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28 thoughts on “2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills 2-Year Old Child in Portsmouth, Virginia

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  1. There are only two possibilities: It was either always so friendly, or someone had seen it show sign of aggression in the past. As long as it is legal to own dangerous canines as pets, this will continue.

  2. The audio is heartbreaking. My heart is literally being torn out of my chest.

    There is nothing I can say about this awful death that hasn’t been said about every other. I would like to ponder something else unrelated to this needless torture and death….. Does anyone want to speculate what the coronavirus will do to animal shelters and the pit population? Financial pain is coming to the US and many of the pits are going to be surrender due to the cost of keeping them. With the shelters keep trying to store and rehome them? Will they have to get serious about euthanizing these (and other large dogs) due to the cost of boarding them? Areas hit with the virus are ghost towns. Businesses are feeling the pain. Schools are being closed and families are having to have one or the only parent stay home to watch the kids while they do cyber education. I think we are going to see more lose/pack pit bulls. I think we may also see a decline in their population. Maybe.

  3. Glad the dog has been surrendered. Incredibly sad to hear of another little life lost. Removed her face? Ghastly!

  4. I would like to say that pit bulls frequently start showing aggression at mental maturity rather than at sexual maturity. Spaying/neutering a pit bull puppy will not alter its temperament substantially. And it will never achieve sexual maturity.

    In addition, I’m not sure age is always that critical. My family’s dog was killed by a seven month old intact male pit bull.

    My client’s one year old white intact male pit bull ripped out his neighbor’s Achilles tendon, nearly castrated him, and crippled the man for life. This dog, believe it or not, remained in the household with children.

    I know many pit bulls are being left at shelters when 1 1/2 -2 years old. This is the same age that many other breeds of dogs test their owners to determine who is the pack leader. One of my male GSDs in that age bracket has tested me a bit. He has largely quit because I don’t back down to a bratty dog.

    At any rate, I think it would be wonderful if we could prevent all pit bull attacks by early spays/neuters. Unfortunately, it’s not a solution for biting. It’s a great solution for pit bull overpopulation. Statistically, neutered dogs bite people more often than intact dogs.

  5. It’s just so heartbreaking. That poor baby girl. The enraging thing is that it was 100% preventable and this is why we need BSL. It’s the only thing that cuts down on the bites and deaths.
    God. Her poor mom. Can you even imagine. I can’t. And thank God I can’t.

  6. Every shelter, online dog “expert,” pit-pushing website and media outlet which has promoted the nanny dog myth is complicit in this child’s death. Families out there actually believe that fairy tale and this is the tragic result. They believe that not only are pit bulls safe for families, but that they are actually “the best” choice for a family pet, because that’s what they hear and read but every day. Pits are pushed and defended and promoted like no other breed in history, and families believe it. If only the propagandists could be made to look upon the result of their misinformation, if only they could be forced to see what the first responders had to see when they found that little girl with her face decimated by a “family pet.” I’ve read the comments below the news stories, most of which claim two things… that “any dog could do this” and that “children should never be left alone with any dog.” Then in the next breath they say “pits need to be properly trained not to be aggressive” and “pits are nanny dogs.” I swear there is some sort of brain disconnect there, because they don’t even realize that they are contradicting themselves. If any breed can attack, why do only pits specifically need to be trained not to do so? And if one should never leave a dog alone with any child, then what purpose does the mythical nanny dog serve? Especially since they also make the most hurtful claim of all, that the child must have “done something” to provoke the dog and therefore got what was deserved. Some nanny dog.

    No child could ever deserve such a death. And families are left with unimaginable pain and grief because they believed what they were told by so-called experts.

    • Very well said. My heart aches for these beautiful, disfigured and deceased children. The adults failed to protect this precious little life. And, yes, the propaganda continues. Not one national news outlet will take this travesty on and expose it for what it is.

    • I can’t in good conscience send funds to a family who made the choice to get a pit bull type dog willingly. The child is dead. The dog may be put down. I hope the parents have learned a lesson. But no money from me. I support folks who have been attacked, not those who harbor the attacker.

      • I feel the same way. I completely agree with all on here that feel that this GoFundMe post is dishonest.

  7. Gorgeous child. Unimaginable.

    People say research the breed but the public doesn’t read the information from the true experts, the dog fighters.

    The dog fighters created dogs that are supposed to mature to maul and kill family/ their own kind, for no external reason.

    According to books by Richard Stratton, many pits START between 18-36 months.
    Some puppies START young and will kill littermates if not separated. Others act like normal dogs for many years before suddenly instinct kicks in and they are killing. These are called late starters by dog fighters.

