DogsBite Blog https://blog.dogsbite.org Some dogs don't let go Tue, 06 Apr 2021 19:47:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 Shelter Dog Terms Targeting Unwitting Fosters and Terms Used to Describe Major Liability Dogs - A 2021 Addendum https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/04/shelter-terms-target-fosters-and-terms-for-major-liability-dogs.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/04/shelter-terms-target-fosters-and-terms-for-major-liability-dogs.html#comments Tue, 06 Apr 2021 19:47:12 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=19651 There are Liability Dogs like Rusty (smaller), and there are Major Liability Dogs (large and powerful), like Quincy, Dieter and Brutus (seen above) awaiting adoption at shelters today. Unicorn Fosters DogsBite.org - Last July, we published a special report that … Continue reading

The post Shelter Dog Terms Targeting Unwitting Fosters and Terms Used to Describe Major Liability Dogs - A 2021 Addendum appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
major liability dogs - shelter terms
There are Liability Dogs like Rusty (smaller), and there are Major Liability Dogs (large and powerful), like Quincy, Dieter and Brutus (seen above) awaiting adoption at shelters today.


Unicorn Fosters
DogsBite.org - Last July, we published a special report that identified 125 behavior terms for shelter dogs decoded that mask aggression. We also categorized the terms into their meaning (e.g., impulsive aggression, anxiety) and risk level (e.g., very-high, high, mod-high). We continue to find new terms on adoption listings that mask aggression and other trends in deception, such as omitting long-term shelter stay information, previous returns by adopters and bite histories.

This series of terms focuses on fosters and Major Liability Dogs. Most commonalities include seeking low-level activity homes for shelter dogs with aggressive behaviors that contain no children or pets. The need for "breed experienced" owners is also highlighted, though many dog owners aren't qualified to make that assessment. Just because a person has owned a rottweiler previously, doesn't mean that person can handle "Dieter," a biter and resource guarder.

New Terms

One of the terms previously identified, "unicorn home," has evolved into a "unicorn foster." A dog that needs a "unicorn home" is so animal-aggressive, anxious and a resource guarder that it can only tolerate a "fantasy" home with zero stimuli. A "unicorn foster" has a home with no pets or children and is willing to accept "challenging," dogs riddled with behavior issues. What is unspoken is that a "unicorn foster" must also live in a rare and magical "unicorn neighborhood."

A "unicorn neighborhood" is non-existent. All neighborhoods have pets and kids, and often, at unpredictable times. These unicorn fosters will be expected to walk these behaviorally challenged dogs in public streets and parks. What is absolute and more common than a leash physically breaking is human error. So, a "unicorn foster" must have zero-margin of error 100% of the time when in public. This is not only unrealistic, it can endanger the foster and the community.

No pets, no kids? That means YOU are a rare and magical unicorn and WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH FOSTERING! We have noticed a growing trend at Asheville Humane: dogs who, for various reasons, are a little more challenging to find that perfect match for than your average dog. These dogs typically don't enjoy the company of other animals and are a little "too much" to be placed in a home with children. Because of this, they tend to stay with us for weeks, sometimes months, waiting for their ideal adoptive home. It is not uncommon for these dogs to develop challenging behaviors as a coping mechanism, which only compounds the problem further. - Asheville Humane Society

The slick "unicorn foster" marketing campaign is from the Asheville Humane Society (AHS). In 2015, just days after AHS launched a July 4th promotional campaign, "I want you to adopt an American Pit Bull Terrier," featuring Uncle Sam and a pit bull, a 6-year old boy was killed by a pit bull Asheville Humane had adopted out 3-weeks earlier. That pit bull had passed a SAFER test in flying colors. Maybe their "unicorn foster" campaign portends the mauling death of a foster?

"Fospice" is a term for another type of foster. Notably, rescues are not just trying to make suckers out of adopters, they play the same emotional harp strings with fosters. Athena, a presa canario, has been "handed off to multiple homes," used for breeding, was diagnosed with bone cancer and cannot be around children. Kenway's Cause rescue was also willing to do a leg amputation, despite her estimated lifespan of only 3 to 6 more months. Thus, "fospice" is a hospice foster.

Athena is a case for humane euthanasia to end her suffering. One commenter pointed this out: "Please! No more handoffs!!! Do right by her for Christ's sakes!" Yet, Kenway's Cause was willing to amputate one of her legs, so she could be a 3-legged dog in addition to her having a terminal health condition and a pitiable "rough life" background. At some point, "kindness" stops being kindness. "Fospice," in this case, primarily fulfills a human need, not a need for the animal.


unicorn fosters - major liability dogs

"Unicorn fosters" is a deceptive marketing ploy to entice unwitting fosters into taking in behaviorally challenging dogs (aka aggressive) by making the foster feel "rare and magical."


Major Liability Dogs

When a dog has gotten "absolutely ZERO interest" from perspective adopters, and has already been in a shelter for four years (1,460 days), as Brutus has, one can assume the dog has severe behavioral problems. Brutus needs a "breed experienced owner" (pit bull), where he will be the "only dog in a LOW TRAFFIC" and adult-only household. Decoded, Brutus is animal-aggressive, can't tolerate activity in the home and is unsuitable for children. Only a "unicorn foster" will do.1

When a shelter dog is called a "meathead" that doesn't realize "how big he is" and "lacks manners," requiring an adult-only household with no other pets, one can assume this translates into total disobedience, plays extremely rough (body crashes), will harm children, will kill other animals and is large and powerful -- aka the dog is like a bull in a china shop. The Urban Dictionary meaning for "meathead" also indicates impulsive aggression and super-fast arousal.

"Meathead - An enormously muscular guy who cannot hold a conversation about anything other than weight-lifting and protein shakes. Gets upset very quickly when he cannot complete his own sentences and thoughts. Can be found at nightclubs wearing shirts that are 10 sizes too small (if at all). They are by far the most closely related human beings to that of apes, chimpanzees, and other primate. They are evolutionary hindered and are less capable of following directions than my dead hamster." - Urban Dictionary

When a dog saved from death row is "reactive" and "very teethy," whose new owner cannot afford the "surrender fees" or afford the training the dog needs -- run away, do not walk away. The dog needs "major training and rehab" that its owner is incapable of. This owner clamored onto the "saving a death row dog" train only to realize the dog was "much more than we can handle." Now she's asking for someone else to trick the shelter so that she can avoid paying euthanasia fees!

When a dog is "reactive to ALL new people" and "reactive to most dogs," this translates into stranger aggression, dog aggression and more. TK is also kennel reactive and "extremely selective" about who he "let's in his circle." TK has already bitten 7 people and has to be "muzzled and sedated" to go to the vet. Always and Furever Midwest Sanctuary admits TK is a "liability and risk and one mistake" will result in a person or animal getting hurt. Again, to error is to be human.

The sanctuary also admits, "today a mistake happened." TK "got into the yard with Sally and they fought." Sally wound up at the vet. A sanctuary committed to the welfare of their animals would never allow TK, a Major Liability Dog, anywhere near their animals. In this case, it's not that "TK's life matters" less. It's that TK's life matters more than all of the other animals at the rescue. Always and Furever is proud they "took the risk no one else was willing to take" by taking in this dog.

TK (Travis Kelce) is currently available for adoption. There is no mention of the 7 or more previous bites in his adoption listing. No mention of attacking Sally either, only that TK is "not good with small animals." There is no mention of TK being reactive to "all new people," nor that he is "extremely selective" and dog-aggressive. No indication that TK is a "liability and risk" and that zero margin of error is required -- one mistake results in people or animals (or both) being hurt.

The act of Always and Furever taking in dogs like TK (that no other entity will risk taking) is actually a marketing and fundraising differentiation from other rescues that offers the most "street cred." The more dangerous the dog one accepts, the more street cred one gains. Thus, they do openly talk about TK's reactivity and liability on their Facebook page to gain applause from their followers and donors. The most coveted rescues, in their minds, take in the most dangerous dogs.


major liability dogs - shelter terms

Quincy is described as a "meathead" and Brutus has already spent 4 years in a shelter. Both must be the "only dog in the home" in an adult-only household with "experienced dog owner."


Dieter Paradox

Most of the dogs we have featured thus far are Major Liability Dogs that require a Level 2 or 3 dog owner (Level 3 = dog trainers and professionals). The vast majority of adopters are Level 1 owners; they can't even teach the "Stay" command. Major Liability Dogs have already exhibited aggression and are capable of deliver devastating bites. Dieter, a rottweiler, is among these dogs. However, his adoption listing by the Lakeshore Humane Society is less deceptive than the others.

We first saw the December 16, 2020 adoption listing, which was explosive, a "resource guarding" rottweiler with a "bite record" then backtracked to December 13. The bite occurred between those dates. Dieter is dog selective, cannot be exposed to children or small animals, requires an "experienced rottweiler owner," a fenced yard and attending a training course is a mandatory condition of adoption. Who could actually adopt this dog? A retired police K-9 handler is our pick.

The name of this file is "Dieter Paradox" because it refers to the Shelter Dog Behavior Review that we published in March. Level 1 dog owners do not understand what it means to own a dog like Dieter. They may think they can handle a dog like Dieter, but have no basis or qualifications to make that assessment. The only people who do have that qualification will most often say, "No thanks." That's the paradox. So in the end, the adoption listing for Dieter is still deceptive.

"The only people really qualified to take a dog like that is someone who lived with a dog that had that level of aggression. And, anyone who has already lived with a dog with that level of aggression, will say 'No thanks' to their next dog having the same issues," Sternberg said. "That's the paradox. Once you realize that, you realize that all we are doing is duping someone into adopting a dog because they don't truly understand." - Canine Behavior Review, Fall 2020

Shelter Swapping

"Shelter swapping" is a term that came into full force in the lawsuit against a South Texas no-kill shelter accused of "dog laundering." Recently, there was an excellent example of this concerning a long-term shelter stay dog named Rusty, who was returned to the Waco Animal Shelter one day after being adopted. The dog had previously been in the shelter for 419 days with multiple unsuccessful adoptions and returns. The latest return involved Rusty biting the new adopters.

Rusty (A093077) was first surrendered in February 2020 (2nd home). He was placed into a foster (3rd home) then sent to a rescue in Idaho (4th home and shelter swap). The rescue returned the dog to the Waco Animal Shelter for being dog-aggressive. He was adopted in November 2020 and returned for being "destructive" (5th home). He was adopted in February 2021 and returned (6th home). On March 30, he was adopted and promptly returned one day later (7th home).

Throughout this process, Rusty was called a "staff favorite," as well as deemed "Zack and Jim's Waco 100 Pet of the Week" to help unload the dog onto an unsuspecting adopter. But here is the real whopper. When Rusty was returned to the Waco Animal Shelter on March 31, that date became his "start" date at the shelter. According to the adoption listing, this dog has only been at the shelter since March 31, 2021 and makes no mention of the many previous failed adoptions.

"Rusty - ID#A093077. My name is Rusty. I am a neutered male, brown dog that looks like a German Shepherd Dog and Catahoula Leopard Hound. The shelter staff think I am about 2 years old and 1 month old. I weigh approximately 50 pounds.

I have been at the shelter since March 31, 2021.

Rusty is a great dog but he does take a little time to get used to 'strangers'. Once he bonds, though, he really enjoys being with people. A little patience and understanding will go a long way with him. He must have, though, had some negative experiences with children, as he is not comfortable with them and therefore is looking for an adult only family.

