Don Gibson, 66, was killed by a rescue pit bull after trying to break up a dog fight.
Rescue Dog Kills Man
Tulsa, OK - It was reported Wednesday that a man was hospitalized in critical condition after being attacked by one or more of his rescue pit bulls and later died of his injuries. EMSA responders said there were eight dogs at the scene. Tulsa Animal Control took three of the dogs into custody. The victim's wife then asked to reclaim two of those dogs that she did not believe initiated the attack. Those two dogs were given back to her because this was a "first-party bite," officials said.
KOTV-DT identified the victim as 66-year old Don Gibson and interviewed his wife, Gena Carter. Both Gibson and Carter were trying to break up a fight between two of their pit bulls in their garage when a female pit bull, named "Isabella," viciously redirected onto Don. "Finally I just threw up my hands and said 'let them fight 'till the end,’” Carter told KOTV-DT. “And Don said 'no, no.' And I said, 'Don I got to go get help, look at you.' My garage looked like a slaughterhouse," Carter said.
"What made [Isabella] turn, I have no idea,” Carter said. “It's just all a shock to me. But after I seen what she did to Don, I said ‘no, no more."’
Sgt. Brian Collum of the Tulsa Police Department said the injuries Gibson sustained were a "contributing factor" to his death. "There's absolutely no doubt." Collum also cautioned people who rescue dogs that may have a checkered past. "Try to find out some background, try to find out some other things before you actually take this dog into your home,” Collum said. Carter said her other dogs are "all I got to live for now," but she hopes that people will learn from her story.
The attack occurred at the couple's home in the 18000 block of East 4th Street in the morning, according to media reports. Two of the dogs were put down, Isabella and the primarily black pit bull (presumably). As many as six dogs remain on the property. The fenced-in yard shows multiple dog bowls, but there was an absence of dogs outside during the interview with KOTV-DT. A Google Street view from 2015 shows a black pit bull standing in their yard before it was fenced.
More Dog Information
An update from Fox 23 Tulsa states that "Angel," a pit bull-Lab mix, was the other dog involved in the fight. “Angel came bombarding through the door and Isabella, I guess was already out of her pen, and they got in a fight,” Carter explained. They broke up that fight, but Isabella wasn't done. “She came charging back in the gate to get at Angel and when she found out she couldn’t, is when she went after Don and tore chunks out of his arm, his legs and everything," Carter said.
Both Isabella and Angel were put down. Carter does have six remaining dogs on the property. One of them is a rescued wolf-dog hybrid-akita mix, named "Wolfie," who bears little resemblance to either breed. Just last week, Carter said that Isabella had attacked Wolfie over a bone. Wolfie and Isabella were rescued "years ago." Isabella was not a recently acquired rescue. The couple had been married for 23 years. Gibson used to be the owner of Ralph's Hot & Juicy Burgers.
05/14/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Owner Charged with Manslaughter After Multiple Attacks
06/21/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dog Sitting Pit Bulls Found Dead in Osage County...
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.
Every other dog in my otherwise civilized town is a pitbull or pitbull mix. The townspeople in general could afford to obtain any dog breed they want, given the fancy houses and cars around.
But somehow it has become a virtue to “adopt” the pitbull “rescues”, and feel so virtuous for it. Owning a poodle just doesn’t confer the same halo.
–And apparently they know a lot more about cars than they do about dogs.
When I was a kid in this area my sister and I used to cut through backyards on our way to a secluded skating pond. On one of those adventures my sister (age 7?) approached a Shepherd in someone’s yard and it bit her.
Had that happened today chances are it would have been a pitbull and in that case my sister’s life would’ve ended 40 years too soon in a hellscape of blood.
There are no second chances with a breed designed to kill.
But somehow it has become a virtue to “adopt” the pitbull “rescues”, and feel so virtuous for it. Owning a poodle just doesn’t confer the same halo.
That is so true. Don’t shop, adopt, and of course they are going to push a pit bull on you since that is 95 percent of what they have there. I am a healthy 62 year old that not only gardens daily but I am virtually walking the Appalachian Trail and have done 400 miles in 2 months. And if I hadn’t seen a loose dog up the street, I would be walking now and of course it is a pit bull. Yet even though feel in good shape I know how strong a pit bull is because I grabbed the leash of one 10 years ago and brought back to it’s owner. I did get my dog from the shelter but only because I couldn’t find a legit small dog breeder that had puppies available for at least a year. But I chose an adult that was 17 pounds. But I know that if I had got a pit bull I would be a hero @@ but my dog won’t kill me and I don’t live with crating and rotating because my daughter lives here with her small mix and when she shows up today with a yorkie we have watched for years my dog will sigh and pout but no fighting.
