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38 thoughts on “2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Elderly Woman Killed by Three Large Dogs; Daughter Charged with Felony Manslaughter

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  1. One would have thought that the daughter would have cared enough about her mother to keep her mother safe. I guess I’m wrong. The breed of two of the dogs makes little sense to me. What is a pitbull-great mastiff mix? Is that a pitbull, Great Dane, mastiff mix? Those dogs were likely huge. I do realize that folks were likely guessing on the breed. I hope her daughter gets prison time.

    • The daughter, Tongia, bred her female pitbull to the brown mastiff in the last photo in the article, Chico. She kept two male puppies from that litter, at least one of whom weighed >130 lbs, according to the owner. Those two monstrous beasts and their mother killed the elderly woman.

      Tongia posted about her pack of beasts destroying “…thousands of dollars of furniture” on multiple occasions. It’s not clear what the living arrangements were, whether her mother was living in her house or vice versa. The victim’s other daughter, who has nothing to do with the murder hounds, is genuinely distraught. Tongia has not posted on Facebook since her pits slaughtered her defenseless mom.

      All of the above info was gleaned from Tongia Gesselman’s Facebook account.

  2. Why are people permitted to continue to keep dogs that have a history of aggression attack after attack after attack? ONE incident of the dogs harming a person or animal should be IT, particularly if they are running loose at the time. Vicious dogs need to be PUT DOWN. Dog ownership is not a RIGHT is is a legal privilege like driving, and if you screw up continually you lose your driving privilege. People need to lose their down owning privilege too.

    • This owner never reported her dogs’ prior attacks. Presumably, she hid the information from authorities because she was afraid of losing the animals. Now, not only are the dogs dead but her poor mother is, too.

        • Good questions KaD. I’d like to hear the answers to that, too.

          A lot of these idiot owners think because the dog “only growls/snarls/threatens ME (or men, or poodles or groomers or vets or people in pink sweaters etc) ” that for some reason, that’s okay and they don’t do anything about it.

          They refuse to come to grips with the fact that the dogs generalise–if they can act aggressive in one situation, they will eventually generalize that the behaviour is acceptable in other situations.

    • When a pit bull suddenly kills another pet in the household, there is nobody to report it. The owners seem to ony care about the pit bull, I wouldn’t even be surprised if they don’t get care for the other pet even if might of been saved so they don’t have to say the pit bull attacked it. Then if anyone does ask,Oh I gave my othe dog to a family member in another state. I know when the one pit suddenly attacked my dog after months of it walking by unmolested, that it had in the last week killed the cats raised with and several others in the neighborhood. The Jack Russels also were gone but he said gave them away.. But other than the attack on my dog, nothing could be proved and they did nothing about that. Sure he told them our dog was off leash, not true but he knew the people from animal control.

  3. On Tongia’s FB is a TikTok vid of a girl barking at her dog–you know, like a “Look at my dog’s funny reaction when I bark at it!” thing. Tongia reposted it with the comment that “Nayla would bite [her] head off.”

    Later, someone posts a little “Build a cubby for your dog,” on Tongia’s page; a friend replies that “Her dogs would tear the house down!” Tongia’s sister Tina then jumps in with:

    “they would too 🤣 Wooshie weighs about 130 lbs and one afternoon he was being bad and kept growling at me so I put him in the back yard and closed the doggie door off, about 20 minutes later it sounded like someone had kicked the door in 👀 and there he was just wagging his tail like it’s just another day at the camp and he had busted through the whole door lol 🤣”

    (She was then asked if that was the dog that “eats all her furniture?”)

    Tina has posted on Tongia’s page about their mother’s slaughter, and seems genuinely devastated. I’m sure they are all genuinely devastated. But it’s clear that Tongia at least was a big pit nutter/pit mama/Pit Rescue Angel type, and they all willfully and knowingly exposed themselves and their elderly mother to grave danger with those dogs because they were sure they knew better.

