Pit Bull Trait Discussion: Unprovoked, Disinhibited Aggression
After a violent facial pit bull mauling, the victim shared a thank you video with her supporters.
DogsBite.org - On March 20, a fundraiser organized by Tregonie Mount began for an adult female who suffered a violent facial pit bull mauling. Currently, the photograph at the top of the GoFundMe is exceptionally graphic. Please do not click on the GoFundMe link if you are unprepared to see these graphic facial injuries. On March 21, the victim posted a thank you video. "Thank you for the prayers and willingness to give and help me in this time of need," she wrote.
According to the GoFundMe, Latoya, who is a flight attendant for American Airlines, suffered a broken leg in December due to air turbulence mid flight. "One of the most scariest things to happen to someone flying," states Mount. While recovering from the broken leg injury, she was attacked in the face by a pit bull while on her way to rehabilitation. "Words cannot describe the emotionally traumatic, physically devastating and spiritually testing time it is for her," states Mount.
No information was provided about the owner of the dog or if the victim knew the dog. So far, we have seen no media reports about this attack.
"Today was the first of many surgeries she will need on the road to recovery," Mount continues. "The deep wounds from the dog bite also carry a high rate risk of infection. So it's very important that medical treatment is sought out in a timely fashion to lower her risk during this horrifying world crisis (coronavirus)." Mount also explains the other devastating reality Latoya faces. "Not one family member has been able to be with her during this, due to hospitals being on full lock down."
Mount states that Latoya will need, "primary reconstructive surgery, secondary reconstructive, cartilage grafting, skin grafting, fat grafting, flap reconstruction, debulking and laser resurfacing." Mount also asks donors to come together: "I ask that you show her how the world can come together to uplift those in the community which is in need. Let's not allow her to fall into depression," but be a beacon of hope for the next person who suffers "this unfortunate incident."
Even the most minor facial attacks inflicted by a dog can cause serious disfigurement, such as the partial loss of an eyelid, nose or lip. Yet, this is still an "inhibited" aggressive response by the dog. The difference with pit bulls is that they often exhibit sudden disinhibited aggression, which is always a disproportionate response to the stimuli. Thus, the routine act of an owner bending down to kiss his pit bull can result in sudden, unbridled aggression causing catastrophic injury.
This type of unprovoked and disinhibited aggression is also called "impulsive aggression." As animal behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova states in her 2006 analytical paper, "It's also not realistic to pretend that impulsive aggression is not pathological. The environments (the fighting pit, the baited bull, the escaping slave) for which these behaviors were selected as an adaptive response are so extreme that in fact there is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life."
"There is such a thing as normal aggression in animals (and dogs). Maternal aggression, territorial aggression, predatory behavior, for example, all depend on different neuronal and hormonal mechanisms, and they are all normal coping responses in a particular environment. These behaviors in the dog have been accepted by humans in the process of domestication, as long as the behaviors can be foreseen. Abnormal disinhibited behavior is not functional, and it is unpredictable. Although high arousal and sudden attack can be functional in certain environments, this behavior is pathological in a safer environment, where a high level of arousal and aggressivity aren’t necessary and only lead to unnecessary attacks and injuries." - Alexandra Semyonova
Earlier this month, we linked to the video of the vicious facial attack of 92-year old Norma Graves, a resident at the Village Green Alzheimer's Care Home, by a rescue pit bull. One sees that this pit bull does offer signals of "discomfort" that many adults would recognize as a warning, but Graves had no ability to recognize this. However, nothing in her behavior (petting the dog) warranted the extreme disproportionate response by the pit bull, which launched a full-scale frontal assault.
For additional context, let's review an acutal routine act of an owner bending down to kiss his pit bull of multiple years that resulted in sudden, disinhibited aggression that caused catastrophic facial damage. This video, like the Graves video, is difficult to watch, though the resulting injuries are not shown in it. When this video was trending last month, we were able to locate a photograph of the pit bull owner's severe facial injuries. Before clicking this link, please do brace yourself.
As one Youtube commenter mentions, "Hardwood floor probably saved the rest of his face." No, the hardwood floors probably saved his life.
As we just witnessed, the coronavirus crisis is not going to reduce violent pit bull maulings, especially attacks carried out by family pit bulls upon household members and their friends. Like Latoya's story, however, attacks during this pandemic are not likely to receive media attention. In February, just before cities and states started locking down, Lauren of San Antonio was viciously attacked by a friend's pit bull. She's now being treated at University Hospital trauma center.
Sadly, none of these victims likely had any understanding of impulsive aggression and that breeders of fighting dogs selected for this trait -- the willingness to attack unbridled in the absence of species-specific signs that normally provoke aggression. The heritability of abnormal aggressive behavior, which Semyonova argues in her paper can no longer be denied, is the same reason why pit bulls appear so frequently in severe and fatal maulings compared with other dog breeds.