Currently he would be best suited as an only dog until he has had time to adjust to a new home and feels relaxed and loved and bonded, so he is more open to other dogs. Rusty is such a super cute and smart fellow, he would make the perfect addition to committed adopter family2 that shows him that their world can be a fun place with him in it." - City of Waco Animal Shelter, April 1, 2021

Intake Records

When adopting from a city or county shelter, we advise all members of the public to request all "intake" and "outcome" records for the dog. These records will show every time Rusty came into the shelter, left the shelter and was returned to the shelter. These records are not typically easy to read (you have to get used to them). See pages 2 to 6 for an example. "Rainbow" was surrendered by four separate owners. The dog was eventually euthanized for "severe behavior."

Quality of life for dogs like Rusty -- in and out of 7 or more homes and often a year or longer in a shelter -- can be quite poor. Unfortunately, we can't easily turn the masses of Level 1 dog owners into Level 2 and 3 dog owners either. Rusty's last adoption was a disaster; it lasted one day. Rusty's adopters said he was "too much work." The dog also bit them. On April 2, we saw that Rusty's adoption listing was gone. He was apparently adopted again thanks to the media's help.3

Summary

As this selection of shelter terms show, not all are targeted at unwitting adopters. Some are targeted at unwitting fosters too. A "unicorn foster" for a dog with aggression is a fantasy that can endanger the foster and the community where the dog is placed. "Fospice" is a miserable term that turns humane euthanasia on its head. Humane euthanasia is painless; its primary purpose is to end an animal's suffering. Fospice, in some cases, extends this suffering unnecessarily.

Terms like "absolutely ZERO interest" after a 4 year shelter stay or "LOW TRAFFIC home only" or "reactive to ALL new people" or "adult-only household with no pets" indicates dogs with aggressive behaviors that no Level 1 dog owner can handle. These are Liability Dogs and Major Liability Dogs. The "Dieter Paradox" shows us that Level 2 and 3 dog owners, who have managed a dog with aggressive behaviors in the past, typically never want to undertake the task again.

Finally, the best way to detect "shelter swapping" and the number of intakes, returns and outcomes for dogs like Rusty is to directly request these records from the shelter. This information is rarely in the adoption listing. While omitting this information in the listing offers a better chance for the dog to be adopted again, it is unfair and unethical to the new adopters. The quality of life for dogs like Rusty are often low too, all to achieve the no-kill single metric 90% "save rate."


major liability dogs - shelter terms

Dieter and TK are Major Liability Dogs with bite records that require a Level 2 or 3 dog owner. Dieter is a resource guarder and TK has excessive stranger aggression and dog aggression.


1Brutus also found a home with the help of the media. The public will never know if that home worked out either. These are often "stunt rescues," a short term rescue that fulfills the need of a "happy ending" story, or, as in the case of Rusty, a failed adoption because the Level 1 adopters had no idea what they were in for!
2The "committed adopter family" phrase implies that none of Rusty's previous adopters were "committed." That is an unethical guilt trip. The fact is, the adopters were lied to about the dog's behavior. Rusty was "too much work" and a "biter." Perhaps none of the adopters knew how many homes Rusty had been recycled to either.
3As we were getting ready to publish, more information on Rusty came in. Thanks to the media article, "hundreds" of people are now trying to adopt this dog. Paula Rivadeneira, the executive director of the Humane Society of Central Texas, which runs the Waco shelter, is now telling people: "Rusty isn't the dog you're envisioning. It's a kind thing to do, but he's going to be a problem" and Rusty "plays well with some dogs. Around others, he's lethal." For now, reports Patch, Rusty has been "taken in by a local rescue partner" to "identify and overcome the behavioral issues that have caused guilt-ridden families to return him to the shelter." Despite this PR promise, dog-killing aggression cannot be rehabilitated. It can only be controlled through separation measures.

Related articles:
03/01/21: Webinar: Shelter Dog Behavior Review with Sue Sternberg and Gia Savocchi
02/24/21: Lawsuit Against South Texas No-Kill Shelter Alleges "Dog Laundering" After Bite
07/31/20: 2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded that Mask Aggression
05/11/18: Shelters Often 'Encode' and 'Conceal' Aggression in Adoption Advertisements
09/20/16: What's Behind the Clickbait Web Advertisements of Aggressive Shelter Dogs Available?

The post Shelter Dog Terms Targeting Unwitting Fosters and Terms Used to Describe Major Liability Dogs - A 2021 Addendum appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/04/shelter-terms-target-fosters-and-terms-for-major-liability-dogs.html/feed 18
As Certain Legislators Jockey to Pass a State Preemption Bill, Rolla Boy Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries in Pit Bull Attack https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/missouri-preemption-bill-after-rolla-boy-pit-bull-attack.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/missouri-preemption-bill-after-rolla-boy-pit-bull-attack.html#comments Fri, 26 Mar 2021 22:04:35 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=19613 A 13-year old Rolla boy suffered life-threatening injuries in violent pit bull attack. Police News Release Rolla, MO - On March 22, the Rolla Police Department reported a violent pit bull mauling that left a 13-year old boy with life-threatening … Continue reading

The post As Certain Legislators Jockey to Pass a State Preemption Bill, Rolla Boy Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries in Pit Bull Attack appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
Rolla Pit Bull Attack
A 13-year old Rolla boy suffered life-threatening injuries in violent pit bull attack.

Police News Release
Rolla, MO - On March 22, the Rolla Police Department reported a violent pit bull mauling that left a 13-year old boy with life-threatening injuries. The attack in Rolla came as certain members of the Missouri legislature, once again, attempt to pass a preemption bill that will bar cities and counties from enacting breed-specific laws. Nearly every year since 2014, the Pit Bull Lobby has introduced preemption bills in this Midwest state. So far, these special interest legislative efforts have failed.

"Upon arrival, officers found a 13-year-old male who had life threatening injuries due to the attack. The child was delivering cupcakes to his next-door neighbor when the Pit bull got off his chain and began mauling the child. The owners of the Pit bull began attempting to restrain it, but the Pit bull had the child pinned to the ground while biting the head, neck, and face of the boy. Several adults began pulling the Pit bull from the boy, but the Pit bull was able to break free again and returned to mauling the boy. After repeated attempts, the adults were able to remove the Pit bull from the child and get him to safety, the family and another neighbor began life saving measures by administering first aid." - Rolla Police

Real Lives & Studies

Since 2011, over a dozen peer-reviewed retrospective medical studies from Level 1 trauma centers spanning all major geographical regions in the United States -- Northeast, Southeast, South, Southwest, Midwest, West Coast and Northwest -- all report similar findings. Pit bulls are inflicting a higher prevalence of injuries than all other breeds of dogs. The majority of these studies also report that pit bulls are inflicting a higher severity of injuries compared with other dog breeds.

"The data showed that compared with other dog breeds, pit bull terriers inflicted more complex wounds, were often unprovoked, and went off property to attack ... The probability of a bite resulting in a complex wound was 4.4 times higher for pit bulls compared with the other top-biting breeds ... and the odds of an off-property attack by a pit bull was 2.7 times greater than that for all other breeds." (Khan 2020)

"Our data were consistent with others, in that an operative intervention was more than 3 times as likely to be associated with a pit bull injury than with any other breed. Half of the operations performed on children in this study as well as the only mortality resulted from a pit bull injury. Our data revealed that pit bull breeds were more than 2.5 times as likely as other breeds to bite in multiple anatomical locations." (Golinko, 2017)

What do these findings look like when reading a police or news report of pit bull violence? They look exactly like the attack in Rolla. "Noah suffered extreme injuries during the dog attack. His throat, arteries and voice box were exposed; tissue, skin and muscle is missing from his face" and "Reconstruction will require extensive additional surgeries … doctors will have to graft skin and tissue from his thigh to reconstruct his face." The teenager also suffered a collapsed lung.

We recently wrote to Missouri legislators about this attack because it clearly illustrates why some cities adopt breed-specific laws: 1.) The severity of injuries inflicted by pit bulls and 2.) The inability for nearby adults to quickly stop the attack. Rolla police stated: "Pit bull was able to break free again and returned to mauling the boy. After repeated attempts, the adults were able to remove the Pit bull from the child." One adult also sustained a dislocated shoulder during the attack.

"Repeated attempts" are indicative of a pit bull biting in multiple anatomical locations (Golinko, 2017). The West Virginia study (Kahn, 2020) even went further by assigning a definition to a "mauling event" (≥ 3 complex wounds in different anatomical regions). Of injuries inflicted by pit bulls in the study, simple wounds represented 16.3%, complex wounds 83.7%, fractures 36.8% and "mauling" injuries 24%. Pit bulls inflicted 71% of all mauling injuries in the Kahn study.


Subject: OPPOSE SB 107 - National dog bite victims' group

Dear Honorable Senate Leadership Members,

My name is Colleen Lynn and I am the founder of DogsBite.org, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation established in October 2007 and incorporated in December 2009, becoming the first national dog bite victims’ organization in the United States dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks.

Leadership members may soon be reviewing SB 107 (companion bill HB 365), which will prohibit local governments from regulating specific dog breeds, primarily pit bulls. Over the weekend, a 13-year old boy in Rolla, Missouri was terribly injured by a pit bull in the “head, neck and face” and illustrates why some cities enact breed-specific laws.

I urge you to oppose SB 107/HB 365.

The GoFundMe for Noah describes his injuries further:

"Noah suffered extreme injuries during the dog attack. His throat, arteries and voice box were exposed; tissue, skin and muscle is missing from his face. The dog ripped out Noah’s parotid gland (spit gland) and fractured his jaw. Doctors are uncertain if Noah will regain feeling in the right side of his face or his mouth … He is in Children’s ICU undergoing extensive medical treatment … early surgeries are focused on cleaning and stabilizing the areas impacted by the attack, and mapping the nerves and arteries in his face. Reconstruction will require extensive additional surgeries … doctors will have to graft skin and tissue from his thigh to reconstruct his face."

There are nearly always two elements in a violent pit bull mauling: severe injuries and the inability for nearby adults to stop the attack. In the Rolla attack, "Several adults began pulling the dog from the boy, but it broke free again and returned to mauling the boy … one of the adults sustained a dislocated shoulder during the attack."

Please oppose SB 107/HB 365.

The State should not interfere with the right of local governments to proactively protect their citizens.

Sincerely,

Colleen Lynn
Founder & President
DogsBite.org

Noah's Fundraiser

So far, the GoFundMe for Noah has raised over $32,000. That is close to covering the cost of the airlift to Children's Hospital in St. Louis, which can exceed $30,000. Ambulance air transport (which states cannot price cap1) is often not covered by insurance plans or is subject to the deductible and co-insurance clause. Given the "major injuries" the teenager sustained to his "head, neck and face," his treatment costs will likely be a quarter of a million dollars or beyond.

Certainly, the owners of the pit bull will not pay a dime. Who thinks a home with a chained pit bull has a homeowner's policy covering canine injuries? Missouri is a strict liability state, but if the dog owner is uninsured or underinsured, there isn't a legal case to pursue. Noah was attacked while "delivering cupcakes" to his next-door neighbor. Up until that time, he had his whole life ahead of him. Now, for the foreseeable future, he will be in an ICU bed due to someone else's pet choice.

Missouri Attacks

We seldom write about fatal or nonfatal pit bull maulings in Missouri. For many years, that state, along with Iowa and Kansas, have held the highest concentration of breed-specific laws in the country. That could change this year in Missouri if legislators pass this preemption bill. The city of Rolla never opted to have a pit bull ordinance, but 85 other jurisdictions in the state have. Those jurisdictions want to prevent damaging "first attacks" by a dog breed with well identified risks.