    It is not “funny” when your dog keeps growling at you for no reason. It is not “funny” when your dog breaks a door down to get back inside after growling at you. It is not “funny” when you can say that if you barked at your dog, it would “bite your head off.”

    What a horrible, preventable tragedy.

    • Yeah I’m not sure why your own dog showing you aggression is “funny,” either. My dogs would learn quickly that that is a no-no. But then, I don’t own blood sport breeds.

  4. I have to wonder whose home it was. I am guessing it belonged to the 80-yr-old mom and perhaps her sister. Why aren’t offspring of older folks more respectful of the rights of their older parents? Especially when they may be living fairly well without having to pay rent at the family home? I would call this steamrolling her mother.

    I am glad to read elsewhere that the 48-yr-old daughter has been charged with felony involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

  5. Following the link to the Facebook picture of Wooshi, a response says: “Big baby.” This mentality is why people are so “shocked and saddened” when there is a dog attack fatality. Our culture looks at dogs as human children, and not as powerful and potentially dangerous animals. Multiple times on Tongia’s Facebook page she refers to her dogs as “babies” but then also implies that they’re destructive and dangerous. To think of an 80 year old woman trying to defend herself against multiple attacking dogs is gut wrenching.

    Reading the daughter’s Facebook page is infuriating. So many mentions of her unruly dogs! She reposted a meme which said, “When someone tells you your dog is an angel… Me [whispering] so was Lucifer.” Tongia comments above, “No lie. But I love them with everything.” Comments from her sister Tina affirms this when saying about the dogs, “Lucifer is right!! Mixed with bat #%$& crazy!” Less than a year later the mother of these two women is killed by the dogs. Do they remember the banter about them? Does Tongia see how her choices have directly brought about her mother’s death?

    I’m hopeful that Tongia receives the harshest penalty possible. She can’t claim ignorance. Over and over she made references to the dogs being dangerous.

    Her sister wrote about her mother:
    “I cant imagine what she went through as she fought for her life, she passed in the ambulance and they were able to bring her back, when she arrived at the hospital they immediately started giving her blood but it just poured out her wounds and she passed! My poor Mommy was mauled to death by 2 Pitts. I just can’t understand why God had to allow her to suffer so, I know she must of been petrified!”

    It was not God that caused the suffering of this woman, but her own daughter’s desire to own fighting breed dogs. There is no great unfathomable mystery here.

    Tongia cared more about her dogs than her mother, as is summed up in a post on her Facebook page: “You’re a close second to my dogs.” At least she admits it.

  6. I too was mortified when searching her Facebook page. The tic toc video, the nonchalant attitude. The prior issues with the dogs. How horrifying for the victim.

  7. Is this yet another case of younger grifters mooching off of an elderly relative?

    And, as part of the deal, the younger grifters are bringing dogs into the house because, oh, you know, Mommy always wu-u-u-uved those cute widdle doggie woggies?

    Asking for a friend.

  8. I’m gonna say it: Tongia has the physical appearance changes consistent with current or remission of chronic opioid and/or amphetamine use disorder. No amount of filters can cover it. No, I am not judging her, I am pointing out physical changes that only occur with these conditions.

    • Charlotte, I cannot read much of that page.
      It sounds like Nayla is one of the pits that murdered the mom.

      The names of the other pets, Eunice and Lulu, sound like names that would be given by the now deceased mom. So I am guessing that perhaps the mom’s pets were murdered . A very difficult and frightening living situation for the mom.

  9. Pitbulls are status symbols to feed their owners’ egos on social media. The status seems to be either “Look at me (in pic w/ goofy looking pitbull in a baseball cap), I am an awesome person because I am not prejudiced against this much maligned breed” OR “Look at me (in pic w/ terrifying mutant pitbull drooling on sofa), I am an awesome person because I fearlessly snuggle with a BEAST. The daughter of the victim clearly falls into the second category. It seems that she gets off on the fact that her dog(s) are destructive, aggressive, and mean looking. Her poor 80 yr old mother! These pitbull maulings last for minutes, not seconds. Try to imagine the blood.The screams. Being conscious of powerful gripping, gnawing jaws that won’t leg go. I think that this woman should be prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows for the crime with which she has been charged.This is a sickening case.