11/17/17: Rescue Pit Bull Attacks, Kills Woman in Virginia Beach Hours After Being Adopted
01/02/17: Pit Bull Named 'Scarface' Mauls Family Members After Owner Tries to Put Sweater...
05/05/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog
I was horrified to see the results of these attacks. The out of proportion reaction of these dogs is terrifying. The failure of the media to report these attacks is bordering on criminal. Thank you for compiling this information in one place. Prayers for these and all victims
Since mention of the dogs origin has been roundly ignored I’d be shocked if it didn’t belong to her or a family member. Familiarity with a pit bull will not deter an attack.
I was thinking the same thing. It would be odd for any dog to be outside a rehab facility unless it was being passed off as an emotional support animal or therapy dog.
The YouTube video of the man getting attacked while kissing his pit….Wow. You see the moment his tissues detach from his face and the moment immediately after where the pit bull gulps the flesh to the back of its mouth and swallows. Horrifying behavior from a family pit bull.
Anyone know what happened to the dog that attacked her? Is it still on the loose? Returned to owner for “home quarantine”?
Home quarantine should be illegal in cases of bodily harm. You are being charged because you couldn’t keep your dog contained and it got out and hurt someone. So they tell you to keep your dog locked up for 30 days, something you have demonstrated you don’t know how to do.
News media does not cover the large number of traumatic cases of dangerous dog attack. The general public is unaware of the risk of the severe, crippling, life-changing threat. Those are even dimly aware of the risk of the severe threat have a false notion that there is time to evade, avoid or defend from the threat. People do not realize that anytime dangerous dogs and people are in proximity with each other, in the wink of an eye, life as is known is can be over, to be replaced by misery and pain.
So right. There is not one national media outlet that will cover the pit plague in any meaningful way. Even though so many victims are children. If there’s a faulty baby seat or carrier, it gets lots of coverage—as it should. But there’s no “consumer beware” when uninformed parents bring home a pit puppy or a poor misunderstood rescue pit bull OR bring a child to a home that has one.
At the root of this problem is the out of control worship of dogs. Until dogs are put back in their proper place — they’re animals, not humans — the maulings and maimings will continue.
People won’t take responsibility for training a dog to live in a social environment. A good owner/trainer, trains the dog to live in human society and to act as an asset to that society even when not every human responds in a dog-centric, way. Nobody should need a degree in animal psychology just to hang around a pet dog.
Responsible dog people don’t worship the animal and expect humans to accommodate the dog’s crappy behaviour or blame them for getting bitten.
Totally agree. There’s a kind of madness that’s taken over. If you don’t particularly like dogs or are afraid of them, you’re branded a bad person. The worshipers have given super natural qualities to dogs.If I hear another “hero dog” news story, I’ll gag. Often, the dog simply barked because there was a fire. Good, but not hero status! When I was growing up, we always had dogs and I loved them. But they were simply dogs. Not one of the children, not a grand-dog, not a fur baby. And many worshipers are above picking up their dogie waste on my yard, on beaches, in parks and my favorite—hanging the plastic bags of poop from trees like ornaments. Ugh.
I’ve made the mistake of blogging on Nextdoor.com a complaint about a dog/dog walker. Complaining about the poop in your treelawn or the open bags of dog shit put in your empty trash can is enough to get you ostracized for being a dog hater. I know that if I see a loose pit bull, I must call it a loose dog and describe it by color and size unless I chose to call it a loose pity or loose sweet pit bull and of course I won’t do that.
It is like a madness. Human children are de-valued and looked upon as a burden and drain on society, while having dogs that you treat like children is a form of virtue signaling. How terribly misplaced! I grew up with dogs, we have dogs, I love my dogs. But you better believe that if you took all the dogs I have ever known and loved in my entire life, all their many lives together are not even close to being of equal value when compared to even one child I don’t know and will never meet. And that was normal thinking not terribly long ago. The care and affection people should have for other humans has been usurped for the love of an animal… and if it’s a “misunderstood” animal like a pit bull one seems to get extra virtue points. And it is not just dogs… I keep parrots as pets as well. When I read about “fids” (feather kids) and being a good “parront” (parrot parent) I get the same disgusted feeling that I do when people use names like these for dogs. It’s horribly skewed. One difference of course is that pet birds don’t kill people. And unlike pit pushers, most bird people don’t try to push their pet of choice onto others, understanding that keeping pet birds really IS time consuming and not for everyone. But the cultish mindset is still there… pets before people. No wonder many children feel worthless and hopeless, when they see so many adults (even their parents) choosing animals over them and their safety!
I have read comments about the man who was attacked after bending down to kiss his dog, and many people defend the dog. “You shouldn’t put your face near your dog’s face, you intruded on its space,” etc. Yet these same people promote “kissing booths” in which strangers give a donation to bend into a “rescue” pit bull’s space right at its face. And shelters are always touting how much a certain dog “loves to give kisses.”
So which is it?
