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38 thoughts on “2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills Man Trying to Save Heart Attack Victim in Wheeling

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  1. And, to the neighbor, I have this to say: Denial is NOT a river in Egypt.

  2. If pit bulls aren't the most vicious dogs out there, they sure are the stupidest. When was the last time a Chihuahua had a 'misunderstanding' that left one person dead, let alone two? Or any other breed, for that matter?

  3. It's not normal dog behavior to "misunderstand" the circumstances and kill someone. For pits though, it happens quite regularly.

  4. It attacked its owner first, and he had a heart attack, so the dog killed the person trying to save its owner? Is this correct? Why not shoot it on the spot?

  5. It was only a matter of time before this happened in my city. Yes, we have BSL, but to the best of my observation, it has never been enforced.

    As for the local media, the Intelligencer/News Register (morning and evening editions of the same paper) editorialized against passing the pit bull law when it was first proposed, arguing that it wouldn't stop anyone from buying a poodle and training it to be a killer. (They actually used a poodle as an example.) However, they also publish most of the letters they receive, so might want to submit a letter to the editor.

    WTRF has long been a friend to local animal shelters. Unfortunately, shelters no longer always mean the same thing they once did. It is not surprising.

    The local no-kill rescue is scrambling to save the pit bull, contacting Best Friends hoping they will take the dog. Ours is not a wealthy city and we still have many perfectly good dogs that haven't killed anyone being put down in shelters.

  6. Swingdog has some good comments at the Intelligencer article.

    Swingdog – Dogs are quite literally human inventions. They constitute one of man's first successful efforts to create biological tools to enhance human abilities to control their environment. Early in the process humans learned to breed dogs specifically to defend their property and their masters. They also specifically bred dogs for "sport combat", essentially turning them into virtual killing machines. Unfortunately, the pit bull was originally designed to "fight in a pit" to the death. It is both physically and mentally preconditioned for this purpose. It may be possible to make "pets" of such dogs, but it is virtually impossible to erase generations of breeding and training make the animal "safe". The body of the pit bull is in keeping with its fighting purpose. It has enormously strong jaws and can absorb strong blows without stopping its attack. Not a good animal to be a family companion.

  7. Ugh. I didn't think anyone in a position of authority would allow this pos dog to walk free. I really hope common sense prevails, or a family member of one of the deceased makes sure the dog is put down.

  8. The dog fighters and breeders have the mindless pit bull advocates right where they want them, saving the surplus and dangerous from those breeders, so the breeders can kill them by the thousands.

    Breeders are responsible for many thousands of pit bulls dying every day thanks to overbreeding which in turn is mostly thanks to the marketing and promotions of advocacy.

    Yet the advocates do nothing but help those breeders breed more and more and increase the deaths of pit bulls.

    These mindless followers don't even seem to realize the harm they are doing and the large number of deaths they are helping to create.

  9. If these people are thinking that Best Friends Animal Society is the answer, they are even more mindless than I realized.

    When the problems with Steve Markwell and Olympic Animal Sanctuary came to light, it was revealed that Best Friends shifted the vicious pit bulls to place like Olympic or worse (Don Chapman) when they were asked to help, to be be tortured and die.

    Best Friends was not taking them in to their sanctuary because of expense and liability issues, and because of an overall reduction at their sanctuary.

    But the donors never knew.

  10. Yesterday's News-Register had an article titled, "Registered Dogs on the Decline," in which officials admit that there are far more pit bulls present in the city than are properly registered, and that many owners are non-compliant. I personally have seen multiple pit bulls around our city, and I have never, ever seen one muzzled while being walked off the owner's property.

  11. If anyone here is still donating to Best Friends Animal Society, stop. Now. Your money is funding pit bull promotion.

  12. "Ohio county dog warden I'd Doug McKrosky, I spoke to him yesterday. He said the dog could be released to an immediate family member because of liability"

    An animal control officer who aids and abets the pit bull lobby, and helps get a dog that has killed back out in the public to kill again, is NOT an animal control officer, but an arm of special interests

    I'm appalled that this man is giving special advice and suggestions to help the the pit bull lobby.

