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46 thoughts on “2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills Owner in Uniontown: 'He Has a Hole in His Head and His Neck'

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  1. I have a roommate that had many seizures when he first moved into my home! My English Mastiff puppy was fine with him! My Newfoundland and my Rottie/Shepherd both wanted to take my side when I grabbed him to prevent him from falling down the stairs! They thought we were fighting! My Newfoundland still barks at him almost 3 years later whenever he enters a room I am in while my little Rottie/Shepherd mix has totally moved on and is gentle and friendly with him always. I am so glad I never owned a Pit Bull!

  2. What a bloody summer we are having… and so many able bodied adults… less kids and old folks. We are waaaaay outside the typical demographic.

    Now we’ve been scolded endlessly for leaving our children alone with large dogs of any kind…. but folks from their twenties to their late fifties, it seems, shouldn’t be left unsupervised with a pit bull. From coast to coast they have been eating their owners, people they live with, or their owner’s family members.

    Wonder what the new “safety reccomendations” will be for dogs that flip the fuck out for no preventable reason???

  3. Did he have a seizure? Did he not? Does it matter? Pit bull apologists use the seizure reason as a way to justify the behavior of pits, to victim blame, to claim the pit was trying to helpful, and to assure themselves and others that they are safe because they don’t have a seizure disorder. However, if the seizure is true, as Colleen points out, this is the only known dog breed that attacks in response to a seizure and this is frightening. This is not natural dog behavior. Growing up, we raised bird dogs. One of the developed epilepsy and another developed the ability to sense seizures. The seizure sensing dog would also sit quietly and watch over the seizing dog after she alerted us that the seizure was coming.

  4. Why would anyone choose a dog breed so unstable that it may attack and kill during a medical emergency, when a person is the most vulnerable? And how can anyone excuse that or even consider such a dog as a family pet, much less as a “service dog” of any sort?

    “Being scared” as an excuse for attacking and even killing is being normalized in the pit community. If this is the case, the breed’s number one trait must be fear! Fearfulness of seizures, of people in wheelchairs, of people walking down the road, of children playing with toys, of guests in the home, of old ladies, of the young women who have lovingly raised them, of owners coming to visit them at the shelter, of people checking the mail, of someone walking a tiny leashed dog, of toddlers, of someone doing the ice bucket challenge (that’s a disturbing video), of sleeping babies, of…. (insert any possible life scenario here). They just can’t imagine that a dog could attack for NO REASON at all, unless of course that dog is a Chihuahua!

    Their first line of excuses: it wasn’t a pit bull. Their second line of excuses: it must have been triggered by XYZ. Their third line: they have a loving pit bull which hasn’t attacked them (yet) so therefore anyone who doesn’t is bigoted and stupid.

    Since the first line utterly fails because the dog in this case is clearly a pit bull, next they will latch onto anything that explains away its deadly violence. And like their breed of choice, they hold on to that excuse and won’t let go.

    I have to wonder if there is any evidence at all that this man even had a seizure, or do they assume he must have because they believe erroneously that a pit bull needs a motivation to attack?

    Mr. Utterback’s family must now forever live with the knowledge that his choice of breed is what led directly to his death. I hope they speak out and help expose the lie that pit bulls are suitable family pets.

    • I’m totally with you on that one.

      Responsible people train their dogs to deal with the vagaries of human nature, inebriated people, mentally ill people, people with canes/walkers/scooters etc etc. While this matters less with someone who owns a beagle, it’s imperative for people who own molasser breeds and even more so with pitbulls.

      Problem is, 90% of dog owners aren’t responsible people any more, sadly. Too many people are “dogs first, people second.” And it’s a hundred times worse with the arrogant pitbull lobbyists.