I think kissing dogs is repugnant, but one SHOULD be able to bend down near their own pet’s face without fear of being horribly disfigured. Such a response should never be defended and a dog that responds with this kind of uninhibited aggression should be destroyed so it can never interact with people again.
And the nursing home keeps referring to the pit bull which maimed that poor woman as a Lab and calls him “puppy Charlie.” Sickening. My grandmother-in-law was about the same age and had severe dementia when she fell and busted a lip, broke a tooth and blackened an eye. She had no memory of the fall and each time she saw her reflection or felt her bruised face and chipped tooth she cried out in fresh horror and wondered who had attacked her. I’ve read that the lady from the nursing home is reacting in the same way to her wounds. She has no memory of that dog harming her but must relive the trauma over and over again. To defend that dog is disgusting. But what could one expect from a facility which put its patients in harm’s way and lied to cover up their own idiocy?
“Intrude in the dog’s space”–that, right there…is the problem with dog nutters.
The dog isn’t *entitled* to space. Or toys. Or their dog bowl, even.
A responsible trainer/owner teaches the dog that all space, is safe human space.
While it’s not wise for a stranger to intrude on an unknown dog’s crate, bowl or bed space it still should not result in a mauling.
And it’s up to the owner to tell people not to do that–not the dog’s job to rip off their arm.
Absolutely! Have you seen the attack that happened on live television when a pit bull being promoted for adoption bit the female host in the face? Many people defended that dog as well, because he had given signals of discomfort with her continual petting. But his handler was right there, and never warned the host even once that the dog was uncomfortable. He even agreed with the host when she said the dog was enjoying the attention, and he went so far as to stroke and comfort the dog RIGHT AFTER it bit the host. The dog attacked someone in the face because it was being pet gently. That is not normal. And a dog should not be entitled to a “free bite” because someone intruded into their space. They are supposed to be companion animals, pets… and they are not entitled to react aggressively at normal human interaction. This is part of what makes fighting dogs so very dangerous. And the people who defend them like the nursing home defended “puppy Charlie” are shameful and ignorant.
And it’s absolutely criminal to say that dogs are entitled to protect their personal space but then put them into a nursing home where the elderly who can’t process dangers can interact with them. Or to put them in a kissing booth. Or to have children come into their kennels at the shelter to read stories to them. Or to promote them to families. Or to let them run loose in the streets. Or to even exist as an option for a personal pet…
The reason dogs lick (not KISS) faces is because they are food-driven. Human mouths have the smell and taste of food. The reason children often get bitten in the face is because they’re eye-to-eye with the dog. Dangerous dogs will take that as a challenge. Most gentle breeds usually won’t attack and are safe with children. Another reason to never stick your face into the face of a strange dog. I see people, just like the TV host, do this ALL the time! And here’s a sobering fact, if an owner dies alone in a house with a dog, after a while that same beloved dog will start to eat that person. I know that’s hard to swallow (no pun intended) but it’s just the nature of the beast…even a nice beast.
Dogs are entitled to maul anyone who gets in their personal space but a human who shoots or stabs an attacking dog risk prosecution for animal cruelty. Even if the law doesn’t go after them they have to watch out for deranged dog worshipers showing up at their house and attacking, calling their jobs and getting them fired and every other possible type of harassment.
@Sellis I could not agree more with your reply if I tried 😊 well said..
I agree with so many of the comments here. The main reason for the pit problem is that people have elevated dogs to human status. Putting your face close to a dog’s shouldn’t warrant an attack. People have given dogs “rights” which is so wrong. Dogs need to assimilate to fit in with human society, not the other way around. And any dog that can’t behave properly needs to be put down. But the animal industry is teaching people to do the opposite.
“Don’t let little Timmy near Rover’s bowl while he’s eating because he deserves his own space while he eats.”
“Oh, you tried to take away an annoying squeaky toy from your dog? Well you DESERVED that bite. It’s not fair to the poor dog.”
It makes me sick. I hate when people are told to completely alter their lives for the comfort of their aggressive dog. Dogs that lash out violently for the tiniest of non-aggressive actions SHOULD NOT be allowed in public, end of story.
Ditto on all. When I was growing up with various dogs, we trained them not to guard food, toys, bones etc. We would put the food down and then take it away, put it back and handle the puppy while it ate. Same with anything else it wanted to protect. Also, allowing big dogs in bed confuses the animal. There’s no more alpha in the household, Now, with pits, all bets are off; unpredictable, vicious and fight to kill. A rare breed that will attack unprovoked, go after children, the elderly and disabled. So glad to have a forum of sane people here. Stay safe. Special thanks to Colleen.
These dogs are a confidence-builder the owner most likely is afraid of life itself and has inhibition to relate to other people so they get this a dangerous dogs to protect them and look like they’re Macho
That is so sad. Not only her in flight accident but the double whammy of the dog attack. My dog recently almost died from a pitbull attack, and I was also almost attacked, but this story really makes somebody value their blessings. I hope she keeps up her positive attitude. So sorry about her unfortunate incidents.