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65 thoughts on “2017 Dog Bite Fatality: 22-Year Old Woman Dies in 'Grisly Mauling' by Her Own Pit Bulls in Virginia

  1. They preserved the dogs because they are probably going to have to show they were culpable. However, they really should put them down to test their stomach contents, which would then be undeniable evidence.

  2. The pit bull defender comments on some of the news sites are beyond belief. Pit bull defenders are seriously advocating that she was murdered, and the police are covering it up by blaming her pit bulls. More evidence that the most vocal pit bull defenders are not playing with a full deck. I am glad this woman's evil pit bulls did not kill an innocent bystander.I'm sure this woman had heard stories of owners being killed by their pit bulls, and she made excuses for the pit bulls, just as people are now making excuses for her murderous pit bulls.

  3. "I hope the truth comes out in time to save them…" WTF?!? Is this guy serious?! I'd bet both beasts were wagging their little pittie tails the entire time they were ripping her to death. Save them? Do nutters even hear how psychotic and irrational they are? This young woman's blood and clothing are strewn about the woods, and this jackwad is already talking about saving them.
    Here….let me get the "reasons why the sweet dogs murdered a human" ball rolling for the nutters : She was experiencing her monthly menses and the dogs were triggered by the hormonal changes. No, wait… a squirrel jumped on her and the dogs accidentally ripped her throat out while snapping at the squirrel. No, wait…some rogue coyotes killed her while the dogs were up ahead and the dogs came back to find their beloved owner dead. No, wait… the dogs were both rabid or suffering from some neurological defect. No, wait…she must have beaten them and starved them because it's all in how you raise them. We all know it couldn't POSSIBLY be…wait for it….genetics!
    I feel terrible for the first responders who had to deal with the aftermath of another horrific attack.

  4. I think the average pit bull isn't in shape and becomes tired, otherwise they would still be mauling hours later.
    "Guarding her body?" They are guarding "their kill".
    Resting, to maul again later.
    They cannot help themselves. Killing is their default behavior.

    It's cruel to support dog fighters breeding of their game insane dogs.

  5. I was reading the comments last night after this article and the numbers of people who didn't believe it was her pits or were making excuses was astounding. Everyone seemed to have their own idea of what had happened, none of them believed it could have been pits just doing what pits were bred to do.

  6. Wow there is alot of crazy in the comments section of the news sites. Here is a sampling of my favorites:
    1. The are not pit bulls. They look like cane corse because of their size.
    2. She should have got them as puppies.
    3. They came across another dog or prey that attacked all three of them.
    4. a coparison of shooting to the dogs to police shooting black people
    5. Her exhusband did this.

  7. MKB, to prove to who? The victim's friends? DNA evidence is used to charge people for felony crimes. When no evidence of a homicide or any crime is apparent, there is no need for law enforcement to run DNA. That said, if the family wanted to — in order to claim a wild animal was responsible — they could pay for these tests themselves.

  8. In the photos in the article linked by Colleen, the one with the dog leaning on her shoulder is telling. She has the dog muzzled!
    It bothered me that the sheriff in his statement said He suspected that the dogs had been bred for fighting. Now the advocates will be all over that as the reason she is dead. Nope, she is dead because she didn't understand the breed. People who do don't own them, and avoid them.

  9. Essentially all pit bulls are bred for FIGHTING.

    I cannot find any pit bull BULLY dog breeder that says "we breed for normal dog social behaviors".

    "We never breed dog aggressive dogs. All our dogs have excellent dog social skills. Our dogs will not fight. Our dogs are not game. Our dogs are curs."

    When a pit website states "No Dogs Sold For Illegal Purposes" that means the dogs ARE bred to mature to suddenly become deadly game insane killers.

    Non bully dog breeders don't have to include that phrase because their dogs aren't bred to be psychopaths.

  10. Interesting choice of words: "grisly mauling by… pit bulls". Is there anything OTHER than a "Grisly" mauling by a pit bull? What is the percentage of grisly vs. non-grisly mauling?

    I'd say, the grislyness is baked in the cake.

  11. You better believe it is baked in. Notice the sheriff's terminology, used "carcass" to describe body. Also, "We spent a lot of time there at the scene and made some observations that, out of respect for the family, we're not releasing," Agnew said.

  12. I'm hearing that the Sheriff's Department confirmed dogs have been put down. Good. There won't some ridiculous lawsuit to try to rehome to some delusional liontamer with kids and other pets in the home.

