Medessa Ragsdale, 44, was found dead after a vicious dog attack in north Houston.
Dogs Kill Woman
Houston, TX - One woman is dead and another severely injured after a vicious dog attack in north Houston, according to police. The attack occurred in the 5500 block of Arlington Street near East Hamilton Road. About 5:45 am police received a call from a man who said his wife was attacked and injured by dogs. Several minutes later, another person called who said he owned the dogs. According to him, the dogs also attacked a second woman, who he thought was dead in a ditch.
HPD homicide detectives are currently at the scene. The surviving woman was transported to a local hospital. All three dogs have been contained and are in the possession of animal control, police said. KTRK reports that all three dogs are pit bulls. The dogs' owner is being cooperative, police said. The case will go to the district attorney's office for review. This appears to be an off-property attack resulting in death and should fall under the Texas state felony dog attack statute.
The Two Female Victims
The injured woman is expected to survive her injuries, reports the Houston Chronicle. By about 9:00 am, the unidentified victim still lay dead in a ditch outside the dog owner's home. Horrifically, in an unrelated attack, a dog lay dead in a ditch across the street. Neighbors said the dead dog had been there for days. Neighbors said the attacking pit bulls had a history of violence, including previously attacking their owner and a home invasion attack on a neighbor a few years ago.
"This morning we received two separate calls about vicious animals. The first call dropped at 05:48 this morning where the complainant's husband called in and said his wife was attacked by dogs. Officers arrived at 05:52 and met the complainant and the husband at Courtland and Hamilton, where she had multiple dog bites. She was transported to Memorial Greater Heights in stable condition. She's going to survive her wounds.
At 5:55 this morning, the owner of the dogs that did the attack called the police and reported that his dogs had attacked a woman and she was lying in a ditch and she was possibly deceased. Officers tied both calls together and they came back to the scene and they found a woman, unfortunately who was deceased. She was bitten by some animals and that's why we are here.
Homicide was called to the scene and they are doing an investigation. The original investigation is that the dog owners -- when the officers went to the house -- he reported that his dogs probably attacked the lady. She's lying dead in the ditch. He's cooperative, but he's not giving any statements right now until he gets to homicide.
There are three pit bulls that we know. We don't know if they have any shots ... we have them contained. Harris County animal control is en route to take custody of the dogs. That is all we have at this time. We do not know the identity of the deceased lady yet. That is what we are trying to investigate right now." - Assistant Chief Pete Lopez, Houston Police Department
By December 23, the identity of the deceased female was still pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. The second female victim was 49-years old. "The two women were not walking together at the time of the attack," states the Houston PD website. A friend of the deceased woman said Medessa "was out here in the streets, but she was full of life." She also said the pit bull "with the ears clipped, the big gray and white one" was aggressive.
On January 2, we contacted the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. The office identified the victim as 44-year old Medessa Jean Ragsdale. The cause and manner of death is pending.
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Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
Yet another preventable attack. The owner had previously been attacked, yet still kept the dogs? Why??? My sympathy goes out to the families of both victims.
Off-property attacks are what I am most afraid of, because if I visit someones property, or if visitors visit my property, I can anticipate possibility of proximity with dangerous animals that people posses as pets. But off-property, on the street, it is ambush-only anticipation of the risk of the threat. There is no way of knowing when off-property.
The authorities knew about these violent animals, and nothing ever got done. A normal American can step outside his door and avoid pestilence, famine and the sword, but be sent to Heaven by wild beasts.
Not anymore they can’t. USA is PitBull Country now. It’s dangerous. I don’t even walk my Chi. I know too much now. This has got to be addressed. If the law makers would focus on their real job, protecting the public, we could begin to get a handle on this. Instead radicals have have infested so much of government and now NOTHING works.
Once again —
Repeat offenders. Known aggressive dogs.
I came to this site having just read a story on WAVY (Hampton VA area), where there has been a dog-mauling fatality earlier this year. (BTW, has Chopper been euthanized yet?)
Guess what the local law in Hampton says re: at-large dogs?
The first woman is asking for the dogs to be removed or more action to be taken on the owners. According to Hampton Police, animal control cannot impound dogs upon first contact or first offense.
If police encounter the animal while they’re off their own property, they can bring them in but not impound them. Only after three incidents of an animal being “at-large” can animal control impound the canine.
IOW, the laws (or lack of laws) in many cases are enabling irresponsible owners to continue being irresponsible. In the era of pit bulls, these laws end up fostering the endangerment of the public.
We can’t have land sharks everywhere AND lax at-large laws AND public safety. Legislators and LE are failing the public.
BTW, uhh, “nice” neighborhood. A dog lies dead in a ditch for days and nobody does anything about it? I hope that dog was not a victim of these killer pit bulls, but it would be quite a coinkeedink for some random dog to drop dead just feet from the property where killer pit bulls reside.
RE dog attack in Hampton VA, the state dangerous dog statute says that a dog that bites a human or attacks / kills another animal is deemed dangerous and has to be severely restricted or put down.