  13. Animal Control officer Doug McCroskey was singing a somewhat different tune in 2011. It looks like the pit bull lobby has put pressure on him in the meantime, and he gave in. McCroskey now appears to have decided to play the role of prosecutor.

    Pit Bull Problem Growing on Wheeling Island
    Updated: Apr 29, 2011 6:34 PM EST
    Animal owners not keeping an eye on their pets is becoming a repeat problem on Wheeling Island, according to officials with the Ohio County Animal Shelter. Ohio County Dog Warden Doug McCroskey says that this past weekend, two unattended pit bulls attacked and killed a pet cat and chased a man a few days later. McCroskey says that when these types of animals get loose and cause harm, owners need to take more responsibility. He adds that the animals are getting more of a punishment than the people that own them, and said that when an animal gets loose, it is usually the owner’s fault. McCroskey said that after an incident occurs, it is up to the city prosecutor to determine whether the dog is vicious and whether charges will be filed against the owner.

  14. This area has also had a number of violent pit bull attacks that have gone unreported in the media. Clearly these attacks are being intentionally kept from public view, until one of them rose to the level of a fatality and the information could not be suppressed.

    I saw this comment from a local resident

    "This is a very sad case. I wonder why the newspaper said when they arrived the dog was mauling the victim, but now they are saying 2 bites? I love dogs so I'm not saying I favor one or the other on the report. There have been a good bit of pit attacks in the valley that go unreported. A man was mauled by 2 Pitts in McMechan just 2 weeks ago and not a peep in the media."

  15. Tamara Lightner, who is the person on that page who is organizing all the stories denying that the dog was violent and also trying to to "save" the dangerous dog and claiming direct contact with Dog McCroskey the dog warden, is a fanatical pit bull lobbyist who has been doing this kind of thing all over the internet for the past several years.

    She also is personal friends with Doug McCroskey and his family.

    McCroskey has some questions to answer about who is is serving exactly.

    Go down to her comment in the memory journal.

  16. It has been a miracle that the neighbors or other tenants in the building were not killed by this dog, or its mother, which apparently had died recently.

    It makes you wonder where the other puppies from this litter were sold to and what they have done.

    The woman who was visiting was also very lucky that she was able to escape being attacked by exiting a second floor window.

    This event also shows the importance of filing complaints and notifying the property owner when aggressive dogs are at a property they own.

    The dog owner was not following the laws, and the property owner should have been notified.

  17. Supposedly, the attacking animal has a prior: It attacked a woman in the street a few weeks prior to the double murder.

  18. Awwww, you people are so mean. The poor wibble pibble-wibble should be freed from that nasty cage. Release it back into the community so it can kill again.

  19. Blogger Your Quiet Neighbor said…
    If anyone here is still donating to Best Friends Animal Society, stop. Now. Your money is funding pit bull promotion.

    3/11/2015 10:28 AM

    I am happy to say one of my neighbors USED to be a donor to Best Friends, I gave her some info on it and the legislative work Ledy Vankavage has done to promote pit bulls and my neighbor stopped.

  20. And they won't even have the decency to warn the new neighbors of these vicious maulers. This is why pits = threat, you just cannot trust them or their owners.

    I loathe those rescue angels. When there are many dogs to save that aren't vicious- especially with the glut of maulers in the shelters- why save a deadly one? I hope that if someone does save her, they get attacked instead of an innocent or stranger- because the odds that mauler won't attack again are very low.

  21. There also is another development in Wheeling animal control issues that came up in mid 2014.

    Local Wheeling police used to handle animal control and dog issues in Wheeling, but Ohio County WV animal welfare officer (animal control or dog warden) Doug MCCroskey was pushed into their territory to assert dominance in animal control, as aided by Wheeling City Solicitor Rose Humway Warmuth, who was pressuring Wheeler to cede control of animal issues to the county instead of local.