  5. Did he have a seizure, or did his dog simply push him down and attack him?

    Depending on the type of seizure, people don’t always fall to the ground and shake (it’s not always the grand mal type you see in the movies). My 2 year old daughter stops for a second, rolls her eyes back and clenches her fist, then resumes walking/running/talking like nothing ever happened. My siamese cats and french bulldog have never seemed to react or notice, and they are all extremely sensitive. It’s very hard to notice unless you know her like my husband and I do, and it took months to diagnose because it was so subtle, it just looked like a blip or “misfire” on the EEGs. I’m not downplaying any sort of disorder he may have had, I’m just telling you not to believe everything you see in Hollywood. There are certainly dogs that are TRAINED to notice and assist during a seizure, but I’ve never heard of any other breed that seems so predisposed and eager to MAUL and KILL someone during an episode.

    Sounds like another excuse for the actions of a dog that was simply BRED TO KILL.

    Stop making excuses for your dog’s genetics! Stop accepting that this is normal and acceptable behavior!

  6. There is no evidence (or witness) that he had a seizure. Just theory. “Investigators said Utterback suffered from seizures, and they believe he had an episode, fell out of bed and that was when the dog attacked.”

    • If authorities really cared about public safety, would they be so quick to jump to conclusions about this sort of thing without any evidence to back their claim? Instead of using this as an opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of this breed, they decided to victim blame and perpetuate this unfounded theory. I just don’t understand why there are so many layers of protection in place for a dog breed that was created for fighting to the death, is a menace to society, and causes catastrophic damage to people all over the world.

    • Amazing how everyone from dog catchers to coroners and police go into defense mode when a bully breed attacks. “The dogs were abused,they were hungry,a seizure triggered it, the baby cried,somebody coughed,this is very rare for this breed,this hardly ever happens for this breed,any dog could have done this” At least make Bledy Van Savage “work” for her money. Don’t do her job for her.

      • It is true that police often want a “reason” for such a violent attack, especially when it involves a pet dog killing a family member. These excuses/reasons ignore the “scale” of the attack — the disproportionate response by pit bulls. A normal response to a dog being woken up by a “thump” or a person tripping over it in the middle of the night could certainly be a fear bite. But to set upon the victim, tearing out his neck, ripping into his head? That is executing the killing bite.

        • We used to have a shepherd-collie mix (fantastic dog). One night my husband got out of bed, and the dog didn’t realize it–neither did I, as I was sleeping, too. Husband went into the room across the hall, closed the door, and read for a while…

          Next thing I knew, I was awakened by the most unholy snarl I have ever heard in my life. I looked over to see our sweet, friendly, afraid-of-cats doggie had become some slavering hellbeast: head down, teeth fully bared, back up, drooling, crouched to attack.

          Husband tried talking to him; I tried talking to him. He twitched when we said his name but his attitude and demeanor didn’t change. Husband said he genuinely feared for his life in that moment. He finally managed to edge over and turn on the light–at which point Dog recognized his Daddy and became very, adorably apologetic.

          Point is, even a dog who thinks there is an intruder in the middle of the night, even a dog who literally thinks it might have to attack someone to protect itself & his people, does not just blindly start biting the throat of its owner, and even a dog who is so amped up that it thinks it is going to have to attack should know what its owner looks like enough to check itself if it’s made a mistake like that.

          I’ve told that story a number of times (maybe even here once?), and a few times had people reply with similar tales; one or two of them even had the dog recognizing its owner *as/after it jumped to begin to attack,* and stopping/checking itself before actually biting. A dog should be–dogs generally are–capable of catching themselves even mid-bite (my dog, when we play tug or keep-away, will sometimes start to grab the rope or toy, only realizing as his mouth starts to close that my hand/fingers are in the way–and he immediately checks his bite or pulls away entirely). The idea that a dog will attack its owner because it thinks it’s helping or protecting, that it doesn’t recognize its owner as it tears out said owner’s throat, whatever other crap the nutters try to push, is utter nonsense: an idea so stupid only pit nutters will believe it.

          • I was thinking the same thing. Even in the news at the height of the wars you used to see stories of dogs mourning their fallen soldier owners, laying beside the casket and whimpering. They never got up and tried to eat or attack the dead body….

