From left: Steven Woods, his pit bull (in pink) and former attorney Randy Turner.
UPDATE 08/11/11: Pit bull owner Steven Woods recently made the local news again after his two dogs got loose and attacked a man walking with his pregnant wife and young son. Luckily, victim Gary Latimer had a defense weapon handy. When the male pit bull, King, locked onto his arm, he stabbed the dog repeatedly. The other pit bull, Mimi, who was the focal point of the Steven Woods scandal last year, was involved in the latest incident but did not inflict bites.
It was reported Thursday that a judge ordered both dogs euthanized immediately. Woods, who formerly lied about his military record to help raise over $17,000 to save Mimi from death row last year, did not even show up for the court hearing. Brandon Bennett, director of Fort Worth’s Code Compliance, warned a few weeks ago that Woods could be charged with a felony due to the new biting incident. The district attorney's office is expected to make a decision soon.
Back in July, a separate Save the Mauler campaign was derailed in Virginia after police authorities euthanized a deaf pit bull, named Polar, after it killed a baby.
12/29/10: Pit Bull Owner Lies About War Record
Fort Worth, TX - After weeks of enjoying local celebrity status and raising more than $17,000 for his cause, disabled veteran Steven Woods and his so-called "therapy" pit bull, Mimi, are now on skid row. WFAA/News 8 reported Monday that Woods' sob story, claiming to have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom1 and needed his dog to help him cope with PTSD, was fraudulent. After making inquiries to the Army, WFAA learned that Woods never served in Iraq.
After two alleged biting incidents earlier this year, city officials deemed Mimi dangerous. The designation required Woods to abide by new restrictions, as well as to pay the many violations that were racked up by Mimi and his other pit bulls. Woods' story, echoed by his former lawyer, Randy Turner2 -- who called him a "war hero" and a victim of a "vindictive prosecution" -- enticed pit bull lovers and "no-kill" fanatics to unleash a predictable and vengeful campaign.
Save the two-time mauler at all costs and that includes vilifying and falsely characterizing anyone who gets in the way.
The case of Woods is similar to that of Vanessa Carlton, which began back in May. It also partially mirrors ongoing events in Denver and Aurora where military veterans Allen Grider and Glenn Blecher are filing lawsuits in order to keep their pit bull "service dogs" despite the prohibition of the breed in both cities.3 Did Woods make up his war hero, therapy pit bull story in a vacuum? A Google search on the terms military veteran pit bull suggests otherwise.
Woods is just another pit bull owner using deviant tactics to get his dangerous dog back. But his story does come with a twist. He and his former attorney effectively mobilized the Save the Mauler community with no evidence of his actual past. It is also unusual that a local news station investigated Woods' story. Kudos to WFAA's efforts and Fort Worth city officials who had to put up with the onslaught of unfair accusations brought by these zealous groups.
Woods is a fraud all right. But one should question just how easy it was for him to dupe his former attorney and leverage the Save the Mauler community to help his cause. It must be noted that at least two persons were badly bitten by his dogs -- Mimi was reportedly involved in both incidents. There should be no sympathy for Woods or his two-time mauler. We're just waiting for Tia Torres or Mary Kay to show up and promise the dog's magical rehabilitation.
Blogger Craven Desires has more on Woods.
2Woods' former animal law attorney, Randy Turner, "spread the story world wide"...
3It must be noted that in 2009 and under uniform policy adoptions, both the U.S. Army and Marines banned pit bulls and other dangerous dog breeds from all privatized housing.
07/29/10: Blogger Seeks Justice for Vanessa Carlton After Pit Bull Biting Incident
06/29/10: Pit Bull Owner Lies After Dog Declared "Dangerous," Dog Attacks Again
09/13/09: U.S. Marine Corps Bans Pit Bulls and Other Breeds; Policy Affects All...
09/08/09: Typical "Deviant" Pit Bull Owner Captured on Video at Hearing
06/20/09: James Harrison's Pit Bull "Patron" is Up for Adoption Under New Breed Name
03/17/09: U.S. Army Adopts Breed Restriction Policy for RCI Privatized Housing