    This is often bad news for dog attack victims as more centralized county or state control means that, unfortunately, special interests such as pit bull lobbyist interests can sometimes assert control into local cases, and put locals and local police at their mercy, never a good situation.

    Look where that has led them now.

    While the local police wanted to wait until a full investigation was finalized before releasing information, they were one-upped by COUNTY animal control officer Doug McCroskey who ran out after interaction with local pit bull lobbyists and behind the backs of Wheeling police, to a local radio entertainment dj to undertake a propaganda campaign and assert unproven things when an investigation was ongoing.

    As seen in the picture on that article, the man in Steve Novotney's photograph provided to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette was Doug McCroskey.

  22. I saw your link to the Webark group trying to get this dog put out in public again to kill again.

    Did you see this response? Just think if you are this man's neighbor, or you live in an area where this man resells these dogs to. People like this will willingly put everyone at risk just because of a post they see on social media by extremists.

    He'll sign a waiver but then he'll resell this dog that killed someone, perhaps two people, and attacked three people, and you won't even know what moved in next door until you or your child are dead.

    This is what pit bull advocacy and No Kill, and the pit bull breeders, are doing.

    "Ricky Lang. How do I get ahold of the shelter or pound she's at…I'd like to save her. I'll sign any waiver needed..I've rescued these poor dogs before and rehomed them. I would love to make her part of my family."

  23. Wheeling resident weighing in again.

    I'd like to tell you that such Herculean efforts are not being made on behalf of other animals slated for euthanasia in Ohio County. The Ohio County shelter is not no-kill. They get in a lot of animals, and some are euthanized because the shelter simply runs out of space. As you can see they have lots of dogs of all breeds.

    The Ohio County shelter isn't a bad shelter by any means, but they aren't visible in the community like some other local shelters and rescues are. They don't have awareness events like the nearby Marshall County Shelter, which is constantly having community events.

    The Lightners are a very well-known local family. Robert Lightner was a very popular and high-profile Sheriff of nearby Marshall County for 16 years. Tamara has gotten herself very involved in local pet rescue. If you visit the Facebook pages of rescues and shelters in Ohio and Marshall counties, you'll see she is very active on there.

  24. It seems to be more often happening that people who think they are getting involved in pet rescue get sidetracked into pit bull lobbying, and don't understand that the pit bull lobby has, at its heart, financial interests which are based on being able to keep exploiting pit bulls, and everyone else

  25. Webark Estates recently updated their Facebook page explaining their policy of banning people who express opinions against rescuing Sheba the pit bull:

    Please note the following before you post a comment:
    Anyone who has something rude or unpleasant to say is being removed from this page. We are not required to allow "freedom of speech". This is our page, not yours. Don't like that news? Stay off the page. Problem solved!

    They have also updated with "breaking news" that the pit bull may be rescued.

  26. The fanatics do nothing about the thousands of pit bulls dumped and euthanized every day thanks to their promotion, but they will work to send this dog to a dog warehouse and cruel and dangerous conditions with no history of success.

    The picture of South Hills Pet Rescue and Rehabilitation Resort, located in Union Township, Pennsylvania is chilling. There are puppy mills that look better. Dogs have been freezing out in the cold with only torn thin plastic that provides no cover.

    This whole situation is reminiscent of Steve Markwell and Olympic Animal Sanctuary, who took bite and aggression case dangerous dogs in exchange for large amounts of money.

    He claimed to "rehab" but had no proven abilities or success. Most of the dogs were warehoused and tortured. Others disappeared. Best Friends Animal Society was the main referrer to Markwell.

    South Hills Pet Rescue and Rehabilitation Resort, located in Union Township, Pennsylvania has NO track record. They have only been doing this "rescue" for the past year. Even after just a year, they are already failing and aren't taking care of the kennels or dogs properly and receiving citations.

    The dog will be redumped, more than likely (to save money on care) to kill again and perpetuate the "bad rap" the fanatics claim to hate, or get redumped again to die at a shelter or on the streets, and the fanatics that sent the dog there or gave money won't even know.

