Pit Bull Mauling Victim Undergoes Life Changing Surgery 23 Years After Attack -- Follow Her GoFundMe

Denise Venzke - Life changing surgery
Pit bull mauling victim undergoes life changing surgery decades after being attacked.

GoFundMe for Surgeries
Wisconsin - In September, Niecie Venzke organized a fundraiser for Denise, who was attacked by her brother's two pit bulls in 1997. The dogs tore off most of her scalp. The fundraiser explains that she is undergoing a new surgery after struggling with sores and infections on her head for many years. "I have had multiple surgeries over the years, but I never had any options for my head. I really felt I was just going to have to live with the skin graft and issues for the rest of my life."

She first visited University of Wisconsin Health in Madison in 2017. "At that time the doctor took several pictures of my head and said he would present my case to his colleagues," she writes. When Denise returned a few months later, she was presented with a plan involving cranial facial surgery. "I was going to have 4 to 5 skin expanders placed under the hair growing portion of my scalp and my forehead and that skin would be stretched over a few months," she writes.

The GoFundMe shows many photos of her scalp before the new procedure. The skin graft does not allow hair regrowth, so she has been wearing a wig for many years. The initial surgery was scheduled for October 15, 2019. She then began the journey of undergoing the tissue expansion that would require 2 to 4 surgeries over the next year. As of May 14, 2020, she has posted 31 updates to the fund. On May 4, she published a video explaining the second phase of her surgery.

Denise explains her life changing surgery of skin expansion to regain feeling on her head.

We strongly recommend watching the full 15-minute video. The skin expanders are in place, so her appearance will appear unusual. Throughout most of the video, Denise is positive and upbeat as she explains the tissue expansion procedure and how she is coping. She also talks about the many incredible doctors and health practitioners she has met throughout this journey. We also learn that she is a single mother with three children, two of which are 6-year old fraternal twins.

Covid-19 has obviously impacted her surgery schedule. Towards the end of the video, she talks about how many images of herself she has had to adjust to since the pit bull mauling. "That's been one of the hardest things mentally for me through this. Getting used to how you look, and then it changing week-by-week. After tomorrow, I am going to look different again." Since the attack in 1997, Denise has had to be very careful to avoid bumping her head and sunburns to her head.

NEILLSVILLE - A truck driver was credited with helping to save a 14-year-old girl who lost her scalp when she was attacked by three dogs at her rural Clark County home.

Denise Seif was hospitalized after she was bitten on her face, arms and hands during the attack Thursday afternoon.

A deliveryman for the United Parcel Service drove into the yard as the attack was taking place.

The driver and the girl's brother pulled her away from the family's dogs - two pit bulls and another dog. The driver put the girl in his truck and drove to Neillsville.

The dogs were euthanized after the attack and will be tested for rabies.

- Associated Press, September 14, 1997, Telegraph Herald

On May 5, she posted a video after the expanders were removed. She states, "The results are better than we anticipated." She said her wonderful Dr. Garland can also add "magician" to her resume. On May 6, she was discharged from the hospital. On May 10, she was able to remove her bandages. "It was so emotional!" she said. "I now have feeling in most of my head and it’s the oddest feeling to touch parts of my head that I haven’t had any feeling in for the past 23 years!"

One week after the expanders were removed, she posted another video update. Much of the swelling had gone down. She said she still has a hard time adjusting to how small her head is now. "It's going to take me awhile to get used to this." The skin graft left her having no feeling on the top of her head. Thus, she lacks an ability to judge distance for her head. This causes her to often bump her head; each time this creates an open sore. The new surgery should reduce this.

Denise provides an update one week after the skin expanders were removed from her head.

Participate in Her Journey

Denise has at least two more surgeries left. She has also raised nearly $7,000 of her $8,000 goal. We encourage you to make a donation of any size. Doing so will also ensure that you receive future fund updates by email. Denise is an amazing and inspiring pit bull attack survivor, who also has three lovely children to care for. Several days ago, she sent in her attack story to us. We are publishing it in full below. The attack occurred on September 11, 1997 near Neillsville, Wisconsin.

