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33 thoughts on “2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Cause of Death Determined - Teenager Killed by Dogs in Knott County, Kentucky

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  1. 99% probability that the animals were owned by someone and that they were dogs. Anyone on earth who sets foot outside of their bedroom takes a risk of a grave threat of being attacked by dogs.

    • Being inside your bedroom won’t save you. Remember Sue Gorman, who was sleeping in her bedroom when a neighbor’s 2 pit bulls pushed open the home’s front door? They were hunting her dog, which they’d attacked in the past; they tracked it into her bedroom, attacked it, killed a dog she was dogsitting, and mauled her.

      https://blog.dogsbite.org/2007/10/owners-charged-in-attack-where-pit.html

      https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/pit-bulls-maul-sleeping-woman/

      • Thank you. Yes, you are correct. The proximity of human beings with un- and/or predictably dangerous animals brings some risk of grave threat. Of course, there are many, many similar tragic cases. Again, thank you.

        • Seems weird to me, what 13 year old goes trekking up a steep hill that far by themselves? Kids have better things to do these days and he doesn’t necessarily look like an outdoorsy kid, but I could be wrong. Just saying this is weird.

          • Are you blaming a kid for playing outside?
            I had computers and game systems, I still ventured outside. I knew our hundred acres in and out, and the neighboring properties too. Even one area that the only way to get down was your butt, and only way back up was grabbing saplings and tree roots and pulling yourself up.

            He might have wondered out to get away from tension in the household. He should not have had to worry about dogs killing him.

  2. Based on the geographical location, this is either going to be from pits or coonhounds. If reports come out to be strays or mixed breeds, this is basically code for pits. Right now, someone is trying to disown their dogs so this doesn’t come back to them.

  3. The main tool that I think would protect a person against a bully dog attack would be a battery powered chainsaw.

    All too often, bully dogs have continued attacking even after being shot and stabbed repeatedly.

    The results of the ATTS show that even gun shots won’t stop 86% of bully dogs. In part 4 of the ATTS, a starter pistol is fired 3 times behind the dog. Dogs that panic fail the test. 86% of bully dogs pass the test.

  4. Too many things left out of the report. Will be interested in following the emerging details. I agree, someone owns these dogs. Prayers, as always, for the family

    • Details? Someone knows, but they still aren’t saying:

      wkyt,com/content/news/Community-remembers-Knott-County-boy-killed-in-animal-attack-568086661.html
      “Updated: Fri 5:38 PM, Feb 21, 2020. … … …Investigators still haven’t said what kind of animal may have been involved in the attack.”

      Just severely depressing.

  5. Your article ends with indicates a “domesticated dog”. Domesticated dogs don’t kill. He may be someones dog but is NOT domesticated. Also we all should follow up on a similar death of a 73 year old schoolteacher in Beaufort in Jan of LAST year. She was also mauled and their is STILL no resolution. I don’t know whether or not there is a coverup or the investigators are all like Barney Fife.

    • We last checked in on that case in January. The evidence was being sent to the second lab and after that, if still no results, it will go to a third and final lab. If there ever is a resolution, that case is still many months away.

  6. Loose dogs should be subject to being shot on sight. Tired of morons who let their dogs run loose with this being the result. This could be prevented with routine house checks by animal uncontrol to be sure dogs are property licensed, microchipped or tagged, vaccinated, contained and insured. If they levied a fine for each violation they’d be rolling in dough. But they’d rather be pit bull social workers after the fact.

    • Yup. Instead of social workers we need animal control to be what they started out as, dog police. With pits being rampant now every ACO needs an AR-15 and a shot gun in addition to their side arm. Bullet proof vest and bite sleeves are a good idea too.