Noah's attack also involved a chained pit bull, which we hear about less often in modern times. Since 2010, chained dog attacks comprised 5% of all fatalities. During the CDC study period of 1989 to 1994, they accounted for as high as 18%. A great number of anti-chaining laws have been adopted since. This pit bull also broke its chain to attack. We have known since 1987 that pit bulls are 14 times more likely to break constraint to attack than all other dog breeds combined.

Summary

Noah is under the care of amazing specialists, but he still has a long road ahead of him. He was repeatedly attacked by a pit bull in the head-neck region that took several adults multiple attempts before they could free the child from the dog. He suffered "extreme" injuries in the attack, including bites to his head, face and neck, a fractured jaw and a collapsed lung. Doctors will have to graft skin and tissue from his thigh to reconstruct his face. The definition of a "mauling event."

Meanwhile, certain Missouri legislators are once again jockeying to pass a preemption bill that will prohibit local governments from preventing damaging "first attacks" by pit bulls. Such legislation only protects pit bull owners, including irresponsible pit bull owners like this one, whose dog was unvaccinated and chained in the owner's yard. We hope Missouri legislators make the right choice by continuing to allow local governments the authority to proactively protect their citizens.


Rolla Pit Bull Attack

The child's grandmother has been keeping family and friends updated on Noah's condition.


1Air Ambulance transport operates in federal airspace, so states are preempted from regulating the price. Though this ConsumerReports document is from 2017, and a summary from insurance companies is from 2019, they sum up the current dismal state of affairs. Congress actually has to DO something, which is unlikely. One attorney noted that there is little reason to take a dog bite case involving an airlift because the cost cuts so deeply into the settlement. Pit bulls have long been the official "LifeFlight dog," requiring more airlifts than all other breeds combined. So, in addition to most of their owners being uninsured, victims are also stuck with a massive airlift bill.

Related articles:
02/18/21: After Degloving Injuries and Skin Grafting Surgeries, Pit Bull Victim Back in Hospital
01/20/21: Victim Shares Account of Vicious Pit Bull Attack on Christmas Day at Seahurst Park
08/07/20: Teenager Suffers Critical Injuries, Crushed Trachea, in Violent Pit Bull Attack in Georgia
05/17/20: Pit Bull Mauling Victim Undergoes Life Changing Surgery 23 Years After Attack

The post As Certain Legislators Jockey to Pass a State Preemption Bill, Rolla Boy Sustains Life-Threatening Injuries in Pit Bull Attack appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/missouri-preemption-bill-after-rolla-boy-pit-bull-attack.html/feed 7
2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Pocket Bully Inflicts Bite to Head, Killing Baby Girl in Springfield, Illinois https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/pockety-bull-inflicts-bite-to-head-killing-baby-girl-springfield.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/pockety-bull-inflicts-bite-to-head-killing-baby-girl-springfield.html#comments Fri, 19 Mar 2021 17:43:02 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=19584 A’Myrikal Jolynn Hull died after being bitten on the head by a "pocket bully." Bull Breed Kills Baby Springfield, IL - A 1-year old girl is dead after being bitten on the head by a pocket bully, which is a … Continue reading

The post 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Pocket Bully Inflicts Bite to Head, Killing Baby Girl in Springfield, Illinois appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
Pocket bully kills baby
A’Myrikal Jolynn Hull died after being bitten on the head by a "pocket bully."

Bull Breed Kills Baby
Springfield, IL - A 1-year old girl is dead after being bitten on the head by a pocket bully, which is a squat "designer" pit bull hybrid breed. The breed name is misleading, as these dogs can be quite large (weighty) due to their heavy muscular build. There is an "extreme" version as well. " The pocket bully variety, "is simply shorter than the standard American bully," according to the ABKC website, and "are not to be penalized for exhibiting heavily muscled, massive, bulky body type."

The attack occurred in the 800 block of Indiana Avenue. Family members said the baby got too close to the dog while it was eating from a food bowl. Two teenage uncles has to pry the dog off her, indicating the bite was far more disastrous than a bite-and-release. The attacker was a female pocket bull. Family members said the dog had no violent history with humans or other dogs. Family member Cory Painter said she was in disbelief. "The dog [has] never snapped before."

EMS rushed the baby to HSHS St. John’s Regional Trauma Center. She was pronounced dead at 9:26 pm. The Sangamon County Coroner, Jim Allmon, issued a statement confirming her death. An autopsy will be scheduled. The coroner's office and the Springfield Police Department are investigating her death. A GoFundMe identified the baby as A’Myrikal Jolynn Hull. "Unfortunately tragedy hit tonight! And she was attacked by the family pet of 4 years," states the fundraiser.

Last year, also in Illinois, there was significant media attention after a shorty bull, -- a "designer" bull breed unrecognized by the AKC and UKC -- attacked and killed its owner, 52-year old Lisa Urso. That dog had a history of aggression, including attacking her boyfriend twice in the weeks leading up to the fatal biting incident. Many newspaper headlines declared at the time that a "French bulldog" killed this able-bodied 52-year old female. Those headlines were inaccurate.

Suspected Dogs

One of the child's grandmothers is engaged to a man affiliated with "Antwaun Kang Kennels Readus," a Springfield-based pocket bully breeder. These two dogs are seen on her fiancé's page. Given their age of at least 4-years old, both are likely suspects. The fawn colored dog is a female.1 The sex of the tri-colored dog is also female. The grandmother commented on both dogs, "My baby," and "Mommy fur baby." It was reported the child's mother lived at her grandmother's home.


Pocket bully kills baby

Suspected pocket bullies in the grandmother's household that are at least 4-years old.


Household Confirmed

As we suspected above, A’Myrikal lived with her grandmother Bobbie Jo Stengel (Bobbie Jo Franklin on Facebook), according to a report by The State-Journal Register. Stengel is also the child's guardian. Cory Painter, who organized the child's fundraiser, told the Register the dog's behavior was out of character. "The baby walked by the dog as she was eating and reached for her food," Painter said. "This is nothing new. The dog would eat snacks out of the baby's hand."

However, on Thursday, the dog latched onto her head and would not let go. The child's two teenage uncle's had to pry the dog off of her.

Painter has known Stengel for 17 years and lives close by. The two share a 6-year old grandson, who witnessed the violent attack on his younger sister. The boy is now staying with Painter. She said he did not sleep after the attack and believes that counseling would be beneficial. "He doesn't understand all of this," Painter said. "So I think that getting him the right kind of help immediately is going to be very important." The dog is currently being held by Sangamon County Animal Control.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Illinois Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.
1"Kang's Tiny" is so elite, she has her own Facebook page and is pictured on the kennel's marketing materials.

Related articles:
01/03/21: Baby Dies New Years Eve After Man Reports Finding Dog on Top of Her in Dayton, Ohio
05/12/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Found Mutilated and Dead After Attack by Own Dogs


Baseline reporting requirements:
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.

The post 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Pocket Bully Inflicts Bite to Head, Killing Baby Girl in Springfield, Illinois appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/pockety-bull-inflicts-bite-to-head-killing-baby-girl-springfield.html/feed 37
2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Boy Killed, Mother Severely Injured in Violent Pit Bull Attack at Carteret Home https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/boy-killed-mother-injured-violent-dog-attack-carteret.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/boy-killed-mother-injured-violent-dog-attack-carteret.html#comments Wed, 17 Mar 2021 06:17:02 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=19546 Aziz Ahmed, 3, was killed and his mother injured in a violent dog attack in Carteret. No Criminal Charges UPDATE 03/30/21: As expected, criminal charges will not be filed after the multi-victim attack by two pit bulls that killed 3-year … Continue reading

The post 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Boy Killed, Mother Severely Injured in Violent Pit Bull Attack at Carteret Home appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
violent dog attack carteret
Aziz Ahmed, 3, was killed and his mother injured in a violent dog attack in Carteret.

No Criminal Charges
UPDATE 03/30/21: As expected, criminal charges will not be filed after the multi-victim attack by two pit bulls that killed 3-year old Aziz Ahmed and seriously injured his mother on March 16. New Jersey lacks a felony dog attack law, whereas California, Michigan and Texas do not. In short, there are no criminal codes available for prosecutors to charge the dog owner with. This is a travesty. State legislators are currently looking at legislation, but it's future is uncertain.

Two state legislators representing Carteret are looking to see that change for future dog attacks.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, both D-Middlesex, have joined as prime sponsors of the "Responsible Dog Ownership Act" in the state Assembly that would enact stronger laws about the leashing and fencing of dogs, as well as enacting stronger and even criminal penalties for irresponsible dog owners.

Under the bill, which is expected to come up for a vote in May, dog owners found in violation of leashing or restrain regulations could face a fine of up to $500.

In addition, anyone who allows a dog to roam without a leash or restraint in a park or other public area where a child may be present, and the dog seriously injures or kills a child, could be found guilty of a third-degree crime and face incarceration.1 If the dog inflicts bodily injury, the person faces a fourth-degree crime and if the dog is loose or threatens a child, the person faces a disorderly persons offense. - MyCentralNewJersey.com

The child's mother, identified as Shabana Mohammad, was released from the hospital on March 25. A vigil was held on March 28, where attendees called for "Aziz Law." A co-worker of the boy's father said, "He was murdered by those dogs, and the owners should be held liable." The fundraiser to help the family relocate to a new home has has reached over $225,000. The vigil was the first and likely only time Aziz's parents have returned to their home on Laurel Street.

At least three separate civil claims can be brought, according to attorney David Cowhey, who specializes in dog attacks. "The little boy died through pain and suffering. The mother has medical bills and also the mental distress of watching these pit bulls kill her son right in front of her. And thirdly, the little boys watching through the window went through extreme emotional distress," he said. All three are contingent on whether the dog owner has a homeowner's insurance policy.

Finally, a word about Defeated Prosecutor Syndrome and Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone. It is always devastating when there are no criminal codes available to prosecutors. Ciccone, however, never contacted Aziz's family before issuing her decision in emails to private citizens on March 23. Lacking in courage and courtesy, Ciccone also did not hold a press conference about her decision, which would have forced her to face media and public scrutiny.

Ciccone's actions are so sheepish and cowardly, they are literally "beyond the pale." Our hearts go out to Aziz's family members.


violent dog attack carteret

Child at the vigil holding sign, "Justice for Aziz" and the victim's parents, Tanveer and Shabana.


03/17/21: Relatives Speak Out
On Wednesday, Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman issued a statement confirming that two unregistered pit bulls inflicted the multi-victim attack yesterday. At 4:30 pm Tuesday, a pair of pit bulls from a neighboring home on Birch Street breached a fence and entered into the backyard of a home on East Laurel Street. The dogs viciously attacked and killed a 3-year old boy and severely injured his mother. She remains hospitalized. Police shot and killed both dogs.

The young boy's family had moved to the home a few weeks earlier from Brooklyn. They are a father, mother and three young boys, reports Patch. Neighbors are stunned and heartbroken. Some broke down crying when interviewed by Patch Wednesday morning. One neighbor, Steve Koch, told Patch he heard the police gunfire. "I heard a single loud bang," he said. "I went outside and saw all the cop cars and ambulances. I saw an adult being carried out on a stretcher."

Carteret Fire dispatch audio logs: "I have a 3-year old with total evisceration, open to the face, head and thighs." - Broadcastify.com

CBS New York interviewed the child's relatives. The child's name is Aziz. Relatives said the boy's parents had pleaded with the dogs' owners to control their dogs. "The mother went to the neighbor two times to let her know the dog is wild. It is out of hand. And you know, the owner laughed it off," one female relative said. "This cost an innocent child his life," another said. "If you are not safe in your own yard, where are you safe at?" asked another. Relatives said the dogs "dug their way in."

