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32 thoughts on “2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Attacks, Kills Owner in Jeffersonville, Indiana

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  1. Quote snip: “…The officer could not stop the attack using pepper spray and was forced to shoot the pit bull. …”

    In a determined attack, sensory aversion stimuli do not work. The determined attacker did not care that its eyes, nose, mouth and lungs strongly felt like they were burning. In this case, effective physical force was needed to effect the physical stop. Sensory aversion tactics are great for training purposes and unfriendly behavior, not for determined attacks.

    • Not just that, but it intensifies the attack. You can’t beat a fighting dog to let it go…it gets more aggressive !
      You might as well use febreeze and it will have the same effect .
      Deadly force is the only option in my opinion .

      • I agree that deadly force is preferable. However, there are times that the police officer may not be able to shoot the dog without risk of hitting the victim as well. In that case, using the pepper spray might have helped to move or disrupt the dog so that a safe shot could be made.

        These responding officers really deserve a lot of approbation. They willingly enter these dangerous dog situations in the line of duty—and are often endangered by the owner’s choice to harbor a vicious breed. The police officer(s) are often first on the scene as well, trying to subdue a murderous dog or pack, rendering first aid, and witnessing truly gruesome injuries. I would hate to get off duty after a dog attack and try to go to sleep with those grisly images flashing through my mind. I’m grateful for their service in a difficult job.

    • Thank you Richard for making this point. I’ve been researching how to prevent large powerful dogs from killing my dog when I take him for walks. It could happen. A cocker spaniel, on leash, was just attacked in our neighborhood by two loose American Staffies (or mixes) who got under their fence specifically to attack this dog. Both very large, powerful dogs who rarely get out of their yard. But this day they did. It only takes once. You are absolutely correct that training is one aspect but even a highly trained, obedient dog when in full arousal will not hear, see, smell or notice any efforts to get it to release its prey. And a large, powerful dog can kill a weaker, slightly build dog in one to two bites. Owners need to be pragmatic when it comes to their large powerful dogs. Keep their dog under control at all times with no way to get loose and patrol their yards every day for any escape routes. Their kind, obedient wonderful family member has the capability of turning into a killing machine under certain circumstances. Virtually no pit can every match the aggressive or fear biting behaviors of a chihuahua. But the little dog only thinks he can kill another dog or human whereas the large, powerfully built dogs can.

  2. Well, it seemed a bit quiet on the pitbull front and then…WHAMMO, a pantload, all in a row.

    All spaying mace will do is agitate the animal, further, into a full blown rage attack. Same when you see cops on video yanking on a Malinois’ collar. They are “agitating” the dog to get it to bite harder–not attempting to release its grip.

    So…this guy bred pitbulls and his own pitbull tore him to shreds.

    Anybody else see the irony in this?

    Or wonder how many game pitbulls from those specific lines are showing up, mauling people?

  3. I agree with this statement. Had the officer subdued (killed) the animal right away he may have had a chance to save the man’s life. However I wasn’t there but it does seem that time would have had to been of essence. Spraying pepper spray could also have caused the dog to turn on the officer. It would not have been a hard call for me to make to terminate the animal’s life, but again, I wasn’t there. I love our Police Force and I am sure all efforts were made to the best of that Officer’s ability. At a time like that when split second processing occurs you try to make a good call as best as you can. I am just glad the Officer was able to assist. Maybe people will remember this when they are protesting against our much needed and loved Officers. Finally, as far as the Pittys go. I love them, they are beautiful. I have had a couple in the past. They are like the Mustangs, or Thoroughbreds of all dogs to me. But, mine had to go when I had kids esp when I found our sweet little Mocha Latte (Pink Fawn Pit) with my 3 year old son’s head in her mouth and her top canine teeth making imprints on his temples. He was trying to ride her and She was giving him a subtle hint to stop. I believe there is a time and place for these animals and my heart goes out to them. However it is in their DNA to kill and they like it. It doesn’t matter how precious you have brought them up to be, IT IS IN THEIR DNA TO KILL. People say, oh I want them to protect me, this is good. No it’s not. A Pit can feel threatened around it’s family at any given time when strangers come to visit, like your friends and your friend’s kids. What happens if that dog feel like it’s family is threatened? Death grip to the skull of a child or mauling, shaking like a rag doll and breaking their neck. Ripping them apart with their teeth. Ankle biters, you could kick away. An animal that is capable of killing me or my family, not gonna happen any more. God appointed humans on this earth to have authority over the animals. That, we must do. Keep the Pits safe but remember when you get a Pit it is at your own risk. And don’t let your home owners Ins. know. Last I heard they were making people take out a $1,000,000 policy on dogs like Pits, Rottweilers, Chows and such. I love animals very much but when it comes to our safety there would be no question as to who would stay and who would go. Lastly, I do not think dogs are humans because that would mean that humans are dogs. I’ve know a few of them but no, I would not starve myself so my dog could have my last meal. I might share a bit but I get most of it for myself. My point to this……..get therapy if you think your dog is a human. Enough said. Thank you for your time.

