not have any hair left. She will never have her hair again." It will be over a year before those discussions can even begin.

Joslyn’s family is accepting donations at the #StayStrongJoslyn PayPal page.

Classic City News is also following the family's private Facebook group and is providing regular updates. Please check there for additional updates about Joslyn's current medical condition.

joslyn stinchcomb pit bull attack

Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, seen in hospital after being attacked by two pit bulls in Barrow County.


Owner of the Pit Bulls

Fox 5 Atlanta recently spoke to Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith, whose deputies responded to the horrific attack scene. "She's been in and out of induced commas, has a lot of damage to her spine and her throat and she's also got some plastic surgery issues as well. She's a fighter, but she's got a long road to recovery," Sheriff Smith said. "She had grit and asphalt under her fingernails where she was pulling away from these dogs and they were pulling back at her."

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the teenager lying facedown against a cement curb, while one pit bull was grabbing her neck and the other was biting the girl's head, Classic City News reports. Deputies shot one dog in the head. That dog fled and the other released its grip and also fled. Deputies tracked the dogs back to the owner's home. Alexandria Torregrossa, 29-years old, was arrested for reckless conduct after she returned home, according to a police report.

"The reason she was charged with reckless conduct was it was determined the dogs were not properly secured and ran out the back door of the house and viciously attacked the victim," Sheriff Smith said. In the State of Georgia, reckless conduct is a misdemeanor that carries up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. In the State of Texas, this exact same off-property attack that nearly resulted in fatal injuries would be a felony and the owner would face up to 10 years in jail.

Barrow County Animal Control euthanized both dogs. The owner's Facebook page shows two large pit bulls, a male and female. Both were altered in 2016, according to the owner. The male, Capone, was altered first, because "he had been acting out more than ever," Torregrossa wrote. Sterilizing a dog does not alter breed-specific behavior and in this case, it did not reduce the need to roam either. The only benefit is that neither of these pit bulls can continue to reproduce.

Torregrossa is yet another exhausted cliché pit bull owner. Prior to her privatizing her Facebook photographs, we were able to capture several. In a January 2019 post, she states: "It's their world I'm just living in it." Torregrossa is admitting in this statement that she does not own her pit bulls -- her pit bulls own her. Torregrossa has little control over her dogs. In another exhausted cliché, Torregrossa had no clue why her puppies in 2015 were so fat. Folks, that's a belly full of worms.

pit bulls crush trachea, georgia teenager

The two pit bulls, a male and female, that violently attacked a teenager in Winder, Georgia.

Alexandria Torregrossa's pit bulls crushed a teenager's trachea

Alexandria Torregrossa's two "Gottiline" pit bulls inflicted catastrophic damage on Joslyn.


Related articles:
05/15/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Suspected Fatal Pit Bull Mauling in Crawford County, Georgia
05/10/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Doctor Killed by Suspected Roaming Dogs in Lyons, Georgia
04/28/20: Reward for Information Leading to Arrest and Indictment of Pit Bull Owner in Atlanta

2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded that Mask Aggression in Dogs Available for Adoption

Coded Language and Shelter Jargon that Camouflage Aggression

125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded
2020 Edition: 125 behavior terms for shelter dogs decoded that mask aggression.

Recent Investigation
DogsBite.org - Since 2016, we have been examining how taxpayer-funded shelters conceal aggressive behaviors from adopters in order to achieve the single metric 90% "save rate" of no-kill. Today, that goal has been upped to a 98% "save rate". In the last 4 years, there have been multiple investigations by news organizations exposing how some shelters are knowingly adopting out dangerous dogs to the public and do not disclose the bite history of the dog to the adopter.


Jump down to see our 125 behavior terms for shelter dogs decoded that mask aggression.


What became clear in our 2016 examination of Sonoma County Animal Shelter records is that anti-anxiety medications, such as Solliquin, are also being used to mask the dog's behaviors. This appears to have become routine as well. Last November, CBS LA investigators uncovered that some dogs up for adoption at Orange County Animal Care had a history of aggression, the shelter hid biting histories from adopters, and some dogs were drugged to mask their behavior.