A GoFundMe has raised over $50,000 with the goal of $250,000 to help the Ahmed family purchase a new home. A growing memorial outside the child's home includes: flowers, balloons, and candles. One relative told NJ.com that Aziz was the youngest of three sons and that his 10-year old brother witnessed the brutal attacks. “Imagine how traumatizing it’s gonna have to be for his 10-year-old brother to have to see that from the screen of the window,” the relative said.

Finally, the New York Post also published photos of the two suspected pit bulls from the owner's Instagram page -- we were correct about the dogs. Their names are Logan (black) and Rocky (brown and white). Both dogs were roaming in the area of East Laurel Street in October and were picked up by the Carteret Police Department. The Found Animals of Carteret NJ Facebook page called them "2 loveable guys." According to the boy's relatives, the dogs were habitually loose.


03/16/21: Dogs Kill Child, Injure Mother
Carteret, NJ - A 3-year old boy is dead and a mother left severely injured after a violent dog attack at a home in Carteret. Authorities responded to a residence in the 100 block of East Laurel Street in Carteret about 4:30 pm. The deadly attack occurred inside the family's fenced-in backyard. A neighbor said the dog (singular) came into the rear yard from underneath a fence. Two medivac air transports were called. The child was later pronounced dead. Two dogs are reportedly involved.

Video from ABC 7 shows crime scene investigators and police officers collecting evidence in the backyard. Apparently, the mother and her child had only recently moved into the home. A neighbor heard the mother frantically shouting. When he looked out his window, he initially thought she was playing with the dogs. When he realized it was a vicious attack, he called 911. Police shot and killed the dogs, according to ABC 7. The breed information has not been released by police.

A woman who knows the dog's owner told ABC 7, "The dog never showed any kind of aggression before, so it's just very surprising."

We obtained the audio dispatch files of Carteret Fire from Broadcastify.com. When medics arrived at the scene, the dogs were still "running loose." Two minutes later, "Get me a medivac!" Police sirens blare in the background. Next, they coordinate a landing zone. At 13 minutes, there is a status update. "We are responding to Laurel. Do we have an update on the condition?" Medic answered: “I have a 3-year old with total evisceration, open to the face, head and thighs."

Footage from NBC New York shows that the medivac landed at a nearby location. One can see EMT doing chest compressions on a small person lying in a stretcher. Witnesses said the dogs live at a home on the opposite side of the victim's backyard in the 100 block of Birch Street. The dogs burrowed under or broke through the fence-line to attack the boy. A news crew knocked on the dog owner's door, but no one answered. A "Beware of Dog" sign hung on their fence.

Suspected Dogs

Middlesex County property records indicate who owns the property in the 100 block of Birch Street. According to the owner's Facebook page, he owns up to three pit bulls. These very same pit bulls -- two of the three dogs -- were found "running in the area of Laurel Street" on October 23, 2020, according to the Found Animals of Carteret NJ Facebook page. "If anyone knows who their owner is please have them contact the Carteret Police Department." The owner was located.

By late morning Wednesday, multiple media outlets began confirming that two pit bulls carried out the attacks. Officials said the dogs were not registered with the borough. Carteret Mayor Daniel  Reiman said in a statement that the boy's mother remains hospitalized. The investigation is ongoing by the Carteret Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's office. The owner of the dogs has not been named by police. It is unclear if the owner will face charges.


violent dog attack carteret

Two pit bulls belonging to Santos Rodriguez were found running loose in October of last year. On March 19, 2021, police confirmed these are the same pit bulls involved in the fatal attack.

violent dog attack carteret

Crime scene investigators in the backyard of the home were the fatal dog mauling occurred.

violent dog attack carteret

EMT seen doing chest compressions on small victim while heading to the medivac helicopter.

1Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years’ imprisonment, with a four-year presumptive sentence. Examples include aggravated criminal sexual contact, arson, and motor vehicle theft. (See: New Jersey Felony (Indictable Offenses) Crimes by Class and Sentences)

Related articles:
05/28/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: 9-Year Old Boy Killed by Two Pit Bulls in Arkansas
10/28/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Kill 7-Year Old Boy in Lowell, Massachusetts
11/10/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Tenant's Pit Bull Kills Visiting Child on Long Island


Baseline reporting requirements:
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.

The post 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Boy Killed, Mother Severely Injured in Violent Pit Bull Attack at Carteret Home appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/boy-killed-mother-injured-violent-dog-attack-carteret.html/feed 60
Third Pit Bull Adopted Since Aurora Repealed its Pit Bull Ban Inflicts Level 5 Bite to Child's Face https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/pit-bull-adopted-after-aurora-repealed-ban-inflicts-level-5-bite.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/pit-bull-adopted-after-aurora-repealed-ban-inflicts-level-5-bite.html#comments Mon, 15 Mar 2021 23:29:58 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=19519 Dog Passed SAFER Test - "No Small Dogs in Home!" Level 5 bite injuries to a 5-year old boy inflicted by a recently adopted pit bull. Council Member Reacts Aurora, CO - On February 13, a stray pit bull was … Continue reading

The post Third Pit Bull Adopted Since Aurora Repealed its Pit Bull Ban Inflicts Level 5 Bite to Child's Face appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
Dog Passed SAFER Test - "No Small Dogs in Home!"

Level 5 bite by adopted pit bull
Level 5 bite injuries to a 5-year old boy inflicted by a recently adopted pit bull.

Council Member Reacts
Aurora, CO - On February 13, a stray pit bull was transferred to the Aurora Animal Shelter from Alameda East Veterinary Hospital. "He had dog bite wounds to his whole body" and "deep bite wounds to the chest." Cotto (AKA Malone) was listed as a neutered American Staffordshire terrier. On February 18, the dog underwent a SAFER evaluation and easily passed, but showed serious dog aggression to small dogs, "No small dogs or cats in home," states the evaluation.

The dog was adopted to 24-year old Austin Chavez on February 27. A week later, the dog inflicted a Level 5 bite to a boy's face. Chavez started driving to the hospital and flagged down a police officer, who provided him an escort. Chavez later explained to the officer that Cotto suddenly jumped off the couch and attacked the boy's face. "Cotto did not let go," states the police report, so Chavez "reached over and under Cotto's upper and lower jaw and pried his mouth open."

Chavez then locked Cotto into the bathroom and rushed the boy to the hospital. Chavez told the officer, "when he got Cotto from the shelter they told him he was a good dog around kids, which is why he got him," states the report. Chavez said he did not feel safe going home to collect Cotto, but he eventually did (to avoid pick up fees from animal control). Chavez took the dog to the Denver Dumb Friends League, a private shelter, where they humanely euthanized the dog.

"This dog came to the shelter from Alameda East as a stray. He was presumbly attacked by a dog. He had dog bite wounds to his whole body. The right front carpus was swolle, 2 lacerations to front left paw pads and deep bite wounds to the chest. He was treated for all of these wounds The torn pad wounds will take some more time to heal, and may require further treatment. Please follow up with your veterinarian regarding this condition. Aurora Animal Shelter is not responsible for any further treatment and/or diagnosis of this condition."

In January, Aurora City Council members repealed the pit bull ban, which took effect on February 14. The unprovoked Level 5 bite occurred three weeks later. The primary debate about the repeal concerned whether voters or city council should decide it. In 2014, voters elected to keep the pit bull ban by a wide margin. Council members repealed the ban in a 7-3 vote anyway. At that time, the city was also threaten with a lawsuit by Matt Snider for "delegitimizing the voters' decision."

Aurora City Councilmember David Gruber, who voted against the repeal, described the facial attack as "heartbreaking" to KDVR. "We just heard from experts [we] shouldn’t fear them, they are no more dangerous than any other dog. Then to find out, low and behold -- three to four months after we made a vote to allow them -- here we go, just breaks my heart,” Gruber said. The lifting of the ban that was in place since 2005 should’ve been voted on by Aurora residents, Gruber said.

Who were the "experts" Gruber referred to? In January, Dr. Apryl Steele, President and CEO of the Denver Dumb Friends League provided a statement to Aurora City Council members in support of the repeal. In it, Steele falsely claimed the city "would be safer" if they repealed the ban because this would allow "citizens to adopt a pit bull from an organization that has several full-time behavior experts evaluating the animal" prior to adoption, instead of obtaining the dog from a breeder.

Every council member is concerned about the safety of our community. This is an issue we take very seriously at the Dumb Friends League. This is exactly why it is vital to create a community where pit bull puppies can be socialized without fear of having them confiscated. This is also why allowing your citizens to adopt a pit bull from an organization that has several full-time behavior experts evaluating the animal prior to making it available, rather than obtaining it from underground resources motivated by profit, is imperative. The fear of bringing the dog out in public, sourcing pit bulls from unscreened dog dealers, and not providing them with veterinary care or training all increase risks to your citizens … Why does this change need to be made now? Too many families have been broken up because their family dog is a banned breed. Please vote to repeal the pit bull ban so that your community can be safer, and families can remain whole." | Read full statement - Dr. Apryl Steele, President and CEO of the Denver Dumb Friends League

The difference between a "dog trainer" at the Aurora Animal Shelter1 evaluating a pit bull versus "obtaining it from underground resources motivated by profit" is a coin flip. SAFER does not even measure the dog's sociability, which is the basis of our preferred test, Assess-A-Pet Protocol by Sue Sternberg. No test can measure unpredictable aggression either -- the hallmark of the pit bull breed. Cotto was also a stray pit bull that was found with serious dog-on-dog fighting injuries.

The Bullshit Meter

Steele scores a 95 on the Bullshit Meter (100 being the highest). Adopting out stray pit bulls does not make a community safer. Falsely implying that SAFER evaluations of pit bulls by "full-time behavior experts" are more accurate than a coin flip does not make a community safer. Falsely implying that any shelter behavior test is "science" is bullshit. Claiming that a pit bull ban repeal will allow "families to remain whole" ignores the families and dogs victimized by pit bull violence.

This victim is a 5-year old boy. There will be many more child victims of pit bull attacks in Aurora due to council members repealing the ban. However, there will be far more seriously mauled and dead canine victims of pit bull violence, primarily small dog breeds. This does not make a community safer, nor does it help families "remain whole." The Aurora Animal Shelter was perfectly fine adopting out Cotto, who if given a chance, would destroy a beloved small dog.

NO SMALL DOGS OR CATS/SMALL ANIMALS IN HOME!!!

Recommend no dog parks due to intense behavior with smaller dogs

Small dog test: Tested with A213618 (M American Eskimo mix) -- As helper dog walked towards the fence line, test dog displayed confident body posture, ears forward, mouth closed, tail straight up, staring at helper dog. Once he was close to the fence, he rushed to the fence and displayed stiff body posture (tail up not moving, ears forward, mouth closed, staring at helper dog). Nose to nose, test dog pulled at the end of the leash to greet helper dog while displaying stiff body posture, tail up not moving, ears forward, mouth closed, intently sniffing helper dog. Test dog then began to slightly wag his tail side to side and handler was able to redirect him away from focusing on helper dog at this point. -DEA

Last week, we published about two European peer-reviewed studies that examined dog-on-dog attacks and dog-killing aggression. We also asked readers a question: Why is there a glaring absence of data and concern about dog-on-dog attacks in the US and UK by institutions and nonprofits that claim to "protect" and "advocate" for dogs? Both studies showed that pit bull breeds were the chief offenders, inflicting up to 5 times more attacks on dogs than all other breeds.