  13. I read in a comment, that the police report mentioned the dogs were throwing up patches of her hair and bits of her clothing…I wish I had screenshots. Who would get to read the report? Relatives? Press?

  14. Without end, Pit advocates state: "They must have been raised wrong." What exactly does this mean? Clearly they are trying to say that if you raise a Pit lovingly from puppyhood they will grow up to be a great dog. But this woman did raise them from puppyhood lovingly. Acknowledge in this statement is that they can be "raised wrong". But when a Golden Retriever is raised wrong it may run off or jump on you. Not kill you. Breeding and training are two separate things, which can enhance or worsen inherent traits. Breed traits and breeding gives you a Pointer that points instinctively, a Shepherd that herds instinctively. And a Pit that grabs on and mauls. With training, you can teach a dog to sit, stay, fetch, and also hone the traits they were bred for. A shepherd does not buy a Beagle for herding. What we have now everywhere are Pits, bred for attack and maul, being sold into your everyday American home. They're so cute as puppies. But look what they grow up to do.

  15. The press is including misleading hearsay from the victim's "friend", who stated, "When we looked at the kennels, they looked like they had been broken open and went to go help her.” Trying to say that someone or something else killed the victim and that the dogs tried to help. She goes on to make this ridiculous statement, “The wounds on her hands, face and throat were probably from them protecting her.” Because we all know dogs protect you by lethal bites.

  16. Yes, the media is complicit in bolstering an unsupported narrative based on hearsay (of a 20-year old). This is becoming a Pit Bull Hack (perpetuating a "fake" controversy) of a different nature than what we usually see. Meanwhile, the sheriff's office has been open and honest since day one and gave a powerful press conference too. That is why that remains the top link on this post. Our update in the next few days may not have a top link if this continues.

  17. I wonder if these two fine examples of 'pets' had earned the prestigious Canine Good Citizen? After all, doesn't a CGC insure that its recipient is a safe and loving doggie before the usual 'Emotional Support Dog' vest is attached to these grand pets?

  18. ooops – I hit send to soon. Anyway, would love your thoughts on the possibility of bear attack. Bears really are getting close to cities these days — they've been spotted near my friend's home here in Raleigh. I've been to her place many times for book club. Amazing to think bears are coming this far in!

  19. Dogs kill more people annually in the U.S. than bears, sharks, cougars and coyotes combined by a wide margin. If a wild animal was "remotely" suspected by authorities, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries would have been involved immediately. As noted by the sheriff, "We spent a lot of time there at the scene and made some observations that, out of respect for the family, we're not releasing." Injuries inflicted by bears and cougars are distinct as are the scenes of these maulings. The sheriff and medical examiner have been very generous with the information they supplied during the press conference. The media is perpetuating a false narrative by a 20-year old female who has no knowledge of forensic pathology, law enforcement or fatal dog mauling scenes or investigations. For that matter, the vet has no experience in any of these areas either. Her comment, "Dogs don't attack out of the blue" is so naïve it is unbearable. The name of first ever memorial for fatal dog attack victims is called Out of the Blue. Don't forget back in March, a family pit bull of 8-years attacked and killed a baby 'out of the blue.'  It continued attacking until it was shot and killed by arriving deputies. You might read the autopsy report of Carmen Reigada, where the main aggressor was a family American bulldog-mix. Then imagine what the sheriff and deputies observed in this case, which involved two large pit bulls.

  20. My state has one of the highest black bear populations in the lower 48 states, and the last fatal bear attack was in 1936 by a CAPTIVE bear. Human and bear interactions are fairly frequent, particularly in the spring when the bear are hungry and looking for food after hibernating all winter, and never result in fatal attacks.
    Bear also HATE dogs. They avoid humans and dogs whenever possible, usually fleeing to escape them.
    The idea that two large dogs from a breed that has been used to KILL BEAR, somehow were unable to save their owner from an attack is absurd. Unless the bear were a roving massive male Kodiak bear that somehow got to the east coast without being spotted, bear attack is beyond reaching. Even Jack Russells can run off a bear.
    Pits gotta pit, and these ones did. Why is it so hard for the nutters to process that fact? We're not shocked when a Border Collie herds, or a Springer Spaniel flushes fowl. Why is anyone shocked when a mauler mauls? How stupid would it sound if someone said "my Lab just started retrieving stuff out of the blue. He never showed any signs of retrieving before! It must be because he has rabies or a brain tumor!"
    Frigging nutters. They should be classified as domestic terrorists.

