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40 thoughts on “2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Modesto Woman, 93, Dies After Brutal Attack by a Pair of Cane Corsos

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  1. An elderly person wouldn’t have a chance against ONE of these dogs much less two. Power breeds should not be permitted as PET animals.

    I recently moved and had a fence put around my FRONT yard. Now I don’t have to worry about dog running loose, particularly with the number of pits around me. I still keep a weapon on me just in case though.

    • Tragically, fences don’t always stop game-insane bloodsport dogs. But they can help.

      After being anti-gun for my entire life, I acquired several weapons for defense against bloodsport dogs. I might not be able to stop an attack, but I will do everything in my power to stop that dog from repeating its attack.

  2. May she Rest In Peace shessh again an old lady dying by a dangerous dogs I think the owner of the dogs should face the harshest criminal charges .if I make the laws if someone own a dangerous breed whether is pitbull cane caros they should keep eye on them like a hawk and never let them loose around innocent people and pay for the hospital bill if their dog hurt someone.

  3. Cane Corsos are not pets. They should not be owned by anyone but a person with lots of dog training experience. There should be requirements in place for Cane Corsos that dictate the requirements necessary for proper confinement.

    Why does anyone need this kind of dog? Farmers don’t let
    their breeding animals roam.
    Maybe they should let dairy bulls protect their property.
    That would be safer.

    • I dont think anyone needs these dogs at all.

      Mastiffs, cane corsos etc were bred to kill people, so are basically an automated extremely brutal weapon, exclusively used against unarmed victims.

      Ban them completely.

  4. It is WAY past time to start holding the owners of dogs that maul and kill criminally liable. Yes, the dog’s genetics was a major factor in the outcome. The OTHER factor in the outcome was the dog owner that brought the dog into the community in the first place. The dog owner introduced the dog into the neighborhood and then failed to control it, and thus has culpability.

    Situations like this should result in statutory penalties that include hard prison time AND monetary compensation mandated by the criminal court. While suing mauler mutt owners is a great idea, the victim and their family should not be completely on their own to prosecute the dog owner. Enough coddling the owners of these murder mutts.

  5. In the 2014 case, no charges were brought. Will it be different this time? I can’t find a timeline of new dog laws being passed in California but I feel like there was something fairly recently.

    Or maybe since it’s up to the district attorney, they may just not care enough to do anything. The authorities who are holding these cane corsos for 10 days for rabies refuse to say that they will be put down after that time. It truly does seem like people care more about dogs than their fellow human beings. Plenty of people will proudly proclaim that’s where their priorities are. So much for civilized society.

  6. “Showed Repeated Aggression”

    Those are the magic words regardless of dog breed.

    And WHEN did the owners think the dogs would *stop* “showing repeated aggression”?

    Their masochistic needs should not outweigh Animal Control’s duty to apprehend those dogs as dangerous, long before another senior was eaten by a molasser breed whose owners knew they were dangerous and failed to secure them, anyway. That’s why it’s not about whether or not the owner can secure them because there’s always risks of accidents or negligence.

    A dog that is not safe offlead, isn’t a safe dog. Period.

    Because dogs cannot be leashed or fenced 24/7 no matter how hard you try. They WILL have human contact unleashed at some points. Thus, if they are aggressive, the owners should not be given leeway on euthanizing them as public dangers.

    • Its why I dont believe in leashes being enough- a kid comes around the corner, what do you do?

      And if you need a muzzle, your dog probably isnt safe enough to be kept alive either.

      • Andy I emphasized *repeatedly* to people with power breeds, large dogs and protection trained dogs that if you cannot control your dog off lead–your dog is NOT under your control. Period.

        It’s why I am so frustrated with this idea that dogs that kill other dogs/cats/pets, or are aggressive with people, or biting should can be housed in residential neighbourhoods. Shelters are guilty of palming off this fallacy that they know is a con job.

        I knew a dog trainer who was fixing a dog that hated skateboards and bikes. As he was training it, a kid happened around a blind corner on a skateboard unexpectedly–the trainer, being agile and clever saw the dog about to go off, kneed it in the chest, knocking the wind out of it and saving the kid–was then promptly set upon by animal control for “being mean”.

        If that had been the owner, the kid would be kibble and the owner would have been sued out of his house. Blind corners were not an error that trainer would ever make, again.

        While not all dogs are black and white as far as fixing them or what exactly they’re responding to and whether or not the problem can be fixed, there’s one thing for certain.

        Owners are not responsive enough in a residential area to stop an aggressive dog from going after anything it deems prey or a threat. Most of them can’t get their offlead dog to sit or stop eating a bit of trash on the ground by voice command. A leash for guiding a dog to correct behaviour–not a restraining device.

        Therefore, aggressive dogs have zero business living in residential areas.

      • Tragically, fences don’t always stop game-insane bloodsport dogs. But they can help.

        After being anti-gun for my entire life, I acquired several weapons for defense against bloodsport dogs. I might not be able to stop an attack, but I will do everything in my power to stop that dog from repeating its attack.