  7. The death toll is mounting for 2019. It does not matter what happened before this pit bull put at least two serious bites into this man and caused his death. This case shows that you can have a pit bull for years and it can be the best pet…..until it isn’t. Then it is too late. Why would anyone want such a breed for a pet?????

    • Exactly. “Until it isn’t” is what keeps resounding in my mind concerning these dogs.

      There’s the usual victim blaming by pit apologists in the comment sections of news stories related to this. You can imagine what they’re saying about how it can’t be the dog’s fault, so it must the man’s. Ironically, the victim IS to blame… but only in that he chose the number one killer breed as a pet.

  8. It’s funny…not only do pit bulls attack pit bull owners on a regular basis, but so do other pit bull owners. The first ones to throw pit bull owners under the bus are their fellow nutters.
    I’ll bet this guy was one of the “it’s all in how you raise them” chanters every time another person died by a pit bull.

    The back biting and cannibalistic attitude of nutters is another way they resemble their shit breed of dog.
    Keep drinking the Kool Aid, pit freaks. You keep proving the normal people right every time.

    • We have certainly seen it. Thus far, we are excluding, just like we have excluded similar cases to it in earlier years. Of the three cases where “total consumption” of the body occurred, leaving no evidence to determine cause of death, the other two involved a pack of wolf-dog hybrids. One of those cases (with 20+ hybrids) was a horrific lifelong animal hoarder (67-year old female) who also had very poor health. When she was discovered two weeks later, only a “skull, jawbone and thigh bone” were left. The other case involved a 96-year old male victim. The wolf-dogs had reduced his body to “only bones” in just 4 days. The Texas case involves at least three weeks of the pack of 18 dogs having access to the body. Time enough to dismantle and scatter the skull. We certainly do not like to include cases when the coroner says, “we will never know how the person died.” We also do not like to include cases that are truly outside of a normal living experience (AKA hoarding operations), when the coroner makes the same determination. It’s frustrating enough that we have to deal with the “enormously unlikely” alleged wild cat and red wolf cases, when considerable evidence is available!

      These cases are always listed under “Additional Victims” for that year of fatalities with the notation that they could be added in the future. The “total consumption” cases are so rare that we have not determined whether to add them or not.

      • I should have figured you already knew about it. I am troubled they are adopting out some of the dogs. The last thing I want to run into is a dog with a taste for human flesh. If it were up to me dogs that eat a person, or part of a person (I’m looking at you Utah Husky) would be put down.

  9. Family members and friends are welcome to write into DogsBite and share your comments — or comment here as well. But if you attack our commenters, we likely will not publish your comment. Very few details were released about this case, thus speculation is part of the process.

  10. It was probably his ” service ” Pitbull . 🤣

    Isn’t that a new trend now…..making this vile breed into service dogs !?
    It’s true, I’m not make no this up. The Pitbull lobbyists are pushing rescues to ” train them ” and then GIVE THEM AWAY……to veterans etc, etc.
    it’s absolutely INSANE .

    • We have a FAKE blind lady in my town with a fake pit bull/blue heeler ‘guide’ dog. She looks right at you when you speak to her, CARRIES a white cane (no red tip), doesn’t use it. and her dog isn’t in a harness. She has publicly admitted her dog has shown aggression by barking and growling. Yet the local transit has done nothing even after I sent them much information. I finally got my license and a car. It’s just getting too dangerous to take public transit anymore.

      • We have a whole bunch of “homeless” people with pitbulls around here that sit on street corners and beg. Hmmmm…. If you can’t afford to shelter/feed yourself, how can you afford to feed a dog?

        • The homeless around here (and there are ALOT of them) keep pittbulls for protection. They are outwardly aggressive dogs and many times I see them without leashes. There are many reports on next door of these dogs attacking people’s dogs as they pass. Even on those threads you get pitt nutters blaming the dog walkers or saying things like “you wouldn’t have reported this if it wasn’t a Pittbull.”

