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15 thoughts on “2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Owner After Attacking Her Two Separate Times in Ventura County

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  1. This is what happens when people are allowed to own dangerous animals, and the owner is allowed to remove the warning labels from the dangerous animals. Some people are bewildered when predictably and/or unpredictably dangerous animals attack.

  2. Trying to protect people from themselves is crazy! The number of people that know better, but allow themselves to be coerced into bad, (and often deadly) decisions is staggering. The evolution of animal sheltering continues.

    • This was a very difficult case to write about — we have had the information since September. We write with the goal to prevent this from happening again.

      • Thank you for this shocking article. You did a really good job presenting all the facts, as usual. Thank you for sharing this information!

      • Thank you so much Colleen!

        How do you ever get any sleep?
        Both from 1) the countless hours it takes to try to keep up with all these horrendous attacks, from 2) the empathy for the terror and pain inflicted on the victims and potential victims.
        We really appreciate your hard work and bravery.

  3. It’s a good thing actually

    I hate to say it but I actually have a little party everytime a Pitbull kills its owner.
    Way to eliminate both at the same time.

  4. When it became clear that children needed protection from some parents, laws and public policy were made to enable public agencies to remove children from abusive or neglectful homes. When adults attempt suicide, we take them and put them into care, at least for a short period for evaluation. Now it seems that ADULTS need protection from vicious dogs belonging to their own family or household members, or even their own dogs.

    Is it a case of peer pressure and societal pressure to hoard and protect these dangerous dogs against all common sense? Is it a new mental disorder to keep “abusive dogs” around? We try so hard to get abused women out of domestic abuse relationships for their own mental and physical safety. This should be no different.

    When will we enact laws that give public safety interest above the interests of these vicious dogs? If a dog attacks a person and disables, disfigures or kills them, they should be euthanized. Period. There is no sensible reason to keep such a dog alive, and there is every public safety and public interest reason to euthanize it.

    • Agreed!
      Read about Spindletop Pitbull Rescue, and Lindsay Morrow’s Bully dog Rescue.

      I believe it’s kinder to immediately kill attacking bully dogs. That way they die happy, doing what they love and are bred to do.

      Better than starving to death in a crate somewhere, while some human rakes in money for “saving” them.

      New laws are needed.

      All the owners, handlers and keepers of dogs that severely injure or kill dogs, humans, or other domestic animals should be charged with felony animal neglect and abuse. Punishment for everyone would be a lifetime ban on dog ownership or contact.

      This would include attacks on owners as well. Your dog rips off your ear? You never live with or own any dog again.

      It must be any dog to prevent the acquisition of a “pug mix” puppy that oops, matures to suddenly become a game bred pitbull.

      Bully people insist it’s the human’s fault. Perfect.
      Punish the humans.

      The FBI currently tracks convicted animal abusers, they could become the National Registry of those banned from dog ownership.

      Signs would be posted at their homes: No Dogs Permitted.

      Any dogs later found in their possession would immediately be confiscated.

      Publicized and enforced, this breed neutral affordable law would begin to make at least some dog owners care enough to prevent that first attack. Publicized and enforced, it would end recidivism

  5. My mouth is hanging open. Seriously, what is wrong with people?! I adore dogs and have owned them most of my life. If one bit someone and especially caused serious damage, I would have to make the tough but only sane choice to euthanize the dog–not rehome, not rehabilitate, not keep, and certainly not joke about!

    My family had a dog years ago of a breed not known to be dangerous who due to being attacked by other dogs started to show some fear aggression (growling and lunging) and at times growling at the humans in the family (likely due to what we later learned was severe hip dysplasia so being asked to jump off the bed wasn’t always something he wanted to do). We seriously considered euthanizing him even though he never bit or caused any damage to any living thing. Thankfully a behaviorist helped us work through his issues. This was in the 90’s when people still held sane views about dog behavior. Even though it would have been extremely heartbreaking, if he had posed a threat and hurt another dog or person, we would have had to say goodbye.

    And somehow to me, sending a dog off to a “sanctuary” almost sounds worse than euthanasia! Dogs aren’t horses meant to roam free in a herd. They are generally meant to be and happiest in a home with people. I wish the craziness around dogs these days would end!

  6. I’m trying to figure out what’s the worst secondary (after the brutal death) aspect of the story:

    1) The daughters wanting their mother’s killers back.

    2) Two separate animal organizations assisting the daughters in their efforts.

    3) The animal control agency having repeatedly released the pit bulls back to the victim in the past, releasing Havoc this time.

    As a daughter, I’d have to say #1 – but as a dog owner, I’m more frightened by the other two. There are always going to be some creepy individuals in the world. But seeing multiple organizations treating rinse-and-release as a quite reasonable, normal method of responding to serious dog attacks is very troubling.

    • Everything about this case is distressing. It’s not just the loss of common sense. It’s the cooperation role the SHELTER played in this incident. So many shelters and ACO agencies are run by NUTTERS. It’s really starting to show.

  7. The handling of this case by Ventura County Animal Services and Canine Adoption and Rescue League is atrocious. Both should have large lawsuits thrown at them.

    Rescue missions to “save them all” should never take precedence over human life, which usually also includes other pets lives. Rescue workers/volunteers and dog trainers are 99% self declared experts on animal behavior. Public safety should not rest in such unqualified hands. Doctors, etc. who treat these victims should be the experts we are listening too.

    Additionally, County shelters should not be able to sign away liability as dogs are never guaranteed to stay quarantined to a desert island. “Be careful” signs are a joke. If the evidence exists there is a danger to the public, the dog should be put down for human safety.

    What has happened to American mental status with respect to dogs? Bizarre world we live in.

  8. Thank you for this detailed account of what went wrong in Ventura County, and in the Crawford household, leading up to the totally avoidable death of Maria Crawford. The story highlights two shockingly pervasive factors in dog maulings — the refusal of owners to acknowledge that their dog is dangerous and the failure of local authorities to protect human beings. We are inclined to consider the first “denial” on the part of the owner, when we should be calling it what it is — pathological indifference to the suffering of others. The latter failure we tend to attribute to the incompetence of a public agency, when in fact it is willful disregard for human safety.

    DogsBite.org is to be commended for documenting these two alarming trends over the years, which result in nobody ever truly being held responsible for what their dog does and public employees getting paid for NOT doing their job.

    Elsewhere in California, I just learned yesterday of a similarly bad situation in Marin County. There, an owner is allowing his two pit bulls to terrorize people on Currey Lane in Sausalito. Their attacks on human beings date back at least to 2016, and more recently the dogs mauled two men in two separate incidents only three hours apart. Still, neither the Marin Humane Society (which contracts with the county to provide animal services) nor the Sausalito Police Department has done anything to prevent such an attack from happening again. And to compound the theme of “public servants” gone rogue, the dog owner is an attorney with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, which has a history of working to keep at least one dangerous pit bull on the street.

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