I acquired my concealed carry permit because my neighbor owns a pitbull mix that barks at me behind their fence when I walk to the mailbox.
It’s obvious to me that their dog could clear the fence in a single bound, but when he does, I won’t be calling the authorities.
And this IS the best way to handle the problem. If you count on the ‘authorities’ for your safety you are going to be sorely disappointed, at best.
You have to remember that you are responsible for every round that comes out of the chamber. So, if you fire at the dog and miss (most people cannot hit the broad sign of a barn from more than 10 yards), and end up hitting a human and injuring or killing the same human, you will be in huge trouble with the law. I carry as well, but it would only be an option if there were no one else around. I use a stun baton and pepper spray primarily.
Thank you for this important reminder about gun safety. Remember the cop shooting at a dog and killed a woman? It happens to people who train regularly.
A battery powered chainsaw might also offer some protection if the attack isn’t from behind you.
Could be safer when stopping the mauling of a victim too.
End the attack.
No permits required
Isn’t it twisted that we are responsible for every bullet that we might have to use in defense of our lives against killer dogs, but the owners of the killer dogs have zero responsibility when their dogs kill a human being? It’s disgusting and unacceptable. My handgun isn’t going to break out of my house when I’m not home and kill some innocent woman walking by. It’s not going to turn on me while I’m having a seizure. It’s not going to kill my baby because I sneezed. It’s not going to leap off a 2nd story balcony to attack someone. It’s not going to “exhuberantly greet” someone and kill them. It’s not going to go on a killing spree resulting in the death of horses, goats, and chickens. And yet, pit bulls have done all these things (and so much more) without any legal consequence. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
I wish the owners of dangerous dogs were held to the same standard as we gun owners. I won’t hold my breath.
AMEN. Well said.
I agree there needs to be laws to get rid of all pit bulls.
Yep, once again, Animal Control clearly knew about these beasts, and once again they’d been violent before, but the owner was allowed to keep them so they could eventually kill someone.
When are our effing “public services” going to start serving the actual public, ffs? This is just infuriating and upsetting.
The laws and procedures are B.F. — Before Frankenmaulers. One free bite, no local leash laws, three notified incidents of running at large before dogs can be impounded, pibble owners not being held accountable when their dogs kill other people’s pets and livestock, no automatic felony charges for pit and run, shelters not being held accountable for rehomed pit bulls who maul people or neighbors at their new adoptive households, no ban on use of drugs by shelters or rescues to mask aggressive behavior, no prosecution of aggressive pibble shuffling from state to state and burying the paperwork/histories of these dogs …. on and on and on.
B.F. laws are completely inadequate with dogs that routinely break containment and go looking for something to kill; that have a high degree of association with disturbed, irresponsible owners; that don’t just bite and release but bite to kill; that have been bred to be dog aggressive; that are impervious to pain and notoriously difficult to get to stop attacking, etc.
I don’t know when the laws will catch up with the reality of the situation on the streets and in our neighborhoods.
Absolutely. And the laws won’t catch up until enough people realize what’s going on and start demanding that they do (and until the pit bull lobby finally is seen for what it is).
To add to what I wrote earlier about B.F. laws:
Pit bulls demonstrate highly predatory behavior. They break containment IN ORDER TO go kill something — frequently, a neighbor’s dog, cat or livestock.
This happened just three days ago (link copied from Our Pets Were Attacked by Pit Bulls FB page):
In *this particular* case, the pibble owner actually signed her dogs over to be euthanized — so, not a nutter. But legally, she wasn’t required to do that, and if she had resisted, the max she would have received was the citations.
B.F. laws are inadequate to address the predatory nature of pit bulls. These are not dogs who get loose in order to run around knocking over trash cans and raiding the neighbors’ garbage. They break into neighbors’ yards, enter the neighbors’ homes through dog doors, and kill the neighbors’ pets.
They are not nuisances. They are violent home invaders. “Citations” to the pit bull owner don’t cut it when a neighbor’s fence system has been damaged, their home invaded and their pet slaughtered.
If pit bull owners faced SERIOUS PRISON TIME (i.e. not 30 days) for violent home invasions caused by their pit bulls, then maybe a fair number of them would rethink their choice of dog.
As it stands with the B.F. laws, innocent children, neighbors, and the public at large are disproportionately bearing the consequences when these chain saws on legs go rogue. The medical costs of life flights and reconstructive surgery are astronomical. Why should these costs be on victims, victims’ insurance companies and Good Samaritans on GoFundMe?
Put the medical costs squarely where they belong — on the pit bull owners. Make the legal and criminal consequences of pit bull attacks heavily punitive (just like your average pit bull mauling) and put those consequences where they belong — on the pit bull owners.
That’s a great point about the cost to the taxpaying public. I wonder if there’s a way to do such a cost analysis that would be fairly uniform no matter the locale, with regard to first responders, animal control & shelter resources.