          • Sounds so familiar. We always exercise extreme caution in parking lots. They like to live with their dogs in the sheds at home improvement stores around here. Sometimes we won’t even get out with the kids, rather one of us will run into a store alone while the other waits in the car with the kids. It’s pathetic, really.

            On a side note, I was talking to someone today that installed $1200 worth of security cameras to avoid her neighbor’s pitbull. My husband and I actually did the same thing last year (although we did it ourselves so it cost marginally less). It has saved me from walking into a bad situation in my own yard multiple times since then. That’s just another example of the economic burden we all must carry so that someone can happily be an irresponsible idiot with their “butt wiggler”.

    • My husband and I were watching a video on YouTube earlier, one of those “Adorable animals!” compilations. There was a short clip of a guy on a train with his pit wiggling into him and licking his face thoroughly. Aaaw (gag)…except it had a “Service Animal” vest on.

      A trained service animal does NOT crawl all over its owner and give Owner’s face a tonguebath on public transportation. A trained service animal is *working* in that situation.

      It was just infuriating to see.

  11. This is from reddit. It was posted at least 3 times in a subreddit called r/aww. This is where people post things that are cute, sweet, or heartwarming. It is a video of a woman training a pit bull to protect her head when she seizes. The comments are ridiculous (well, it’s reddit). I can’t comment in any negative or cautionary way or I’d be driven off the site. This post got over 27,000 upvotes.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/ajw126/service_dog_protecting_owners_head_during_a/

  12. Two of my kids have seizures and have NEVER been attacked by our beagle mix. Its not a pitbull mix btw. Just a mutt. Its mother was a beagle. So we know that. Anyway. He’s 3 and has only ever nudged me and whined to get me to follow him to my kids when they seize. Then he rests his head on their belly or side while they come out of it.

    I am not afraid my dog will attack over a medical crisis. This is definitely a shitbull behavior

    • My theory is that pits are not frighted by seizures. They can tell the person can’t fight back so they launch and attack, Almost as if they were bred to attack much larger animals and fight to the death.

  13. If we can make it through tomorrow with no fatalites that will have been a whole week! Thank God for small favors. Sadly there have been several attacks. Fortunately the EMTs, Life Flight copters and other technology have been able to snatch the victims back from the “jaws” of death. If medical tech had not progressed so fastly the number of deaths from dogs (mostly pits) would be much higher. I guess we can be thankful for that. If pits would have gotten popular in the 50’s the carnage would have been even more horrid.

    • You can call me a terrible person if you want, but as long as they are only attacking/killing their adult owners, I just chalk it up to Darwin’s theory. The only victims that really matter to me are the innocent children whose parents are stupid enough to own a land shark, and people who don’t own one and maybe are just innocently walking or in their own yard when they encounter these vile creatures. Otherwise, I’m not sympathetic to people who choose this.

      • Fair enough. I don’t think we will ever be able to stop owner piticides. I just wish attacks on the general public would be taken seriously. If you own a dog should be aware it can attack. If you own a large dog you should be aware it can do more damage and when you own the number one man killer you should not be able to shrug your shoulders and say “how was I to know?” when it kills or maims someone.

        Shelters should be required when selling a pit to tell the purchaser that pits kill more people each year than all other breeds combined and that if their pit kills they will be held responsible.

        Sadly we seem to be headed the opposite way where once a dog mauls someone thousands line up to give it a “furever home”.

        Legally dogs are property until they maul someone or someone kills one. Is there any other type of property that has been awarded so many rights? As it stands now mauling dogs have more rights than their victims.

      • We have new neighbors up the road. Really nice people–we met them a couple of weeks ago–except they own “an American Bully.” Uuugh.

        Last week I was forced to hide in a bush in the park because their “American Bully” was in their front yard, unleashed (of course) with their teenage daughter when I walked past with my properly leashed GSD. Bully started to follow us. I sped up a bit–not too fast, because I don’t want to excite the Bully, but faster, and went around the corner to the park entrance…when I saw Bully was still following us. I yelled, “Come get your dog!” as my dog and I zipped into the park and made a beeline for the bushes.

