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36 thoughts on “2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Vicious Attack by Her Own Pit Bull in Hampton, Virginia

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  1. “He’s friendly!”
    “He was always so friendly.”
    “Neighbors indicated that the dog was always friendly.”
    “I don’t know what could have gotten into him.”
    “He would lick and kiss you to death.”
    “Your fear of dogs is unreasonable.”

    The problem is that dogs are animals that are sometimes unpredictable. If they were always unpredictable, that would make it easier for people to get it. But, because they are only sometimes unpredictable, that makes it difficult for people to get it. “It” is that dogs are animals that are capable of delivering fatal or severe maulings, very quickly, unprovoked, unpredictably, thus irreversibly and tragically destroying peoples lives. Many dog owners act moment to moment as if the animal is a common house cat. Dogs are not hamsters, chickens or house cats. Dogs are sometimes unpredictable animals that cause millions of injuries every year in this country. Some dog owners refuse to provide, in advance, at all times, for their safety, and for the safety of others, thus tragically destroying human lives. Deaths are rare, but severe maulings are common, resulting in many, many devastated lives annually in this country. If dog owners acted as if they were always aware that their animal is an unpredictably dangerous animal, my life and many, many other peoples lives would not be ruined.

    • And the utter stupidity of the phrase “was protective of her”. What IS that, exactly? It generally tends to mean, “Was aggressive when people came near his property (her)”

      Nobody thought “hmmm might wanna call in a dog trainer or fix this because if this behaviour generalized, Doggess knows where it will end”?

      NO DOG should ever be protective of anything it’s not explicitly trained to protect. That’s like loading a gun, sticking it on the kitchen counter, and hoping nobody gets shot.

      At this point, all I can do is shake my head and agree with you.

  2. Her poor child that lost a momma. How sad that a mom would be so stupid as to keep a dog that was bred to kill for a family pet. So glad the child didn’t get hurt.

  3. It stands to reason that the more physically vulnerable (shorter, smaller, weaker) the dog owner, the more risk is involved, to both dog owner and others, in choosing larger, more powerful, more aggressive breeds.

    Women who choose to own pit bulls or other fighting breeds should EXPECT to be attacked, mauled or even killed in much higher percentages than male owners of those same dogs. Ladies — a dog big enough & strong enough to kill a grown man trying to harm you is also, guess what, big enough & strong enough to kill YOU.

    Breeding and genetics. Why compound the risk of owning a dog big & strong enough to hurt you, with a genetic predisposition to attack without warning, execute kill bites & never let go?

    When I was considering adopting a dog, I deliberately avoided getting a purebred GSD, because full-size GSDs are too much dog for me. A downsized shep-collie mix turned out to be a much better choice.

    I wish people considered these very practical aspects of ownership before getting a dog. There’s the old saw that gets bandied about, that the size of the dog is irrelevant if the dog is sufficiently trained. But come on. The likelihood of a near-perfectly trained dog is just not gonna happen with most dog owners. So size is highly relevant after all. And there are very, very few people who are strong enough to control an 80- or 90-lb dog of normal (dog) temperament. Controlling a dog that’s a 92-lb chainsaw on legs is impossible.

    And BTW – Handing off the leash of even a medium-sized dog to a younger (pre-teen) child is a terrible idea, too. Anything bigger than a cocker spaniel is going to be too much dog for a kid to handle if the dog challenges for control.

    • Chainsaw on legs …….omg πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Damn you, I just sprayed my coffee all over my iPad

    • We’re on the same page, Shep.

      Realistically, any strong 50lb dog with 6ft of leash torque can pull a 200lb human right off their feet.

      So, unless someone knows how to use the correct training tools, has the background, experience and knowledge to handle a big working dog–best not to take that chance.

      I love big dogs, no question. But at my age now? I wouldn’t risk it. Fortunately, my Alaskan husky is 9 and fully off lead trained, so getting yanked around isn’t likely. I had huge Bouviers when I was younger but I also had experience with training protection dogs.

      Best to get something for a family or inexperienced dog owner that is easily trained and handled. Power dogs are not for noobie dog owners and pitbulls aren’t for anybody.

      Most people should just get cats πŸ˜‰

      • I guess that since I have had so many big dogs that I think differently! My English Mastiff was 185 lbs at 1 year and will top 225 lbs and maybe 250 lbs when full grown. I have had 3 dogs that topped 200 lbs, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, and Wolfhound mixes. To me any dog under 100 lbs is a small dog. I am not a fan of Pit Bulls and or Pit Bull mixes due to their aggression issues but I don’t consider them to be big dogs. Pit Bulls are fighting dogs period!The people that just say that it is how you raise them are in serious denial!