  10. “they would too 🤣 Wooshie weighs about 130 lbs and one afternoon he was being bad and kept growling at me so I put him in the back yard and closed the doggie door off, about 20 minutes later it sounded like someone had kicked the door in 👀 and there he was just wagging his tail like it’s just another day at the camp and he had busted through the whole door lol 🤣”

    Has everyone gone dog demented?

    How is it funny, living in fear of your own dog? She’s posting this nonsense publicly–where is the outcry of “Do you realise how dangerous this behaviour is and what the outcome if you do not fix it immediately, could be?”

    I’ve tried to tell people, “that dog exhibits dangerous signs, you need to stop that behaviour” and it’s like talking to wet sock.

    We used to all know that. I’m just gobsmacked that people don’t seem to realise that any more.

    And because they don’t–how many dead children and senior citizens this year?

    Absolutely agree that charges of reckless endangerment were justified here.

  11. Imagine being lucky enough to still have your mom around at age 80, then letting her die like this… I can only dream my mom will still be with me then, but she has many health problems so I most likely will not get that gift. And that is so unfair. Oh, and of course what breed/mix is responsible yet again???? Shocking.

  12. Yet another gem from Tongia’s Facebook page, this one referencing Nayla killing Eunice and Lulu:

    “love her with everything I got, but she has caused me more heart ache then anyone could imagine. It’s hard for what you love to hurt you the most. But I will never give up on her.”

    Three years ago Nayla killed two of this woman’s “babies” but her refusal to take action has now had deadly consequences for a human life. How much was it worth it for Tongia to have this dog those extra three years instead of getting rid of her when she killed the other dogs? Were those three years of “not giving up on her” worth losing her mom? Maybe to Tongia they were.

    She says Nayla was found as a puppy on the roadside. So I guess she didn’t have time to have a backstory of horrible cruelty that they always try to make the “cause” of a pit killing someone. So we have to look at the other possibility according to the pit cultists… Nayla wasn’t raised right/was trained to attack. I guess Tongia worked for months to train innocent Nayla to kill Eunice and Lulu, and then once dog killing has been mastered she must have focused on the next phase of training, killing the elderly relative. Or… maybe this dog was just doing what has been bred into her and her offspring for countless generations. Maybe she was fulfilling that instinct to attack the weak without provocation, to ignore familiarity, to grip and tear until the victim is lifeless. Just maybe she was doing exactly what she was made to do. No mystery, no confusion, just instinct. Which is why a person should not have one of these dogs. And why especially if one of these dogs shows that it follows its breed heritage that there should never be a second chance. Sometimes “giving up” is the RIGHT thing to do.

    • “love her with everything I got, but she has caused me more heart ache then anyone could imagine. It’s hard for what you love to hurt you the most. But I will never give up on her.”

      THIS^^^RIGHT HERE^^^

      Lost count of the times I’ve asked dog owners with some lunging, dragging, barking, snarling, misbehaved mutt, “How is that fun for you”?

      This is what people think dog ownership is right now. Chronic suffering.

      Because dog nutters and pitbull cultists encourage people to take on and cling to dogs that make their lives a living he11.

      All these maulings and murders are a direct result of this attitude towards dog ownership. They get dogs to protect them–rather than the understanding that they need to protect the dog…by teaching it to live in society as a functioning member thus protecting the society from bad dog behaviour.

      They don’t “owe” the shelters or the dog, living in misery for a decade, plus. Dog ownership should be a reward for the hard training work that goes into a good dog.

      Clearly she knew this dog was dangerous, that she, and everyone and every animal was in danger from these dogs and that BE was clearly indicated. Rather than face that difficult decision sadly alongside the scorn from all the dog nutters and pit cultists (a huge problem BTW) she wound up living in terror in her own house and her mother, with her–

      –until her mother was slaughtered.