Six dogs remaining on the property? More “accidents” waiting to happen and with free bites.
The property value will surely decrease. The lackadaisical care of the dogs can be seen as a black pitbull appears to be unleashed in the front yard. That was 8 years ago. Neighborhood buyer, beware!
And the place must sound like a kennel. I feel sorry for the neighbors who have to listen to all the barking.
Then there’s the safety issue. We know what that can lead to.
Yes it would sound like a kennel. The dogs were separated out by pens, kennels and the garage too it sounds like. So, there was known dog-on-dog aggression. These dogs were a “job” so to speak.
Jeez, look at that little fence, like that will keep these wild beasts in if they get bloodlust to rip apart some kid walking to school? I believe it now when a coworker said in 2014 that his sister used to volunteer at the pound but said it’s no longer a good place to get a dog, nothing but pit bulls and pit bull mixes. All these bleeding heart suckers choosing the worst possible basket cases to save.
Letting dog aggressive dogs get together is dangerous for the dogs. Misdirected aggression is very common in dogs. It is not very dangerous in dogs that don’t bite like pitbulls.
One could not possibly know how noisy the dogs are. Some dogs are barkers. Some aren’t. When handling dogs, it’s not unusual for two dogs to get together and fight.
Some years ago I accidentally let two GSDs get together. The non-aggressive dog bit my little finger resulting in calling in a hand surgeon at midnight. If the dog had been a pitbull, there likely wouldn’t have been anything to fix.
With multiple dogs, one needs to know how to safely split a dogfight. Otherwise, leave fighting dogs alone.
I’ve heard it said, “Never try to break up a dog fight.” Maybe it’s over simplistic but I’ll stick with that.
“First-party bite shall mean an animal bite to the animal’s owner, the owner’s immediate family or someone who lives in the same residence as the owner.”
I don’t know where to see a picture of “Wolfie” but wolf/husky/Akita sounds like a mix I wouldn’t want living next door.
Wolfie is in the Fox video. Dog so unusual, we also posted a photo https://blog.dogsbite.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/wolfie-wolf-dog-hybrid-akita-mix.jpg
Strange body. Maybe overfeeding? Better than a musclebound pitbull I suppose.
Fat as a pig. Almost certainly spayed. Maybe the idea was to fatten the dogs so they couldn’t fight.
It doesn’t look like a wolf hybrid! People who claim this are often mistaken & the dog turns out to be a husky or other Artic breed mix! It would be interesting to know if they had DNA testing.
People foolishly call mutts wolf hybrids. Why is it so dumb? First of all, many places in the USA call a wolf dog a wolf hybrid and have rules to apply. If a wolf hybrid bites someone, the dog is immediately destroyed and checked for rabies. No quarantine time allowed. The bite could be one inflicted in play. I had a purebred AKC German shepherd dog on my property that looked like a wolf. I asked a police officer what he’d do if the dog bit someone. “Call the DNR.”. Department of Natural Resources for destruction.
In addition, it was determined some years ago that wolves are in the same family as dogs.
Wolf dogs are not hybrids. If a Golden Retriever is bred by a poodle, the offspring are called Golden doodles, not golden hybrids or poodle hybrids.
A mule is a true hybrid.
It is a hybrid from the mating of a horse and a donkey. The two species
have a different number of chromosomes so mules are sterile.
Thus, part wolf dogs are wolf dogs, not wolf hybrids.
Rachel, thank you for that insight. I did not realize that wolves and dogs are considered the same species.
I studied biology in undergrad and one of my takeaways was that life is hard to classify, because it doesn’t exist for the convenience of biologists. There are different ways to define species, to determine what belongs in what species. The “biological” definition of species is that if populations can interbreed with viable offspring, they’re the same species. Part of that definition, though, may be not just whether they can but if they will and do.
There is a good amount of reproductive separation between dogs and wolves (my understanding is that normally they don’t tend to mate with each other – unless idiots set those matings up) so I wouldn’t be surprised if the definitions were to swing back around to them being separate species at some point.
Or course it’s always the adopt a pit bull that killed the owner.it’s bad enough people choose to get a pit bull as a pet.it worse to adopt a pit bull because you know the pit bull defender is going to say the poor baby was abused or he was scared and always blaming the victims.that poor guy dying a horrific death. Thinking he did a good deed.