        • Newfies, Wolfhounds (contrary to the name) and some mastiffs are known for their gentle temperaments. Not all large dogs are “game” dogs or high drive dogs or particularly protective.

          Only ever seen one nasty wolfhound and it was owned by some nervous nellie who rescued it from somewhere or other and stood around utterly clueless while it picked fights. Took me one run-in and it backed down. A game dog would never do that.

          I’ve seen a few pushy mastiffs but they were owned by people who didn’t have the dog experience to raise them, well. Experienced owners and most just nap and slobber. πŸ˜€

          I’m with you. Pitbulls were bred for one thing and they’re good at it. Unlike some other large breeds, breeders are not breeding the aggression back out of them, no matter what they claim.

          • Exactly! My first Irish Wolfhound killed a 60 lb Pit Bull. My Wolfhound was not aggressive with me or anyone else including other dogs. He played rough and dominated a couple of Rottweilers but never hurt them. I am guessing the Pit Bull had bad intentions and my Wolfhound just did what he had to in that situation. Pit Bulls are fighters period and I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them!

  4. Another life lost.. Her poor child is now parentless.
    Why, with all the information available of the danger of this breed and crossed with do people advocate so strongly in the Breeds favor?
    2019 appears to be at epidemic levels!
    The shelters . SPCA and private re homing is doing a great injustice to public safety. My state is inundated with them.
    Neighborhoods and Beaches are unsafe !

  5. Oh, you can tell it’s the owners fault !
    You can see how neglected this dog is, never receiving medical care and probably got beat everyday.
    You can see a huge chain in the yard and several kennels
    In the house……..the lady also looks questionable a best, probably a drug addict .

    I’m been sarcastic here. So this ” it’s the owner ” BS is clearly out the window . We can see she went above and beyond for that dog who turns around and KILLS her.
    This clearly shows that this breed is unstable and dangerous.
    Yes, other dogs kill, but who is clearly on the top of the list .
    Yup, your lovable, kissy, kissy pitie .
    I have zero sympathy for these owners…….NONE !

  6. The entire idea of having a vicious dog for ‘protection’ is alien to me. Just grow a pair and learn how to use a gun. It’s a lot cheaper overall, even self defense insurance is about $18 a month compared to homeowners high risk insurance.

    • Yes. Besides, due to the unpredictable nature of the breed, and the fact that the owners themselves say that their dogs “wouldn’t hurt a fly” how can you trust a dog to protect you? I never quite understood this mentality, either. When the $*** hits the fan, I’m going to be counting on myself to defend my family.

    • Even stupider is that even if a pitbull eats the burglar, in it’s heightened sense of aggression, it’s just as likely to maul the owner, next.

      While I’m not on board with guns, either–unless someone is willing to devote thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in a training facility, counting on a dog for protection is ludicrous.

      Get a terrier for a barking alarm and they won’t eat you πŸ˜€

  7. How absolutely awful for the little girl left behind. I hope she saw nothing of the attack. Thank God she wasn’t the one killed, or even injured. Now she’s motherless and traumatized. Because of a family pet. An f’ing family pet. An animal that should have been euthanized the very first time it bit the hand that fed it, if it had bitten her previously.
    Another beautiful young woman with her whole life ahead of her, a daughter to raise, and she’s slaughtered by a dog she loved and cared for.
    If Chopper is the dog that killed her, by looking at the photos, there does not appear to be neglect, starvation, abuse, or any other problems. He looks to be in fantastic shape and she clearly loved him and trusted him with her daughter. There’s the damn problem. THE LIE kills another. A well loved, well taken care of pit bull kills another person.
    Was she an apologist like so many others? Was she one of the ones who said “it’s all in how you raise ’em” or “my sweet baby would lick you to death”? The bottom line is this : it’s not f*cking worth it people!!!!
    A 13 month old baby and a beautiful young mother killed within days of each other by 2 different family pets. Loved, cared for, adored, NOT raised to kill and attack, pit bulls.
    I’m sure the rest of the apologists will try to spin it the way they did when Bethany Stephens was eaten by her dogs.
    Pit bull owners are the worst victim blamers out there. It’s never, ever the dog. I’m sure they’ll say Ms. Crayton brought it on herself. In a way, she did by simply bringing a pit bull into her home. But I’d wager she certainly never would have if she KNEW that the dog would one day murder her. Again, The Lie claims another victim.
    My condolences to Ms. Crayton’s family left behind to mourn her.

