Savannah Gragg, 9-years old, was killed by her family pit bull in Kokomo.
Girl Dies of Severe Injuries
UPDATE 06/03/10: It was reported today that Savannah Gragg died this afternoon due to the severe injuries inflicted by the family pit bull last Saturday. Marion County Deputy Coroner Carrie England ruled her death was caused by lacerations to the trachea that created a lack of oxygen to the brain.1 Savannah had been opening the door to let the pit bull outside when the dog suddenly pounced on her, knocked her to the ground and savagely bit into her neck.
06/01/10: Victim's Condition Still Critical
Kokomo, IN - Over Memorial Day weekend, 9-year old Savannah Gragg was nearly killed by the family pit bull when she opened the door of her home to let the dog outside. The pit bull did not go outside. Instead, it jumped on Savannah, knocking her to the ground, clamped onto her neck and "shook violently," according to the Howard County Sheriff's Department. This type of attack -- knock the victim to the ground then attack the head or neck region -- is intended to kill.2
Savannah Gragg’s grandmother witnessed the attack and managed to free the child. When Deputy John Cipriano responded to the scene, he reported the girl was unconscious and unresponsive and had stopped breathing twice before medics arrived. Cipriano performed CPR and restored her breathing. Savannah was rushed to Howard Regional Health System then airlifted to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Her condition Monday was still listed as critical.
Cipriano said the family told him, which includes Savannah's mother, Stephanie Gragg, father Nicholas Gragg, and the unnamed grandmother, that the dog had "never shown aggression before" and that it was a "freak accident." Pit bull owners commonly use both phrases after their dog violently attacks, despite the well-known history3 of the breed to attack unpredictably, without provocation or warning signals4, and to inflict such attacks on family members.5
DogsBite.org has added "letting your dog out" to our list of pit bull attack triggers.
2This is not a "dog bite" readers, this is an attack of malicious and deadly intent.
3"The Care of Pit Bulls in the Shelter Environment," by Leslie D. Appel, DVM Director of Shelter Veterinary Outreach ASPCA.
4Dog Bite Prevention for Law Enforcement and Other First Responders, by Randall Lockwood, PhD, Tawzer Dog Videos, 2004 (View partial transcript).
5Animal Agency, PSPCA, Distorts History of 25-Year Old Pit Bull Problem, DogsBite.org, May 11, 2009.
05/03/10: Pit Bull Scalp Attack Victim, Brianna Watkins, Recuperating
05/09/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog
08/19/08: 2008 Fatality: Isis Krieger, 6-Years Old, Killed by Family Pit Bull
it is simply astonishing how the most benign of activities can trigger these frankenmaulers and their own family members to boot.
As recently spoken by KingHuman in a YouTube video, "The media is not inventing these stories. They are not manufacturing them out of thin air. These things happened. And they continue to happen. I'm not making it up!"
I was afraid we'd hear about another attack over the holiday weekend. I hope the child is able to pull through, but frankly, I'm sick to death of families that own pits, the media, and law enforcement officials calling these incidents "freak accidents". Nobody would be stupid enough to call it a "freak accident" if a child picked up an unsecured, loaded firearm from a coffee table and shot himself. They would rightly haul the parents in for child endangerment and manslaughter or negligent homicide charges. It's time for the same standards to be applied to pit bulls and pit bull owners. They KNOW what they have. They just don't give a damn and are arrogant enough to think it won't happen to them or their helpless children.
The sheriff's department in San Bernardino called that child's death an accident too. If that child had been left in a tub of water to drown, would they call that an accident? It's never an accident when a loaded gun goes off and kills a child, is it? Then why is it an accident for a pit to kill?
Frankenmauler "protector" Joe Cross of Howard County Health Department gets put on the hot seat. "Ba ba ba, all dogs bite," he tells the press. Howard County does not track dog bites by breed. I wonder why? Disgusting!
I had only just recently (within the past few hours) heard about this story. I come from Kokomo, but don't have many ties to that city anymore.
Unfortunately, a friend of mine from my high school days was this girls aunt, and just posted on Facebook that Savannah did not make it.
I was really hoping the child would be able to pull through. Sad news for a follow up. Unfortunately, it's all too common. How many deaths by pit does that make this year alone? Ten? Eleven?
Ryan, I am so sorry.
Do you know who the breeder of this dog was? As you can see by the comments on the craven desires site, the breeders of these dogs actually brag about how aggressive these dogs are.
Please beg this girl's aunt to encourage the family to to find an attorney and sue the breeder.
There is more about the breeders of these pit bulls and the Atomic Dogg type breeders at https://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-dislike-sleazy-lawyers-as-much-as-i.html
America, wake up.
How many more? What an absolutely horrible, horrible way to die. Poor child killed by ultimate canine gladiator, a man-made problem.
Man made solution? Ban the breed.
We were pulling for her, she was a fighter evidently. Bless her heart.
The Savannah R. Gragg obituary:
Savannah just ﬁnished third grade at Taylor Primary School where she was an honor student, served on the safety patrol and was a member of the Student Council. She was looking forward to entering Taylor Intermediate in the fall and was also excited about attending Vacation Bible Schools this summer at different churches she had visited. She was known as a friendly and very happy child who was well-liked by all. She played Junior Pixie softball at Taylor and liked the second base and shortstop positions.
One thing that dogsbite.org is so good at explaining and I wish the sheriff in Kokomo would learn is that this was no freak accident. Pit bulls are highly prey driven and unpredictable. The dog was doing what comes naturally and this poor little girl's death was caused by human ignorance.