    • I had a young couple moving to my kennel years ago that had a pair of “mixed breed” dogs. I drove over to the place where they were living to see if their dogs were healthy. The purebred male pit bull was the most treacherous, vicious dog I’ve ever seen, and I’ve handled a lot of dogs. The pit bull bitch was probably mixed, and the dogs had bred. I asked Amber what she was going to do with the puppies.
      Her reply was, “Haven’t a clue.”. This couple was also putting the electric bills in the name of a friend without her permission who lived in Alaska. The dishonesty of the people was shocking. They didn’t care if their vicious dog killed dogs, cats, or me. A lot of pit bull owners don’t respect others or their pets.

    • “I found our sweet little Mocha Latte (Pink Fawn Pit) with my 3 year old son’s head in her mouth and her top canine teeth making imprints on his temples. He was trying to ride her and She was giving him a subtle hint to stop.”

      That’s not very subtle.

      • So many mixed messages from Gayla posting above. Much is what she says I can agree to, but then she claims there is a time and place for pit bulls. But there really isn’t! The only time for them was the fighting pit, and that’s gone. There is no place for them, because even a person in utter isolation can be killed by his or her own dog.They have NO purpose that some other dog breed can’t fulfill. She understands these dogs’ propensities but still seems to defend them and encourages others to lie about owning them. “Thoroughbreds” of the dog breeds? That’s laughable, since pit blood is notoriously mixed and tainted, with breedings for color (rolling my eyes at “pink fawn”) and shape coming WAY before temperament and health and stability. Backyard breeders pump these things out a dozen at a time with no regard for “improving” the breed or any care that the shelters are already overflowing with them. The only thing “thoroughbred” about them is that they were created for one purpose, just as a Thoroughbred horse has one purpose. The horse’s purpose is to run. What is the pit’s? Certainly not to nanny children!

        She says her dogs had to go when she had kids… but then describes an incident with a 3 year old. So at minimum three years passed from having a child to finally having the sense to not continue to put her child’s life at risk. A “subtle hint,” she claims. But not very subtle at all! Subtle is having stiffened posture. Subtle is moving away. A dog placing its mouth around a childs head hard enough to leave indentations… not subtle. At least she got rid of the dogs before it was too late. But I wonder to where? And were the new owners warned?

        It’s rare to find someone who knows the truth about what these dogs can do but who still likes them and thinks there is a time and a place for them. I can agree with some of her points but it seems like she has one foot in the land of common sense and other in the realm of fantasy.

  4. To play the devil’s advocate here…

    When people see Jon Stewart “saving” pitbulls or see an old pitbull saving Captain Picard’s life on the latest Star Trek–instead of seeing the swath of destruction that pitbulls are leaving in their wake–plus the amount of pitbull lobbying (I mean seriously…do beagles or poodles need a *lobby* for the love’o’gawd?) their viewpoint of pitbulls is being seriously skewed.

    I see these fools all the time–even though there is BSL, they somehow equate that as some kind of pitbull apartheid as opposed to public safety.

    I’ve been noting lately, now that face masks are mandatory here–they aren’t following those laws, either.

    Rebels without an actual cause.

  5. I hate saying I don’t have any sympathy for a victim, but this man was breeding maulers himself. I’m sorry that his family have lost a family member, but I’m struggling to feel anything other than anger that this man added to the very population of animals that killed him.

    • Thanks Garnet. There have been a number of west coast attacks in the past few months. Can’t remember all the details but a lot of these pitbulls are being ferried across the border by unscrupulous rescues after being ordered to be euthanized.

      I know there were a few Manitoba cases awhile back. If I’m not mistaken, there were charges laid against one of the rescue orgs.

  6. Another pit bull pusher killed by his “loving, loyal” pit bull. I would be willing to bet that this victim treated his pit bulls well, and that the dogs were not abused in any way. So much for the theory, “Its how they are raised”. The people who wound up with the puppies had better beware….at least one of the parent pit bulls was a killer.