  8. I will never understand the denial owners of these dog’s have. They repeatedly get bit, yet still profess how misunderstood their dogs are. It reminds me of people (usually women) that try to sell family members and friends on how wonderful their inmate pen pal is. “He is missunderstood” or didn’t mean to harm… It is almost as if the worse the dog or breed is behaving, the more defensive or in denial the owner becomes. This is a whole new level of denial going on. The owner’s almost seem to believe they can love the misunderstood out of their dogs. It is nature against nurture.

    • Google ‘hybristophilia’.
      Yes, pit love is the doggie version of the mentally disturbed women that send Charles Manson and the like love letters.

      • The distinction I notice is that Manson, the Menendez Bros., etc. receive the love letters in prison *after* they have butchered someone to death (or directed butchery).

        The sub-section of pit nutters who want to rescue a pit *after* it has killed is, I think, just that — a sub-section.

        There is a much, much larger population of apologists who focus on denying what the pit is capable of. Once the pit does what the pit is capable of (Maulus in Extremis), these committed apologists move on to new objects of affection — pits that have not yet killed. Unlike the “My Sweet Ripper of Throats” sub-section of nutters, these people do have *some* standards … they just don’t like to admit that they are constantly ceding territory. That’s what weak people do. “Strong,” “virtuous” types are out there plugging for the ideal (which everyone else can recognize is a fantasy).

  9. From the photos on her FB page, Chopper looks like he was lavished with love and care. He got snuggles with the family, was taken outdoors on a leash for walk, and he was even provided with a doggie wheelchair when he got hurt earlier this year.

    A life rich with love, provision & indulgence was not enough to overcome pit bull genetics. This is beyond sad. She clearly loved & doted on her daughter, so the loss is going to be absolutely devastating for that little girl.

    Curiously, a photo turns up in her timeline on July 23rd. There’s a gruesome wound to an arm that looks like hers. No explanation of how the injury happened … only an “Ewww” caption.

    I don’t know what caused the wound, and I’m not going to speculate. Just putting the observation out there.

    Sincere condolences to her loved ones. This is terrible, and she deserved better from the dog she gave so much to.

  10. An observation I learned, dog training.

    Sometimes, people just don’t want to say, “I am in over my head and I need to euthanize this dog”.

    So they either keep on trying with a dog that is just too much for them, try to rehome it, or give it to a shelter.

    It’s hard to say, “Either I did not train this dog right, or the dog is genetically defective, or whatever is wrong here, I cannot fix it and I cannot take the risk to give it to someone else to fix” and let go.

    Nobody wants to euth their dangerous dog that bit them, or someone else.

    But sometimes, it’s the greatest gift you can give to dogs and people to just let it go. Learn from whatever errors, whether it was a wrong choice, or lack of expertise, or a genetically disturbed animal and go find a dog that fits that won’t be a chronic stressor but bring joy into everyone’s life.

    • Working in an animal shelter, I can honestly say I have thanked owners for their honesty when surrendering problem pets. I am sincere, honest and compassionate. It is usually a heart breaking decision they have come to. Often times they were duped into taking someone else’s problem dog on. I do feel bad for the animals too, they are overbred, under socialized, animals that can not help what they are. I regret removing no dangerous dog from this world. But they are victims too, and sending them to their final slumber is necessary, but can still be done with compassion. (I don’t consider shooting an animal during an attack inhumane, just referring to in a shelter or other controlled environment)

      • I believe that with so much emphasis placed on “rescuing” dangerous dogs, there is a huge stigma against actually admitting that a dog is too much to handle. The pit bull rescue groups seem to believe that their magical blend of “love and understanding” can cure any problem in their dogs. So in the minds of those who fall prey to their teachings, to have a dog which is too much to handle equals not just failure but a lack of that heroic love that is supposed to cure every bad behavior. So the individual who finds himself or herself overwhelmed by an aggressive dog may be hesitant to admit it and more likely to just hope it passes. Or to excuse the aggression (“he was just scared”) or to blame the victim (“she provoked my dog”). Add to this another common belief…. to acknowledge that the pit bull you raised with love and understanding is violent is to admit that it is not “all in how you raise them.” And that just doesn’t fit the narrative. I think it’s easier for the low-minded person to ignore the problems in their dogs or to blame others than to admit that they fell for a lie, or to continue to believe the lie and think that they’ve utterly failed.

        Many MANY years ago, I surrendered a dog (a pit bull/Dalmatian mix) to the local shelter because he had begun to kill our poultry and had attacked a puppy. I gave full disclosure. But I was made to feel that I had “given up” too soon with the dog. That I should give it more time. That I should make an effort to keep him separate from the other animals. I was almost shamed for admitting that he was too much for me. And this was a long time before the current climate of saving them all! I can only imagine that the shaming and the stigma are much worse now. It’s too bad that there aren’t more people like Dixie (the poster above) who are compassionate and understanding when someone finally says “this dog is too much for me.”