Yet the powerful pitbull lobby is actively pushing shelter pits/bully’s into unsuspecting families. There is a reason why the shelters are full of pit type dogs..they don’t make safe pets.
Two words: Shelters lie.
That’s all you need to know.
exactly redirect of aggression is a normal finding in all animals. tread carefully
I cannot bring myself to feel sorry for either of these two people. It’s moronic that she wants to keep SIX of the monster mutts. Then, she follows up with a comment about dog attacks and says, “You never know.” Yikes. Actually, we do know. Thank God that little girl wasn’t around, however, if that’s their grandchild…”you never know.” And, I noticed she said in this order, I lost two dogs and then something about her dead husband. Didn’t notice any tears. Well, at least she has her wonderful dogs to keep her company. (sarcasm emoji)
I’m with you Theresa, this woman is not mentally there. If my pet dog murdered my husband I wouldn’t want to lay eyes on a dog for a very long time, much less use them as comfort in place of my husband. I feel for the children in that lunatics life, and the neighbors.
Sgt. McCollum of the Tulsa Police Dept. called the pitbull mauling death of Don Gibson “a contributing factor” to Gibson’s death. That sounded like an equivocation to me. It was THE factor that caused the death of Mr. Gibson, even if he had undergone a heart attack during the attack.
Sure enough, it turns out Sgt. McCollum is one of the first responders in America who owns a pitbull. (Animals 24-7)
A first responder’s mission is to eliminate the threat and ensure public safety. It seems possible that compromises might be made in Tulsa that would further endanger public safety regarding pitbulls and other dangerous dogs.
Edit: Sgt. Brian Collum
Apologies for the confusion of misnaming him.
I’m not surprised at all to learn he owns a pitbull. His other brilliant comment: “Try to find out some background, try to find out some, you know, other things, before you actually take this dog into your home.”
No, I don’t know what “other things” you’re referring to. Breed characteristics, maybe?
Worse yet Teresa:
“They’re all I have left.”
Lady, they killed your husband. She herself, refused to break up the dog fight because she was terrified. Yet, she’s going to keep these dogs, in her house (I’m assuming she’s fairly on in years, as well) that she herself cannot handle.
I wish someone would explain to these dog devotees that it isn’t about *them*–you wanna die, fine by me–it’s about *everyone else* around them they’re putting at risk.
Frankly, she needs a wellness check because if she was duct taping hand grenades to the walls, putting strings on the pins and tying them around the house hoping not to trip, she’d be carted off to the senior’s home for mental instability, post haste.
But furry hand grenades with questionable pins?
Nah, it’ll be fine. /snark off/
Dog fights are a normal part of dogs including pitbulls. Redirected aggression is also normal. The six dogs left might kill each other. At least, she seems to know better than to try to stop a fight.
The killed the lawn.
It’s not normal at all for dog fights and redirected aggression to result in human death. It’s also not normal for dog fights and redirected aggression to result in the dog tearing “chunks out of his arm, his legs and everything”….
The problem is “never put your hands into a dog fight” is a piece of wisdom coined *before* pit bulls were being marketed as family pets. If your Lab and your neighbor’s shepherd got into it in 1970 or 1991, the odds were pretty much 99% that the fight was all noise and posturing, with little physical risk to either dog. In the 1980s, my childhood dog was attacked twice by larger dogs, a shepherd and a lab, and was not badly hurt. If those had been pit bulls, she would have been killed. Two pit bulls, or a pit bull against another breed – if you loved either or both of the dogs, it would be almost unbearable to step back and just let them rip each other apart.
Sara, I thought “never put your hands into a dog fight” was more about preserving your hands – it seems like better advice now than ever. I hope you won’t have to face the situation you describe.
Squatter takes over house with his pitbulls
Doesn’t this sound worse than pitbull owners trying to weaponize their pitbulls against first responders?
Read the last sentence in this news article. It would be great if a SWAT team went to the occupied house to take out the pitbulls. Is new legislation needed for outrageous situations like this?
Actual bloody dog fights weren’t all that common until the past few decades. Mainly because nervous, aggressive, stupid wrecks of dogs weren’t kept alive by idiot owners.
Can’t actual remember a single one growing up in a small town where dogs ran around, loose. It became more common when I was training dogs because I knew more than a few protection/guard dogs and they weren’t fluff muffins so some tended towards fighting.
Re-directed aggression breaking up dog fights is common. Generally by the dog that picked the fight–although with pitbulls or rotts, all bets are off.