  7. I couldn’t read this without thinking of the case just presented at a vicious and dangerous dog hearing in San Francisco (90 miles west of Modesto) on June 13, 2023. Two Cane Corsos were reported to have attacked and bitten people in the city at least five times over the course of a few months. The owner was a young mother who blamed everybody else for provoking her dogs. This case would almost certainly have ended in euthanasia of the dogs–if the San Francisco Police Department hadn’t failed to produce a single witness at the hearing!

    • I was able to watch the interview. It’s powerful, and the ring camera images so frightening. (There’s the potential killers wagging their tails ready to do what they do best.) The recurring theme seems to be either the dog “never showed aggression” before it murdered someone. (Which brings to mind the Tennessee case where the two little children were killed by the “family pets.”) OR, the dog showed aggression but we can’t do anything (police/animal control) because the dog hasn’t attacked/killed anyone YET. That “yet” keeps these monsters in circulation to maul and murder. This woman looks like the most gentle soul. What a terrible way to die. The owner of the monsters said “she was in Arizona” when this happened. So what? She has blood on her hands home or not home.

  8. Cane Corso owners will swear by “cane corsos are like pit bulls, but safe”.

    Its completely ridiculous once you get into the statistics. For how rare these dogs are they still kill people yearly.

    • There’s no way the owners of cane corsos don’t see their dangerousness as a good feature. They just want to think their maulers are upscale.

      • A lot of large dog owners really do think their dogs are safe, or at least will aggressively argue that they do. Im sure many of them get a kick out of it in secret, much like people obsessed with collecting or carrying large weap0ns etc.

        • A friend of mine had a purebred GSD that bit folks at least three times. Was he truly dangerous? No. He was a neutered male with an owner who refused to listen. He was very poorly socialized. I had told his owner to never give him a chance to bite. One bite was a furnace repairman in the house. One was running the front door with strangers outside the door. One was her
          daughter’s boyfriend who entered the house without permission. All bites were very minor. I had told her not to neuter the dog if she was relying on the surgery fixing his teeth problem. This dog was legally killed in his own house. A friend and I had worked with this dog a bit. He would not have been killed if his owner had listened. All dog owners must control their dogs’ teeth.

          • Amen. Had one where I fixed the dog. Both another trainer and I told this woman and her hubby how to manage the dog.

            They didn’t listen. They didn’t practice. They weren’t careful in their household management.

            And a (which is why, weirdly it’s oddly hilarious) pudlepointer (of all things) put the wife in the hospital with over a hundred stitches.

            Even as a dog trainer might be able to manage a dog–they spend their day managing and training dogs because it’s their livelihood. Their premises and daily schedules are set up to accommodate this.

            Owners just aren’t that dedicated. They might claim to “love” the dog–doesn’t mean they’re willing to spend 4+ hours of their day managing the needs of a difficult animal. Never mind the actual physical strenuousness of managing large, difficult dogs.

          • I’m not sure exactly what Andy was thinking of but some men like to collect swords and knives. They may display them or keep them locked up.

            What makes some people collect these items rather than, for instance, coins? Why do some people keep large, potentially lethal dogs? Could it be that it gives them a similar feeling? At least weapons collectors tend to leave them at home instead of taking them out where they intimidate and maybe hurt other people.

  9. Also, we need to stop worshipping dog trainers.

    The fact is, unless the dog trainer is keeping the dog–it’s not about the dog trainer. It’s about the *owners*.

    Sure a dog trainer can take a dog home and can sometimes fix something an owner cannot–sometimes within hours.

    But the dog doesn’t live there. The question at Animal Control should never be, “Well get a dog trainer to help you fix it and you can keep it”.

    The question should be, “Is this *owner* able to successfully manage this dog and maintain a household routine and training schedule for the next dozen years?

    Dog training isn’t rocket science. It’s made up of people who genuinely like dogs (most of the time) that have a particular set of skills they’ve learned through reading, observation, experience and training.

    Training can mitigate some genetics, suppress or redirect those urges. That’s fine if your Border Collie goes from sheep to herding tribballs–not so useful if your pitbull or Cane Corso wants to murder other animals and maul people. There is one workaround I know of used to retrain protection dogs for retiring–and 99% owners would never be able to manage the amount of intense labour and observation it takes to make it work (so I’m not going to suggest it, publicly since it requires a high level of dog handling skill )

      • Exactly. And we need to stop feeling sorry for them.

        There are lotsa great dogs out there. Yet people waste an inordinate amount of time “saving” dogs that are just as miserable as the people living with them.

        It’s like wasting your life with a wife beater and claiming to love them. Well maybe yes, maybe no, maybe it’s just trauma bonding but what it *isn’t*–is a healthy relationship.

        A dog is a 15 year relationship. Choose wisely and know when to cut your losses.

        Don’t endanger the next family by palming them off to reduce your guilt load. You can live with the guilt. They might not survive the dog.