Our answer was the following: "because investigating the prevalence of dog-on-dog attacks and dog-killing attacks could result in more breed-specific legislation, an outcome that multimillion dollar humane and veterinary organizations sorely want to avoid -- even at the cost of pet dogs lives, especially small dogs lives. Motivations of the Denver Dumb Friends League and Aurora Animal Shelter, which urged Aurora officials to repeal the pit bull ban, are cut from the same cloth.

Experience with Pit Bulls?

The Bullshit Meter is especially relevant to Aurora and Denver, given that both had long-term pit bull bans (each over 15 years). Thus, the intake levels of pit bulls remained low and municipal animal shelters could not even adopt out pit bulls. These shelters, for at least 15 years, have largely been removed from the responsibility of assessing pit bulls for adoption. As we can see by Aurora's dismal adoption record, 1 in 3 pit bulls adopted out thus far has resulted in disaster.

"Very affectionate and people oriented boy" and "Thinks he's a lap dog and will sit in your lap to give you hugs and kisses" - Aurora shelter evaluator

Like Cotto, many pit bulls come into shelters as strays with unknown backgrounds. Cotto also came in with fighting injuries. The SAFER test does not measure sociability, nor can it measure unpredictable aggression or many other types of aggression. The small dog test, at least, showed "intense behavior with smaller dogs." Despite the low reliability of many shelter tests today, Cotto was still a completely inappropriate dog for a young family with two small children like this one.


after level 5 bite, bullshit meter increases

The Denver Dumb Friends League President & CEO nearly maxed out the Bullshit Meter.


1The SAFER evaluation was performed by "Desirae A. CPDT-KA," the lowest level of certification. She is a "dog trainer" not a an "animal behaviorist" or "behavior consultant." Add this factor to the bullshit by Denver Dumb Friends League who falsely claimed, "behavior experts" would evaluate dogs prior to adoption. If Aurora falsely communicated to the adopter that an "expert" evaluated this dog, it's just one more reason to sue the city.

SAFER deaths:
04/29/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Rehomed by Humane Society Kills Newborn Baby
07/07/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Adopted Out Pit Bull Kills 6-Year Old Boy in  North Carolina

Related articles:
03/11/21: Peer-Reviewed Studies Examines Dog-on-Dog Attacks in UK and Netherlands
06/18/20: Aurora Bite Statistics by Breed and Intake Data Over a Three Year Period (2017-2019)
11/25/14: Aurora Voters Favor Keeping Pit Bull Ban by Wide Margin in First General Election Vote
10/14/14: Aurora Citizens: Do Not Rescind Your Successful Pit Bull Ban

The post Third Pit Bull Adopted Since Aurora Repealed its Pit Bull Ban Inflicts Level 5 Bite to Child's Face appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/pit-bull-adopted-after-aurora-repealed-ban-inflicts-level-5-bite.html/feed 10
Peer-Reviewed Study Examines Dog-on-Dog Attacks in the UK by Analyzing News Media Articles https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/study-examines-dog-on-dog-attacks-uk-analyzing-news-media-articles.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/study-examines-dog-on-dog-attacks-uk-analyzing-news-media-articles.html#comments Thu, 11 Mar 2021 20:44:54 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=19457 Netherlands Study Also Examines Dog-on-Dog Attack Aggression Two European studies examine dog-on-dog attacks and dog-killing aggression. UK Study Abstract United Kingdom - A study from the UK published in 2020 provides a glimpse into the prevalence and characteristics of dog-on-dog … Continue reading

The post Peer-Reviewed Study Examines Dog-on-Dog Attacks in the UK by Analyzing News Media Articles appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
Netherlands Study Also Examines Dog-on-Dog Attack Aggression

dog-on-dog attacks studies
Two European studies examine dog-on-dog attacks and dog-killing aggression.

UK Study Abstract
United Kingdom - A study from the UK published in 2020 provides a glimpse into the prevalence and characteristics of dog-on-dog attacks in a public space. This study came three years after a UK survey (underwritten by a pet insurance company) estimated that 64,000 dogs are killed annually and over 44,000 suffered severe injuries due to dog-on-dog aggression. Roughly 15% of adult UK dog owners had seen their pet attacked by another dog during the 12 month period.1

The survey numbers are based on the estimated population of 8.66 million dogs in the UK. About 1.3% of the UK's dog population was affected. If applied to the US (77 million dogs),2 deaths and severe injuries due to dog-on-dog attacks would be over nine times higher. An estimated 1 million pet dogs in the US would be killed or severely injured by dogs each year. This shows a glaring absence of due diligence by humane groups, which claim to "protect" and "advocate" for dogs.


Dog Bites Dog: The Use of News Media Articles to Investigate Dog-on-Dog Aggression

Abstract - Dog-on-dog aggression is a common behavioral problem and has the potential to result in dog and/or human injury, the need for veterinary treatment and financial and legal repercussions. Despite this, few studies of dog-on-dog aggression have occurred. News reports of dog-on-dog aggression provide a method of understanding the demographics of these attacks. National and local news articles between September 2016 and February 2020 were identified through Yahoo and Google news. Information was retrieved including victim/attacker dog information (age, breed, size, sex, injury, veterinary treatment, on/off a lead, with/without the owner/walker), situation, intervention, owner injury, and outcome. In the majority of these attacks, one dog initiated the attack and this dog tended to be a medium-sized breed and off-leash. The most reported attacking breed was the Staffordshire bull terrier. The victim tended to be a small-sized dog, and these attacks often had adverse psychological and physical effects. Costs as a result of the attack ranged from £75 to £9,000 (~ $98-11,800 USD). The owner intervened in just under half of cases and often suffered injuries defending their dog. (Montrose, 2020)


As you read through this post, consider the following themes. "Dog-on-dog aggression is a common behavioral problem," but "few studies of dog-on-dog aggression have occurred." Such studies are rare in the UK and are totally absent in the US. Each year, Animals 24-7 estimates these numbers, but those estimates could be low. At least they are a starting point, given that no regional or national humane or veterinary organization attempts to collect or quantify this data.

Most humane organizations and shelters not only ignore this problem, they exacerbate it by "continuously" adopting out dogs with dog-killing aggression using concealed language that the dog is "dog selective" (could kill some dogs), the dog "must be the only dog in home" (will kill a dog) or is "reactive toward other dogs" (could kill a dog), Remember "Floppy" at Austin Pets Alive? Floppy is dog-aggressive, has a low children score and is too dangerous to even be cat tested.

Questions to Bear in Mind

  1. Why is there a glaring absence of data -- peer-reviewed and otherwise -- about the most common type of dog attack, dog-on-dog attacks, in the US and UK?
  2. Did the absence of data in this purposefully neglected field of study lead the authors to examine the best and only available source of raw data -- news reports?
  3. Why is there a glaring absence of concern about dog-on-dog attacks in the US and UK by institutions and nonprofits that claim to "protect" and "advocate" for dogs?
  4. Is anyone surprised that bull breeds, selected for bull-baiting and dogfighting, topped the charts in the UK and Netherlands studies, and did so by a landslide?
  5. Humane groups have long attacked the use of news reports to track breeds of dogs that kill humans, yet here is a peer-reviewed study using this very source.

The UK study reviewed 151 news reports related to dog-on-dog attacks published between September 1, 2016 and February 29, 2020. The parameters captured included: article information (publication and date), theme of article, victim and attacking dog information (breed, size, sex, injury, veterinary treatment, on/off a lead, with/without the owner), situation (location and month of attack, context of attack), human intervention and injury, and canine and human outcome.

All attacks occurred in a public space, like a park or street. Significantly more attacks occurred during the summer months (a seasonality that is also true with bites to humans). In the majority of news articles, 1 dog initiated the bite/attack (72.8%; 110). The remaining cases involved 2 (17.2%; 26), 3 (5.3%; 8), 4 (2.6%; 4), or an unspecified number of dogs (0.7%; 1). The most commonly reported breed to initiate attacks was the Staffordshire bull terrier (25.5%; 48), states the study.

The UK banned several fighting breeds in 1991, including the American pit bull terrier, but the Staffordshire bull terrier was not among them.

In the US, a pit bull is a class of dogs, which includes: American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and their mixes. Taking the US definition of a pit bull into account, our results of the same study table show that the "staffie bull/pit bull (all)" category was actually (39.9%; 75), followed by the "bullmastiff/mastiff (all)" category with (8.0%; 15). Nearly half of all attacks in the UK study, 48%, were carried out by pit bull and bull-baiting mastiff breeds.

We not only combined the "staffie bull/pit bull (all) = 75" category, we combined all breeds when cross breeds were counted as a separate breed. For instance, our "akita (all) = 8" category includes, akita, akita cross and Japanese akita cross; our "rottweiler (all) = 7" category includes rottweiler and rottweiler cross; and our "bullmastiff/mastiff (all) = 15" category includes bullmastiff, mastiff and Italian mastiff. View how the UK study categorized cross breeds as separate breeds.


dog-on-dog attacks UK study

Results of combining pure breeds and cross breeds in the UK dog-on-dog attack study.


Given that we are discussing pit bull breeds and the scant number of studies that do address dog-on-dog aggression and attacks, it's relevant to point out that a 2019 Netherlands study states that 56% of the "dog-killing dogs" seized by police were of the "American Staffordshire/pit bull terrier type." These dogs had "dog-killing aggression," which resulted in the death or severe injury of the victim dog. This data was obtained from Dutch police reports -- not news media articles.3

Breed types of these 128 attackers as derived from police reports are listed in Table 1. These 128 dogs killed a total of 72 dogs. Table 1 shows that more than half of the dogs (56% of 128 dogs) were labeled by owners and/or the authorities as American Staffordshire/pit bull terrier type, and killed 28 dogs (54% of 72 killed dogs) and severely wounded 24 dogs (57% of 42 victims). (Schilder, 2019)

Size of Attacking Dogs

In the UK study, 92 (59.4%) of the 155 attackers involved a medium-sized dog, 23 (14.8%) involved a medium-large-sized dog, 38 (24.5%) involved a large-sized dog and 2 (1.3%) involved a small-medium-sized dog. "Significantly more attacks" were "carried out by a medium-sized dog than expected," states the study. Why is this unexpected? Of the 92 medium-sized dogs, 75 (82%) fell into the "staffie bull/pit bull (all)" category, a dog breed that was engineered for "dog killing."

The majority of attacking dogs (59.6%; 90) were not leashed. The owner of the attacking dog only intervened in 19.2% of cases. Of the 29 cases of intervention, (48.3%; 14) involved the owner actually pulling their dog away, 17.3% involved the owner attempting to pull their dog away and 20.7% of the attacks were stopped by the owner by punching or kicking their dog. In all instances (100%) when the owner of the attacking dog intervened, the victim dog still sustained injuries.

In the small number of cases when the owner of the attacking dog intervened, none did so fast enough to stop injuries from being sustained.

Size of the Victim Dogs

Breed of the victim dog was known in (81.9%; 127) of cases and size could be assessed. Of these cases, (70.1%; 89) involved a small-sized dog. There were "significantly more victims being a small-sized dog than expected," states the study. Why is this unexpected? Anyone who pays attention to this issue knows that pit bulls are primarily attacking small dogs for sport. Yorkshire terriers, cocker spaniels and chihuahuas were the most likely to be attacked in the UK study.

The size of the victim dogs was also discussed in the Netherlands study. 94 of the 114 victims (83%) of dog-on-dog attacks were small-sized dogs. When breed was known, chihuahuas, Jack Russell terriers and Yorkshire terriers were the most frequent victims of dog-killing aggression. "These findings show that small dogs are the predominant type of victims" in our study. The study also listed anecdotes by owners of attacking dogs, such as: My dog "cannot stand small dogs."