  7. What we have heard about this case is that the boy was staying with a relative and that an adult male in that home, who was apparently also injured, is the owner of the pit bull. We know who he is and have photos of this dog. It seems police are investigating a criminal angle and are just not going to release any more information until they are finished. With police stating, “this is not suspected to be anything other than a terrible accident” indicates this could only be a dog. There is no such thing as an “accident” in police/investigative language when a wild animal kills. Also, we would have heard from the wildlife officials by now. Not an “accident”.

    • Thank you for the update. Local powers know that someone is not going to let these cases be permanently swept under the rug. Thank you for being that someone!

    • Several hundred times, at first blush, appears to be a statistically significant proportion of times that pit bull owners falsely claim that that a family owned pit bull did not perpetrate the attack. I wonder how this compares with the proportion of pit bull family owners who do not falsely deny that the family owned pit bull perpetrated the fatal attack. Oh, and if family survivors of the victim are motivated to falsely claim that the family owned dog did not perpetrate the attack, does that usually mean that police investigators will likewise be motivated to cease investigation of such cases?

      • I was speaking primarily to nonfatal attacks over the last 13 years. It’s a cliché excuse. When there are no witnesses in an outdoor fatal pit bull attack and the victim is exposed to other elements, this excuse is often used as well, unless the dog is standing near the body and covered in blood (but even that does not stop conspiracy theories). What we have heard about this case is that police have not located the brother’s dog. No one in the family knows where it is apparently. As long as the dog is missing (or dead and buried), there is no way to match DNA. This is a child’s death. Police place more emphasis on child cases. So, we have not lost hope yet. Police have not suggested publicly there is an element of criminality, as they said, this is likely a “terrible accident.” But if they do suspect criminality, then they have to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt — so they need the dog’s DNA. Separately, but related, there were no witnesses in the recent Georgia case either. Police did not even confiscate the suspected dogs.

        • They could test DNA on dog hair in the home, the car, or the dog house/pen/run outside. Better yet, all the feces in the yard/home. They could take several samples so the uncle can’t claim that is contamination.

    • Who, for the sake of all that is good and right, would obfuscate the truth in order to protect the dog that potentially killed their own child? There is something dreadfully amiss in the mentality (and the morality) of these people if that’s the case.

      I’ve personally known someone to blatantly lie in order to protect their dog from the stigma of having bitten a small child in the face with no provocation and within arms’reach of three adults including the owners. It wasn’t a pit bull (thankfully), but it was the dog of a close relative and she later claimed that her dog had been “startled” by the child… instead of stating the truth that the child had asked permission to pet the dog and had been doing so gently for several long moments before the dog attacked. Why lie in this case? I guess to make her dog look better and deflect any negative feelings people may have had about them keeping him. But lying to cover up for a dog that KILLED YOUR OWN CHILD… what sort of unfeeling callous mother could do that and still live with herself? What sort of uncle could whisk the dog away to places unknown while his nephew lies cold and dead?

      What sort of people are these?

      It’s all rhetorical. I know what sort they are. They are the type that believe their “right” to own their breed of choice is more important than the lives of humans. Thus I shouldn’t be surprised that their actions are completely selfish.

    • You do realize what you just said, right? Please explain this so that others who do not understand the term “dogman” — a man who breeds fighting dogs and/or fights them to the death — can. If your definition of a “dogman” is some type of mystical creature, please go away.

  8. Damn shame there has been no updates on this. I don’t blame you Colleen. You are doing excellent work on this subject. No, I damn to hell the authorities who are supposed to keep us safe who refuse to tell the truth about “man’s best friends”,

  9. I just heard the tail end of a WDKY-TV news broadcast about the Godsey investigation. Said it was “feral dogs”. I didn’t hear the beginning of the broadcast and I can’t find anything in google searches yet. Maybe tomorrow there will be an update available online.

  10. So, the dogs are in custody but they “don’t know what kind” they are? Uh, it’s really not that hard to look at the phenotype and surmise ancestry. Photos would be really nice in this case. If the killing animals had turned out to be coyotes, I can almost guarantee that photos of those coyotes would abound, as well as demands for coyote control in the area.