During the interview, former Orange County Animal Care Director, Mike Kaviani, stated his reckless logic: "When you’re dating, on the first date do you say all the things that you're really trying to work on as a human being? No, you’re not airing that on the first date. Are you lying about that? Absolutely not." Kaviani resigned about a month later, just days before California became the second state in the nation to require shelters to disclose a dog's bite history to potential adopters.

"The worst possible scenario is if you had a bite dog that is being sedated to fool a prospective adopter." - Madeline Bernstein, SPCA LA

Who Architects the Shelter Terms

Prior to being hired by Orange County, Kaviani was the Director of "Lifesaving Operations" at Austin Pets Alive (APA), a no-kill entity that has a contract with Austin to ensure the city maintains its "no-kill" status. APA has also been investigated by the media for adopting out dangerous dogs, as has Pima County Animal Center while under the leadership of Kristen Hassen-Auerbach. In February 2018, both Kaviani and Auerbach gave presentations at the APA annual conference.1

  • The Decision to Kill for Behavior – Policy and Protocol (Kristen Auerbach, Mike Kaviani)
  • Almost There, How to Move up from 80% Live Release (Kristen Auerbach, Rebecca Guinn, Tawny Hammond)
  • Venturing Past 90%: Who are the Dogs in the Last 10% and How Do You Save Them? (Mike Kaviani, Marian Cannell)
  • Saving Dogs with Behavior Problems (Aimee Sadler, Mike Kaviani, Marian Cannell)
  • Dog Behavior (Aimee Sadler, Mike Kaviani, Aaron Caldwell, Marian Cannell, Carrie Morris)

Some of the very people, like Kaviani and Auerbach, who are on the national conference circuit teaching other shelter workers when to "Kill for Behavior" and "Venturing Past 90%" to save more shelter dogs (riddled with aggression) and "Saving Dogs with Behavior Problems" are the same people being investigated by news organizations for hiding bite histories from adopters and drugging dogs to conceal their aggression. Are they peddling practices that lead to lawsuits?2

No-kill philosophy groups like Austin Pets Alive, Austin Animal Center and Dogs Playing for Life (DPFL), who presented at that conference, also architect these terms. As the founder of DPFL stated, "This conference is going to give you the solutions to get through that 'really painful hump' to be really creative and find solutions other than euthanasia."3 Some of these "solutions" have devolved into deceptive language in advertisements, hiding bite histories and drugging dogs.

Four Years of Collecting Terms

Since 2016, we have been collecting shelter terms that use emotionally manipulative language or camouflage aggression in dogs available for adoption. Our list is not exhaustive; we selected the most common terms. If this jargon to obscure aggressive behavior was not bad enough, shelters are sedating dogs with drugs too, notably couched under "transitional medication," a shelter term that describes "take home" medications for the adopter, but does not disclose to the adopter why.

The over-arching goal of the reckless no-kill movement is to claim that the shelter environment is the source of virtually all aggressive behaviors.4 Terms such as barrier reactivity, cage crazy, kennel aggression, kennel stress, and the need for a dog to "decompress" after a shelter stay of any length, aptly describe this theme. In fact, there is a term used by no-kill to describe when a dog goes out of its way to attack while outside of the shelter environment: "offensive aggression."

Offensive aggression is the primary term used when the "shelter environment" cannot be blamed for the dog's aggressive behavior.

The distorted logic works as follows: Kennel aggression is due to being in a kennel, leash aggression is due to being leashed and dog aggression is due to the shelter building's structure (dogs in stacked kennels or facing each other). Therefore, most aggression seen in the shelter can be blamed on the environment itself. Thus, aggression displayed in the shelter -- complete with its own deceptive jargon -- is vastly different than aggression displayed in the community.