Physical & Emotional Injuries

In the UK study, (69.5%; 105) of attacks resulted in the victim dog requiring veterinary treatment. Of those cases, nearly one-third (32.4%; 34) required surgery. In 32 cases, the cost of veterinary treatment was known. The average cost was £1,881.90 with a range of £75-£9,000 (US $98-11,800). Only 17 articles indicated who paid the cost of veterinary treatment: primarily the victim’s owner (14.3%), insurance (11.4%), crowdfunding (8.6%), and the attacking dog’s owner (8.6%).

The owner of the victim dog was present during the attack in (95.4%; 144) of the 151 reported incidents. In nearly half of these cases (49.0%; 74), the owner of the victim dog intervened. In 54 (35.8%) cases, owners of the victim dogs stated that they had suffered some form of physical or psychological injury. The majority of injuries occurred to the hands (46.3%, 25) or hands and other parts of the body (63.0%, 34). In (85.4%; 129) of cases, the attack was reported to the police.4

Only 23 of the 151 attacks reported the psychological effects on the victim dog in the article. 14 dogs (61.0%) were "traumatized" by the attack, 2 (8.7%) became "fearful of everything," 2 (8.7%) began barking at other dogs, 2 (8.7%) were afraid to go outside, 1 (4.3%) became fearful of other dogs, 1 (4.3%) displayed signs of fear aggression, and 1 (4.3%) had a "change of personality." Conditions ignored by humane organizations that claim to "protect" and "advocate" for dogs.

Summary of Studies

"In the majority of the documented biting incidents, one medium-sized dog, most commonly reported to be an off-leash Staffordshire bull terrier, initiated the attack on a small-sized dog," states the UK study. This result is similar to the Netherlands study, which found that (56%) of dogs seized by authorities for killing or severely wounding other dogs were American Staffordshire and pit bull terrier types. Both studies also showed that small dogs were the most common victims.

Unlike the Netherlands study, the UK study omits that Staffordshire bull terriers were associated with blood sports and dogfighting. The UK study also victimizes the bull breed, despite it being the primary initiator of attacks: "While these findings could be interpreted to suggest that Staffordshire bull terriers are a risk to other dogs, it is important to note that Staffordshire bull terriers are a stigmatized breed and are often perceived as aggressive, unpredictable, and dangerous."5

Despite small dogs being the most frequent victim, the UK study also blames them by generalizing speculations and anecdotes stated in the Netherlands study about them. "It has been suggested," states the UK study, this might in part be due to small breeds "being misidentified as prey" or as a result of "displaying behaviors (e.g., barking, tail up behavior), which might have the effect of provoking an attack." Concluding, "smaller breeds may inadvertently provoke attacks."6

In the UK study, small-sized breeds were the aggressor in 0% of cases. Despite this, there is pervasive small dog victim-blaming in the study.7

Addressing the Questions

Why is there a glaring absence of data -- peer-reviewed and otherwise -- about the most common type of dog attack, dog-on-dog attacks, in the US and UK? Answer: Possibly because the results would be self-evident, just as the UK and Netherlands studies show. Pit bull breeds, which were selected for the blood sport of dog-killing, are inflicting the most severe injury attacks (57%; Netherlands study) and the most dog-killing attacks resulting in death (54%; Netherlands study).

Why else is there a glaring absence of data? Answer: Possibly because investigating the prevalence of dog-on-dog attacks and dog-killing attacks would only provide further evidence that pit bull breeds are correctly "perceived as aggressive, unpredictable, and dangerous," just like the human injury medical studies show in both fatal and nonfatal injury studies. Also, investigating the prevalence of dog-on-dog attacks and dog-killing attacks could result in more breed-specific laws.

Did the absence of data in this purposefully neglected field of study lead the authors to examine the best and only available source of raw data -- news reports? Answer: Yes. This same absence of data is also why our nonprofit uses news reports to capture "breed data" in fatal human attacks inflicted by dogs. As revealed in both this peer-reviewed study and our own work, multi-sourced news articles provide a rich and accurate data set that stands up to the rigors of peer-review.

Of course multi-sourced news articles are only part of what DogsBite.org tracks. We also collect photographs, videos, police reports, coroner reports and legislative materials that arise after a fatal dog mauling.

Why is there a glaring absence of concern about dog-on-dog attacks in the US and UK by institutions and nonprofits that claim to "protect" and "advocate" for dogs? Answer: Again, possibly because investigating the prevalence of dog-on-dog attacks and dog-killing attacks could result in more breed-specific legislation, an outcome that multimillion dollar humane and veterinary organizations sorely want to avoid -- even at the cost of pet dogs lives, especially small dogs lives.

These same humane groups claim that breed-specific laws break the "human canine bond." They often use the slogan, "BSL destroys families" to repeal breed-specific laws. However, they always ignore the horrible physical and psychological trauma done to both owners and pets by bull breeds that horrifically breaks the "human canine bond." They instead sympathize with the "stigmatized" dog-killing aggressors and adopt out dogs with severe dog aggression into our communities.

Is anyone surprised that bull breeds, selected for bull-baiting and dogfighting, topped the charts in the UK and Netherlands studies, and did so by a landslide? Answer: Except for the authors of the studies, no one is surprised. Dogs purpose bred for dog-killing aggression are the most "efficient" dog-killing breeds on earth. It's not rocket science. No one is surprised that racing dogs are the fastest dogs on earth or that herding dogs are the most effective herding dogs on earth either.

Finally, humane groups and pit bull defenders have long attacked the use of news reports to track breeds of dogs involved in fatal dog maulings, yet here is a peer-reviewed study using this very source. How do you think mass shootings are tracked in this country? (View incident and source). How do you think backovers, frontovers and hot car deaths of children are tracked? A collection of news accounts by nonprofits because official sources can be less accurate or worse, absent.

Too Few or Too Many?

Historically, large bodies undercount events when incidents are low. This is a problem with large data sets, such as the US population of 328 million. CDC tracks hundreds of causes of death, including, deaths by being bitten or struck by a dog, but the smaller the number of deaths, the more unreliable the data. The online tracking of mass shootings, also a low incident event, is a relatively new research goal because the government has never defined a "mass shooting."

"Too few" events is not the case regarding violent dog-on-dog attacks. The UK survey estimated that over 100,000 dogs are killed or suffered life-changing injuries due to dog-on-dog aggression in 2017. Roughly 15% of adult UK dog owners had seen their pet attacked by another dog during the period, according to the survey based on 1,003 adults who own dogs. In the US, few animal control agencies even track damaging dog-on-dog attacks; only bites to humans are tracked.

There is obviously little to no tracking by the UK government since a "survey" underwritten by a pet insurance company is one source of data and the other is a peer-reviewed study based on media articles. As required by Dutch regulations, at least dog-on-dog attacks resulting in severe and fatal injuries are tracked by police. Those attacks were dominated by pit bull breeds, as were dog-on-dog attacks studied in the UK study, and attacks compiled annually by Animals 24-7.

Don't Track Any Data

What is the easiest way to lower the prevalence of a disease? Stop reporting it. That is the role that humane groups, which claim to "protect" and "advocate" for dogs have taken in the US. That is the role that veterinary groups have taken here as well (technically, both never started reporting it either). These same groups also try to discredit dog-killing aggression data collected by Animals 24-7, because their goal, apparently, is for no entity to track or quantify dog-on-dog attack data.

The glaring absence of data about the most common type of dog attack in the US, dog-on-dog attacks, is the direct result of multimillion dollar humane and veterinary organizations refusing to collect data or to investigate this area of damaging attacks. They don't want the public to know the self-evident results: fighting breeds are largely responsible. When data does arise, they are quick to victim-blame small-size dogs, who are victimized the most in these horrific attacks.

Further Reading

In a 2006 paper, animal behaviorist Alexander Seymonova touches on some of these issues (Aggressive dog breeds: Document nr. 3). She discusses the "sudden denial" of abnormal aggression and heritability of behavior by professionals in the dog world. She also discusses dog-on-dog attacks and killings, which are vastly more common than attacks on humans. "In fact, there is a slaughter of ordinary, non-aggressive household dogs" occurring on the streets, she states.

dog-on-dog attacks

Some of the small dog breeds frequently injured or killed in dog-on-dog aggression attacks.

1Dog Fights – 64,000 Canines Die In 12 Months, by Direct Line Pet Insurance, survey conducted by Opinium, 2017.
277 million is derived from the AVMA's 2017–2018 edition of the Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.
3Intraspecific killing in dogs: Predation behavior or aggression? A study of aggressors, victims, possible causes, and motivations, by Schilder, et al., Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 34 (2019) 52e59.
4In the UK study, 85.4% of the dog-on-dog attacks were reported to the police. This is an exceptionally high percentage and points to the UK Dangerous Dog Act. In the UK, "It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as: in a public place, in a private place, for example a neighbor’s house or garden, in the owner’s home. The law applies to all dogs,"states the government's website. "Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it: injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them. A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if either of the following apply: it attacks someone’s animal or the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal." The penalty if your dog is considered "dangerously out of control" includes: unlimited fines, prison time (up to 15 years if you allow your dog to kill a person), your dog subject to destruction and the inability to own a dog in the future, states the website.
5Several UK websites report that shelters are "inundated with requests to take in staffies and their crossbreeds because of the growing numbers being over-bred and abandoned," much like how pit bulls are over-bred and flood shelters in America. One of the websites cited by the study does state the history of the breed "Dating back to the 1800’s, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was mainly bred for ratting, bull baiting and dogfighting." (dogstrust.org.uk).
6The Netherlands study specifically stated, regarding the anecdotes and speculations of why smaller dog breeds were the majority of victims: "This data set does not allow for the conclusion that generally smaller dogs are more likely to be attacked than larger dogs, and conclusions about motivations are speculative."
7It is generally agreed upon that dog-on-dog aggression is common, in that it is largely comprised of "ritualized aggression" (barking, growling, showing teeth, etc) in an effort to avoid real aggressive encounters. Dog-on-dog "killing aggression" (inflicting severe and fatal injuries to dogs) is much less common, and is what the UK and Netherlands studies investigate. Thousands of years of "ritualized aggression" and tolerance by domesticated dogs among each other, in an effort to avoid damaging aggressive encounters, should be able to withstand the "barking or tail up behavior" by a small dog without this leading to uncommon dog-killing aggression. Small dogs "being less obedient" than larger dogs, as the UK study reports, also should not lead to uncommon dog-killing aggression.

Related articles:
01/28/21: Why Aren't Dangerous Dog Owners Charged With Animal Cruelty? by Dog Lover
09/17/10: Craven Desires: Weekly Frankenmauler Round Up Collection -- Mostly Small Dogs
05/05/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog

The post Peer-Reviewed Study Examines Dog-on-Dog Attacks in the UK by Analyzing News Media Articles appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/study-examines-dog-on-dog-attacks-uk-analyzing-news-media-articles.html/feed 10
2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Pack of Dogs in Porter, Texas During State Power Crisis https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/woman-killed-by-pack-of-dogs-porter-texas-during-state-power-crisis.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/woman-killed-by-pack-of-dogs-porter-texas-during-state-power-crisis.html#comments Tue, 02 Mar 2021 20:07:30 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=19435 Deann Stephenson, 59, was killed by a pack dogs on February 15 in Porter, Texas. Woman Killed by Dogs Porter, TX - On February 15, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office responded to a reported animal bite on Cunningham Drive at … Continue reading

The post 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Pack of Dogs in Porter, Texas During State Power Crisis appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
porter woman killed by dogs
Deann Stephenson, 59, was killed by a pack dogs on February 15 in Porter, Texas.