  21. Per the press conference earlier today, the sheriff said he and several other law enforcement officers saw the dogs eating the victim's ribcage. No wonder a seasoned LE person was so disturbed by the gruesome scene of the attack.

  22. I read somewhere that it was the photos of what went down in Vietnam that changed public opinion and began turning things around to end that war.
    I wish fervently that the pit bull pushers could be confronted with these photographs.
    The owners of pits seem to be a victim of false advertising as much as of their own dimwittedness.
    We can't underestimate the power of advertising which is akin to brainwashing.
    I have many pictures of pit bull victims that I try to not be publish too often, but maybe a graphic page could be started and the pushers be connected to it somehow?

  23. It seems pretty clear to me that pit-bull advocates are a dangerous cult. These people blindly repeat the same talking points, word for word, and oftentimes their talking points don't even address the comment they are responding to. Pretty much any controversial topic on the internet, people on both sides will produce arguments and evidence, and try to provide counterpoints to arguments/evidence produced by their opponents. Not so with pit-bullers, they just say nonsense like "Pit bulls would never attack their owners." "Pit bulls are the sweetest dogs ever." "Chihuahua's are the meanest dogs, I can't stand to be around them." Pit-bullers feel personally threatened by even the most gentle suggestion that there could be anything negative about any pit-bull ever. They can not even concede that maybe 1 pit-bull went psycho, instead they will come up with elaborate fantasies about assassin attacks or police cover-ups. They will not even read any evidence against their cult of pit-bulls, they just shout that all the evidence is "lies" and never even attempt to produce any evidence to prove their point. They ignore all evidence of aggressive behavior in their pit-bulls. Unlike most cults which only harm the person involved with them by monopolizing their time and money, the pit-bull cult is a clear danger to other people. They refuse to even take basic safety precautions to protect their neighbors, because they believe their "pibble" is not capable of harm. 1) We need stringent laws that hold pit-bulls owners accountable for at least man-slaughter, if not 2nd degree murder, for deaths caused by their pit-bulls. 2) We need pit-bullers to have minimum insurance policies to cover harm to their victims, just as all states require people to carry a minimum level of auto insurance. These 2 things are the barest minimum, and pretty much any normal pet owner would agree with these. The fact that pit-bullers loudly protest against these 2 minimums is evidence of how much they are needed.

  24. "a journalist asked Sheriff Agnew, "Why did you feel it was necessary that we as journalists see with our own eyes some of the horrible things that you saw that night?" "

    Why in the hell would a journalist even think of asking that question? So much for reporting the facts eh?!

  25. Colleen, do some digging. I found an article but I can't find it now, in which one of her friends who worked with Bethany in a professional dog related business capacity was talking about the Bethany knowing the dogs since birth. Also, there was something in the article about her working with dog training and behavior – as a job.

  26. For some period she worked at K-9 Adventures (owned by Tori Trent), but it is unclear when. Trent said she would bring her pit bulls in and they interacted with people just fine. Trent did not train the dogs. This quote was never attributed to anyone, "A man who used to work with Stephens at a dog training facility told CBS 6 that Stephens was very experienced working with animals, and loved her dogs."

  27. LT – everything you said is spot on. Especially the constant regurgitation of the same sad, inaccurate, absurd, and irrational "talking points" that every pit freak uses. And their lack of basic grammar skills makes reading their comments nearly impossible. I've seen directions translated from a foreign language that are more coherent than a standard pit nutter's attempts at defending their crap breed of choice. Trying to talk rationally and with facts with nutters is like shoveling sand – you can do it all day long, but it will never produce results.

    I'm very curious about why Ms. Stephens had started to keep her dogs at her father's house, and kenneled outdoors, where they had previously been kept indoors with her. The sheriff mentioned her "neglecting" the dogs and the dogs becoming "distant" from her. Has anyone mentioned why this was? Was she living with her father? Or was it something more along the lines of the dogs were beginning to exhibit signs of aggression with her and she decided it was safer to kennel them at her father's? Did she no longer trust the dogs alone with her? I doubt she would have told anyone that the dogs were beginning to show their true breed colors because that would be admitting that pit bulls are predisposed to unprovoked aggression, and that breeding and "raising them right" is immaterial when dealing with pit bulls.

    Maybe those journalists will get the idea after seeing the death scene photos. I can't even imagine. I have much respect for the sheriff in this case. Sounds like he doesn't stand for any bullsh*t being bandied about.