As you read through the shelter behavior terms, remember that only two states, Virginia and California, have a mandatory bite disclosure law. If you do not reside in either, you may interface with the below concealment terms and "drugged dogs" while visiting a taxpayer-funded shelter that has no obligation to disclose a dog's bite history. The only way to get "full disclosure" of the dog's behavior is to request in writing all uncensored behavior and medical records prior to adoption.


2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded

There are a number of legitimate terms included that are used by animal behaviorists, trainers and shelter staff. These are included to help readers understand training/shelter terminology and the level of behavior risk. Our goal is to show readers legitimate terms, cloaking terms and deceptive language within adoption listings that indicate aggression and other risk factors. Also, a bold "Meaning" column (on the left) indicates the term came from an "actual" animal behaviorist.

There are different types and levels of aggression. The most dangerous ones include: Impulsive Aggression -- and all terms that try to mask this -- all terms marked "High" or "Very High" and any dog that is being sedated with anti-anxiety medication. Avoid these types of dogs at shelters or your family or pet could end up paying the cost. Requesting all uncensored behavior and medical records prior to adoption will be much easier than "returning" a shelter dog due to aggression.


2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded
MeaningRisk LevelTermLink
AggressionMod-HighDog has "separation anxiety" - A term that can cloak severe aggression, like jumping out of a glass window.Link
AggressionMod-HighDog has "kennel stress" or "shelter stress."Link
AggressionMod-HighDog can be "pushy" with other dogs.Link
AggressionMod-HighDog is "leash biting" or is a "leash biter."Link
AggressionMod-HighDog is "grabby" with toys - Dog is resource guarding.Link
AggressionMod-HighDog "needs proper introduction" to people.dog
AggressionMod-HighDog has "poor kennel presence" or "poor kennel presentation" - Dog has kennel aggression.Link
AggressionMod-HighDog has "barrier reactivity" - Dog has kennel aggression.Link
AggressionHighDog is an "orange dot" - A shelter marking system for the most problematic dogs; orange dots requires the help of the "Orange Dot Crew."Link
AggressionHighIf dog is a "red, blue or orange dot," it cannot be touched by any volunteer at the Austin Animal Center, a no-kill shelter. Unclear what shelter visitors are told.Link
AggressionHigh"Perfect dog" - Term always comes with "but" such as, it's a "perfect dog," but I can no longer trust it after it attacked me.Link
AggressionHighWe're trying to "reset dog back to his previous self." Decoded translates into extreme anxiety and resource guarding.Link
AggressionHighShelter will teach you "how to feed him so he doesn't feel protective of his food" - Dog is a resource guarder.Link
AggressionHighDog is "spunky" - Dog has aggressive flanking behavior.Link
AggressionHighDog likes to "body-crash" or is a "body-crasher."Link
AggressionHighdog is "fence-fighting" or is a "fence fighter."Link
AggressionHighDog has "kennel aggression."Link
AggressionHighDog is "resource guarding."Link
AggressionHighDog is "food guarding."Link
AggressionHighDog is "alarm barking."Link
AggressionHighDog needs "transitional medication" - Behavioral medications that are sent home with adopter.Link
AggressionHighDog is "head shy."Link
AggressionHighDog is "fear reactive" that has "stolen many hearts" - The dog will attack people and pets and has been returned many times.Link
AggressionHighDog gets so excited, it "can't help but to jump on you." The dog is a potential a disaster.Link
AggressionHigh"Offensive aggression" - Describes aggression in a shelter dog that cannot be blamed on the shelter environment.Link
AggressionHighDog is a "ladies man" - The dog will attack men.Link
AggressionHighDog needs an "experienced owner."dog
AggressionHighDog came to shelter through "no fault of their own."dog
AggressionHigh"Defensive aggression" - Dog has no opportunity to choose flight, thus fighting is the only option.Link
AggressionHighDog is very "stressed being here" (at the shelter).Link
AggressionHighDog is "confused why she is here" (at the shelter).Link
AggressionHighDog "needs to decompress."Link
AggressionHighDog wants to become the "best dog we know she can be" - This means this dog is currently a disaster.Link
AggressionHighDog comes with "free lifetime behavior support" - This means this dog will always be a disaster.Link
AggressionHighDog is "strong willed" - Dog cannot be managed by an average dog owner.Link
AggressionHighDog has the "worst hard luck" story - Dog has been returned to the shelter 3 or more times.Link