Woman Killed by Dogs
Porter, TX - On February 15, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office responded to a reported animal bite on Cunningham Drive at about 1:00 pm. Deputies "immediately called for EMS as they had a 59-year old female who was attacked by a pack of five dogs. The deputies attempted to stop the massive bleeding by applying tourniquets to the extremities," reports the Montgomery County Police Reporter. The victim was transported to Kingwood Medical Center in critical condition.

The victim suffered bites to her face, legs, arms, back, and neck. She died sometime after reaching the hospital. She had been walking to a corner store when the dogs ran through an open gate and attacked her. Montgomery County Animal Services took possession of the dogs. Five days later, the victim's sister, Holly Jorgensen, began a fundraiser and identified the victim as Deann Stephenson. The funds will be used to help pay for her funeral and memorial services.

We first became aware of this fatal attack on March 1, when KPRC-TV aired a segment about her death. Recall that on February 15, millions of Texan residents were without power, including this nonprofit. The high temperature in Porter that day was 25 degrees and roads were snowy and icy. Fire and EMS were severely taxed out due to fires, numerous car accidents and trying to clear roads. In the midst of this statewide catastrophe, Deann was fatally attacked by loose dogs.

After her death, family members hired attorney Patrick O'Hara, who has represented many dog attack victims in Montgomery County, reports KPRC-TV. Family members said these same dogs, or at least one of them, had previously attacked other neighbors, including a child. “And still, no criminal charges have been filed against the dog owner. This is horrific, these dogs should have been put down years ago,” O’Hara said. A lawsuit is expected to be filed later this week.

The dogs' owner appears to be a business located in the 24800 block of Cunningham Drive. Hanging on the chain link fence were "Beware of Dog" signs, as well as Chlorine Gas notices. Hauling trucks were seen behind the fencing. We have certainly seen fatal attacks inflicted by junkyard-guard dogs before. In those cases, the auto repair and wrecking companies were likely required to carry insurance. It is unsurprising there will be a civil lawsuit filed in short order.

In January of this year, Montgomery County had another high profile dog attack involving a long-term reckless dog owner. Jennifer Romano, 46, was charged with two felonies -- injury to a child, a 2nd degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a 3rd degree felony -- after her fake service pit bull bit a child in the face unprovoked. Romano fled the scene after the attack. A Montgomery County judge ordered her pit bull, which had previously bitten two people, to be euthanized.

Afternoon Update

In the afternoon, the Houston Chronicle reported more information. Deann died the same day as the attack. Four dogs were involved in the February 15 attack. Montgomery County Animal Services (MCAS) identified them as a mixture of hound, shepherd and black mouth cur breeds. The animals were euthanized. Their owner, who has not been named, was issued citations for failure to provide proof of rabies vaccination and failure to properly confine the dogs, MCAS said.

A neighbor witnessed part of the attack and told MCAS that he tried to help the woman, while his wife called 911. Detectives and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office are investigating whether any charges will be filed against the dogs' owner, reports the Chronicle. The attorney for Deann's family said that multiple people had been attacked by the dogs in the past. Unverified claims on social media said that dogs belonging to this same owner had killed a man years ago.


woman killed by pack of dogs porter

Some  people on social media are saying the owner had dogs that killed a person years ago.

Related articles:
01/11/21: Rescuer Involved in Highly Litigated 'Gus' Case, Flees Scene After her Fake...
07/12/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Dogs Kill 79-Year Old Man in McCreary County
03/21/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Pit Bulls Kill Man in Jefferson County, Arkansas

The post 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Pack of Dogs in Porter, Texas During State Power Crisis appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/woman-killed-by-pack-of-dogs-porter-texas-during-state-power-crisis.html/feed 12
Webinar: Shelter Dog Behavior Review with Sue Sternberg and Gia Savocchi - Reviewing Worst-Case Scenario Dogs https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/shelter-dog-behavior-review-sue-sternberg-and-gia-savocchi.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/shelter-dog-behavior-review-sue-sternberg-and-gia-savocchi.html#comments Tue, 02 Mar 2021 01:17:41 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=19393 These Types of Dogs Should Not be Placed into Our Communities Webinar: Shelter Dog Behavior Review with Sue Sternberg and Gia Savocchi - Fall 2020. Oyster Bay, NY - In a rare appearance on YouTube, we are able to bring … Continue reading

The post Webinar: Shelter Dog Behavior Review with Sue Sternberg and Gia Savocchi - Reviewing Worst-Case Scenario Dogs appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
These Types of Dogs Should Not be Placed into Our Communities

Webinar: Shelter Dog Behavior Review with Sue Sternberg and Gia Savocchi - Fall 2020.


Oyster Bay, NY - In a rare appearance on YouTube, we are able to bring to you the expertise of animal behaviorist Sue Sternberg, who has been crafting the Assess-A-Pet Protocol test for shelter dogs since the 1990s. While professionals and the public can always access paid webinars of Sternberg, it is an atypical occasion to witness and learn from her in a two hour YouTube video, where she reviews worst-case shelter dog scenarios with behavior specialist Gia Savocchi.

Savocchi is currently the contracting behavior specialist at the Oyster Bay Animal Shelter. On the day this video posted, Savocchi was in the news after she posted a TikTok video in response to the harassment she receives from no-kill animal "advocates," who believe that no aggressive behavior -- including killing dogs and people -- is enough to warrant humane euthanasia. This also involves animal cruelty because keeping these dangerous dogs caged for years on end is cruel.

Savocchi was also a whistleblower in a two-part news investigation last year of the North Shore Animal League. The shelter had been hiding the dangerous histories of some dogs available for adoption. Savocchi and her colleague John Bishow-Semevolos said they were directed by their superiors to hide the biting history of dogs and use euphemisms instead. There was also a pattern of bullying by upper management that encouraged employees not to disclose these behaviors.

The Lay of the Land

There are no-kill shelters that habitually lie to adopters by failing to disclose aggression and biting histories of dogs. Only California and Virginia have passed mandatory bite disclosure laws making this illegal. Some shelters even drug dogs to mask aggression. Savocchi's honesty shows us that there are still excellent shelter behaviorists at work -- placing public safety above no-kill's single metric 90% "save rate" -- but they face harassment from misguided no-kill animal "advocates."

Now Savocchi and Sternberg come together -- in a dynamite duo -- to share the evaluations of worst-case shelter dogs, whose behaviors are so dangerous that there is no place for them to safely reside. These dogs are not rehabilitatable, even housing or transporting them is a huge risk. Years ago, our nonprofit began documenting the rise of dangerous dogs being warehoused in shelters and adopted to the public under the guise of "no-kill." Today, the situation is worse.

Background and Testing

Before watching this video, it is important to understand parts of the Assess-A-Pet Protocol. This video provides the basics. Essentially, it is built around the dogs' sociability. The lower the sociability, the greater risk of future aggression. For example, despite this dog appearing friendly, Sternberg states, "there is no social gestures, the domestic dog qualities are not in him." Once you understand sociability, you are on your way to understanding Sternberg's 4-part assessment test.

It is also important to understand that the Oyster Bay Animal Shelter, where Savocchi began working in early 2020, was under a one-year moratorium ceasing all euthanasia from March 2019 to June 2020, due to outcries by no-kill animal "advocates." The moratorium forced the shelter to keep some of these dogs, even "behavioral emergency" cases, as seen in the video, alive. The moratorium was lifted in June 2020, but the battle rages on. Savocchi inherited this mess.

  • The moratorium on euthanasia resulted in a large population of aggressive dogs being "warehoused" at the shelter. When there is a high population of aggressive dogs, the aggression is a contagion; it affects the entire shelter population.
  • Savocchi had to evaluate all of these dogs -- some had been there for two years -- to determine which ones were adoptable. She discusses the behavior of six dogs with Sternberg; most were euthanized for severe aggression or resource guarding.
  • There is no place for these dogs to go when euthanasia is refused. Not even sanctuaries can handle these dogs. You will learn about "Ruby," a dog with no sociability and severe animal aggression that a rescue filled with cats wants to adopt.
  • The role a shelter should play is to protect people and dogs by making wise euthanasia decisions. Keeping reactive dogs alive with a forever future of being caged, isolated and frustrated for the sake of a higher "save rate" is inhumane.
  • Protests, petitions and outrage by no-kill animal "advocates" indicate they have a complete lack of knowledge of normal dog behavior and a complete lack of knowledge of the limitations of behavior modification and of dog training.
  • Sternberg stresses that some shelters only see these types of extreme behaviors (they've never even seen a highly sociable dog), which normalizes these behaviors. Severe aggression cases should be abnormal, but today, they are more common.
  • There is a 13 minute excerpt of this webinar - Excerpt of the Canine Behavior Review Webinar (Sternberg and Savocchi). Precious, a "behavioral emergency" case is featured, along with Sternberg's analysis that her behavior is not normal.

Breaking Down the Webinar

Ruby, female pit bull 5:15 - Dog has predatory behavior, killed a cat at the shelter and attacked a dog through a fence. Dog is under a legal proceeding; a trust was created to try to seize her from the animal shelter to place her into a rescue. The dog has been in legal limbo for two years. Dog can open up gates. The rescue that wants the dog is an indoor facility of about 2,000 square feet with cats and dogs, primarily cats -- about 110 to 150 animals in the space already. (See the environment Ruby, a cat killer, would be kept in.) Sternberg talks about the frustration a dog like this would experience in the "cacophony" of this type of environment. Sternberg also talks about the inherent problem with sanctuaries, which often fill up quick because the person running the sanctuary can't say "no" to new animals.

(18:53) Sociability test - "So far, no sociability," Sternberg remarks. Frontal reorientation, not so great red flags. Chair test - Lunge-a-ways, shoulder swiping, scent marking, zero sociability. Not good. (24:46 notice how you can hear the test in the background? This is to ensure objectivity and consistency). Teeth Exam test - That's a "really low threshold." Basically testing for annoyance, how does the dog handle it? Zero sociability and two very low thresholds so far. Toy test - Frontal reorientation, squared-off, a direct threat. She's not fearful, she has total confidence. Showing all signs of serious aggression risk.

(33:30) "I call her a (habituated) predator," Sternberg said. "She has none of the qualities of a pet dog, of a domesticated dog. In other words, there is no sociability. No deference to people. She doesn't look for clues. She doesn't check in with people. She's completely on her own and independent," Sternberg said. (37:25) "This is the kind of dog that can look like she can pass an assessment, particularly some of the other assessment procedures that are out there, especially if you are not looking at sociability or lack of sociability. But this is a really dangerous dog … Her aggression thresholds are so low, and high predation."

(39:00) Decoy Dog-to-Dog test - The dog aggression test with a stuffed dog. It's a classic attack; she immediately grabs it and does not let go. After the attack, the dog totally disengages, and "walks around and sniffs and pees," Savocchi said. "I see that and I've seen it in other dogs. It's so scary," Sternberg replies. "I don't know why that is more disturbing. I think there is a casualness to the aggression … She's a fighting stock pit. That level of ignite at the sight of another dog, grab, full mouth bite, head shake, not let go. That's not rehabilitatable," Sternberg said.

(44:00) Live Dog-to-Dog test - (Please do not try this at home!) "The only thing holding her back is a leash and leashes will fail. The only thing holding her back is a human and humans fail. Even just transporting her is a huge risk," Sternberg said. The live test shows why decoy dog tests are valid and also do not expose live dogs to potential harm. (46:10) "This isn't curable … This is hundreds of years of genetics in this dog." (Recall that a rescue filled with cats is trying to take ownership of Ruby.)

