Pit Bulls Seen Wearing Service Dog, ESA Vests on Social Media
Jayden Henderson died and her mother was injured while caring for a neighbor's pit bulls.
UPDATE 04/28/21: The child has been identified as 7-year old Jayden Henderson. Jayden and her mother were members of the Capitol Broadcasting Company. Her mother, Heather Trevaskis, who remains hospitalized, has been the master control operator for eight years at WRAL-TV, reports the Raleigh-based news outlet. Jayden would often visit her mother during her work breaks. At WRAL, she was known for playing hide-and-seek among the desks in the newsroom.
Jayden died of the injuries she sustained while being attacked by two pit bulls. Trevaskis suffered multiple bites and severe hand injuries. The pair had been caring for the pit bulls while their owner was out of town. The attack happened in the owner's backyard. Garner police said they have never had complaints about the dogs in the past. Neighbors told WRAL-TV the same thing. Jayden was a first grader at Vandora Springs Elementary. She leaves behind a younger sister.
The Pit Bulls
Late Wednesday afternoon we were able to confirm the two pit bulls on Instagram -- each dog has its own Instagram account.1 The family adopted Athena in December 2019, according to posts, and she appears to be a fight bust dog. Athena is seen wearing an "Emotional Support Animal" vest, and Blitzen, a neutered male, is seen wearing a "Service Dog" vest. Most of the posts have hashtags like: #pitbullsofinstagram, #dontbullymybreed, #servicedog, #furchild, and #pittienation.
One photo showed Athena still in her shelter kennel, characterized by blue, cream and sage green cement wall striping, an "exact match" to the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC), which had a "Pit Bull Adoption Special" in October 2019. WCAC now joins a growing number of taxpayer-funded shelters, in whole or part, since 2014 that have adopted out or transferred a dog to a rescue that killed a person. Our list does not include dogs placed by "fosters" or "rehomings."
Furthermore, the agency that adopted this dog out is now holding it in bite quarantine. Ironic, isn't it? WRAL-TV interviewed Dr. Jennifer Federico, the Wake County Animal Services Director. Federico falsely claimed that 70% of fatal dog attack victims are children. The actual percentage is less than 50%.2 To obfuscate dogs that inflict "human killing aggression" and dogs that inflict "garden-variety dog bites," Federico also stated that all dogs "have teeth" and "they can all bite."
Shelter Dog Inflicted Deaths
- 2021 - Wake County Animal Center (NC) - Jayden Henderson, 7-years old
- 2020 - Miami-Dade Animal Services (FL) - Carolyn Varanese, 84-years old
- 2019 - Humane Society of St. Lucie County (FL) - Christine Liquori, 52-years old
- 2018 - Pinellas County Animal Services (FL) - Infant Khloe Williams
- 2018 - The Animal Foundation (NV) - Susan Sweeney, 58-years old
- 2018 - Logan County Pound (WV) - Robin Conway, 64-years old
- 2018 - Henderson Animal Shelter (NV) - Bradley Cline, 62-years old
- 2017 - El Paso Animal Services (TX) - Jacob Brooks, 4-years old
- 2017 - New York City Animal Care Centers (NY) - Margaret Colvin, 91-years old
- 2017 - Kent County Animal Shelter (MI) - Infant Susannah Murray
- 2016 - San Diego Humane Society (CA) - Infant Sebastian Caban
- 2015 - Jackson-Madison County Pound (TN) - Anthony Riggs, 57-years old
- 2015 - Asheville Humane Society (NC) - Joshua Strother, 6-years old
- 2015 - Rochester Animal Services (NY) - Anthony Wind, 26-years old
- 2014 - Branford Animal Shelter (CT) - Rita Pepe, 93-years old
04/27/21: Pit Bulls Kill Child
Garner, NC - Garner police issued a statement late Tuesday confirming that a 7-year old girl died from injuries she sustained by her neighbor's two pit bulls. Her mother remains hospitalized in stable condition. Police believe the mother and daughter were caring for a neighbor's two pit bulls while the owner was out of town. The multi-victim attack occurred after 6:00 pm in the dogs' backyard in the 100 block of Roan Drive. Wake County Animal Control seized both dogs.
The seven year old female injured in the dog attack earlier this evening has died as a result of her injuries. Her mother remains hospitalized and in stable condition.
Reports indicate the pair are neighbors who were helping care for the dogs, 2 pit bulls, while the owners were out of town. The incident occurred in the dogs' back yard, and the cause of the attack is not known. "This is a horrible tragedy for all involved. Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families and all those who responded,” said Lt. McIver, CID Commander.
We will update this case as more information becomes available.
Garner Police are investigating a dog attack on Roan Dr. Two individuals sustained serious injuries and were transported to Wake Med for treatment. Both dogs were seized by Wake County Animal Control and transported to the Wake County Animal Shelter. There is no threat to the public. This incident is under investigation. - Garner Police Department
This deadly attack occurred as we are preparing 2020 dog bite fatality statistics, specifically, while we analyze household and time factors. "In 2020, 15% (7) of dog bite fatalities involved a babysitter or relative watching a child or the dog being 'watched' by a person other than its owner when the dog fatally attacked. When breed was known (6 of 7), pit bulls accounted for 100% of these deaths." This attack also marks another multi-victim and multi-dog attack involving pit bulls.
Back in March, in a very different scenario, a 3-year old boy was killed and his mother seriously injured after two roaming pit bulls belonging to a neighbor breached their fence-line and attacked them. Those dogs routinely ran loose. No criminal charges were filed after this egregious crime because the state of New Jersey does not have a felony dog attack statute. No charges are likely in this case either; the pair likely knew the neighbor's dogs and were on the dogs' property.
Nearly every year, one or two deaths are added to our "dog sitting" pit bulls archives. We cannot stress how dangerous this endeavor is. Pit bulls are already responsible for 67% of all fatalities since 2005. Yet, they always weigh in more heavily than 67% in the temporary time factors (babysitting, dog sitting, 0-2 months new to the home, and temporarily visiting the dog owner's home). Caring for not just one, but a pair of pit bulls while the owner is away, is a high risk activity.
2The "rate" of children killed by dogs (per 100,000) is higher than of adults, but "rate" is a different number than a percentage of total fatal dog mauling victims.
03/17/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Boy Killed, Mother Severely Injured in Violent Pit Bull Attack
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.