    • LOL The dog trainer for my neighbor’s new PAIR of killers once tried to run over a cop on his supervised visitation with his kids.

      Just unpack that: a vicious dangerous man with no sense of boundaries is training my neighbor’s vicious dangerous dogs who have no sense of boundaries.

      Twice the dogs have chased me and my mini into our property from the shared public road. They will get “lucky” someday and kill my dog and maim me.

      People who shouldn’t have even one of these freaks often have two. The two dogs by me have no collars, no leashes, no fence.

      The dog warden says get a surveillance camera. How stupid is that? It will take a video not save our lives!

      If we are hurt it is the fault of the owner, the police, the trainer, and the dog warden…none of whom has taken any real responsibility.

      It is unacceptable, for me to have to live in fear

  10. I once sent a nasty two year old intact male Saint Bernard to a friend who trained dogs. In the vet exam room, this dog had slammed me in the face with a muzzled head. I was not pleased, as he was dangerous in my opinion.

    What I found out is that this dog had amazingly good temperament. Within days of arrival, the trainer could play tug of war with this dog and easily get the toy back.

    Why was this dog dangerous? He was a big puppy who had barked and acted stupid on a leash. Because of that, people avoided him. His problem was strictly socialization. I saw him more times in the vet clinic and never muzzled him again. He had never been petted and played with by a stranger. He was a big baby that loved attention.

    This is a problem. We really need to evaluate biting dogs. I had a very nasty six months old small mixed breed puppy in for boarding. She had come from a shelter at eight weeks.
    She really was not handleable.
    I crawled into a cage with her and sat with my back to her.
    About five minutes later I had a sweet puppy in my lap. She was never again aggressive with me although she could be with my staff.

    Of course, this was before the era of pitbulls, cane corsos, bullies, etc. Those dogs are too dangerous to chance a bite.

    We still have stupid people. I read an article last week where a reportedly “in heat” dairy bull attacked an employee, broke his neck, and paralyzed him for life. I never learned that bulls (intact male bovines came into heat). Nor will I waste my time studying human stupidity.

    • Well big and dumb is a thing. Like you Rachel, I kept telling people that rude, pushy jumping big dogs are a *bad thing*. Because a big dog can knock down children, disabled and the elderly or even, someone looking away when they jump. They can break bones. “Look he’s playing/friendly” isn’t an excuse.

      Also agree that with some breeds what seems to be mean on the surface is sometimes just a result of poor handling.

      The problem with bully breeds is that owning one is not a risk families should be taking.

      Plus, a GSD, or St. Bernard, or some other big, pushy teen-aged dog likely isn’t trying to *kill* you and if they are that out-of-control, they’re mentally unhinged because they were not *bred* to kill you, or your pet.

      The problem is right now that pitbulls are infecting the mongrel gene pool creating monsters that don’t look like monsters. This is deliberate on the part of culties so they can say, “See? You can’t know what a pitbull looks like.”

      We also need to stop discussing dog bites and maulings as if they’re the same. They’re not.

      There’s a reason pitbulls and their ilk are not trustworthy. They were the first choice of slavecatchers for catching and killing/mauling runaway slaves as well as for dogfighting and as butcher’s dogs.

      Yet somehow, it’s “racist” to say these dogs were bred for this behaviour.

      But breeding more of them somehow isn’t carrying on a racist tradition?

      Colour me confused.

      As for the bull…ah, was he trying to mate with the guy? {{Insert Moose joke here}}

      Is that what the reporter was trying to say with that politically polite but inaccurate word salad?

    • Dr Duke:

      The short answer is…

      Because the Pitbull Industrial Complex Lobby is funneling millions to keep as many bull breeds off banning legislation as they can.

      They’re tireless, have thousands of volunteers and plenty of money.

      Victims, on the other hand are; tired, traumatized and generally not wealthy enough to fight back.

    • Wow, and I thought Genghis Khan got around…

      So, bred to kill other animals, attack people AND genetically unstable.

      That’s the trifecta of death right there.

  11. No charges against the of these dogs. The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office released this statement:

    “After a thorough investigation by the Modesto Police Department and review of the
    case by the District Attorney’s Office, there is insufficient evidence for criminal charges
    to be filed against Kareem Morrell, the owner of the dogs that killed Chanthy
    Philavong. Detectives conducting the investigation, which included a search for prior
    attacks or bites by the dogs, a canvas of the neighborhood and social media posts,
    witness interviews and review of camera footage, found no evidence to support
    criminal charges. As tragic as these cases are, in order for the owner to be criminally
    liable, the owner must have some prior knowledge or notice that the dogs are
    dangerous and would act in such a manner. Here, there was no evidence that the dogs
    had previously bitten anyone or that the dogs were trained to be vicious or attack
    people. The decision not to file charges and the reasons behind it have been shared
    with the family. Though we are ethically bound to follow the law, we recognize the
    devastating loss the family has endured and they have our deepest condolences. “

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