AggressionHighDog is "still at the shelter" - Dog has been returned to shelter 3 or more times or is (urgent!) slated for euthanasia.Link
AggressionVery HighDog needs a "unicorn home." Dog is so animal-aggressive, anxious and a resource guarder that it can only tolerate a "fantasy" home with zero stimuli. Anti-anxiety medication is being sponsored for the dog.Link
AggressionVery HighDog "did not have one accident in my house." This indicates the dog had many "accidents," acts of aggression, previously in other homes.Link
AggressionVery High"Offensive aggression to humans" - Idiopathic aggression or low threshold dominance aggression.Link
AggressionVery High"Uninterruptible drive" - The dog will kill another dog on sight and will climb a fence to do it.Link
AggressionScam Alert"Are you a Select family?" - Translates into "are you select enough" to own a problem dog? (Wine comparison hoax).Link
AggressionScam AlertWCRASSelect Test - A "test" to determine which type of aggression is right for a family - (Wine comparison hoax).Link
AggressionScam AlertChardonnay - "Find guys scary" - Dog will attack men (Wine comparison hoax).Link
AggressionScam AlertRiesling - "A hint of tartness, dog prefer no kids" (Wine comparison hoax).Link
AggressionScam Alert"Unknown background" - Can indicate many things, including failing to tell adopter the dog has been returned 4 or 5 times.Link
AggressionScam AlertDog is a "staff pick" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk dog to the public.Link
AggressionScam AlertDog is a "staff favorite" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk dog to the public.Link
AggressionScam AlertDog is a "volunteer favorite" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk dog to the public.Link
AggressionScam AlertDog is a "velvet hippo" or "house hippo" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk pit bull to the public.Link
Animal AggressionMod-High"Needs proper introduction" to dogs and cats.dog
Animal AggressionHighMust be "only animal in home" - Dog will kill a dog or cat.Link
Animal AggressionHighMust have a "low traffic, adult only home with no other pets" - Dog will kill a dog or cat.Link
AnxietyMod-HighDog "needs to decompress."dog
AnxietyMod-HighDog "needs time to warm up to new people."Link
AnxietyHighDog is "painting" - Dog is excretmenting all over the kennel, smearing it everywhere, spinning; "cage crazy."2018 APA5
AnxietyHighDog is doing "arts and crafts" - Dog is excretmenting all over the kennel, smearing it everywhere, spinning; "cage crazy."2018 APA6
AnxietyHighDog has "trust issues."Link
AnxietyHighDog has "PTSD."Link
AnxietyHighDog has "shelter anxiety" and "ongoing anxiety"Link
AnxietyVery HighDog is "vulnerable and apprehensive." Instead of fetching tennis balls, this dog destroys the ball then eats the pieces.Link
AnxietyVery HighDog is "kind of anxious" - Decoded translates into "extreme anxiety" even after "medication and behavior modification."Link
AnxietyScam AlertDog joined "elite #fosterwin club!" - Another gimmick "award." This dog has such extreme separation anxiety, his foster may be using a crate built for shipping "strong jawed" dogs in airplane cargo, upwards of $600 (CR-82 Compliant).Link
Cat AggressionMod-HighDog needs a "dog-savvy cat."Link
Cat AggressionHighDog is "not cat-tested" - Dog could kill a cat.Link
Cat AggressionHighDog is "cat-selective" - Dog will kill some cats.dog
Cat AggressionVery HighDog is "waaayyy too interested in the furry creatures" - Dog will kill a cat.Link
Cat AggressionVery HighDog "doesn't like cats" - Dog will kill a cat.dog
Dog AggressionHighThe dog is "dog-reactive" - Dog-aggressive specific, as if it presents no danger to humans (redirecting onto a human, etc).Link
Dog AggressionHighDog "lacks self-confidence" - Decoded translates into dog has "dog aggression."Link
Dog AggressionHighDog was "kept in the bathroom" away from other dogs.Link
Dog AggressionHigh"Selective dog" behavior - Dog will kill some dogs.dog
Dog AggressionHighDog is "dog selective" - Dog will kill some dogs.dog
Dog AggressionVery HighDog is "reactive toward other dogs" - Dog will kill a dog. This dog's bite history was hidden from the adopter and was part of the CBS LA investigation into Orange County Animal Care.Link
Dog AggressionVery HighMust be "only dog in home" - Dog will kill a dog.dog
Dog AggressionVery HighMust be "only K9 baby in the house" - Dog will kill a dog.Link
Dog AggressionScam AlertMerlot - Dog has "bold personality" and "dog savvy" - Dog is "dog selective" (Wine comparison hoax).Link
Dog AggressionScam AlertPort - Dog will "turn their noses on dog parks" and believes in "moDOGamy" - one dog per family (Wine comparison hoax).Link
Dog aggressionScam AlertDog is a "top dog trainee" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk dog to the public. "Floppy," is dog-aggressive, has a low children score and is too dangerous to be cat tested.Link