    • There needs to be a notification service to let people know they have bought pits closely related to killers. If they don’t do the smart thing and put them down, they should be charged with gross negligence if one of their maulers attacks.

      I know I am living in fantasy land. As far as I know that killer pit in CT is still alive. They have taken the plea “all dogs are individuals” so far that now even individuals that have killed are somehow not responsible. I am sure it would be “racist” to claim that the offspring of a killer pit would be more likely to kill.

      • my fantasy for a long while has been a nationwide (North America wide?) DNA database of all the killers and maulers. Why? Because I bet we could prove it was genetics within a few years. We could also prove that many of the ‘unknown, lab mix, terrier mix, overized “Boston Terriers”, etc. that killed or mauled were close relatives of obvious pit bulls that killed or mauled.

        And as long as I’m fantasizing, I think non-profits that Profit on the public’s desire to be humane should fund this, along with kennel clubs, licensing bodies, and anything profiting on the pet trade (PetSmart, Petco, Chewy and the rest).

        Betting that in a few years insurance companies and landlords would be asking for their clients/tenants dogs be DNS testing before setting insurance rates or allowing the dog in their rentals.


        • There is already such a database for fighting dogs seized during law enforcement raids.

          However …

          “VGL does not support breed-specific legislation. This database contains no breed-specific information and cannot be used for that purpose. It is established solely for prosecuting criminal dog fighting cases…”

          Because there’s NO LINK, I tell you, NO LINK WHATSOEVER between fighting dogs and dog breeds!

          (Nevermind those people over there breeding dogs for fighting. That has nothing to do with dog breeds!)

          • Very interesting site. They make a point of stating that there is no specific breed identifications of the dogs whose DNA they have listed, as you noted. I suspect that they leave off the breed in order to not have to deal with advocates for large powerful dog breeds. What they do seem to be interested in is linking related dogs. They state that the database is only for dog – dog aggression and dog fighting rings in particular, implying by omission that they may not collect from random attacks on pets. Wonder if they also take in samples of dog that have bitten humans? Unfortunately, I have learned that very few dogs that attack and kill pets ave police reports turned in on them. A dog that recently attacked in my area had killed 3 dogs before and attacked a toddler but no police reports were filed and the neighbor who tried to file the next day (she was busy at the vets after her dog was almost killed) was not able to turn in a report as the dog had been moved far away and the police chose not to pursue it! She spent 2 weeks in the dog hospital and it cost tens of thousands for her recovery. The owner never offered to pay. I did not get the sense from that the. VGL program does not recognize the links between fighting dogs and their breeds but chose to not address that or it would be come political and they might lose funding. Just guessing and/or waste a lot of time justifying their existence in court when advocated came after them. Too bad. I’d really like to know what breeds were in those dogs. Also telling that the photo used on the website is clearly a pit bull type dog, though a kinda namby looking one. Not as powerful looking as many of the pit type dogs in my neighborhood.

        • There were a bunch of Bouviers up here where quite a number of the males in a particular line went psychotic. Of course, they were intensely *handsome* Bouviers that won tons of awards in dog shows. After awhile, most savvy Bouv lovers refused to purchase dogs from that line but they were still being sold as “championship” lines to the unwitting for a hefty sum.

          The whole line should have been extinguished.

          If the kennel and breed clubs aren’t willing to step up to the plate on these cases then I agree, we need legislation that permits DNA testing of dogs involved in maulings because it’s quite clear, whether pitbulls or otherwise, the breeders are not going to do it.

          As well, if dogs have inheritable diseases and are knowingly being bred with them–the owners should have legal recourse to sue the breeders. It’s heartbreaking to tell your kid that the dog is inherently defective so you have to put Fluffykins down because the breeder was greedy.

          PItbulls would fall under the same legislation thus the “Ooooo they’re being prejudiced” argument would go right down the flusher.

          Also I think we (the general public) have to start telling people, “No I will not eat dinner at your house with a pitbull and you can’t have my kids over etc. etc.” so that there’s a public shaming aspect to owning one.

          Because there just isn’t enough legislation or police/animal control officers to stop this pitbull spread.