I'm currently going through my 8th [surgery] directly related to the pit bull attack. I truly feel like I’m a fixer upper. Since I’ve been off work, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my life and this crazy event. I can honestly say that I have no regret for it happening to me. I’ve become the person I am because of it.

Recalling the events on September 11, 1997 no longer upset me, for I now finally realize after all of these years I’ve accepted and appreciate that this was a part of life I was meant to experience. And it truly has altered my life since.

Disclaimer this may be hard to read.

I was 14 years old, just starting my freshman year of high school. I wasn’t feeling well that morning and my mom let me stay home from school. It was just me and my brother Doug. Doug had two pit bulls, Rock and Spike, who I completely adored. Doug was always an authoritarian since he was my older brother. He strictly told me to stay in my room that day since I was sick. But at 14, I thought that I knew better than anyone what I needed. I wanted to get outside and sit under a lilac tree in my parents front yard. I was sure that would make me feel better. I slyly snuck out of the house without my big brother noticing. I grabbed some dog food on my way out to feed the boys -- that’s what everyone called Rock and Spike -- they were brothers and just a little over a year old.

I was nearly to the lilac bush when I heard something, my heart nearly skipped a beat thinking it was my brother coming to scold me. It was "the boys." I remember thinking, "Oh thank god it’s just the two of you." But they were running at full speed toward me. I instantly knew something was wrong. Instantly I felt pain in my left leg. One of the dogs had bitten my leg so hard I fell to the ground. I didn’t know at the time, but I fell face first into the grass, which is what had saved my life. If I would have fallen on my back, [pit bulls] have a natural instinct to attack the throat. I remember yelling for Doug until my voice was horse. I couldn’t really feel pain, but I knew there was one dog by my head and one my left arm. I put my hand on top of my head, and I remember my hand was covered in blood when I could see it.

Right after that a UPS truck pulled around the turn in my driveway. Almost instantaneously Doug came running out of the house. He yelled at the dogs who ran towards him. When I knew they were a safe distance, I ran to the UPS truck. The UPS man said, "I have to do something, if I don’t you will die." He somehow managed to drive the 7 miles to Neillsville. We met the ambulance at the main intersection in town. I said to him, "Thank you, I think you just saved my life." To this day I’m not sure if he heard me, all I could manage to get out was a whisper. My body was shaking like I was having a seizure. I was in severe shock from the blood loss. After I was taken into the ambulance, I said, "I’m so tired I want to sleep." The EMT very firmly said, "If you sleep you could die."

Upon arriving at the small rural hospital, everyone seemed panicked and I was too. That same year, Spirit, which is Flight for Life at St. Joseph’s hospital was started. The helicopter was there in minutes. I was loaded onto the chopper and flown to Marshfield. I never lost consciousness and can remember every detail, smell and all the beeping in the chopper. Once we arrived, I was taken directly into surgery. After around 9 hours, I awoke in the recovery room. I didn’t realize the extent of my injuries until much later. I was in and out the next few days in the pediatric ICU. I had so much love and support from my community, family and friends. I knew my entire head was bandaged and I couldn’t move my left arm. But I was determined -- a determination I still have to this day.

I was walking with assistance after four days. One week after I was taken for my first skin graft. The top layer of skin was removed from my right thigh and grafted to my head. The “donor” area was from my knee to my groin and it was just enough skin to cover the scalp that was gone. A few days later I went back to surgery to have a graft placed on my forehead. This skin was removed from my left arm because the color matched better to my natural skin tone. I had one more graft placed on my upper left arm where I had lost 3/4 of my biceps and a large portion of my triceps muscles. I healed relatively fast and was discharged from the hospital two weeks and four days after.

I remember the first time I saw my head. My surgeons were so happy with their work they gave me a mirror so I could see it. I had only one glance and threw the mirror across the room. At 14 my appearance was everything. I though I would never adjust.

My arm was in a sling for a total of almost two months. I was told that I would never regain full range of motion again. It took over a year of physical therapy and lots of blood sweat and tears but I have 100% range of motion in that arm. I now realize that if the events of that day didn’t happen exactly as it all did, I would not have survived. I’m forever thankful to that UPS man and my brother Doug! - Denise

Make a donation of any amount to Denise's Life Changing Surgery Fund at GoFundMe.
life changing surgery pit bull attack

1997 pit bull mauling victim seen after undergoing a recent life changing surgery procedure.