    They want to believe in fantasies.

    "Ashley Rittle's husband, Nick Ferraro, an animal behaviorist, bought the pet resort three years ago. Rittle added the rescue operation a year ago, she said."

  27. City Solicitor for Wheeling, Rosemary Humway Warmuth should be asked why she is allowing a dog that attacked three people and killed a man to be sent to a questionable facility with no track record, to kill again.

    It was Warmuth who was pictured with that animal control officer Doug McCroskey and pressured the city to cede control to the county.

  28. It really is awful. The only thing the Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron is worried about is "liability" to the city. Not his problem if the dog maims or kills a child in another state. If he were so sure this dog was safe, why have so many fears and paperwork needed to ENSURE the dog can never be a liability to the city? Herron even knows about the recent verbal and written violations to the kennel by the PA Bureau of Dog Law too and still he does not care. The timing of the inspection is most certainly related to Sheba's transfer on Wednesday — the inspection was Tuesday. The situation is very remnant of Markwell; he eventually went down with a big bang too. I don't know if you saw the second photo on the Trib site, but they will probably use Sheba as some type of mascot…

  29. South Hills is a pretty affluent area south of Pittsburgh. Fits with what we know about the animal rights extremist movement — it attracts a lot of affluent people. Mostly white. And the dead men in this case? Well, they were African American.

    People, there are race and class issues all over this case. Why isn't it getting the coverage that, say, the shooting deaths of unarmed men of color get

  30. I wish that the governor of Pennsylvania could explain how, if this dog had been owned by a PA resident, it would at least have a dangerous dog designation and some requirements in place to protect the public and other animals.

    Because it's a trafficking from another state, a dog that attacked three violently and killed one, escapes the law?

    From what I read about how this operation South Hills runs, they use a lot of volunteer free labor. Women and children who are caring for dogs with little supervision and no idea that some of these dogs have violent histories of attack and kill.

    They are literally sitting ducks, as are the neighbors because the kennels are broken down and unsafe.

    Then when they resell the dog, the history is just wiped clean, and the buyer has no idea what they are getting into and what precautions they need to take? This place is handing out dogs that also violently attack and kill other pets.

    They have 50 dogs and adding. How can they possibly care for all these bite history, dangerous dogs in any way? Well, the citations show they already aren't. The barriers that even prevent the dogs from killing each other in the kennel are broken down, the walls are coming down.

    For a pit bull advocacy that is supposed to care so much about the bad rap of these dogs and their treatment, and the fact that they are showing up in the media headlines in attack situations, all they are doing is setting Sheba up for another negative situation, besides putting the dog in a failing warehouse.

    The fanatics don't even care about the dog.

  31. Take a look at the updates about Sheba and the comments…
    There's one PA resident who is even thrilled that the dog is coming to "his neck of the woods"…

    I can tell you that overall, this is not generally a part of the country that cares much about animals. Our shelters are always full, with just as many other dog breeds as pits. Literally right across the river from Wheeling is Belmont County, OH, whose shelter is so infamously overcrowded with dogs and cats that at one point the HSUS had to step in. A while back, we had a popular local radio host who loved to mock any sort of concern for animal welfare–he once spent an entire morning deriding a group of people who had saved a kitten trapped in a storm drain. Another radio host slaughtered a cow as an on-air stunt.

    So don't believe that this is about concern for sparing a "poor puppy"'s life. Many, many other dogs and cats who have no such history are destroyed each and every day in the Upper Ohio Valley. Nor are residents and leaders progressive in any way in improving the lot of animals.

  32. And I forgot to add that one of our few tourist attractions is a dog racing track, a sport which has been abandoned in many other parts of the country as cruel.

    Data collected shows a higher than average injury rate for greyhounds at the two WV tracks:

    So once again, clearly we don't care much about dogs who don't attack people here…

  33. The fanatics do not care about the dogs. Why not? Because it isn't about the dogs, it's about them. You can almost hear them thumping their chests and shouting "Look at me! I am a RESCUER!"

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