DruggedHighDog is taking Gabapentin - Anti-anxiety medication.Link
DruggedHighDog is taking Solliquin - Anti-anxiety medication.Link
DruggedHighDog is taking Trazodone - Anti-anxiety medication.Link
Escape ArtistHighDog is a "runner" - Dog has a history of escaping.Link
Escape ArtistHighDog has "great leaping ability" - Dog cannot be contained.Link
Failure to TestMod-HighDog had a "Checkpoint" evaluation instead of an actual behavior assessment.2018 APA7
Failure to TestMod-High"I don't know" - A response to adopter's question of dog's behavior.Link
Fatal Attack AggressionVery High"Trigger stacking" - A fabricated term used by a professional to excuse a fatal dog mauling.Link
Handler AggressionHigh"Lacks self-confidence" - Decoded translates into dog has "aggression towards his person/handler."Link
Implusive AggressionHighMust "limit his exposure to triggers" -- or the dog could explode into aggression. This dog did explode and severely attacked the author of the blog.Link
Implusive AggressionHighShelter will teach you how to get the "right routine down" - This translates into "limiting the dog's exposure to triggers."Link
Implusive AggressionHighDog needs "routine and structure" or "structure and consistency" - Both also translate into "limiting the dog's exposure to triggers," a list that could be exhaustive.Link
Implusive AggressionHighDog needs a "stable and structured" environment to stay "balanced." The 2019 advertisement omits that 8-year old "Bucky" had 4 different owners by 2012.Link
Implusive AggressionHighDog has had a "complicated road" - This is a "long stay" dog (over 60 days at the shelter), and indicates severe behavior problems, which the advertisement calls "all of his quirks."Link
Implusive AggressionHighDog has bad reactions to "loud noises and sudden movements."Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog has "toggle-switch" predatory aggression.Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog has impulsive "rage like" aggression.Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog has explosive, "disinhibited aggression."Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighImpulsive aggression is "pathological."Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog has "lack of impulse control."Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog has "deficient impulse control."Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog has "deficient bite inhibition."Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog has "impulsive aggression" - Unpredictable aggression.Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog is "reactive" - Dog is aggressive and lacks impulse control. This dog killed a person hours after adoption.Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog is getting "more and more reactive." Kinks was part of the KVOA investigation into Pima Animal Care Center. The dog's kennel card only stated, "I need a dog introduction."Link
Implusive AggressionVery HighDog has "unpredictable aggression to humans."Link
Lacks basic obedianceMod-HighDog is still "learning some manners."Link
Lacks basic obedianceHighDog "needs to learn manners."dog
Lacks basic obedianceHighDog "can use some training."Link
Lacks basic obedianceHighDog comes with "free obedience training."dog
Lacks Bite InhibitionMod-HighDog exhibits "mouthiness."Link
Lacks Bite InhibitionMod-HighDog is "mouthy" not aggressive.Link
Lacks Bite InhibitionMod-HighDog has "persistent mouthing."Link
Over arousalMod-HighDog has "bouncy play style."Link
Over arousalMod-HighDue to his "bounciness" children must be 8 years or older or dog is "too bouncy" for young children.Link
Over arousalMod-HighDog is "rambunctious."Link
Over arousalHighDog is "overly-exuberant" - A term used by a senior state HSUS director after her dog killed a woman with a Level 6 bite.Link
Over arousalHighDog has a "happy, energetic tale" - dog hung self in kennel on collar; later tore her own cruciate ligament by kennel jumping.Link
Over arousalHighDog has "popping play style."Link
Over arousalHighDog is an "adventure buddy" or makes a "great jogging partner."Link
Over arousalHighDog needs to "work off my puppy energy."Link
Over arousalHighDog is "high energy."Link
Over arousalVery HighDog "can't be startled."Link
Over arousalVery HighDog knows the "agility course" - Dog has constant over arousal, jumping up and biting at staff.Link
Over arousalVery HighDog has "sudden over-arousal."Link
Over arousalVery HighDog is "chronically over-aroused."Link
Over arousalVery HighDog has "inability to self-dampen."Link
Over arousalScam AlertSyrah - "Spicier than some" (Wine comparison hoax).Link
Stranger AggressionHighDog "lacks self-confidence" - Decoded translates into dog has "stranger aggression."Link
Stranger AggressionVery High"Stranger danger" - Dog will attack anyone visiting your home.Link
Uknown HistoryVery HighDog "found roaming."Link