      • I did some training for an animal shelter years back. While the shelter cried “abuse”–most of the time, it just wasn’t true. Most of the dogs were mishandled, badly. With many, it was just a matter of better handling. The odd one was beyond repair for the average dog owner.

        Many people who buy rescue dogs are too tender-hearted to fix whatever went wrong in the first place. So, they make excuses for training failures instead of trying to find a way to work with the dog, and improve the situation. It takes dedication and patience and a fair bit of creativity and observation to repair training errors.

        I think it’s far less compassionate for a dog to live, lonely in a kennel because it’s unhandle-able and unhome-able than to give it the mercy of a painless death. Plus, it’s always a risk to shelter staff, to handle the animal.

        Most people aren’t dog trainers. They can’t get a poodle to “sit” without a milkbone in their hand. Sad, but true. They don’t understand the commitment to a dog. They’re shocked when you tell them, “You need a minimum of one hour *every day* to work with a single dog. No cell phone, no distractions, outside–walking, training and exercising, 365 days per year in rain/sleet/snow/heat. It’s a 24/7 relationship.” Triple that time for puppies for the first year and a half or more.

        And yes, the dogs are also the victims in this race to rescue the most damaged. One of the worst errors I see is that they get one dog, it misbehaves, and they get a second dog to “help it”. Now they have two unruly dogs, not enough hands and far too little experience of living in a pack.

    • Thanks for posting that video.

      October is Pitbull Awareness Month.

      I am 100% in favor of being Pitbull aware.

      I remember several years ago when I first began my education about the difference between bully dogs and normal domesticated dogs, there was an article about a woman who was life-flighted to a trauma center after an attack from “good” pit bull.

      One comment was “She got airlifted for a dog bite?” The general public doesn’t have a clue.

  11. The true experts of unprovoked, prolonged, suicidal deadly dog aggression, the dog fighters, never say ” it’s how you raise them.”

    They know bloodlines matter most.
    They describe their dogs by bloodlines and fighting weights. That’s why Tom Garner sell pups all around the world for $2000.

    You can learn a lot watching the sporting dog yard videos and reading the comments.

    On one video, evidently taped by fighting dog buyers from overseas, they’re showing dog after dog in the dog yard, describing bloodlines and fighting wins.

    “This is Turtle Buster on top and Red Boy on the bottom. He stopped Champion Bloodthirsty in 34 minutes,” says the owner.

    The camera focuses on one dog and the interpreter asks about that dog’s record. “Oh, he’s just a pup, he’s only 13 months, he hasn’t started yet.”

    “Starting” or “turning on” is when the mutation to want to maul and kill family, to kill their own kind, including submitting puppies, begins and the dog truly wants to maul others, because of psychopathic instinct alone.
    Up to that point it seems like a normal dog, kissy faced, wiggle butt.

    Choose simply matured, became a “good” pit bull, attacked and didn’t stop.

    Who needs this man-made mutation?
    Only dog fighters and other psychopaths.

    It’s cruel to all dogs and to bully dogs themselves to breed more if them.

  12. Senseless and tragic loss. What a beautiful woman/mother chewed to death by her own land shark. Damn the pit bull lovers for promoting these killers as β€œnanny dogs”. I have seen too many casualties caused by pit bulls- and I don’t see anything slowing down this madness let alone stopping it.

  13. I’m so very sorry about your friend. She was a lovely young woman. (My youngest daughter is a Morgan, too, so there’s always a little additional pang for me.)

    FWIW, I’d be willing to bet this is one of if not the only place on the internet where *no one* thinks she somehow provoked her dog into attacking her. I can pretty much guarantee that no one here thinks that.

  14. Of course it’s not a debate about the breed of the dog. There is no debate, it is clear from the hundreds of gruesome deaths that pit bulls have a capacity to kill that is unlike any other breed. Pit bulls are also extremely unpredictable, meaning nobody knows if and when they will kill. They should never be in a family home. No one hear is blaming the victim, we are all 100% blaming the pit bull, and blaming the pitbull advocates who out and out lie about their safety (I am assuming your friend was not one of the lying pit bull advocates, but was genuinely duped into thinking it was safe to have such a dangerous animal in her house with her young child.) The whole situation is heartbreaking, I just pray that more and more people start waking up and spreading the word that pit bulls are NOT safe to have in a household.

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