DogsBite.org - On June 29th, DogsBite.org posted our Comment Policy to clarify that we do not post comments that blame innocent victims of severe and fatal dog attacks. We offer a voice for victims and people who care about these victims. We are not a sounding board for pit bull advocates or pit bull special interest groups. This policy is clearly visible on our comment form.
Just a few days after we posted our policy, a person named James (Jim) Crosby left a comment that ignored these rules. Crosby is a retired police officer and refers to himself as a "Canine Aggression Expert." He investigates fatal dog attacks and operates a consulting business called CanineAggression.org. According to his website, Crosby does not charge a fee for his "fatal dog attack" response services.
Crosby is also a pit bull owner who is aligned with several special interest groups that strongly oppose pit bull regulations: the American Canine Foundation (ACF) and the National Canine Research Council. Both organizations are pit bull propaganda machines. Simultaneously, he notes on his website that selective breeding of pit bulls has made them unlike any other dog breed:
"When they (pit bulls) ﬁght, human intervention has selected for animals that do not turn off, and do not stop ﬁghting until one, or both, are dead.1"
We have not changed Crosby's original comment, but we have used an underline for emphasis to show the horrific nature of his words. The comment he left regards the fatal attack of Mary Bernal. In June of last year, while Mary was visiting family members, she picked up her dachshund and was subsequently savagely attacked and killed by the family's pit bull, named Taz.
Genetic animal-aggression may have started the attack, as the pit bull was reportedly after the dachshund. Still, the dog latched onto Mary's scalp, flung her to the ground and drug her, still holding the scalp until it ripped clear off. Mary was airlifted to Halifax Medical Center and died shortly thereafter. Please remember how she died as you read through Crosby's comment.
"It's a shame that your reports are typically incomplete, as in this case. How do I know? I investigated this incident (and many others) in person.
This attack began before the day of the attack. Relatives were visiting for a month and had a small dachshund. The dachshund had received substantial attention, supplanting the dog Taz in many interactions. Just prior to the attack Ms. Bernal had picked up the dachshund because the two dogs had begun scrapping. When Ms. Bernal yelled at Taz and snatched the dachshund away, Taz went after the little dog. Bernal held the dog up and screamed. Taz's first bite was to Ms. Bernal's hand, where she was holding the dachshund. Her screaming intensified, triggering further action by Taz. Ms. Bernal went down and Taz continued attacking the screaming, thrashing woman. Ms. Macias stuck the dog repeatedly with a shovel, intensifying the attack.
Was this a reasonable attack? No-absolutely not. This attack was tragic. It was also unrelated to the breed of dog. ANY large dog could have, and probably has, shown the same behavior. I have seen it in attacks by breeds ranging from Pit Bulls to Dachshunds-who yes, have killed people.
I should also point out that the dog Taz suffered repeated seizures immediately after the attack, to the point that the Halifax Humane Society euthanized him within hours of the attack. Those seizures may well have been the cause of the attack-they could easily have been the result of a tumor or other neurological disease that could also explain the sudden aggression-without invoking the demon breed.
If you are going to publicly blog about these incidents, please get the actual facts and look for the real causes-like human behavior prior to the attack. In nearly every attack I have investigated on scene-and that is more that any other person ever has-there has been a human related pattern of behavior or a human fault that has directly led to the incident.
James W. Crosby"
12/08/08: Expert, James Crosby, Testifies in Aurora Fighting Breed Ban
11/20/08: Aurora, Colorado Fighting Breed Ban Goes to District Court
06/14/08: 2007 Fatality: Mary Bernal Killed by In-Law's Pit Bull