Death Due to Bites
UPDATE 03/30/11: New information has been released about a 55-year old man who was discovered dead last December. Autopsy results from the state Office of Medical Investigator show that bite wounds inflicted by dogs killed Larry Armstrong on December 6. Investigators wrote in their report that they didn't know if Armstrong, who had a history of seizures, suffered one before the dogs attacked or if he was conscious when the dogs began attacking him.
Investigators do appear to know the owners of the dogs responsible for killing the man. Rob Platero, the Navajo Nation's chief of criminal investigations in Window Rock, is mentioned in the article. Platero said that samples from the dogs were "sent out for examination to test for rabies or other diseases." When the results come back, "an investigator will meet with a tribal prosecutor to determine if a complaint will be filed against the owners of the dogs," he said.
12/10/10: Victim Identified
McKinley County sheriff's deputies said they arrived to find a pack of dogs gnawing on the body. Deputies said they didn't know if the victim was alive or dead at the time of the mauling. The victim was identified as Larry Armstrong. Because the incident occurred on tribal land, the FBI and Navajo police will conduct a joint investigation. Deputies believe the man "could have been hit by a vehicle before the attack" due to nearby tire marks and vehicle debris.
The state Office of the Medical Investigator will determine the cause of death.
12/10/10: Sparse Information
Gallup, NM - In a developing story, the Gallup Independent reports that a 55-year old man was attacked and killed by a pack of "wild dogs" on Wednesday. The incident occurred just west of Sundance Road. The photo depicts a "rez dog" (short for Indian reservation dog) near the clothing of the victim and a law enforcement's vehicle with an open door. No further information was provided in the brief article. Please leave additional links in the below comment section.
Learn about breed-specific laws on Indian reservations in our Breed Safety Laws section.
08/19/09: 2009 Fatality: Senior Couple Killed by Pack of Dogs in Oglethorpe County
08/15/09: 2009 Fatality: Winterhaven Man Killed by Pack of Dogs
A lot of people might not understand how bad the "rez dog" problem is. I've driven through Gallup and this reservation. You can't say "THIRD WORLD POOR" loud enough. There's a reason why many Native Americans ended up on "tribal land" where there is zero vegetation and sustainability — the land has zero monetary value. I was absolutely horrified when driving through the region. The enormous poverty contributes to the packs of under nourished dogs that roam these lands. I recall it being popular by some to say, "I rescued a rez dog." Meaning, a truly messed up dog — frequently neglected, abused and underfed. For this reason, I wouldn't touch a rez dog with a 10-foot pole. Many rez dogs are also pit bulls and pit bull-mixes. (Surprise, surprise, the rez dogs do not differ from the massive unwanted population of pit bulls across U.S. shelters.)
truthbird, I'm sorry, but none of my experiences allow this problem to be laid at the feet solely of "poverty."
There is an enormous amount of tax money flowing into the reservations, vast welfare programs, and free educations through post-graduate college degrees for anyone who chooses to take advantage of them.
(For example, reservation dwellers could obtain free veterinary degrees if they chose, and lead the community, educate, and receive countless funds, grants, and assistance to improve this situation with animals, which is also public health related)
Humane groups offer free spaying and neutering, and other services.
However, the bottom line is that too many on the reservations CHOOSE not to avail themselves of assistance, CHOOSE not to make choices that would benefit their animals, and there has been a growing dog fighting problem on reservations that of course brings pit bull breeding into the picture.
Dog fighting occurs on reservations for the same reasons it does off reservations- gambling. There is money available for blood sports.
This is not a problem that can be blamed on poverty. It is a problem of choices that people make, and the failure of leaders to educate and lead responsibly and enforce law, and even the corruption of leaders.
There will be nothing close to the truth that emerges from any investigation of this incident because tribal leaders will control any and all information, particularly if it casts a negative light on them and the situation.
This incident will be swept under the rug, and likely blamed on anything but reality.
If there was any connection to dog fighting, there will be complete silence on that issue. It will be completely covered up by leaders.
I must point out here that I was sent some chat from an AKC breeder board where some of the breeders, angry at regulation of their puppy mills, talked about renting land on reservation property so they could abuse animals without fear of law enforcement or consumer complaints.
Dog fighters have talked about the same.