Cross-Coded as "Victimhood" - Painting Aggressive Dogs as "Victims"


2020 Edition: Shelter Terms Cross-Coded as "Victimhood"
MeaningRisk LevelTermLink
VictimhoodVery High"Trigger stacking" - A fabricated term used by a professional to excuse a fatal dog mauling.Link
VictimhoodVery HighDog is "vulnerable and apprehensive." Instead of fetching tennis balls, this dog destroys the ball then eats the pieces.Link
VictimhoodVery HighDog is "kind of anxious" - Decoded translates into "extreme anxiety" even after "medication and behavior modification."Link
VictimhoodHighDog has "trust issues."Link
VictimhoodHighDog has "PTSD."Link
VictimhoodHighDog needs "transitional medication" - Behavioral medications that are sent home with adopter.Link
VictimhoodHighDog is very "stressed being here" (at the shelter).Link
VictimhoodHighDog is "confused why she is here" (at the shelter).Link
VictimhoodHighDog "needs to decompress."Link
VictimhoodHighDog has the "worst hard luck" story - Dog has been returned to the shelter 3 or more times.Link
VictimhoodHighDog "lacks self-confidence" - Decoded translates into "dog aggression" or "stranger aggression" or "handler aggression."Link
VictimhoodHighDog was "kept in the bathroom" away from other dogs.Link
VictimhoodHighDog is taking Gabapentin - Anti-anxiety medication.Link
VictimhoodHighDog is taking Solliquin - Anti-anxiety medication.Link
VictimhoodHighDog is taking Trazodone - Anti-anxiety medication.Link
VictimhoodMod-HighDog has "separation anxiety" - A term that can cloak severe aggression, like jumping out of a glass window.Link
VictimhoodMod-HighDog has "kennel stress" or "shelter stress."Link
VictimhoodMod-HighDog needs "structure and consistency."Link
VictimhoodMod-High"Unknown background" - Can indicate many things, including failing to tell adopter the dog has been returned 4 or 5 times.Link

A Final Quiz - Test Your New Knowledge


To test your new knowledge of behavior terms for shelter dogs, we're going to show you Bucky again without any highlights. You must erase from your mind the history of this dog that was hidden from its adopter in 2019. All that you are aware of is the description in the 2019 Facebook advertisement. Which key phrases demonstrate how dangerous this dog is? Which key phrases place this dog into our highest risk category of impulsive aggression (unpredictable aggression)?