Related articles:
07/15/15: Historic Pit Bull Attack Survivor, Angela Hands, Seeks Out Fabulous Five to Honor Them and Say 'Thank You'

2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Found Mauled, Mutilated and Dead After Attack by Own Dogs in Lake County, Illinois

Lisa Urso killed by shorty bully
Lisa Urso, 52-years old, seen with her two Shorty bullies, Blue Bear (left) and Rocco.

Canine Mauling Death
UPDATE 05/12/20: The Lake County coroner confirmed Tuesday that a 52-year old woman "definitely died" due to injuries inflicted by one or more of her dogs. Lisa Urso was discovered mauled and mutilated outside her home in the 600 block of Knollwood Road. Dr. Howard Cooper, the Lake County Coroner, said it was difficult to determine which of her three dogs attacked her given the number of bites Urso sustained. Urso owned two Shorty bullies and another dog.

"It wasn’t the neck, most (bites) were on her legs and arms. Some on her torso as well. Just a lot of bites. A lot of scratching." - Dr. Howard Cooper

A Shorty bull is a short, squat, gargoyle variation of the American bully and is only recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club. One of Urso's Shorty bullies, named Blue Bear, attacked her boyfriend on April 13 and April 21. At least one of those bites was severe. The last bite resulted in Lake County Animal Care and Control placing the male Shorty bull into quarantine. Afterward, the dog was returned to Urso at her request. On May 9, Blue Bear likely initiated the fatal attack.

A Shorty bull is not a French bulldog. Many newspaper headlines are declaring that a "French bulldog" killed this able-bodied 52-year old female. These headlines are invalid. A Shorty bull is variation of the American bully, which "developed as a natural extension of the American pit bull terrier," according to the United Kennel Club. The Shorty bull "designer bull breed" was created by mixing 5 different types of bull breeds, including the French bulldog and American pit bull terrier.

The ridiculousness of a French bulldog perpetrating this attack could result in a Snopes article. Learn more about the Shorty bull standard, which the creator even calls a "working bulldog."

Late Wednesday afternoon, The Daily Herald published new details after speaking with Lake County Animal Care and Control (LCACC). "Blue," though Urso referred to her Shorty bull as "Blue Bear," was the main aggressor and had attacked Urso's boyfriend twice in April, causing serious injuries. The white Shorty bull had blood on its coat, but its level of participation in the attack is unknown. Urso's third dog, an elderly border collie-mix, was not involved in the deadly attack.

LCACC spokeswoman Hannah Goering also shut down the unfounded claims that Blue Bear had "been trained to fight" or endured any mistreatment. "Typically dogs which have been trained to fight, whether as the aggressor or the victim, have visible scars or chewed-up ears," Goering said. "This was a very healthy-looking dog; there were no signs of scarring. There is no reason to believe that." Blue Bear, now responsible for multiple attacks, will hopefully be euthanized.

A fatal dog mauling is not a "unique isolated incident," as Goering falsely claimed. These deaths occur about every 11 days in the United States.

Sadly, the breed of dog has not yet been corrected, but that soon may change. A Chicago-based French bulldog rescue group is trying to get the word out. To add to this confusion, Urso's older Facebook page shows that she did previously own a French bulldog. At some point in late 2018, Urso changed course and acquired two Shorty bulls, a brindle male, named Blue Bear, and a white male, named Rocco. The male border collie-mix, named Spike, was about 15-years old.

Lisa Urso owned two Shorty bullies and a border collie-mix when she was fatally attacked.

05/11/20: Woman Found Mauled and Dead
Lake County, IL - A 52-year old woman was discovered dead on her back patio after what police believe was a vicious attack by at least one of her three dogs. She was discovered Saturday at her home in the 600 block of Knollwood Road, according to Fox Lake Police Chief Jimmy Lee. Co-workers of Urso went to her home after Urso failed to meet them on Saturday as planned. When officers arrived at the residence, they encountered a "gruesome" scene, Chief Lee said.

