Please donate to support our work is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity organization. Learn more »

22 thoughts on “2012 Dog Bite Fatality: 15-Month Old Girl Killed by Family Pit Bull in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Please review our comment policy.

  1. What a terrible tragedy. That poor child. Thank God the neighbor killed the beast, otherwise someone would try to save it. And that someone could have been Trujillos, the AC guy. I can't believe he actually said there are no bad dogs. That's nutter speak.

    The grandmother is going to have to live with the memory of the horrifying last moments of her granddaughter's life. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But I do wish she had learned from other's mistakes, and gotten rid of that dog as soon as she had a grandchild. With pits, supervision is not enough to ensure a child's safety around them. She probably thought like so many others that her pit would never do such a thing.

  2. I have an article from the mid-1980s from Tijeras, New Mexico, which discusses the fatal attacks some thirty (30) years ago. Sadly, this is not something unheard of in New Mexico. In fact, the City of Tijeras was a pioneer in the area of Breed Specific Laws and that case and what the Judges say in its opinion reflect much of the same from all the way across the country in the recent Maryland, Solesky case. The more things change, the more they stay the same…Poor kid.

  3. That is creepy, mt! You know, I bet these owners were so pleased with how well the dog behaved around this child, up until this point, of course. I'm sure they really believed "it's all in how you raise them." They might have even fallen for the "nanny dog" claptrap.

  4. Oh boy…this is getting really sad, I think the killer dog is depicted on the father's Facebook timeline (Feb 13, 2012) right next to "I love these animals" and the famous poetry pict: "Judge the Deed, Not the Breed, So Give a Pit Bull a Try, Before Sentencing Them All to Die"… There just aren't words. Looks like it was a lazy house dog, just over 2-years old, that pulled the snap-o-la.

  5. Wow, so sad, mt! I might have missed it in the articles, but not sure whose dog attacked, whether it was his or the grandmother's. I just hate that other nutters slam the comments with how great the dogs are with not a care for the victim. That's all they care about — trolling for attack stories in order to defend the pits. And blaming the grandmother here. All the pictures we see of children with their faces right up to pit jaws, in order to prove how good they are with children — if the dog decided to attack, there would be nothing they could do even if they were only 2 feet away. Sometimes even when they are holding the child in their arms.

  6. oh looking at that little girl's face and those facebook pictures of the dog – it is very disheartening. One of the comments under the dog JOKINGLY says, "some dogs ya just gotta watch every minute!"

    I don't undestand why people can't get the idea that these dogs are unpredictable and they can be cute couch potatoes for years before killing.

  7. There are so many people who don't have knowledge or expertise with dogs. They rely on those who claim to be experienced for their guidance.

    When shelters, breeders, rescues, vets, animal control, AKC,UKC, and groups like Animal Farm Foundation give false consumer information and tell people that pit bulls are "nanny dogs" and "good with kids" and "just need love," that is false information that leads to death and injury. It is misrepresentation. It is consumer fraud.

    These people and groups need to be held responsible for the lies they tell.

  8. A real injustice was done here that should be highlighted.

    While this incident was unfolding, before the incident had even started to be investigated, the director of Amnimal Services, Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock, told an outrageous lie, falsified the truth, and blamed the victim and family.

    Beth Vesco-Mock is a DVM and she fabricated a lie to protect a fighting breed and cover the truth.

    She should lose her professional license, and certainly her job. She persecuted that family for her own personal interests.

    "The toddler appeared to have been left alone with the dog in the backyard, said Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock, director of the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley.

    "That is just not appropriate. Young children need to be supervised when they're around pets," said Vesco-Mock, who said that dogs can react, sometimes negatively, when children make sudden movements or behaviors around them.

    "It does not mean the dog is vicious, or a bad dog; there is no such thing as a bad dog, but you have to be responsible with your children," Vesco-Mock said.
    Animal Control officers took the pit bull to the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley."

  9. I wish that someone could tell me how Vesco-Mock was hired, because she had been fired from her previous job for poor performance in Animal Services in DeKalb Copunty Georgia.

    She apparently is a No Kill zealot and was also overcrowding the shelter.

    How does she even have a license?

    People must investigate who is running animal control in their area and research these people, because zealots who have been fired are just getting recycled and putting people at risk.

    Victoria L Voith DVM, PhD, DACVB
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    Western University of Health Sciences

    has anyone seen this the pitnutters are going crazy with it saying it debunks all research ever done on pitbulls i would like to have something to fire back at them regarding this it is also done by someone that has been referrenced before on this site is she now flip flopping please inform

  11. Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock also said this:

    Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock, director of the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley, noted that all dogs, including smaller breeds such as chihuahuas and cocker spaniels, bite, but not all can cause damage like a pit bull or other bully breeds. "It's like comparing shooting a .44-magnum to a .22-pistol," said Vesco-Mock, who said she once killed an 8-week-old pit bull puppy that was attacking the other puppies in the litter.

    She appears to be under the thumb and flipping around…

  12. Hmmm…I read where they wouldn't build a profile because it would be used for BSL purposes.

    Smokescreening bastards the nutters are…

  13. Very sad loss or losses..All these victims tragedies are terrible!! I am very curious to know at what point in time or era did the pitbull breed begin to get so out of control like this? I've seen some people say 30 years now?? I know there was a time..even if it was long ago…that they weren't THIS out of control..running around mauling children and killing their owners. Deaths and attacks monthly…crazy!! I am honestly curious as to when this madness began. Was it really 30 years ago?

  14. What a disturbing update to this already horrible incident.

    I am at a loss for words.

    This was indeed a crime and not an accident.

Comments are closed.