If you can answer those questions, then you would not have needed to see the 2012 listing of Bucky anyway. The 2019 owner put the dog down after the second assault then contacted us. She knew she had done the right thing. She was also sympathetic with the rescue, until we showed her the 2012 advertisement of this dog in Internet Archives. She was shocked and upset. We did not publish her story on DogsBite -- she had wanted us too -- because we told her to sue the rescue.


Recent Shelter Investigations & Lawsuits


125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded

Taxpayer-funded shelters under the management of Mike Kaviani and Kristen Auerbach have been investigated by news organizations for adopting out dogs with undisclosed bite histories.

1,3,4,5,6,7The portion of the conference we listened to was Saving Dogs with Behavior Problems (Aimee Sadler, Mike Kaviani, & Marian Cannell) on February 12, 2018.
2The news investigation cameras seem to land on Mike Kaviani and Kristen Hassen-Auerbach the most. Kaviani was seen in both the 2016 KXAN Austin Animal Center/APA and the 2019 CBS LA Orange County investigations about adopting out dangerous dogs. Auerbach was featured in the 2018 KVOA Pima County 3-part investigation, is named in a lawsuit due to not disclosing a bite history, was working at Austin Animal Center (as second in command in 2016 during the KXAN investigation) and had left the Fairfax County Animal Shelter -- where she helped implement "no-kill" policies -- a year before that shelter exploded into a multi-part investigation by WUSA9.
3Aimee Sadler, founder of Dogs Playing for Life, claims that playgroups solve most aggression issues seen in shelter dogs. Playgroups are a "filtering tool" to spot the worst dogs. Playgroups are designed to increase save rate from 90% to 100%, to save the 10% of unadoptable, aggressive shelter dogs, many of which are pit bulls.
Sadler elaborates on the "crunchy period"
"When you are at a lower save rate, there is a really 'crunchy period' when you make that first leap [to reach 90% no-kill save rate] that it is going to be really painful, cause if you're using playgroups for your dogs specifically, just what he said, you will realize you don't have all of the problems that you thought. So how do you make that list? What I can share with you is that it forces -- if you are at this conference -- this conference is going to give you the solutions to get through that 'really painful hump' to be really creative and find solutions other than euthanasia."

4Sadler equates a shelter to a "prison cell"
"I always use that story, if I went to a foreign country and I was traveling, and I was just picked up by police and thrown in a cell [metaphor for a dog entering the sheltering system], and I couldn't speak the language, and I didn't understand and everybody was yelling and screaming at me, and threatening me [shelter workers are highly compassionate and do not yell and scream at dogs in their care and they certainly do not threaten them], and I was in that cell? I would not want to be judged by my behavior in that cell in that moment as a human being. That would not define who I am as a human being, if you decide to 'assess' the kind of person I was in that situation." [The idea is to dump all behavior assessments for shelter dogs.]

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03/20/20: Do Not Adopt A Pit Bull; Shelter Shenanigans During the Coronavirus Crisis
10/16/19: A Pit Bull Adoption Disaster: Animal Aggression, Anti-Anxiety Medication and More
05/08/18: Shelters and Humane Groups Often 'Encode' and 'Conceal' Aggression in Dogs...
10/21/17: Pit Bull Attacking Decoy Dogs Shown to Courtroom; Judge Orders Dog-Aggressive...
09/20/16: Many Shelters Candy-Coat Dogs with Aggressive Behaviors in their Zeal to Increase...