(46:44) "This is our responsibility as an animal shelter for the community. We cannot place dogs into the community that are going to hurt or kill dogs, that are going to hurt or kill children," Sternberg said. "This level of arousal and predation absolutely will transmit to children as well. She has no sociability. She has no off switch. She has no deference … there is no social gestures, social communication. She's on her own."

(50:45) Baby Doll test - Dog tries to eat the baby doll, but dog responds very differently to a toy ball (55:23), which elicits no arousal. Child Doll test - Extremely high arousal. Dog immediately grabs doll in jaws, lifts it off the ground and parades around the yard while gripping the doll around its waist (which reminds us of this 1897 image). "The combination of the resource guarding, so she stays away … Oh my God, this is so scary. I wish it were less common these days. But it's not," Sternberg said.

Precious, female pit bull, 1:03 - Shows the injuries after Precious and Ruby got into a fence fight. Precious has been in and out of shelters her whole life. Savocchi asks if it is valid for animal "advocates" to say, "Any dog will fight through a fence." And that Savocchi should not negatively score a dog for fence fighting.

(1:04) "No," Sternberg said. "This is what happens when people only see fighting stock guarding breeds and mixes in the shelters, who have such dog aggression and such arousal and frustration problems, that this becomes normal," she said. "This is not normal. This is not what dogs do … a normal dog will fence fight and there is no contact. It's all display" (posturing and noises). Referring to Ruby and Precious, due to their genetics, "there is no place where they are able to be with access to their instincts because they're not bred as dogs. There is no way to fulfill them. It's a cruelty to keep them alive. There is no way to provide the enrichment that they would really need in a safe way."

(1:07) Precious in her kennel with repetitious pacing. "This is a cruelty. This is a cruelty to animals. Crossed the line," Sternberg said. "I call this a behavioral emergency." The dog has lost quality of life. It is a response to an abnormal environment. "There is not a person who would go to a zoo and watch a gorilla doing this or a wolf, pacing and lunging and circling over and over again, and say, 'Oh, that's okay.' It's not okay. This is cruelty to animals in the highest form," Sternberg said.

(1:11) There was a protest after Precious was euthanized. Protesters said, "She's a good dog. She just needs to go to a house without other animals." After watching the Dog-to-Dog test, Sternberg goes into the concept of "game" and being "game bred." Precious was not playing with the stuffed dog -- play is reciprocal. "What she is showing, her motor patterns, all of her behaviors are to kill. She's not doing it out of anger." She added, "These dogs do not belong in our communities. When shelters place these dogs or send them to rescue and they get loose and hurt somebody else's dog or a person? The emotional and financial liability? It's so irresponsible. It's got to stop. This is all in the name of a complete lack of knowledge of normal dog behavior, and a complete lack of knowledge of the limitations of behavior modification and of dog training."

Male pit bull, 1:17 - Dog was confiscated from a squatter house. Broke one of his teeth while being captured with a catch pole. Took a week at the shelter before they could take him out of his kennel. Due to his behavior, Savocchi skipped the first test and went directly to the resource guarding test. Dog already had severe resource guarding of his bowl while in his kennel. The dog quickly acts out during the test. "The earlier in a sequence that a dog hits an aggression threshold, the more dangerous the dog," Sternberg said. "That was a grab, bite, head shake. These are damaging, hospitalizing bites."

"So is this a dog I should have tried to rehabilitate?" asks Savocchi.
"No," Sternberg answers. "You can't change these aggression thresholds. This isn't a food bowl issue. This is a resource guarding, a guarding issue. This is a guard dog. Here's the thing, you neuter him, his appetite goes up. Now, he is worse, if that is even possible. No, this level of resource guarding is so serious. That dog, no sociability to humans. These are really dangerous combinations. These are not pet dogs. So dangerous."

Male chocolate lab, 1:19 - Savocchi also skipped the first test and went directly to the resource guarding test. Savocchi believes dog may have never lived in a home before. He was found running loose by a police officer. The dog tears off the access-a-hand then starts to guard it. Savocchi believes the dog was transported to Long Island by a rescue transport then set loose by the transport or rescue when they realized he was a problem.

"So guarding edible and non-edible, like the access-a-hand is non-edible, is a predictor of much more serious resource guarding. It's predictive of absolutely not being able to manage the dog in a home situation. He will guard everything and his level is really serious, and he has no sociability to people," Sternberg said. Once the moratorium was lifted, the shelter was able to euthanize the worst cases, this dog being one of them. "He was clear cut not adoptable," Savocchi said.

Dexter, male pit bull-mix, 1:23 - Dog had been at the shelter for two years. Adopted to two different homes. 3-years old, neutered and a repetitive kennel spinner and kennel reactive. They put the dog on Prozac. Dog fails sociability test -- high tail, giant shoulder swipe, giant anal swipe. "He likes me clearly," Savocchi said. "Well, he likes you as his property. So far has shown you no respect or sociability," Sternberg replies.

(1:27) During the Stranger test, the shelter director was even afraid of the dog.  "Your shelter director is uncomfortable with the dog, like, 'end of test,'" Sternberg said. "For good reason. This is a dog who, with hesitant communication, will show aggression. The world is filled with hesitant communication." Next, Savocchi tests with a female that is not a stranger. Dog still exhibits guarding behavior. Savocchi states the dog has never done anything to any of the "women" at the shelter (indicating the dog is man-aggressive), but he did try to redirect on her one time, when he went to take a lung at a man. "And that is resource guarding," Sternberg said. "That is when you get a redirect."

"So, he was going after a man?" Sternberg asks. Yes, Savocchi said. "End of test. End of evaluation. I mean, I hate to be flip about it, but what are we doing in the shelter world today, right? What are we putting out into our communities? He's not a beagle. He's a giant, muscular, athletic dog. Capable of great damage."

During the Chair test, the dog displays behavior, which predicts "aggression to strangers, territorial aggression in the home. If there is another dog in the home, it predicts dog-to-dog aggression because the dog is owner guarding," Sternberg said. "It's a guard dog, not a pet."

After the tests, we learn more about the history of the dog. This dog was adopted out to a home with a Maltese before I was around, Savocchi said. They returned him because he was too hyperactive in the home.

He was recently adopted out to a single adult man. That man pulled him off Prozac nearly completely (he was in the home for three weeks) then decided to take him to the dog park. During one occasion at the dog park, the dog attacked an adult female boxer (dog-to-dog aggression), requiring a $300 vet bill. Next he went after someone who was coming into the home (territorial aggression in the home). Bit him on the finger. No stitches needed. Later he was taken to an off-leash park when no other dogs were there, in a fenced-in area. A town employee went into the area to change the garbage can and the dog attacked the person (aggression to strangers and/or territorial aggression). No bite, but the dog had to be tackled and forcibly restrained.

Prior to being told the history of this dog, and only being shown a few short clips of the tests, Sternberg predicted these behaviors.

(1:34) "You should be able to take your dog to a dog park. Then [the adopter] said, 'Why not take him to a dog park when no one is there?' And a man shows up. What if he had killed the town employee? What if he had just knocked him down and he hit his head? These are life-changing events," Sternberg said.

The general public -- Level 1 dog owners -- do not understand what it means to own a dog like this. They may think they can handle a dog like Dexter, but have no basis or qualifications to make that assessment.

(1:35) "The only people really qualified to take a dog like that is someone who lived with a dog that had that level of aggression. And, anyone who has already lived with a dog with that level of aggression, will say 'No thanks' to their next dog having the same issues," Sternberg said. "That's the paradox. Once you realize that, you realize that all we are doing is duping someone into adopting a dog because they don't truly understand."

Teddy, male cane corso, 1:36 - Teddy was found running loose with a female dog. It took multiple animal control officers and police officers hours to capture the two. He was very aggressive. This dog was so dangerous, he was never let out of his cage -- not even one time -- until he was euthanized one year later. Due to the moratorium on euthanasia, he could not be euthanized sooner. No-kill animal "advocates" claimed this dog could be rehabilitated with up to three years of training.

Savocchi would not let him out of his kennel because the risk to shelter staff was too high. Teddy fixated on certain people. His behavior was so bad to certain people that Sternberg said, "That's abusive to the staff person."

Teddy has broken many of his teeth by biting the bars of the kennel. This dog found a way to get under the guillotine door too (1:40). Gasps and "Oh my God!" is heard while watching the guillotine door sequence.

(1:41) "Because what you have here is a predator beast. He's not a dog," Sternberg said. "Your kennels are set up to house dogs. He's no longer a dog. There is no one who could look at that video and think that is not abject cruelty to animals. That's to got stop." Sternberg also comments, rightly so, that Teddy could kill a shelter worker. "You can't get him out [of the kennel], he's too aggressive. He's going to kill one of your employees. If he can open the guillotine, somebody is going to go in there to clean, you're going to find them dead. It will be the most horrible death."

Finally, Sternberg discusses that no behaviorist would look at Teddy and say, "Yeah, we can train him." Only charlatans would, she said. The dog has "all of the hallmarks of a dog that can kill an adult human." Sternberg then refers to the Virginia case involving Blue, a rehomed pit bull that killed a woman immediately after his shock collar was removed. This type of charlatan "would put a shock collar on him and suppress him and the minute that shock collar came off … These dogs don't get rehabilitated. You can suppress them for a certain amount of time using methods that are considered cruel and inhumane," Sternberg said.


Dogs in Shelters Today

Sternberg used to classify adoptable dogs as Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 -- Level 1 having the highest sociability, highest aggression thresholds and the easiest to live with successfully. There are almost no Level 1 dogs in shelters today. She has since dropped these categories, but has maintained the corresponding levels of adopters, Level 1, making up most dog owners, who need bombproof dogs. Level 2 adopters are more capable and Level 3 adopters are professional dog trainers, shelter workers or handlers. As she states in her book, "The biggest problem is that there are far fewer behaviorally adoptable dogs in shelters today, and far more aggressive ones than anyone -- public or within the shelter and rescue industry -- is prepared to deal with."


About Sue Sternberg

Sternberg has been working in shelters and as a dog trainer since 1981. Sue was the 2016 recipient of the APDT's Lifetime Achievement Award. She founded the shelter featured in the HBO documentary: Shelter Dogs. Her over 40 years of canine behavior experience includes as a dog control officer, behavior consultant at the ASPCA, shelter owner, successful competitor in a variety of dog sports (with Nose Work being her current wild favorite) and a teacher of dog trainers worldwide. She has published many books and DVDs on all aspects of dog behavior, training and assessments, available at Dogwise and TawzerDog. Her latest book is: Assessing Aggression Thresholds in Dogs. Using the Assess-A-Pet Protocol to Better Understand Aggression.

Shelter Dog Behavior Review with Sue Sternberg

Shelter dog behavior review with Sue Sternberg and Gia Savocchi - reviewing worst-case scenario dogs with no sociability, severe aggression and resource guarding issues.

Related articles:
08/22/20: Sue Sternberg - Aggression in Dogs Conference - 2020 Podcast
07/31/20: 2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded that Mask Aggression
01/23/20: Attacks by Vicious Dogs Inside Shelters Are Rising; A Closer Look at the Oakland...

Related fatalities:
08/29/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Recently Adopted Pit Bull-Mix Kills Woman, Injures Owner
05/09/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Volunteer at Humane Society Dies After Pit Bull Attack
06/01/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Rescue Pit Bull Attacks, Kills Elderly Woman in Virginia Beach

The post Webinar: Shelter Dog Behavior Review with Sue Sternberg and Gia Savocchi - Reviewing Worst-Case Scenario Dogs appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

]]>
https://blog.dogsbite.org/2021/03/shelter-dog-behavior-review-sue-sternberg-and-gia-savocchi.html/feed 21