Obviously medical costs are going to vary widely from case to case, not just due to nature and severity of injuries but also due to age and vitality of the victim. There are ER doctors on record as saying pit bull attack injuries are way more expensive than injuries those from most other dogs because of how pit bulls maul when they attack — degloving, scalping, amputation of limbs, consumption of ears and eyes, etc.
At any rate, I’m sure the numbers, if they are ever tallied, would be shocking to most people. All a totally unnecessary cost to society … and all because some people have to have Muh Pibble.
True. I hope the owners of the dog that was killed sue the pit’s owner to kingdom come.
The top picture on this article is worth a 1000 words. I keep coming back and looking at it. The dog is wearing the twine leash and is being walked from the scene. The creature is extremely muscular with the shape and geometry that gives it the appearance of being able to propose forward and low extremely quickly. It looks like the kind of dog that would be a champion fighter. Intact testifies appear to be present making him a fine stud dog. His neck is massively muscles, no fought from being trained by wearing 100 lbs. of chain. That neck would be able to withstand bites in battle. Zooming in, I can see pink stained blood on the front white fur yes, a true champion. No, these dogs were not family pets, they were being kept and rendered ready for fighting, as catch dogs, or for “protection.”
Correction of Siri: His neck is massively muscles, no doubt from being trained by wearing 100 lbs. of chain.
I now see that his ears have been short-cropped. Yes, a fine fighting dog, indeed.
Yes, the word “ditch” in these cases rends my heart too. These people, minding their own business, do not deserve to die in a ditch. The recent older gentleman Cledith was found in a ditch as well. And my brother-in-law’s young cousin (about 12) barely survived a pack mauling and was found in a ditch after being torn from his bike. If someone passing by had not seen him (and the 6 dogs still tearing into him) he would have died there. Just a boy on his bike in rural Mississippi. Almost another corpse in a ditch, left there by roving dogs. Like something from an undeveloped country with no law or order…
It must be hard to be the one to compile these cases. Thank you for what you do, Colleen.
Yes, Colleen I salute you for being at the front of what is a very tough issue. You’re my hero personally. I know how hard it must be to endure the constant threats from the PitBull maniacs. They are not rational.. Who could rationally adopt a PitBull? But, the worst part is the victim photos. I urge everyone to show anyone that supports these dangerous beasts this https://rc4ps.org/warning-gallery-of-pit-bull-attack-victims/
See what we are fighting for. Warning YOU WILL CRY. No way around it.
This is our new reality. It’s gotta stop. Bless you Colleen.
Ditches are where you find garbage and runoff water. They aren’t where you expect to find the bodies of humans and companion animals.
This homeless woman is known to God. She died alone, in agony, in a ditch … because a pit bull owner couldn’t be bothered to fix his fence except to put a traffic cone in front of the gap (made by his dogs in the first place, no doubt).
Losing a loved one to this sort of sudden, violent, agonizing death is hard enough … but right before the holidays would seem to be way worse, if it can possibly be worse. The Garces family faces Christmas without their sweet boy; the Davenport family without their remarkable father and grandfather; and three girls are motherless.
I want to wish Colleen and her readers a blessed Christmas and holiday season in spite of the tragedy we see unfolding too many times. It’s because we care about people who are hurting, and want to make things better, that we are here on this site.
I hope everyone has a merry and joy-filled next few days wherever you are, whether you have snow or sun or rain in your part of the country. My dog will be getting a big honking bone for Christmas, plus a few “faux present boxes” for him to rip open (shhhh, he thinks they are REAL presents and that the gift is getting to rip them open!).
Peace and blessings, all. And as Sgt. Esterhaus used to say on Hill Street Blues, “Let’s be careful out there.”
I do need to be careful out here. I just found out that my cousin and his “rescue angel” wife are moving in just a few houses down (maybe 300 yards) from us along with their “poor abused” rescue dogs. How many dogs? More than 20. Won’t that be pleasant? Including at least two that they claim are pit bulls. Haven’t seen them… there could be more. Poor, misunderstood, wouldn’t hurt a fly pit bulls. (Rolling eyes.) My mother had a conversation with the wife which was like a live action run down of the maul talk manual, hitting every point. I’m hoping that when their pits fulfill their intended, generations-bred purpose and begin attacking that they start with those other 20 in their household before making their way over here to maim or kill our pot-bellied pig, ducks, chickens, goats, cat or small dogs. Oh, or one of us. He claims he’s making a secure pen. We’ll see. I hope it’s way more secure than the fence put up by the man in this Houston area attack which left a woman dead and another grievously wounded.
This woman was my younger sister. We had lost contact in the last year. Her choice. If you think this will pass without my intervention, then you are wrong.
I accidentally posted too far down, but I wanted to respond to you, Colleen.
Medessa was my younger sister. I am horrified that this happened to her. We lost touch about a year ago, I had no idea she was on the streets.
I promise you, this will not be a forgotten case.