  13. Sellis, please clarify.
    You wrote “Three years ago Nayla killed two of this woman’s “babies” ….”

    Is “this woman” Rosetta or her daughter Tongia?
    In other words, did pitbull Nayla kill Rosetta’s pets or Tongia’s pets? The names Eunice and Lulu are older style names. Rosetta probably named the two. It sounds like Rosetta’s pets. Dogs or cats?

    • Nunzia,
      In the photo capture of Nayla with the written explanation provided by Colleen above about Eunice and Lulu, Tongia refers to Eunice and Lulu as “my babies.” In that same description of the event she said “I already had them for two years” referring to Eunice and Lulu. If these two were Rosetta’s pets, Tongia certainly seemed to feel like they were also hers by default. Photos on Tongia’s Facebook page show a smallish black smooth haired dog and a brown and white fluffier dog and identifies them as being these two (I’m not sure which was which).

      It’s possible that these were Rosetta’s dogs but that Tongia felt like they belonged to her as well.

      In either case, it shows that familiarity does not stop a pit bull from attacking. Tongia’s description of “reliving that day” of the attack makes it sound like Nayla killed both smaller dogs in one incident.

      • Sellis, and therein lies the problem with these pitbull owners.

        That pitbull didn’t snarl, or snap or growl or chase the other dogs off.

        It slaughtered them. I can’t imagine the trauma.

        PTSD does weird things to people. That said, when one family member murders other beloved family members, you don’t let them stay in your house, eating your food and threatening you, your family and your whole neighbourhood while they trigger your PTSD episodes every day.

        Perhaps, one of our goals here, should be supporting those people who have the courage to BE their dangerous dogs because at present, there’s far too much pressure on people suffering to keep and manage dangerous dogs.

        Just a thought.

      • Sellis, thank you! I hadn’t read the photo captions because they appeared to be in a minus 2 point font due to the photos on Tongia’s social media. Better reading rotated on my phone.

        You have made some excellent points in your posts here!

        • Nunzia, it sounds like you and Sellis are surmising maybe they all lived together? If the mutants killed Mom’s dogs too, that makes sense. The horrific mauling and death of the mother took place at her daughter’s house. The mother’s sister was there at the time and suffering from dementia. The report says she was the one crying for help. I think I have that right? Either way, what a sh-t show house for anyone.

  14. All pitbulls are different they don’t ALL kill old ladies some like to kill small children, infants, old men young women cats pet ducks chickens guineas rabbits goats sheep cattle little horses big horses lammas alpacas…

  15. Jay, isn’t that the truth! You could probably throw in armadlllo too.

    What troubles me about cows and horses are their vulnerability to pitbull attacks. Both have large bodies supported by 4 skinny legs, particularly the horses. Pitbulls can bite a leg or two and take the poor animals down.

    The best account I have read about this is by Farmer Jayne who relates the post-attack behavior of the pitbull. See the Bennard babies comments. One can easily search for “Farmer Jayne” to find the post among the 200+ comments.

    • OK thanks Nunzia I’ll check that out I’ve seen 2 pitbull boxer mixes bring down a donkey by circling it 1 at its head and the other behind it-they got it turning in circles and it lost its footing and fell down – if I wouldn’t have shown up when I did they were going to eat her alive

  16. Boni is right. I think we need to consider why Tongia was so adamant about not wanting to “give up” on the pit named Nayla after she killed the dogs Eunice and Lulu. There is societal pressure these days which says dogs are your commitment for life, even if they display aggression or kill other pets (and sometimes people). The mentality of keeping dogs no matter what terrible thing they do is utterly flawed. A dog is a being which does not understand its own mortality. An injection to euthanize an aggressive dog is no different TO THE DOG than a yearly rabies shot. They don’t abstractly fear death, they don’t have regrets, they don’t sit and contemplate their own mortality or analyze if their owners are “giving up” on them. The stupid “save them all” type posts at rescues which are written from the dogs’ perspectives are ridiculous and prey upon the emotion-driven anthropomorphism of the readers. “My name is Bullet and I try to be a good boy. I don’t understand why my family deserted me here, I was only trying to protect my food from a little human that didn’t have manners. I didn’t mean to hurt him and now I am abandoned by the people who said they’d love me forever…” 🤮