        We hid there for ten minutes while I watched that Bully jump all over the girl, who still did not have a leash for it. She was trying to convince it to leave with her, I guess, but the more excited and angry she got the more it jumped all over her and tried to play. Luckily my dog behaved and just sat at my feet the whole time, but I could tell he was restless–he wanted to walk!–and confused, and my legs were getting bit to heck by chiggers etc.

        I was absolutely furious.

        The next day I was forced to alter my route home and go around the opposite block instead of walking straight down the street to my house because Bully was once again off-leash in its front yard–with the teenager’s father this time, who seemed to be able to control the dog at least, but still. And the day after that, he was at the park entrance with Bully, once AGAIN off-leash, and we didn’t see him until we were at the entrance. The owner yelled something–I think he was trying to be friendly/reassuring, like I said they seemed like really nice people, and it sucks that they had to choose a dog I won’t go near–but I didn’t really hear and didn’t care; I just took off in the opposite direction in the park and stayed at the other end until they finally left.

        They’ve been in the neighborhood for maybe two months and I’m already sick of being held hostage by their refusal to properly contain their frigging mauler.

        • Ah, yes…. Join the club.

          Except the people that own the pack of land sharks around here just let them run without “supervision”. And they aren’t nice. In fact, make a wrong turn and find yourself on the shared drive that leads to old Billy Bob’s house, and he will unleash his dogs and chase your minivan with a shotgun!!!

          Gosh, we really should have taken that into consideration before we bought the land we live on.

  14. An intact male pit bull is not a rescue dog. No legitimate shelter/rescue group allows these dogs to leave without being fixed. Sounds more like they got it from an acquaintance or more likely, Petey was the last of his litter to get sold and he was likely a teen dog when they “rescued” *cough* him. They are calling it a rescue to invoke pity for the pit.

    • I see the term “rescued” bandied around so loosely that it has lost almost all meaning. People get a free kitten someone was giving away at Walmart parking lot, they call it a rescue. People buy a parakeet off Craigslist that someone said they no longer have time for, they call it a rescue. A dog is adopted from a no-kill shelter, they call it a rescue. Does it really make people feel so heroic to get a pet these days? Because unless they are actually getting an abused or neglected animal directly from a dire circumstance, they’re not rescuing…. they’re just getting a pet.

      • Is also amazing how often “rescued” pets are then surrendered to open access shelters, or rehomed. Sweetheart, unless you provide a responsible, lifelong home for the animal, YOU have not rescued it, you have merely made it someone else’s problem/responsibility.

  15. Those pitbull worshipers (aka people haters) really think that saying someone had a seizure sounds like a good excuse for the murderous dog? If you have seizures, you’re out of luck – any pitbull has a right to kill you now? What else makes it ok for pitbulls to kill people – any other conditions that are likely to provoke those sweet dogs? How about diabetes? Should they be allowed to kill people if they sense high blood sugar? How about people who have some kind of tremor – sounds like a great reason for a pitbull to attack them. Tumors, be they benign or malignant? There are all kinds of things people can have, and some of them dogs may be able to sense, and for the insane pitbull worshipers it will sound like a good excuse.

    • Pits are allowed to freely kill kids (same size as dogs) and seniors(they walk funny and that upsets Pibbly Wibbly). I am not joking. I have seen both of those excuses given like they were good reasons. Seems to me if an animal targets the most vulnerable members of society it should not be considered a pet.