One vicious bite during redirected aggression to stop the interference is one thing–a full on mauling and murder are quite another as that’s a change of target from the initial dog fight to a preference for the new target–the human.
Here’s the bottom line. A dog that is dog aggressive is dangerous. Anyone that thinks otherwise is an idiot. Because neighbourhoods are full of dogs. Big dogs, little dogs, mean dogs, friendly dogs. With a dog-aggressive dog (and no, it’s not reactivity, let’s stop calling it that) there is always a danger.
Dogs generalize. If they think a behavior is okay in one circumstance, that circumstance will often grow into myriad circumstances and nobody can predict when the dog will decide that. Any aggressive behavior needs to be discouraged and stopped. House pets do not require aggression to survive.
Protection/Guard dogs are a whole other class. They take a massive amount of training and the understanding by the handler that they are capable of misconstruing a threat by accident.
Using dogs to “protect property” is a dangerous misconception short of a barking burglar alarm.
At least these imbeciles didn’t get the neighbors killed, only themselves for a change. No pity here. Play with fire, expect to get burned.
There are several new comments this past week at the Stanley Hartt mauling death article.. I shared the jaw-dropping comment by the new animal control officer in Tucumcari, NM. Plus an interesting comment from NM.
New Jersey man has been charged with animal cruelty…..after defending his Yorkie from a loose pitbull. The world turned upside down.
So the pitbull owner isn’t charged for letting that pitbull maul a tiny yorkie–but the owner of the yorkie who slammed the pitbull who suffered no damage–he’s somehow the problem?
Was he just supposed to let the pitbull kill his dog? Idiot screaming neighbours. Who cares if the pitbull had “finished attacking”–we’ve all seen how often they go back for seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths.
Wow. That’s a big Flock All The Way Off, from me.
Even if the NJ dog owner had ended up killing the attacking pitbull, it would still be self defense for both him and his Yorkie.
Was the Yorkie’s owner supposed to let the pitbull kill his dog? The fact that his dog survived was a miracle.
Locally a man within the city limits was being attacked by pitbulls inside his fenced yard. His wife tossed him a gun, and he shot the pitbulls. The police finished them off and did not charge the victim for firing a gun within the city limits.
Police can decide whom they charge.
It blows my mind that if 2 dog owners who want their dogs to fight put those dogs in a pit and let them fight it is a felony at the federal level and in all 50 states.
However if one dog owner can’t control his dog (that would be at home in the fighting pit) and it mauls your dog, that isn’t a crime. Furthermore if you use force to stop it THAT is a crime.
All the crack down on dogfighting has done is move the fights from the pits to our streets, from the backwoods to our neighborhoods.
As depraved as dogfighting is at least the owners chose to put their dogs in the pit. If we use force to get our pets or in some cases ourselves out of the pit we are charged.
As far as the myth that pits are all big sweethearts and the dog fighters “force” them to fight actually listen to some old time dog fighters some time.
Why would they waste time on a dog that doesn’t want to fight when so many pits are rearing to go, ready to kill anything that moves?
It makes no sense.
Sadly charging people for defending themselves or their pet against a dog makes political sense.
Police don’t press charges, District Attorneys do.
D.A. is an elected position.
There is a large group of society and therefore the voting public that if they hear a man shot, stabbed or beat a dog they think that man should go to prison.
Actually they want that man shot, stabbed, beaten and then executed. Not being able to get that they will settle for serving time in prison.
They don’t care why he “attacked” the dog and it doesn’t matter.
Dogs are more important than people to these people and in their minds there is “no excuse” to harm a dog, even if that dog is killing your dog.
As far as “Is he just supposed to let the pit kill his Yorkie?” the answer in most jurisdictions is yes.
Dogs are property.
Unless you are in Texas you are not supposed to use force to defend property.
It is stupid, it is immoral but it also the law in most states.
You are supposed to watch while the pit disembowels your pet. When it gets bored and stops you are then supposed to sue the owner for “replacement cost” of your “property”.
Unless your pet is a purebred with papers, “replacement costs” will be about $50.
In the unlikely event that your pet survives the attack you can take it to the vet, spend thousands upon thousands to try to save your pets life.
You can try to sue the owner of the attacking dog to get this back but lots of luck collecting on that judgment.
TL;DR the prohibition against defending “mere property” is dumb and needs to change.
Voters need to start using their brains and realize there can be very good reasons to shoot, stab or beat a dog.
They need to stop rewarding “dog loving” D.A.s that charge everyone who defends themselves or their pets against attacking dogs.
The odds of any of this happening is slim to none.