Police believe Urso died on her back patio after she escaped from her home, fleeing the vicious attack. There were also signs of a struggle, police said. One of Urso's dog had a history of two recent separate biting incidents. It tore into Urso's boyfriend on April 13 and again on April 21. The latter bite resulted in Lake County Animal Care and Control housing the dog for quarantine. Urso requested the dog back from the agency afterward, which proved to be a "fatal mistake," Lee said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine cause of death. Until this determination is made, we cannot rule out a post-mortem mauling.

In 2016, in this very same county, there was a suspected fatal dog attack. Police initially believed family dogs killed their 71-year old owner. "The bites were very extensive, there were multiple bites all over the 71-year-old's body from her head to her toes," detective Christopher Covelli said. Also in 2016, two family English bulldogs were suspected in killing their 61-year old owner. The coroner described that scene as "horrific." Both cases turned out to be post-mortem maulings.

A friend of Urso posted to Facebook after learning about her death. The post contains three photographs, each showing Urso with a different dog. The lower right image appears to show the third dog, though its breed is unclear to us. What is clear is that her Frenchies are oversized. In a December 2018 post, Urso called them Shorty bullies, which is a miniature American bully variation. For "stylization" reasons, Shorties often have cropped ears, not Frenchie bat ears.1

"Shorty bulls were created by mixing 5 different types of bull dog breed, some of which were the French Bulldogs and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Shorty Bulls can be American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) registered and are found at the majority of the American Bully Shows." - Vitamins for Pit Bulls

"The American Bully breed developed as a natural extension of the American Pit Bull Terrier. The APBT has maintained a characteristic appearance and temperament for over 100 years. As with any long-standing breed, several types evolved from the parent breed, with one in particular taking on a specific build and structure that is so unique it was wise to recognize it as a different breed altogether." - United Kennel Club

Returning the Biter

In February, we wrote about Maria Crawford. She was brutally killed by her pit bull-mix last June after it previously attacked her facial region twice. We argued that Ventura County Animal Services, who returned the dog to the family a third time after the dog's escalating owner-directed aggression targeting the owner's face and head region, was a bad policy. We also argued that shelters are now in the position of having to protect family members from their own vicious dogs.

In the case of Urso, we do not know the severity or location of the injuries the dog inflicted on her unlucky boyfriend in April. We do know that both Shorty bullies were puppies in December 2018, thus both have reached sexual maturity (1.5 to 2-years old), the age when aggression often first manifests in pit bulls. The pattern is clear: April 13 bite, April 21 bite and May 9 fatality. As Chief Lee bluntly stated, "The lady wanted her dog back and it attacked her viciously and killed her."

Lisa Urso residence in Fox Lake

Residence in Fox Lake where Lisa Urso was discovered dead with extensive dog bite injuries.

shorty bullies - lisa urso

Lisa Urso, 52, seen with her Shorty bullies Blue Bear (left) and Rocco (right) before her death.

Comments indicate that the male brindle Shorty bull named "Blue Bear" is the previous biter.
1In the unregulated world of unrecognized "designer bull breeds" by open stud book kennel clubs like the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC), mixing five different breeds to produce one will result in large variations. The ABKC states: "At this time the breed is still in its infancy and the studbooks will remain open for a few more years." That same message was on their website in 2013, according to Internet Archives. In an "open stud book" dogs may be registered even if their parents or earlier ancestors were not previously registered with that entity. Basically, an open stud book means they are still determining breed type. Here is an assortment of Shorty bull variations.

Related articles:
02/10/20: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Owner After Attacking Her Two Times
05/17/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Fatal Pack Attack Near Ardmore, Oklahoma

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.

2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Doctor Killed by Suspected Roaming Dogs in Lyons, Georgia

Nancy Shaw -suspected roaming dogs
Dr. Nancy Shaw, 62-years old, was killed by suspected roaming dogs in Lyons, Georgia.