  16. I am a retired Animal Control Officer. Folks, I can’t tell you what to do about your problems with uncontrolled pets. I CAN tell you if you don’t report the problem every time you observe it, you are part of the problem. Report the problem the first time and get the case number. Keep a calendar from that day forward. Every time you see a violation write down the date, time of day, what animal(s) were involved, and a brief description of the violation. Keep your FEELINGS out of your reports, you’ll sound more professional. Turn in this information every day, once a week, or whatever feels right to you. Don’t give up. You have a right to know what action was taken, find out! The more you know the more power you have. The more pressure you apply to your local authority the more quickly you are likely to see results. Don’t let any pet owner intimidate you into, or convince you by any other action, being silent. Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it, I do.
    I am not a fan of pit bull terriers or their ilk. In fact, you could say I am rabidly opposed to them and not be far off the mark.

    • I believe this is good advice, but in my instance AC does not ever answer the phone. When I leave voicemails detailing my issues with several large, aggressive pitbulls that routinely run my property, AC does not return my calls. We have installed a camera system and we save the videos on a hard drive to document each offense. AC finally came out and picked the dogs up ONCE. AC supervisor immediately returned the dogs to the owner without the mandatory holding time and fines that were supposed to be imposed. The dogs were running again by that afternoon. AC supervisor pointed to the gun on my hip and told me that if I shot one of the dogs, he’d PUT ME IN JAIL. I’ve been house-bound with my children for 2 1/2 years now. I’ve sent my evidence to the county council. No one seems to want to help. No one wants to get involved, or admit that our county has a severe problem with loose dogs and aggressive breeds.

      What do you suggest I do in my situation? I’ve thought about suing the pants off the owners, but they live in a single wide rental in the woods on the edge of my subdivision. Probably not going to get anything out of that!

      • Sadly following Unsolicited Opinion’s advice will just get you labeled as a “dog hater” or “breed racist” and make you prime suspect #1 every time AC find a dead or abused dog in many places.

        I remember reading on reddit where the police were sniffing around a man’s house asking if he owned antifreeze because he had called animal control about barking dogs and now a dog was dead. No action was taken on the barking dog report but a whole team of cops showed up when they found a dead dog. They had not even done a toxicology report on the dead dog at this point. The presumption was this bad man must have killed the dog because who else other than a “dog hater” would complain about the melodious song of fido.

        Many AC departments will only roll on calls about a dog’s welfare. Barking,running loose, growling and lunging are all ignored. AC have become dog social workers in many areas.

        • Yes, this is what I’m very afraid of. Unfortunately here in the rural south, there’s a system and a hierarchy. Even the Sheriff’s Dept is intertwined in this “brother-in-law deal”. You have to be careful who you call the cops on, because it may be the responding officer’s cousin, aka his sister’s baby daddy. The phrase “yuuuuu ain’t from ’round huuur” is real, folks. I grew up a few towns away. They consider my husband and I untrustworthy outsiders (untrustworthy because they don’t want any disruptions in the way they like to live, and the laws they like to break). I sure look different, I have all of my teeth and I haven’t been hardened by a criminal record! So you can imagine what might happen if I was suspected of hurting one of their prized land sharks! They’d obviously rather have me live in fear and keep my children inside than impede their “freedom” to let their dogs run.

          And by the way, my fears are not unfounded. I’ve had several close encounters with these dogs, including a near pack attack where I barely escaped into my house from watering my plants, and they continued to circle my house and try to find a way in for hours. Another that comes to mind is the time I was holding my youngest baby when she was just 4 days old, trying to get her to her check-up appointment when one the largest of the pits charged into my garage and chased me into my house, leaving my then 3 year old closed up in the back seat of my van, alone in the garage with the dog. I had to put the baby down inside and bring out my shotgun. As soon as the dog saw it, he fled. You tell me if he’s been shot at before. Most likely, because the dogs are a nuisance and they are DANGEROUS!

          I’m just tired of trying to figure out which kid to save first when the ugly shitbulls charge out of the woods at us. I don’t bother anyone. I’ve worked hard all my life, since I was 14, for everything I have. My husband sacrificed YEARS of his life away from us, serving in Iraq.
          I just want to live in peace and safety and enjoy my family.

          If it comes down to my child or the damned dog, I guess I’ll go to prison just like the officer said I would.

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