  28. With so much misinformation, and her own friends being a primary source of it, one has to assume some issues with the dogs existed. Instead of the media asking "relevant" questions during the second press conference, they asked questions pertaining to the "unsubstantiated" rumors and conspiracy theories fueled by Bethany's friends and social media. No media asked the pertinent questions of 1.) How long had the dogs been in the new isolated environment? Two weeks, two months, or more? And, 2.) Why were they in this new environment and not in Bethany's own home? Anyone can be in rough spot, between living environments or in a break up with a partner temporarily. That is life and the human condition. But these are extremely relevant questions in this case. If the sheriff's office is going to talk "isolation," and that potentially being a cause of this fatal attack, then we need to have an understanding of how long.

  29. Well, the latest hair-brained alternative cause of death her friends have come up with is that she was killed by pit bulls from the local dog fighting group who were giving her death threats in the week before because she was going to expose them and they made this appear like her dogs did this.

    I find this version particularly complex but it also goes against their mantras that pit bulls don't attack humans and dogs in dog fighting are loving pets that would never hurt a fly and need to be rescued.

  30. That look on the pits face in the kitchen, just saw that look yesterday on some FAKE ass blind persons FAKE as pit bull guide dog. This lardass loudmouthed older woman was talking loudly to everyone about her dog barking and growling at people (she must have had something on her that smelled funny), was CARRYING a white stick (with no red tip like a REAL blind person would have), and had the dog on a leash not a harness like a blind person would likely have. She LOOKED at everyone she spoke to.

  31. These things. Ripping people apart alive. Nobody would make a horror movie about pitbulls because it would be beyond horrific. I lived in the States when I was a kid and I feel glad that these ghoulish human dismemberment dogs weren't about then. And that I'm not there now – it's frightening. From afar, America seems to have a very high tolerance of lives being absolutely monstered by some chump's choice of "pets." I don't remember Americans being like that, it's sad. This girl lived her one life probably 60 years too short, for what? Her parents gave her everything and her vile dogs took everything away.

  32. What I would give to know what Bethany was thinking, and what message she would have wanted to tell the world, in the time between when the attack started, and when she lost consciousness forever.

  33. K-Hart, you summed it up perfectly! None of the nutters can spell or punctuate properly, and their poor writing skills reflect their poor logic and lack of rational thinking.

    Ka D, that heavy.com article was good, but a person could lose brain cells reading some of the comments. I think one repeated just about every single pit bull myth–in one single comment. There ought to be some sort of prize for that feat…

  34. It's sad that even when the pit nutters themselves are mauled by their beasts, it still isn't enough to open peoples' eyes. If I had a pit and heard this story, I'd be taking it to the nearest vet to be put down immediately. There's no way I'd want to risk something like that happening to me or anyone close to me. The pit cult is so deep in denial that at this point, it seems like nothing will make them see the truth.

  35. <>

    It's because pit nutters are a cult. It's like the parents who refuse to give their child insulin because they believe in "faith healing". Then when their child dies, instead of blaming the cult for lying to them, or blaming themselves for believing the cult, they blame themselves for not having enough "faith." Another poster had mentioned wondering what was going through Bethany's mind when she died, quite possibly she was blaming herself for not having raised the pits "right", because in her indoctrination, it could never be the pits fault, or the fault of the pit-obsessive cult that lied to her.

  36. Did you see this article? http://wtvr.com/2018/02/20/report-concludes-bethany-stephens-died-from-violent-attack-by-dogs-3/

    Insane! What the trainer said is crazy as well. She claims that dogs don't see a dead body and think of the person they loved. There are so many stories of dogs who wouldn't leave a person's body. Look at Greyfriar's Bobby! The unbelievable lengths people go to in order to defend pit bulls is astounding. And her conclusion that pit bulls are great family dogs… I'm speechless.

  37. Interesting that they are very clear that Tonka had her DNA swabbed from him. This is interesting because this is the dog she raised from a puppy, while the other one was passed around 5 times by the time he was 1.5 yrs old.

  38. You can guarantee that the moment those dogs turned on her, she had a rapid realization of how wrong she was to defend and support pit bulls. How many people have to be mauled and die before people get it through their heads that pit bulls are dangerous? Pit supporters love to site that chihuahuas are the number one biters. When was the last time a chihuahua brought someone to the ground and ripped their throat out? Only pits do that. No one should have to die this way.

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