Suspected Dogs Captured
UPDATE 05/12/20: Three of the four dogs suspected in the mauling death of a 62-year old doctor have been captured and are being held as evidence, Southeast Georgia Today reports. A fourth dog was shot and killed by a Lyons resident after it attempted to break into a man's chicken pen. The dogs are reportedly "bulldog-mixes," which is a generic term in much of the south, including Georgia and Florida, that refers to American bulldogs and fighting bulldogs -- pit bull terriers.

A perfect example of this lies in an adoption listing for a Savannah "bulldog mix." That dog is as far removed from an English bulldog as imaginable. A generic "bulldog" in Georgia is a phenotype, perfectly represented by the adoption listing. In 2017, there was a large fight bust in Polk County, Georgia. 150 dogs were seized, "pit bull-based or bulldog-based breeds." All of these dogs are generic Georgia "bulldog-mixes." But what about Uga, the famous Georgia Bulldog mascot?

In 1894, a solid white female bull terrier, named Trilby, became the very first dog mascot for the college. During that time period, the names "bull terriers, pit dogs and pit bulls" were synonymous. In 1898, Chauncey Z. Bennett founded the United Kennel Club to bring formal recognition to the pit bull breed, under the official name, "American pit bull terrier." At that time, Bennett also drew up rules and regulations for dogfighting to bring "organization" to the now illegal blood sport.1

Dog Owner Located

The update from Southeast Georgia Today also reports that police have located the owner of the four loose dogs suspected in killing Dr. Nancy Shaw. Possible criminal charges depend upon the results of the investigation. Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker speculated that Dr. Shaw may have seen the dogs by the road and stopped to feed them when a fight broke out between the dogs. However, it will never be known why Dr. Shaw suddenly stopped and got out of her vehicle.

The remaining dogs are currently being held at the Lyons Animal Shelter. Earlier today, the city of Lyons issued a press release about Dr. Shaw's death. The most important part is that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also involved in the multi-agency investigation. The city reminded residents that "the City has an adequate animal control ordinance and a competent Animal Control Division" and that they rely on "community policing to enforce its running at large regulations."

The City of Lyons Georgia
Press Release - May 12, 2020

The Mayor and City Council is saddened by the events that ultimately led to the Death of Dr. Nancy Shaw. Dr. Shaw was a friend to the City, Lyons Police department, and Lyons Animal shelter. The Lyons Police Department assisted by the Lyons Animal Control Division, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Lyons Public Works Department actively searched for the dogs responsible for the incident.

On May 8, 2020, The Lyons Police identified and seized the dogs allegedly involved in the Thursday Morning death of Dr. Shaw. The incident is still under investigation. At this time, charges have not been brought on the owner of the dogs.

The City would like to assure the Citizens of Lyons that the City has an adequate animal control ordinance and a competent Animal Control Division. The City uses community policing to enforce its running at large regulations, and when compliance is not achieved, prosecutes offenders regularly. The Lyons Animal Control Division encourages Citizens to abide by the Cities leash law and keep your pets under the level of control required by the law.

05/10/20: Dogs Kill Local Doctor
Lyons, GA - A women was discovered dead in a ditch early Thursday morning. An autopsy later confirmed that Dr. Nancy Shaw, 62-years old, died from an animal attack. Police spotted her car on Skyline Boulevard about 3:00 am, pulled over on the wrong side of the road, car running and the door open. "Got out of the patrol car to investigate and found a female that was deceased in the ditch," Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker said. Police suspect roaming dogs are the culprits.

Dr. Shaw lived on Skyline Boulevard under a half mile from where she was found. Depending upon how quiet the neighborhood was, her car could have been idling for hours. The estimated time of the attack was not released. Dr. Shaw practiced internal medicine at Meadows Regional Medical Center. She would often stop by the police station to check on the well-being of officers. “She was a friend of ours," Chief Walker said. "When I realized who it was, it was devastating."

The term "wild dogs" is often a product of the media. We have defined owned roaming dogs (that may or may not be collared), stray dogs, feral dogs and wild dogs in the past. Owned roaming dogs are virtually always the culprits in fatal attacks. On Thursday, Southeast Georgia Radio reported more details, including that police believe a couple of the suspected dogs were collared. "We feel like they did belong to someone, but haven’t had any luck yet," Chief Walker explained.