    Dogs are meant to be companions for humans, not a burden which puts others at risk of injury or death. As much as we love our dogs, it’s wrong to keep a dog that is a threat to the lives of other creatures. Tongia knew Nayla had killed two dogs but chose to keep her, putting other animals and humans at risk. Why? Because to do otherwise would be looked at (and looked down upon) as giving up. It’s the ultimate sin in this dog crazy (dog worshiping) world. “Pets are for life!” is the chant, and because Tongia believed this, a dead mom is the result.

    We need to fight to make it okay to “give up” on an aggressive dog, just like it was in previous generations. A dog growls at a kid, kills a cat, attacks another dog… it should not be tolerated. No one should be living in fear of their PET killing someone or something in their household because they feel they owe it to that dog to not give up. If you look at comments on posts in which someone asks for advice on what to do with an aggressive dog, any mention of euthanizing that dog or taking it to a shelter (which just passes on a problem) is met with anger, loathing, and cries that “dogs are family and you don’t give up on family.”

    This elderly lady was family too. And the moment Tongia decided to keep Nayla, she was actually giving up on her own mother.

    • Sellis I think we’re on the same page with BE.

      For some reason people’s fear of mortality seems to be passed on to their pets. Losing a pet is mournful process. I’ve had a fair few dogs and kept them until their dying days whether or not I needed to euthanize an animal in morbid pain or whether they passed, naturally.

      Euthanasia in a cold, clinical shelter doesn’t need to be cruel. A warm blanket, a cuddle and some salami, the vet slips in the needle and the dog quietly goes to sleep. I think the objections may come from the times when shelters and pounds mass-gassed unwanted animals. That’s not how the euthanasia of a loved pet (even a bad one) occurs. A dog can’t see into the future of “not being” and thus, does not fear death, only pain and suffering.

      A painless death is more compassion than we show dying cancer patients in some places.

      We even used to use a different term. “We had to put the animal to sleep”–is how most people used to refer to euthanasia for pets.

      If we want to believe dogs are family then we have to take that to the end. That family member may be an unhinged murderer. We can reason with a person or lock them up or medicate them and they can explain to us how they feel about that–and whether the medication is working, if they can comply with a strict jail routine etc.

      A dog can’t do any of that. It will just continue to suffer from its lack of impulse control and confinement.

      “You don’t give up on family.” Oh yes, we do. When they are damaging us, we do. We move away, we stop taking calls, we limit our exposure to them. If they’re dangerous enough, society comes along and locks them up, away from us.

      When a family member is psychopathic, or violently unhinged and damaging, if they murder other family members, some might visit them in jail but we certainly don’t let them continue to live with us until they murder the rest of the family.

    • You are absolutely right.
      It isn’t like when a dog sees the pink juice it starts thinking “Oh, if I had it all to do over again! So many butts I never got to sniff, so many kids I never chased. All those cats out there in one piece with their blood and guts inside of them. It is so unfair! ” Then they start signing My Way.

      Actually I could see many dog owners thinking this is exactly how it works.

      • I’ve seen owners keep alive clearly suffering dogs–surgery after surgery, thousands upon thousands of dollars spent for a dog that will suffer for whatever time it has left because the vet and dog lovers pressure the owner, rather than grow a spine and make the responsible choice for the good of the dog and the people around it.

        Same thing with a dog that is so nervous or high strung that it’s impossible to handle and dangerous.

        It isn’t about the dog, it’s about the owner’s inability to deal with loss.

        Perhaps that’s also a societal problem. We aren’t really good at dealing with grieving. We say stupid things at funerals, we aren’t a society, supportive of those that grieve and we aren’t very compassionate because for some reason, we’ve bought into some stupid idea of “closure” rather than “time lessens wounds.”

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