(Of course, as outsiders, their profits would be taken by rez leaders, so that idea is nonsensical, but it points to a big problem)
Unfortunately, there is tolerance of illegal and cruel behavior on some reservation land, and no attempts to change that behavior.
The influx of dog fighting has made this worse.
And people OFF reservation are getting attacked by pit bulls being bred ON reservation, that are roaming and cross the border.
Tribal leaders have done nothing about these issues.
I did not blame the entire problem on poverty. I was merely pointing out that what I saw with my own two eyes absolutely shamed me as an American citizen. Here is an interesting piece from 2009 from the same area.
Indian reservations, when I have driven through them in Southwestern USA; including Arizona and New Mexico are indeed 3rd World Country impoverished. Drugs, alcohol, disease, etc have devastated their community. It doesn't surprise me at all their ther would be pit bull problems as well. Crime and pit bulls go hand in hand.
I think the problem, truthbird, is a breakdown in leadership.
There is just a huge amount of money from the country as a whole pouring into the reservations, and many opportunities that other people don't have, but the "little people" on the reservations get shafted.
The leadership seems to be directing this money and aid to their own interests.
Another example. If reservation leaders desired, they could get millions from U.S. taxpayers to set up efficient animal control departments, make laws and enforce them, and educate.
They CHOOSE not to. They have financial availability, they get the assistance, they have the money.
But it is about choices, and quality and ethics of leadership, and who controls the money.
Oppression can come from one's own group, as evident everywhere in the world.
Also, the dog fighting issue seems to involve the higher ups, shall we say, as it does on some non-rez areas.
Congratulations Steve! You did VERY well, without malice but with clear intent to protect your family.
I wanted to start this with a great thanks for the wonderful job that you are doing.
That said, the reason that I am writing is to say that at least in one case common sense beat out the lies of the pit-bull community.
I have been living in my small apartment for a bout 10 years. I have had neighbors with everything from small dogs, to an older black Lab.
New neighbors moved in about 6 months ago. These are the neighbors from Hell. So far they have threatened to take my head off, threatened to break down my door, use drugs, alcohol, smoke, etc.
Last week my wife and small child (9Mo) left to visit family…. thank god. Next day I hear whining coming from the downstairs. Later on that day, I asked the neighbor about it, and he told me that he had talked to the landlord, and that the LL had approved the dog.
As I am talking to the neighbor, I see the dog in question. It is red pitbull. I was livid. out of all the nice dogs, needy dogs out there, they get a pit!. I actually was not surprised given the history of the relationship with them.
I thought about moving right away, as the thought of having neighbors with a Pit living in close quarters with a 9 month old infant sent chills up my spine.
I went on-line and looked at several options. I stumbled upon your site and found what I needed. I live in MA, and there recently was a case decided against a LL who had allowed by inaction, a pitbull to stay. I looked up the data, found a case in the MA state supreme court called Nutt vs. Florio.
I called the LL over, for a completely unrelated issue in order to confront him about the dog. He told me that the dog was there without his permission (yet the tenants knew how much more a month they had to pay), and that there was nothing he could do (but line his pockets in his mind), as the dog was already there (not a very good LL).
I wrote a letter addresed to him and his father (who is the real owner, and the one who makes the decisions. The son is just a stopped drain unclogger type).
Within the letter, I specified the law, what an exposure they would have if the dog got out and attacked an innocent bystander, dog, or animal with the caveat that now they were responsible for the dogs actions for allowing him to live there, even though they are not the owners. I also asked them about liability insurance to cover any damage, destruction or mauling inflicted by this animal.
I went away for the weekend, and when I came back, I learned that the dog was gone, hopefuly not to another house with small children…. In fact hopefuly to a place where he can never harm anything….
I am a dog lover, I have had dogs all my life ranging from Boxers (the real ones, not the pitbull trying to act like a boxer type.) to Border Collies. Never have I thought of owning a Pit bull. I just hate the breed for what it does to my beloved dogs!
Again, thanks for your blog, as it helped me get out of a tough spot, as I am unemployed, and would have a great many expenses if I had to move.
Steve, that's awesome! Bully for you for not taking the son's word for it that he could do nothing. And Thank you, Colleen, for making the information available that helped him solve his pit problem.