“Around 3 a.m. one of my officers was on routine patrol in the north end of town and came across a vehicle that was parked close to the shoulder of the road, running, with the door open. He got out to investigate and found a female in the ditch that was deceased. We identified that female as Dr. Nancy A. Shaw, 62 years of age with a Skyline Boulevard address,” said Walker.

Walker said, “The investigation is continuing but it appears from preliminary investigations that she was possibly attacked by an animal, probably some dogs that were seen in the area and caused the death of Dr. Shaw from those injuries.”

Walker added, “We are actively trying to locate some dogs that were seen running loose in the area around this same time to see if there is any evidence of that. We do believe that a couple of the dogs do have collars on so we feel like they did belong to someone but haven’t had any luck yet.” - Southeast Georgia Radio

Friends of Dr. Shaw began posting about her death on May 7. One of her co-workers, Brenda Moody, said she "was one of the kindest people I have ever met. She always trusted my judgment and never failed to tell me what a good job I was doing as Med-Surg charge nurse. She had a kind word for everyone and loved her cats. She was loved by all of us that worked night shift." This indicates Dr. Shaw had a routine of driving home late, even into the early morning hours.

Another friend stated that she "loved her cats beyond words." Friends speculated that Dr. Shaw might have gotten out of her car to help a cat. She "wouldn't have hesitated to stop and help," Moody said in a comment. Dr. Shaw is yet another victim of a violent dog mauling "found dead in a ditch" afterward. We had this discussion in December, commenting then, "It is a moral and societal failure" and a "collective lack of enforcement." Reckless dog owners are certainly to blame as well.

Despite being "devastated" over her death, Lyons Police did not post anything to their Facebook page about the death investigation. Instead, they posted twice about dogs. One post promoted Dog Food Distribution and the other promoted the Lyons Animal Shelter.2 "We are coming for shots, toys and free dog food... what are you waiting for?" The timing of this is unfortunate. This beloved, hardworking doctor was "found dead in a ditch" after being mauled by roaming dogs.

suspected roaming dogs

Dr. Nancy Shaw was mauled to death by suspected roaming dogs on Skyline Boulevard.

Dr. Nancy Shaw had a heart of gold

Friends and co-workers say that Dr. Nancy Shaw had a gentle soul and a heart of gold.

1American Pit Bull Terrier Handbook, by Joe Stahlkuppe, Barron's Educational Series, Inc., Page 55, 2000.
2According to the Lyons Animal Shelter, as of April 30, the shelter was still not fully operational due to Covid-19. Who knows if any entity is responding to calls of roaming dogs? Further, in early April (while most of the country was sheltering-in-place) the city passed an anti-chaining ordinance. While no one wants to see dogs chained, that was a terrible time to pass this ordinance. Requiring irresponsible dog owners to suddenly have to build a fence during Covid-19 is plain stupid. One commenter stated: "So I just let them outside now without any restrains."

Related articles:
03/10/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Suspected Fatal Pit Bull Mauling in Crawford County, Georgia
12/27/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Vicious Dog Attack in Dacula, Georgia

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.

2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Suffering Life-Threatening Injuries in Vicious Dog Attack in Louisiana

roxie parker
Roxie Parker, 60-years old, died of her injuries after a vicious dog attack near Welsh.

UPDATE 05/15/20: We continue to wait on an incident report from the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff's Office. The investigation is still active. Once the case is closed, we will be able to obtain the report. We were, however, able to gain confirmation of several important aspects. The dog involved is a large white and brown male bull terrier. The sheriff's office did not have any prior bites or complaints on the dog. The owner put the dog down on the day of the attack at the residence.

Roxie Parker had raised the dog with the owner since it was a puppy, according to the sheriff's office. The suspected dog we located is an adult male bull terrier. Prior to the modern bull terrier, the breed's confirmation was vastly different. Some "working" bull terriers continue to be crossed with Staffordshire bull terriers in fighting lines, especially in Ireland (see: Ch Stormer and Ch Nellie).1,2 Up until 1965, the names bull terriers, pit bulls and pit dogs were interchangeable.