    The dogs that killed
    Beau Rutledge,
    Jase Fohs,
    Sterling Vermeer
    And many others were late starters.

    Thank you for gathering and posting this information Colleen.

  8. The ignorant and uncaring and dishonest say “any dog could do this”.

    Could, but don’t.

    A room of first graders could trip an adult teacher, and beat and smother her to death, but they don’t.

  9. Just looked at the Go Fund Me. That little girl was breathtakingly beautiful… just gorgeous. Hard to even imagine the devestation that was done to her sweet face by an animal she probably loved and trusted. An animal that was very possibly called her “protector” or her “best friend.”

    Breed choice absolutely matters. Any of hundreds of other breeds, and this little girl would either never have been bitten or may have had some scars. But there are only a tiny handful of breeds which will bite a child’s face completely off, and there is absolutely no reason for them to be in a home as a pet. Yet somehow these are the breeds which are not only available and affordable but which are also pushed as perfect family dogs and advocated for endlessly.

    I notice there was no mention of what took little Demi’s life in the Go Fund Me appeal. And without such truths being told, this will continue to happen to other innocent children.

    • I have to admit, it low-key angered me to see them trying to cover up the cause of this poor baby’s death in that GFM. Don’t give us that stuff about how God decided it was time to call that little baby home. God did not do this. God gave you people a precious life to care for, and you decided to throw a killer dog into the mix–and now you’re hiding that fact instead of at least paying her the respect of standing up and saying, “if we hadn’t owned a bloodsport dog, our baby would still be alive.”

      If they said that, I would believe they were innocents fooled by propaganda. But I can’t believe that, because even in the wake of this horrible tragedy, the loss of this beautiful little soul who deserved a real life, they are trying to cover up for these beasts and pretend God peacefully called her home, rather than the truth, which is that their violent dog tore her apart.

      Sure, maybe they’re trying not to think about it. Maybe they’re trying to avoid being attacked for letting their dog kill their child. But all they’re really doing is aiding the pit propagandists, and showing that protecting the breed is more important to them than their daughter’s life–a life they should have done everything in their power to protect and cherish.

      I am just so sick of these people pretending these deaths didn’t happen or that it wasn’t entirely preventable.

      Rest in peace, little angel. You deserved better.

      • I admire Beau Rutledge’s mother who speaks out against pit bulls.

        Also the father of Dax.

        The bully people obviously don’t care about kids but perhaps the way to get to them is because the bully dogs are so deadly to dogs.

        Why do we permit them to continue to breed specifically for deadly dog aggression?

  10. Seeing the precious little girl’s face just made this story even more depressing. It happens with all of these attacks. These poor children, exposed to vicious dogs and losing their lives. It makes me so sad and so mad.

    It makes me angry thinking about the Denver pit ban repeal failure a few weeks back. I remember pit nutters slandering Mayor Hancock saying such horrible things to him for his responsible decision. THIS is the kind of stuff he wanted to prevent. He prioritized the safety of his citizens so they won’t have to deal with attacks like this. So children in Denver won’t be at risk of pit maulings each and every day. The people posting pictures of their children with pits makes me furious. They spread these lies and children suffer because of it.

    I’m praying for the strength of this girl’s family.

    • There is more than one family in my neighborhood that has both a baby/small child and one or more pits. These children have absolutely no say in the danger their parents are putting them in, and they may end up paying the ultimate price.

      I agree, it is infuriating.

  11. I cannot imagine the pain and fright this beautiful baby felt. This choice of having a Pit Bull as a Pet is disgusting, this most likely was the fathers choice. Dog should be killed ASAP and both parents charged.

  12. How unbelievably awful. That sweet, beautiful little soul never had a chance to blossom into whomever Demi would have been in this world. The level of heartbreak is into the stratosphere.

    Now Demi is another statistic, like Kara Hartrich and Beau Rutledge. Gorgeous little babies who were victims of The Lie. Not the children of dog breeders or meth heads or ignorant white trash pit nutters. Children of parents who loved and cherished their little ones with every ounce of their being, but believed the vile, dangerous lie that, when “raised right”, pit bulls make great family pets.

    What makes them so damned dangerous is that some pit bulls are lovely dogs. They’re friendly, social, sweet, submissive and gentle. Until they’re not. I’ve met very nice pit bulls before. How do you know which one will turn on and kill? You don’t. That’s the point. The sweetest, most gentle pit bull can kill without warning, provocation, or reason. They’re ticking time bombs. Many never go off. Many do. When they do, it’s horrific what they leave behind. Every parent who decides to bring a pit bull type dog into their home needs to ask themselves some questions: Is it worth the life of your child to play pit roulette? Can you guarantee this particular dog will never, ever turn on? If you answered no to either of these questions, will you still bring a pit bull into your home?
    There is no test you can perform on a dog that can predict whether of not it will berserk on you or your family. It’s pretty much wait and see. It’s absolutely not worth the risk. Not ever.