    Simply because they didn’t even hazard a guess on the breed, I’m going to assume they were clearly pit mixes and someone doesn’t want to stir up trouble. I’ll change my mind when I see a photo.

  11. I’m originally from that area (Not in KY, but I was born, raised, and lived in VA until I was 32, 3~ish years ago. My last VA residence was about a half hour away from where this unfortunate young man was attacked.) There’s just something about people there and their damned ‘pits’.

    It’s not much better where I live now (East TN), but I think the complete lack of economic opportunities (loss of coal mining) combined with the rampant drug use that makes it worse in that area. I’ve watched people fork out hundreds of dollars to get their prized ‘red nose’ while their children basically live in squalor and in constant fear of their utilities being shut off for nonpayment. They’ll brag about their ‘brindle baby’s’ bloodline to anyone that will listen but couldn’t tell your their daughter’s birthday if you offered them a stack of hundred dollar bills. (These are not just judgemental anecdotes I’m using to put down the people living in that part of Appalachia. I love the place and the people. These are real, literal instances that I’ve witnessed firsthand.)

    My only personal experience with pit ownership was thanks to my darling wife. Before we got married, I’d decided to get a small dog for my house to keep me company, but my friend Travis’s two dogs had puppies and when she saw this little blonde thing at his house, I knew she’d picked out ‘my’ dog. It was 1/2 pit, 1/4 boxer, 1/4 Walker coonhound (mother was a pit, sired by a boxer/Walker mix).

    I raised that dog well, and correctly, in my opinion. He was a gentle dog for the most part, listened well, and was fun to be around. He slept beside me at night and was good company. I called him Hank and we had over two years of time at my place. But sometimes, there was a ‘shift’ in him that I’d see. It was like that pit bull portion of his DNA kicked in and he was a different dog. Shark eyes, lowered head, raised shoulders, methodically hunting whatever triggered him. My wife said I was imagining it. We got married and he integrated well with her 10yo Jack Russell mix.

    Until he just… didn’t. My wife and I were on our porch about 15ft above our 3/4+ acre fenced dog lot, and her old dog Sam walked by Hank, and Hank just snapped. With no reasoning, no changes in situation, no food or toys involved, without being startled, Hank locked his jaws onto Sam’s neck and pinned him into the dirt. It was the most brutal dog attack I’ve seen in person.

    In our split-level house, both exits are at the opposite end of our house from the porch we were on. My wife, through whatever wife magic she has, picked up a heavy ceramic flower pot the size of a soccer ball, lifts it over her head, and hits Hank square in the forehead. On contact, he lets Sam go, shakes off the blow, and then looks at my wife, his Momma and his favorite person ever, and briefly snarls and growls in her direction.

    That was only incident I needed to know that Hank was leaving. It took a couple weeks to get him into somewhere that would take him, and honestly, I’d have put him down myself that day had I not been convinced otherwise. That’s how wary I was of him after that incident. If that would’ve been my then-1yo daughter instead of Sammy, there’s not even a remote chance she’d have survived.

    There’s so many people with those dogs in the area, and if more than 3-5% of those are capable, knowledgeable, responsible owners, then there ain’t a cow in Texas. They breed anything ‘pit’ with anything ‘pit’ and sell unregistered puppies to the first guy with a hundred dollar bill. And none of this is even taking into account the people actively making some aggressive for ‘watchdogs’ or ‘protection animals’ while having absolutely no idea how to do so or what doing so correctly entails.

    I’d wager the pack of dogs that ended this young life so needlessly and tragically had at least a couple of abandoned pits that owners couldn’t handle/didn’t want anymore/lost control of. If prior ownership of even ONE of those animals could be proven, then Kentucky needs to bring to bear the full weight of the law on that person. This boy did not deserve this, and owning an animal bred for years specifically to inflict damage then turning it loose to be other people’s problem should not be ignored.

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