05/07/20: Roxie Parker Obituary
Welsh, LA - On April 20, a 60-year old woman was viciously attacked by a dog and died of her injuries four days later. This attack first came to our attention on May 5, when we were alerted to an April 24 post by RJ Hanks, who knows the victim's sister. "A sweet friend from high school just posted that her sister (who survived the tornados that ripped through their neighborhood on April 12th), was attacked by a pit bull on April 20th and was declared brain dead today," Hanks wrote.

Hanks did not name the victim in the April 24 post. Hanks is based in Baton Rouge, so we presumed he or she was referring to the April 12, 2020 Easter tornado that struck Monroe, Louisiana. On May 7, we were able to locate the victim's obituary along with her family members on Facebook. Roxie Wright Parker died "following a dog attack that left her with injuries too extensive for recovery," states her obituary. Parker had moved to Monroe sometime last year.

Parker's last public Facebook post states in part, "Survived the tornados that hit Monroe. Terrible destruction just blocks away from me. Heard it and saw tree limbs go by and no electric since 11:30 am." Prior to Hanks' post, the victim's daughter had already posted publicly about the dog attack. "She was viciously attacked by a dog and sustained several life threatening injuries. She's fighting for her life and needs all the prayers in the world," Jana wrote. Parker died the next day.

The Johnson Funeral Home obituary states she died at a Lafayette hospital on April 24. The obituary about her life was published in The News Star from May 2 to May 3. As of May 7, the newspaper has not reported the April 20 dog attack. We have discovered zero media reports at this time. Her obituary also states, "She also loved her little dog, Danny Boy, that she tried to save." On April 30, her daughter Jana began asking the public for help in locating the small dog.

Jana posted to the Facebook group, Stolen or Lost Pets in Jeff Davis Parish, that Danny Boy was last seen off Highway 99 near Martin Road, "when a terrible accident happened involving a dog attack and my mother passing away." Jana added, "Danny Boy was her beloved dog and he's gone missing since the day of, last Monday, April 20th." Accordingly, the attack occurred south of Welsh, which is about 200 miles away from Monroe, and it appears to be a rural, isolated area.

We do not know the time of day of the attack or any circumstances involved, only that Parker had tried to save Danny Boy from the vicious dog. The presumed location of the attack lies in the middle of three different fire department zones; any one of them could have responded to that call. So until we get information about the estimated time of the attack, we will not be able to locate the audio dispatch log files. Nor can we verify the breed of dog based upon what Hanks wrote alone.

"Roxie was known for her pretty face, her brilliant smile, and friendly personality, making friends wherever she went," states her obituary. "She was a devoted, loving mother to her two girls. She adored them and she loved to tell you about them." She raised her girls in Baton Rouge and in Fairhope. "Last year she moved to Monroe to be close to her dad and stepmom," states her obituary. A memorial service for Parker will be held in Baton Rouge at a later date, it states.

A Devastating Loss

Parker's mauling death is unimaginably tragic, devastating and cruel. From the location of the attack to her two beautiful daughters, her lost dog Danny Boy who she tried to save and to what must have been a horrific attack scene and injuries. We hope her daughters are able to locate Danny Boy. That Facebook post had a number of shares. We will attempt to obtain any public information that we can through a FOIA request to the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff's Office.

roxie parker - lost dog

Parker's family is asking for help in locating Danny Boy; he has not been seen since the attack.

roxie park - last post

The last Facebook post by Roxie Parker states that she survived the tornado that hit Monroe.

1This author, Douglas Link, is a bull terrier (EBT) and Irish pit dog "enthusiast." In his paper, Indigenous pit dogs of the British Isles and Southern Ireland, he lists a string of dog fight matches where EBT bloodlines prevailed over American pit bull terrier bloodlines. Link also wrote a book about this, Pit Bull Garden: Evolution of the Pit Bull Terrier & other Game Dogs.
2The Great Book of Bulldogs, Bull Terrier and Molosser: Part I Bulldogs & Bull Terrier, by Marlene Zwettler, 2013.
map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Louisiana Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
02/29/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Two Family Pit Bulls in Shreveport, Louisiana
09/13/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Brain Dead After Pit Bull Mauling Near Bozeman

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.