    Another issue I have is with the media calling this a “dog bite”. This is not a bite. What happened to this little girl was a mauling that ended in death. A bite does not result in a child having their face literally ripped off.
    The headlines should read “Toddler’s Face Ripped Off by Family Pit Bull”. Tell the damned truth. Stop calling them “bites”. Sugar coating the truth does no one any favors.

    I truly can’t begin to comprehend what this family is going through. My condolences to all involved, including the first responders who witnessed the aftermath.

    • Right on KP. Sugar-coating this as a “bite” will just lead to more deaths because a “bite” just feels like an accident, a moment of misplaced aggression or confusion on the part of the dog that had the bad luck of being in a lethal spot on a small child. People need to know the truth, as ghastly as it is. This child’s very face was ripped off with the intent to kill because that desire to inflict terrible damage with no warning has been bred into these dogs for generations. People don’t need to picture a single bite with a few puncture wounds, they need to imagine the horror of an unrecognizable mass of blood and splintered bone and torn tissue where once was a beautiful sweet face. Shock and horror may be the only things which can counter the propaganda and make people take a harder look at the risks of pit ownership. If people could only see it, perhaps they could never un-see it, no matter how many pictures of pit bulls wearing flower crowns they look at.

    • “What makes them so damned dangerous is that some pit bulls are lovely dogs. They’re friendly, social, sweet, submissive and gentle. Until they’re not. I’ve met very nice pit bulls before. How do you know which one will turn on and kill? You don’t. That’s the point. The sweetest, most gentle pit bull can kill without warning, provocation, or reason. They’re ticking time bombs. Many never go off. Many do. When they do, it’s horrific what they leave behind.”

      THIS. Exactly THIS.

      This is why it’s so infuriating when nutters try to paint us as saying “All pits are mean,” or “all pits are aggressive.” They build that straw man, and then knock it down with pictures of their pit bulls being sweet, so they can say, “SEE? Bella is a sweet dog, therefore Not All Pits Are Mean, therefore it’s all how you raise them.”

      And it’s why it’s so infuriating when they act like their dog being sweet means something. Pits can go from sweet to murderous in a heartbeat, with no warning and no obvious trigger. Until people understand that, we will continue to lose precious lives on a weekly basis.

  13. Bully dogs are Ted Bundy dogs.
    The families who bring bully dogs in to their lives don’t realize they are living with man-made psychopaths .

    Saw a video of a game bred bully dog hanging, teeth clenched on a knotted rope, and all four paws off the ground, still tugging more, not stopping.

    One comment:
    “God didn’t create Pit Bulls, it took Man!’

    I agree. God had nothing to do with pit bulls: dog, horse, kid killing bully dogs.

  14. To call mauling deaths “bites” would be like saying, “the dog was poked with several bullets.”

  15. A long time friend of mine just “rescued” a cane corso. Yep. And everyone is gushing over what she is going to provide for this dog. What is the dog going to provide for her? She has two young teen boys. I can’t stand it. Everyone thinks this dog is beautiful. I think it has hard eyes. So. Now I worry about my foolish friend and her family.

    • I have ended friendships with people like your friend. And, Willowspirit, you may need to do this.

      If this so-called rescuer starts losing her human friends in droves, maybe-just-maybe she’ll rethink her choice of dog.

      BTW, I read this rescue BS daily on Tucson’s Nextdoor. I’ve also seen people bullied off of Nextdoor for raising legitimate safety concerns.

    • Exactly, Willow.

      This is the problem with dog nutters in general and pitbull fanatics particularly.

      It’s all about how they are going to serve the needs of the dog. Not about how the dog is going to serve their needs. Their need is to love and be loved, unconditionally.

      True working dog folk are the opposite. They know this is a *relationship* and the dog must be temperamentally sound so they can teach it how to work with them.

      All love has conditions.

      Conditions between humans and dogs should be “I won’t abuse you and will care for your basic physical and psychological needs and you must learn to live in a civil society.”

      You’re right. Your friend is danger because firstly, it’s the wrong breed for a rowdy household of teenagers coming and going and secondly, she’s too soft to deal with a highly protective animal with a breed reputation for dominating humans.

  16. So true about Nextdoor! You have to mute the pit nutters and their abuse and not supply links.So sad to see the willful ignorance out there.I feel that people will eventually get a clue since the carnage is becoming overwhelming.

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