          • Glad you brought up this example as pit types are not the only ones capable of this kind of aggression. AKC and the breed clubs should require that any dog that earns a conformation title be given a provisional one pending a temperament tested and the title taken away if it fails. Germany is very good at doing this with Rotts and GSD’s. Schutzhund also requires, I believe, that a dog must have a stable temperament. I took a workshop with a top Schutzhund trainer. The Rott who belonged to the president of our schtuzhund club went for trainer’s face instead of his sleeve and the dog was dismissed and the owner told not to breed the dog. We need more responsible breeding and ownership. My dog, by the way was not a Rott, but a border collie who loved the sport. But his yipping in excitement was embarrassing in front of deep growling Rotts. L0L! But sport is one thing and attacking in ernest is extremely serious.

        • I have a similar fantasy, only it extends to ALL individuals of ALL bully breeds and includes mandatory registration punishable by heavy fines if any bully type dog is found not to be on it. If all bully type dogs were placed on a publicly viewable database that included microchip numbers, parentage, and DNA profiles that was updated every time a biting, mauling, or killing incident occurred, with mandatory sterilization (at least) of all close relations (parents, grandparents, all full and half siblings, aunts, uncles, and descendants, possibly even 1st cousins, great grandparents and great aunts/uncles if they’re still intact) I bet the bad blood would be weeded out quickly, and possibly even the genetic factor/s identified.

      • With as attached as people get to their dogs, it would be unreasonable to expect people to destroy the adult offspring or siblings of killer dogs.

        The better choice would be to convince these people to choose safer breeds. Not easy.

        I actually had a pit bull owner bring his mauler to a vet clinic where I worked and conceal the information from me. (Ripped out an Achilles tendon, crippled and nearly castrated a man). With owners like that, why trust any pit bull owner? I don’t.

  7. A dog that would attack its own owner is completely unstable. One that would kill its owner is insane. These dogs are not pet quality, but are more closely categorized as wild animals. Sure, your tiger may act like it likes you, but one day it might just attack and eat you. Just like a pit bull.

    • Wild animals will flee if they can. If they are extremely starved, they might attack.

      Well cared for pit bulls do not flee.
      They attack if they decide to do so. They invade stores, schools, and people’s homes to attack animals and people.

      There are no statistics here that I know of, but how many people have been seriously mauled or killed trying to protect their dogs from almost certain death when pit bulls maul. How many have lost their lives trying to keep their own pit bulls from killing each other?

      • This is an issue that is too often unaddressed in the wider world, many more pet dogs and cats are killed by pbs than people. They also have an impact on agriculture.

        And then injuries to people (including defending their own dogs) are much more common than fatalities. Injuries to other animals is largely unrecognized. It’s a shame.

      • When we were working high-risk security many of us forked over the money to buy our dogs those spiked “anti-pitbull” collars.

        That saved my one of my working dog’s life when a loose one came for him. My dog managed to mangle the pitbull when it couldn’t get a grip and it ran off as I simultaneously bashed on it with a night stick.

        Seriously, why should *anyone* have to worry about that? Yet pitbull owners threatened to sic their dogs on our (expensively trained Rotts/Shepherds/Bouviers/Dobermans) working dogs on a fairly frequent basis.

        Too often someone’s pet dogs are savaged by a pitbull while the owners either look on helplessly or try to fight it off. And the owner of the maimed or killed dog–is then stuck with medical and vet bills, to boot.

        That’s why pitbulls should be illegal, right there. You’re not allowed to go over and maim or murder your neighbour’s pet or livestock without consequences so why should a pitbull be allowed to do so?

  8. Thank you Boni for posting your experience. I’ve been researching ways to protect my border collie when we go on walks. Recently two pit type dogs – very large, very powerful dogs who rarely get out went under their fence and attacked a little dog only minutes after we had passed that same area where we walk every day. I’m considering getting an anti-pit bull collar. A relative of mine in a different state also had his small terrier attacked by a pit type. He even shoved his arm up the dog’s behind and it did not even notice. The dog was saved when the pit wen to re-grip and snagged his teeth in the harness which my relative quickly unbuckled and grabbed his dog and held it above his head. Luckily the attacker did not go for him in its frenzy. WTF was wrong the pit owners who threatened to sick their dogs on your? Were you able to charge them with terroristic threatening? Or did you have to just let them rant out of concern for legal issues and/or retaliation? My significant other is concerned about how I would react if anyone threatened my dog and he was not there to stop me. ‘m only 100 pounds and a senior citizen but I would seriously threaten the owner -probably to my detriment. How did you handle it?

  9. Our county abuts a county where pitbulls are illegal to own. Because of this, our county’s shelters, and ultimately streets, are filled with them. We tried to adopt a non pit from our local shelter but everytime one comes in, there is a frenzy to adopt them. Nobody wins. Especially the victims of these dangerous breeds.

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